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Friday's Afternoon Update

Florida's housing market continues positive trends

Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices, more new listings, fewer days on the market and the continued stabilization of inventory in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. More from Florida Realtors.

See also:
» Broward existing home sales fell in January
» January home sales up for 2014
» South Florida house prices, listings increase in January


BP settlement argument heats up in the Keys as payments halted

Attorneys for six Florida Keys businesses that claim they suffered financial harm as a result of the April 2010 DeepWater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico filed a motion in federal court this week to force BP to release money agreed to in settlement agreements. More at Keysnet.


Ag census shows boom in farm sales

Energy

Plant turns Disney food scraps into electricity

biogas
Harvest Power Inc., which has started a factory at Walt Disney World that turns what's scraped off plates at restaurants into electricity and fertilizer.

The plant, off-limits to the public, is at the receiving end of all the food waste that Disney's government-operations wing, Reedy Creek Improvement District, hauls in from the theme-park giant's eateries.

» Full story from the Orlando Sentinel

American agriculture has experienced a boom, with market values of crops, livestock and total agricultural products reaching record highs even as the amount of U.S. farmland declined, according to a new government survey. More at the AP.


Bollywood stars pitch Tampa Bay area to their fans

For the Tampa Bay area and the Bollywood film awards, word of mouth can be great advertising, especially when A-list movie stars are doing the talking. n Thursday, bay area officials unveiled a television commercial promoting Tampa Bay and the 15th annual International Indian Film Academy Weekend & Awards on April 24-26. More at the Tampa Bay Times.


Jacksonville is hot for startups

Jacksonville is attempting an image change. It's hoping to swap its reputation as a stodgy old Southern city with that of an emerging hub for startups. "Jacksonville's a hidden jewel for entrepreneurs," said Theodore Carter, executive director of the city's Office of Economic Development. "We have a young ecosystem here that's very welcoming to innovation and new business." More at KSPR.

Sports Business
Sarasota sports strategy: Just build it

sportsSarasota County officials have developed a formula they hope will grow a variety of sports in the region: Build it and they will come. Following the success of Nathan Benderson Park, once a mining pit used for highway construction and now the site of the 2017 World Rowing Championships, Sarasota County plans to build an Olympic-level supercross BMX track for cyclists at the existing Sarasota BMX Track.

» Full story at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune