The Florida citrus industry has always stood strong - through freezes, hurricanes and rampant development. But now the $9 billion industry is facing its biggest threat yet, putting at risk the state's economy but also its very identity. Read more from the AP and TBO.com.
» Video: Citrus in crisis
Gov. Rick Scott is calling for an investigation of Florida's standardized testing and the creation of an independent committee to review the state's contentious school standards. It's the second time in the past year that Scott has responded to criticism surrounding standards that are based primarily on Common Core. [Source: AP]
Like other sociological groups such as Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials (aka Gen Yers), the Gen Z crowd is coming and they're going to change things. Retailers will have no choice but to respond to them. [Source: Florida Today]
Although more women have cracked video gaming's predominantly male work force, the business still has a gender gap, particularly with higher-paying engineering jobs. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
There was a time, not too long ago, when helium and helicopters still ruled the world of aerial real estate photography. Nowadays, Florida’s high-end realtors clamor for drone-produced marketing but risk running afoul of the FAA. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Florida Polytechnic defies doubters, starts STEM mission [Times/Herald]
Florida Poly defied its doubters by managing to open for business two years after its controversial creation by the state Legislature. Rising from a former cow pasture miles from downtown Lakeland, it is wowing visitors with its extraordinary architecture and ambitious vision.
› Gainesville-based SumTotal being bought by Ireland company [Gainesville Sun]
In a marriage of human resource service companies, Skillsoft Corporation announced Thursday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Gainesville-based SumTotal Systems.
› Southwest Florida malls evolving with clients in mind [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
The shopping scene in Southwest Florida is about to change as we know it, as retailers and mall operators brace for the entrance of a behemoth new player.
› Duke Energy considering Pinellas land for solar farm [Tampa Bay Times]
The energy company is looking for privately or publicly owned properties throughout its Florida service territory that could accommodate fields of solar panels that would feed power to the grid.
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› Florida sees record number of prescribed burns [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
State officials say they've overseen a record number of prescribed burns over the past year. The Florida Forest Service reported prescribed fires covering more than 2.5 million acres.
› Space Florida criticizes KSC master plan [Florida Today]
Unrealistic launch pad locations. Projects so vague no meaningful environmental review is possible. A business model that could discourage, rather than attract, new commercial launch activity at Kennedy Space Center. Those are among significant concerns state officials identified with KSC's new 20-year master plan.
› $7.2 million left from CHOICES [Gainesville Sun]
bout $7.2 million remains from the ¼-cent sales tax that was in place from 2005 through 2012 to fund access to medical care for the working uninsured as well as “innovative, cost effective health care programs” open to all residents regardless of income.
› Malware that hit Target puts more than 1,000 businesses at risk [Palm Beach Post]
An advisory published by the Department of Homeland Security warns retailers that point-of-sale or PoS malware attacks, like the one that struck Target, might still be floating around in the wild, undetected. The DHS estimates about 1,000 U.S. businesses could be affected by the virus.