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Monday's Daily Pulse

In fight vs. Florida election hacks, public, officials may be kept in the dark

If the FBI discovers that foreign hackers have infiltrated the networks of your county election office, you may not find out about it until after voting is over. And your governor and other state officials may be kept in the dark, too. There's no federal law compelling state and local governments to share information when an electoral system is hacked. And a federal policy keeps details secret by shielding the identity of all cyber victims regardless of whether election systems are involved. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the AP.

Florida unemployment rate drops to 3.2%

Florida's unemployment rate is 3.2%, or 0.3 percentage points below the national rate. The state released figures Friday that show unemployment in September dropping slightly below the 3.3% rate in August. There were 336,000 unemployed Floridians out of a workforce of 10.4 million people. The state added 11,100 jobs in September. Read more at WTSP and see regional employment reports below:

» Fort Lauderdale
» Tampa Bay area
» Orlando
» Miami
» West Palm Beach
» Southwest Florida
» Pensacola

A new task force will examine Florida agencies’ cybersecurity

How vulnerable are Florida government agencies to a cyberattack? It’s a question state leaders hope to be able to answer by this time next year. The state’s newly-appointed Florida Cybersecurity Task Force convenes next week to begin a year-long analysis of the state’s cybersecurity health. Its goal is to identify areas for improvement and prioritize digital threats against the state. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Writer Randy Wayne White is a Florida Icon

Writer Randy Wayne White tells Florida Trend: "Writing’s a pain in the ass. Every day, it’s hard. Never had an easy day." The creator of the Doc Ford series of novels also says: "Florida has always been a carny state and, to a degree, a con man state." [Source: Florida Trend]

How Scientology doubled its downtown Clearwater footprint in 3 years

The Church of Scientology and companies run by its members spent $103 million over the past three years buying up vast sections of downtown Clearwater. They now own most commercial property on every block within walking distance of the waterfront, putting the secretive church firmly in control of the area’s future. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Miramar: Your partner for business

In the first six months of 2019, some 228 businesses decided to make the City of Miramar their home. Between October 2018 and July 2019, the city issued 6,498 new business, building, and other permits. What did they all have in common? They discovered a city whose planning, permitting, and approval process is built for the speed of business. [Sponsored report]


› Sarasota-Bradenton on screen: the biggest movies made there
A circus big top housing high drama, a hotbed of government corruption and murderous get-rich schemes, and the start to a bikini-clad crime spree — Sarasota-Manatee’s played them all onscreen over the years. Since the silent movie era, Florida has lured filmmakers to the Sunshine State with its camera-ready tropical locations. Sarasota-Manatee is no exception, with its plentiful beaches and waterfronts, ornate mansions and vestiges of Old Florida.

› Spirit Airlines to invest $250 million in new headquarters and move 1,000 employees
Spirit Airlines will invest $250 million in a new Dania Beach corporate headquarters, moving 1,000 employees from Miramar, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance announced Thursday. The discount airline said it would add 225 jobs at its new Dania Beach campus by 2022, with an annual average salary of $79,000. The new jobs will be an expansion of all types of jobs at Spirit, the airline said.

› Florida Attorney General's Office cracking down on moving companies
The Florida Attorney General's Office is cracking down on the moving industry. The office is suing more than 10 moving businesses for giving customers "deceptive, low ball estimates then extorting higher fees by holding consumers' property hostage." The office also said the businesses "have harmed hundreds of consumers."

› Central Florida retailers offer more perks and maybe higher pay to fill holiday season jobs
Employers in Orlando and across the U.S. are feeling pressure to offer more perks for holiday-season workers in a tight labor market, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a big pay boost for all of those potential employees.

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› Synapse conference gives Orlando’s tech sector hope for more collaboration
Some business leaders say Orlando’s future economy should focus more on high-tech companies that have been growing here, including simulation, sensors and virtual reality. But, for that to happen, the industries, which have worked in isolation, must come together. A daylong summit in downtown Orlando on Friday might have been the biggest step taken thus far in that effort.

› New CEO returns to North Florida to guide emerging Orange Park Medical Center
A longtime executive with HCA Healthcare, which owns the hospital, Lisa Valentine held management positions at hospitals in South Carolina and Virginia. But she grew up in nearby Live Oak, graduated from the University of Florida, still has family in the area and wanted to return. Now she’s the Orange Park hospital’s first female CEO.

› American Airlines won’t have its name on Heat arena but has a new deal with the team
Just because American Airlines is taking its name off the downtown arena where the Miami Heat play doesn’t mean the airline’s relationship with the team is over. Despite choosing not to renew its naming rights to the Heat’s arena, the airline company announced Saturday an international partnership with the basketball franchise.

› The staggering consequences of Florida hit-and-run crashes
Since Jan. 1, 2018, there have been 102,756 hit-and-run cases in the Sunshine State, with 215 fatalities and 21,511 injuries. Miami-Dade County, the most populous region in Florida with 2.7 million people, ranks first in hit-and-run crashes with 19,841. Sarasota County is 17th with 1,507 and Manatee County is 21st with 1,275.