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Thursday's Daily Pulse

Claims from Sandy could boost insurance rates in Florida

A surge of insurance claims from Superstorm Sandy in the Northeast could boost rates in Florida, some insurance professionals fear. Initial estimates put insurance exposure in the Northeast at more than $10 billion. Some of those payouts are expected from reinsurance companies, the same ones that provide insurance to insurance companies in Florida to help them cover their risk. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

» Tax filing break given to hurricane-affected businesses
» Presidential campaigns again on the ground in Florida
» UF storm team measured wind as Sandy rolled ashore

Scott Salpeter and James Cassel
Investment bankers Scott Salpeter (left) and James Cassel say business owners aren't desperate to sell their businesses.

Florida Trend Exclusive

Deal Making in Investment Banking

James Cassel and Scott Salpeter are two of south Florida’s best-known investment bankers. Their Miami-based Cassel Salpeter & Co. specializes in midmarket firms. Read our full interview with them.

Florida investigates unlicensed children's homes

State officials have launched a wide-ranging review of unlicensed children's homes, some of which have been caring for kids for years with no oversight. The review has identified seven "boarding schools" with no apparent credentials — no state license, no religious exemption and no other state-recognized accreditation. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida still No. 1 in share of mortgaged homes in foreclosure

Among the 50 states, Florida still has the highest percentage of mortgaged homes in some stage of foreclosure, but that figure dipped again in September to 11.5 percent from 12.4 percent a year earlier, according to CoreLogic. New Jersey ranked No. 2, with 7.3 percent of mortgaged homes in some stage of foreclosure in September, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based data firm. [Source: Miami Herald]

As Election Day nears, groups brace for a showdown at the polls

It won't just be voters heading to the polls this week in Florida and other swing states, but thousands of lawyers and volunteers scrutinizing how ballots are handed out, scanned and stored inside precincts. Thousands more will stand outside to detect efforts to intimidate, disenfranchise or reward voters. In the post Bush vs. Gore era, this is what Democracy looks like. [Source: Times/Herald]


› Miami turns holes in ground into cash
Earlier this year, the Miami City Commission voted to give the city the power to secure and clean up abandoned or disarrayed properties. The ordinance stated that excavated construction sites that pose a threat to residents must be filled with soil, gravel or comparable material, to grade level in order to make them safe for passersby — and the ordinance is working.

›New ER takes patients, without the hospital
Welcome to the stand-alone ER, the latest answer to consumer convenience, brought to you courtesy of the cut-throat competition for new patients. Open around the clock and fully staffed with board-certified doctors and high-tech equipment, the facilities offer emergency patients shorter waits, expert care and more choice, even as questions remain whether it's the right one in some emergencies.

› Pinellas tourism ad dollars may shift if New York doesn't recover by winter
Every year the county's tourism agency, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, spends up to $1 million marketing the bay area's beaches as a destination to its No. 1 source of domestic visitors: New York. Hurricane Sandy may change all that.

› Florida bankers seek liquidity standards relief
The Florida Bankers Association is touting an agenda that begins and ends with protecting its members' financial interests. Alex Sanchez, the group's president, said two issues at the forefront are seeking relief from the Basel III capital and liquidity standards set to take effect next year and getting large credit unions to pay corporate income taxes like banks do to level competitive business conditions.

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› Price of Publix Stock Increases
Publix Super Markets Inc. stock has increased. Publix stock is now valued at $22.50 per share, up 50 cents, or 2.3 percent, from the last pricing in August, the company announced Wednesday.

› Watch out for storm schemes
We may have dodged Hurricane Sandy here, but the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean is issuing a storm warning: Be on the lookout for phony charities claiming to be collecting for relief efforts.

› Foreign condo buyers rush in for bargains
As the last of its distressed inventory is absorbed, the Brickell condo market is booming with buyers who want in before prices appreciate further.

› CEO of tourism group Tampa Bay & Co. resigns
The head of the region's chief tourism group, Tampa Bay & Co., has stepped down after less than a year on the job citing personal reasons.