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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Florida in the middle of national education battle

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is in the middle of a tug-of-war over education that could reshape the state's schools while also turning upside down the 2016 presidential race. The Republican governor in recent weeks has refused to come out strongly in favor of Florida's transition to new standards known also as the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. [Source: AP]

Florida 'opaque' on Obamacare rates so far

Good luck trying to figure out how much insurance might cost Floridians who buy it through the new Obamacare federal insurance exchange, at least based on what Florida has revealed so far, said officials of a leading national think-tank tracking Obamacare. However, Floridians may know the full set of rates available to them under Obamacare within a week, and certainly by the federal deadline of Oct. 1. Read more from the Orlando Sentinel and the AP and read the analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation:

» An Early Look at Premiums and Insurer Participation in Health Insurance Marketplaces, 2014

Florida business community may back Scott in 2014, if only by default

They may hold their noses while doing so but business leaders are leaning toward backing Florida Gov. Rick Scott in his 2014 re-election bid. Polls suggest Scott is beatable on a broad set of issues. Yet on the topic of the Florida economy and jobs, where the business community's heart lies, Scott's message remains hyper-focused. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida grocers take to social media

Two Florida-based grocers have launched new social media campaigns recently in an effort to better connect with shoppers. Lakeland-based Publix Supermarkets debuted a new Twitter initiative this week. The grocery chain, which is relatively new to Twitter, unveiled the hashtag "#PublixCheese." Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie launched a social media contest this week encouraging shoppers to submit their own videos about the brand. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Unintended consequence for "faster foreclosures" law

The controversial Florida law intended to whisk foreclosures through court has instead led thousands to pile up, prolonging the agony of the state's housing crisis, new court data show. When the "faster foreclosures" law first took effect in July, Florida courts saw 4,386 new foreclosures, plummeting 70 percent below the state's average of 15,000 filings a month. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Gov. Rick Scott's statement in remembrance of September 11, 2001.
"Today we honor those who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and pray for the survivors and family members who were affected that tragic day. We also reflect on the importance of our military, law enforcement and emergency responder heroes who serve and sacrifice to protect our families in Florida and our nation. Ann and I hope this day will further strengthen our honor and respect for all those who serve us, our love for this great nation, and the many freedoms we enjoy."


› Florida Supreme Court takes online hotel fee case
The Florida Supreme Court said Tuesday it will hear a long-running feud over tourism taxes between 17 Florida counties and online travel websites including Expedia.

› Astronaut training resumes at undersea Florida lab
Starting Tuesday, five astronauts will spend five days living and working at the Aquarius Reef Base. While they're underwater, they'll be trying out an exercise device that could be used on the International Space Station and spacewalking tools.

› Gainesville Cultural Affairs Draws Big Crowds with Annual Events
Linda Piper, the Gainesville Cultural Affairs events coordinator, has been with the city for 27 years. For 20 years she has produced the Downtown Festival & Art Show and the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Piper has taken these small-town shows and made them nationally recognized.

› Moody’s downgrades Port Miami credit rating
Spending nearly $1 billion on a new tunnel, dredging and rail yard may bring Port Miami too much debt as it faces competition for cruise passengers and cargo business, according to financial analysts at Moody’s.

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› BlueWare promised Brevard staggering growth despite 2010 losses
After tabulating expenses, the balance sheet of BlueWare LLC showed estimated net losses of $312,179 in 2010, according to a confidential presentation given to Melbourne City Hall leaders last year. But the Michigan software company sought a variety of governmental financial incentives to move its headquarters to downtown Melbourne.

› HSN launches campaign to benefit Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF
As chief executive officer of the TV and online retailer HSN, Mindy Grossman wants every employee and customer to know that she believes in zero. Zero, as in no child goes hungry, dies from a curable disease or goes without clean water or education.

› Lockheed's next-gen naval missile scores direct hit
Lockheed Martin Corp.'s latest missile for the Navy recently scored a direct hit in its first flight test over a missile range in the Pacific Ocean, the company said. The Long Range Anti-Ship Missile — a next-generation weapon developed by Lockheed's Missiles & Fire Control unit in Orlando — was fired by an Air Force B-1B bomber over the Sea Range at Point Mugu.

› UF researchers hope to slow aging, ease “disabled years'
An institute at the University of Florida would likely make legendary broadcast journalist Andy Rooney proud. Rooney quipped that everyone wants to live a long life, but no one wants to get old, and UF’s Institute on Aging is dedicated to research on slowing or reversing certain aging processes that can sour the golden years.