Tuesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Putting the sun in Sunshine State? Florida’s about-face on solar power
There’s a new crop sprouting in southern Florida. Amid fields of sweet corn, squash, and okra dotting the landscape outside Miami, rows and rows of solar panels now soak up the Florida sunshine. Despite being the Sunshine State, Florida has long lagged when it comes to tapping into the abundant rays overhead. But now that is changing as utility companies in the state have begun to recognize solar power as a vital component of a diverse energy future. [Source: Christian Science Monitor]
There is no slow season for Florida theme parks anymore
Early February used to be a safe time to hit up Central Florida's theme parks. The holiday-fueled families are back in school, operating hours get shorter, and outside of opportunistic locals and a few lingering snowbirds there has usually been plenty of elbow room. The times are changing -- in a good way for shareholders, but possibly in a bad way for visitors who were hoping to get the year-round parks all to themselves this time of year. [Source: Motley Fool]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Twin boat shows
This weekend, Feb. 14 to Feb. 18, Miami hosts a tandem of boat shows. Florida Trend spoke with Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which owns the Progressive International Boat Show being held on Virginia Key. The 78th running of the show features 1,100 exhibitors. [Source: Florida Trend]
The future of prison reform in Florida
Attempts to reform the way criminals are sentenced and how much time they spend behind bars have made little headway in the Florida legislature in recent years. But following the passage of federal criminal justice reform in December, it seems state legislators from both parties may be ready to take a new look at reforming the state’s prison system. [Source: WJCT]
Pick your power provider? The plan to deregulate Florida's electric grid
Where you live determines where you get your electricity from in Florida. Now there is a push to let customers choose where they buy their power instead of giving power companies specific sections of the state. Currently, the state is a regulated monopoly, with the largest electric companies carving up Florida: Duke services Central Florida, FP&L has the east coast, Tampa Electric has the west, and Gulf Power has the panhandle. [Source: WFTV]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Business continues to boom in Marion County
Marion County is booming and the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP) hopes to keep the good times rolling as it focuses on new industries to lure to the area. “If we are going to continue to grow, if we’re going to continue to attract high-wage jobs, we have to attract more high-wage opportunities,” Kevin Sheilley, president and CEO of the CEP, said during the group’s annual luncheon.
› New features for Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, as Astros, Nats return
It’s spring training time in West Palm Beach, with major leaguers days away from digging cleats into turf at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Before they do, though, many will swing through another West Palm facility: what will soon be inaugurated as the Hilton Garden Inn at the Outlets, thought to be the only building in the country built for a spring training complex by a team owner.
› Bloomin' Brands names head of seafood brand
Bloomin’ Brands Inc. has appointed Jeff Carcara president of Bonefish Grill. According a press release, Carcara, who has 26 years of experience in the hospitality industry, comes to Bloomin’ Brands from Irving, Texas-based Del Frisco’s Emerging Brands, where he served as CEO.
› One Florida Bank set to launch in Orlando
A financial institution launching in Central Florida will be led by an executive team with deep roots in the region’s banking industry. The ownership group for One Florida Bank received regulatory approval on Dec. 28 to acquire and change the name of Chipley-based One South Bank.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
In case you missed it: