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Tuesday's Afternoon Update

Florida’s consumer confidence keeps rising

Floridians’ consumer confidence rose three points to 79 in April — the second consecutive monthly increase, according to a new University of Florida survey. Florida’s mood is at odds with the national consumer confidence index, which as measured by the University of Michigan, dropped two points after recovering from a deeper slide in early April. More at UF News.

Lee Commissioners vote to give $4 million to mystery company

Lee County Commissioners have voted five to zero to approve giving $4 million in tax payer money to an unidentified company. The Fortune 500 business wants to move its corporate headquarters to Southwest Florida. The payment is to lure them here, rather than the other location under consideration in Oklahoma. More from WINK News and the Fort Myers News-Press.

Despite hurdles, Cuba real estate market buzzing

Out of the Box

Therapists and their patients find stress relief in skateboards

skate therapy
Move over, Freud. Your couch is being replaced by a piece of wood on wheels. Once a week, amid the sprawling canopies of hardwood hammocks and mangrove forests, patients sort through emotions — while pushing on a longboard skateboard.

» Read more and see video from the Miami Herald

» Photo Gallery

In some ways, Yosuan Crespo's real estate office resembles any you might find in New York, London or Tokyo. There are slick posters of hot properties hanging from the ceiling, a steady stream of hopeful buyers and sellers and a constant clack of computer keys. But Crespo's headquarters in central Havana's trendy Vedado neighborhood is actually somebody else's breezy front porch. More at the AP.

Education company chooses Fort Lauderdale as N. American headquarters

Education Training Corp., which operates as Florida Career College and Anthem Education, has chosen Fort Lauderdale for the expansion of its new North American headquarters. The expansion will create 70 jobs paying annual salaries averaging more than $50,000 as well as retain 85 positions, Gov. Rick Scott’s office announced Tuesday. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Miami-based Open English raises $65 million

Open English, the rapidly growing online English language school, has raised an additional $65 million in venture capital to fund its expansion within Latin America — and outside the region. The Series D round, valuing the company at $350 million, brings the total funding raised to $120 million. More at the Miami Herald.

Security Trends
The law enforcement agency you've probably never heard of

hsiAlthough little-known, Homeland Security Investigations' roughly 6,000 agents form the second-largest law enforcement agency in the country, following the FBI's 10,000. They enforce about 600 laws, their jurisdiction primarily aimed at anything illegally crossing borders — including money laundering, human trafficking, United States technology or child pornography.

» Full story from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune