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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Florida ranks third in population growth

New estimates released by the U.S. Census Thursday shows Florida grew by 235,000 residents. Florida trailed only Texas and California in sheer numeric growth. That made Florida the ninth fastest-growing state from July 2011 to July 2012. North Dakota grew the fastest. More at the AP.


Darden shifts course to focus on deals

After new ad campaigns touting the quality of its food failed to spark sales, the parent company of Olive Garden and Red Lobster is retooling its strategy to attract diners with more promotional deals. The shift comes after Darden Restaurants Inc. earlier this fall moved to update the image of its flagship chains and appeal to younger diners in their 20s and 30s, who increasingly prize fresh, high-quality ingredients. More at the Palm Beach Post.

Related:
» Weak quarter may prompt Darden to discount prices, dampen expansion


Most Floridians against charging tuition based on majors

Editor's Column

No Mistakes at the Lake

mark howard
From the get-go, what has distinguished the “Medical City” development in the Lake Nona area of Orlando is its scope. The residential and commercial elements of Lake Nona, which eventually will house about 25,000, are just beginning to emerge. But the gravity of a from-scratch $2-billion bioscience cluster is already asserting itself

» Full column

Florida voters are overwhelmingly against charging college tuition based on what people study, skeptical that degrees can be offered for $10,000 and strongly against setting different educational goals based on race, a new poll has found. More at the Orlando Sentinel. See the poll results from Quinnipiac University.


Tropicana gives $1.5M for UF citrus research

Tropicana Products Inc. will give $1.5 million to the University of Florida to endow a professorship focused on conducting citrus research. The Tropicana Professorship for Florida Citrus Innovation will focus, in part, on research to make the state's citrus industry more sustainable. More at the Bradenton Herald and UF News.


Florida companies employ 36,500 connected to ‘unconventional’ energy technologies

Even as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and other “unconventional” oil and gas production methods remain a divisive issue in the U.S., about 36,500 jobs in Florida this year were connected to those industries. More at the Jacksonville Business Journal.

Business Profile
Toscana Divino

tocscana divino Toscana Divino is more than just a restaurant in downtown Miami. A public-private venture founded by Italian economic development partnership Wine & Fashion Florence and two Italian entrepreneurs, it aims to familiarize Americans and Latin Americans with Tuscan tourism, food, fashion and other products.

» Read the full story and visit Toscana Divino's official site.