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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Jobless claims fall to lowest in four and a half years

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according to government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market. Florida was one of the states with the largest declines. More at Reuters and the Associated Press.

Court upholds Florida medical malpractice notification rules

Publisher's Column

Energizing Florida

Adam Putnam, Florida’s agriculture commissioner, has a wide portfolio that includes not just agriculture and consumer services, but also takes in school lunches and the state’s Office of Energy — to say nothing of his role as a member of the Florida Cabinet.

To those of us in the business community, energy is vitally important. As Putnam says, companies require not only fair prices for the energy they use, but also long-term stability and an assurance that their needs can be filled without major bumps decade after decade.

» Energizing Florida

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that refiled medical malpractice lawsuits must follow new state laws. The high court in a unanimous opinion dismissed a lawsuit by Curtis Myers, who alleged medical malpractice after he suffered a stroke in 2006. More at the Insurance Journal.

Parents' Weekend bolsters Tallahassee economy

Tallahassee’s economy gets a booster shoot starting Friday with a few thousand parents coming through the city to join their students at Florida State University. Katie Kole, the marketing coordinator for Leon County Tourism Development, said the city sees a huge spike in activity during Parents’ Weekend. More at the Tallahassee Democrat.

Florida voters learn that long ballots mean long waits

A warning to Florida voters: pack plenty of patience at the polls. In what amounted to a dry-run for early voting and Election Day, President Obama’s campaign encouraged supporters Wednesday to cast mail-in ballots in person at elections offices throughout Florida where voters said people need to do their homework and to be prepared for a long stay because of lengthy ballots. More at the Miami Herald.

As turnpike tolls rise, so does construction

A recent toll hike on Florida's Turnpike means motorists can expect to see plenty of roadwork ahead — fueled by $120 million a year in new revenue, according to turnpike officials. The recession had put the brakes on turnpike collections — dropping revenues from $443 million in 2008 to $412 million in 2009. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Non-profit profile
Cleaning for Cancer

cleaning for cancerBetween the doctor appointments, the chemo treatments and the abject fatigue that comes with the hell that is cancer, the last priority on any patient's to-do list is scrubbing toilets or vacuuming the floor. Thanks to a new Boca Raton-based nonprofit, that burden has been lifted for hundreds of cancer sufferers in South Florida and across the nation. Cleaning for Cancer, founded last year by a Haitian businesswoman who moved to Florida, provides complimentary housekeeping services to cancer patients undergoing treatment.

» More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
» Cleaning for Cancer official site and Facebook page.