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Monday's Daily Pulse

Floridians brace for a big loss of federal dollars

The big broad federal budget ax is poised to fall in less than a week -- and the impact will be felt in all corners of Florida. Some programs -- Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps and veterans' benefits -- won't be cut. But students who depend on federal aid, airline travelers who face air-traffic delays, defense contractors and teachers are among those expected to feel pinched. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

» A look at automatic budget cuts in Florida
» See PDF of White House document that details how cuts will impact Florida

Florida Trend Exclusive
Guy Harvey and the Art of the Deal

Guy Harvey
Guy Harvey » Go to full profile

Guy Harvey's fish paintings have made his T-shirts and name synonymous with fishing and Florida's casual lifestyle. While the T-shirts accounts for most of his sales, Harvey’s 27-year-old brand can also be found on posters, sandals, doormats, dog collars, coffee mugs, cell phone covers, lottery tickets and a magazine. But now Harvey wants to push his brand nationally - can he pull it off? Read story, and see photo gallery, here.

FPL wins with natural gas

Come June 1, Florida Power & Light, the state's largest power company, plans to flip the switch on the state's newest natural gas plant. The 1,250-megawatt power generator took just over two years to build and will cost FPL customers $970 million. That's about $130 million under budget. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Cuban President Raul Castro sets date for the end of an era

Cuban President Raul Castro said Sunday that he would step down from power in 2018, when his second term as president is set to end. "I would like to make clear ... this will be my last term," he said at the end of a session of the country's National Assembly. The announcement came shortly after lawmakers re-elected Castro to a second five-year term. Last year, Castro said that Cuban officials, including the president, should be limited to two terms in office. [Source: CNN]

Analysis: Danica Patrick's historic pole position at Daytona 500 is good business for NASCAR

Given the historical news of Patrick’s pole position for the Daytona 500, NASCAR, Patrick and her endorsers have much to cheer about. Since Patrick was awarded the pole position on February 17, all three have seen increases in their business opportunities. While Patrick only joined the NASCAR circuit full-time in 2012, her merchandise has been a hit with NASCAR fans.  According to NASCAR, Patrick is in the top-10 for merchandise sales.  [Source: Forbes]

» Jimmie Johnson back on top with Daytona 500 victory - Danica Patrick finished 8th
[Daytona Beach News-Journal]


› United Space Alliance reaches end of mission
As the lead operator of NASA’s shuttle fleet, United Space Alliance used to be one of Brevard County’s largest employers. Today, most of USA’s remaining local team is preparing to turn in its badges and look for new work. USA plans to let go 559 people Friday, March 1, 2013, and another 77 from KSC on April 5. That will leave about 140 employees at a firm that for years boasted as many as 6,600 engineers, technicians and administrative personnel at Kennedy, out of 10,500 nationally.

› Political Analysis: Gov. Rick Scott keeps mum on property insurance costs
He says he is protective of Florida families, but Gov. Rick Scott can’t get a grip on one of the big pocketbook issues for many of them: the rising cost of homeowner insurance.  When it comes to the cost of living, Scott talks about taxes and tuition, but insurance seems rarely part of the conversation.

› Florida documentary didn't win Oscar
“King’s Point,” an exploration of a Florida retirement community, was a nominee for documentary short in last night's Oscars, but didn't win the category. The winner was "Inocente," a short film about a homeless, undocumented immigrant teenage girl in San Diego who relentlessly pursues her dream of becoming an artist.

› Boca man finds $750,000 in checks in trash, calls police
Demetri Cirillo knows how it feels to lose everything. That's why he called police when he found more than $700,000 worth of checks in a gas station garbage can.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Key West readies for construction boom
The city of Key West is about to embark on five major construction projects that add up to some $100 million, from the long-awaited Truman Waterfront Park and a new City Hall to the repair of a dilapidated Bahama Village treasure, the Frederick Douglass Gym.

› In Florida, a health-care quandary
If the Republican-controlled legislature approves his plan when it meets next month, Florida would also become one of the largest states to require virtually all recipients of Medicaid to enroll in private managed-care plans, which can limit which health providers patients can see.

› Florida water survey website shows clean drinking water top concern
UF's Center for Public Issue Education has released report on water in Florida and found that clean drinking water is the most important concern Floridians have about water. Roughly 40% of respondents reported having had a negative water-quality experience, such as poor-quality drinking water, closed beaches, springs, rivers or lakes, and catching fish deemed unfit for human consumption. Just over 65% reported willingness to use recycled wastewater for lawn or landscape irrigation. Nearly 53% said they have low-flow showerheads, nearly 52% have water-efficient toilets, 33% use drought-tolerant plants in their gardens, and nearly 19% use rain barrels to collect water for gardening and yard use.

› Tampa's precautionary water boil was lifted after two days
Over 500,000 residents of Tampa breathed a sigh of relief after the boil water alert was lifted Sunday. The city's water treatment facility lost power on Friday, Feb. 22, which forced officials to issue a precautionary boil water advisory.