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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Housing market ends year on high note

Statewide, the median home price last month was $154,000, a 14 percent increase from December 2011, according to the Florida Realtors. After a long housing downturn, the market in 2012 was reminiscent of the boom years. Bidding wars broke out, pitting first-time buyers against seasoned investors. Homes sold quickly, depleting the supply in many areas. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

See also:
» Southwest Florida home sales finish strong
» Brevard's single-family home sales, prices continue to grow
» U.S. homes sales dip in December after 2012 nibbled away supply
» As prices rise, rental home investors seek new markets
» South Florida housing recovery on track
» Gainesville home sales up 12% in 2012


Gov. Scott to seek pay raise for Florida teachers

With Florida anticipating its first budget surplus in five years, Gov. Rick Scott will seek an across-the-board pay raise for public school teachers in the budget he will send to the Legislature next week. The amount of the pay increase is not yet known. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


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Lawmakers call for more oversight at Citizens Insurance

A freshman legislator from Miami Beach has filed a bill to increase scrutiny on Citizens Property Insurance Corp. by creating a new inspector general position at the state-run entity. Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, filed HB 433 on Tuesday, which requires Citizens to have an Inspector General to look over its affairs. [Source: Times/Herald]

David Williams
RegisterPatient.com founder David Williams » Go to business profile

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Investment: Venture gains

Gainesville-based RegisterPatient, an online patient registration company founded in 2009, needed investors last year to fund a major growth spurt. It didn’t expect to find those investors less than a mile from its headquarters. Full story.


Florida graduation rate improving

Florida’s graduation rate is increasing but the state still ranks among the nation’s lowest, according to new federal data. Just six states and the District of Columbia had a lower graduation rate than Florida’s 70.8 percent. [Source: StateImpact Florida]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Firms seek 30-year no-bid access to Everglades land
Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet will be asked on Wednesday to agree to a no-bid contract to allow two major agriculture companies to farm on Everglades land for another 30 years, a deal that would include pouring tons of phosphorous-laden fertilizer onto the site the state is spending billions to clean-up.

› Little dog could fetch big Super Bowl spot
A rescue dog and a man in a bear suit have thrust Melbourne filmmaker Joe Taranto into a new arena. The dog and bear star in Taranto's commercial "Fetch," one of five finalists in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest.

› Casinos in for long wait on state gambling plans
A key lawmaker in the debate Tuesday said it could 13 to 18 months before he and his colleagues even begin work on substantive legislation that could determine the future of gambling in the state of Florida.

› Broward College says it adds $1B to economy
The study, which the college commissioned, says the school serving about 68,000 students adds to the economy by faculty and students spending money, and graduates earning more after leaving the school with valuable skills.


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› NFL may help Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pay for renovations to Sun Life Stadium
As the Miami Dolphins pursue almost $200 million in public funds for an improved stadium, the team also may get some money from the NFL itself.

› Senate fast-tracks sweeping ethics reform of state and local politicians
Trying to clamp down on rampant perceived excesses of power, a Florida Senate committee on Tuesday began fast-tracking the most sweeping ethics reform proposal the state has witnessed in decades.

› It's no easy task for charities to get picked for beer sales at Gasparilla
Here's one reason to feel good about having a few drinks at the Gasparilla Pirate Fest: Every dollar you spend on beer or wine at a tent along the parade route goes to charity.

› Efforts to redevelop Miami’s Coconut Grove waterfront face scrutiny
For a second time, Miami’s efforts to find an operator for a restaurant and marina on the Scotty’s Landing site are drawing controversy.