Business headlines

Editorial: County can ensure women, minorities fair cut of contracts

Editorial: County can ensure women, minorities fair cut of contracts

Palm Beach County isn’t wasting time. About $40 million of the money collected from the 2016 sales tax increase already has been spent, says County Administrator Verdenia Baker. A road project here, some bridge work there — it doesn’t take long for the expenditures to add up. Unfortunately, it’s still business as usual in the way the county and other local governments have...
Government shutdown: Veterans exchange remains open

Government shutdown: Veterans exchange remains open

A tax-free online shopping exchange opened to veterans last fall including more  than 91,000 in Palm Beach County will remain open during the government shutdown, officials said Saturday. Former US Air Force pilot Gregg Matous holds a photograph of himself with a U-2 spy plane at his home in Jupiter. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post) “Though the Exchange...

Owners do not get an official vote at board meetings

Question: During an HOA board meeting, is it common practice to allow the members in the audience to have a vote on board business? I know the members are allowed to speak if recognized, but going through our bylaws and the Florida statues I have found nothing pertaining to members having a vote along with the board. It seems to me that the board was put in place to protect the members of the association...
Billionaire developer Jeff Greene sues gossip site for libel

Billionaire developer Jeff Greene sues gossip site for libel

Contending that an article on the GossipExtra website was libelous, billionaire developer Jeff Greene has sued gossip columnist Jose Lambiet. In a suit filed this month in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Greene calls Lambiet’s reporting “grossly inadequate.” Greene’s claim focuses on a Dec. 3 piece titled, “Is Billionaire Jeff Greene Behind Dirty Politics of Downtown...
Amazon raises monthly Prime membership rate

Amazon raises monthly Prime membership rate

The monthly membership fee for Amazon Prime rose Friday from $10.99 to $12.99. Company officials said the annual membership will remain at $99 dollars. Monthly customers do not get access to Amazon Video, which costs $8.99 a month. The last Prime subscription hike came in 2014, when Amazon increased its yearly membership from $79 to $99. The e-commerce company did not give a reason for the price increase...
Enright elected Port of Palm Beach chair

Enright elected Port of Palm Beach chair

Jean Enright was elected Thursday as the new chair of the Port of Palm Beach Commission. Enright joined the commission in 2005. She was re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016. She received a bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University, a master’s from Howard University, and a doctorate from the Catholic University of America. Enright has worked as a university administrator, public school administrator...
Top tips for selling your old stuff on eBay (and actually making cash)

Top tips for selling your old stuff on eBay (and actually making cash)

Too much clutter, too little money, too many gifts you didn't like... an eBay auction is one of the simplest solutions to all three issues. If your trash might be someone else's treasure, an eBay business is simple to start and accessible to just about anyone. "It has low start-up costs and it can be started out of your home," noted the New Life Auctions blog, written by sellers who...
Pot docs postpone Miami medical marijuana conference, blame Sessions

Pot docs postpone Miami medical marijuana conference, blame Sessions

The American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association planned to host prominent speakers at a confab in Miami next month. Now, though, the group says Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ tough talk about weed has forced it to reconsider. The pot docs said they have postponed their NFL and Medical Cannabis Conference. Speakers were to include Dr. Bennet Omalu, the physician portrayed by Will Smith...
After IPO, ADT shares trading again

After IPO, ADT shares trading again

Boca Raton-based ADT went public again on Friday, although shares received a tepid response. ADT (NYSE: ADT) traded at $12.49 Friday afternoon. The home-security company had targeted a price of $17 to $19 a share, then scaled back its IPO price to $14, The Wall Street Journal reported. Despite a roster of 7 million customers and several billion in revenue, ADT has struggled for financial...
Union membership falls in Florida, nationally

Union membership falls in Florida, nationally

After a brief rise in 2015 and 2016, Florida union membership is on the wane again, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday. Just 6.6 percent of Florida workers belonged to unions in 2017, down from 7.1 percent in 2016. Nationally, union membership is on the decline, hitting 10.7 percent in 2016 and 2017.
Palm Beach County unemployment falls to 3.6%

Palm Beach County unemployment falls to 3.6%

Palm Beach County’s labor market remained at full employment in December, although the region’s jobs picture also showed some signs of softness. The county’s jobless rate fell to 3.6 percent in December, down from 3.8 percent in November, Florida’s labor department said Friday. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rose slightly to 3.7 percent but remained better...
NEW: Brightline to add safety ambassadors, more signs at key crossings

NEW: Brightline to add safety ambassadors, more signs at key crossings

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline on Friday announced new safety and public education initiatives it plans to implement in the coming days amid mounting calls from state representatives to review recent deaths involving the private rail venture’s trains. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, on Friday joined the list of lawmakers urging federal transportation officials to evaluate whether proper...
Bookie calls South Florida long shot in Amazon HQ2 contest

Bookie calls South Florida long shot in Amazon HQ2 contest

South Florida economic developers and politicians are fired up to make the first cut in the bidding war for Amazon’s second headquarters. But one bookie says the Miami MSA is an underdog. Irish bookmaker PaddyPower.com pegs South Florida’s odds at 20-1. Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville,  Northern Virginia, Raleigh and Indianapolis also are 20-1 long shots (meaning a $1...
Palm Beach developer admits to lying to bankroll Vero condo project

Palm Beach developer admits to lying to bankroll Vero condo project

A 74-year-old developer who operated from offices in Palm Beach faces a possible five-year prison sentence after admitting to a federal judge on Thursday that he submitted phony documents to banks to keep an oceanfront condominium project in Vero Beach afloat. Once facing eight counts of bank fraud, George Heaton pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit the offense...
Florida lawmakers advance new loan type sought by payday-loan industry

Florida lawmakers advance new loan type sought by payday-loan industry

Florida lawmakers have started moving forward with a proposal to revamp rules for the payday-loan industry, allowing customers to borrow larger amounts of money over longer periods of time. The House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee unanimously approved the changes Wednesday, a day after a Senate committee backed the Senate version. The proposal, in part, would allow a new type of “installment&rdquo...
Brightline must act quickly to avert brand damage, experts say

Brightline must act quickly to avert brand damage, experts say

Proponents hope Brightline’s sleek, fast-moving trains can coax affluent South Floridians out of their cars and onto mass transit. But the train service’s launch has been marred by grisly headlines. Brightline trains struck and killed two people in just a few days, and the latest accident drew national news coverage and Congressional criticism. Experts in crisis communications say Brightline...
Nestle Japan launches ruby chocolate KitKat ahead of Valentine's Day

Nestle Japan launches ruby chocolate KitKat ahead of Valentine's Day

Nestle Japan on Thursday unveiled a new, pink KitKat var, which is to be sold ahead of Valentine’s Day in a handful of stores in Japan and South Korea, as well as online. Dubbed the KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby, the chocolate is made using ruby cacao beans, which give the treat a naturally pink color. The beans also give the chocolate “a fruity flavor reminiscent of berries,”...
Publix launches low-price prescription drug program

Publix launches low-price prescription drug program

Publix Pharmacy has launched a new low-price prescription drug program offering a 90-day supply some of the most commonly prescribed medications for $7.50. The program includes 29 medications with a total of 85 dosage options. “Our founder, George Jenkins, taught us to take care of people and our communities, and making needed medications more affordable provides us this opportunity,”...
9 best- worst-paying jobs at Amazon

9 best- worst-paying jobs at Amazon

Amazon is the talk of the town for metro areas across North America, since the company just announced it has whittled the list of cities that could be home to its second headquarters down to 20. The cities, which include New York, Nashville, Tennessee, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, are vying for the massive $5 billion project, known as HQ2, that could bring about 50,000 highly paid tech and corporate...
New plan for South Dixie Highway parcel in West Palm Beach

New plan for South Dixie Highway parcel in West Palm Beach

Owners of the aged Prospect Place office center in West Palm Beach are going low, instead of high, for a planned redevelopment. Time Equities, which owns the 3111 S. Dixie Highway site, this month filed plans with the city to build 300 luxury apartments in six low-rise buildings. Three buildings rising three stories would be built along Dixie Highway, with 17,000 square feet of retail space on the...
Wellington’s making moves in the world of ‘slow fashion’

Wellington’s making moves in the world of ‘slow fashion’

Art can be inspired by many things, but for fashion designers Anabella Montgomery and Kate Hannah the inspiration comes mostly from people and places. And lately, their muse can be found in Palm Beach County. The two women own Elizabeth, a Colorado-based label sold at Hannah’s store, Tula. The women’s clothing brand focuses on “slow fashion” made of high-quality...
South Florida makes first cut in Amazon’s HQ2 search

South Florida makes first cut in Amazon’s HQ2 search

South Florida made the first cut in its bid to become the home of Amazon’s second headquarters, the ecommerce giant said Thursday. Amazon narrowed its search to 20 contestants. Aside from Miami, they are: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Montgomery County in Maryland; Nashville, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia...
Payday loan crackdown on ice under Trump pick who got donations

Payday loan crackdown on ice under Trump pick who got donations

A consumer agency taken over by an appointee of President Donald Trump who accepted more than $62,000 in contributions from payday lenders while in Congress has suspended rules aimed at stopping what the previous administration called “payday debt traps.” Florida consumers paid more than $2.5 billion in fees that amounted to an average 278 percent annual interest rate on payday loans over...
Florida pot grower sells for $48 million

Florida pot grower sells for $48 million

In another big-dollar deal for a Florida cannabis company, a publicly traded firm said Wednesday that it paid $48 million for a state-licensed pot producer. iAnthus Capital Holdings announced a deal for GrowHealthy Holdings of Lake Wales. The company said it plans to open a dispensary in Palm Beach County during the third quarter of 2018. iAnthus Chief Executive Hadley Ford said he expects Florida&rsquo...
FPL customers tell regulators they oppose new Dania Beach power plant

FPL customers tell regulators they oppose new Dania Beach power plant

Since 2005, Florida Power & Light Co. has built nine natural-gas fired plants. Wednesday, four residents of Dania Beach traveled to Tallahassee to tell regulators they don’t want a new plant in their city. Before Juno Beach-based FPL can build an $888 million natural gas-fired plant to replace an older facility that burns natural gas and oil, the Florida Public Service Commission must find there...
Scripps Research Institute receives gift worth tens of millions

Scripps Research Institute receives gift worth tens of millions

The nonprofit Scripps Research Institute said Wednesday that it received a gift worth tens of millions of dollars, a donation the lab’s president called “transformational.” Related: Scripps chairman “whale hunting” for big gifts Scripps declined to specify the precise amount of the gift from the Skaggs family, which made its fortune in the drugstore business...
Amid Bitcoin craze, Weiss Ratings launches cryptocurrency grades

Amid Bitcoin craze, Weiss Ratings launches cryptocurrency grades

Weiss Ratings, the Palm Beach Gardens company known for grading banks, insurers and stocks, is adding a new subject to its report card: cryptocurrency. Weiss Ratings said Wednesday that it will release letter grades for Bitcoin, Ethereum and dozens of other cryptocurrencies on Jan. 24. Weiss Ratings is best known for a cautious approach to investing, and founder Martin Weiss acknowledges that grading...
What happens when a train strikes a pedestrian?

What happens when a train strikes a pedestrian?

The invitation-only ride on Brightline’s express train should have taken 35 minutes. The locomotive pulled out of the company’s station in downtown Fort Lauderdale about 6 p.m. Friday headed for West Palm Beach. But as the train reached the railroad crossing at Northeast Sixth Avenue in Boynton Beach — the trip came to an abrupt stop. Melissa Lavell, 32, was fatally struck by the...
What is bitcoin? What you need to know about cryptocurrency

What is bitcoin? What you need to know about cryptocurrency

If you own bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it might be a bad day for you. The price of bitcoin plunged by 15 percent Tuesday morning, dropping below $12,000 for the first time since Dec. 4. Other cryptocurrencies have also seen price declines, with Ethereum falling by 20 percent and Ripple falling by 33 percent. The plunging prices are a stark difference to the success bitcoin saw last...
Payday lenders get big win after contributions to Trump pick

Payday lenders get big win after contributions to Trump pick

A consumer agency taken over by an appointee of President Donald Trump who took more than $62,000 in contributions from payday lenders while in Congress said it will suspend landmark rules aimed at alleged predatory abuses in that industry. Mick Mulvaney serves as the Trump administration’s budget director and acting consumer bureau director. (CNBC). Florida consumers paid more than...
Check out these new ‘my Social Security’ features in the new year

Check out these new ‘my Social Security’ features in the new year

2018 is here! It’s a new year There’s no better time to tell you about the new features we have in “my Social Security.” They not only save you time but also put you in control of your retirement future. There are a growing number of states (and the District of Columbia) where, if you’re a resident, you can request a replacement Social Security card online. Our new online...
End of an era: Kretzer Piano closing after 33 years in business

End of an era: Kretzer Piano closing after 33 years in business

After 33 years in business, Kretzer Piano owner Kathi Kretzer-Sayler said it’s time for her to stop selling music and start savoring it instead. Kretzer Piano, at 240 W. Indiantown Road in Jupiter, will close its doors within 60 days. A liquidation sale is set for Feb. 8-11, Kretzer-Sayler said Tuesday. The piano store’s shutdown marks an end of an era for one of Palm Beach County&rsquo...
How to win an argument at work - or stop one before it starts

How to win an argument at work - or stop one before it starts

No one expects to navigate the work world without the occasional argument. And it's nice to "win" when you're in the right. »RELATED: Does birth order affect you in the workplace? But what really matters more than besting your manager or co-workers in an argument is how you handle the conflicts that are an inevitable part of work, according to a Forbes piece co-written by Travis...
Despite robust pay, jobs for mechanics and machinists go unfilled

Despite robust pay, jobs for mechanics and machinists go unfilled

Every morning, Zackery Wysocki dons a helmet and suits up in protective gear for another day of bending metal. After three years as a welder, the 29-year-old father is pleased with his career choice. He pulls down twice as much as he used to make as a telemarketer, and a grant covered tuition at the academic program that prepared him for his position, meaning he’s not saddled with student debt...
FPL: Customers won’t pay surcharge for Irma costs due to tax reform

FPL: Customers won’t pay surcharge for Irma costs due to tax reform

Thanks to federal tax savings for Florida Power & Light, its customers will not face increased rates for Hurricane Irma-related restoration costs, company officials said Tuesday. Instead of charging customers a storm surcharge, FPL will apply the savings resulting from the new federal tax law toward the $1.3 billion restoration cost of the hurricane that struck in September. Each of FPL’s 4...
Fun and free things to do with kids in Palm Beach County this weekend

Fun and free things to do with kids in Palm Beach County this weekend

There are so many amazing and COMPLETELY FREE things to do with your kids in Palm Beach County this weekend. Here are our picks for the best events. We’ve also included a few for next weekend so you can get a head start on planning. To get this weekly listing delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our Palm Beach Parenting Newsletter by clicking HERE.  Where: Wellington ...
Palm Beach Co. gas average up 4 cents; higher oil prices blamed

Palm Beach Co. gas average up 4 cents; higher oil prices blamed

As oil prices continue to rise, Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose to $2.61 Tuesday, up 4 cents from a week ago. The national average stood at $2.53 Tuesday, up 4 cents from last week, while Florida’s average rose 5 cents to $2.49, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. Expect to see more increases the pump this week. That’s not what usually happens...
8 easy, money-making side gigs for teens 

8 easy, money-making side gigs for teens 

Whether it's the teen who'd like extra money for things like clothes or gas or a parent who'd like to see their high school or college-aged child get off the couch when school’s out, a part-time job can be a wonderful thing. »RELATED: Apple hiring for work from home positions Of course, child labor laws dictate how young is too young to work and what hours (and under what conditions)...
Price of Netscape co-founder’s Palm Beach estate drops by $20M to $95M

Price of Netscape co-founder’s Palm Beach estate drops by $20M to $95M

Netscape co-founder Jim Clark has greeted the New Year by lowering the price to $95 million for Il Palmetto, his ocean-to-lake estate on Billionaires Row. That’s a $20 million drop from its previously listed price of $115 million, which was down from the original $137 million Clark was asking nearly 18 months ago. The new price still lands the property at 1500 S. Ocean Blvd. at...
New pot proponent? Willis McGahee joins list of stars touting marijuana’s medical benefits

New pot proponent? Willis McGahee joins list of stars touting marijuana’s medical benefits

Add former NFL running back Willis McGahee to the list of high-profile athletes espousing the health benefits of marijuana. McGahee is slated to speak at The NFL and Medical Marijuana conference in Miami the day before the Super Bowl. He’s scheduled for a session titled “Round-Table Discussion with Panel of Former NFL Players Utilizing Cannabis for Medical Conditions,” although...
Apple hiring for work from home positions

Apple hiring for work from home positions

Apple is looking for additions to its workforce and you don’t even have to leave home.  The tech company is looking to fill about 50 AppleCare at-home positions to offer tech support of devices like iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, the Houston Chronicle reported.  >> Read more trending news  While working from home is a big enough perk for some, the job also comes with...
Mary B's frozen biscuits recalled due to listeria concerns

Mary B's frozen biscuits recalled due to listeria concerns

Be sure to check your freezer because there’s a new recall on frozen biscuits that were sold in nearly two dozen states. Hom/Ade Foods is recalling Mary B’s brand biscuits due to listeria concerns. The biscuits were sold in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma...
Equifax tops Florida gripes. Knives are out for credit-freeze fee

Equifax tops Florida gripes. Knives are out for credit-freeze fee

Florida officials are pushing to eliminate a $10 fee to freeze a credit report after hacked credit reporting agency Equifax emerged as the most complained-about company in the state in 2017,  in beefs to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This fall Equifax acknowledged a data breach that exposed the personal data of more than 145 million U.S. consumers...
Cerabino: For Brightline, it’s a time for many to try rail

Cerabino: For Brightline, it’s a time for many to try rail

Roger and Mary Hansen were among the curious. The Wellington retirees had friends, Tom and Wanda Werneking, visiting from The Villages, a Central Florida retirement community. “We usually go to the fair, but we thought we’d try the train today,” Roger Hansen said. So the four friends made an outing of the area’s new train service, Brightline, by catching a noon train from the...
CVS to stop digitally altered images in its store brand advertising, will label other brands’ manipulation

CVS to stop digitally altered images in its store brand advertising, will label other brands’ manipulation

CVS is making sure its beauty ads live up to real life.  It’s stopping the practice of photo manipulation on its store-brand beauty products and will mark other company’s advertisements with a notation on images that have been Photoshopped, USAToday reported. The company will also mark photos that have not been altered with what it is calling the CVS Beauty Mark.  >> Read...
Florida’s onshore oil drilling industry began 75 years ago

Florida’s onshore oil drilling industry began 75 years ago

Offshore oil drilling is off the table for Florida for now, but many people might not know that the Sunshine State has produced oil from wells in Southwest Florida and the Panhandle for decades. That too has been controversial and the subject of lawsuits as environmental groups have fought against the ongoing drilling for oil and natural gas in some of the state’s most pristine natural areas...

POINT OF VIEW: Another use for the state’s Sadowski Housing funds

There may be a better use for the state’s Sadowski Housing Trust Fund revenue than handing it over to local officials. While Palm Beach County Commissioner Paulette Burdick has a point about the need for affordable housing, which the fund was meant to provide, I have little faith that the counties and cities in need of affordable housing will use the money wisely. RELATED: Editorial...
Beautiful day for train ride: The curious come out to take Brightline

Beautiful day for train ride: The curious come out to take Brightline

Brightline’s second day of operation Sunday attracted lots of families, singles and others looking for an outing on the chilly, windy day that was too cold for the beach. A steady stream of people entered the station at 260 Quadrille Plaza Drive in downtown West Palm Beach, hoping to buy a tickets at $10 apiece one way to Fort Lauderdale. Some weren’t planning to take the 38-minute trip...
Happy rails to you: Brightline high-speed trains roll into action

Happy rails to you: Brightline high-speed trains roll into action

Over, almost before it began. That’s how it felt as Brightline’s first train pulled into Fort Lauderdale, a quick 35 minutes after rolling out of downtown West Palm Beach. Barely had the seat-back trays come down, laptops opened, Wifi connected and snack-and-beverage cart made the rounds, then the destination city skyline came into sight and it was time to de-train. “It’s...

Quorum must be met to approve change in financial reporting

Question: We are a small HOA community with 50 homes and an approximately $180,000 budget. As the time comes near to do the compiled financial statements that are required by Florida Statutes 720.303(7), we are looking at ways that we can better handle those requirements. We would like to hold a membership meeting to approve a different type of report. If we hold a “properly called meeting,&rdquo...
Scripps Florida creates another spinoff, but this one is staying home for now

Scripps Florida creates another spinoff, but this one is staying home for now

Scripps Florida on Friday announced its second spinoff company of the young year, although this startup has a different flavor than the venture-backed company the institute announced last week. The latest company, Calm Therapeutics, will seek a cure for Prader-Willi Syndrome, an uncommon genetic disease that causes children to overeat. While Scripps Florida spinoff Expansion Therapeutics launched...
NEW: Brightline will be model for other U.S. regions, Congressman says

NEW: Brightline will be model for other U.S. regions, Congressman says

As All Aboard Florida’s Brightline kicked off its inaugural weekend on Friday, transportation planners from across the country were already looking at ways to replicate the service in other large metropolitan areas where traffic is a problem. The private train service shuttled dozens of federal, state and local officials and other dignitaries between its stations in West Palm Beach and Fort...
House votes 88-15 to repeal Florida’s no-fault car insurance system

House votes 88-15 to repeal Florida’s no-fault car insurance system

The Florida House voted overwhelmingly on Friday to mothball the state’s no-fault car insurance system in place since the 1970s, sending a clear message for the second straight year amid rising expectations the Senate will pass its own version of repeal this session. “We will be able to do this at a cost reduction to the average driver in Florida,” said sponsor state Rep. Erin Grall...
Are you hooked on sugar? 5 clues you might be addicted to sugar

Are you hooked on sugar? 5 clues you might be addicted to sugar

What was known to previous generations as a "sweet tooth" is known to ours as a widespread health threat. Too much dietary sugar causes or contributes to ailments and diseases from insomnia tonight to kidney failure down the road.  »RELATED: This is what 12 Diet Cokes a day can do to your body, according to Atlanta nutritionists One study from University of California San Francisco...
Still growing: Keyes Co. buys Boynton Beach brokerage

Still growing: Keyes Co. buys Boynton Beach brokerage

The Keyes Co., already the biggest real estate brokerage in Palm Beach County by a wide margin, keeps getting bigger. Keyes said Friday that it bought The Realty Pros, a 43-agent firm headquartered west of Boynton Beach. It’s Keyes’ fourth acquisition in just six months. Realty Pros’ office at at Canyon Town Center “brings significant strategic value to Keyes,” the...
VIDEO: Riding Brightline this weekend? Five things to know

VIDEO: Riding Brightline this weekend? Five things to know

Brightline will launch introductory service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale this morning. Here are five things you need to know before getting on the train: The stations are cashless. Make sure you have a credit card with you if you need to buy a ticket or plan to buy food and drinks either in Brightline’s station or on its trains. You can’t pay with cash. Brightline is bright!...
Tension mounts over Brightline train horns

Tension mounts over Brightline train horns

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline train service on Thursday faced mounting opposition from West Palm Beach residents who want the passenger fleet stopped until safety upgrades to create a quiet zone to silence train horns are completed. Hours after Brightline announced its Saturday start date, the board of directors of the CityPlace South Tower condominium urged city officials...
Trump administration’s Medicaid work requirement unlikely in Florida

Trump administration’s Medicaid work requirement unlikely in Florida

While the Trump administration signaled willingness this week to allow work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries, the Florida Legislature is unlikely to move ahead with such a mandate this year. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, told The News Service of Florida on Wednesday that the state’s $26 billion Medicaid program is comprised mostly of children and seniors and that...

POINT OF VIEW: Energy deregulation no ‘price panacea’ for Floridians

Every few years, proponents of deregulation try to peddle the notion that Florida should do away with the protections afforded by the state’s regulated electricity system. It’s about consumer “choice,” they say… obviously “competition” means lower prices for consumers … right? Wrong. While supporters of deregulated electricity claim that competition...
8 ways to stop wasting money at work 

8 ways to stop wasting money at work 

Certainly, it's ironic that it costs money to work to make money to pay your bills. But if you haven't considered how much you spend on the expenses of working, from commutes to coffee, you may be missing significant ways to cut back your personal expenses. These tactics are even more important if you're considering cutting back on your work hours in the near future, or another upcoming event in your...

Brightline: Here’s what you need to know about the new train service

Brightline will launch its new passenger service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know about the express trains. How do I buy a ticket? Tickets are available on Brightline’s website, gobrightline.com, and its new mobile app. The website experienced technical problems on Thursday, and some travelers had difficulty buying tickets. How much...
Famous NY orthopedic center to partner with Good Sam parent Tenet

Famous NY orthopedic center to partner with Good Sam parent Tenet

Got back problems? Good Samaritan hospital has your back. The hospital’s parent company, Tenet Healthcare, is bringing the world-renowned Hospital for Special Surgery to West Palm Beach. In the latest out-of-area medical facility partnership with local providers, Good Sam’s parent has teamed with the Hospital for Special Surgery to open an orthopedic care center at 300 Palm...
NEW: Brightline’s website experiences problems after launch announced

NEW: Brightline’s website experiences problems after launch announced

Brightline’s website experienced technical problems on Thursday in the hours after the company announced its start date, train schedule and ticket prices. “We’re encountering site traffic delays and minor glitches due to your overwhelming excitement to book rides,” the company said on its website, gobrightline.com. “We are working through the kinks. Please check back...
Walmart to raise starting wages, expand benefits: 6 things to know

Walmart to raise starting wages, expand benefits: 6 things to know

Walmart officials on Thursday announced plans to increase starting wages for hundreds of thousands of the company’s employees, affecting the wallets of more than a million people across the country. In a news release Thursday morning, Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon characterized the wage increases and other announced benefits as “building on investments we’ve been...
UPDATE: Quiet zone work to be completed in March, Brightline says

UPDATE: Quiet zone work to be completed in March, Brightline says

UPDATE: Safety improvements needed to create a continuous quiet zone to silence train horns from West Palm Beach south to the Palm Beach County line will be completed in March, a Brightline spokesperson said Thursday. The work is scheduled to begin this month. Once complete, municipalities along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks must file an application with the Federal Railroad Administration...
JUST IN: Stop driving 2006 Ford Rangers now for airbag risk, Ford says

JUST IN: Stop driving 2006 Ford Rangers now for airbag risk, Ford says

Ford issued a critical warning Thursday that certain recalled model year 2006 Ford Rangers with defective Takata air bags are an “immediate risk to safety,” federal officials said. “Affected owners are urged not to drive these vehicles and to contact Ford immediately to schedule a free repair,” a statement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration...
Brightline starts service Saturday; ticket prices revealed

Brightline starts service Saturday; ticket prices revealed

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline will launch introductory service on its passenger trains on Saturday , with round-trip fares starting at $20 for rides between its stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. During the week, the company plans to run 10 round-trip trains a day between the two cities. There will be nine round-trip trains on the weekends.
House panel OKs bill to let local tourism taxes pay for roads, sewers

House panel OKs bill to let local tourism taxes pay for roads, sewers

Despite objections from parts of the tourism industry, Florida House members Wednesday began moving forward with a bill that would allow local tourist-development taxes to be used for projects such as adding roads or expanding sewer and water systems. The bill (HB 585), which was approved in a 9-4 vote by the House Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee, would expand the ways so-called “bed&rdquo...
New tax law could mean lower FPL rates

New tax law could mean lower FPL rates

Across the country, electric utilities in Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon and Washington, D.C., and elsewhere have announced they will pass on their corporate income tax savings to customers in the form of lower rates. Florida’s investor-owned utilities, including Juno Beach-based Florida Power & Light Co., have not made any rate-cutting announcements, and FPL officials say they are analyzing...
Editorial: Floridians must push hard to reverse Trump drilling plan

Editorial: Floridians must push hard to reverse Trump drilling plan

No, no, a thousand times no. In no way should offshore oil and gas drilling be allowed off the coast of Florida. Or off the coast of the Carolinas, California, New Jersey — or any other coastal state, for that matter. But that is what the Trump administration proposes to do, despite the states’ widespread opposition. Reversing longstanding policies upheld by both Republican and Democratic...
Social Security celebrates our nation’s diversity

Social Security celebrates our nation’s diversity

Jan. 15 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday and a day of remembrance. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to creating and fostering equal rights for African Americans, and he died during his efforts to make his dream a reality. Diversity of skills, knowledge, and perspective is what you want when putting together a strong team. In a way, America is a super team of diverse members...
Time to move Florida capital from Tallahassee? This PBC rep thinks so

Time to move Florida capital from Tallahassee? This PBC rep thinks so

A Palm Beach County representative thinks it’s time for Florida’s capital to move to new digs. A bill (HB 1335) filed by state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, would require the formation of a committee to study moving the Legislature and the offices of the governor, state attorney and chief financial officer to a location that can be accessible to more citizens. The “bureaucracy&rdquo...
FPL underground power cost change approved

FPL underground power cost change approved

A change in how the cost of conversion from overhead to underground power lines is calculated will save Palm Beach, Palm Beach Shores and four other municipalities an estimated $14 million. Tuesday the Florida Public Service Commission approved a new formula for calculating the cost as requested by Florida Power & Light Co. WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF UNDERGROUND POWER LINES? Municipalities will...
Coalition seeks amendment to let Floridians choose electricity source

Coalition seeks amendment to let Floridians choose electricity source

Florida Energy Freedom, a coalition pushing to deregulate Florida’s electricity market, wants Floridians to have the right to choose their retail electricity provider, and says such a change could save consumers up to $5 billion a year. The coalition led by Rich Blaser, founder of Gainesville-based Florida Energy Freedom, is seizing an opportunity that comes around once every 20 years, the convening...
Florida economy in Rick Scott era: Success story or disappointment?

Florida economy in Rick Scott era: Success story or disappointment?

Gov. Rick Scott pitches Florida’s post-recession recovery as nothing short of an economic miracle. His detractors say the state’s labor market remains a low-wage nightmare. With the two-term governor expected to vie for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Bill Nelson, Scott’s economic legacy is attracting both praise and criticism. RELATED: The good and bad of Florida’s economy...
The good and bad of Florida’s labor market in three charts

The good and bad of Florida’s labor market in three charts

As Gov. Rick Scott noted in Tuesday’s State of the State speech, Florida has gone through a “remarkable” economic turnaround since he took office seven years ago. Job creation has exploded, and the unemployment rate has fallen below the nation’s. (Mouse over chart for more details.) Yet Democrats counter that Scott is living in “fantasy Florida,” a state...
Texting while driving: Tougher enforcement advances in Florida House

Texting while driving: Tougher enforcement advances in Florida House

On the opening day of Florida’s legislative session Tuesday, a bill to make texting while driving a primary offense unanimously cleared a state House committee where it died last year. Texting behind the wheel has become a huge cultural problem where it can seem like “everybody does it,” but “as the state of Florida we must start sending the right message...
6 signs it's time to break up with your workplace friend

6 signs it's time to break up with your workplace friend

Since you spend so much time at work, of course you want to have friends there! But whether you're enjoying the nonphysical, non-romantic friendship of a "work spouse" or have numerous buddies at the office, some friendships do more harm than good. »RELATED: 5 of the most toxic co-workers and how to deal with them According to workplace and psychology experts, these are six signs you...
FPL workers depart from PBI for Puerto Rico

FPL workers depart from PBI for Puerto Rico

Florida Power & Light Co. lineworkers and support staff departed from Palm Beach International Airport Monday for Puerto Rico to help restore power to areas impacted by Hurricane Maria’s landfall. Hundreds of thousands of people remain without electric service nearly four months after the destructive storm devastated the island. FPL sent 140 workers who will stay as long as needed. “As...
Gas prices stable, but could decrease in late January

Gas prices stable, but could decrease in late January

Gasoline prices are holding steady, with the national average frozen at $2.49 for 10 straight days, but prices could drop 5 to 15 cents in the next six weeks. Prices are high for this time of year. A year ago, the national average for regular gasoline was $2.36. Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular stood at $2.56 Monday, up a penny from a week ago, but 4 cents higher than this...
Two Lake Worth restaurants shut down due to rodent droppings

Two Lake Worth restaurants shut down due to rodent droppings

State inspectors temporarily closed Brogues DownUnder and Rhum Shak, both on Lake Avenue in Lake Worth, on Jan. 3 after citing both for sanitation violations including rodent activity. Brogues DownUnder, a tavern offering Irish-Australian fare and live entertainment at 621 Lake Ave., was shut down after a Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspector cited it for 13 violations...
Fun and free things to do with kids in Palm Beach County this weekend

Fun and free things to do with kids in Palm Beach County this weekend

There are so many amazing and COMPLETELY FREE things to do with your kids in Palm Beach County this weekend. Here are our picks for the best events. We’ve also included a few for next weekend so you can get a head start on planning. To get this weekly listing delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our Palm Beach Parenting Newsletter by clicking HERE.  Where: Downtown...
Try your luck: 10 tips on beating the odds on your first casino trip

Try your luck: 10 tips on beating the odds on your first casino trip

There's just something appealing about a casino vacation, whether you're dreaming of the luxury of the world's most extravagant casino resorts or playing roulette at one of Yahoo's top-ranked casinos outside of Vegas. Or maybe you're just longing for a day playing the slots at a smaller place like the Mardis Gras Casino and Resort in West Virginia. »RELATED: Feeling...
Don’t raise driver bills with no-fault PIP reform, insurer group says

Don’t raise driver bills with no-fault PIP reform, insurer group says

Florida legislators have a chance to save drivers close to $1 billion a year by ending the state’s no-fault car insurance system after nearly five decades, but not if they adopt a Senate version expected to be considered a day after the session opens Tuesday, an industry group said. SB 150 sponsored by Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, would require both bodily-injury liability...
PGA National Resort for sale: Will it top 2006 price of $170 million?

PGA National Resort for sale: Will it top 2006 price of $170 million?

The last time PGA National Resort & Spa changed hands, the Palm Beach Gardens property fetched a tidy $170 million. It’s on the market again, according to a website set up by the resort’s broker. Walton Street Capital of Chicago bought PGA National from Llwyd Ecclestone in 2006. Since then, the owner has spent $89 million on renovations. The property includes 339 hotel rooms, a 40...
Brightline allows passengers onboard for staff training exercises

Brightline allows passengers onboard for staff training exercises

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline has started letting passengers ride its trains as part of an exercise to prepare its staff for the launch of its express service this week. The company recently begun shuttling passengers along its route in a continued effort to train its customer service staff, a Brightline spokesperson said Sunday. The training exercises are expected to continue Monday and Tuesday...
Artist seeks to put an end to sex trafficking of children

Artist seeks to put an end to sex trafficking of children

Lynne Barletta, artist, became Lynne Barletta, activist, after a visit to Singapore three years ago that she said changed her. She went to Singapore to paint a mural and wound up working with a young girl who had been sex trafficked by her father. “I was forever different,” Barletta said. Upon her return to South Florida, Barletta set about learning everything she could about the nefarious...
Countdown to conflict over Trump’s corporate helicopter at Mar-a-Lago

Countdown to conflict over Trump’s corporate helicopter at Mar-a-Lago

News item: The Town of Palm Beach is looking into a possible code violation at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. The Town Council approved the addition of a helipad on the back lawn of Mar-a-Lago on the condition that it be used strictly to fly the president in and out of the club on Marine One. Trump, however, has used the helipad for the Trump corporate helicopter during his most recent...

Owners who rent units may use association property as rules allow

Question: Florida law states that, when owners rent their units, they are not allowed to leave their cars on the property. We live in a condo complex with 148 units. The parking chairman is allowing a unit owner to pay $185 for a second parking space so that he can leave his car while he rents his unit, instead of removing his car from the property. What can we do about it? — D.B. Answer: I...
This anchor store is closing in Boca’s Town Center mall

This anchor store is closing in Boca’s Town Center mall

Sears announced this week that it will close its store in the Town Center mall in Boca Raton as part of an ongoing effort to “transform” its business model — a move that will leave the county with just two of the iconic retailer’s department stores. The Boca Raton location is one of 103 unprofitable stores Sears Holdings plans to close in March and April as it works to &ldquo...
Thomas Produce founder dies at home in Boca Raton

Thomas Produce founder dies at home in Boca Raton

John J. Thomas, 97, founder of Boca Raton-based Thomas Produce Co., one of Florida’s largest vegetable growers, died Jan. 1 at his home in Boca Raton. Born in 1920, Mr. Thomas came to Palm Beach County from North Collins, N.Y. outside Buffalo in 1959 and began farming on 800 acres on land west of Boca Raton that is now occupied by Olympic Heights High School. He grew green beans in New York...

POINT OF VIEW: Why is affordable housing unattainable in Florida?

CORRECTION: An earlier version incorrectly said that Gov. Scott’s 2018-19 budget recommends sweeping $154 million from the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund. That was his 2017-18 budget recommendation. Florida is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. Unfortunately, our governor and state lawmakers are only making matters worse. Our state leaders continue to engage in a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul...
Tire Kingdom parent TBC says merger will bring more growth

Tire Kingdom parent TBC says merger will bring more growth

TBC, the fast-growing owner of the Tire Kingdom and Midas brands, aims to get even bigger. The Palm Beach Gardens-based company this week announced a deal that would make it the nation’s second-largest wholesaler of tires. If the deal is completed in March as planned, TBC could add 50 to 100 positions at its headquarters, said President and Chief Executive Erik Olsen. Related: Parent of Tire...
Palm Beach Co. crops dealt second blow from freezing temperatures

Palm Beach Co. crops dealt second blow from freezing temperatures

Hit by temperatures as low as 25 degrees Friday morning, Western Palm Beach County’s sensitive vegetable crops suffered a second round of damage that is still being assessed as farmers recover from a long night in their fields. Some opted to fly helicopters over green beans and sweet corn in hopes of raising the temperature at the ground level a few degrees and keeping frost from forming, but...
Bills to end no-fault car insurance poised for early play in session

Bills to end no-fault car insurance poised for early play in session

Getting t-boned by another driver in West Palm Beach was the first surprise, Lynn Sparks said. Another was learning Florida is one of only two states that do not require drivers to carry liability insurance to cover injuries to others. That’s why she will watch closely to see if state legislators are ready to make big changes when they convene Tuesday — and take up bills as early as the...
Trump booster bash up to 800 guests as party date nears

Trump booster bash up to 800 guests as party date nears

It’s T-minus 16 days until the Mar-a-Lago soiree celebrating President Donald Trump’s first year in office, and party organizer Toni Holt Kramer already is prepping. At the hairdresser. Her colorist is doing her usual work, and Holt Kramer, founder of a Trump fan club called The Trumpettes, is doing her usual multitasking, talking on the telephone and finalizing plans for...
First new Singer Island condo in a decade nears completion

First new Singer Island condo in a decade nears completion

Cold weather and changed tax laws could do wonders for Florida real estate. Just ask the developers of the 19-story VistaBlue Singer Island condominium, now under construction and nearing completion. The boutique, 58-unit condo has sold 34 units, and the winter selling season is just beginning. “There’s a sense of urgency. There’s only 24 units left,” said Randall...
As 'Fire and Fury' is published, Europe openly debates: 'Is Trump still sane?'

As 'Fire and Fury' is published, Europe openly debates: 'Is Trump still sane?'

BERLIN — European commentary on President Donald Trump is rarely flattering, but the cascading revelations alleged in Michael Wolff's tell-all book "Fire and Fury," drew an especially fierce response from a horrified continent. "Is Trump still sane?" asked the Friday lead headline on the site of Germany's most respected conservative paper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung...
Author of White House tell-all book says he spent 3 hours with Trump on the project

Author of White House tell-all book says he spent 3 hours with Trump on the project

Michael Wolff, author of a new bombshell book on the Trump White House, said Friday he spent three hours with the president during the 2016 campaign and in the White House reporting for the book and dismissed the president's claim that he had never spoken to the writer. "I absolutely spoke to the president, whether he realized it was an interview...
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