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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Legislators prepare for potential fracking in Florida

No one knows if Florida is going to be the next frontier for the new generation of oil and gas drilling known as fracking, but state legislators say — just in case — it's time to write rules to require disclosure of the controversial technology. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida falls to 29th in venture funding

With five deals worth a combined $11.3 million, Florida fell to 29th nationwide among U.S. states during the first three months of the year — its second-lowest ranking in at least a decade, according to the MoneyTree survey, based on data from Thomson Reuters. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Poll: Actuary is best job, newspaper reporter the worst

People looking for a career may want to avoid some of the worst jobs around -- lumberjack, oil-rig operator and meter reader. Those are among the least promising professions, according to a new analysis. And you almost certainly should steer clear of the worst job on the list – newspaper reporter. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Budget cuts pinch Weather Service before hurricane season

The nation's cash-strapped weather forecasting system, though partly spared from federal budget cuts known as "sequestration," is about to get pinched on the verge of a hurricane season expected to be busier than normal. Federal officials say they have the resources to warn storm-prone Florida and other vulnerable areas about weather emergencies, but a federal union representative warns that a hiring freeze plus furloughs threaten public safety. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Column: Birding brings more tourists than golf?

"Golfing is still incredibly important, but more people say they're coming for birding," says Erin Duggan of the county's Visit Sarasota tourist bureau. For instance, in the most recent surveys from January through March, when visitors were asked what activities they had enjoyed during their stay here, 17 percent identified wildlife watching. Twelve percent mentioned golfing. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


› Small county takes on tourism industry over control of bed taxes
Okaloosa County, a coastal Panhandle community whose economy relies on tourists visiting its white-sand beaches, has asked the Florida Legislature for the ability to use its "tourist development" taxes to pay for lifeguards and beach patrols. The move puts the county of fewer than 200,000 people on a collision course with major Florida tourism businesses.

› Budget surplus could be boon for local lawmakers' projects
Derided by some as turkeys because they aren't included in state agency budget requests, the projects are prized by lawmakers who point to them at election time as evidence of how effective they are in Tallahassee.

› Orlando unit helps lift Lockheed 1stQ sales
Lifted in part by some of its Orlando-based missile work, Lockheed Martin Corp. posted a healthy first-quarter profit Tuesday that topped Wall Street's forecast and sent the company's stock price rising.

› Fracture gets boost in outside investment
Gainesville's Fracture is one of three companies with growth prospects that will get an additional infusion of capital from the Tamiami Angel Fund, which boosted its investment in the company to a deal that could be worth more than $900,000.

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› House, Senate not budging on Medicaid plans
With less than two weeks left in the session, Republican leaders in the House seem unwilling to accept any money tied to the federal Affordable Care Act. Now the decision may come down to a moderate bloc of House Republicans - or it may fizzle entirely.

› 5 questions with Port Everglades director of business development
Broward County's Port Everglades last year became Florida's busiest seaport for international cargo shipped in metal containers, the most lucrative part of the shipping business. The port's trade with the world reached $24 billion in value, and Port Everglades shipped out $4 billion more in goods than it brought in.

› Sarasota passes new panhandling ban
Many of the intersections where people normally hold signs asking for money were conspicuously quiet Tuesday, shortly before city commissioners passed an ordinance prohibiting the action.

› The dogfight between South Florida pet owners, condo associations
Steve Vincent lives in a pet-free condo in Miami Beach. And yet the Bay Garden Manor Condominium on West Avenue has its share of dogs. A loophole the size of an English sheepdog allows condo owners to keep pets, regardless of the association rules, if they can get them classified as “emotional support animals.”