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Florida adds nearly 16K jobs in September, second highest in nation

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Florida added 15,700 private sector jobs in September, the second highest total among the 50 states, according to a report released Wednesday by payroll company ADP. The ADP Regional Employment Report data puts Florida ahead of all states except California, which added 35,100 jobs last month, and marks the best gain for the Sunshine State since ADP’s June report, when Florida posted a 21,400-job gain. Texas came in third with 14,300 new jobs, followed by New York with 12,900. The…

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Rain-free Fourths of July make for more Republicans, and other holiday stats

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The U.S. Census Bureau is nothing without mountains of data about America, and the Fourth of July is no different. So, here are some “red, white and blue” stats to chew on for the holiday: In July 1776, about 2.5 million people lived in the newly independent nation. Today, America has grown to 318.4 million. The U.S. imported about $206.3 million worth of fireworks from China in 2013. In comparison, fireworks exports came to just $10.2 million, with Israel buying $2.7 million, the most of any…

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How Florida, Gulf Coast states will divide BP oil spill settlement

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Most of the $18.7 billion proposed settlement that BP reached over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill would go to five Gulf Coast states, if the deal is approved by a judge. A portion of the settlement is not assigned to any particular state. Here’s how the state-specific money breaks down, with payments to states being made over nearly two decades: ALABAMA Alabama would receive $2.3 billion. Gov. Robert Bentley said the settlement would steer $1.3 billion for coastal…

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Kathy Castor: BP settlement ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for economic recovery

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Florida, the federal government and other Gulf Coast states announced an agreement on Thursday with oil producer BP to resolve years of legal claims over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The historic resolution, tentatively set at $18.7 billion, will be the largest environmental settlement ever. Payments, to be split among Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas, is in addition to $28 billion BP already spent on clean-up response, remediation and compensation. Florida’s share of the deal could be over…

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Gulf anglers at odds over new rules for prized fish

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Fishing boats stream out of the pass leading from Destin Harbor into the Gulf of Mexico most any spring day, and the flow becomes a flood once the season opens for red snapper, the region’s most popular prize. New rules for catching the tasty fish are giving hope to commercial charter boat captains from Florida to Texas that the 2015 season will be one of their best in years, yet those same regulations have recreational anglers crying foul about what…

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Obama uses hospital funds to push Medicaid expansion

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The Obama administration is dialing up the pressure on a handful of states that have resisted expanding Medicaid coverage for their low-income residents under the federal health care overhaul. The leverage comes from a little-known federal fund that helps states and hospitals recoup some of the cost of caring for uninsured patients. The administration says states can just expand Medicaid, as the health care law provides, and then they wouldn’t need as much extra help with costs for the uninsured.…

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Ted Cruz brings the energy in New Hampshire

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Ted Cruz headlined the daytime portion of the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., Saturday, where 20 presidential candidates or those seriously thinking about it came to speak. “What a testament to the desire for Americans: We want something new , we want new leadership to change the page, and to turnaround,” the 44-year-old U.S. senator from Texas said as he began his remarks. “You know the Democratic version of this I’m pretty sure is Hillary Clinton having a conversation…

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