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Farewell, 2016: Report takes a look at New Year’s Eve traditions

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Spaniards try to gobble up 12 grapes at midnight. The Danes break dishes on their friends’ front doors. And here in the United States, we ring in the new year by drinking lots and lots of bubbly. According to WalletHub, Americans will drink more than 360 million glasses of sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve. And where they drink it — and other holiday traditions — are part of a new report looking at how Americans “understand and enjoy the…

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Orlando, Miami ranked among top places for New Year’s Eve celebrations

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If you can’t make it to Times Square to ring in 2017, have no fear: The nation’s best place to party might be closer than you think. A new WalletHub report ranked Orlando as the best place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. And the Central Florida city wasn’t the only Sunshine State city on the best list. Miami ranked No. 7, while Tampa landed in the No. 13 spot on the WalletHub list. The company compared the 100 biggest cities…

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Study finds 2016’s most patriotic states

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Virginia, Alaska and South Carolina topped the “2016 Most Patriotic States” list released Tuesday by website WalletHub, while Florida came in below the Mendoza line. The list ranks states on both military engagement and civic engagement, with heavy emphasis put on how many residents joined the military in 2014, the percentage of the electorate that made it to the polls in 2012 and how much residents volunteer. Scoring also includes metrics such as how frequently a state’s residents Google search…

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Tampa and St. Petersburg make top ten list of best “Staycation” cities in the nation

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For people of means in Florida, it’s considered essential to be able to spend part of one’s summer outside the muggy conditions that permeate the Sunshine State. But what about the rest of us?  According to Wallethub.com, some of the best places to enjoy a “staycation” are right here in Florida, with Tampa and St. Petersburg among the top ten such locations around the nation. The website ranked 150 cities in all,  and there are four cities in Florida that make…

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JCPenney tops the list of retailers with biggest Black Friday savings

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JCPenney is rated this year’s best retailer for Black Friday according to a study conducted by WalletHub. The average savings on sale items at JCPenney this Black Friday is 68 percent. Costco was listed as having the lowest Black Friday discounts at an average of just 20 percent. The study surveyed 8,000 Black Friday deals from 30 of the nation’s largest retailers. Results found that jewelry is the most heavily discounted item with an average markdown of 73 percent. Computers…

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Reliance on property, sales taxes holds Florida back in new tax fairness report

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A new report released Monday by online financial services firm WalletHub says Florida ranks near the bottom nationally when it comes to the fairness of its state and local taxes. The survey evaluated the taxes levied by all 50 states – broken down by income, property, sales & excise and “other” taxes – and how they are levied on people of varying income brackets and compared that to the ideal system of taxation, gathered by asking respondents the question, “In thinking about…

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Kathy Castor presses House to pass student loan reform bill

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Mounting student loan debt continues to grow in the United States, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Recent reports put the cumulative student debt level at $1.2 trillion. It’s a hot issue on the campaign trail, and yesterday in Iowa, President Obama announced a new initiative that will allow students and families to apply for financial aid earlier to try to reduce the problem. In Tampa today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor held a news conference to call attention to…

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