Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, January 21

Jan 21, 2010



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Less Chance For Hurricanes Ahead For Florida, Predicts Guy Carpenter Forecast

Florida has less chance of being hit by a hurricane this year, while the coastal segment including North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia will see heightened storm activity, a new by study Guy Carpenter forecasted.


Hearing on Florida Windstorm Discounts Set 

Continuing its study of the much-debated windstorm mitigation discounts program, the Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology will hold a public hearing on that topic on Monday, Jan. 25, in Tallahassee.


Florida bill would lift time limit on wrongful-death claims

The 30-year mystery of Jeffrey Klee’s disappearance ended with the discovery of his remains in a watery grave in Broward County two years ago, but his family’s fight for justice continues.


Plant City Elementary School Is Closed by Sinkhole

A large sinkhole closed a Plant City elementary school Tuesday and smaller depressions closed two exits along Interstate 4, even as regional water management officials said underground water levels have rebounded.


Walt Disney World Fine for Monorail Death Reduced

A fine issued to Walt Disney World by a federal workplace safety agency for a serious violation that contributed to the death of a worker during a summer monorail accident has been reduced by 20 percent.


Florida Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs Per Claim Grew After 2004 But at Slower Rates Than Pre 2003 Reforms, Finds WCRI Study

Workers’ compensation costs per claim for the medical care of injured workers in Florida stabilized in 2004 following the fee schedule reforms in 2003.


Tampa mayor gives green light to red-light cameras

Two years after abandoning a similar proposal, city officials are moving ahead with plans to install the controversial traffic enforcement devices at 10 intersections as a way to crack down on chronic scofflaws and generate much-needed revenue.


Florida Fish Farms Could Fail Without Federal Help

Freezing weather caused estimated industry losses of 75 percent in Florida

Prospects are bleak that Florida’s tropical fish industry can recover from the costliest freeze in its history, Polk fish farmers said Tuesday, unless the federal government lends a hand.


Editorial: Sickening situation

Melbourne Internal Medicine Associates, the largest physician’s group in Brevard County, has been under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for more than a year for allegedly defrauding Medicare out of millions of dollars.


How does Massachusetts result translate here in Florida?

You know Democrats have a serious problem when Republicans can pick off Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in the bluest of blue states.


Up against the law, Florida fuel pumps go dark

Hundreds of Florida gas stations, including 39 in Southwest Florida, have closed since Dec. 31 because of an environmental protection law intended to protect drinking water resources.


Fla. Rep. Fetterman, Sen. Dockery team up for bi-partisan support to protect money in state trust funds and beef up ethics

Rep. Adam Fetterman, D-Port St. Lucie, and Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, will host a news conference today to announce bi-partisan support to protect money in state trust funds and to halt lawmakers from voting on bills that may personally benefit them.


Affordable Housing Push Gains a Critical Supporter Fla. Sen. J.D. Alexander

Advocates thwarted in recent years in targeting money for affordable housing may have more luck this session as a key Senate lawmaker says he’ll support the effort if it reduces the glut of existing housing stock and puts builders back to work.


Blog:  Jeb endorses Atwater in Florida GOP primary

Former Gov. Jeb Bush today endorsed Senate President Jeff Atwater of North Palm Beach, who is seeking the Republican nod for chief financial officer against state Rep. Pat Patterson of Deland.


Economist: No Florida recovery soon, 12 percent unemployment looming

Florida may have hit its economic rock-bottom but that doesn’t mean it’s on the road to recovery, a state economist told the Senate Wednesday, as the state’s unemployment rate probably will climb to 12 percent within a few months.


Study says military missions, oil drilling can coexist in the gulf

A study released Tuesday has determined that oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico would have little effect on military missions.


Florida AG sues timeshare company

Attorney General Bill McCollum has filed a lawsuit against American Marketing Group, alleging deceptive trade practices involving timeshare resales.


Florida Space Caucus unveils its agenda

A day before a Senate appropriations committee planned to discuss a $2.6 billion budget shortfall, the newly formed Florida Space Caucus unveiled its agenda for dealing with the loss of 4,500 jobs when NASA retires the shuttle later this year.


Biotech: Florida’s $759M has created 1,100 jobs so far

Florida has invested $759 million to pay for equipment, lab space and salaries at eight biotechnology campuses since 2003, all in the hope of kick-starting the creation of “clusters” of high-paying jobs around them.


JetBlue CEO tells Crist the airline could move to Orlando

Gov. Charlie Crist and the chief executive of JetBlue Airways said Tuesday the company is considering moving its headquarters from New York to Orlando.


North Carolina Targets Florida’s Boating Industry

Opening her term as chairwoman of the Broward Alliance economic development group, Peggy Nordeen, CEO of marketing company Starmark International, warned: “The Carolinas want our marine industry desperately.”


Florida Legislature could take a look at regulating Internet poker

Lawmakers could consider regulating Internet poker during the coming legislative session, with options ranging from banning the activity altogether to allowing and drawing revenue from the games.


New bill aims to create Florida jobs via entertainment industry

Republican House and Senate leaders on Wednesday suggested a cure to Florida’s sluggish economy and record unemployment rate – go to the movies.


High Court Rolls Back Campaign Spending Limits

Bitterly divided, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that big business can spend its millions to directly support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, a decision that sharply reverses a century-long trend to limit the political influence of corporations and labor unions.


Hurricane Modelers’ Past Insured Loss Predictions Called Flawed 

Catastrophe modeling firms’ hurricane damage predictions overestimated insured losses for a second year, according to a catastrophe prediction consulting firm.


SEC Charges General Re Corporation for Role in AIG and Prudential Accounting Frauds

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged General Re Corporation for its involvement in separate schemes by American International Group (AIG) and Prudential Financial, Inc. to manipulate and falsify their reported financial results.


Some of New York’s Marsh probe guilty pleas may be undone

The New York attorney general’s office is seeking to dismiss criminal charges against a group of former insurance executives who pleaded guilty to charges in connection with New York’s investigation of bid-rigging and broker compensation practices, according to people familiar with the matter.


Broad Powers for Proposed Rhode Island Workers’ Comp Unit

Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri has proposed reassigning investigators to probe workers’ compensation fraud but giving them far broader powers to prevent the misuse of state government funds.


RMS Out With New Earthquake Loss Estimator 

Risk Management Solutions said it has developed a new product for estimating insured losses from U.S. earthquakes.


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