Tuesday’s Afternoon Update

State ends federal foreclosure aid with millions unspent

Florida on Wednesday will close its three largest Hardest Hit federal housing-aid programs — years early — with $88 million left unspent. State officials said the program was a success, despite data showing that Florida was behind other states in helping financially underwater homeowners. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

House budget would boost state spending by billions

Richard Corcoran talks a lot about how Tallahassee spends way too much money. That’s why even Democrats are surprised to see the bottom line in the House’s proposed budget for next year. It totals $87.2 billion, or $4.8 billion larger than what lawmakers passed for this year. More from the Times/Herald.

Florida could ease regulations of payday loans

Florida could ease some of the restrictions now in place for so-called payday loans. Bills moving through the House and Senate would double the current limit on the loans from $500 to $1,000 and would allow lenders to give 60-to-90 day loans. More from the AP.

Port Canaveral OKs $17.9 million contract to help develop its ‘spaceport’

Port Canaveral will be spending nearly $18 million on the first phase of a cargo berth project that will help provide facilities for the commercial space industry. That will include areas for the recovery and reuse of rockets. More from Florida Today.

New BRIDG partner makes power cells that pull in thermal energy

Osceola County’s new high-tech BRIDG research center is on a roll, announcing yet another partnership with a technology company developing new products Monday — a new power cell by Norfolk-based Face International Corp. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

In the 1950s, before air conditioning came into widespread use, the new Vision-Aire homes at the tip of the Pinellas peninsula were designed ‘‘by Florida itself.’’ An effort is under way to get a historic designation for the distinctive homes.

A week after scoring another Oscar nomination and 20 years after filming “Palmetto” in the area, Woody Harrelson returned to Sarasota on Monday to make an appearance at Ringling College of Art & Design’s sound stages. Monday’s event was hosted by Studio Lab, a collaboration between Ringling College and Semkhor Productions.

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Yvonne Shaffer