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Friday's Daily Pulse

Alimony law in Florida changes drastically

SB 718, approved by lawmakers by an 85-31 vote, would end permanent alimony, cap alimony awards based on a person's income and the length of the marriage and make it easier for an ex-spouse to terminate or lower alimony payments upon retirement. It also gives parents equal custody of any children in the marriage. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.

Legislative Roundup:
» Pension reforms moving through Florida Legislature
» NFHS backs FHSAA’s fight against bills in Florida Legislature
» Column: Even in Florida, no-duh laws can happen
» Legislature opens door to giving Miami Children’s Hospital maternity ward
» Florida House passes raft of social-conservative bills


Terrorism in Boston

Links to news sites

As all Floridians watch the news unfold in Boston, we thought you might like some quick links to help you stay on top of the fast-evolving story.

This story from the Miami Herald has a Florida connection:
Florida man took photo of Boston bombing suspect

Suit filed to reopen senior arcades

The owners of two senior arcades in Broward County filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging Florida’s new law that prohibits them from operating slots-like games. Lawmakers banned the machines as a result of federal and state investigations into Internet cafes resulted in the arrest of 57 people on racketeering and money laundering charges. More from the Times/Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.


Rum plays up -- and ignores -- its Caribbean roots

When you're talking about rum, how much does the Caribbean really matter? For the rum world, it's a more serious question than it sounds, and the answer exposes a schism in the industry, a divide between massive producers who value uniformity in a global market and smaller players and connoisseurs who prefer nuanced production that reflects the time and place a rum is made. [Source: AP]

Related Florida Trend Content
» Just What the Doc Ordered — Rum!
» Executive Lifestyles: Premium Spirits
» What Makes a Company a Florida Trend Best Company to Work For?


South Florida assessing impact of climate change on infrastructure

In late October, Hurricane Sandy washed out a portion of State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale. And in Miami Beach, seasonal high tides regularly deluge Alton Road. South Florida transportation planners think these examples are just the beginning of the impact that rising sea levels, strong storm surges and flooding are going to have on the region's transportation infrastructure. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


Driverless cars: Look, no hands

The technology seems likely to be ready before all the questions of regulation and liability have been sorted out. Three American states, Nevada, California and Florida, have passed laws governing the testing of driverless cars on public roads, which had previously been a legal grey area. But that is just the start. Decades of road-safety legislation will have to be overturned before cars can roam the streets without a qualified and sober driver at the controls, and accidents involving driverless cars are bound to attract some lawsuits. [Source: The Economist]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida fertilizer industry paying close attention to Texas disaster
Florida’s fertilizer industry is watching the aftermath of an explosion Wednesday at a Texas fertilizer plant and like the rest of the nation, waiting to find out what went wrong.
» Related: Texas explosion puts Tampa Bay companies using anhydrous ammonia on heightened alert

› Work starts on Orlando area's largest new office building in years
Verizon Communications completed its purchase of 17 acres between Interstate 4 and International Parkway in Lake Mary at the end of March, and Skanska USA Building is constructing the 220,000-square-foot, build-to-suit project, which is expected to be completed in a year.

› Longer patient stays drive up costs, hurt profits at Jackson
Patients at Miami-Dade’s safety net public hospitals are staying longer on average than they were a year ago, driving up labor costs and dragging down profits, according to Jackson Health System administrators addressing Thursday’s meeting of the Public Health Trust that oversees the system.

› Creativity starts from within
Beck Group's originality is on display in projects like the Dalí Museum, the beer-can-shaped Rivergate Tower and the University of South Florida's high-tech Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation.


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› Lawmakers collect $662k in 'slush funds' they hope to outlaw
In the two months leading up to a legislative session billed as an ethical house-cleaning, Florida legislators raised $662,000 from special interests through the funds they hope to outlaw over the next two weeks.

› City National Bank of Florida reports improved first quarter results
For the quarter ending March 31, the Miami-based bank reported net income of $9.5 million, up from $9.4 million for the first quarter of 2012. Core earnings before securities gains were $13.6 million in the first quarter, compared to $11.5 million in the same year-ago quarter.

› Wade carefully into the world of apps
We are conditioning ourselves to react to reminder notices and to stop committing things to memory. This trend will continue as more and more companies develop applications and services. Those companies will continue to lead by example, and small companies can learn from their success.

› Florida closer to making tarpon a catch-and-release only species
The state of Florida is moving closer to making tarpon a catch-and-release only species. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is meeting in Havana, Fla. this week and on Wednesday moved forward with a tarpon and bonefish rule change.