Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, November 3

Nov 3, 2009



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Charlotte County is criticized over shoddy repairs

Unlicensed contractors descended on Charlotte County in droves after Hurricane Charley hit in 2004 and they kept building officials and law enforcement busy.


Elevator problems heading up

Exercise may not be the only reason taking the stairs is better for your health than stepping into the elevator.


Florida lawmakers plot red light camera bills

Local lawmakers are already plotting a new effort to pass legislation regulating high-tech cameras which work in conjunction with traffic signals to automatically snap pictures of drivers who run red lights.


Florida No-Fault closes five Tampa stores amid fraud investigation

Florida No-Fault Insurance has closed nine retail stores in Florida, including five in Tampa, amid an ongoing investigation into auto insurance fraud.


Florida law keeps some golf carts in the garage

Like many others who live in Colony Cove and neighboring manufactured-home communities, Lynn Mercer frequently drove her golf cart to supermarkets, drug stores and other nearby businesses along U.S. 301.


Blog:  South Florida ranks lowest in survey on auto insurance knowledge

An Allstate Insurance Co. poll quizzing about 600 insured drivers in 13 Florida cities on what their policies cover showed the areas that are the least knowledgeable are Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.


Paula Dockery Says She Will Run for Governor of Florida

Lakeland state senator to oppose Attorney General in GOP primary.

State Sen. Paula Dockery says she will run for governor, challenging Attorney General Bill McCollum for the Republican nomination.


Blog:  Stacy Frank announces state House run

Stacy Frank, an attorney and small business owner, today announced her candidacy for Florida’s District 57 House seat.


Fundraiser accused of Ponzi scheme

The politically influential Fort Lauderdale law firm that Scott Rothstein created just a few years ago has attempted to oust him amid a criminal investigation into his business dealings, sending shock waves through political campaigns that took fat checks.


Legislators consider allowing gambling to compete with Seminole casinos

Top Republicans all but pronounced the Seminole gambling deal dead Monday and said they are considering asking voters if they want to allow gambling such as blackjack and baccarat that would compete with the tribe’s casinos.


FSU drilling symposium experts say risk is low

Tanker collisions, coastal storage facilities cited as being most troublesome

Offshore drilling would pose relatively little risk to Florida’s environment, according to academics and industry experts who participated Monday in a symposium sponsored by Florida State University.


State targets timeshare resale marketers

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has filed an injunction and a lawsuit against two Palm Beach County-based timeshare resale marketing companies who allegedly collected more than $4 million a month in marketing fees, but rarely if ever made any effort to market or sell the units.


Attorney General Asks Court to Clarify Florida Tax Issue

Lawsuit could lead to millions in available tax revenue for Florida

Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office has sued Expedia, Inc., Orbitz, LLC, and Orbitz, Inc., the leading internet travel companies, asking for a declaratory judgment that the companies’ failure to remit the appropriate amount of taxes on hotel room rentals is a violation of Florida law.  


State to crack down on rogue debt collectors

State officials today are expected to announce plans for a crackdown on abusive debt collectors, following reports that collection harassment has surged in the past 18 months and that little has been done to punish offenders.


Florida drivers’ gas tax flows far

For every dollar they pay in federal gas taxes, drivers in Florida see roughly 14 cents spent on transportation projects in other states.


FPL ordered to speed up $365 million refund for customers

Regulators also approve $4.8 billion in fuel and other costs for the utility

State regulators on Monday directed Florida Power & Light Co. to give utility customers a one-time refund of about $44 on their household electric bills in January for lower-than-expected fuel costs in 2009.


Lloyds and R.B.S. Announce Major Shuffle

In a major shuffle of the British banking sector on Tuesday, Lloyds Banking Group announced plans to keep the government from taking a majority stake, while Royal Bank of Scotland would give up even more control.


North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Rates Cut 9.6%

North Carolina workers’ compensation rates paid by employers are going down.


Delaware Beats Switzerland As Most Secretive Financial Center

Move over Switzerland. The tiny state of Delaware beats the Alpine country in a contest for the most secretive financial jurisdiction, a tax justice rights group said on Saturday.


Georgia regulators fine UnitedHealthcare, subsidiaries $750,000

UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co. and three of its subsidiaries were ordered to pay a $750,000 fine by Georgia regulators for delaying payment on thousands of health claims.


Insurance Trade Groups To Congress: ‘No Systemic Risk Here’ 

The authority of federal regulators to oversee and liquidate troubled large insurance companies should be significantly pared back in legislation Congress is considering, insurance interests are arguing.


Collision Repair Costs Found to Increase In Third Quarter 

The average vehicle crash damage repair on an adjusted basis increased $164 in the third quarter, according to an electronic processing provider for the collision industry.


Medical tourism: Outsourcing your health care

At a luxury hotel conference center in Century City last week, “international hospitals” from Singapore to South America set up half an acre of colorful display booths in an attempt to attract more business from American insurers and employers.


Homeowners with defective drywall take the offensive

Homeowners with defective drywall are taking matters into their own hands.


Weeds threaten wildlife and create fire hazard in Deep South

An invader is on the march in the Deep South, threatening wildlife habitats, timber and agricultural production, and creating fire hazards.


IRS to Audit Large Companies on Tax, Independent Contractor Issues

U.S. tax authorities will start to audit 6,000 randomly selected companies to focus on employment tax issues ranging from executive compensation to fringe benefits, Internal Revenue Service officials said.


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