Health insurance companies will have to pay $54 million in rebates this summer to 614,245 of their Florida policyholders, federal officials announced on Thursday. That’s $132 per family. Officials hailed the news as another sign that the new Affordable Care Act is working for consumers by forcing companies to rein in overhead costs or pay a penalty in the form of rebates. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Fort Myers News-Press.
Latin American and Caribbean trade conferences held in Miami often concentrate on the big players — the multinationals — and global economic trends. But Trade Américas Expo, which began Thursday, is shifting the focus to small- and medium-sized businesses and creating more business opportunities for them in the hemisphere. [Source: Miami Herald]
University of Miami students have painted a potential new advertising strategy for Walmart without ever touching a paintbrush. The school placed first in the 2013 National Student Advertising Competition, an annual event hosted by the American Advertising Federation. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The calendar could put a small kink in this year's Independence Day travel, according to a forecast released Thursday by travel club AAA. With the Fourth of July holiday falling this year on a Thursday, the long weekend is a little shorter than last year's. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Despite Gov. Rick Scott’s pleas, tuition is going up slightly at all but two of Florida’s universities. So Scott is returning to the board that oversees state universities with a new request: Be tough on fee increases. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› USF medical school's Klasko to leave for Philadelphia university [Tampa Bay Times]
University of South Florida medical school dean Stephen Klasko is leaving to become president of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and president and chief executive of the university-affiliated hospital system.
› European aviation company coming to Miami [Miami Herald]
ATR is a European maker of small planes with global headquarters in France and U.S. headquarters in Dulles, Va.,. It will relocate its “American hub” to the area around Miami International Airport.
› Apartments rent for more than homes in Metro Orlando [Orlando Sentinel]
Residential rental rates have increased more in Orlando's trendy Baldwin Park section than in any other part of the four-county metropolitan area, a new report shows. The median rent last month in Baldwin Park was $2,169 for all the types of rental housing there — houses, apartments, condominiums and town homes.
› Free tech workshop for high school students Saturday [Miami Herald]
Feverish Pops and The LAB Miami have teamed to offer Code Fever @ The Lab, a free day-long workshop on Saturday to teach high school students — and their parents — how to transition from being just consumers of technology to creators.
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› Spirit orders 20 new Airbus A321 planes [Miami Herald]
Miramar-based Spirit Airlines announced Thursday that it had ordered 20 new Airbus A321 planes. The low-cost airline already had an order for 96 aircraft that are scheduled to be delivered between 2015 and 2017.
› Florida Bar honors attorneys for 50 years of service [Fort Myers News-Press]
The Florida Bar will honor 165 attorneys for 50 years of dedication to the practice of law during a luncheon at The Florida Bar's annual convention at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. To be recognized, attorneys must be members in good standing of The Florida Bar and attain their 50th anniversary of admittance to the practice of law in 2013.
› Column: Tax money pays for Venice golf makeover [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
The sun beats down. There's not a golfer in sight on the back nine of the Venice Lake Golf Club as general manager Rod Parry surveys an expanse of dirt and what appears to be dead grass. You know what he's thinking? Life is good. That's what having $1.5 million to spend will do for you.
› Room service still has fans among business, leisure travelers [Orlando Sentinel]
Just as obituaries were being prepared for in-room dining, travel columnist Joe Sharkey of The New York Times told the world about a large, freshly made chicken Caesar salad delivered to his room in Central Florida's very own Peabody Orlando hotel — at 2 a.m., no less. Room service, Sharkey declared in his June 10 Times column, is here to stay, at least in high-end hotels.