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Business Today

TAMPA ELECTRIC RATE CUT APPROVED: Tampa Electric Co. said the Florida Public Service Commission approved its plan to cut electricity rates effective Jan. 1. A household using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will see its monthly bill fall from $93.94 to $89.68, a penny higher than originally proposed. The cut reflects lower-than-expected fuel costs and lower rates for wholesale power. Utilities are required to pass on such savings to consumers.

JABIL NAMES COO: Jabil Circuit promoted veteran executive Mark Mondello to chief operating officer as part of a half-dozen management changes at the St. Petersburg contract electronics manufacturer. Mondello, 38, has been with Jabil since 1992, most recently overseeing business development as a senior vice president. He replaces Ron Rapp, 49, who is retiring this month after 19 years with the company. Jabil president and chief executive Tim Main also promoted Scott Brown, 40, to the newly created post of executive vice president.

TAMPA BAY PARTNERSHIP NAMES OFFICERS: The Tampa Bay Partnership has named new officers for 2003. Rhea Law, president and chief executive of the law firm Fowler White Boggs Banker in Tampa, has been named chairwoman of the regional economic development organization. Law succeeds Hoyt R. "Barney" Barnett, vice chairman of Publix Super Markets Inc. Frank Murphy, president and CEO of BayCare Health System, is vice chairman, and Dan Mahurin, president and CEO of SunTrust Bank Tampa Bay is secretary-treasurer.

FERRY TO MEXICO ARRIVES TODAY: A new ferry is expected to make late arrival at Tampa's port today to begin twice-weekly cruises to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Scotia Prince Cruises postponed Thursday's public open house on the Yucatan Explorer because the vessel was delayed getting out of a Charleston, S.C., shipyard, spokesman Mark Hudson said. The ship is scheduled to arrive this afternoon and depart at 7 p.m. for its first cruise from Tampa to the port of Progresso.

IMSG DROPS STOCK BUYBACK: Insurance Management Solutions Group is dropping a previously announced tender offer to buy back its oustanding stock for $3.08 per share. The St. Petersburg outsourcing company said it was concerned it might not have sufficient cash to complete the offer, which would have resulted in a return to private ownership as part of its parent Bankers Insurance Group. IMSG directors are negotiating with a third party interested in acquiring the company or its business. However, the company said its future prospects might be materially changed by Bankers' recent agreement to sell its rights to issue new and renewal flood insurance policies, which are serviced by IMSG. Bankers owns two-thirds of IMSG's stock, which last traded before the announcement for $3.90 a share.


Charter Communications restated the value of its franchise assets upward by $1.4-billion and recorded $1.2-billion of deferred income tax liability in restating its 2000 and 2001 results. The Associated Press mischaracterized the restated amounts in a brief item published Wednesday.