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Friday's Afternoon Update

Florida lawmakers approve millions for home hardening. Does it help insurance costs?

State lawmakers this week poured another $180 million into a program to help 17,000 homeowners replace windows, doors, roofs and other parts of homes. The My Safe Florida Home program, which offers up to $10,000 to help Floridians harden their homes, is intended to strengthen buildings against hurricanes and help reduce sky-high homeowners insurance premiums. But the state doesn’t know how effective the program is at curtailing insurance costs, and isn’t poised to find out. Florida lawmakers approved the funding without requesting any data collection or studies. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Orlando Sentinel.

CSX donates $10 million to 'transformational' UF graduate campus in Jacksonville

The planned University of Florida Jacksonville graduate campus recently received a $10 million infusion from CSX Corp., one of Jacksonville’s largest employers. The gift will be distributed over five years and "solidifies CSX as the leading private funding partner of this transformational project," according to a statement from the company. More from the Florida Times-Union.

Pinellas sets sights on land for new government headquarters

County commissioners will vote Tuesday on whether to buy the land for more than $33 million. Should they do so — they showed little hesitancy discussing the prospect during a County Commission work session Thursday — the county would aim to close the deal by the end of the year, marking a major step forward in its long-gestating efforts to move out of downtown Clearwater and closer to the center of the county. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

‘It’s so insulting’: Broward teachers angry over stalled pay negotiations

Some Broward teachers say they are poor, fed up and ready to leave if the school district can’t pay them better. The Broward Teachers Union and the school districts have been in stalled negotiations for salary increases since June, and the two sides remain far apart for salary increases. The union, in separate sessions has asked for 7% and 9% increases, while the district has offered what the union describes as a “meager 1.7%.” More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

onePulse donors are asking for refunds but returns are unlikely, experts say

Some donors have requested refunds in the midst of onePulse Foundation withdrawing from plans to develop a museum and memorial. onePulse said requests for refunds range from $20 to $5,000. onePulse spokesperson Scott Bowman said the majority of the gift refunds being requested were unrestricted donations that were used for general operations, while one gift was specifically tied to the memorial and museum and was applied toward its intended purpose. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

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Business Profile
Not-dead-yet mentality leads dinner theater to rise above slew of obstacles

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre has risen to overcome multiple challenges in the past three decades. The Fort Myers-based organization has had to navigate multiple obstacles, from demographic shifts to shifts in the kinds of food and drinks theatergoers want. Co-founder and owner Will Prather says he aims to grow smartly while continuing to adapt to changes in the marketplace.

» Read more from the Business Observer.