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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Florida's housing market strengthens

Florida's housing market continues to grow stronger, according to the latest report from Florida Realtors. Home sales are up nearly 11 percent compared to a year ago. And pending sales -- deals that have not closed yet -- are up 40 percent. Prices are increasing too. The median price of a home in Florida now stands at $147,000. That's up nearly six percent from a year ago. More at First Coast News.


Health Trends

Mental Health and the Workplace

Floridian
Overall, businesses in the United States lose approximately $8 billion per year as a result of mental-illness-related issues involving employees. This is generally due to employee absenteeism in which they take time off of work due to mental illness, or are distracted, withdrawn, and their work is slowed.

These issues interfere with a person’s ability to function in the workplace and even their ability to care for themselves, making them unproductive employees and causing companies to lose time and money.

» Full story from the North Central Florida Business Report.

Home flippers see gold in South Florida again

Home flipping is back in vogue and this time it's a good thing for the South Florida market. Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties rank fourth among nearly 600 metro areas nationwide with 5,114 flips during the first half of the year, according to the RealtyTrac foreclosure listing firm. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.


Trader Joe's opening store in Pinecrest

South Florida foodies who've been waiting for a local Trader Joe's won't have to wait much longer. The California-based grocery chain has announced it will be opening up a store in Pinecrest sometime in 2013. More at NBC Miami.


Tribal casinos look to Internet for new source of profits

When it comes to gambling success, most Indian tribes don't come close to matching the Seminoles — so the prospect of making money at the push of a button sounds pretty appealing. That's why many of the nation's 246 tribes want to get in on the ground floor of Internet gambling, says Jason Giles, executive director of the National Indian Gaming Association. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.


Prices to drop for Florida seniors on Medicare Advantage

Just weeks from the opening of a new Medicare enrollment period, the federal government announced that most Florida seniors in private plans will pay less for their health coverage in 2013. Seniors can choose either traditional Medicare or a plan provided by a private insurer, known as Medicare Advantage. More at the Palm Beach Post.

Event
Movieville brings international films and actors to Sarasota

Movieville International Film FestivalThe Second Annual Movieville International Film Festival kicks off today in Sarasota. The festival will feature more than 40 movies, as well as three corresponding soirees over the course of the weekend. Read more from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Bradenton Herald.

See also:
» Movieville International Film Festival site
» Movieville Facebook page
» Program lineup