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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Florida cities' economic output grows

The economic output in Florida's three largest metro areas grew by more than 3 percent last year. The Bureau of Economic Analysis said Tuesday that the gross domestic product grew by 3.5 percent in South Florida, 3.1 percent in Tampa and 3 percent in Orlando. More from the AP and the Miami Herald.

Why South Florida workers are learning Portuguese

Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. All three counties beat the national average when it comes to the number of homes that have foreign language speakers. We already know that local polling places offer ballots in English, Spanish, Creole. And that business is conducted in those three languages. But in recent years, it’s Portuguese that has established itself as a new language of commerce. [Source: WLRN]

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Gambling in Florida: Running the numbers at Dania Jai Alai

When Broward County horse and dog tracks and jai alai frontons won the legal right in 2005 to offer slot machines, owners rushed to put in slots and reap the profits — with one exception. Dania Jai Alai, eight years later, still offers no slots — and has suffered from its reliance on the “fastest game on earth.” Full story.

U.S. poverty rate flat, number of uninsured dips

The percentage of Americans living in poverty remained steady last year at 15 percent after rising for several years in the wake of the recession, while the number of people without health insurance fell slightly to 48 million, U.S. government data released on Tuesday showed. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Slower holiday sales growth predicted for 2013

Coming off of a weak back-to-school shopping period, a research firm expects holiday sales growth will be slower this year during the crucial holiday season. Shoppers are also expected to visit fewer stores as they research purchases online. [Source: AP]


› Florida’s Congressional Delegation Backs NASA’s Plan to Lease Old Shuttle Pad
Two weeks after Blue Origin filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) about NASA’s tenant search for an unwanted space shuttle launch pad, Florida’s entire congressional delegation has banded together in support of NASA’s approach, which has come under fire from another group of lawmakers not keen to see the agency grant an exclusive lease.

› Florida business mission to Dominican Republic set for February
Gov. Rick Scott is slated to lead a Florida business mission to the Dominican Republic in February, the state’s economic development group Enterprise Florida announced. The trip is scheduled for Feb. 23-24 in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Caribbean nation of 10 million residents. The Dominican Republic is the second largest economy in the Caribbean.

› Dexter Douglass, Tallahassee lawyer and political adviser, dies at 83
William Dexter Douglass, a wily Tallahassee lawyer revered for his legal mind, a key aide to former Gov. Lawton Chiles and a gentleman farmer, died Monday. He was 83. Some of his recent accomplishments include serving as chairman of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission in 1997 and 1998, working to update and reshape the state’s constitution. His last big job: redrafting a proposed state constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana. Full obit is here.

› Versace mansion auctioned for $41.5 million
The former Versace mansion fetched a top bid of $41.5 million from a group that included New York’s Nakash family, which controls Jordache Enterprises, at a court-ordered bankruptcy auction Tuesday.

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› Auction of property from Universal Health Care Group set for next week
Need a Sub-Zero wine cooler? A 16-foot conference table? A papyrus copy of King Tut's death mask? Those are among the thousands of items up for bid next week as auctioneers liquidate property of the once high-living Universal Health Care Group.

› Florida Poly asks tech businesses to help form new curriculum
Bay area technology business leaders got a chance to help Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland design its curriculum. Florida Poly met with the businesses leaders at a resort in Kissimmee on Tuesday to get their input. Florida Poly Chief Operating Officer Ava Parker told attendees the university wanted to make sure what students were learning would apply in the job market.

› Trail Life USA prepares to challenge Boy Scouts of America
Conceived in the aftermath of the Boy Scouts' decision in May to drop its ban against openly gay scouts, Trail Life in many ways mirrors the BSA. It is a character-building, outdoors-oriented youth organization whose leadership is comprised of former scouts and scout leaders.

› Miami Marlins front office takes backseat to owner Jeffrey Loria
As poorly as things have gone for the Marlins on the field, a behind-the-scenes rift between team owner Jeffrey Loria and a few of his top front office executives is creating added tension in the waning days of a dismal season.