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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Poll: Floridians think the economy is on the rebound

A new poll from grassroots organization "Keep it Local, Florida" asked residents if they think the economy is getting better. more than 60 percent said "yes." In the same poll, an overwhelming 71 percent surveyed believed that Florida's legislature was doing "too little" in trying to fix the economy. [Source: WCTV]

"Smart Justice" proposal lands in Florida legislature

A new proposal announced Tuesday -- dubbed “Smart Justice” -- would change the way Florida deals with non-violent drug offenders. The bill seeks to reduce recidivism by redirecting some non-violent offenders from high-security prison into re-entry and drug treatment programs. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Medicaid expansion cost? Still a guess

As legislative hearings continue on the cost vs. benefit of Medicaid expansion -- a decision Florida must make in the coming session -- much remains unclear. The bottom line on studies depends on the assumptions that are being made. [Source: Health News Florida]

Florida's prescription drug double standard

In June 2010, Margaret Schoendorf was arrested after she sold an undercover detective 47 painkillers in Orange County. The same day, agents arrested doctors Roman Mosai and Michael Moyer on charges they were illegally doling out addictive painkillers from their Central Florida offices. Schoendorf was sentenced to two years in prison for her crime, but the doctors won't face the same future. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Demand for Botox, fillers drives cosmetic surgery growth

Botox, fillers and chemical peels were among the most popular cosmetic treatments in the United States and fueled growth in the plastic surgery industry for the third consecutive year, according to statistics released on Tuesday. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons said 14.6 million procedures were done in 2012, an increase of 5 percent from 2011. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› Lawmakers might block local wage, sick-time rules
A pair of Central Florida lawmakers filed bills that would take away local governments' power to adopt sick-time standards, an effort backed by powerful business interests such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Walt Disney World.

› Downtown Orlando project gets OK
Developers won preliminary approval Tuesday for a mixed-use project planned for the last major undeveloped block in downtown Orlando. The 5.6-acre Central Station site, across Orange Avenue from the Orange County Courthouse, adjoins what will be the main SunRail stop downtown.

› Boca Raton firm that runs prisons gets naming rights to FAU stadium
Football’s ubiquitous battle cry of “We must protect this house!” took on new meaning Tuesday when Florida Atlantic University announced that naming rights to its stadium will go to a company that runs prisons, the GEO Group, for $6 million over 12 years.

› Musicians to protest Sarasota noise restrictions
A group of musicians and supporters recently sent out a rallying cry online, asking people to turn out at Tuesday's City Commission meeting. They want the city to change the zoning rules that prohibit outdoor amplified music.

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› Black Diamond casino cruise halted for business reorganization
Barely high-rolling for three months, Black Diamond gambling cruises have folded operations while the business is reorganized. Sails are canceled for now. Employees are awaiting their last paychecks.

› Company founded in Dubai to open first Wok Chi restaurant in Brandon
A Chinese restaurant is headed to Brandon, by way of India, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and Sarasota. Wok Chi opens this spring in the Regency Square shopping center along Brandon Boulevard, entering the increasingly competitive field of restaurants focused on healthy food options served quickly and for less money than traditional sitdown restaurants.

› A Banksy mural, lost in London, is found in Miami
North Londoners are furious over a missing Banksy mural that was torn off a building in the Wood Green neighborhood of the city and has since resurfaced online at Fine Art Auctions Miami. The high-profile mural by the mysterious street artist, no stranger to publicity stunts, depicts a boy on his knees, hunched over a sewing machine and stitching Union Jack bunting.

› CoupTessa files for bankruptcy
CoupTessa, a Miami daily deal site, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 1. Among the creditors dozens of South Florida salons, spas, restaurants and other businesses.