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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Alex Sink to run for Bill Young's congressional seat

Alex Sink Alex Sink, 65, who ruled out another run for governor, says she's eager to help fix a "broken" Washington.

Alex Sink, Florida's former chief financial officer and Democratic gubernatorial nominee confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times that she is jumping into the race to succeed late Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in a district covering much of Pinellas County. Sink has begun looking for a home in Pinellas and said she will move there "imminently" from her Hillsborough County home. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


Prepaid tuition plan: still a good deal?

Florida's Prepaid program for future college education releases its new prices on Wednesday and what was once a great deal is now much more complicated, financial experts say. The cost of tuition is so unpredictable that consumers may end up paying more for Prepaid than what it will actually cost to go to college. And as it stands now, that extra money would not be refunded. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

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More stores to open on Thanksgiving this year

The turkey's been eaten and the table cleared. What do you do next? Shop! At least that's what some major retailers are hoping. This year, Macy's, Kohl's and J.C. Penney will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, getting a head start on Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday-shopping season. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


In Florida and nation, optimism takes a beating

The effects of the government shutdown came calling in October, pushing the University of Florida's measure of consumer confidence to its lowest level in two years. That mirrored the decline on the national level that was reported by the Conference Board on Tuesday. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


Florida's new unemployment system still plagued by problems

With the rollout of Florida's new $63 million unemployment system entering its third week, it's still unclear how many claimants are having serious problems accessing their benefits. Internet snags, clogged phone lines and packed unemployment offices seem par for the course. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Report: Beckham picks Miami for MLS franchise
With his playing career over, former England captain David Beckham has decided his next move: starting a Major League Soccer team in Miami.

› Flood insurance relief bill introduced with Florida lawmakers' support
After weeks of scrambling to come up with a proposal to remedy soaring flood insurance rates, lawmakers formally introduced one Tuesday and quickly worked to build broad bipartisan support, casting the increases as a threat to middle-class families.

› Theme parks adding more than 2,000 workers ahead of the holidays
The seasonal jobs, predominantly part-time, generally pay just over minimum wage. SeaWorld, for example, said pay for its seasonal jobs will range from $8.15 to $9.78 an hour. Disney says pay for its jobs will range from about $8 an hour to $14 an hour.

› Deadline approaching for Common Core input
The deadline for Florida citizens to comment on the Common Core academic standards for language arts and math is approaching. The Florida Department of Education has received nearly 13,000 comments and suggestions so far. The final date to submit is Thursday.


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› SBA boosts loans in South Florida in fiscal 2013
The U.S. Small Business Administration said Tuesday that its South Florida District made 1,723 loans totaling more than $900 million in fiscal 2013. That was 5 percent more in terms of loans approved, and 15 percent more funds made available to small business owners to start and expand their businesses and create jobs.

› Florida Supreme Court sets Dec. 5 date for medical marijuana arguments
Advocates to legalize medical marijuana in Florida and Attorney General Pam Bondi's objections will spar over the next six weeks in the Florida Supreme Court. People United for Medical Marijuana is seeking to get the issue before voters on the November 2014 ballot and last month submitted petitions and ballot language for the vote.

› RTI Surgical sees boost from Pioneer buy,
RTI Surgical saw a $16.1 million boost in revenue in the third quarter from its acquisition of Pioneer Surgical Technology, but the combined company underperformed compared with the same period a year ago and saw a net loss in income.

› Iberia Foods Corp. acquires company to expand into the Midwest
North Miami-based Iberia Foods Corp., a manufacturer, importer and distributor of Hispanic, Caribbean and other specialty foods and beverages, said it has acquired the assets of Marcas Food Distributors, an independent distributor of Hispanic and European foods, based in Chicago.