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Tuesday's Afternoon Update

Floridians’ overall confidence in economy stays on even keel

Floridians’ confidence in the economy held steady in February at 78, unchanged from the previous month, according to a new University of Florida survey. “We expected little change to the February index given the agreement in Congress that averted another shutdown and debate over the debt ceiling,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. More at UF News.

See also:
» US consumer confidence dips slightly in February


Organizers pitch Melbourne International for air show

Organizers of the Melbourne Air and Space Show, which in the past has been a beachside attraction, today will pitch to local officials the idea of holding it at Melbourne International Airport. The airport staff is cautiously studying the issue, but some logistical questions have arisen. More at Florida Today.


Office Depot reports loss but claims bigger savings from merger

Out of the Box

New invasive species threatens Florida wildlife

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As if there weren't enough exotic species crawling around Florida, as if there wasn't enough attention being paid to muscled Burmese pythons, gape-mouthed anacondas and football-sized Bofu marinas toads, add to the list of escaped exotic pets the tegu, a little known, leg-sized lizard that is making it big here.

» More from the Orlando Sentinel and the AP.

Office Depot's new chief executive Roland Smith said Tuesday that he expects cost savings from the company's merger with rival OfficeMax to be more than $600 million by the end of 2016. Previous executives had estimated between $400 million and $600 million in savings from integrating operations with Illinois-based OfficeMax. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.


Florida life science businesses sign deals in Dubai

A trip to the Arab Health trade show in Dubai netted $111 million worth of sales for Florida businesses. The trip led by Enterprise Florida brought 24 life science companies to the region. More at the Tampa Bay Business Journal.


Florida taxpayers could hand film industry $1B tax break

As Tinseltown readies for Oscar night, Florida‘s film and entertainment production industry is reportedly lobbying lawmakers for $1 billion in tax perks. The subsidies would be for selected companies producing films, commercials, music videos, “high-impact” television shows and interactive websites. More at the Florida Watchdog.

Odd Jobs
Ghostwriting Students Learn To Find Someone Else's Voice

ghostwriterA unique course is being taught at the University of North Florida. It’s a class on ghostwriting; the act of writing as someone else. Students enrolled in this ghostwriting course talk with their subject, Hy Kliman. He is in his 80's and has been a leader in the Jacksonville business community since the 1950's.

» Full story at WJCT