Florida "The Sunshine State"

Florida, the southernmost state in the United States, was founded March 3, 1845. Approximately 19.55 million people make up the population of Florida. The state capital is Tallahassee, while its largest city is Jacksonville. The Miami metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in the southeastern United States. Currently, Rick Scott is the Governor of Florida.

Florida has been nicknamed the sunshine state due to the fact that it is normally 65degrees or warmer and the sun always shines. Being closer to the equator, Florida is known for their hurricane season which runs from June 1st through November 30th of each year. During major hurricanes, it is known that a lot of residents will not leave their homes unless mandated too.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

www.myflorida.com

Florida is home for many events. One of those would be the football games of the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles are the official team of Florida State University.

http://www.seminoles.com/

The most famous attraction of all in Florida is Walt Disney World, home of Mickey & Minnie Mouse, which is located centrally in Orlando. Walt Disney World attracts millions of guests per year.  The park is open year round as the weather is normally very comfortable even in the winter months.

Ticket prices for the park vary as to how many attractions and other parks you wish to visit. You can purchase packages which include hotel stays, car rentals, meals, etc. Walt Disney World is the one stop attraction that has it all-shows, roller coasters, water parks, dining, etc. It is known as the "Happiest Place on Earth."

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/

Other than Orlando, the Florida Keys are probably the most sought after travel destination of Florida. The Florida Keys are islands that extend off of the southern coast. Key West, Big Pine Key (Lower Keys), Marathon, Islamorada, and Key Largo form the Florida Keys. This area is best known for the beautiful crystal blue waters. Many activities are offered on the Keys such as boating, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and top of the line spa treatments.

Florida is home to 74 school districts, although there are only 67 counties. Each county is one district. The remaining 7 districts are comprised of a district for 4 research schools, a district for the school of deaf & blind, a district for a virtual school, and a district for a  youth development center. Of all the school districts, there are 10 top performing schools. Those are: Ponte Verda beach, Saint Johns, St. Augustine Beach, St. Augustine, Elkton, Hasting, Osprey, Navarre, Longwood, and Ovedo. There are approximately 2,668,156 students in the Florida school system which has 4,428 schools. That equals about 603 students per school. One may think that the schools would be more crowded, but it seems as if they are average sized compared to those in smaller states.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_districts_in_Florida

http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/fl/schools/

Being the top travel destination in the world, the tourism industry of Florida has a tremendous economic impact on the Floridian economy. Statistically, it amounts to $57 billion. Warm tropical weather and miles of beaches draw about 60 million visitors to Florida every year thus making it the largest quarter of the state’s economy. The much sought after international tourist destinations of the state are the Miami Beach, Walt Disney World's magic kingdom, Cypress Gardens etc. However, this phenomenon also makes it susceptible to recession.

Being the top travel destination in the world, the tourism industry of Florida has a tremendous economic impact on the Floridian economy. Statistically, it amounts to $57 billion. Warm tropical weather and miles of beaches draw about 60 million visitors to Florida every year thus making it the largest quarter of the state’s economy. The much sought after international tourist destinations of the state are the Miami Beach, Walt Disney World's magic kingdom, Cypress Gardens etc. However, this phenomenon also makes it susceptible to recession.

The space industry is also considered to be one of the chief contributors to the economy of Florida. Statistically, it is worth $4.5 billion with average annual wage of aerospace workers being approximately $52,000. The number of people engaged at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is 15,000 and Florida ranks 4th among the states in aerospace employment with 23,000 jobs.

The economy of Florida has been largely influenced by the entry of immigrants from all over the globe. This is especially true for investments from the Latin American investors. A huge numbers of Latin American immigrants working for low cash wages make a notable impact on Florida’s economy.

In the early 20th century, the expansion of the railroads down the peninsula opened up an area which was highly productive and profitable towards industrial development. After World War II, the economy of Florida grew tremendously due to the construction of highways and major airports and it continues to grow day by day.

During the National Recession of 2001, the tourism industry decelerated to 4.2% but still managed to be above the national average of United States of America. Presently, the economy like the national economy has shown signs of emerging out of the recession.

http://www.city-data.com/states/Florida-Economy.html

http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=95

Rick Scott is the 45th Governor of the great State of Florida. As promised during his campaign, Scott is focused on creating jobs and turning Florida’s economy around. Born in Bloomington, Illinois, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, his father was in the 82nd Airborne during World War II. After the war, Gov. Scott’s father was a city bus driver and then a truck driver. His mother worked as a JC Penney clerk. At times the family struggled financially, and when Gov. Scott started public school, they lived in public housing. In high school, Gov. Scott met Ann, and the high school sweethearts have been married for 42 years and have two married daughters, Allison and Jordan, and three grandsons, Auguste, Quinton and Sebastian.

After attending high school and community college, Gov. Scott enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served on active duty aboard the USS Glover as a radar man. The G.I. Bill enabled Gov. Scott to attend college and law school. While enrolled at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and working full-time at a local grocery store, Gov. Scott and Ann made their first significant foray into the business world by buying two Kansas City doughnut shops for Gov. Scott’s mother to manage. Following graduation from UMKC with a degree in business administration, Gov. Scott earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University.

After law school, Gov. Scott stayed in Dallas, working for the city’s largest law firm, Johnson & Swanson, primarily representing companies in the health care, oil and gas and communication industries. In 1987, while still practicing law, Gov. Scott made an offer to purchase HCA, Inc. When the offer was rejected, Gov. Scott started Columbia Hospital Corporation with his and Ann’s entire life savings of $125,000. Gov. Scott also started Conservatives for Patient’s Rights, which advocated for free market principles of choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility in health care. Gov. Scott wanted to prevent further government encroachment on the rights of patients.

When Gov. Scott left Columbia in 1997 at age 44, it was one of the most admired companies in America. It had grown to become the world’s largest health care company with more than 340 hospitals, 135 surgery centers, and 550 home health locations in 37 states and two foreign countries. Columbia employed more than 285,000 people, making it the 7th largest U.S. employer and the 12th largest employer worldwide.

http://www.myflorida.com/taxonomy/government/

Florida government, like all governments are composed on three divisions. They are the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch. Each division has it's own responsibilities. These Executive Branch includes the Commission of Agriculture & Consumer Services and the Department of Economic Opportunities. The legislative branch makes the laws concerning the state, while individual municipalities make other laws. The Judicial Branch enforces the laws made by the legislative branch. The court systems make up this branch of government. Major courts of Florida include the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court and the 5th District Court of Appeal. Florida has 120 House Districts, 40 Senate Districts, and 23 Congressional Districts.

Crime in Florida is more prevalent, as you would think it would be, due to the large population. 11 of Florida's towns made it on the top 100 Most Dangerous Places to Live according to the website below. The cities, along with there ranking are:

17 Homestead, 22 Fort Pierce, 34 Daytona Beach, 35 Lake Worth, 47 Miami, 53 Fort Myers, 73 Riviera Beach, 77 Miami Beach, 92 St Petersburg, and 100 Orlando. Notice that even, "The Happiest Place on Earth" made the list of most dangerous places to live.

http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/crime-rates/top100dangerous/

Statistics pulled off of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website indicates the follows statistics:

Crime Committed, 2012 vs 2013

Murder  1009-970

Forcible Sex offenses 10145-9863

Forcible Sodomy  0-0

Robbery  23853-23176

Aggravated Assault 58958-57694

Burglary 153337-138669

Larceny 44141-433368

Motor Vehicle Theft 37275-34867

These numbers are staggeringly high although some areas,such as murders and sex offenses have reduced between 2012 and 2013. Figures for 2014 are unavailable at this time. On the second page of the report, it shows the relationship between the victim and offender. It is amazing at how many victims knew their offender.

http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/getdoc/f6d1f24d-053e-466b-a67e-3cbe2fd38de6/CIF_annual13.aspx

Florida is a state that many long to travel to. They have great attractions and an economy that many would love to be a part of. Along with this desire for adventure and fortune, comes those whose desire is to rob others of that dream. Florida has been and I feel, will always be, "The Happiest Place on Earth."

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