Florida claimed first place in the nation in foreclosure activity in January — eclipsing much-larger California, according to data firm RealtyTrac. Florida’s dubious distinction came as the state logged the highest foreclosure rate in the nation for the fifth consecutive month, said RealtyTrac, which is based in Irvine, Calif. One in every 300 Florida homes received some type of foreclosure filing in January. That is more than twice the national average. [Source: Miami Herald]
A conversation with the creator of the women's athletics program at the University of Florida.
» I wanted to improve the opportunity for competitive play for women. Competition teaches you cooperation, competition, all these qualities athletes have. It’s something you can’t really teach in the classroom. And women didn’t have any opportunity for that. They thought women didn’t need that.
The state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tabled a controversial proposal to label popular saltwater fish as either game or sport varieties as a way to market Florida's fishing opportunities. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
With government grants and individual donations down since the recession, nonprofit groups in South Florida are looking for new sources of funding and turning to mega-events. One example: The 211-Broward hotline launched its NonProfit Academy Awards two years ago and aims for at least 600 attendees at its Feb. 22 lunch, complete with a red carpet and golden statuettes. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A new study shows South Florida is still distressed economically after the Great Recession hit five years ago, but the region is still better off than Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburg. In fact, Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburg continue to have the most financially distressed households among the 30 largest metro areas in the nation, but South Florida, while the sixth most distressed, has shown almost as much economic improvement as the national average. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Carnival says Triumph fire could impact shares [South Florida Business Journal]
Carnival Corp. & plc estimates that the total impact from the Carnival Triumph fire and the related repair costs will result in an eight cents to 10 cents earnings per share reduction in the company's first half of the year.
› Sarasota maker of LED lights partners with Mexico firm [Sarasota Herald Tribune]
Evolucia Inc., a Sarasota-based maker of commercial outdoor and industrial LED lighting, said it has reached an agreement with OSRAM Mexico to make and market cobrahead street lights. Osram, one of the world's leading light manufacturers, will use Evolucia's aimed optics system in the lights.
› Lockheed gets contracts worth $161 million [Orlando Sentinel]
Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control in Orlando said Wednesday it has received two Army contracts worth a combined $161 million to continue producing upgrades for the Apache helicopter's advanced weapons-targeting and navigation system known as Arrowhead.
› Broward College economic impact $1 billion per year [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Broward College produces an economic impact of roughly $1 billion per year, mainly from helping boost incomes for students and thereby expanding economic activity in the area, a new study has found.
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› Work to begin transforming historic Tampa courthouse [Tampa Bay Times]
Wednesday marked the start of one of the most ambitious downtown redevelopment projects in recent Tampa history. A team led by a Memphis developer will break ground on a $25 million project to transform Tampa's historic but long-vacant federal courthouse into a 130-room boutique hotel.
› Boynton unveils new web app for business development [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency hopes a new app will drive people to the city's downtown. The app provides information about the CRA's 600 businesses in one location.
› Attendance, cash flow up at Universal [Orlando Sentinel]
Attendance and visitor spending continued to climb at Universal Orlando and other NBCUniversal theme parks in 2012, parent company Comcast Corp. said Wednesday. The Philadelphia-based cable company said operating cash flow at its theme parks – a measure of financial strength – surged 9.9 percent in 2012, from $867 million to $953 million.
› Florida State Park free app available to visitors [Miami Herald]
Planning the perfect outdoor trip in Florida? A free Florida State Park app can help you find a nearby camp site as it tracks your trails and sends you weather alerts. The Florida Park Service announced Wednesday a partnership with ParksByNature Network and PocketRanger.com to provide the free smartphone app.