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Foreign frenzy for Florida residences

Kelly Cutchin "We deal with lots of Germans and Canadians on the southwest coast of Florida. Down in Miami and central Florida, we're seeing lots of Brazilian activity."

-- Kelly Cutchin, USA country manager, Moneycorp » MORE

Interest in single-family homes from corporate buyers such as equity firms has been a major factor in moving Florida’s residential real estate market out the recessionary doldrums [See “Landlord Inc.,” February 2013]. But there’s been another big source of demand for Florida residences: In 2012, one in five sales of Florida homes was to a non-resident foreigner.

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After the recession: Legal profession undergoes sweeping changes

The Great Recession of 2008 did more than William Shakespeare ever could when it comes to reducing the number of new lawyers, both locally and nationally. Perhaps even more startling, the recession is revolutionizing the legal profession from Miami to New York and across the continent. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida officials to host energy summit

Florida officials are looking at energy needs and conservation in the Sunshine State. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is set to host academics, business leaders and energy company executives at a two-day energy summit beginning Monday in central Florida. [Source: AP]

Commentary: The business case for expanding Medicaid

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida League of Women Voters, the Florida Hospital Association and many other business associations are calling on Florida’s leaders to expand insurance coverage for the economic health of Florida. The business case for decreasing the number of Floridians without insurance is overwhelming. [Source: TBO.com]

Executives see no letup in mobile trend

Here’s a snapshot of just how connected we already are: There are 7 billion activated cellphones worldwide, about the same as the population. About 6 billion hours of video are accessed on YouTube every month. Of that, 70 percent is from outside the United States; 25 percent is accessed on mobile devices. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Settlement likely to end inquiries into Duke Energy nuclear plants
As it stands, the whole truth will never officially come out. Duke Energy will not have to explain how a do-it-yourself upgrade project ruined a perfectly fine nuclear power plant in Crystal River. Unless something terribly unexpected happens, the state Public Service Commission will most likely rubber stamp a settlement on Wednesday that will close the door on further inquiry.

› Fort Lauderdale boat show will be an extravaganza
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is less than three weeks from dropping anchor, and organizers say they'll welcome visitors aboard with new and unique exhibits, revamped or bigger exhibit layouts, and more food and beverage options.

› Computer switch could bring glitches with jobless benefits
After years of patching and praying, the state this week is replacing a 40-year-old mainframe computer that runs Florida's unemployment-claims system. The new $63 million network, set to go live Tuesday, is supposed to be more reliable and versatile. State officials estimate it will ultimately save $43 million a year.

› St. Petersburg's downtown port awaits a purpose
This city known for its stunning waterfront and beautiful nearby beaches owns another seaside asset that doesn't get as much publicity: A port no one can quite figure out what to do with.

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› Feds to airboat operators: Stay out
Washington is cracking down on Gator Park. The Everglades tourist attraction received a letter Friday from the National Park Service ordering it to cease running airboat tours through the federal park waters just off the operation’s private land.

› Desire for discount can derail home sales
In booming or recovering housing markets, sellers often try to pocket more money by selling the homes themselves or working with brokers who agree to cut the commissions. While reducing the agent's take sounds good to the seller, the strategy can backfire, industry observers say.

› Business ideas brewing at startup weekend
Business Startup Weekend at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition has would be entrepreneurs in teams pitch business ideas to business coaches and mentors. Winning reams receive free office space at the Pensacola Business Incubator.

› Embattled charter chain fights to add schools in Orange County
Under the large apple logo of the Charter Schools USA chain, uniformed children walk single-file down the tidy halls at Renaissance Charter School at Chickasaw Trail. Despite the school's F grade from the state, the K-7 school has a waiting list.