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Food holds steady in price, gasoline continues slide for upbeat First Coast CPI
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:37:47 +0000

Food prices holding steady and a decrease in gasoline prices provided for a modest increase in the Consumer Price Index for the First Coast in July, a leading local economist said this week.

Paul Mason, economist with the University of North Florida who tracks First Coast financial developments, said the Consumer Price Index went from 115.91 in June to 116.07 in July and that rate of increase was nearly the same after seasonal adjustments.

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First Coast tourism breaking records for second quarter of business; Florida visitors spike too
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:20:13 +0000

Florida is drawing them in — all of Florida.

Tourism is booming on the First Coast and across the state, according to data recently released that show the number of visitors to the Sunshine State increased dramatically in the second quarter of 2014 running from April through June.

Tourism officials at all three coastal counties on the First Coast are reporting impressive figures. Those officials also say there’s no sign of slowing down.

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Culinary school at Jacksonville's Virginia College to open restaurant in San Marco
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:14:10 +0000

Virginia College, which operates a culinary school on Beach Boulevard, plans to open a restaurant in San Marco. Called Kitchen on San Marco, it will be at 1402 San Marco Blvd. in a building that last housed Oral Explosion.

Virginia College, a for-profit school owned by the Education Corporation of America, includes a culinary program called Culinard in its curriculum.

The restaurant will be staffed by professionals, a spokeswoman said, but some students will work and be trained there. It will hire about 40 employees, she said, with opening planned spring of 2015.

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Business calendar
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:01:46 +0000


Beaches Business Association, noon, Jacksonville Beach Public Golf Course clubhouse, Penman Road. Program: Candidates Forum, Jacksonville Beach City Council Debate for Seat 6, District 3, featuring Lee “Beach” Buck, John Galarneau and Lloyd Hyatt. $8, lunch. (904) 476-0607 or

Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1201 Riverplace Blvd. Speaker: Tourea Robinson, director of development for Aging True. (904) 398-5566, or email

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New craft brewery, taproom set to open Friday in Jacksonville
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:26:53 +0000

Jacksonville’s newest brewery is opening. Veterans United Craft Brewery has been in the works since last year, with opening announced for May, then July ...

But it’s opening Friday.

The brewery and taproom are at 8999 Western Way, at the end of a road of offices and warehouses off Baymeadows Road.

The brewery will have three of its beers on tap this weekend: Raging Blonde Ale, HopBanshee IPA and Scout Dog 44 Amber Ale, along with two guest taps. It plans to add a rye wheat ale and an espresso oatmeal stout in the next few weeks.

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Winn-Dixie parent Bi-Lo withdraws plans to take company public
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:16:13 +0000

Bi-Lo Holdings, the parent company of Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo grocery chains, has cancelled its plans to go public. The company, based in Jacksonville, had filed last September for an initial public offering of up to $500 million.

Bi-Lo withdrew those plans in a filing Tuesday with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It did not give a reason, and the company has not responded to the Times-Union’s request for a response.

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Justice Department announces $17B settlement with Bank of America
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:04:19 +0000

WASHINGTON | The Justice Department has announced a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

The deal announced Thursday calls for the bank, the second-largest in the U.S., to pay a $5 billion cash penalty and provide billions of dollars of relief to struggling homeowners. Bank of America says its cash payouts will total $9.65 billion.

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Waterford at Mandarin has new owner
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:23:11 +0000

A Virginia investment group has made its second major purchase in Jacksonville in the past three months. Harbor Group International paid $36.3 million for the Waterford at Mandarin, a 432-unit apartment complex on San Jose Boulevard in Mandarin.

The complex was built in 1989, and Brian Moulder, who handled the sale for CBRE commercial estate brokers, said Harbor intents to spend a lot of money on it, inside and out. The company has owned various properties in Jacksonville over the years, he said.

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Fernandina Beach tech firm acquires Panhandle business
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:06:23 +0000

A Fernandina Beach–based technology firm has doubled the size of the company with the acquisition of a Panama City firm.

Maxis360 has acquired the company called Inacomp, a news release said Wednesday. Maxis360 is a company that supplies and manages computer and technology infrastructure services for businesses in Southeastern United States and the Caribbean.

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Longtime Florida Blue lobbyist Mike Hightower to retire
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:19:39 +0000

Mike Hightower, Florida Blue’s vice president of government and legislative relations, will retire from the company Friday.

“For more than 30 years, Mike Hightower has been the government relations face of our company, working on behalf of the organization and our stakeholders with virtually every facet of local and state government,” Jason Altmire, senior vice president of public policy and community engagement for Florida Blue, said in a statement.

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Jacksonville hosts jobs seminar for veterans Thursday
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 20:14:59 +0000

Jacksonville’s Military Affairs and Veterans Department hosts its monthly free career and employment counseling seminar from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.

The event is designed to help military veterans and their families transition to civilian life after service with tips and advice on gaining jobs. The monthly seminars are provided by Incepture Inc., a professional staffing and management firm in Jacksonville, which is part of the city’s Military Veterans Coalition and a program called Jobs for Vets.

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Work Wanted: Arrests don't always mean a destroyed career
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:59:26 +0000

In 2013, there were 33,540 arrests made in Duval County. That means that every hour, four people in Jacksonville have a run-in with the law that could impact their careers for the rest of their lives. Some of them have committed serious felonies and will serve serious sentences. But many people who commit a less serious first offense have legal options that will lessen the effect of their mistake.

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How much is $100 worth? It can vary from state to state
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:54:36 +0000

Because prices aren’t the same everywhere, $1 isn’t the same everywhere.

The Tax Foundation has taken data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and compared prices for a variety of items all over the country. What it found was that $1 is worth a lot more in Mississippi than in Washington, D.C. or Hawaii. (See map.)

Actually, it figured out the relative value of $100. In Mississippi, that $100 is worth $115.74. In Arkansas, it’s worth $114.16.

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July building permits reach six-year high in Northeast Florida
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:41:39 +0000

Home construction rebounded nationally in July, while Northeast Florida saw its most promising numbers in years.

More building permits were issued for single family homes last month in Northeast Florida than any month in more than six years. A total of 629 permits were issued in the four-county area, according to the Northeast Florida Builders Association.

The last time there were that many was May 2008.

St. Johns County continued to lead the way as it has since 2011 but Duval County drew much closer.

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Working on the First Coast: John Bryan brings JAX Chamber councils together
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:00:50 +0000

To help enhance business in the entire Jacksonville area, JAX Chamber has 10 councils — councils that represent geographic areas of the city and special business interests. They are all coordinated by John Bryan.

Some of those chamber councils such as the Arlington, Downtown, Mandarin and others have been around for decades. But other councils such as JAX Health were formed just a few years ago and the JAX Transportation & Logistics Council was just formed in the spring.

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Last updated at: 8/22/2014 2:12:07 AM ET

Check It Out

Photo courtesy of Richard McKinney

Jacksonville's Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 10: Recording artist Darius Rucker arrives at the American Country Awards 2013 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 10, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

Darius Rucker returns to St. Augustine Amphitheatre

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) shake hands after the 2013 AFC championship playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.  Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports

AFC Championship: Patriots vs Broncos

ANNA LISA BLUE, 39 - Charged with probation violation January 19.

January 2014 Mugshots

 	Jan 19, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks fans celebrate in the streets after the 2013 NFC Championship football game against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

NFC Championship: 49ers vs Seahawks

 	Civil rights demonstrators, led by Dr Martin Luther King (5th R), civil rights activist Ralph Abernathy (5th L), John Lewis (3rd L) and other civil and religious leaders, make their way from Selma to Montgomery on March 22, 1965 in Alabama, on the third leg of the Selma to Montgomery marches. The Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights ended three weeks and represented the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement. The first march took place on March 07, 1965 (Blood

Reflections of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Soledad OBrien, Key Speaker, at the 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast that took place January 17, 2014 at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center in Jacksonville. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Duckworth)

27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 20: U.S President Barack Obama (L) takes the oath of office from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (R) as first lady Michelle Obama (2nd L) holds the bible and daughter Malia (C) and Sasha looks on in the Blue Room of the White House January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden were officially sworn in a day before the ceremonial inaugural swearing-in. (Photo by Larry Downing-Pool/Getty Images)

First Lady Michelle Obama's iconic looks

First Coast feasting with Circus elephants

A referee gets into the action of Puppy Bowl IV on Oct. 17, 2007.  Animal Planet

Puppy Bowl X pups

Riverside, San Marco street art done by 'Keith Haring's Ghost'

Jacksonville Landing, present-day

Jacksonville Landing through the years & proposed changes

Courthouse preparations underway for Dunn trial

"Danny Bradford. He wont go out in the rain unless he has his raincoat on. Our little Gortons fisherman. He is a rescue and the best dog ever!" Photo courtesy of June Bradford

It's National Dress Up Your Pet Day

Storm leaves major damage at North Main Baptist Church

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 15: Audi shows off their RS6 during the media preview at the North American International Auto Show on January 15, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The auto show will be open to the public January 19-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

'New and cool': 2014 North American Auto Show

Have you seen this strong armed robbery suspect?

Police seeking two suspects, person of interest in armed robbery investigation

Lupita Nyong'o L-U-P-I-T-A. Learn this name fast, because the supporting-actress nominee is headed straight for the A-list. She ruled the red carpet in a caped Ralph Lauren dress and Fred Leighton ring. “So far I've only worn things that I feel speak to me,” she told E! of her newly minted fashionista status.  Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY

Photos from the 2014 Golden Globe Awards

TV personality Maria Menounos attends the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Stars on Red Carpet at Golden Globes 2014

 A view of houses and an area covered by ash after the village hit by ash and mud from eruption of Mount Sinabung on January 12, 2014 in Sigarang Garang, Karo District, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The number of displaced people has increased to around 25,000 in Western Indonesia as Mount Sinabung continues to spew ash and smoke after a series of several eruptions since September. Eleven deaths have now been recorded as a result of the eruptions with hundreds more falling ill. Officials expect the

Mount Sinabung erupts in Indonesia

Bayan Bay apartments off San Pablo Road near Atlantic Blvd. Photo courtesy Donna McCrum

Viewer submitted weather photos from stormy Saturday

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (C) talks with New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R) as they look out over the wreckage of the World Trade Center terrorist attack site 30 November 2001, in New York. (Photo credit should read BETH A. KEISER/AFP/Getty Images)

The Life of Ariel Sharon in pictures

Jayson is a super dad. He picks his son up from school each day. Helps him with his homework. Prepares dinner every night. Does all the grocery shopping and even does laundry. And he builds a mean Lego set.

Share your 'Super Dad' photos with us!

Mandarin Middle School at about 10:45am. Brrrr..... Submitted By:Janet from: Jacksonville, FL

Show us your ice, ice baby!

Marissa Alexander in court and leaving court on Jan. 10

UNF vs. Gulf Coast

FHP: Photos of the buckled 'slab'

'Move Over' law in full effect: FHP

Southerns welcome healthy baby boy

Share photos of your FSU national championship gear

Are you bundled up trying to stay warm? Upload a selfie!

FSUs Kelvin Benjamin elevates over Chris Davis to catch the game winning touchdown with 13 seconds left in the game.

BCS Title Game: FSU vs. Auburn via USA Today Sports

Team picture for Auburn in front of the Rose Bowl.

FCN in California for BCS title game

Crash, building fire in Fernandina Beach

Band stuck due to weather after Gator Bowl performance

Community leaders 'say no to disrespect'

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office cruiser involved in accident with injuries

Rental home of Aubrey Price

SJSO seeks to identify TV theft suspect

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