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Thursday's Daily Pulse

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The Future of Florida Dining

The center of Florida cuisine lies somewhere in the triangle between Japan, Peru and the Deep South. It is a mash-up of handsome presentation, exotic flavor and hand-made comfort cooking, a cuisine shaped with earnestness and celebrity glitz. Read about the Future of Florida Dining and see our 2012 Golden Spoon Awards.


Foreclosures increase in Florida

Third quarter foreclosure sales in Florida increased nearly 47 percent from the second quarter and nearly 17 percent from a year ago, according to new data released today by RealtyTrac. State sales reached 24,712 homes in the third quarter with an average sales price of $121,885. [Source: Bradenton Herald]


Florida colleges offer a deal

Florida’s state university presidents said Wednesday that they would not ask for a tuition increase in the coming year if the Legislature will increase state funding by $118 million in the coming year. The Legislature cut the university system budget by $300 million this year. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


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State legislators warn of budget 'uncertainty' next year

State lawmakers were warning that Florida may not have climbed out of the financial ditch just yet – and a court ruling may pull it back in. A legal fight over lawmakers' attempts to require public-employee retirement contributions is a potential budget-buster, senators warned. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


More than 95 percent of Florida teachers ranked as effective

More than 95 percent of classroom teachers evaluated under Florida's controversial new teacher evaluation model received ratings of effective or highly effective, a newly released report shows. Of those, 22.2 percent got the highest ranking, while 0.3 percent were considered "unsatisfactory." [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› A helping hand at Hanukkah
Josephine Basher rolls her shopping cart around a small store that looks like a 7-Eleven, its aisles and refrigerators stocked with everything from diapers to Frosted Flakes to fresh produce. But unlike an ordinary market, the groceries here are free.

› Best Florida ZIP codes for young workers
The best place for younger workers to find jobs in Florida is in the Tallahassee-area ZIP code of 32312. The worst place is in the Jacksonville ZIP code of 32209. The U.S. Census on Thursday released new data on ZIP codes and other geographies.

› Darden backs off on some Obamacare changes
A day after warning its earnings were plummeting, Darden Restaurants on Wednesday said it would back off somewhat from its plan to limit employees' hours to avoid paying potentially higher costs for Obamacare in 2014.

› Miami lowers borrowing costs
Miami, the Latin-American base for companies such as Harley-Davidson Inc., is set to lower its borrowing costs after posting a budget surplus five times greater than expected amid a real-estate revival.


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› Business owners turn out to oppose Hillsborough road subsidy for Bass Pro Shops
Owners and employees of some sporting goods and outdoors businesses urged Hillsborough County commissioners Wednesday morning to reject a subsidy that would benefit a major new competitor.

› Florida lottery: Record sales last week
It's really not a surprise that the Florida Lottery broke records for most sales in a day and most sales in a week, but here are the numbers: Floridians spent $49.7 million last Wednesday (Nov. 28) on lottery tickets, with $35.8 million of that for Powerball.

› Palm Beach County to lift ban on “casinos on a corner”
Palm Beach County commissioners will end a ban that has prevented new internet cafes from opening in the county’s unincorporated sections. The commission voted 6-0 on Wednesday to allow the year-long moratorium to expire in February.

› SpaceX wins two Air Force launches
SpaceX will launch its first U.S. Air Force payloads from Cape Canaveral in 2014 and 2015, the company announced today. “SpaceX deeply appreciates and is honored by the vote of confidence shown by the Air Force in our Falcon launch vehicles,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and chief designer.