Home prices continue to strengthen
An index measuring South Florida home prices rose 10.8 percent in January from a year earlier, marking a 13th consecutive month of increases. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index also showed widespread improvement across the country, with the biggest price gains since 2006. All 20 metro areas posted price jumps, with Phoenix leading at 23 percent. More at the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Palm Beach Post and Bloomberg News.
Viva 500 Florida starts with Ponce de Leon
Palm Bay actor Julian Maldonado portrays Juan Ponce DeLeon as year-long festivities get under way this week celebrating Florida's 500th Anniversary. It was 500 years ago that the Spanish explorer first laid eyes on the Sunshine State. The actual landing spot and motives for the exploration remain illusive, but Maldonado said, "The mystery adds to the growing interest in Florida's history." Read more from TCPalm and see our report on Viva Florida.
$600K for Digital Risk to create new jobs in Lake Mary
Seminole County commissioners approved an incentive package today that will give Maitland-based software company Digital Risk LLC up to $600,000 to create as many as 600 new jobs in Lake Mary. Under the deal, which was approved unanimously, Digital Risk, a maker of mortgage risk-analysis software, will lease a 50,000 square-feet building by September and create at least 300 new jobs by the end of the year. More at the Orlando Sentinel.
Executive at Boca Raton's ADT to star in 'Undercover Boss'
Tony Wells learned two things about his Boca Raton security employer when he went undercover as a South Florida front-line worker. For one, ADT's uniform was no match for the region's humidity. And secondly, some company dispatchers struggle to make ends meet with their $10- to $15-an-hour jobs. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Florida House Speaker uses his unique upbringing to craft education policy
Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford is a big proponent of nontraditional education. Weatherford is pushing for an online state university in Florida, and he encourages families to consider different ways of learning besides district-run brick and mortar public schools. More at StateImpact Florida.