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Monday's Daily Pulse

Florida 2nd in nation for long-term unemployment

Despite creating more than 460,000 jobs since 2010, Florida ranks second among states with workers who have been unemployed for at least six months, researchers say. Calculations show that 46.2 percent of laid-off Floridians were out of work for at least that long last year. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida lawmakers to explore telemedicine

Over the next few weeks, state lawmakers will consider creating statewide standards for telemedicine. They also will debate establishing reimbursement requirements, as well as a system for registering out-of-state telemedicine providers in Florida. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Builders add 48,000 new jobs

Construction employment saw the largest monthly jump in nearly seven years during January, an analysis of government data by a national trade organization showed. The 48,000 new jobs came despite severe winter weather and were part of a fairly anemic national jobs report for January. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Among exile elite, a shift over Cuba-US policy

For all the talk of changing attitudes among second-generation Cuban-Americans and newer Cuban arrivals, older powerbrokers have remained the guardians of the U.S government's five-decade economic and travel embargo against Cuba and have for years used their political influence to block any major changes. [Source: AP]

See also:
» Charlie Crist flip-flops on U.S. embargo against Cuba

Florida can't explain botched launch of unemployment benefits website

A week before the botched launch of Florida’s new unemployment benefits website, state senators grilled an agency chief and heard no warning about the chaos to come. Six days later, the $63 million CONNECT website launched so riddled with technical glitches that it has left thousands of unemployed Floridians without the money they need for food, rent and bills. [Source: Times/Herald]


› Amid food and rides, Florida State Fair a shopper's delight
It's hardly a surprise you can buy bacon-infused funnel cakes and potato-wrapped hot dogs at the Florida State Fair. But pianos, grandfather clocks and mattresses? Over time, the fair has become more than a place to eat candy apples, watch racing pigs and ride the Ferris wheel. It's also a place to buy reclining massage chairs, artificial sod and cowboy boots.

› Beckham, investors identify six potential soccer stadium sites
Now comes the real work for Beckham and his investors hoping to bring an expansion Major League Soccer franchise to Miami. The sports venture hinges on building a new soccer stadium. And finding a home for one won’t be easy.

› Environment, space collide at proposed Shiloh launch site
The long-abandoned citrus-farming town of Shiloh near the Brevard-Volusia county line is at the center of a battle between environmentalists who want to preserve some of the world’s best scrub habitat and space advocates who want to build commercial launch pads.

› Genting’s Miami project moving in slow motion
Amid a downtown building boom, one of Miami’s largest landholders continues to sit quietly on the sidelines. The big question: When will Genting make a move?

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› Flood policy rate hikes casting shadow over potential sales
Entire neighborhoods have suddenly become less desirable — and potentially much less valuable — as insurance costs spike. The threat of sharply higher premiums is casting a shadow over many older communities built at low elevations near the water.

› Trade show turns spotlight on companies
Southwest Florida manufacturing companies are going to be taking a major turn in the spotlight this spring at the inaugural “Made In Southwest Florida” trade show.

› Florida police group: Use hotel tax to keep tourists safe
The Fraternal Order of Police wants the Florida Legislature to let counties use a portion of the tax tourists pay on hotel rooms to fund public safety in tourist corridors such as Orlando's International Drive district.

› South Florida television studios breaking the language barrier
Last fall, Univision captured global attention with the launch of Fusion, its first English-language venture. Despite the challenges, Fusion’s Oct. 28 launch represented the largest bet on a South Florida television venture in at least a generation, and it has drawn significant national attention to the Doral complex it shares with Univision’s news division.