A.M. BRIEFING [Florida Times Union]
(Florida Times Union Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) PORTS COUNCIL BACKS DEEP WATER NOW
The Florida Ports Council is backing the Deep Water Now campaign backed by Jax Chamber, Mayor Alvin Brown and the Jacksonville Civic Council.
The Deep Water Now initiative is aimed at getting Congress to include authorization for a 47-foot deep ship channel in the water resources development bill that could come to a vote this year.
The Florida Ports Council brings together the state's 15 deepwater seaports.
"It is critical that Florida's ports act now to prepare for the global opportunities that will be arriving at our door," said Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council.
David Bauerlein SCOTT BACKS STATE PORT EXPANSIONS
Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday he favors spending $35 million for port expansion projects at Port Canaveral, Port Everglades and the Port of Tampa.
Scott, who has escalated spending on ports as part of a push to boost international trade, made the announcement as he gave the keynote speech at the American Association of Port Authorities convention in Orlando.
Scott's recommendation will go to the Florida Legislature when it puts together next year's budget.
Last month, Scott and the Florida Cabinet approved $150 million for Florida ports. JaxPort stands to receive $27.5 million, including $14.8 million for work at Blount Island, according to JaxPort.
David Bauerlein WINDOWS UPGRADE OUT THURSDAY
Microsoft is releasing its long-awaited Windows 8.1 upgrade as a free download starting Thursday. It addresses some of the gripes people have had with Windows 8, the dramatically different operating system that attempts to bridge the divide between tablets and PCs.
Associated Press STUDENT LOAN OFFICE GETTING COMPLAINTS
The federal official who looks into problems with student loans says his office received more than 3,800 complaints in the last year from those borrowing for college using private student loans.
Problems with private student loans often relate to payment processing and requests for loan modifications.
Many of the repayment problems occurred when borrowers attempted to pay off loans early or in a certain sequence to lessen the impact of higher interest rates.
Associated Press SHUTDOWN PUTS PINCH ON BUILDING
The government shutdown, now in its third week, is pinching the housing market - but just a little.
A key index of home builders' optimism slipped to 55 this month from 57 in September, the National Association of Home Builders said Wednesday. The survey was conducted during the first 10 days of the month.
But that was a relatively small drop. The latest reading is still close to the highest level since early 2006, and analysts say the paralysis in Washington has had less of a hit on the market than some feared - so far, anyway.
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