Low-income Floridians, small businesses and mega health care companies are all waiting on Tallahassee lawmakers to decide how and when the state will implement the Affordable Care Act. The biggest issue is whether to expand Medicaid eligibility to add roughly 1 million people to the 3.3 million people now enrolled in the federal-state program – and that's not close to resolution. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
When the citrus tree-killing disease known as greening was detected for the first time in the United States in Homestead in August 2005, some feared the end was near for Florida’s signature industry. Now more than seven years later, the apocalypse has not occurred, but the disease that results in bitter, misshapen fruit is said to be present in every grove to some extent. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
This fall, if all goes according to plan, 80 to 100 outlet stores will open on the site of the moribund Palm Beach Mall. The burst of activity, at the junction of busy Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Interstate 95, is the biggest in West Palm Beach since CityPlace opened in 2000. Full story.
What do violent video games, gory movies and high-powered assault weapons have in common? They have all been blamed for tragic mass shootings, including last month's at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. — and are all subsidized by Florida taxpayers. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Call it another unfortunate plot twist in an already upsetting script. State taxpayers, who handed out $20 million in incentives to a now bankrupt movie studio, are being asked to dig back into their pockets to pay lawyers to try to get the money back. [Source: Times/Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Classes putting an emphasis on reducing foreign accents [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Excuse me, can you repeat that? It's a question many non-native English speakers with noticeable accents hear in everyday professional and social situations in South Florida. So they've turned to accent-reduction classes, which have sprung up in recent years to help them speak English more clearly.
› Florida fundraisers land VIP seats for inauguration [Orlando Sentinel]
It's not cheap, but the fastest way to score prime tickets for inauguration weekend is to raise money — lots of money — for the winning presidential candidate. Just ask John Morgan, the Central Florida attorney and fundraiser extraordinaire for President Barack Obama.
› Column: Patients lose when hospitals take over doctors [Orlando Sentinel]
When a big hospital chain buys an independent doctor's office, we often hear the move will "enhance care," "integrate care" or "improve health-care efficiency." Spare us the euphemisms. Patients are the losers in these deals.
› New port director is Tampa's 'missing piece' [Tampa Bay Times]
The Port of Tampa needed a new leader, and Paul Anderson liked what he heard — especially the part about 15th century Italy.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
› Florida's 500th focus of travel promotion [Orlando Sentinel]
Florida marketers last week officially launched "Viva Florida," a year-long campaign to mark the 500th anniversary of explorer Juan Ponce d Leon's landing on Florida's East Coast.
» Viva Florida! In 2013, Florida celebrates 500 years
› Miami-Dade sees first hiring drop since 2010 [Miami Herald]
Miami-Dade ended 2012 with its first overall job loss in more than two years as sharp drops in construction, healthcare and government jobs wiped out other gains.
› Alachua County may start looking closely at business park [Gainesville Sun]
As Alachua County negotiates with a local raceway on relocating its fairgrounds, the plan to redevelop the current fairgrounds site as a business park is still in the early stages of development.
› Column: In seeking a brand, Tampa Bay confronts bland identity [Tampa Bay Times]
When researchers at Tampa marketing firm Spark last year started digging deep into what comes to people's minds for the area, what did they find? A blank slate.