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Friday's Daily Pulse

Household income has dropped 4.4% since recession ended

The tough economy has pushed the average U.S. household income down even further than it was when the Great Recession ended. American households are earning 4.4% less, when adjusted for inflation, than they were when the economic recovery began four years ago, according to a recent report by Sentier Research. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Amid controversy, state education leaders to huddle

Following a turbulent summer that saw the state education commissioner resign and angry parents call for a moratorium on school grades, Gov. Rick Scott will convene a group of educators, business leaders and lawmakers in Clearwater next week to hash out Florida’s education woes. [Source: Miami Herald]

Fraction of Florida's $9 billion bank settlement goes toward keeping people in homes

The nationwide settlement absolving big banks of foreclosure abuse has led to more than $9 billion in Florida relief, but most of that money did not go toward keeping people in their homes, a final report released Thursday shows. About 120,000 Florida borrowers have been given relief through the agreement. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Column: Four-year degrees no longer students' best bang for buck

In past decades, it was accepted that a four-year college degree was a person's best chance at success and attaining the American dream. It was viewed as a costly necessity. With the economic downturn of the past decade and into this decade, and the associated suppression of the employment market, it's far less attractive to spend up to hundreds of thousands of dollars on a four-year degree. In fact, it's downright risky. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Auction expected to bring in record amount to state

The items — some big, some small — have sat unclaimed in safe deposit boxes for years. Now the bounty belongs to the state, and they're ready to sell. The last state auction in Fort Lauderdale in October 2009 set the current record of nearly $1.3 million raised. That auction only had about half the items to be sold Saturday. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› Workforce Central Florida has job-training money to give away
At a time when lots of folks are still looking for work, Workforce Central Florida finds itself in a strange position. It's having trouble giving away money for a program that would train people for entry-level jobs in high-tech manufacturing.

› Crews demolish rare 'kit home' in Melbourne
One of the Space Coast’s last surviving “kit homes” was demolished by an excavator this week. The razing of the kit home — which stood alongside two scarce Gordon-Van Tine homes — has triggered talk of tougher historic-home regulations in Melbourne City Hall.

› Orlando companies capture slots in venture-capital pitching session
Two Orlando area companies have landed slots in the latest VenturePitch competition, a local venture-capital networking event scheduled for next Tuesday. The event is scheduled to take place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Abbey at Thornton Park near downtown Orlando.

› Miami-Orlando by train for under $100
Passengers boarding Florida East Coast Industries' intercity passenger rail service are likely to pay less than $100 for a trip from Miami to Orlando. The rail line is still determining pricing, but the average trip between these cities will cost about $85, with passengers paying just over $20 from Miami to West Palm Beach.

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› Mindtree Releases Q1 Results, U.S. Component Leads in Growth
Mindtree Limited announced a 52 percent growth in net profit, its 15th consecutive quarter of revenue growth, and a stock price jump of almost six percent in its first quarter 2013 results. Its U.S.-based operations led the growth for Mindtree with nine percent in revenues.

› Paintings take a new look at old not-quite-right images of 16th-century Jacksonville
For a long time, many serious people looked at some ancient European engravings and thought: Yes, that’s what life was like for the 16th-century inhabitants, French and Indian, of a marshy part of what would become Jacksonville. In the past decade, though, there’s growing thought that there’s much more wrong than right in the engravings of old Fort Caroline.

› Orlando condo prices double in 3 years
Orlando-area condo prices have more than doubled in less than three years, a new report shows. The median price for a condominium or townhouse in the four-county area during July was $104,000, according to a report released by Florida Realtors Wednesday.

› University of Miami unveils new $46.5 million Student Activities Center
Students arrived on the University of Miami campus this week to find a MIA favorite has returned — grander, snazzier and yet refreshingly familiar. The ‘Rat’ is back and the rebuilt two-story Rathskeller, which opened Wednesday, is part of the new decade-in-the-making $46.5 million Student Activities Center on the Coral Gables campus.