The Sunshine State is still churning out jobs, but at a slower pace than it had been, according to data released Tuesday. Florida added 12,910 private-sector jobs in June, about 25 percent fewer than in May and far behind top job-producers California and Texas, based on a regional employment report from payroll processing firm ADP. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
John L. Parker
» Go to interview [Photo: Rob Witzel]
The author of "Once A Runner" tells us:
» I grew up in Orlando. I did not go to the University of Florida right away. I went to a small school in Oregon called the University of Portland. I came back to the University of Florida on a basketball scholarship.
» I wanted to be a journalist with a law degree. I wanted to do stories that had a legal angle to it. I wanted to do things like Supreme Court analysis. I wanted to do consumer-oriented stories.
A coalition of Florida environmental groups has called in the cavalry — this time to help stop a proposed spaceport inside the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. They're asking that top officials at the U.S. Department of the Interior, which manages the 140,000-acre sanctuary, become "directly involved" in plans to build a launchpad there, according to a new letter. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Like other government-funded programs, South Florida's workforce agencies have been forced to reduce staff and trim programs because of the mandated federal sequester cuts. Despite the staffing issues, a steady stream of job seekers needing help finding work or applying for unemployment benefits continues. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Florida's insurance consumer advocate wants to look at how insurers are handling claims from homeowners. Robin Smith Westcott announced Wednesday the creation of a working group that will meet later this month. The group will be asked to come up with recommendations, including whether legislators should change state laws that cover policyholders. [Source: AP]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Florida Teacher of the Year to be announced [AP]
Florida's 2014 Teach of the Year is set to be named in Orlando. The Florida Department of Education and Macy's are holding a ceremony Thursday at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios. The event will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Deborah Norville and is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
› Publix, Disney aim to cut lawsuit awards for accident victims [Orlando Sentinel]
Two of Florida's largest businesses — Publix Super Markets and Walt Disney World — are spearheading an effort to cut the size of civil-lawsuit awards, which could lead to enormous savings for the frequently sued companies through smaller jury verdicts and pretrial settlements.
› Office Depot shareholders say 'yes' to merger [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Faster than a shopping trip for pens and paper, Office Depot shareholders approved a merger with rival OfficeMax in brisk meeting Wednesday in Boca Raton that was a mere formality.
› Broward College's newest campus is all online [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Broward College is opening a new campus, and you don't have to leave your living room to visit it. The state college, which focuses mostly on two-year associate's degrees, has created Broward College Online.
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› Medical marijuana ballot initiative push begins [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Medical marijuana supporters received final approval Wednesday from the Florida Department of State to begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would enshrine doctor-approved cannabis in the state constitution.
› Rowing officials to pitch for 2017 worlds [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Southwest Florida representatives are heading to Switzerland this week to make a formal — and final — pitch to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships, which would be the largest sports-tourism event ever to be held regionally.
› Swiftmud boss may take new job running South Florida water agency [Tampa Bay Times]
Two years ago Blake Guillory took over as executive director of the Southwest Florida Water Management District and sparked controversy by slashing the staff. Now he may be leaving to take over the much larger South Florida Water Management District, which would put him in charge of the multi-billion-dollar Everglades restoration project.
› Billionaire Wayne Huizenga Sued Over Acquisition [Forbes]
Billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga, who made his first fortune from his waste-management business, was sued in June by former owners of a South Florida-based trash company Choice Environmental for inducing them to sell their company with misrepresented financial information.