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holiday

Valentine’s Day not as sweet for Florida retailers; spending expected to decrease

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Valentine’s Day spending is expected to be a little less sweet this year, dipping for the first time in a decade, according to an annual consumer survey. Consumers plan to keep their budgets in check as they spend $10 less on gifts. Also, fewer people say they will celebrate the holiday this year. “The slight decrease in spending is understandable given the record-breaking pace Valentine’s Day spending had reached the previous ten years,” said Randy Miller, president and CEO of the…

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Rick Scott won’t give state workers extra day off

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott is ending a holiday tradition this year: Giving state workers an extra day off. A spokeswoman for Scott said Tuesday that the governor will not be closing state offices an additional day around the Christmas holiday. Scott for five straight years had ordered state offices to be closed an extra day in recognition of the hard work of state employees. Three times Scott had given state workers Christmas Eve off when it fell on a weekday.…

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What happened to St. Pete’s Baseball Santa?

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The holiday display in downtown St. Petersburg is coming down as festivities for the New Year begin. But there’s one display that was already missing from years in the past: Baseball Santa. Residents who flock to downtown to catch a glimpse of the spectacular light display featuring icicles dangling from trees and several large light-up figures may have noticed the Santa shown pitching a ball to an awaiting elf with a bat is no longer there. According to the city,…

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Digital Holiday Guide helps candidates, campaigns stay on social media “nice list”

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With Hanukkah in full swing, and Christmas and New Year’s Eve not far behind, finding a spot on the holiday “nice list” is on the minds of most Floridians. Tallahassee-based Strategic Digital Services, Florida’s leading firm specializing in data for political campaigns and causes, launched its 2015 Holiday Guide — a social media blueprint to help Florida associations, candidates and elected officials have a happy, trouble-free holiday season. The guide offers a wealth of examples — many taken from national…

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Today on Context Florida: Killing in God’s name, Kurly’s latke recipe and defending our Constitutions

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Today on Context Florida: There has been a lot of talk about mass shootings and the Second Amendment. Jac VerSteeg asks us to talk a little bit about mass shootings and the First Amendment. The First Amendment is a sweeping guarantee of rights for individuals, churches and the press. There are limits to the free exercise of religion, VerSteeg says. Courts have intervened, for example, when parents have refused to seek medical treatment for children because they believe God should do…

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The Grinch, Mariah Carey, Bill Murray join holiday TV festivities

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It’s that most wonderful time of the TV year when we are visited again by the welcome ghosts of classic holiday programs past: hello again, Frosty the Snowman and even mean old Grinch! But there are newcomers as well, with Mariah Carey, Bill Murray and an “Empire” variety special among them. Isn’t it greedy to ask Santa for anything more? Among the program highlights (all times EST; check local listings for encore airings):  ANIMATION: “Frosty the Snowman,” 8 p.m. Saturday,…

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FedEx predicts 12 percent increase in holiday shipments

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With online shopping growing, FedEx is bracing for a record volumes this holiday season. The delivery company predicted Monday that shipments from Black Friday through Christmas Eve will rise 12.4 percent over last year to 317 million pieces. The company said that to handle the crush, it is hiring more than 55,000 seasonal workers and investing in automation and expansion. Rival United Parcel Service Inc. will release its holiday forecast on Tuesday, said spokesman Steve Gaut. He said that the…

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