Dozens of education leaders, from the state commissioner of education to teachers, packed into a tight conference room Monday along with parents to kick off what was billed as a historic three-day summit tackling Florida's most nagging and controversial education issues. On the agenda (deep breath): helping the state make some key decisions on new learning standards, testing, school grades and teacher evaluations. More from the Tampa Bay Times, Florida Today, and StateImpact Florida.
With more than 2,270 miles of tidal shoreline, more than 11,000 miles of waterways, and year-round weather ideal for outdoor activities, Florida is world-renowned for its recreational fishing.
Florida's the fishing capital of the world, says Florida Tax Watch. » See the special report.
What is less known is the economic impact of all the differing types of fishing activity in our state. Read the industry report from Florida Tax Watch, here.
More than 34 million people are expected to travel this Labor Day weekend as the national average for a gallon fueled good news at the gas pumps: The price of regular gasoline is about 30 cents less than this same week last year. [Source: Ocala Star-Banner]
An improved economy and housing market has spurred an upswing in the state's retail development, especially in parts of South Florida. Miami leads the way with about 1.15 million square feet of shopping center space under construction. At the bottom? The Tampa Bay area with no major projects under construction and the most available retail space of Florida's six major markets. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
A new school year is underway for children across Florida. A new year brings with it the potential of new learning, new skills, and new challenges. Are our kids learning what they need to in order to compete in the global job market of the future? More from StateImpact Florida and WLRN.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Air Force awards Harris Corp. $27.3 million [Orlando Sentinel]
Harris Corp. has landed a $27.3 million addition to an existing contract to perform advanced communications work for the Air Force Space and Missile Center in California, the company has confirmed. The Melbourne-based electronics and communications company was awarded the deal on Friday, according to the Department of Defense.
› FloridaWorks brings innovative training program back to Gainesville [Gainesville Sun]
FloridaWorks is trying to show that workforce training money spent on entrepreneurship training is a good investment of taxpayer dollars, said Kim Tesch-Vaught, executive director. After starting a pilot program to train educated professionals who are unemployed or underemployed in how to start a business around research inventions, the local workforce agency has expanded the program to other workforce regions.
› Visit Orlando to expand marketing reach in Canada, Brazil [Orlando Sentinel]
Visit Orlando is extending its international push in two key areas: The region's largest international market and one of its fastest growing ones. The tourism-marketing organization is planning new efforts in the Canadian cities of Montreal and Quebec, as well as the Brazilian cities of Brasilia, Recife, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Porto Alegre.
› Tampa Bay home price jumps among highest in the state [Tampa Bay Times]
Tampa Bay homes last month posted some of the biggest price jumps in the state, but gaunt supplies of homes for sale continue to stifle the market, Florida Realtors said.
» Related: Florida Realtors data released after 5-day delay
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› Public Works Project Website Available [North Central Florida Business Report]
The City of Gainesville Public Works Department has launched a new construction website for informational purposes and to allow citizens an opportunity to voice concerns about ongoing and future construction projects.
› Rain too much of a good thing for some farmers [Gainesville Sun]
Roy Brown looked up at the slate-colored, cloud-heavy sky Thursday morning and repeated what he has been saying all summer: "There's always tomorrow." Farmers are forever at the whims of nature, and July's record rainfall has brought that point home in Alachua County, which received 16.65 inches, breaking a record set in 1909 of 16.41 inches.
› Citrus Bowl backers make renovation pitch to city leaders [Orlando Sentinel]
In back-to-back presentations Monday, Orlando commissioners heard why a renovated Citrus Bowl will be able to compete for major events and why Orlando City Soccer Club couldn't play there. Supporters of a $95 million sports and arts funding package made their pitch for public money to the City Council.
› Miami Dolphins sell club-level naming rights to BankUnited [Miami Herald]
The Miami Dolphins' most valuable chunk of real estate — their stretch of premium stadium seats with the best views of the field — has a new deep-pocketed backer.