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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Florida leads nation in mortgage fraud

Tracking legal actions, such as criminal prosecutions, Mortgage Daily measured $246.9 million in mortgage fraud cases in Florida in the fourth quarter. The much larger California was second at $194.3 million. Nationally, there was $1.25 billion in mortgage fraud in the fourth quarter. That means nearly 20 percent of it occurred in Florida. More from the South Florida Business Journal and Mortgage Daily.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida's Economic Yearbook 2013

Featured today, an in-depth look at the economy for each of these regions:
» Southwest Florida:

Miami-Dade Monroe County


» The Space Coast:

Space Coast


Gas prices drop unexpectedly

A funny thing has happened on the way to higher gas prices: They've dropped. April is traditionally when gas prices start to rise in preparation for summer driving season, but thanks to more surplus than demand at Gulf Coast refineries, prices are falling. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

See also:
» GasBuddy Map: Current gas prices in Florida

Cheaper, better healthcare: yes, it is possible

Jaime Pinto, 69, a retired boat mechanic with chronic spinal problems, has just become part of a new world envisioned by federal healthcare reform. It’s called an accountable care organization, a vague phrase with deep implications that policy makers say could revolutionize the nation’s healthcare, lowering medical costs and increasing quality — if it works as planned. [Source: Miami Herald]

A Q&A with Foundation for Florida’s Future CEO Patricia Levesque

Patricia Levesque runs two foundations created by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — the Foundation for Florida’s Future and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Levesque and Bush are a powerful team advocating for school choice, the controversial parent trigger bill, and Common Core standards being implemented nationwide. [Source: StateImpact Florida]


› Entrepreneurs to pitch their companies at FAU next week
Entrepreneurs will pitch healthy frozen food, youth fitness centers, a sports drink, purified ice, a social media app for videos and other products in Florida Atlantic University's 2013 Business Plan Competition next week.

› Blue Oven Kitchens cooks up new fundraising idea
Proving that not every startup in town spins off a new tech discovery, Blue Oven Kitchens’ “kitchen incubator” is helping entrepreneurs start new companies focused on sustainable food practices, food education and supporting local foodways.

› Summer camp to explore career possibilities
Looking for some mentoring for your future broadcast journalist, mayor or business owner? The Kid-Preneur Summer camps, which run from June 10 to August 16 at the Boynton Beach Women's Club, will provide some early training.

› Former NFL player grows Florida business
Former NFL wide receiver Tony Bland and his wife, former professional tennis player Nyree Bland, are expanding their Florida based after-school and summer camp business. The Tampa-based firm, PROtential Sports, seeks to open a franchise location, possibly in Sarasota, according to a statement. The company then plans to grow across the Southeast, before a nationwide expansion.

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› Floridians oppose Obama's Social Security proposal
Florida’s 50-plus voters overwhelmingly oppose President Barack Obama’s expected proposal to trim future Social Security raises, according to a statewide AARP poll released on Monday.

› U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor: Lift Cuba embargo, travel restrictions
Saying "it's time to try something new," U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor on Monday called for the Obama administration and Congress to lift travel restrictions and the 51-year-old trade embargo on Cuba. "Cuba is changing," said Castor, D-Tampa, who left on a fact-finding trip to Cuba Wednesday evening and returned on Saturday.

› SeaWorld boosts size of planned stock offering to $500 million
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment plans to raise $500 million through an initial public stock offering, according to a regulatory document filed Monday. The Orlando-based theme-park owner had set a preliminary target of $100 million for the IPO.

› New Auburndale facility has big dreams, plans for blueberry packing plant
Randy Knapp went into the March 2010 real estate auction looking to buy about 20 acres to grow blueberries. He emerged with about 260 acres and an international business.