Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today.
The Florida Senate voted 31-6 Thursday to pass its response to a court rebuke of its once-a-decade chore of redistricting, despite objections that the Republican-controlled body was still attempting to engineer itself a permanent majority. Among the chief complaints: the revised map still protects an "oddly shaped appendage" that the Florida Supreme Court said was designed to keep future Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, in a safe district; and it breaks up Democratic-leaning Daytona Beach into two separate seats more likely to elect GOP candidates. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
» The Game of Redistricting
» Party Lines in Redistricting Florida
The Redistricting Game: (click the game board to enlarge)
Click to Enlarge [Illustration: Jeff Papa]
One of Gov. Jeb Bush's early moves after he took office in 1999 was to create a State Technology Office to oversee the modernization and consolidation of state government's computer and IT systems. The project stumbled almost from the start. Continue reading...
The market for million-dollar-plus homes and condominiums is returning after being largely dormant in Southwest Florida for nearly five years. Real estate agents say the market's upper-end segment has nearly rebounded, based on sales and pending sales. Many compare the current streak of sales — and the number of homes on the market — to the boom times of 2005. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Federal agents are receiving reports that employees at medical offices and Medicare claims processing businesses are using or selling private patient information to thieves. The thieves are using the information in a type of fraud that has exploded in the Tampa area in the past year and is believed to be a multi-billion-dollar drain of the federal treasury nationwide. [Source: Tampa Tribune]
More than 470 Florida homeowners have avoided foreclosure and taken cash payouts from Bank of America after agreeing to short sales of their homes.
The bank began dangling cash payouts of $5,000 to $20,000 last fall to financially stressed homeowners. So far, 471 homeowners have collected an average payout of $12,000, said bank spokesman Rick Simon.
[Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Windfarm OK'd to generate power, jobs in struggling Glades region
Florida's first wind farm can be built on 12,900 acres of agricultural land east Belle Glade, Palm Beach County commissioners unanimously agreed Tuesday. The approval came at the urging of Glades officials and union workers who say the project will bring much-needed jobs to the region, where the unemployment rate is as high as 40 percent.
› Tampa may name 'Historic Tampa Cuban' as city's signature sandwich
Cuban bread, ham, mojo roast pork, Genoa salami, Swiss cheese, mustard and three dill pickle slices. No mayo. These ingredients could get the City Council's imprimatur as the "Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich," which evolved in Tampa, not Havana.
› Undersea cable to create direct Brazil-Miami link
A Boston company plans to lay an underwater cable stretching more than 6,000 miles from South Florida to Brazil that will create up to 50 jobs at the end of the line in Miami. Seaborn Networks LLC will install and operate the cable, which will run from São Paulo, Brazil's largest city, to Boca Raton and then down to Miami.
› Garbage guys to help watch out for crime in Broward County
They'll pick up your garbage — and help fight crime. More than 225 workers hauling trash for Waste Management have been trained to keep an eye out for suspicious activities as they drive along their routes in the wee hours of the morning.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...