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Friday's Daily Pulse

VyStar Credit Union acquires Citizens State Bank

VyStar Credit Union (VyStar) announced it has successfully acquired Citizens State Bank (CSB), a Florida state-chartered bank headquartered in Perry, Florida with $280 million in assets. The acquisition began earlier this year with a signed definitive agreement. Since that time, VyStar, CSB and the appropriate regulatory agencies have worked closely to finalize the transaction. More from VyStar Credit Union.

Energy choice amendment clears 500,000 signatures

As of Thursday morning, the push to create an “open and competitive energy market” is now over 510,000 signatures, roughly two-thirds the 766,200 needed by Feb. 1, 2020, for ballot access. If the amendment passes, it will change Florida’s energy sector, by allowing customers of investor-owned utilities to shop for the best price. Current investor-owned utilities, or IOUs, would be restricted to construction or maintenance of infrastructure. [Source: Florida Politics]

NOAA increases number of named storms in Atlantic hurricane season outlook

The update includes an increase to the number of named storms in the forecast. The organization attributes the potential for a more active season to the end of El Niño. The new outlook calls for 10-17 named storms of which 5-9 could become hurricanes, including 2-4 major hurricanes. [Source: WFTS]

Project Sharp proposes a 500-job, $145 million HQ near Fidelity National campus

The Downtown Investment Authority will consider a resolution that includes $29.9 million of state and city incentives for the deal. Project Sharp, which matches the needs of Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Information Services Inc., proposes to create 500 jobs and build a 300,000-square-foot office building and parking structure for a $145 million corporate headquarters. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Florida continues cutting landline phones

With cell phones in hand — or in their back pockets — and access to broadband technology, hundreds of thousands of Florida residents and businesses stopped using landline phones in 2018, a new state report on the telecommunications industry shows. The trend of cutting phone cords has been happening for years. Nevertheless, the report includes numbers that illustrate the extent of the shift: For example, traditional wirelines declined in the state from about 2.5 million in December 2017 to 1.9 million in December 2018. They dropped by 1.9 million, or about half, from 2014 to 2018. More from WINK.


› Miami Beach, Airbnb Settle Federal Lawsuit
Miami Beach, which has 20,000 hotel rooms to protect, has been tough on people renting out their homes on services like Airbnb, fining them as much as $20K.

› Zillow ‘Offers’ is Coming Next Year to Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Florida
Attention, homeowners: Zillow may soon be offering to buy your home. Zillow Groups Inc., which now owns a plethora of sites and services related to real estate, has been expanding into a new realm—buying and selling homes.

› Doctor staffing company to open Fort Lauderdale HQ and add 250 jobs
Hayes Locums, a temporary staffing firm for doctors, announced Wednesday it will add 250 jobs at a new headquarters on Cypress Road and Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Hayes Locums is looking for those with sales, support and back office experience to work to place doctors in positions across the country.

› Eurowings launches the first direct flights between Munich and Orlando
Travelers from Orlando have an easy access to beer lovers' favorite festival; Octoberfest. Eurowings, an airline of the Lufthansa Group, now connects the home of Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany with Orlando. Starting in April of 2020 you will be able to travel to Bavaria with three times-a-week service by Eurowings, an airline of the Lufthansa Group.

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› Graduates earn 11,898 degrees, certificates from Florida State University
About 18.7 percent of the 11,898 degrees and certificates handed out by Florida State University in 2017-18 were to students in business, management, marketing, and related support services programs, making them the most popular programs that year.

› 2019's Best & Worst States for Health Care
With the Affordable Care Act remaining in effect and the CDC reporting that over 87 percent of the population has a regular place to go for medical care, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2019’s Best & Worst States for Health Care.

› Pizza Hut to close hundreds of stores nationwide
There are more than 500 Pizza Huts in Florida, according to the company’s website. It did not specify which were dine-in. Pizza Hut is all fired up about takeout and delivery, and plans to shut down more than 500 stores nationwide in the next two years.