Top News & Analysis Florida

  • BOSTON-- Massachusetts officials braced Friday for the arrival of a mega-storm that Gov. Forecasts that show Sandy veering inland and merging with another storm front in the mid-Atlantic could lower the potential for catastrophic damage in Massachusetts, but Patrick still warned of a 4- to 6- foot coastal storm surge and 30-35 foot seas offshore.

  • JetBlue, US Airways and Spirit Airlines are offering waivers to customers who wish to reschedule their flights without paying the typical fee of up to $150. The airlines have only canceled a handful of flights so far, nearly all of them in and out of Florida and the Caribbean.

  • PANAMA CITY-- Panama's government said Friday it will cancel plans to sell state-owned land in a duty-free zone on the Panama Canal following a week of sometimes violent protests in which a 10- year-old boy and two adults died.

  • *Storm causes deaths in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. NASSAU, Oct 26- Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas with battering winds and rain on Friday, sweeping over the island chain after killing 21 people across the Caribbean and posing a menacing threat to the U.S. East Coast.

  • DEFIANCE, Ohio-- Mitt Romney is trying to close the deal with voters by focusing on their economic concerns, an area where polling shows the Republican nominee has an edge heading into the final days of the campaign.

  • NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.-- South Carolina State Ports Authority chief Jim Newsome said Thursday that while ports in the Southeast are racing to deepen their channels, Charleston has a competitive advantage in attracting shipping lines in the years before those projects can be completed.

  • POMPANO BEACH, Fla.-- Box by box they arrived, the once glittering costumes of Broadway legends and theatre memorabilia, now dirty, tattered and forgotten.

  • ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-- Drivers listening to adult contemporary radio along Interstate 4 in central Florida are hearing ads like this: " President Obama raised taxes on Florida's small businesses, and his defense cuts will weaken our military and put thousands more Florida families out of work.

  • WASHINGTON-- The pre- Halloween hybrid weather monster that federal forecasters call "Frankenstorm" is looking more ominous by the hour for the East Coast, and utilities and local governments are getting ready. The stage is set as Hurricane Sandy, having blown through Haiti and Cuba, continues to barrel north.

  • SINGAPORE, Oct 26- Brent futures fell more than $1 on Friday to slip below $108 a barrel, as investors waited for key U.S. economic data to gauge the demand growth outlook for oil, with rising supplies weighing on prices. Brent crude had slipped as low as $107.40 a barrel and traded at $107.67 by 0648 GMT. U.S. oil slipped 76 cents to $85.29, after ending up 32 cents.

  • SINGAPORE, Oct 26- Brent futures fell more than $1 to slip below $108 a barrel on Friday as investors waited for key U.S. economic data to gauge the demand growth outlook for oil with rising supplies weighing on prices. Brent crude had slipped $1.02 a barrel to $107.47 by 0527 GMT. U.S. oil slipped 90 cents to $85.15, after ending up 32 cents.

  • *Storm causes deaths in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. NASSAU, Oct 26- Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas with battering winds and rain on Friday, sweeping over the island chain after killing 21 people across the Caribbean and posing a menacing threat to the U.S. East Coast.

  • "After last year's small crop, we saw peanut butter prices on average rise 30 percent or more," said Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council. " A 10 percent decrease on a $3 jar of peanut butter, for example, would translate to a savings of 30 cents.

  • HAVANA, Oct 25- Hurricane Sandy swelled into a major threat to much of the U.S. East Coast on Thursday after lashing Cuba with heavy rains and tree-toppling winds and swirling through the Bahamas, U.S. forecasters said.

  • *At least three storm-related deaths in Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba. HAVANA, Oct 25- Hurricane Sandy swelled into a serious threat to much of the U.S. East Coast on Thursday after hammering Cuba's second-largest city and taking aim at the Bahamas, U.S. forecasters said.

  • *McKesson reports Q2 adj EPS $1.92 vs est $1.78. Oct 25- U.S. drug wholesaler McKesson Corp struck a deal to buy medical products distributor PSS World Medical for $1.46 billion to boost scale and margins in its surgical devices supply business as medical procedure volumes fall.

  • *Landfall anywhere from mid-Atlantic to Canada. Oct 25- As Hurricane Sandy makes its way toward the eastern seaboard of the United States, disaster experts and meteorologists warn that the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states face dangerous winds and heavy rains that could trigger flooding in the coming days.

  • WASHINGTON-- All the spare parts appear to be coming together to create what forecasters are calling "Frankenstorm," a monster combination of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and maybe snow that could cause havoc along the East Coast just before Halloween next week. Hurricane Sandy, having blown through Haiti and Cuba on Thursday, continues to barrel north.

  • *At least three storm-related deaths in Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba. HAVANA, Oct 25- Hurricane Sandy grew into a major potential threat to the east coast of the United States on Thursday after hammering Cuba's second-largest city and taking aim at the Bahamas, U.S. forecasters said.

  • AUSTIN, Texas-- American Campus Communities Inc. said Thursday that it will buy 19 student housing properties across the country from Kanye Anderson Capital Advisors LP in a deal worth roughly $862.8 million. American Campus Communities, based in Austin, Texas, is a real estate investment trust with a portfolio of 169 properties across the country.