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Friday's Daily Pulse

Foreclosure discounts shrinking

Buying a foreclosed home is no longer the big bargain it used to be. In South Florida, the discount for foreclosures narrowed to 2.9 percent below a comparable non-distressed home in September from 6.8 percent a year earlier, according to Zillow. Read more from the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida dining: Second helpings

Fried chicken
Fried chicken, waffles and black-eyed peas from Blue Gill Quality Foods in Gainesville. Go to story.

Most successful chefs and restaurateurs today are inveterate tinkerers. While fashion, finances and infighting force many changes, some come from sheer curiosity and a hunger for the new. Most show little interest in cloning another location of a successful restaurant; they’d rather create a new operation with new flavors and new style. Full story...

Creativity is key for South Florida nonprofit groups

Feeding South Florida needed a fresh way to raise awareness about hunger. Enter the graffiti artists. With a wall in the hip Wynwood neighborhood now devoted to the cause, the Pembroke Park-based organization has become a prime example of the lengths nonprofits are going to as need grows, traditional support shrinks and competition for dollars heats up. [Source: Miami Herald]

Disney ends fiscal 2012 with record revenue and profit

The Walt Disney Co. reported a 3 percent rise in revenue and a 14 percent increase in profit for its fiscal fourth quarter Thursday, finishing out a strong fiscal year that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger said generated record revenue, net income and earnings per share. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Blackstone Group on property buying spree

Giant real estate investment firm Blackstone Group has launched an ambitious campaign to buy distressed properties in Southwest Florida, so far doing it all with cash. Last month, the New York firm paid $4.4 million for 37 homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties, property records show, part of an $80 million buying spree in 11 Florida counties. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


› Auto show goes ‘topless’ in Miami Beach
Now on display at the Miami Beach Convention Center: “Topless in Miami.” No, it’s not the adult film convention. It’s the restyled Miami International Auto Show.

› Kennedy Space Center could house secret Air Force X-37B program
Space Florida's board has approved spending up to $5 million to repurpose Kennedy Space Center facilities for potential use by a classified military program.
» Related: Cape Canaveral projects could launch jobs

› UF helping cultivate a better-tasting tomato
Tasty tomatoes can be hard to come by, but scientists are starting to unravel clues about how to put the flavor back into one of the nation's most beloved vegetables.

› Investors flock to Miami Beach
Real estate investors seem to be flocking to Miami Beach in hopes of capturing part of the market's resurgent tourism industry by acquiring, or by expanding their investments in, the limited supply of hotel properties.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› As the presidential race fades away, Florida still waits to call it
The victory and concession speeches have been given. President Barack Obama has moved on to planning his second term. The national media has begun the 2016 presidential chatter. And yet, there Florida was Thursday, still officially "too close to call."

› New study describes perils of delivering anti-malarial drugs through private sector
Getting high-quality anti-malarial drugs to people in places like Zanzibar and Mozambique is a tricky business, according to a new University of Florida study.

› Best holiday plan: Don't overspend
You can have a memorable holiday season if you create a budget and don't overspend. So say South Florida experts who are urging caution this holiday season despite Floridians having the highest consumer confidence in five years.

› Duke Energy reports increase in net income
Duke Energy's earnings rose by $123 million to $595 million in the third quarter, the first full report since the utility merged with Progress Energy in the summer.