Miami drops Democratic National Convention bid
If Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, she won't be accepting her party's nomination in Miami. Organizers putting together a bid to host the Democratic National Convention in downtown Miami -- an event with a $50 million price tag for local governments -- have recommended withdrawing from the process due to the short time frame to apply. More at the Miami Herald.
Update: Orlando not bidding for 2016 DNC, Mayor Dyer says.
Meet Eckerd College President Donald Eastman
Small business borrowers haunted by polar vortex and zombies
Small business owners in Florida -- where the housing market has been especially slow to bounce back -- are having a harder time paying bills on time, according to Experian/Moody’s. This is due in part to the polar vortex, because during the harsh winter, large retailers pulled lines of credit to small business customers. In addition, the Sunshine State also seems to be the victim of zombie small businesses -- companies that are weak enough to miss debt payments but strong enough to avoid bankruptcy. More at Bloomberg Businessweek.
UF/IFAS finding could help farmers stop potato, tomato disease
A University of Florida scientist has pinpointed Mexico as the origin of the pathogen that caused the 1840s Irish Potato Famine, a finding that may help researchers solve the $6 billion-a-year disease that continues to evolve and torment potato and tomato growers around the world. More at UF News.
Charlotte County a national leader in flipping
Charlotte County has become one of the most active housing markets in the country for property flippers, who have turned over more homes for profit in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda than in Tampa or Miami. More at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Wildlife agency reduces summer oyster harvest
The daily oyster harvest in Apalachicola Bay is being drastically reduced this summer. Changes announced by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last week are effective from June 1 through Aug. 31. More at the AP.
Machete in hand, Walter McCown tromped into a tangled thicket of thorns and fronds in pursuit of bears. The blade was for the underbrush, not the bears. "Bears make their livin' here," McCown said as he and fellow biologist Carolyn Enloe whacked at saw palmettos and gallberry bushes in Rock Springs Run, clearing an 8-by-10-foot site. Their work will help the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission estimate how many bears roam the state's forests, hammocks and, increasingly, its suburbs. Read more and see a video at the Orlando Sentinel.