» Story: The CNG revolution
Illustration: Jon M. Fletcher
With compressed natural gas costing up to 40% less than diesel, more municipalities and businesses in Florida are adopting the fuel, which is domestically produced and emits fewer greenhouse gases. But some obstacles - such as a lack of infrastructure - are preventing more widespread use. Read the full story here and see also:
A new U.S. Census Bureau report shows that the rate of home ownership in the once-booming Sunshine State began dwindling even before the housing bust and the Great Recession began in 2007. And the decline has intensified since then. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Gov. Rick Scott offered mild praise for Barack Obama's plan to cut the federal corporate income tax, indicating that Obama seemed to be following Florida's lead in reducing business taxes. The governor said he "welcomed" Obama's proposal to cut the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, while cutting the rate for manufacturers to 25 percent. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Florida's workforce — the post-recession version — has a new face. We're making fewer machine parts, while serving more burgers and Cuban sandwiches to hungry tourists. We're building fewer homes and, instead, building more home health care relationships catering to the ill and elderly. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
For immigrants working toward the American Dream, some employers are now helping them reach their dream of becoming Americans. Health clinics, hotels and a clothing factory are pairing up with immigrant advocates to offer on-site citizenship assistance as one of the perks of the job in Miami and other cities. [Source: AP]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Lockheed missiles snags South Korean deal [Orlando Sentinel]
Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Orlando missiles operation has landed a foreign arms deal potentially worth $223 million to provide South Korea with advanced helicopter navigation and weapons-targeting equipment, the U.S. Defense Department said last week.
› Your license plate is posing for pictures — and you probably don't even know it [Orlando Sentinel]
High-tech automated license plate recognition cameras allow police in Palm Beach and Broward counties to track criminals — and everyone else — by capturing and storing license plate information in real time.
» License to Reveal
› JaxPort could benefit from an end to Cuban embargo [Florida Times-Union]
Jacksonville used to be one of the gateways for Cuba. Could it be again? Many lawmakers and business leaders in the state, as well as in Jacksonville, are eager to work with Cuba to bolster the city’s economy.
› Daily downpours causing angst among Tampa Bay farmers [Tampa Bay Times]
Florida farmers are accustomed to weather extremes in a state known for hurricanes and tropical storms, but the steady, almost-daily soaking around the Tampa Bay area this summer has many more worried than usual.
» Related: Saturated South Florida brings wildlife concerns
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› Microloans getting a big push in Jacksonville [Florida Times-Union]
It’s a form of financing that’s becoming more accessible to Northeast Florida businesses. After the U.S. Small Business Administration signed a memorandum in 2012 with the city of Jacksonville to promote microlending, the agency certified Accion USA to do microlending throughout the state.
› Spec houses making comeback in parts of Southwest Florida [Fort Myers News-Press]
Build spec houses and they will come. That’s a concept that went out of fashion in Southwest Florida after the real estate boom collapsed in late 2005 leaving a huge number of never-lived-in new homes for sale cheap.
› SeaWorld pushes back against new film, federal regulators [Orlando Sentinel]
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has reached some of the greatest heights in its history this year, from a successful stock offering to the opening of the largest attraction the company has ever built. But now the Orlando-based marine-park owner must again confront the darkest chapter in its 50-year history.
› Florida education job a revolving door [Florida Times-Union]
A word of advice to those who aspire to become Florida’s top education official: keep your resume updated. For the third time since 2011, a Florida education commissioner has resigned under less than squeaky-clean circumstances.