Overhaul of University and I-75 on pace to start this summer

Overhaul of University and I-75 on pace to start this summer

By Jeremy Wallace via Sarasota Herald Tribune

Preliminary work to fix one of the Southwest Florida’s most dysfunctional highway interchanges is on pace to start this summer, decades ahead of schedule.

Florida Department of Transportation officials said the Legislature’s proposed budget — set for adoption next week — will give them more than enough money to start the initial design and engineering work this summer on improving the Interstate 75-University Parkway interchange, a project that has quickly become one of the region’s most pressing transportation needs.

And there is still the potential that the FDOT will have enough money in its budget to begin construction on the $58 million project within the next year.

“That’s our goal,” FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said Wednesday.

While it might be an ambitious goal, Prasad said it is not an “insurmountable” challenge.

So far the proposed 2014-15 state budget includes only enough guaranteed money for the $244,000 preliminary design work and engineering work.

While that amount seems small compared with the overall expense, it represents a major political shift. As recently as December, no construction was foreseen by state or local officials at the busy gateway to Lakewood Ranch until after the year 2036. State lawmakers were mostly indifferent toward the project and county commissioners in both Sarasota and Manatee actively opposed the work.

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Apartments and the International Investor

Apartments and the International Investor.

Sarasota, FL is Officially a Runners Paradise

Sarasota, FL is Officially a Runners Paradise

Sarasota is a Runners Paradise... Officially!

Sarasota is a Runners Paradise… Officially!

People often swim, cycle and row for exercise. But for many — either before or after work, on weekends or while on vacation — staying fit means tying on a pair of shoes and going for a run.

And for runners trying to decide where to vacation or to move, finding a county with the Road Runners Club of America’s seal of approval as an Outstanding Runner-Friendly Community has to be a plus.

In choosing Sarasota County, the national runners club founded in 1958 cited the county’s hundreds of miles of trails and sidewalks that wind their way along the Gulf Coast and Bayfront, Myakka River State Park, Legacy Trail and Oscar Scherer State Park.

The club’s opinion matters: It has 2,300 member clubs and events, in which more than 250,000 running club members participate.

Sarasota Athletic Association president Felicia Cox spearheaded the award-nomination process, which included an extensive list of program criteria and contacting running community partners for support.

Cox presented the award to Sarasota County Commissioners with partners from tourism agency Visit Sarasota County and New Balance Sarasota & University Park co-owner David Jackson. They and County Commissioner Joe Barbetta all provided information and letters of support for the nomination.

“Sarasota enjoys a well-deserved reputation as being committed to developing and maintaining safe pathways for runners while respecting the integrity of environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife habitat,” Barbetta said.

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2014 Boston Marathon Results

2014 Boston Marathon Results

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Boston Marathon Results

Boston Marathon Results

2014 Boston Marathon Athlete tracking & live video feed

2014 Boston Marathon Athlete tracking & live video feed

Athlete tracking


Live Feed to watch the 2014 Boston Marathon


USF Alumni Association Names Nutter to 2014 Fast 56 Rankings

USF Alumni Association Names Nutter to 2014 Fast 56 Rankings.

GATOR HALF TRIATHLON “florida’s fastest half” 2014 Results

GATOR HALF TRIATHLON “florida’s fastest half” 2014 Results

Ironman Logo - M-DOT

Ironman Logo – M-DOT

CLICK HERE <—–====== For Half Ironman results

Ironman 70.3 Haines City, FL Results 2014

Ironman 70.3 Haines City, FL Results 2014

Ironman Logo - M-DOT

Ironman Logo – M-DOT

CLICK HERE <—-==== For results

Americans Are Starting to Miss More Mortgage Payments

Americans Are Starting to Miss More Mortgage Payments

By Christine DiGangi

For several quarters, lenders have been reporting low and falling delinquency rates for credit card, mortgage and auto loan borrowers, and that positive trend has opened up credit products to consumers with lower credit scores.

That may be starting to shift.

A greater share of mortgages were 30 to 59 days past due in the fourth quarter of 2013 than at the same time in 2012, and bank risk professionals expect credit card and auto loan delinquencies to follow suit.

Growing Concern

At the end of 2012, 2.05% of outstanding mortgages were at least 30 days delinquent, which was down from 2.39% in 2011. But at the close of 2013, the delinquency rate rose slightly, to 2.13%, according to data from the Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports. Using Experian’s IntelliView tool to sort the data, the bump in delinquencies appears to be recent, as the 60- and 90-day delinquency rates remain below those of last year.

Problem Likely to Worsen

In a survey by FICO of bank-risk professionals, nearly half said they expect delinquency rates on all consumer loans to rise to their highest levels since late 2011. For credit cards, 44% of respondents expected delinquencies to increase, and 35% predicted auto loan delinquencies would jump.

We’ve seen concerns about delinquencies creeping up for a few quarters,” said Andrew Jennings , FICO’s chief analytics officer, in a news release about the survey. “These numbers mean more people are gaining access to credit, but we need to keep a close eye on the risk levels of these new loans. If delinquencies reach an uncomfortable level, we may see lenders pull back again.”

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Atlantic City casino earnings down 35 percent

Atlantic City casino earnings down 35 percent

Atlantic City casino earnings fell 35 percent in2013, despite boost from Internet revenues

By Wayne Parry, Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Not even a boost from Internet gambling money and the comparison with an extremely slow period after Superstorm Sandy could prevent Atlantic City’s casinos from seeing a big decline in their earnings in 2013.

The casinos saw their gross operating profits decline by nearly 35 percent last year.

The 12 casinos that operated in 2013 — the Atlantic Club shut down in January of 2014 — posted a collective gross operating profit of $235 million, down from $360 million in 2012.

For the fourth quarter of 2013, the casinos reduced their gross operating losses by more than 73 percent, to a loss of $5.7 million in the last three months of the year. That was compared with a loss of $21.6 million in the same period of 2012, when New Jersey was still reeling from the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

Gross operating profit includes earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and other charges, and is a widely accepted measure of profitability in the casino industry.

Atlantic City’s casinos have seen the revenue and profits fall since shortly after the first Pennsylvania casino opened in late 2006. Continuing saturation of the casino market in the northeastern U.S. has cost New Jersey billions in lost revenue and thousands of lost jobs.

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