FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Florida produce growers feel left out of renegotiated trade agreement with Mexico

Florida farmers fear they’ll continue to dig themselves further into financial holes because of cheap, subsidized produce coming into the country from Mexico. They don't believe the recently renegotiated trade agreement will change that. “It’s not the outcome that we’ve worked for," said Lisa Lochridge, of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. [Source: WPTV]

See also:
» Storms, disease and rising labor costs threaten Florida’s blueberry industry

In Florida, thousands of warrants remain unserved

Their alleged crimes range from brutal to banal, but all of them appear on the same list of more than 238,000 outstanding warrants for arrest in Florida. That’s nearly as many warrants as there are residents of St. Petersburg — or more than four times the population of Sarasota. If every one of those suspects were found, convicted and sentenced, the state’s already-bloated prison population would triple. [Source: Gainesville Sun]

In battle for talent, Florida law firms offer improved parental paid leave policies

In the battle for legal talent, Florida firms are going beyond big bonuses and diversity pledges in their efforts to attract and retain lawyers: they are now also offering generous parental leave policies. Only 15 percent of all U.S. businesses currently have paid parental leave policies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. [Source: Daily Business Review]

With women in combat, the Army needed a training dummy for medics. An Orlando company delivered it.

The U.S. Army has allowed women to serve in combat for about two years now, opening up new challenges for male medics who have had little training in how to treat wounded women on the battlefield. Orlando-based Simetri has come up with a potential solution. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida elections experts reviewing what went right — and wrong

Florida elections officials have an awful lot to talk about at their annual mid-winter conference this week. Razor-close elections for governor and U.S. Senate. Two statewide manual recounts, missed deadlines in two counties, lost ballots, baseless claims of widespread fraud and a flurry of lawsuits–just for starters. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

An innovator in earliest childhood care

The Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children’s is dedicated to families expecting an infant with medical needs that require intervention at birth. The program offers comprehensive, coordinated care from prenatal diagnosis to delivery, postnatal care and the transition to infant care. Read the full sponsored report here.

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› How a Palm Harbor man became the go-to costume designer for the WWE’s New Day
Jonathan Davenport has worked on just about every kind of creative endeavor in entertainment, but his most high-profile, and strangest, project yet, might be designing costumes for WWE wrestlers.

› Port Everglades signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Honduras National Port Authority
The MOU outlines joint initiatives the two parties may undertake and states that it is within “their mutual interest to establish an alliance of cooperation aimed at facilitating international trade and generating new business by promoting the all-water routes between” Port Everglades and Honduran seaports.

› Collier County's business accelerators expand partnerships with four Florida universities and colleges
Collier County's accelerator program has partnered with four colleges and universities to expand its services to new and emerging businesses. Under the three-year agreement, experts from the University of Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Southwestern State College and Hodges University will provide assistance to help grow businesses at the Naples Accelerator and the Florida Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee.

› Miami was set for a second Basel show focused on cars. It’s not going to happen
Grand Basel, the Art Basel for luxury cars, was set for its U.S. debut in Miami next year. But just six months after signing a contract with Miami Beach for the event, Art Basel’s parent company, MCH Group, said it is pulling out.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Florida casino’s giant guitar is not a hit with everyone
A guitar-shaped hotel tower rising in the south Florida sky isn’t a hit with everyone. The tower is part of an overhaul of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. Some residents are calling the massive tower ugly and worry that it will distract drivers.

› Jacksonville makes Money magazine’s 10 Best Cities to Live In list
Jacksonville, the largest city in the United States by area, is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and offers miles of riverfront and beachfront restaurants, homes and entertainment options. The population has increased almost 9 percent, according to Money magazine.

› Orange County hotel tax generates $23.7M in October
The Halloween season was a lucrative month for Orange County as hotel tax revenue jumped 7 percent compared with the same time period last year. Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond announced the latest figure of $23.7 million generated in October.

› Brush fire burns 2,300 acres in Florida's Everglades
A fast-moving brush fire in South Florida's Everglades has burned about 2,300 acres and is about 50 percent contained. The brush fire started in western Broward County on Friday.