Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Floridians on Social Security will get 2 percent bump in 2018
Social Security checks are going up 2 percent in 2018, the U.S. government announced Friday. It's the first substantial raise in years. More than 66 million Americans receive Social Security payments. Most recipients are seniors over age 65, but some payments also go to the severely disabled and orphans. More from the Washington Post.
Florida budget woes go from bad to worse after Irma
Hurricane recovery efforts have already cost the state budget more than $141 million and are likely to increase, the Senate Appropriations Committee was told Thursday. “The news isn’t good,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said. “And I don’t think it’s fake news either.” A new tally of the amendments included: $25 million for the Florida National Guard; $12 million for food, ice, water and transportation; $36 million for debris removal; $6 million for mosquito control; and $27.6 million related to the operation of the state Division of Emergency Management. Read more at the Florida Times Union and CBS Miami.
Survey of Florida small business owners shows closures and lost jobs at proposed $15 minimum wage
A new survey of mostly small Florida businesses show that a proposed $15 minimum wage could have negative consequences. The survey, from CorCom Inc., Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh, and found that a significant portion of state businesses would be forced to cut staff, reduce hours, or close their doors entirely because of a $15 wage mandate. See the full study here (PDF). Also read more at ABC Action News.
HSN's highest execs will go once QVC acquisition closes
The top three executives at Florida-based HSN Inc. will step down after HSN is acquired by Liberty Interactive Group, the parent company of HSN rival QVC. Bill Brand, Rod Little and Judy Schmeling, who made up the Office of the Chief Executive at HSN for the past several months, won’t be staying on after the $2.1 billion stock deal closes, according to Mike George, president and CEO of QVC Inc. More from the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Restaurant hiring gets tougher with low unemployment
As the economy brightens, the unemployment rate drops and the number of restaurant jobs in Central Florida swells, restaurant owners are on the hunt for workers of all types. “There are so many new jobs in the restaurant industry that there aren’t as many workers out there to hire,” said Victor Fernandez, executive director of insights and knowledge at Dallas-based restaurant research firm TDn2K. “That’s causing all sorts of problems for restaurants even as they struggle with wages and fight for customers.” More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Halloween horror at Miami International Mall
At the annual House of Horror Haunted Carnival, Michael Calkins is one of about 50 Halloween-loving people who get made-up daily to give patrons a harrowing experience at the Freak Emporium, a haunted bar, an asylum, a cemetery. Photo is of Calkins as Jake the Ringmaster clown.
» Read more at the Miami Herald.
Gators to reveal new alternate football uniform
Twenty-five years after Ben Hill Griffin Stadium became “The Swamp,” the University of Florida football team will take the look of a Gator when they take the field on Saturday. This marks the first time in school history that the Florida football team will stray from its traditional Orange and Blue look that is synonymous with its storied program. (Click here to enlarge photo of new uniform.)
» Read more at Gator Sports.
» See also: Reviews for Florida’s new uniforms go from awful to awesome
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