Business headlines

Toys 'R' Us and 10 other retailers that have filed for bankruptcy in 2017

Toys 'R' Us and 10 other retailers that have filed for bankruptcy in 2017

Toys ‘R’ Us has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company announced Monday, according to CNBC.  The iconic toy chain is just one of many businesses to suffer this year. Retailers have closed hundreds of stores, filed for bankruptcy protection and reorganized massive debt loads throughout 2017. Companies like The Limited and Gander Mountain announced...
Hurricane Maria powers up to Cat 5 as Floridians hope it stays away

Hurricane Maria powers up to Cat 5 as Floridians hope it stays away

Hurricane Maria intensified to a Category 5 storm with top winds of 160 mph by Monday evening, threatening islands already pounded by Hurricane Irma and leaving exhausted Floridians hoping they can count on projections it is likely to veer into the Atlantic Ocean east of the state. Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft data indicate Hurricane Maria has intensified into an “extremely dangerous&rdquo...
White people are really confident that things are getting better for black people

White people are really confident that things are getting better for black people

Americans, especially wealthy whites, vastly overestimate progress toward racial economic equality despite evidence of persistent gaps between black and white workers when it comes to hourly wages, annual income and household wealth, according to a new paper by Yale University researchers published Monday. The study's results are especially stunning in the wake of census data released last week that...
Report: Feds investigating top Equifax executives’ stock trading

Report: Feds investigating top Equifax executives’ stock trading

The Department of Justice is investigating three top Equifax executives’ stock trades to see whether they violated insider trading laws, according to a media report Monday. Bloomberg reported that the federal agency probe is focused on Equifax’s chief financial officer and the presidents of two business units who sold a combined $1.8 million in stock in early August, days after the...
NEW: Hurricane Irma generates more than 335,000 claims in first week

NEW: Hurricane Irma generates more than 335,000 claims in first week

Hurricane Irma has produced more than 335,000 insurance claims in a week, according to figures state regulators released Monday. That includes more than 10,000 in Palm Beach County. Estimated insured losses statewide so far are just under $2 billion. The numbers will grow. Some residents are only now returning to their homes, and homeowners with damage from Irma have an additional 90 days...
After Hurricane Irma: Why solar power can’t replace storm-damaged grid

After Hurricane Irma: Why solar power can’t replace storm-damaged grid

Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity to millions of Floridians, as well as people in Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas last week. At the outage peak on Sept. 11, 7.8 million utility customers were in the dark. What about those with solar systems on their homes? Were they also without power? After Hurricane Irma: Would underground lines keep lights on in storm? Yes. The vast majority of solar systems...
After Hurricane Irma: Would underground lines keep lights on in storm?

After Hurricane Irma: Would underground lines keep lights on in storm?

After Hurricane Irma’s winds uprooted trees and other debris and slammed the mess into overhead power lines, cutting power, people are again asking a familiar question: Would burying power lines underground be better? Although about 40 percent of Florida Power & Light Co.’s 67,000 miles of lines are underground, experts say buried lines are no panacea, either, though they are, in general...
After Irma: Gasoline costs ‘poised to plummet’ after hitting 3-year high

After Irma: Gasoline costs ‘poised to plummet’ after hitting 3-year high

Gasoline availability continues to improve after Hurricane Irma drove up demand and left many gas stations without fuel, AAA said, but prices hit a three-year high in the last week. A steady stream of ships delivering gasoline to Florida’s ports are helping to normalize supply levels in the southeastern U.S., and gas prices are beginning to drift a little lower. Gasoline supplies flow, but more...
After Hurricane Irma: Lake Worth restores power to all known outages

After Hurricane Irma: Lake Worth restores power to all known outages

6 p.m. UPDATE: Lake Worth Utilities has restored electrical power to all known places where it went out during Hurricane Irma, the city said Sunday night. The city’s all-clear comes six days after crews began work following the storm, which struck Florida on Sept. 10. Original post: Lake Worth Utilities late Saturday had restored electrical power to 95 percent of the city in the wake of Hurricane...
From Wilma to Irma: Assessing FPL’s post-storm grid, restoration effort

From Wilma to Irma: Assessing FPL’s post-storm grid, restoration effort

Hurricane Wilma roared through South Florida in 2005 and left 6 million people in the dark. It was the worst disaster in Juno Beach-based Florida Power & Light’s history — until this week. Hurricane Irma made its first U.S.landfall Sunday at Cudjoe Key and took the dubious “worst disaster” title from Wilma. Overall, Irma knocked out power to 90 percent of FPL’s 5 million...
Tourism chief to out-of-towners: Palm Beach County is open after Irma

Tourism chief to out-of-towners: Palm Beach County is open after Irma

With the start of the winter travel season just weeks away, Palm Beach County tourism officials are going on the offensive to let out-of-town travelers know that Hurricane Irma caused relatively little damage here and the welcome mat is out for visitors. While the storm devastated some parts of the Florida Keys, there was little impact in Palm Beach County, apart from temporary power outages and damage...
BREAKING: Convenience store employee shot by gunman in Riviera Beach

BREAKING: Convenience store employee shot by gunman in Riviera Beach

A convenience store employee was shot Saturday inside the business in Riviera Beach, a police spokeswoman said. The unidentified man was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The shooting took place in the 3000 block of President Barack Obama Highway. Riviera Beach police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said an investigation is underway and added that robbery does...

Board members unlikely to be liable for auto accidents in community

By the time you read this week’s column, most of the condominium, HOA and cooperative communities in Florida will have assessed their damage from Hurricane Irma, and nearly everyone will have some type of loss at their property — whether it’s simply landscaping damage, or more serious issues with roofs and mechanical equipment. I strongly recommend that you allow your attorney to...
‘We averted a catastrophe’: Seniors wilted at West Palm home post-Irma

‘We averted a catastrophe’: Seniors wilted at West Palm home post-Irma

Amid a shower of post-Hurricane Irma requests for assistance, the city of West Palm Beach fielded a call Tuesday asking for ice for the Savannah Court assisted living community at 2090 N. Congress Ave. Commissioner Keith James and other city officials went to the two-story building to bring the ice at about 1 p.m. “It was a horrible situation,” he said Friday. “We talked to the technical...
After Irma: Claims pour into Florida insurers; can they handle losses?

After Irma: Claims pour into Florida insurers; can they handle losses?

As millions have struggled without power and some still can’t get back to their homes, Hurricane Irma’s test is only beginning for Florida’s insurance industry, much of it homegrown and founded in the last decade. More than 335,000 insurance claims estimated to be worth $2 billion have been filed in the first week alone, according to information state regulators released Monday....
Two store owners killed at same location 7 years apart

Two store owners killed at same location 7 years apart

Bloody footprints that once marked where an Atlanta grocer was stabbed and killed in 2010 have long faded. But bloodshed in the area is hardly a distant memory. >> Read more trending news  The owner of Southern Grocery was shot and killed Sunday, and the shooter is still on the run, Atlanta police said. Seven years ago, the owner of a similarly named grocery store was stabbed repeatedly...
Palm Beach County unemployment dips to 4.4% in August

Palm Beach County unemployment dips to 4.4% in August

As the region’s building sector continues to bounce back, Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent in August, down from 4.5 percent in July, state labor officials said Friday. The county’s jobless rate was 5.3 percent in August 2016. Construction rebound drives strong job growth in Palm Beach County Reflecting healthy hiring, the county’s labor market posted...
Mar-a-Lago bills taxpayers $1,092 for an official's two-night stay at Trump's club

Mar-a-Lago bills taxpayers $1,092 for an official's two-night stay at Trump's club

The bedroom suites at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, available only to members and their guests, feature hand-painted Moorish ceilings, antique Spanish-tiled mosaics and sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.  On a weekend in early March, during one of seven trips by Trump and his White House entourage to the posh Palm Beach property since the inauguration, the government paid the Trump-owned...
After Irma: Citizens opens catastrophe response centers

After Irma: Citizens opens catastrophe response centers

State-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. said  Friday it is opening  Catastrophe Response Centers in Florida City, Key Largo and Naples to assist customers recovering from Hurricane Irma. Company representatives and claims handling specialists are available at the sites from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Citizens announced representatives also are available 24 hours a...
After Irma: Power restoration slows as FPL goes house-by-house

After Irma: Power restoration slows as FPL goes house-by-house

The post-Hurricane Irma power restoration process is slowing as Florida Power & Light tackles more difficult outages that cannot be resolved as quickly. On Friday afternoon, 23 percent of FPL 5 million customers statewide were still without power, FPL spokesman Rob Gould said. After Irma: FPL has restored power to all hospitals, airports, ports Gould did not say that restoration dates the company...
Irma: Frenzied buying in Palm Beach, St. Lucie regions led state

Irma: Frenzied buying in Palm Beach, St. Lucie regions led state

In the anxious lead-up to Hurricane Irma, West Palm Beach’s metro area led the state with a 66 percent spike in purchases of building supplies, while Port St. Lucie’s region saw Florida’s biggest jump in spending at gas stations, a new report shows. The fear, shortages and spending booms and busts ahead of a hurricane’s changing path are reflected in a snapshot analysis by...
After Irma: Insurer Citizens expects 125,000 claims

After Irma: Insurer Citizens expects 125,000 claims

State-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has received nearly 16,000 claims by Thursday morning and expects perhaps 125,000 from Hurricane Irma, a spokesman said. Citizens president Barry Gilway defended a proposed rate hike in a hearing in North Miami in August. That’s close to one in four customers of the state’s No. 2 insurer. The company could announce as early as Friday...
After Irma: Florida agriculture losses widespread, billions in damage

After Irma: Florida agriculture losses widespread, billions in damage

Palm Beach County and Florida agricultural producers ventured into their fields and groves after Hurricane Irma to find oranges ripped from trees, shade houses gone, vegetable beds ruined, sugar cane flattened and power poles and lines down. Statewide, the total agricultural cost of the storm will be in the billions, informal estimates suggest, the Florida Farm Bureau Federation said Thursday. Irma&rsquo...
Equifax, software maker blame each other for opening door to hackers

Equifax, software maker blame each other for opening door to hackers

Equifax and a software company are blaming each other for a glitch that allowed hackers to obtain Social Security numbers and other sensitive information for 143 million people. The Atlanta-based company, one of the nation’s three key credit bureaus that track individuals’ credit histories, said late Wednesday that hackers breached a vulnerable spot in a U.S. website application called...
Looking for a job? Here are the top 25 US cities to get hired

Looking for a job? Here are the top 25 US cities to get hired

A new survey by job site Glassdoor named the country’s top 25 cities to find a job. >> Read more trending news  Glassdoor.com, a job site that analyzes data on job openings, quality of life and home values, rated Pittsburgh the No. 1 city for jobs in 2017. Each city was ranked based on three factors: cost of living, job satisfaction and hiring opportunity.  According...
Poll: Majority of black Americans favor paying college athletes; 6 in 10 whites disagree

Poll: Majority of black Americans favor paying college athletes; 6 in 10 whites disagree

Earlier this week, behind the closed doors of a hotel conference room outside Cincinnati, Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis explained to NCAA officials what he alleges a booster offered a few years ago to try to get him to attend the University of Mississippi: $10,000 cash. Last week in Clemson, South Carolina, recruits toured the football team's new $55 million complex, which features an 18-hole...
SunTrust settles SEC charges it imposed ‘self-serving’ investment fees

SunTrust settles SEC charges it imposed ‘self-serving’ investment fees

The investment services subsidiary of SunTrust Banks has agreed to pay more than $1.1 million to settle charges it overcharged consumers by recommending investment choices with fees that were avoidable or higher than necessary, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday. It’s another in a series of examples of banks facing charges that they put their own commissions and fees ahead...
After Irma: FPL has restored power to more than 70% of customers

After Irma: FPL has restored power to more than 70% of customers

More than 70 percent of Florida Power & Light’s customers’ power has been restored, and the most difficult part of the restoration has begun, FPL spokesman Bryan Garner said Thursday. It’s Day Three in the post-Hurricane Irma massive effort to turn the lights back on in the largest outage in Florida’s and the nation’s history. A workforce of 21,500 men and women is working...
Didn’t lose power during Irma, but now it’s out? Here is why

Didn’t lose power during Irma, but now it’s out? Here is why

Florida Power & Light customers have asked why, after their power was on following Hurricane Irma, the lights went out again. It’s because the utility says sometimes it needs to unplug power from those with service in order to repair lines in order to provide power to those still in the dark. FPL responds to nursing home tragedy, updates power restoration effort “It is possible that in...
Federal probe launched after Equifax data breach

Federal probe launched after Equifax data breach

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday confirmed that it is investigating a massive data breach at credit reporting giant Equifax that exposed the sensitive information of millions of Americans. Peter Kaplan, FTC’s acting director of public affairs, said that the agency typically does not comment on ongoing investigations in a statement obtained by Politico. “However, in light of the...
After Hurricane Irma: How emergency insurance order affects you

After Hurricane Irma: How emergency insurance order affects you

An emergency order from Florida’s insurance commissioner issued Wednesday evening gives consumers special protections after Hurricane Irma, including 90 additional days to file claims and a temporary freeze on rate hikes and cancellations. “At the direction of Gov. Scott, Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an emergency order suspending and activating...
Equifax breach: You can sue if your data was exposed; here's how

Equifax breach: You can sue if your data was exposed; here's how

Two class-action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of customers affected by a massive breach at Equifax. Officials with the Atlanta-based credit reporting and technology company said a “cyber security incident” may have exposed the personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers. The data that might have been accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses...
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line offers respite to Irma refugees on ship

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line offers respite to Irma refugees on ship

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line at the Port of Palm Beach is offering a staycation — for $39 per night per person on its cruise ship — to local residents impacted by Hurricane Irma, cruise officials said Wednesday. The port was cleared Wednesday by the U.S. Coast Guard for the cruise line’s MV Grand Celebration to return. The cruise line is expected to resume normal cruise operations...

POINT OF VIEW: GL plan provides community benefits, increases farmland

GL Homes has been building in Palm Beach County over the past three decades. We are now proposing a plan that benefits the county as a whole. Our Agricultural Preservation Plan will increase farmland, preserve farming in the county and add significant public benefit. We will set aside nearly 5,000 acres of preservation in The Acreage, where we are permitted to build approximately 3,900 homes. Instead...
After the hurricanes, watch out for the flood of damaged cars on the market

After the hurricanes, watch out for the flood of damaged cars on the market

First there were reports of price gouging during hurricanes Harvey and Irma - store owners charging up to $99 for a $10 case of water, for instance. Then the FBI began warning about fake charities soliciting money for hurricane victims and absconding with the funds. Now, get ready for what could be the most consequential scam of all: an unprecedented flood of water-damaged vehicles coming soon to...
Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey brings job opportunities at FEMA to Texans

Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey brings job opportunities at FEMA to Texans

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency is hiring Texan workers to help with the recovery process after Hurricane Harvey. >> Read more trending news The new hires will assist teams of local, state and federal workers, along with volunteers from charities and community groups already on the ground, TIME reported. The agency will work alongside the Texas Workforce Commission to place...
Hurricane Irma: IRS extends deadlines for taxpayers hit by storm 

Hurricane Irma: IRS extends deadlines for taxpayers hit by storm 

The Internal Revenue Service is extending deadlines for taxpayers in 21 Florida counties affected by Hurricane Irma, including Palm Beach County. Taxpayers now have until Jan. 31 to file some individual and business tax returns and to make certain payments, the IRS said. For instance, the IRS is giving taxpayers extra time to make quarterly estimated payments for 2017 normally...
After Hurricane Irma: Reverse exodus could be slowed by I-75 flooding

After Hurricane Irma: Reverse exodus could be slowed by I-75 flooding

While those who stayed in Palm Beach County for Hurricane Irma endured wind, rain and power outages, Rob Anderson and his family spent a long weekend sightseeing in Massachusetts and Maine. “We got to see a Red Sox game,” Anderson said Wednesday, just after landing at Palm Beach International Airport. Gasoline supplies flow, but more shortages possible as exodus reverses Not that getting...
Dealers defend using garages in rush to shelter cars from hurricane

Dealers defend using garages in rush to shelter cars from hurricane

Ed Napleton on Tuesday defended his company’s decision to park its new cars at CityPlace garages in West Palm Beach and also at a garage at Florida State University prior to Hurricane Irma’s arrival. In an exclusive interview, the part-time Ocean Ridge resident said he had pre-arranged with both CityPlace and FSU to pay to park his dealership cars at the properties. But the social media...
FPL responds to nursing home tragedy, updates power restoration effort

FPL responds to nursing home tragedy, updates power restoration effort

Following the deaths Wednesday of six people who resided at a Hollywood Hills nursing home where Hurricane Irma knocked out power, Florida Power & Light officials said the facility was not on the list of top-tier infrastructure facilities Broward County provided in March. FPL spokesman Rob Gould said, “What we have seen is something extremely tragic. It points to the need for having plans in...
I-75 in North Florida faces closure as Santa Fe River swells

I-75 in North Florida faces closure as Santa Fe River swells

The exodus back to South Florida could get dicey today. The Florida Highway Patrol alerts that the Santa Fe River is rising, and may force closure of I-75 in North Florida. If so, the FHP has issued a map with detour routes. Here is their alert: “The Santa Fe River under I-75 has rapidly risen 15 feet within the past 36 hours due to the heavy rainfall over North Florida from Hurricane Irma....
Social Security celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Social Security celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

We know the importance of “familia” in Hispanic culture, and we’re proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) by helping build a secure future for you, your family, and your future family. You can learn more about how Social Security helps secure today and tomorrow for millions of families by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/people/hispanics/. Hispanics make...
Downtown Boca residents flock to Publix, rent hotel rooms

Downtown Boca residents flock to Publix, rent hotel rooms

Downtown Boca Raton struggled back to life post-Irma, as weary residents on Tuesday gathered at everyone’s favorite shopping spot: Publix. By 1 p.m, the Publix supermarket at Camino Real and Federal Highway was jammed with cars. Power was still out at the grocery store, but a generator kept the lights on and the registers humming. An announcement was made to the lunchtime crowd: “There&rsquo...
Napleton’s, Roger Dean: We didn’t mean to harm public by parking at CityPlace

Napleton’s, Roger Dean: We didn’t mean to harm public by parking at CityPlace

Ed Napleton on Tuesday defended his company’s decision to park its new cars at CityPlace garages in West Palm Beach and at a garage at Florida State University before Hurricane Irma’s arrival. In an interview, the part-time Ocean Ridge resident said he arranged with both CityPlace and FSU to pay to park his dealership cars at the properties. But the social media backlash has been intense...
Woman shocked to find sign with racist slur at gas station

Woman shocked to find sign with racist slur at gas station

A woman in Albuquerque was taken aback by the sign she said was in the window of a Shell gas station Saturday. The sign read, "Leave yesterday ... please (N-word)," with the derogatory term written out. Maria Meeks told KRQE she went into the gas station to ask employees about the sign. Meeks claims the employee she spoke to laughed and said they posted the sign to discourage a vagrant...
Gasoline supplies flow, but more shortages possible as exodus reverses

Gasoline supplies flow, but more shortages possible as exodus reverses

Before Hurricane Irma , gas stations ran out of fuel as frightened Floridians stocked up on petrol. After the storm, fuel shortages will shift from neighborhood stations to a new venue — gas pumps along Interstate 95, Interstate 75 and Florida’s Turnpike. HURRICANE IRMA: Get the latest news and information on the storm Irma sparked the...
Hurricane Irma: Don’t have Internet, cable or cell service? Here’s why

Hurricane Irma: Don’t have Internet, cable or cell service? Here’s why

Wi-Fi and cellphone coverage remains spotty throughout South Florida, and there’s a simple reason: Like everyone else, the companies that provide it don’t have power, thanks to Hurricane Irma. Cell towers across the state have been cut off from the power grid and are relying on generators to keep going, spokespeople for two of the four major wireless carriers said. FPL begins full-scale...
Hurricane Irma: The Breakers, Eau Palm Beach to re-open Friday

Hurricane Irma: The Breakers, Eau Palm Beach to re-open Friday

Two of Palm Beach County’s most luxurious beachfront resorts — The Breakers and the Eau Palm Beach — will re-open at noon on Friday, roughly a week after they were forced to close their doors because of Hurricane Irma. “Pending power restoration to the Town of Manalapan, our anticipated Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa re-opening date is Friday, September 15 at noon,” said...
Hurricane Irma: After going entirely dark, Lake Worth Utilities making progress

Hurricane Irma: After going entirely dark, Lake Worth Utilities making progress

On Sunday night, Lake Worth Utilities’ electrical system went dark. A crucial connection to Florida Power & Light’s grid went down, and all 27,000 of the municipality’s power customers were without power, said Ben Kerr, the city’s public information officer. However, as of Tuesday afternoon, 3,500 customers had power, meaning about 87 percent of the city was powerless. By contrast...
Hurricane Irma: Chill Before You Refill and other generator tips

Hurricane Irma: Chill Before You Refill and other generator tips

Most of Florida remains without power after Hurricane Irma’s landfall on Sunday. That means many homeowners are giving their generators their first extended work. Sleep-deprived novices combining internal combustion engines, fuel and electricity -- what could go wrong? Plenty. A few tips for safely operating a generator: Chill Before You Refill. Refueling a hot generator creates a fire hazard...
Hurricane Irma: Chase waives late fees, overdraft charges through Sept. 24

Hurricane Irma: Chase waives late fees, overdraft charges through Sept. 24

With Hurricane Irma disrupting power supplies, canceling work days and scotching sales, one major bank said it will waive late fees and service charges through Sept. 24. New York-based Chase said it will waive or refund late fees for mortgage, credit card, business loans and auto loans and leases. The same applies to overdraft charges, service fees and ATM fees on checking and savings accounts. Bank...
Apple unveils iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

Apple unveils iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

Original report: Apple is expected to unveil a redesigned iPhone on Tuesday at a product event scheduled at 10 a.m. PDT at its new headquarters in Cupertino, California, according to multiple reports. The unveiling will take place at the newly opened Steve Jobs Theater. The anticipated phone would be unveiled a decade after Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs first introduced the world to...
Dairy Queen owner defends 'politically incorrect’ restaurant sign

Dairy Queen owner defends 'politically incorrect’ restaurant sign

A Wisconsin Dairy Queen owner is defending a sign he placed at his restaurant that is generating controversy. The sign at the Dairy Queen in Kewaskum says, "This restaurant is politically incorrect." It warns patrons that staff may say "Merry Christmas," ''Happy Easter" and "God Bless America." The sign also lets customers know that the restaurant honors the flag...
Bank of America’s Palm Beach County branches to remain closed

Bank of America’s Palm Beach County branches to remain closed

Bank of America said all of its Palm Beach County branches would remain closed on Tuesday. In fact, all of the bank’s financial centers in Florida would remain shuttered today except the ones in the Florida Panhandle — Escambia, Leon, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa counties. Get the latest post-Hurricane Irma news by clicking here The bank statement said customers with Internet access can obtain...

Hurricane Irma scuttles mail service for Palm Beach Co., beyond

Thinking of going old school and writing a letter or mailing a check with all the power down. If you’re in South Florida, think again. The U.S. Postal Service in the region was suspended at the end of the day Thursday and remains so until further notice, according to the website that was updated at 3 p.m. Monday. Specifically, all Post Offices, stations, branches and finance units within the...

Irma to cost insurance companies millions but it won’t be worst ever

A true picture of the costs from Hurricane Irma’ may not emerge for weeks or months as Floridians begin to assess a swath of damage as wide as the state, but estimates in the immediate aftermath Monday pulled back from worst-case forecasts. Boston-based catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide projected insured losses at $20 billion to $40 billion. That was down from an earlier estimate of up...
Hurricane Irma: Publix to reopen most of its grocery stores today

Hurricane Irma: Publix to reopen most of its grocery stores today

Publix expects to reopen nearly all of its super markets in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast this morning, two days after Hurricane Irma swept through the region. Listings on the Lakeland-based company’s website indicate a planned 8 a.m. opening at stores from Boca Raton to Fort Pierce. The one notable store whose opening time remained undetermined was the Publix at CityPlace in West...
Equifax data breach: Are you affected? Find out here

Equifax data breach: Are you affected? Find out here

Are you among the 143 million people, or 44 percent of the U.S. population, whose personal information was stolen in a massive data breach at credit reporting agency Equifax? You can find out in seconds at a company website here. “The Equifax breach affecting over 140 million Americans appears to be the largest of its kind and is beyond troubling,” said ...
Is Publix open near you? Here is where to check

Is Publix open near you? Here is where to check

Florida’s leading supermarket chain Publix has opend a website where you can find out which stores are open and when in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. “The storm has passed, but its effect on our community hasn’t,” the chain told customers by email. “Even after careful planning and diligent preparation for this storm, Publix Super Markets has...
Millions out of power; FPL begins biggest restoration effort ever

Millions out of power; FPL begins biggest restoration effort ever

With millions of people still without power Monday, Florida Power & Light began tackling the biggest outage event in its history, mobilizing an army of 19,500 workers throughout its 35-county territory. It could be weeks before all the FPL customers left without power by Hurricane Irma have their lights back on. Estimated restoration times are not available yet, FPL CEO and president Eric Silagy said...
FPL begins full-scale post-Irma restoration, rebuild

FPL begins full-scale post-Irma restoration, rebuild

As Hurricane Irma’s 130 mph winds, rain and tornadoes slashed and battered South Florida Sunday, Florida Power & Light Co. officials could only watch and double-check restoration plans as the outage numbers climbed throughout the day. Monday, that all changed as an army of workers were deployed in what is forecast to be a weeks-long full-scale restoration. It’s the largest power restoration...
JUST IN: Job as nanny inspired founder of children’s art, music center

JUST IN: Job as nanny inspired founder of children’s art, music center

Courtney Palacios, a mother of two and a former nanny, is the founder and owner of Rhythm & Hues, a new children’s art and music center located in West Palm Beach. The center opened this summer in a newly renovated building on Dixie Highway, offering paint rooms, young art spaces, music classes and vocal lessons for toddlers and elementary school-aged children. Palacios worked as a nanny before...
Newsmakers: People on the move in Palm Beach County business

Newsmakers: People on the move in Palm Beach County business

COMMUNITY SERVICE Benjamin T. Hodas has been elected vice chairman of the Florida Bar’s marital and family law board certification committee. He has been a member of the marital and family law board certification committee since 2015. Hodas has served as a member of the 15th Judicial Circuit grievance committee. He is a founding member of The Susan Greenberg Family Law American Inn of Court...
Hurricane Irma: Insured losses could be historic, up to $65B, AIR says

Hurricane Irma: Insured losses could be historic, up to $65B, AIR says

The main concern now is the life and safety and people in its path, but a catastrophic modeling firm on Saturday projected Hurricane Irma’s insured losses in the U.S. alone could reach $50 billion, making it a contender for the most expensive storm on record. Much depends on its path as  Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, but AIR Worldwide projected...
Equifax cyberattack: How to get a free credit report, protect your identity

Equifax cyberattack: How to get a free credit report, protect your identity

Credit reporting juggernaut Equifax announced Thursday that its information was compromised in a major cyberattack affecting 143 million Americans – or two-thirds of people with credit reports. Hackers were able to get birth dates, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and addresses, according to Equifax, leaving some to wonder how they can protect themselves. Here are some tips for ensuring...
Hurricane Irma: Insured losses projected up to historic $65 billion

Hurricane Irma: Insured losses projected up to historic $65 billion

Much depends on its path as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, but a catastrophe modeling firm projected Saturday that insured losses could range from $20 billion to $65 billion in the U.S. and Caribbean, making it a contender for the most expensive in U.S. history. Human life and safety remains the top priority for all in the path of a dangerous storm already blamed for at least 23 deaths, but U...
Hurricane Irma: Nearly 29,000 without power in Palm Beach County

Hurricane Irma: Nearly 29,000 without power in Palm Beach County

Power outages are increasing in Palm Beach County and elsewhere in Florida as powerful Hurricane Irma moves closer to the state. As of 2 a.m. Sunday, 243,310 Florida Power & Light customers were without power in its 35-county territory, with outages reported clockwise around Florida from north of Jacksonville to the Keys to Tampa Bay. » Hurricane Irma: Get the latest news and...
Gap, Banana Republic closing 200 stores

Gap, Banana Republic closing 200 stores

Gap Inc., which owns Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and two other brands, will close hundreds of stores to make way for new ones.  >> Read more trending news  According to The Associated Press, the clothing retailer plans to close 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores in the next three years. The company plans to open 270 new Old Navy and Athleta stores during...
FPL cuts outage estimate, but outages are occurring

FPL cuts outage estimate, but outages are occurring

Florida Power & Light has lowered its outage forecast following a shift in Hurricane Irma’s path to the west, but warned customers to not become complacent about the storm’s potential to cause major damage. “We are now forecasting about one million fewer outages, 3.4 compared to 4.1 million yesterday. That said, there is no way to predict how many of those will be in Palm Beach County...

Condo association may not employ a board member’s spouse

Question: We live in a 74-unit townhome community with an annual budget over $150,000. The board consists of five members who have been serving for over 10 years, with the exception of the board secretary. The board president’s husband has served as the maintenance director since 2007. He oversees all of the maintenance personnel and obtains all of the bids for needed services. (Sometimes he...
Chili's slashing menu to focus on customer favorites

Chili's slashing menu to focus on customer favorites

Chili's announced Friday that it was trimming its menu by 40 percent to focus on traditional favorites. The chain restaurant said in a statement that it was "going back to its roots" by shrinking its menu and focusing on its popular core dishes: burgers, ribs and fajitas. The "less is more" menu will debut Sept. 18, and will feature 75 items, down from the 125 items on the...
NEW: NRC sends more inspectors to FPL nuclear plants ahead of Irma

NEW: NRC sends more inspectors to FPL nuclear plants ahead of Irma

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Friday it has dispatched additional inspectors to the Turkey Point nuclear plant south of Miami and the St. Lucie nuclear plant on the east coast of Florida in advance of Hurricane Irma. See aerial, ground footage of crews arriving in Florida today to assist power restoration post-Irma Juno Beach-based Florida Power & Light owns and operates the two nuclear plants...
FPL: Irma will cause power losses to 9 million people in its territory

FPL: Irma will cause power losses to 9 million people in its territory

An estimated 9 million people in Florida Power & Light’s 35-county territory will lose power due to ferocious Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm expected to make landfall in Florida Sunday. If the prediction that 90 percent of FPL’s customers will be without electricity at some point holds true, it would be the largest power outage in FPL’s history, FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy...
Equifax data breach: What to know

Equifax data breach: What to know

Credit reporting and technology company Equifax had data compromised in what it said was a cybersecurity incident that affected 143 million customers in the U.S. Here is what you need to know about the incident: According to the FAQ on a website the company created to provide customers with information on the hack, Equifax found out about the breach July 29. The company said it “acted...
FPL: Irma power outages could top Wilma’s

FPL: Irma power outages could top Wilma’s

With Hurricane Irma aiming for South Florida’s tri-county area, millions of people are expected to lose power to their homes and businesses in what could result in a major rebuilding of Florida Power & Light’s infrastructure. The storm has the potential to be the biggest disaster in FPL’s, and Florida’s history. Hurricane Wilma in 2005 was the hurricane that to date resulted...
Hurricane Irma: Publix stores in PBC scheduled to close at noon Saturday

Hurricane Irma: Publix stores in PBC scheduled to close at noon Saturday

Publix stores in Palm Beach County are scheduled to close at noon Saturday, the state’s largest grocer said in a list posted on its website. Publix operates 75 supermarkets in Palm Beach County. Stores in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are scheduled to close at 9 p.m. Friday. Treasure Coast stores are set to close at noon Saturday. The retailer announced its plans as Hurricane Irma approaches...
Hurricane Irma: American cancels South Florida flights through Sunday

Hurricane Irma: American cancels South Florida flights through Sunday

The window for residents and visitors to fly out of town before the arrival of Hurricane Irma is quickly closing. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport announced Thursday it will close Friday night and American Airlines said that it will “wind down” operations at Palm Beach International and other South Florida airports on Friday. American Airlines canceled all flights for both...
Gov. Rick Scott promises police escorts for oil tankers

Gov. Rick Scott promises police escorts for oil tankers

Gov. Rick Scott says he is providing police escorts to whisk gas tankers to parched petrol pumps, and he has asked federal officials to temporarily end rules that restrict fuel flows into Florida as Hurricane Irma threatens. “We are absolutely devoting every state resource to addressing this,” Scott said Thursday during a visit to Palm Beach County’s Emergency Operations Center...

POINT OF VIEW: Decline in unions a failure of public education

The Post’s Labor Day editorial — “It’s time to get serious about raising wages in U.S.” (Sunday) — was spot-on regarding the disjunction between metrics showing economic “improvement” and the steadily declining real-dollar wages working families are enduring, and the correlative decline in unionized workers as a percentage of U.S. workers. The Editorial...
JUST IN: Cruise to nowhere from Port of Palm Beach canceled

JUST IN: Cruise to nowhere from Port of Palm Beach canceled

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line officials said Thursday afternoon they cannot take passengers on a planned cruise to nowhere out of the Port of Palm Beach. The Coast Guard wants the ship to leave the port as early as possible Friday morning. “The Coast Guard has instructed us not to take any passengers on Friday as that could potentially delay the ship’s departure. They want the ship to depart...
JUST IN: Gardens gas station owner disputes officials on gas supplies

JUST IN: Gardens gas station owner disputes officials on gas supplies

The governor, state officials and Port Everglades officials say supplies to refill South Florida gas stations in advance of Hurricane Irma are flowing, but the owner of four Palm Beach Gardens gas stations says he and others are not seeing a drop of replenishment. “I don’t understand why the governor has been saying everything is fine. I have had such a hard time getting gas in the last...
Hurricane Irma: Insurer Citizens braces for more than 100,000 claims

Hurricane Irma: Insurer Citizens braces for more than 100,000 claims

Companies scrambled to get ready for hard-charging Hurricane Irma Wednesday as Florida’s second-largest insurer approved emergency spending to prepare for more than 100,000 claims and mobile phone providers reinforced networks and waived charges to contact people on islands in the storm’s path. In a phone meeting Wednesday afternoon, the board of state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp...
Irma could harm Florida’s crops, especially sugar cane and citrus

Irma could harm Florida’s crops, especially sugar cane and citrus

Florida’s crops, especially citrus and sugar cane, could be damaged by Hurricane Irma , a forecast service said Wednesday. “The exact track of the storm will be a major determining factor on the extent of the crop damage,” said Don Keeney, senior agricultural meteorologist for MDA Weather Services. “A storm track right over the center of the Florida peninsula would likely result...
BREAKING: Millions of servings of food on way to feed post-Irma crowds

BREAKING: Millions of servings of food on way to feed post-Irma crowds

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has readied millions of servings of food that will be on-hand for Hurricane Irma response efforts. This effort is being conducted as part of the Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness’ Emergency Support Function 11 role. Florida’s AG’s Office fields gouging complaints on lumber, ice, water “We are doing everything...

Hurricane Irma: Don’t plan on parking at local malls

Don’t plan on leaving your car in a mall parking lot during Hurricane Irma, according to officials with several Palm Beach County shopping hubs. Florida Power & Light crews plan to use the lots at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens as a “recovery station,” and as a result, mall officials said spaces will not be opened to the public. Hurricane Irma: Get the latest...
Florida’s AG’s Office fields gouging complaints on lumber, ice, water

Florida’s AG’s Office fields gouging complaints on lumber, ice, water

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has received hundreds of price gouging complaints as Floridians scramble to prepare for Hurricane Irma. “We have received hundreds of complaints about alleged price gouging since the hotline was activated Sunday. We do not have an exact total at this time,” said Kylie Mason, a spokeswoman for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Gas lines grow...
Hurricane Irma: Comcast opens WiFi hotspots to non-customers

Hurricane Irma: Comcast opens WiFi hotspots to non-customers

With Hurricane Irma threatening the state, Comcast announced Wednesday that it has opened its Xfinity WiFi hotspots to non-customers in an effort to help keep residents and emergency workers connected in advance of the storm. Comcast has more than 137,000 WiFi hotspots across Florida. “We know it’s critically important for everyone to have a means of communication at their disposal before...
Gas lines grow long, pumps run dry: 8 tips to max out fuel you have

Gas lines grow long, pumps run dry: 8 tips to max out fuel you have

Gasoline is running scarce. Lines at the pumps are growing long. Here are eight tips from AAA to squeeze as much as you can of the fuel in your tank right now. Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts. Anticipate your stops. When approaching a red light, let your foot off the gas as early as possible. In summer, drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage...
BREAKING: Port under condition Whiskey; can accept gasoline deliveries

BREAKING: Port under condition Whiskey; can accept gasoline deliveries

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard captain of the port set port condition Whiskey for Port Miami, Miami River, Port Everglades, Port of Palm Beach, Port of Fort Pierce and all other South Florida terminals and facilities. This has no immediate impact on delivery of fuel through Port Everglades, so gasoline stations can still be supplied. Condition Whiskey means that sustained gale force...
Palm Beach County workers get hefty raise

Palm Beach County workers get hefty raise

Workers finally are getting significant pay raises, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Palm Beach County workers got a 5.7 percent pay raise from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, to $1,050 a week. Palm Beach County no longer is the state’s highes paid labor market. Workers in Hillsborough County made $1,061, and $1,053 in Miami-Dade County. Nationally, wages...
In a day, Irma sends Florida insurer stocks reeling up to 20%

In a day, Irma sends Florida insurer stocks reeling up to 20%

Hurricane Irma‘s precise path by this weekend is still not clear, but investors saw enough of its forecast track and winds up 185 mph to send the stock of Florida property insurers plunging — in at least one case with unprecedented speed. Gas lines in Royal Palm Beach Tuesday reflected worries about Hurricane Irma. This station was out of gas by 2 p.m. (Charles ...
Online estimates help you plan for retirement, more

Online estimates help you plan for retirement, more

Social Security encourages all Americans to take steps toward ensuring their financial security. Wherever you are in life — starting your first job, beginning a family, or getting ready to retire — it’s never too late or too soon to start planning for the years ahead. We’re here to help, and we offer a suite of online tools you can use to plan for a secure future for you and...
Hurricane Irma: Will hurricane-resistant windows resist Irma?

Hurricane Irma: Will hurricane-resistant windows resist Irma?

Will hurricane-resistant windows hold up to Hurricane Irma’s winds, now hovering at 185 mph? “It looks like we’re going to find out,” said Peter Dyga, president of the East Coast chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, the largest construction organization in the state. Not since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 has Florida seen the potential for such a violent wind storm...
Irma: Insurers hold emergency meetings for possible ‘head-on’ Fla. hit

Irma: Insurers hold emergency meetings for possible ‘head-on’ Fla. hit

Florida’s second-largest insurer called an emergency board meeting and several companies stopped writing or revising policies in South Florida Tuesday as Category 5 Hurricane Irma presented one of the greatest threats in state history. As all eyes watch the storm’s projected path, state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s board will gather by teleconference at 2 p.m. Wednesday...
Hurricane Irma: Dread, panic and hope in Home Depot parking lot

Hurricane Irma: Dread, panic and hope in Home Depot parking lot

Dread and an adrenaline-fueled hyper-vigilance. Panic, nervous acceptance and magical thinking that we’ll still shrug off the bullseye on our backs. That was the range of emotions in just one Home Depot parking lot Tuesday, as Palm Beach County residents do what they can to mitigate what could be a big punch from Hurricane Irma this weekend. RELATED: Our complete Hurricane Irma coverage Michael...
Palm Beach County residents flood gas stations

Palm Beach County residents flood gas stations

With Hurricane Irma predicted to hit Florida this weekend, Palm Beach County residents flocked to the pumps, and many stations had run out of gas as of Wednesday morning. More than 30 motorists queued up at the Costco gas station in Lantana at noon Wednesday, but with store employees directing traffic, the line moved quickly. Chester Schwam of Boynton Beach said he waited for less than 15 minutes...

Rampell: Ivanka Trump has learned well from her father’s cons

Ivanka Trump is for working women the way her father is for the working class: In both cases, the Trumps really just want their money. President Donald Trump’s daughter built her brand around women’s “empowerment,” by which I mean monetizing the anxieties and insecurities of stressed-out moms. From the beginning, her stated goal was to help professional women dig deep and tap...
Thinking about leaving ahead of Irma? Read this first

Thinking about leaving ahead of Irma? Read this first

It could still weave. It could still dodge. Hurricane Irma could still bow to weather pressures greater even than the monstrous 185-mph punch she is packing and curve away from shore. No matter. Three days and hundreds of miles before landfall, Irma is already wreaking havoc, clogging roadways and reviving gut-churning local memories of the big bad girls who preceded her: Frances, Jeanne, Wilma. Gov...
It’s lights out if Irma makes a direct hit, FPL says

It’s lights out if Irma makes a direct hit, FPL says

Florida Power & Light Co. officials said Tuesday that if Hurricane Irma makes a direct hit to Florida, the electric grid and infrastructure could be extensively damaged, and some customers could experience more than one outage. “Right now this storm has 180-mile-per-hour winds. There could be extensive damage to our grid if it directly impacts the state,” FPL spokesman Bill Orlove said...
Irma: The insurance steps to take now for a Cat 5 storm

Irma: The insurance steps to take now for a Cat 5 storm

The approach of a Category 5 storm like Hurricane Irma of course means preparing to secure properties and stock up  on supplies including bottled water, but it’s also an important moment to organize and protect key financial documents such as an insurance policy, state officials said Tuesday. You can talk to insurance agents ahead of the storm if you have questions...
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