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Wednesday's Afternoon Update

Little-known Libertarian could decide governor's race

The bitter fight between Republican incumbent Rick Scott and his predecessor, Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat Charlie Crist, has created an opening for Libertarian Adrian Wyllie who is unknown to more than nine in 10 voters and is scoring in the polls because Mr. Scott and Mr. Crist have so turned off parts of the electorate. More at the Wall Street Journal, the Tampa Bay Times and the AP.

Miami Beach leaders proposing a hike in storm water fees

Miami Beach is proposing an 84 percent increase in storm water fees — the cost of keeping rising seas at bay — with more rises in the future. The proposed storm water increase is the result of a decision by commissioners in February to use higher sea level rise projections when building city projects More at the Miami Herald.

Senate hearing on cruise passenger protection today

Urban Renewal

Neighborhood watch in Tampa

tampa mayor
Tampa’s Sulphur Springs neighborhood has become a focus of Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s effort to revitalize some of the city’s worst areas. The city has torn down dilapidated homes and cleared more than 70 lots in Sulphur Springs and neighboring areas within the last year.

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The cruise industry will be in the spotlight again Wednesday afternoon during a hearing in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, is chairman of the committee and a longtime critic of the industry. More at the Miami Herald.

Bioplastics startup plans hiring with new funds

Winter Park-based US Bioplastics plans to hire about 10 people over two years with new angel funding, CEO Lee Strait said. The company is using a process licensed from the University of Florida to create plastic material from paper waste and farm products like corn stalks and sugarcane fiber. More at the Orlando Sentinel.

Tupperware 2Q profit sinks 38 percent

Tupperware Brands Corp. said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit fell 38 percent from the same period a year ago, hurt by falling sales of its storage containers and cosmetics in North America and Germany and unfavorable currency exchange rates. More at the AP.

Biking, walking to work are slowly gaining popularity

walking Across the country, the number of people who ride bikes to work is growing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase during the past decade is 60 percent, although the numbers are small: from 488,000 in the 2000 census to 786,000 in the 2008-12 American Community Survey.

» Read more from the Orlando Sentinel