Florida Trend Exclusive
The Richest Floridians
Florida's Newest Billionaire
A shopkeeper’s son, Mike Fernandez came to America from Cuba in 1964 at age 12. He had unremarkable grades as a student and abandoned college. After a stint in the Army, he sold life insurance in Miami...
Meet Florida's 25 wealthiest residents. All are men. Most are self-made, though some of them had a rougher start in life than others. We focus on their impact in Florida — to the extent there is a substantial one.
Florida ranked middle-of-the-pack as the 23rd most-free state in the union in 2013, according to the third annual “Freedom in the 50 States” report published by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. Mercatus Center creates the rankings by combining scores for fiscal, regulatory and personal freedom Read more from the South Florida Business Journal and CBS Miami and see the full rankings from the Mercatus Center.
When it comes to opening up Medicaid to cover more uninsured Floridians, business groups have put forth either lukewarm endorsements or red-hot opposition. What few are publicly raising, though, is this point: Expanding Medicaid could save some businesses a considerable amount of money. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Grant Thrall, Ph.D., pioneered a new field of study — business geography — at the University of Florida. “I just kind of invented my subject area … I had the only program of that kind in the United States,” Thrall said. Business geography involves using sophisticated technologies to interpret and analyze data to help businesses make decisions. [Source: Gainesville Sun]
Americans are dealing with crushing financial pressures — recession, stagnant wages, burst housing bubble, anemic job opportunities, skyrocketing health care expense, gridlocked government and rising global competition. All of it is keeping researchers busy, and the latest studies spell out serious challenges for both younger and older adults. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› On Florida's Space Coast, signs of comeback after end of an era [New York Times]
Private employers on the Space Coast, which includes Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island, have created more than 4,000 jobs since 2010 and have added 1,000 more this year, including jobs in aerospace, aviation, engineering and other high-technology sectors.
› UF's flow of research dollars may slow to trickle [Gainesville Sun]
For a decade, the University of Florida has seen an unprecedented gusher of research dollars flowing its way, cultivating new inventions and innovations that contributed to a growth spurt in Gainesville's economy. But because of federal sequestration, that gusher could become a trickle.
› Hot Boca real estate market turns up heat on history [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The boarded-up windows and spray-painted numerals would hardly seem a draw for anything more than a curious glance, much less a reason to pull off the road. But in the case of the Boca Raton Army Air Field Headquarters, one person's eyesore is another's history.
› Former Cypress Gardens owner visits Legoland [Lakeland Ledger]
Although the former owner of Cypress Gardens took his time in coming to see the tourist attraction that took its place, Kent Buescher said it was worth the wait.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
› Florida brewers push to legalize 64-ounce beer growlers [AP]
David Wescott has two 32-ounce growlers he brings into Proof Brewing Company to fill up and take home. Why two? Because Florida is one of only three states where it’s illegal to fill one 64-ounce beer container, known as a growler.
› The financial mess at Marlins Park: inside the numbers [Miami Herald]
A new baseball stadium was supposed to fix South Florida’s lukewarm embrace of professional baseball. But the Marlins’ first season in their new ballpark may have made things even worse for the team.
» Related: Tumultuous first 20 years for Miami Marlins
› Utilities turn to Twitter to tackle complaints [Orlando Sentinel]
Wireless carriers and Central Florida utility companies such as OUC and Bright House Networks are increasingly turning to Twitter and Facebook to respond and solve customers' concerns.
› How much do the Tampa Bay Rays boost the local economy? [Tampa Bay Times]
Tampa Bay Rays fans spent 100 million hours last year going to games or watching them on television. For many, baseball adds to quality of life just as surely as weather, water and sand. Whether baseball adds to the economy is less clear.