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Friday's Afternoon Update

U.S. consumer sentiment reaches 6-year high

Americans are more confident about the economy than at any time since July 2007, a survey found, suggesting consumers will spend more and accelerate growth in the months ahead. The University of Michigan says its final reading of consumer sentiment in July was 85.1. That's up one point from June but nearly 13 points higher than a year ago. [Source: AP]

Crawford Entertainment


Seminole County native Chad Crawford graduated from Full Sail University but bounced around doing odd jobs until he and wife Kristy mortgaged their home to launch Crawford Entertainment. As producer and host of a syndicated television and multimedia program, “How to Do Florida with Chad Crawford,” the third-generation Floridian has found his niche.

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Brazil crop numbers good news for Florida

This season's orange crop in Sao Paulo state, Brazil's primary growing area for juice oranges, is projected to decline to 290 million boxes, a 26 percent drop from the 2012-13 season, according to a recently released report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service office in that country. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]

Florida releases padded school grades amid outcry over testing

As expected, Florida's elementary and middle schools saw unprecedented declines in their state-issued grades released Friday. Approximately 550 schools were protected from even bigger drops by a "safety net" rule preventing schools from sliding more than one letter grade. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

» FRIDAY PREVIEW: Coming next week to FloridaTrend.com:

  • Best Companies to Work For: Our fifth annual Best Companies edition takes a look at what employees like most at their companies.
  • Making Opportunities: In a cavernous plant that once hummed with shuttle workers, CEO Carol Craig wants to build a manufacturing center.
  • International Business Profile: Chile's Banco de Credito e Inversiones (Bci) makes a big push into Florida.
  • Best Companies Sounding Board: Employees at some of Florida's best companies answer the question: What do you like best about your company?

» You'll find all these stories first on the Daily and Afternoon Pulse e-mails.

Out of the Box
Hurricane History

hurricane huntersThe first hurricane hunter flight was not sanctioned; rather it was made on a bet: Would a rather small AT-6 "Texan" trainer be ripped apart in violent winds? Riding on the bet was a highball whiskey cocktail. Determined to prove a point, Army Air Corps Lt. Col. Joseph Duckworth ignored the perils and aimed the aircraft into a storm about to hit Galveston, Texas, on July 27, 1943.

» More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel