FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Candidates twist facts in Florida gov. campaign

The election is still five months away, but already there has been a flurry of press releases, staged media events, and television ads where each side blames the other for everything from college tuition to education policy and education spending in the state. [Source: AP]

States spending the most (and least) on education

For the third year, public expenditure per student fell nationwide, according a recent release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Per pupil, school spending totaled $10,608 in 2012, roughly the same amount as the year before. [Source: 24/7 Wall Street]

Bernie Machen
UF President
Bernie Machen is working to raise the ranking of the university.

Florida Trend Exclusive
UF takes a crack at cracking the top 10

How does UF, which ranks 14th, go about cracking the top 10 for publics? The short answer is hiring more and better professors and attracting even better students. Access full story here.

Related, from Florida Trend:
» Viewpoints video with Dr. David Norton, Vice President for Research, University of Florida. Norton talks about the university's "preeminence initiative."
» More on the topic of higher education in Florida

South, West draw biggest share of movers

Between 2010 and 2013, Texas, Florida, the Carolinas and Colorado were the strongest people magnets, drawing nearly a million movers, according to a Stateline analysis of recently released Census Bureau population estimates. Read more from USA Today and see an interactive map from Pew.

Global game business is booming

The global games business will grow to more than $100 billion by 2017. But there will be great turmoil as mobile games will generate more revenue than consoles on a global business as early as 2015, and physical store sales will “evaporate” in 2015. [Source: Venture Beat]


› Pinellas voters to decide on tax breaks for businesses
With little discussion, Pinellas County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to ask voters for the power to give property tax exemptions to lure new companies and motivate existing ones to expand.

› Universal Studios attendance up 14% last year; SeaWorld drops 5%
Universal Studios theme park saw double-digit gains in attendance while SeaWorld Orlando's visitor tally dipped 5 percent last year, according to estimates in a closely watched industry report. Meanwhile, Magic Kingdom again was the most visited theme park in the world.

› Florida judge seeks anger management help after courthouse brawl
A Florida judge accused of punching an assistant public defender is stepping down temporarily for anger management counseling. Video footage shows Brevard County Judge John Murphy challenging lawyer Andrew Weinstock to join him outside the courtroom to settle a dispute over the scheduling of a trial date.

› Orlando overtakes St. Pete as fourth largest city in Florida
St. Petersburg is no longer the state's fourth largest city after it was edged out by Orlando in the latest population estimates from the U.S. Census. The Sunshine City had 249,688 residents in 2013. Orlando had 255,483.

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› Miami-Dade commissioners approve new Miami Heat arena deal
Miami-Dade commissioners easily approved a new arena deal for the Miami Heat on Tuesday, agreeing to accept an immediate stream of $1 million donations to the county’s parks departments in exchange for paying the team an additional five years of operating subsidies that currently top $6 million.

› Pentathlon turns to Ringling College for its design
Designer Mariana Silva remembers the assignment as “daunting.” Officials planning the World Cup Final of the Modern Pentathlon needed a branding plan for a historic, international sporting event that is making its debut in Sarasota this week, as well as Modern Pentathlon competitions planned here through 2016.

› Lee wants incentive back as community rallies for workers
Lee County officials on Monday asked Source Interlink executives to explain their intentions or repay $250,000, while community groups in Bonita Springs rallied to find work for displaced employees.

› Wellington manufacturer to acquire two companies
Wellington-based B/E Aerospace, which is looking at alternatives including a possible sale, said Monday it is acquiring two companies at a total cost of about $470 million.