The Sunshine State is once again growing faster than the nation, but is gaining mostly lower-wage jobs, a new economic outlook released Wednesday by Wells Fargo economists says. Even with three years of job growth, there are 7.0 percent fewer jobs in Florida today than there were prior to the recession. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and see the report from Wells Fargo.
The federal government released data for the first time to allow consumers to compare medical costs at hospitals, including those in South Florida, revealing some major price differences. More from the Miami Herald and the Washington Post and see the full report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Federal sequestration could hurt Florida’s ability to recover in the aftermath of a hurricane because less money will be available to prepare the National Guard, Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday. Further, he said National Guardsmen are to be furloughed and won’t receive as much training as normal because of budget cuts. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Tim Cost, the new president of Jacksonville University, has big goals for the school.
» Find out about his plans here
Ten years ago, Jacksonville University was in crisis. Its president had resigned over badly managed finances. The school had multi-million-dollar budget deficits two years in a row and had to borrow money to stay afloat. It slashed jobs and benefits. Kerry Romesburg was named president and assigned to clean up the mess. He not only fixed the college’s finances, but also helped expand the school to 3,900 students. Now his successor takes over. Full story...
The Florida Legislature ended its 2013 session Friday having created no incentives for film production, a move observers say could strangle the booming local film industry. The state's film incentives come in the form of tax credits based on the scope of the production, number of local people hired, the season in which filming occurs and several other variables. [Source: Miami Today]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Space Florida approves money for drone operations, CEO raise [Florida Today]
Florida hopes to become one of six test ranges the Federal Aviation Administration selects to study how to safely integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into the national airspace.
› FDA inspection triggers recall by Florida pharmacy [Miami Herald]
The Food and Drug Administration warned doctors and pharmacists Wednesday to avoid drugs made by a Florida specialty pharmacy called The Compounding Shop, due to potential safety problems uncovered by health inspectors.
› Universal Studios to add Harry Potter Diagon Alley theme area [Tampa Bay Times]
Capitalizing on the huge success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced the addition of a new themed area, Diagon Alley.
› Miami Heat wins title — for its sales [Miami Today]
The Miami Heat laid a dud Monday night in Game 1 of its playoff round against the Chicago Bulls. However, that hiccup in the team's quest for a second straight National Basketball Association title shouldn't hurt a growing part of its business: merchandise sales.
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› South Florida warehouse provides building materials, housewares to nonprofits, churches, schools [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
It's a unique partnership between business and a Florida nonprofit: retailers provide building materials and housewares to a warehouse that distributes the items free or at cut-rate prices to other nonprofits, churches or schools.
› Sweetbay Supermarket offers eco-friendly flowers [Tampa Bay Times]
This Mother's Day, shoppers can delight mom and also do something good for the environment and people working on flower farms. Sweetbay Supermarket is selling eco-friendly, sustainably grown flowers at its 72 stores in Florida and online for delivery nationwide.
› Florida Blue painting a new identity [Miami Today]
While the rebranding of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida as Florida Blue on signage and the like is nearly complete, public awareness will probably take a few more years to catch up. But company officials think the change is necessary to reflect the changing role it will play in the new health care environment.
› UF not tracking dropped courses, federal audit finds [Gainesville Sun]
The University of Florida has changed its grading policies after an audit discovered that some instructors were not tracking students who dropped out of classes after they received financial aid.