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NEWS OF THE BUSINESS WEEK TO COME

The state's ominous-sounding Senate Select Committee on Property Insurance Accountability holds hearings this week in Tallahassee to probe why some insurers are dramatically raising rates while others are lowering them. Insurers overall should be lowering rates, legislators have argued, based on an insurance reform package passed last year. First up for the 20-member panel on Monday: Allstate and Hartford. More at www.flsenate.gov.

IF YOU WANT A BIO-BASED DIET FOR YOUR GAS-GUZZLING FLEET, check out the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo that began Sunday and runs through Wednesday in Kissimmee. The conference is at the Gaylord Palms Resort, 6000 W Osceola Parkway. More at biodieselconference.org.

FLORIDA ECONOMIST HANK FISHKIND will tackle statewide real estate market trends in a speech Tuesday hosted by the Bay Area Real Estate Council. The program at the Centre Club in West Shore begins at 11:45 a.m. For details, call (813) 286-4040 or visit www.barec.com.

AVIATION WONKS AND RABID ROAD WARRIORS will tune in Tuesday when the federal government releases statistics showing whether 2007 was indeed the worst year for airline delays since Uncle Sam started keeping the numbers. A poor December could push 2007 below the industry's all-time low of 73.5 percent of planes flying on-time in 2000.

INNOVATION GURU NICHOLAS DONOFRIO is the keynote speaker at an executive summit planned Friday by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. Donofrio, executive vice president of innovation and technology for IBM, is slated to talk about how to build a company that can transform innovative ideas into successful products and services. Breakout sessions follow his speech. The half-day event begins at 7:30 a.m. at the A La Carte Event Pavilion n Tampa. Cost is $55 for TBTF members and $65 for nonmembers. For more details, go to www.tbtf.org.

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