February 23, 2024

Friday's Daily Pulse

What You Need to Know About Florida Today

Will Short Gorham | 10/7/2011

› Florida can cancel longtime contract for driver handbooks
Florida can cancel a longtime contract with a businessman who holds a lucrative monopoly to print safety handbooks for drivers, a court ruled Thursday. The First District Court of Appeal reversed a lower-court decision and nixed the deal between the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Kenneth Underwood, owner of the National Safety Commission. Since 2005, the Ponte Vedra Beach company has printed the Official Florida Driver's Handbook for free in return for being able to advertise in it and promote Underwood's online driving schools — LowestPriceTrafficSchool.com — which the court said promoted the perception that Underwood's businesses were endorsed by the state.

› Florida has highest percentage of residents age 75+
Florida tops the nation in the percentage of residents age 75 and over, according to recent estimates from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. In 2010, 8.1 percent of Florida's residents were 75-plus. Among the Top 10 metro areas in the country for the age group were Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (tied for No. 9 with 8 percent).

› Tampa ranks #6 for women-owned small business
Forbes Magazine recently ranked Tampa #6 on its list of cities where women-owned businesses are thriving. The magazine says female entrepreneurs in Tampa have secured nearly $20-million dollars in small business loans backed by the Small Business Administration over the past decade. Not only that, Forbes reports female-led businesses have seen huge growth in Florida -- up almost 80 percent over the past three years.

› Jacksonville lending service company LPS names new CEO
Lender Processing Services has named Hugh R. Harris as the company's new president and chief executive officer, effective today. He fills the position left vacant when Jeffrey Carbiener resigned in July, citing "significant health-related reasons." His resignation was effective immediately, and the company gave no further details.

› Gov. Scott asks federal officials for more time for Everglades cleanup
Florida needs another six years and millions of dollars in new treatment facilities to clean out the pollution now flowing into the Everglades, Gov. Rick Scott told federal leaders Thursday. The timetable may trouble environmentalists, but Scott's visit to Washington and his two-hour meeting with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other federal officials appeared to be a significant step in resolving more than two decades of legal disputes over Everglades restoration.

› Tampa artist works magic for 'Extreme Makeover'
Tampa artist Jason Hulfish can't say what he designed and painted for a Georgia family featured on this week's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," but it's probably something very cool. Viewers of the ABC reality show won't know until the reveal Sunday night. Hulfish, who is known for creating stunning, colorful murals, says he likes to turn a child's room into a personal theme-park environment. People have paid thousands of dollars for his work, but he volunteered his services when producers from the series called.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Mobile food truck provides fresh, free fruits and vegetables in Progress Village
Mobile food truck provides fresh, free fruits and vegetables in Progress Village

Hillsborough County and Feeding Tampa Bay are partnering with a local organization to provide healthy and fresh food in Progress Village. The Grow My Giving Mobile Fresh Market truck will provide free fruits and vegetables twice a month through at least September.

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