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December 15, 2017

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 12/5/2017

Ex-U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown gets 5 years in prison

Corrine Brown
Corrine Brown

A federal judge sentenced former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown to five years in prison on Monday, followed by three years of probation, for fraud and other charges related to a purported charity for poor students that she used as a personal slush fund. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Corrigan sentenced Brown to serve 60 months in prison; Brown’s long-time Chief of Staff Elias “Ronnie” Simmons to serve 48 months in prison; and Carla Wiley, the president of the fraudulent charity, to serve 21 months in prison. Full news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, here. Also read more at Orlando Sentinel, the Florida Times-Union and the New York Times.

Column: 3.1 million reasons to support Florida's Small Business Saturday bill

Small Business Saturday Sales Tax Holiday has emerged as an opportunity to bring small businesses and consumers closer by allowing small businesses to waive sales tax on items costing less than $1,000 the Saturday after Thanksgiving. [Source: Florida Today]

Puerto Rico business owners seek post-Maria success in Florida

Because of Hurricane Maria’s destruction, many evacuees are moving branch offices, professional firms and headquarters to Florida. Others are setting up their own new businesses as contractors, especially in construction. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida growers catching up after delays due to Irma

Florida vegetable operations are finally approaching normal production, nearly three months after Hurricane Irma pummeled the state. Some had already begun harvesting certain items. Others expected it would be December or even January before they were shipping regular volumes. Full story from The Packer, here. Also read more at AgWeb.

See also:
» Strong market for tomatoes after Irma

Deadly storm could prompt big changes by Florida legislators

One top Republican is recommending that the state extend the Suncoast Parkway north from Citrus County to the Georgia state line to help with evacuations. Other ideas include creating fuel farms and leasing a cruise ship to help with evacuations from the Florida Keys. [Source: AP]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Manatee tourism board recommends investments in pier and sports complex
Taxes paid on motel rooms and other short-term lodgings in Manatee County could be used to partially pay for two assets that attract tourists: the restoration of the historic pier in Anna Maria and the public acquisition of the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch.

› How did Miami end up with the best airport in the country for transit?
Miami International Airport leads the nation in transit options, according to a new ranking that gives credit to the number of bus routes running from the busy travel hub to diverse destinations.

› Six Florida cities in lowest percent of homes with emergency savings, study finds
A WalletHub study ranked six Florida cities in the lowest percentage of households with emergency savings. Tampa and St. Petersburg, tied at No. 113, and Miami, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale and Pembroke Pines, all tied at No. 115, took the bottom spots. More on this study from WalletHub, here.

› Tampa Bay area construction firms pessimistic about availability of workers
With construction booming and Hurricane Irma repair work abundant, the Tampa Bay area’s crunch for skilled labor is getting crunchier.

Your turn:
» How much is construction booming in your Florida city? (quick poll)

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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Shop with a Cop
Shop with a Cop

Members of the West Melbourne PD, Palm Bay PD and Brevard County Fire Rescue give 140 kids in south Brevard a chance to "Shop with a Cop."

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