Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, September 13

Sep 13, 2010


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Florida’s Star Casualty’s Credit Rating Downgraded 

A.M. Best has revised the outlook to negative from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and issuer credit rating of “bbb” of Star Casualty Insurance Company, Coral Gables, Fla.


Number of 2009 Florida Residential Arsons Down Slightly from 2008

A frenzy of foreclosures and a bad economy ignited the fear of more arson here and around the country.


Blog:  Feds — Florida has the weakest child passenger safety law in the country

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling on Florida and 20 other states to toughen their child passenger safety laws.


Disney, SeaWorld accident lawsuits face tough odds

Florida law protects Disney, other theme parks against wrongful death lawsuits

They are two of Central Florida’s biggest and best-known employers – and both face the prospect of potentially ugly lawsuits stemming from a worker’s death on the job.


States opposed to healthcare overhaul pin hopes on Florida court hearing

The legal attack comes as some polls show a majority of Americans dislike the healthcare measure, and Republicans are campaigning for Congress on the promise they will try to repeal it

The conservative counterattack on President Obama’s overhaul of health insurance will take center stage in the courts this week when Republican state attorneys general and a leading small-business group urge a federal judge in Florida to strike down the law before it can take effect.


Dentist, two others, charged with insurance fraud

Authorities say the owner of a Royal Palm Beach dental clinic, along with his business manager and office manager, fraudulently billed insurers for tens of thousands of dollars in services.


Blog:  Health Caring — Solantic clinics pop up in more-affluent areas

Clinics operated by Solantic, the urgent-care business co-founded by Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott, are popping up across the state, particularly the more-affluent parts.


Broward County hospital system moves to become nonprofit

Broward Health took the first step toward becoming a nonprofit health system.


GOP:  Audit links Charlie Crist to state party’s financial scandal

State Republicans moved the three-way U.S. Senate race to a new level Saturday, with party leaders pointing to an audit of their books they say implies Gov. Charlie Crist – now an independent candidate for U.S. Senate – ran up potentially “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in inappropriate charges.


Another Florida property tax challenge rejected

A Florida appeal court has rejected another challenge to an amendment that gives property tax breaks for primary homeowners.


Alex Sink takes leap over Rick Scott in fundraising

Democrat Alex Sink has collected more than half a million dollars since the primary while GOP opponent Rick Scott raised $43,000

Who wants to give money to a multimillionaire? Not too many people, apparently.


More than a half-billion in U.S. aid on way to Florida schools

Funds may save 9,000 jobs in the state schools, officials say

Florida’s public schools will get more than $554 million to shore up depleted budgets and save education jobs, the U.S. Department of Education has announced.


Fannie Mae approving more Florida condos

Fannie Mae has approved 40 percent more condos for financing so far this year than last year, giving the real estate market another shot in the arm, according to data from Condo Vultures, a Bal Harbour-based real estate consultancy.


Blog:  FPL critics stage anti-corporate rally in Fort Lauderdale

A coalition of civic, religious and political groups kicked off a statewide tour Sunday to protest a Supreme Court ruling in January that the government may not restrict corporations’ political spending on elections.


Attorney General candidate Gelber calls for strike force to target corruption in Florida government

A former federal prosecutor vying to be Florida’s next attorney general says the state needs a multi-jurisdictional anti-corruption unit to clean up government.


Blog:  1000 Friends shifts position on Amendment 4, moves from oppose to neutral

1000 Friends of Florida, the non-profit growth management watchdog group, has decided to shift its position from opposing to neutral on Amendment 4, which requires that local voters approve any amendments to their cities and counties comprehensive growth management plans.


Bondi limiting debates against more experienced Gelber

Tampa Republican Pam Bondi is staying close to home when it comes to debating her Democratic opponent for Florida attorney general.


Path to reelection steeper for U.S. Rep. Ron Klein

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein won his Palm Beach-Broward congressional seat in 2006 by nationalizing his campaign against former Rep. Clay Shaw, relentlessly tying the Republican incumbent to former President George W. Bush and the Iraq war.


Column:  Term Limits Force Fast Pace for the Ambitious

All through Ben Albritton’s Republican primary campaign for Florida House District 66, rumors flew, in part from the campaign of his GOP opponent, Chevon Baccus, that Albritton was planning to run for speaker of the House even before he got elected to the Legislature.


Class-size bill makes for strange political alliances in Florida 

Supporters focus on the potential for breaking up classrooms to meet the cap. Dissenters say the legislature’s trying to trick voters

An amendment seeking to revise the state’s class-size standards is creating unusual political arrangements as voters near a potential November vote on the proposal.


Former Tampa International Airport director Louis Miller to run Atlanta’s airport

Former Tampa International Airport executive director Louis Miller will run Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, the world’s busiest airport.


Gene testing to predict athlete’s injuries could be part of Jackson Lab project

Some genetic tests could become best-sellers among an unlikely alliance of overbearing mothers and athletic trainers.


Office Depot lands state contract

The state of Florida has awarded Office Depot a new contract for office and educational supplies following a competitive bid process. The Boca Raton-based office supply company was one of three vendors awarded a contract on this multivendor agreement, the company said in a news release.


Builders may not be at fault

Lower courts make initial ruling on defective drywall

Separate rulings by two district judges could mean that home builders won’t be held responsible for using defective drywall, which leaves homeowners to target distributors and makers of the China-made building material.


Lawmaker Questions Texas Lawyer’s Windstorm Settlement

After hundreds of homeowners and their lawyer, Democratic donor Steve Mostyn, collected millions this year in a post-hurricane settlement, the chairman of the Texas House panel on insurance, state Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, wants to know how the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association paid out its claims – and how much lawyers were paid to win them.


Texas:  Misuse of Insurance Settlement Payments Increasing

The Texas Department of Insurance has issued a bulletin stating that misdirection, misapplication and improper use of insurance settlement payments appear to be on the rise.


Sizing up storms

Experts from NASA, NOAA soar in bid to better predict how hurricanes strengthen

The old war bird parked in a breezy NASA hangar at Ellington Field used to fly high above nuclear test explosions.


Reinsurers look to 2011, get that sinking feeling

Reinsurers are trying to stay confident about pricing prospects for 2011 in the face of a chorus of industry observers predicting price and earnings pain.



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