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Tampa Bay Times’ Ivan Penn on bringing power to the energy beat
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Tampa Bay Times’ Ivan Penn on bringing power to the energy beat

Ivan Penn, Tampa Bay Times reporter, started his journalism career as a TV weatherman—in elementary school for an in-house cable program. His father, an avid consumer of the news, inspired him to pursue journalism. “I was overwhelmed with news, so the Freudian piece of that would probably be that I was trying to get some [...]

New crime data prompts new look at multi-billion scrap metal business
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New crime data prompts new look at multi-billion scrap metal business

We all have our quirks and one that I’ll admit to involves a rather odd fascination good trash-to-treasure stories. No, you won’t find me peering into neighbor’s bins under cover of darkness, but the industries surrounding solid waste, recycling and scrap always seem to be under-the-rader-screen sources of interesting story nuggets. The notion of scrap [...]

As World Cup excitement mounts, find local ties to Brazil’s economy
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As World Cup excitement mounts, find local ties to Brazil’s economy

Only a few weeks remain until the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil – and the much-watched football (or soccer, to those of us in the United States) tournament will bring all eyes to South America’s largest economy. FIFA, by the way, stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association and the league, [...]

Tornado-related stories: Insurance, utilities, prep and cleanup
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Tornado-related stories: Insurance, utilities, prep and cleanup

It’s hard to believe that after the devastation in 2013, we’re back to another tornado season with the twisters already killing more than a dozen people in Arkansas and nearby states.  And with more severe weather happening as I write, and  forecast for the coming days, you might want to brush up on your storm [...]

New state tax revenue data gives insight into consumer spending
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New state tax revenue data gives insight into consumer spending

New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau on state tax revenues are just out for the fourth quarter of 2013, with the annual summary for the full year also due out April 8. Because these figures are broken down into categories ranging from property tax to alcohol purchases, you might consider using them as a [...]

Keeping an eye on local economics as the Ukraine-Russia crisis persists
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Keeping an eye on local economics as the Ukraine-Russia crisis persists

As a business writer, you might not have had the escalating military and political crisis in the Ukraine on your to-do radar screen, but as the Russian invasion continues, it’s begun to cause  market gyrations around the world.  At this point it’s worth paying attention to what’s going on and perhaps lining up some explanatory [...]

Insurance, auto repairs, vacations: Winter’s impact
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Insurance, auto repairs, vacations: Winter’s impact

It’s been a rough six weeks of bitter cold and giant snowbanks for may parts of the country, and a break in the frigid temperatures this week now is bringing the threat of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms to the midwest, while southern cities unaccustomed to ice and snow tote up the cost of recent storms. [...]

How widespread are coal ash dumps and who’s working to prevent spills?
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How widespread are coal ash dumps and who’s working to prevent spills?

News has been coming thick and fast the last few weeks, so you might have missed the uproar over the coal ash spill in North Carolina.  According to the Raleigh News & Observer, coal ash – a byproduct of burning coal for energy production – escaped from a Duke Energy storage facility on Feb. 2 [...]

As the winter freeze deepens, the effect on businesses and consumers does too
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As the winter freeze deepens, the effect on businesses and consumers does too

There’s so much happening this month and next for business writers to focus on, but sometimes you need to bow to the forces of nature. Record-setting winter weather like most of us haven’t experienced in quite a while is on the tip of most tongues and as it persists for weeks, is rippling through pretty [...]

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