Southeast Fla. Business Briefs - August 2010
Round-up of business news
BOCA RATON — National Healing Holding, a wound healing center management company, plans to add 40 employees as part of its acquisition of a medical supply business.
» Prison operator GEO Group won a 10-year contract from the Federal Bureau of Prisons to continue managing a company-owned, 1,450-inmate prison in Winton, N.C., generating $34 million in annual revenue. It also announced it paid $28 million for a 650-bed, city-owned jail in Adelanto, Calif.
» First Southern Bancorp, parent of First Southern Bank, repaid its government Troubled Asset Relief Program money by repurchasing for $11.5 million the preferred stock it had sold to the U.S. Treasury as part of the program.
» Office Depot agreed to a $4.5-million settlement with Attorney General Bill McCollum’s office over allegations that the office supply company overcharged Florida government agencies. The company will pay the $4.5 million in refunds to eligible consumers, including government agencies.
DAVIE — Nova Southeastern University hired Moss Miller, a partnership of Moss & Associates and Miller Construction of Fort Lauderdale, to build its $34-million oceanographic center scheduled for completion in 2011.
Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center Rendering
DEERFIELD BEACH — SIKON Construction was awarded contracts for more than $8 million in renovations at seven Winn-Dixie stores in Miami, Hollywood, Naranja Lakes and an undisclosed location.
FORT LAUDERDALE — Disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein was sentenced to 50 years in prison for masterminding a $1.2-billion Ponzi scheme that cost investors $400 million.
» Broward School Board member Beverly Gallagher received a three-year and one-month federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to a bribery charge. As part of the same federal corruption probe, Gallagher’s fellow Democrat, County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion, received a 2½-year federal sentence for money-laundering.
» A group that includes prominent south Florida businessmen and artist and conservationist Guy Harvey has renovated and reopened the historic Bimini Big Game Club on North Bimini as a 51-room, 75-slip Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and Marina, the first of several such resorts they anticipate in the region catering to sport fishermen and eco-tourists. The group also includes Fort Lauderdale land-use attorney Charles Forman; IAG Florida president and Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts President Mark Ellert; and Bill Shedd, CEO of American Fishing Tackle, whose Florida ties include serving on the board of trustees of the International Game Fish Association.
JUPITER — Max Planck Florida Institute broke ground on its 100,000-sq.-ft. facility on Florida Atlantic University’s Jupiter campus, Planck’s first in the United States. The institute will remain in temporary facilities on the Jupiter campus until the building is complete in 2012.
JUNO BEACH — Florida Power & Light Co. implemented a previously announced job cutback, eliminating 300 jobs from its 10,500-employee workforce through retirements, layoffs and not filling open positions.
MARGATE — Timeshare seller Wyndham Vacation Ownership plans to lay off 79 at its call center.
MIRAMAR — Discount airline Spirit Airlines, the largest carrier at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and its pilots resolved a strike that resulted in a five-day walkout that forced the cancellation of most of Spirit’s 150 daily flights.
PALM CITY — Rapidly growing cell phone provider Old Cell Phone Co. plans to add 450 jobs this year to its current 183 and will add a total of 863 over the next three years.
PORT ST. LUCIE — Core Communities, developer of Tradition, is in talks with lenders to liquidate without a bankruptcy filing. Core is in default under the terms of its approximately $139 million in debt and is negotiating options such as offering deeds-in-lieu to lenders. A significant portion of its land in Hilton Head, S.C., is under a court-appointed receiver, and Core faces foreclosure action in South Carolina and Florida.
STUART — Martin County voters this month will decide whether the county’s commissioners should have the power to grant property tax abatements as an incentive to companies locating or expanding in the county.
TAMARAC — City commissioner Patricia Atkins-Grad, 64, was arrested on bribery charges and suspended from her post. She allegedly accepted gifts from a developer.
WELLINGTON — Palm Beach Polo Holdings and its president, Glenn Straub, 63, were indicted on federal charges of violating the Clean Water Act stemming from alleged polluting of Palm Beach Polo Holdings wetlands in June and July 2005.
WEST PALM BEACH — Ocwen Financial is buying Barclays PLC’s HomEq U.S. mortgage servicing unit for $1.3 billion.