Top News & Analysis Florida

  • On Thursday, Southwest Airlines said demand _ and pricing _ for business travelers grew weaker in September. Revenue seemed to be rebounding this month, Southwest said. But nothing quite says "ka-ching" like $981 for a short-notice round-trip ticket from Minneapolis to New York.

  • WASHINGTON-- Regulators on Friday closed two small banks in Florida and one in Missouri, bringing to 46 the number of U.S. bank failures this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized GulfSouth Private Bank and First East Side Savings Bank, both in Florida. Regulators also shuttered Excel Bank in Missouri.

  • PANAMA CITY-- Anti-riot police used tear gas and fired into the air to disperse protesters in the Caribbean city of Colon who rioted Friday over a new law allowing the sale of state-owned land in the duty-free zone next to the Panama Canal.

  • WASHINGTON-- Regulators say they have closed two small banks in Florida, bringing to 45 the number of U.S. bank failures this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized GulfSouth Private Bank, based in Destin, and First East Side Savings Bank, based in Tamarac. GulfSouth had about $159.1 million in assets and $151.1 million in deposits as of June 30.

  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized GulfSouth Private Bank, based in Destin, Fla.. The failure of GulfSouth Private Bank, which had four branches, is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $36.1 million. GulfSouth Private Bank is the sixth FDIC- insured institution in Florida to fail this year.

  • CLEVELAND-- Unemployment rates fell last month in nearly all of the battleground states that will determine the presidential winner, giving President Barack Obama fresh fodder to argue that voters should stick with him in an election focused squarely on the economy.

  • PITTSBURGH-- A former Pittsburgh Steelers doctor and his defense attorney declined to comment at his initial federal court appearance on illegal steroid-distribution and other charges. Richard Rydze to be jailed over the weekend until another appearance Monday.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- For the first time on a key Midwestern route between Chicago and St. Louis, an Amtrak passenger train topped 110 mph Friday, ripping through fog-shrouded farm fields and blowing past cars on a parallel highway. Illinois and the country was a wasteland when it came to high speed rail, "said U.S.

  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- Florida's unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in September, a slight improvement from the previous two months and the final state job numbers available to voters before Election Day. Florida unemployment was 8. 8 percent in July and August. "These numbers tell us two things," Florida Gov.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- An Amtrak passenger train has reached a speed of 110 mph for the first time in Illinois. The five-car, two-locomotive train zipped through the central Illinois countryside, hitting its high speed between the towns of Dwight and Pontiac.

  • PITTSBURGH-- A former Pittsburgh Steelers doctor who left the team after investigators questioned his bulk purchase of anabolic steroids has been indicted for illegally prescribing the muscle-building aids and other drugs.

  • ROCKFORD, Ill.-- Passenger numbers continue to climb at the Rockford airport, which recorded its busiest September on record for passenger traffic. The Chicago Rockford International Airport had more than 13,000 passengers last month.

  • Rates dropped in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina. They were unchanged in New Hampshire and Virginia. With just 18 days until Election Day, polls show GOP challenger Mitt Romney gaining momentum with voters in key states.

  • FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.-- A third person has pleaded guilty in South Florida federal court to taking part in a $39 million mortgage fraud scheme. Juan Carlos Sanchez of New York, N.Y. pleaded guilty Thursday to mail and wire fraud conspiracy charges. Trial for the other defendants is scheduled for January 14 in Fort Lauderdale federal court.

  • KEY WEST, Fla.-- Delta Air Lines Inc. and U.S. Airways are planning to begin nonstop seasonal service between Key West and both New York City and Washington D.C. in time for the Christmas travel season. U.S. Airways is a unit of US Airways Group Inc..

  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- A move by Florida's largest property insurer to dismiss employees responsible for investigating wrongdoing drew criticism Thursday from Gov.

  • WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.-- Internet phone company MagicJack VocalTec Ltd. reported a third-quarter profit on Friday, reversing a small loss a year earlier, thanks to sharply higher revenue and lower expenses. Israel- based MagicJack earned $15.1 million, or 78 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30.

  • JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Two Rottweilers killed an 83- year-old man in Alabama. A two-day old infant was mauled to death in Pennsylvania. A two-year-old girl died after she was bitten by a pit bull in West Virginia.