In the half of America where health care reform was enthusiastically embraced, uninsured consumers are being deluged by opportunities — online, on TV and on street corners — to learn about their coverage options for 2014. But in states that have resisted the program, including Florida, so far there's a slightly ominous silence. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Florida lawmakers return to Tallahassee this week for their first in a series of weekly meetings leading up to the 2014 legislative session next spring. It will be an election-year session with Gov. Rick Scott, three state Cabinet members and many lawmakers keeping an eye on their electoral fortunes. [Source: Ocala Star-Banner]
Casinos from the U.S. to Australia use their own intelligence network to warn one another about cheaters. As table games spread, resorts are using it more than ever to stay ahead of suspect players — professional thieves and card counters — who can easily hit multiple casinos in the span of a few days. [Source: AP]
Surf parks — massive pools with repeating, artificial waves — are the latest buzzword in the surf community, as everyone from top athletes to retailers look for ways to expand the sport, boost sales and create a standardized way to train that could help surfing earn an Olympic pedigree. [Source: AP]
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will be raising its rates for the third time next year and the proceeds will cover more than claims. They'll also pay attorneys' fees — now averaging an estimated $2 million each month — as policyholders battle over getting their claims paid. [Source: Times/Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Sanborn Studios: High hopes vs. reality [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Sanborn Studios LLC was touted as a way to cement Southwest Florida's nascent film industry, while injecting the community with high-paying jobs and catapulting the region onto the national entertainment map.
› Entertainment incubator hopes to hit a high note [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A studio is under construction. A refrigerator and a few chairs are set up for a break room. Cubicles are to arrive soon. And, tellingly, a guitar sits ready to be played. "This is Jason's version of an incubator," said Jason Kates, 52, a serial entrepreneur, musician and former race car driver, pointing to the new 10,000-square-foot space in the Las Olas Riverfront complex in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
› Locals to new Office Depot CEO: 'We'll meet on the tarmac' [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Palm Beach County's economic development leader is ready to roll out the red carpet for a new chief executive of the combined Office Depot and OfficeMax.
› Sarasota mansion teardown part of a trend? [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's decision to raze a perfectly livable — and relatively new — St. Armands Key mansion may have set Southwest Florida real estate watchers abuzz, but the demolition won't be the opening salvo of a new trend involving upscale homes, local professionals say.
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› Sweet season for Floridians falls between heat and hellacious crowds [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Fall may be invisible in Florida — no brilliant colors here — but it sure feels comfortable. It's like a cozy hammock slung between summer's suffocating heat and winter's exasperating traffic.
› In Miami, Cuban travelers get taste of US tourism [AP]
The number of Cubans receiving U.S. nonimmigrant visas jumped by 82 percent from October 2012 to July 2013 compared with the same period a year before, according to the U.S. State Department.
› Tourist tax might need new vote if Nationals leave [Florida Today]
Brevard County’s tourism tax structure could be threatened if the Washington Nationals leave their spring training home in Viera and no team replaces them.
› SunRail cars thrill crowd in debut [Orlando Sentinel]
After years of planning and construction, residents across Central Florida got their first peek at what will soon be an alternative means of transportation for their daily ride to work: the SunRail commuter train.