Florida ranked fourth nationwide in terms of private equity and growth capital investments in 2012, according to a report released Thursday by the Private Equity Growth Capital Council. Private equity firms invested $17.3 billion in 115 Florida-based companies last year, the data shows. [Source: Miami Herald]
Hurricanes, tropical storms and other threats from the sea have been a recurring fact of life for Floridians. For the insurance industry, the losses from all those storms over the years have begun to prompt the question: has a "new normal" arrived for determining risk in coastal development, and when is enough, enough? [Source: The Weather Channel]
There’s a growing consensus in Brazil, which is South Florida’s largest trading partner, that the current economic course is not the correct one. However, the economic outlook is more promising for the Andean region [Source: Miami Herald]
After the housing market collapsed in spectacular fashion six years ago, Florida became known as much for its abandoned houses as its white sand beaches and palm trees. Many homes fell into disrepair and became the target of looters and vagrants. In some respects, the situation in the state is much improved. [Source: Huffington Post]
The bad news: 4,669 people across the nation died in 2011, the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. The good news: Florida ranks in the group of safest states. Florida recorded 226 on-the-job fatalities, landing the Sunshine State a ranking of 15th out of the 50 states. That’s a ratio of 2.9 deaths per 100,000 workers. [Source: Florida Times-Union]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Palm Beach County enjoys state's top wage after 7.6% jump [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Palm Beach County enjoyed one of the highest wage-growth rates in the nation last year — and the county is once again No. 1 in the state for highest average pay — according to the latest data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
› Joe Kittinger to receive veterans award [Orlando Sentinel]
Famed Orlando aviator Col. Joe Kittinger on Saturday will be given the first Veterans Award by the board of Orlando International Airport as part of liberty weekend celebration.
» Florida Icon: Joseph Kittinger
› Plan to deepen Port Everglades scaled back [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A long-stalled plan to deepen Port Everglades to accommodate larger cargo ships inched forward Thursday with the announcement of a scaled-down proposal that would be cheaper and cause less environmental damage.
› Early scallop season could boost Big Bend tourism [Orlando Sentinel]
Gov. Rick Scott gave a nice gift to the Big Bend tourism industry Wednesday by announcing that the recreational scallop season will open early this year. The decision to start the season June 29 instead of July 1 tacks on another weekend to what has become a source of visitors for some Gulf Coast areas.
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› Pastor handles political consulting from Hialeah city office [Miami Herald]
A pastor who operates out of a city of Hialeah office has made some $50,000 for his political consulting work for more than a dozen county and state campaigns since 2010.
› FAMU lifts suspension of famed marching band [AP]
Florida A&M University's interim president said Thursday he was lifting the suspension of its famous Marching 100 band about a year and a half after a drum major's death that led to the departure of school leaders and reforms trying to crack down on brutal hazing in the band.
› Manatee chamber membership tops in Tampa Bay area [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
The Manatee and Sarasota chambers of commerce once again bested every other comparable business organization in the Tampa Bay area for sheer size.
› Orange tax collector takes over tags, license work [Orlando Sentinel]
Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph is taking over more vehicle-tag and license duties from the state, a move he said could serve customers better and bring in $1 million.
› Internet remembers Citrix's Ed Iacobucci [South Florida Business Journal]
Ed Iacobucci died of pancreatic cancer last week and the denizens of the Internet have reached out with heartfelt stories remembering the founder of Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS). Iacobucci was one of the most important technology entrepreneurs in South Florida and a pioneer in computer operating system architecture and thin client computing.
» Watch a video tribute to Iacobucci, here.