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Florida Trend Special Report
Florida's MBA professors are pushing the limits

Lonnie Bryant
Lonnie Bryant, University of Tampa
» Go to profile: Continuing Education in Florida

The number of MBA degrees granted in recent years has grown — even as the immediate financial payoff has become more debatable. Partly in response, Florida’s universities are tweaking their MBA programs, coming up with creative specializations. At this special report, you'll meet MBA professors in Florida, and learn how they approach teaching leadership skills.

» News about MBA programs in Florida
» MBA Programs in Florida (chart)


Pro sports teams in Florida seeking help from state

For the past two decades, Florida taxpayers have paid millions to turn the state into a sports mecca. The money has paid for repairs, renovations and construction of stadiums and arenas that are home to professional football, hockey, baseball and basketball teams. The state also has shelled out money to spruce up ballparks used by Major League Baseball teams for spring training. The total so far: close to $300 million since 1994. [Source: AP]


U.S. cruise lines are exploring new horizons

China’s development and Carnival’s move into Australia illustrate how the world’s largest cruise lines are increasingly biting off bigger pieces of the planet. This year, the luxury Seabourn line is heading to Antarctica for the first time, with five days of landings planned on each of four 20-plus day trips. [Source: Miami Herald]


Politicians look for credit in a rising economy

Increased hiring, lower unemployment, stock market on the rise. Who gets the credit? Following Friday's strong jobs report - 236,000 new jobs and unemployment dropping to a four-year low of 7.7 percent - partisans hurriedly staked out turf. [Source: AP]


Tax dollars are paying Florida mortgages for felons, debtors

While thousands of responsible Floridians struggle to keep their homes, a federal mortgage assistance program is making loan payments for felons, tax scofflaws and people with histories of running up debts they can't repay. Those homeowners got help while many others were turned down or forced to wait so long they may lose their homes anyway. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Q&A with Bill Diggs: Supporting black-owned businesses
Since 2006, Bill Diggs has been president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce. Created in 1974 to foster development of minority-owned businesses, the chamber facilitates networking and skills building in areas such as business operations, grant applications, technology and marketing/branding.

› Mobile meat market brings beef, chicken to church parking lots
Central Floridians are finding a new way to shop for meat: In the parking lots of churches, bowling alleys and skating rinks, of all places.

› Tampa International's flights to Cuba hit political, market turbulence
Supporters grumble that the Tampa-Cuba route needs to attract more non-Cubans. The route was also hindered by an airline price war, bureaucratic red tape and — no surprise — Cuban-American politics.

› Construction spurs gains in employment
A burst in hiring during February that added 236,000 jobs and pushed the national unemployment rate down to 7.7 percent is being felt in what just two years ago would have been the most unlikely of places for Southwest Florida: new construction.


Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Buying stocks now may be less risky than you think
The good news is that stocks still seem a good bet despite the run-up. The bad news: They're no bargain, at least by some measures, so don't get too excited.

› Deep trouble: How sea-rise could cause havoc in South Florida
The maps were intended to show how rising sea levels threaten some of Miami-Dade County’s most vital facilities. If they prove anywhere close to accurate, the fate of three major sewage plants would represent only the tip of a hulking, hugely expensive iceberg of concerns for South Florida.

› Low-cost airlines fuel growth at South Florida airports
While major airline mergers are raising concerns about higher fares and limited choices, South Florida travelers may feel minimal effects because of the prevalence of low-cost carriers here. The bargain carriers already have made the region's airports among the cheapest in the nation, and airport officials say that won't change with the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

› Hotels, restaurants seeing strong spring season [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The cooler than usual start to March hasn't put a chill on South Florida's spring travel season, local hoteliers and tourism officials say. By several accounts, it's expected to be stellar. "Everyone is smiling," said Nicki E. Grossman, President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Friday.