NEWS

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Gulf Coast Still Faces Flood, Tornado Risks from Weakened Barry

 - 07/16/2019
Even though Tropical Depression Barry did not unleash catastrophic flooding in Louisiana, many across the Gulf Coast were urged to take heed of tornado and flash-flood warnings Monday as the storm moved north. Barry was downgraded from a tropical storm …

Court Rules Florida Medical Marijuana Regulations are Unconstitutional

 - 07/16/2019
A Florida appellate court ruled that the state’s approach to regulating marijuana is unconstitutional, possibly allowing more providers to jump into a market positioned to become one of the country’s most lucrative. If the ruling stands, it could force state …

‘Operation Southern Shield’ Speeding Crackdown Underway in 5 Southeast States

 - 07/16/2019
Law enforcement officers in five southern states are planning a crackdown on speeding motorists next week. State troopers and local officers in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee are participating in a speed enforcement campaign called Operation Southern Shield …

Causey: More Time Needed to Review North Carolina Homeowners’ Rate Increase

 - 07/16/2019
North Carolina’s Insurance Commissioner has extended the hearing scheduled for the proposed statewide average 17.4% homeowners’ insurance rate increase by one month from Sept. 4, 2019, to Oct. 2, 2019, saying he needs the additional time to review the documents …

Harden Expands into South Florida; Taps Beller as Market Leader

 - 07/16/2019
Harden, an insurance, risk management and employee benefits firm in the Southeast, has formally expanded into the South Florida market with the opening of an office in Fort Lauderdale. The firm currently serves many clients in South Florida, nationally, and …

11K Birds Killed in Fire at North Carolina Chicken House

 - 07/15/2019
A North Carolina fire marshal says a large fire destroyed a chicken house and killed 11,000 birds. News sources report Alexander County Fire Marshal Russell Greene says the fire on Thursday morning caused an estimated $300,000 in damages. Investigators say …

Kentucky to Fine Jim Beam Over Warehouse Fire, Bourbon Spill

 - 07/15/2019
Authorities say Jim Beam will be fined for the warehouse fire that contaminated nearby waters with bourbon and killed fish. Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman John Mura tells WKYT-TV that there will be a penalty. He says the state …

Florida-Based Olympus Insurance Appoints Carpenter AVP of Sales, Marketing

 - 07/15/2019
Olympus Insurance Co. has appointed James “Jim” Carpenter as assistant vice president of Sales and Marketing. Carpenter has more than 20 years of experience in the property & casualty insurance industry, seven of which he spent at Tower Hill Insurance. …

Miami Insurance Agent Arrested in $1.7M Fraud Scheme

 - 07/15/2019
A former Miami insurance agent has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $1.7 million in insurance premiums from two insurance premium finance companies, according a statement from Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis. Antonio Jesus Zoghbi, owner of Florida Insurance Agency …

I.I.I. Appoints Friedlander as Florida Communications Consultant

 - 07/12/2019
The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has appointed Mark Friedlander as its new Florida-based communications consultant. Friedlander was most recently a communications consultant at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), where he focused on media relations. He is …

26 Traffic Deaths in Georgia Over 4th of July Holiday Period

 - 07/12/2019
Public safety officials say there were 26 traffic deaths in Georgia during the holiday travel period surrounding the Fourth of July. The state Department of Public Safety said in a news release Monday that the holiday travel period was 102 …

Court Allows $30M Tennessee Hoverboard Fire Suit Against Amazon to Proceed

 - 07/12/2019
A Tennessee family can press its lawsuit against online retailer Amazon over a hoverboard fire that destroyed their home, an appeals court has ruled, saying the company was aware of complaints about the devices catching fire and exploding. The 6th …

Confie Acquires Southeast Auto Insurer Southern Harvest

 - 07/12/2019
Confie, a national provider of personal and commercial lines insurance, is acquiring Southern Harvest Insurance. The move will broaden Confie’s U.S. presence to include Georgia and further develop its presence in Alabama. Southern Harvest is a non-standard auto insurance provider …

Georgia Makes 49 Insurance Fraud Arrests in First Half of 2019

 - 07/11/2019
Agents from the Georgia Department of Insurance Fraud Investigations Division made 49 arrests in the first half of 2019 and are set to pass the total number of arrests from last year (60) in just the third calendar quarter, according …

Plant-Based Food Makers Sue Mississippi Over Meat Labeling Law

 - 07/11/2019
A federal lawsuit says Mississippi is violating free-speech rights by banning makers of plant-based foods from using terms such as “meatless meatballs” and “vegan bacon.” The lawsuit against Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and the state’s Republican agriculture commissioner, Andy …