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Friday's Daily Pulse

Florida exports down 3.6%

The latest international trade numbers show that $4.85 billion worth of goods left Florida for international markets in July, down 3.6 percent from June, according to Durham, N.H.-based e-forecasting.com. Exports of manufactured goods contributed significantly to the state’s international trade, accounting for 75 percent of all state exports in July. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]

Gov. Scott seeks review of worker drug test

Gov. Rick Scott intends to take his fight for random drug tests of tens of thousands of state employees all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, a lawyer for the Republican governor told a federal judge Thursday. But Charles Trippe, who was previously Scott's general counsel and is now in private practice, could not persuade U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro to delay further proceedings in the case while the state appeals. [Source: AP]

How much new Common Core tests could cost — or save — Florida

Florida is one of 45 states moving to new math, English and literacy standards known as Common Core and Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers are concerned about the cost of replacing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. [Source: StateImpact Florida]

Jetpack industry zooms toward expansion

The water sport, simply known as jetpack, has sprung up all over the world since its debut two years ago and South Florida has established itself as the overall hot spot, with 60 percent of the company’s business coming from Fort Lauderdale, Miami and the Keys. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida sick time task force meets

A task force set up to look at a statewide sick time policies meets for the first time Thursday, but worker advocates are skeptical that the panel will establish any new worker rights in Florida. The Employer-Sponsored Benefits Study Task Force was set up by Republican lawmakers in the same piece of legislation that blocked local governments from passing their own local policies mandating paid sick time for workers. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› Hertz Selects Turner Construction to Build Estero headquarters
The Hertz Corporation announced today that Turner Construction Company has been selected to build the Hertz worldwide headquarters facility in Estero. Hertz expects to break ground later this year and complete construction in 2015.

› Embraer to open aircraft assembly plant in January
Embraer will open its facility at Jacksonville International Airport in January, the company has announced. Then it will start making A-29 Super Tucano light attack support aircraft.

› GE may move 200 hundred jobs to Clearwater
A proposal by General Electric Co. to relocate a manufacturing plant from Fort Edward, New York to Clearwater could bring hundreds of new jobs to the Tampa Bay area.

› Hawks Cay, Keys’ largest resort, is for sale
The Florida Keys' largest resort could be the latest in a flurry of local large-scale and high-cost commercial real estate transactions in recent months.

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› Kendall gastropub sued by similarly named Texas grub-hub
A new Miami-Dade restaurant may be forced to fork over money and change its name, logo and website if it loses a trademark-infringement lawsuit filed recently in a federal court in Texas.

› Tampa, Manatee ports pursue car wars
It’s looking like “car wars” on Tampa Bay. Executives at the Port of Tampa and Port Manatee downplay the competition, but both ports are partnering with different auto distribution companies to lure automakers to their respective waterfronts.

› Souvenir shop in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea bids farewell
Tom Hitchcock stood tall with his arms crossed and his head held high. The 61-year-old store owner watched solemnly as an auctioneer sold off the last of what remained of a family souvenir shop he'd been a part of since he was a little boy.

› FIU begins operating Aquarius Reef Base in the Keys
A year ago, the federally owned Aquarius Reef Base — the world’s only operational underwater research habitat — was on life support, doomed by budget cuts to become scrap metal or a museum piece if some entity did not come to its rescue.