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Friday's Daily Pulse

Florida Agbioscience industries growing

Agbioscience boomed in Florida between 2000 and 2010, with related research and development expenditures in the Sunshine State growing 134 percent during that time, according to a new report. According to the Batelle study, agbioscience research and development spending went from $213 million to $501 million from 2000 to 2010. [Source: UF News]

Florida House moving ahead with Internet cafe ban

The House is expected to vote on the measure (HB 155) on Friday. The House approved a similar bill a year ago but it was not considered by the Florida Senate. This year is different in the wake of arrests and the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. More from the AP and WPTV.

Business and environmental groups happy with Everglades restoration bill

Should the byproduct of coal power plants be used as building material? Do environmentalists and the farming industry agree on Everglades restoration? At the Florida House Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee on Thursday, both answers turned out to be Yes. [Source: WFSU]

Fortunes ahoy: The lure of sunken riches

A former chicken farmer called Mel Fisher took eight years to secure his rights to the wreck of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, a 17th-century Spanish galleon. When he found it after more than a decade’s searching off the Florida coast, a hotbed for treasure hunters, the state claimed ownership of its cargo of silver coins and emerald jewelry. Eventually the Supreme Court ruled that the site was in international waters, where finders’ rights prevail. Such struggles with officialdom make a tough business even harder. [Source: The Economist]

Max Planck Florida Institute study points to major Alzheimer's discovery

The study potentially identifies a cause of Alzheimer’s disease—based on a newly-discovered signaling pathway in cellular models of Alzheimer’s disease—and opens the door for new treatments by successfully blocking this pathway. [Source: Max Planck Florida]

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› Orlando hotels enjoyed healthy lead-in to Spring Break
Orlando's hotel industry flourished during February, possibly aided by cold weather up North and more positive economic news. Hotels in the Orlando area filled 76.3 percent of their rooms last month, up from 74.5 percent during February 2012.

› Lawsuit bill raises fears of local governments
Despite protests from cities, counties, public hospitals and school districts, a House committee Thursday approved a proposal that would increase dollar limits on lawsuits against local governments.

› Hanjin decides against Jacksonville cargo terminal
Hanjin has decided it will not build a cargo terminal in Jacksonville, port authority officials said Thursday. Along with the TraPac terminal that opened in 2009, the planned Hanjin terminal had been the one-two punch that JaxPort officials boasted would put Jacksonville in the top tier of East Coast ports.

› South Florida’s housing market remains hot
Strong demand and dwindling supply are propelling the median sales price of Miami-Dade properties, with condominium prices rising 26.9 percent in February to $165,000 compared to a year earlier, and 6.5 percent compared to the previous month, according to figures released Thursday by the Miami Association of Realtors and the local Multiple Listing Service.

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› Congress to force USPS to keep Saturday delivery
Congress foiled the financially beleaguered U.S. Postal Service's plan to end Saturday delivery of first-class mail when it passed legislation on Thursday requiring six-day delivery. The Postal Service, which lost $16 billion last year, said last month it wanted to switch to five-day mail service to save $2 billion annually.

› Pharmaceutical firm expanding in Davie, creating more than 200 jobs
Actavis, a specialty pharmaceutical company formerly known as Watson Pharmaceuticals, plans to expand its pharmaceutical manufacturing and warehouse in Davie, resulting in the creation of 220 jobs, the Governor's Office and Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance announced Thursday.

› Federal appeals judges, meeting in Miami, question state’s controversial Cuba law
A panel of skeptical federal appeals judges meeting in Miami Thursday sharply questioned a Florida law prohibiting the state and local governments from hiring companies with business ties to Cuba. Several questions from the three-judge panel centered on whether the law would conflict with the federal government’s power to set foreign policy.

› Fort Myers official sees more profitable use for Olympians museum site
The lease for the Art of the Olympians museum is up in 10 days, and Fort Myers city leaders are asking if there’s a more lucrative use of the building.