Southeast Fla. Business Briefs - October 2010
BOCA RATON — The federal Department of Energy designated Florida Atlantic University's Center for Ocean Energy Technology a national center for ocean energy research and development, the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center. The department will pay the center to research and develop technologies to generate energy from ocean currents and ocean thermal energy.
» United Technologies will add 22 jobs through 2013 and retain 111 at its UTC Fire & Security Global Security Products division following incentives from the state, Boca Raton and Palm Beach County. Some of the new jobs will be at a research and development test center at an undetermined location in the county.
DAVIE — Nova Southeastern University received a $2.1-million federal grant to expand geriatric training and education for students, faculty and healthcare professionals in the region.
DEERFIELD BEACH – Deerfield Beach-based Sikon Construction won the $7-million contract to build a three-story Publix scheduled for completion next August in Riviera Beach. Two levels of parking will be above the 28,200-sq.-ft. grocery. The project was designed by Fisher and Associates of Clearwater.
FORT LAUDERDALE — GlobeTel Communications' former CEO, Timothy Huff, was sentenced to 50 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and to defraud the IRS. Huff allegedly conspired with his CFO and others to create $22.6 million in fictitious revenue the company reported in SEC filings.
JUPITER — CHS Pharma will relocate four employees from Miami-Dade and plans to add 25 jobs over five years as it moves its headquarters to be closer to FAU's Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Jupiter. CHS researches new treatments for actinic keratosis, a precancerous skin condition.
» GLG Pharma, based in Lutz, near Tampa, is expanding in Jupiter, hiring four people at a site near Scripps Florida and the Max Planck Florida Institute. The company wants to advance development of anti-cancer drugs.
LANTANA — Florida regulators closed six-branch, $408 million-in-assets Sterling Bank, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. sold its deposits to IberiaBank of Lafayette, La. IberiaBank also signed a loss-share deal on $244.3 million of Sterling assets. The FDIC estimates its deposit insurance fund will lose $45.5 million from Sterling.
MIRAMAR — Appliance company Applica Consumer Products, parent of the Juiceman, George Foreman grills and other products, will lay off 59 at its Miramar facility through February.
PEMBROKE PINES — A U.S. Government Accountability Office undercover investigation on student recruitment at for-profit universities faulted misleading tactics at Kaplan College's Pembroke Pines campus, leading the college to start its own internal investigation and suspend enrollment there, saying the GAO report found actions "contrary to our standards and values in every way."
STUART — After receiving incentives, metal finishings company UCT Coatings says it will create 38 jobs over three years and expand into a facility scheduled to be operational in 2011. It currently employs 40 in Stuart.
TALLAHASSEE — Attorney General Bill McCollum's office is investigating three south Florida law firms known for handling foreclosure cases over whether they concocted mortgage paperwork documentation to accelerate foreclosure proceedings. McCollum said the firms are the Law Offices of David J. Stern, Plantation; Shapiro & Fishman, Boca Raton and Tampa; and the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson; Fort Lauderdale.
VERO BEACH — AlgaGen, an Oslo company that farms plankton, will hire 10 people, and an unidentified company in the network management software industry will hire 57, following votes for incentives for each by Indian River County's commissioners.
WEST PALM BEACH — County Commissioner Jeff Koons resigned and pleaded guilty to perjury and extortion charges over threats he made to a property owner who opposed an environmental project Koons was championing. Koons, who was placed on probation, is the fourth Palm Beach County commissioner in the recent past to face criminal charges.
» The South Florida Water Management District cut its proposed purchase of U.S. Sugar property to 26,800 acres in Palm Beach and Hendry counties for $197 million with an option to buy 153,200 acres later. Originally, Gov. Charlie Crist proposed buying all of the company's 187,000 acres and all its assets for $1.7 billion.
WESTON — KeHe Distributors, a distributor of natural and specialty food products, says it will lay off 161 employees in Weston and 183 in Elkton, near St. Augustine.