Round-up of business news
CLEARWATER —?Medline Industries plans to close its Clearwater plant, leaving 275 people jobless. The Illinois-based company, which makes healthcare products, will shift the work to factories in Mexico and Illinois.
HARDEE AND POLK COUNTIES —?After Mosaic received federal approval to extend its Polk County South Fort Meade Mine into Hardee County, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order. The company plans to appeal. The expansion would add 10,856 acres to the mine, which produces 6.6 million tons of phosphate rock each year.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY —?County commissioners voted to fire County Administrator Pat Bean. Bean, a 32-year veteran of county government, had been suspended after giving herself and other employees raises without commissioners’ approval.
PASCO COUNTY —?Terrabrook has sold the town of Connerton to a Texas developer for an undisclosed price. The 4,800-acre development was planned to have 8,500 homes and more than 3 million square feet of commercial, retail, office and industrial space, but work stopped last year. CoastOak Group, based in Dallas, plans to continue the project.
SARASOTA —?Direct Energy, an energy services company with customers in 20 states and Canada, has purchased Sarasota-based Clockwork Home Services for $183 million.
ST. PETERSBURG —?HSN has debuted a new network, HSN2, which will consist mainly of taped programming, some of which already appeared on HSN.
» The city is enforcing a new ordinance banning street vendors and solicitors from the city’s busiest streets. While mainly intended to rid the city of roadside panhandlers, the law also prevents charities from collecting donations from motorists and hawkers from selling motorists newspapers. The St. Petersburg Times sued to overturn the law, saying it infringed on free speech, but dropped the suit after a federal judge refused to grant the Times a temporary restraining order to delay the ban.
TAMPA —?The Florida State Fairgrounds’ Ford Amphitheatre has a new name:
The 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre. The Florida-based lawyer-and-doctor-referral service is spending more than $1 million over three years to puts its name on the concert venue, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
» The University of South Florida paid the city $3.5 million to purchase a downtown lot where the university intends to build a $20-million, 60,000-sq.-ft. medical training center. USF officials say the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation will have facilities for surgeons to learn about robot-assisted surgery and other new techniques.
» OSI Partners, the parent company of the Outback Steakhouse chain, plans to lay off up to 50 workers next year at its Tampa headquarters.