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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Older Americans shun retirement for risky startups

Older Americans are increasingly shunning retirement to start companies because they see job opportunities limited after age 55, don’t have enough savings to retire comfortably or want to work for themselves. People from ages 55 to 64 started 23.4 percent of companies in 2012, up from 14.3 percent of new entrepreneurs in 1996, according to the Kauffman Foundation’s research. [Source: Businessweek]

North Florida Broadband Authority tower
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Unstimulated: Internet service

As billions of stimulus dollars flowed from the Obama administration during the financial crisis, 14 rural north Florida counties banded together to try to bring faster, more reliable broadband service to the region. In 2009, with the help of the North Florida Economic Santa Rosa Development Partnership, Okaloosa the counties and eight municipalities formed the North Florida Broadband Authority, an independent governmental entity similar to a utility. Full story.

Nonprofit health centers go into for-profit insurance business

The nation’s 1,200 nonprofit community health centers receive strong federal support to treat millions of uninsured residents, but still face financial challenges. Some are responding with an unusual strategy -- starting for-profit insurance plans. [Source: Kaiser Health News]

Which states will generate jobs in 2014?

After four years of a fragile and uneven recovery, the U.S. job machine is likely to kick into high gear in 2014. Even recession-battered states such as Arizona and Florida are expected to generate jobs at a healthier clip. [Source: Gannett]

Florida's faulty website hobbles search for jobless aid

While the nation's attention was focused on the troubled rollout of the federal health care site under the Affordable Care Act, the problems with the unemployment sites have pointed to something much broader: How a lack of funding in many states and a shortage of information technology specialists in public service jobs routinely lead to higher costs, botched systems and infuriating technical problems that fall hardest on the poor, the jobless and the neediest. Read more at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.


› Florida citrus crop unharmed by cold weather
Cold weather overnight did not harm oranges and other fruit across Florida’s citrus-growing regions, the state’s leading growers association said on Tuesday. “We came through fine. It didn’t get cold enough, for long enough anywhere in all our different regions,” said Andrew Meadows, a spokesman for Florida Citrus Mutual.

› Gulfcoast Legal employees vote to form union
Employees of Gulfcoast Legal Services have voted to form a union, creating yet another management dilemma for the legal aid firm's embattled executive director, Kathleen Mullin.

› 2014 International CES attracts South Florida tech companies
The 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is attracting a flock of South Florida technology companies.

› Carnival forges marketing partnership with casino
Carnival Cruise Lines has formed an agreement with casino operator Penn National Gaming to offer an array of cruise benefits to players' club members.

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› Duke seeks to extend operations of dirtiest coal units through 2018
Duke Energy wants to extend operations of its two oldest coal units – among the dirtiest in the nation – at the Crystal River Power Station an additional two years through mid-2018.

› Comcast and Universal take aim at Disney
The top executive at Comcast Corp. signaled Tuesday that the company expects to win theme-park market share away from industry leader Walt Disney Co. and other rival park owners. "We're doubling down on theme parks," Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts told analysts at a conference in Las Vegas.

› Tri-Rail breaks ridership record
Tri-Rail broke a ridership record in 2013. Records show 4,350,782 trips were taken on the commuter train last year, up from 4.3 million in 2008 when gas prices were at their highest.

› Medical and technology park sold for $31M
An affiliate of Florida Turbine Technology sold the Jupiter Medical and Technology Park for $30.7 million.