Not too much for you this morning in the news. Here's what I could rustle up for your review.
A- Herald: Miami banker's good deeds earn him a place in the President's speech.
WASHINGTON -- Leonard Abess Jr., the Miami banker who quietly gave $60 million of his own money to his loyal staff, was hailed Tuesday night by President Barack Obama as a symbol of hope in uncertain times.B- Herald: Travel to Cuba is about to get easier. [Make sure you take the online poll.]
WASHINGTON -- The 1,128-page budget bill that will begin to work its way through Congress this week contains key paragraphs that alter the shape of U.S.-Cuba policy and ease Cuba family travel restrictions by not funding enforcement.C- Sun-Sentinel: Sorta like a snow day every week.
The 2009 budget bill would:
• Prevent the U.S. government from spending any of its budget enforcing 2004 rules that keep Cuban Americans from visiting their homeland more than once every three years.
• Create a general travel license for Americans who sell food and medical supplies to Cuba.
• Let Cuba pay for the American produce it buys when the products arrive in Havana. Current law forces Cuba to pay up front before products leave U.S. ports.
• Require the U.S. Treasury Department to issue a report showing how much of its staff and funding is spent on enforcing the ban on travel to Cuba.
Add four-day school weeks for high school students to the list of options the Broward County School Board is weighing to save money.D- Sun-Sentinel: Chan Lowe.
During a Tuesday workshop, board members directed Schools Superintendent James Notter to study the idea to prepare for up to $160 million in possible budget cuts from the state for the 2009-2010 school year.
Marc Scanlon said his daughter, a freshman at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, "would love it" if the district moved to a four-day school week. Classes would be longer, providing more time for learning, he said. The school is currently on a block schedule, which means students have four 90-minute classes for a semester.
E- Palm Beach Post: Your South Florida Moment of the Day.
MANALAPAN — Town leaders hope to prevent a smattering of large lizards from becoming the night(mare) of the iguana.F- WPLG: Down, down, down...
The town commission declared iguanas a town nuisance Tuesday and directed Town Manager Greg Dunham to solicit quotes from animal trappers for a one-time removal of all iguanas in town, as well as a quote for individual removals of the reptiles.
Commissioners Peter Blum, Tom Coffman and Tom Thornton urged the commission to act now before the iguana population grows. Coffman said he's had to stop his car to go around iguanas on town roads a number of times.
"They are a nuisance, and they breed almost like rabbits. I know Boca's got a problem, Delray's got a problem," Blum said.
MIAMI -- The decline in South Florida home prices is even worse than expected, according to a Standard & Poor’s index released Tuesday.
Calculations from S&P's Case-Shiller’s Home Price Index reports a decline of 18 to 19 percent in home prices in Miami-Dade and Broward counties for the last three months of 2008, compared to the same period a year earlier.
The national average is at 18.2 percent.
Analysts predict the bottom is still a year away, at least.