Florida is once again a big deal — or at least a place for big deals. Dealmakers have closed on more than $29 billion in major mergers statewide so far this year. That's more than double the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) total of just under $14 billion from the first three quarters of 2012. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
The fog of uncertainty being fostered in Washington, D.C. — not just in the past two weeks but in the past year — is clearly depriving Florida of some of its financial momentum, economists said Thursday. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
The release of state and local unemployment data for September originally scheduled for Friday will be delayed, according to Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity. The data is compiled with the cooperation of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]
Months after Florida lawmakers rejected $51 billion from the federal government to expand Medicaid, state officials are prepared to request billions in new federal aid for a different program to improve care for the poor, uninsured and under-insured. But this cash grab, for whatever reason, has yet to ignite a political furor. [Source: Times/Herald]
Cellphones have rendered obsolete yet another piece of what was once cutting-edge communications technology. Interstate call boxes, the beacons of safety that dotted the shoulders of interstates and turnpikes across Florida, are in the process of being ripped out of the ground. [Source: TBO.com]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Blue-collar talent is too scarce, execs say [Gainesville Sun]
Against the backdrop of a documentary that shows the importance of buying American-made products to improve American communities, local manufacturing executives on Wednesday night described the challenges of running their businesses in Gainesville and the opportunities to grow the industry here.
› Small Social Security raises mean disappointment for Floridians [Orlando Sentinel]
Retirees and the disabled should expect a raise of only about 1.5 percent next year in their Social Security benefits — a slight gain for Florida's 4.7 million recipients that likely will be eaten up by their rising cost of living.
› Fusion makes an early morning debut [Miami Herald]
South Florida’s newest national network received an extended on-air plug Thursday from Good Morning America. Fusion’s young morning hosts, who will debut on the cable network’s first day broadcasting on Monday, Oct. 28, joined their big-league counterparts outside the GMA studio for some promotional interviews.
› Photon-X, a 3D imaging company, moving to Osceola [Orlando Sentinel]
Photon-X, a 3D imaging company, is moving its headquarters from Huntsville, Ala., to Osceola County, bringing more than 100 high-paying technical jobs to the area. Photon-X, which was founded in 1999, pledged to create 110 jobs paying an average of $62,000 a year — more than twice the county's average wage.
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› Florida International's B-School Dean Faces a Faculty Revolt [Businessweek]
Tension is mounting at Florida International University’s College of Business, where Dean David Klock is facing a backlash among faculty members and students, who are accusing him of poor communication, lack of vision, and an unhealthy focus on the bottom line.
› How The NRA's Role In Florida Extends Way Beyond Gun Lobbying [WLRN]
In addition to helping to craft legislation, the NRA enjoys another role as state-sanctioned gun educators. In fact, the NRA shows up three times within a separate law governing the requirements for getting a license to carry a concealed weapon.
› Florida PSC approves Duke Energy agreement with customers on hook for $3.2 billion [Tampa Bay Times]
State regulators in Tallahassee on Thursday voted to approve a controversial settlement agreement over Duke Energy's $5 billion nuclear boondoggle after hours of testimony and questions about whether the deal is good for the utility's customers.
› Coastal flooding getting worse with sea-level rise [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A conspiracy of the moon, high tides and the steady rise of the oceans left up to a foot of sea water in some sections of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach Thursday.