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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Retailers raise the stakes to lure holiday shoppers

Overall holiday spending is expected to increase only modestly this year, and retailers are using bold, new strategies to capture the biggest share of shopping dollars: Mobile apps alerting shoppers to unadvertised specials, private sales, price matches, earlier-than-ever Thanksgiving Day store openings, and guarantees that door-buster electronics will be available. More from Florida Today and the Tampa Bay Times.

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» J.C. Penney looking to 'buttons' to boost holiday sales

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Florida law: Call of duty

Apart from giving law students practical experience, the new Veterans Law Institute at Stetson University’s College of Law also takes on varied roles in serving both veterans and active-duty military personnel. Full story...

It's not too late to file oil spill damage claim

If you or your business were harmed by BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, you may be eligible for payments and other benefits from two separate legal settlements. Time is running out for seafood harvesters to file claims: The application window will close in 40 to 50 days. Others have until April 2014. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]

Groups call for sweeping election changes in Florida

Democratic lawmakers, liberal activists and labor unions on Monday called for sweeping changes in Florida’s voting laws, warning that if Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers do not act the issues could end up in court. The call came after Florida again became the center of national attention as the state was the last in the nation to be able to tally its votes. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

More students take AP classes, but success is elusive

Florida has pushed school districts to increase enrollment in Advanced Placement courses, even adding AP participation and performance to the state's grading formula for high schools. The effort has been part of a statewide emphasis on preparing students for college. As a result, Florida ranks sixth in the nation for performance on the college-caliber exams. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Brevard watchdog panel examines veterans' charities
Determined to make sure that groups operating in Brevard County collecting money on behalf of veterans keep their operations and records transparent, the Brevard Veterans Council — a coalition of about 70 veterans organizations — formed the Veterans Charity Watchdog Committee. The mission: create guidelines for such groups to keep them honest.

› Fort Myers plant creating biodiesel out of restaurants' used cooking oil
It's a dirty job. But Christian Colarusso is happy to have it. He's one of several recent Florida Gulf Coast University graduates to land a job at a new state-of-the-art plant that's pumping out biodiesel in Fort Myers.

› Number of people on food stamps jumps in South Florida
The number of South Floridians on food stamps continued to climb in October with even Broward adding 2,000 more people to the rolls despite its September decline that had been the first drop in more than five years, state officials said.

› Business owners worry sign removal will hurt business
The relatively new Florida statute making signs along highway 98 illegal on the right-of-way, claim they cause distractions and endanger the health, safety and general welfare of the public. But business owners say without them, they may become endangered.

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› UCF graduate says video-game production is tough, rewarding
Corey Teblum is an alumnus of Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, the University of Central Florida's graduate video game development school. Teblum, 29, works as a producer for Neversoft Entertainment, the California video game developer behind hit franchises such as "Guitar Hero" and "Call of Duty."

› Gas prices continue to drop
A gallon of regular in the region was selling for an average of $3.36 per gallon on Monday. That was down about 6 cents from a week ago and about 4 cents below the $3.41 price on the same date a year ago, according to AAA data.

› Jacksonville port CEO selected top candidate to lead Tampa Port Authority
Jacksonville CEO A. Paul Anderson was named the top choice of the Port of Tampa's executive search committee on Monday morning to become the Tampa Port Authority's next executive director and CEO.

› Florida Classic brings time of reflection, not celebration
There is a gray cloud hanging over the usually jubilant week heading into the Florida Classic between Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman. FAMU's nationally acclaimed Marching 100 band has been silenced for the hazing death of 26-year-old drum major Robert Champion almost one year ago in Orlando.