Insurance enrollment in Florida under Obamacare more than doubled in March to reach 983,775, federal officials disclosed on Thursday. Nearly a third, 31 percent, are under age 35, a sign that younger and healthier patients joined the rush to get insurance, a major goal of the Obama administration. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the AP.
» Almost 13 million insured under health law
In a historic decision, both houses of the Florida Legislature agreed Thursday that the state Supreme Court should allow a noncitizen to practice law in the state for the first time. Prodded by the court itself, the House voted 79-37 to let Largo resident Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio practice law. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
In proclaiming Florida World Trade Month during May, Gov. Rick Scott noted that international business accounts for 17 percent of Florida’s economy and 60,000 businesses located in the state export goods or services. “The impact of international commerce on Florida’s economy cannot be overstated,” the governor said in his proclamation. [Source: Miami Herald]
The best entrepreneurs are masters of cutting to the chase. Entrepreneurs have to be on-purpose, and on-point, all the time. In this environment, patience isn’t exactly a virtue. And tolerance for time-wasting doofuses is rare. [Source: Inc.]
As Florida Panhandle residents and business owners started the long process Thursday of cleaning up as flood waters receded, a food pantry with no space to store canned goods begged donors to give money instead. [Source: AP]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Group sues to strip manatee of endangered label [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A non-profit legal organization has filed suit to force the federal government to reclassify the manatee from endangered to threatened, reopening the bitter fight over efforts to protect the species from boats.
› New black business listing launches in Jacksonville [Florida Times-Union]
A new effort was launched Thursday to engage more African American businesses in Jacksonville to not only have them network with each other but grow their businesses.
› Army taps Lockheed Orlando for $140 million in contracts [Orlando Sentinel]
From guided weapons to missile radars, Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Orlando missiles group has received three Army contracts – two of them involving foreign military sales - together worth nearly $140 million, the Pentagon said this week.
› Sewing becomes a cool hobby again [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
At Once Upon a Quilt, a small shop in Davie, the recession wasn't necessarily a bad thing. During a time when many businesses were struggling, Lisa Stevens doubled the size of her quilt store to offer a wider selection of sewing machines, fabric, instructional books and expanded classroom space to accommodate more customers wanting to learn the ins and outs of sewing.
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› Business owners seek SunRail customers, advertising options [Orlando Sentinel]
So far, SunRail has been working on getting the train up and running and hasn’t addressed specific plans for station advertising, said Steve Olson, FDOT public information officer.
› Longtime Darden executive Pickens to retire [Orlando Sentinel]
Veteran Darden Restaurants executive Dave Pickens will retire this month, and the company will eliminate his position of chief restaurant operations officer. Pickens, who started with Darden as a 17-year-old Red Lobster line cook in 1973, had been in his current role since July.
› U.S. Century Bank’s first quarter profit leaves big questions [South Florida Business Journal]
U.S. Century Bank flipped to a profit in the first quarter but that was overshadowed by the “undercapitalized” bank’s ongoing revisions to its 2013 results that will make them look worse.
› Revenues, earnings grow at National Retail Properties [Orlando Sentinel]
National Retail Properties Inc. revenue and earnings grew in the second quarter, as the Orlando-based real estate investment trust acquired 47 properties.