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Friday's Daily Pulse

Florida has most BP oil spill damage claims

As the fourth anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster rolls around on April 20, Florida businesses and residents have filed more damage claims than any other state. Florida claims total 82,818, or 30 percent of the claims filed under the oil spill class-action settlement. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]

» 4 years after spill, questions on long-term health
» The Gulf of Mexico oil spill at a glance

Where the Boys Are
"Where the Boys Are," (1960) defined Fort Lauderdale as a spring break hotspot.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida's film industry: A regional roundup

Florida has made a concerted effort to attract film producers over the years. The effort has resulted in many projects shot throughout the state. In this article, we offer a region-by-region look at what’s happening. There's a historical look at shows and movies that were filmed in the Sunshine State, plus stats, company spotlights and more. Access full story.

Legislators divided over tax holidays

Florida legislators are divided over what type of additional tax breaks to offer residents this year. The Florida House has already passed a bill that calls for four sales tax holidays, including a three day back-to-school holiday. More from the AP and see our Legislative Roundup below:

» Pension reform showing life in Florida Legislature, but time is running out
» All bets are off with gambling legislation this session
» House bundles trauma center bill together with other measures
» Proposed Legislation To Focus On Florida Foster Children

Community colleges think big; too big, say some universities

An increasing number of community colleges around the country have started offering four-year bachelor’s degrees in fields for which there is high job demand. Critics and supporters of the trend say alternately that it is helping fill an important social need most universities aren’t, or that it’s an ego-driven, money-wasting cry for prestige. [Source: Miami Herald]

Filed your tax return yet? There's a growing chance someone else has.

An Internet connection and a bunch of stolen identities are all it takes for crooks to collect billions of dollars in bogus federal tax refunds. And the scam is proving too pervasive to stop. A government report in November said the IRS issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the previous year to criminals who were using other people's personal information. [Source: AP]


› Orange juice price jumps as Florida orange crop drops 18%
Prepare to pay more for your morning glass of orange juice. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reporting the Florida orange crop is at a 24-year low and that’s driven orange juice prices to their highest level in two years.

› Private firm trains South Florida cops
A private firm formed after the 2001 terrorist attacks has hired war veterans to train local police officers how to confront active shooters and deal with terrorist situations.

› Job numbers are up but Southwest Florida wages are not
Although Southwest Florida is gaining jobs as the area emerges from the Great Recession, pay rates are lagging. Regionally, manufacturing, construction, trucking and other industries have added thousands of jobs and proven to be bright economic spots in recent years.

› Florida A&M wants more than $100 million for split
Florida A&M University officials are warning top state officials it will cost more than $100 million if a plan to split the school's engineering college is approved.

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› Lighting Science makes executive changes
The Satellite Beach-based maker of energy efficient LED lighting products this morning announced the appointment of Jennifer Sethre as its president, and Randy Mortensen as executive vice president of sales and business development.


› Boat races to draw big crowds in Englewood
The sleepy retirement community is bracing this weekend for the biggest sporting event it has ever hosted. While many residents are cheering the inaugural Super Boat Grand Prix, others are worried Englewood does not have the parking, roads and other infrastructure to accommodate the event.

› Consumer, be aware: Quality of health-related Internet searches varies
If you’re like most people, you’ve gone online to find out what’s causing that ringing in your ears or whether a gluten-free diet is worth considering. Be careful. University of Florida researchers have found that, as with so much on the Internet, the quality of the information you dig up may depend on what you ask for and the results could be hazardous to your health.