Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, January 12

Jan 12, 2010



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Above:  Sinkhole mayhem!  Five Polk County sinkholes open in two days.


Five Polk County sinkholes open in two days

A fifth sinkhole has opened in two days in the Plant City area, officials said.


Blog:  Broward County seeks emergency order over Chinese drywall

Broward County asked Gov. Charlie Crist to declare a state of emergency over the problems created for area homeowners by the use of Chinese drywall.


Georgia And Florida Risk Retention Groups Merge 

Lewis & Clark LTC RRG, Inc., of Atlanta, a national provider of liability insurance to long-term care facilities, has merged with Sophia Palmer Nurses RRG, Inc., established in 2006 to provide nurses in Florida with professional liability coverage not available in the traditional insurance market.


Florida Farmers Suffer $100-Million Blow from Cold Temps

Southwest Florida’s agriculture industry took a final, crushing blow from Deep Freeze 2010 on Monday morning, which means consumers will soon be digging deeper into their pockets to buy many of their favorite fruits and vegetables.


Blog:  Summit focuses on health-care reform’s impact

More than 200 insurance agents, brokers and health professionals gathered Monday in Tallahassee for a discussion on the future of health care in Florida and how pending reform legislation in Washington will affect consumers here.


When Florida evaluates drugs for mental health, drug makers play undisclosed role

In December Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company, had its public relations firm email reporters, offering to set up interviews about the dire need for Florida’s Medicaid program to “cover medications for people with mental illness, including treatment with long-acting therapy.”


On the Road: Florida gets mediocre grade on highway safety

Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, a Washington D.C. based advocacy group, released its seventh report card grading all 50 states and the District of Columbia when it comes to adopting and maintaining model traffic safety laws Monday morning.


SEC Charges Florida Father-Son Investment Adviser Team For Role in Massive Hedge Fund Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two Sarasota, Fla.-based investment advisers with securities fraud for misleading investors about the financial condition of three hedge funds they managed, and misrepresenting that they controlled the funds’ investment and trading activities when in fact they were being handled by Arthur G. Nadel.


Regulators cap Progress Energy revenue, ensuring only small rate increase

Progress Energy customers won’t see any significant differences in the amount they pay on their utility bills – at least over the next year.


McCollum pushes limit on Fla. state legal fees

Attorney General Bill McCollum has taken his campaign to put a $50 million cap on fees paid to outside lawyers who work for the state to the State Board of Administration.


Florida Congress members against political boundary amendment

Constitutional amendments aimed at ending politically gerrymandered districts could instead demolish political boundaries that ensure minority representation, two members of Congress told a state legislative panel Monday.


Lawmakers, outsiders: No new Sunshine legislation needed

When Sen. Don Gaetz and Rep. Marti Coley agreed to co-author a bill clarifying how Sunshine Laws apply to economic development groups that receive taxpayer money, they pledged to get the input from several outsiders.


Blog:  Former Fla. State Rep. Ausley announces she’s running for CFO

With the end of the fundraising quarter over, and Senate President Jeff Atwater sitting on a comfortable $1.6 million, former Tallahassee state Rep. Loranne Ausley said Tuesday she’s going to run for the Democratic nomination.


Ronda Storms draws a Republican primary opponent in Florida Senate District 10 race

Republican Paul Phillips, a lawyer who lives in Valrico, has filed to take on GOP incumbent Ronda Storms for the District 10 state Senate seat.


Carollo may run for Florida Senate

Joe Carollo, the pugnacious former Miami mayor who narrowly lost a reelection bid in 2001, is likely to launch a Florida Senate campaign next month.


Florida Democrats tout edge as election year begins

Florida Democrats are touting a financial and voter registration edge opening a 2010 election year in which virtually every top state elected office is up for grabs.


Small business owners air concerns during meeting with Florida’s CFO

The main obstacle for small businesses in Jacksonville is access to capital, several local business owners told Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink at a meeting Monday at the Beaver Street Enterprise Center.


Bill would provide renters with rights in foreclosure cases

Renters who are caught up in foreclosures or short sales may get more time to get out before the sheriff shows up to evict them, if a proposed bill gets traction in the Florida Legislature.


Florida’s casino ships’ future uncertain

At the heart of the main restaurant and bar area at Port Canaveral known as the Cove, cold, green water laps against the empty Surfside Princess, the only action SunCruz Casinos’ flagship vessel is seeing these days.


Jacksonville Airport Gets Commercial Spaceport License

The sky’s no longer the limit for Cecil Field airport in Jacksonville. The airport was awarded a federal license on Monday to fly commercial space vehicles being designed to ferry tourists, researchers and others beyond Earth’s atmosphere.


Blog:  Enterprise Florida releases its 5-year plan to grow state’s economy

Enterprise Florida released a revised blueprint for the state’s economic development efforts on Monday. The 5-year plan, entitled the ‘Roadmap to Florida’s Future: 2010-2015 Strategic Plan for Economic Development,’ lays out a list of priorities for the legislature and governor.


Farmers Insurance, Texas agree to cut ‘excessive’ rate hike

Farmers Insurance agreed Monday to scale back a double-digit rate hike for homeowners coverage in Texas. But the company will get to keep millions of dollars it has collected the past six months, even though the state declared those premiums excessive.


P&C Insurers Can Pay Claims With Prepaid Visa, New York Rules 

The New York Insurance Department has issued a legal ruling that with certain restrictions a property and casualty insurer can pay claims by issuing prepaid debit cards rather than checks if the claimant agrees.


New York to revive insurance exchange

Revamped market seen as way to stem offshore capital flow

New York insurance officials’ proposed plan to revive the New York Insurance Exchange has generated interest from the insurance industry, observers say.


Katrina negligence lawsuit has implications for all hospitals

Once the power blinked out, Althea LaCoste’s lungs were on their own.


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