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Monday's Daily Pulse

Florida riding a lucky streak as hurricane season 2014 opens

Florida, hit more times than any other state, has not had a hurricane in eight straight seasons — a desperately needed break after the worst two back-to-back years on record. But since then, there have been plenty of near misses fired from the Atlantic Basin, which experts say remains in a cycle of high activity. [Source: Miami Herald]

See also:
» Florida insurance industry better prepared for hurricane season
» As hurricane season starts, social media at the fore
» Preparing volunteers for times of disaster
» Florida counties lack space in hurricane shelters

Ava Parker Ava Parker, COO of Florida Polytechnic University
[Photo: Mark Wemple]

Florida Trend Exclusive
It's prime time for Florida's newest public university

Florida Polytechnic University welcomes its first class in August, just two years after its creation. At this status report, you'll hear from COO Ava Parker, read an assessment of strengths and weaknesses, learn what's behind the unique architecture and more. Access full story here and read more about Higher Education in Florida.

Financial planners aim to entice more women into a male-dominated industry

Mothers, do you want your daughters to grow up to be CFPs? Alarmed that not enough women are entering the profession of certified financial planning, there’s a push to get more female college graduates and career-changers into the industry. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida has major stake in your rising beef prices

Though Florida may be known for Disney and oranges, dozens of massive ranches make this state one of the largest cattle producers in the nation. One ranch alone, the Deseret Ranches in St. Cloud, stretches to 295,000 acres — roughly 20 times the size of Manhattan Island. [Source: TBO.com]

The perils of retirement at age 65

Age 65 is the year we traditionally associate with retirement, but this age is declining in significance. Only one major retirement benefit still kicks in at this age, and plenty of people aspire to retire at both earlier and younger ages. Here's a look at why age 65 no longer resonates as a target retirement age. [Source: US News and World Report]


› Cuban high schoolers may come to U.S.
The U.S. State Department is offering $1.2 million to bring 75 to 100 Cuban high school students to the United States for “summer leadership” sessions, in a ongoing effort to provide educational opportunities to island youths.

› Lockheed develops tools to fight viruses
Buoyed by tens of millions of defense dollars, Lockheed Martin Corp. has made Orlando ground zero for a "test range" to help the military develop antivirus technology to combat hacker attacks and cyber-terrorism.

› Florida schools and businesses go to pot
Schools are popping up in Florida to teach the ABCs of P-O-T, while new medical marijuana-related businesses are proliferating as the state approaches the Nov. 4 vote on whether to legalize marijuana for medical use.

› State's budget a mixed bag for conservation efforts
Although Florida lawmakers had more than a $1.2 billion surplus to use in the new state budget, environmental groups say the 2014 Legislature shorted conservation efforts in several critical areas, including the protection and restoration of state springs.

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› Exodus of Citizens executives to companies with contracts raises questions
In the past three years, at least three senior executives at Citizens Property Insurance who were in charge of multimillion-dollar contracts awarded to private companies went to work months later for those same companies.

› Central Florida film/TV industry in flux as incentive pool dries up
Jimmy Fallon will bring "The Tonight Show" here later this month. "The Middle," an ABC sitcom, filmed its season finale at Walt Disney World. But the current state of Central Florida film and TV production is limited.

› Sarasota museum surpasses its fundraising goals
On Oct. 26, 2004, the first gift was given toward making the Sarasota Museum of Art a reality. Nearly 10 years later, the $22 million campaign has come to a successful close, exceeding its goal by more than $500,000.

› Complexities of reverse mortgages snag homeowners
Most reverse mortgages are federally insured loans that enable people 62 and older to turn part of their home equity into cash. The homeowners can take a lump sum or receive monthly payments, or a combination of the two. Either way, they don't make monthly principal and interest payments.