FYI Miami: April 17, 2014
VIDEO GAMERS: Shiver Entertainment, a South Miami-based digital gaming firm, will expand operations to include production and development, planning to add 60 jobs and make $2.35 million in capital investments within three years, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council said this week. If the company meets those requirements, it will receive a Florida Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund worth $153,000, including $122,400 from the state and $30,600 from the county. Shiver Entertainment CEO John Schappert was born and raised in Miami-Dade and later founded Tiburon Entertainment, developer of the long-running popular Madden NFL football video game, according to the Beacon Council.
ENCORE? Commissioners will ponder the fate of the Ultra Music Festival in downtown Miami at 10 a.m. April 24 at City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive. Marc Sarnoff was prepared to banish the annual festival from its downtown venue at the commission’s April 10 meeting, having sponsored – along with Mayor Tomas Regalado – a resolution prohibiting the city’s Bayfront Park Management Trust from holding the festival again due to an alleged breach of contract. Some commissioners were reluctant to even discuss the issue, saying they didn’t have enough information. Mr. Sarnoff and the mayor agreed to withdraw the item and set it for April 24. The resolution mentioned 84 arrests and 153 calls for fire-rescue service during the recent weekend festival, and an incident when “the ensuing mob trampled a security guard” leaving her with life-threatening injuries. It also referred to a 21-year-old who died in a parked car after attending the festival, allegedly due to having consumed “something laced with chemicals.”
JACKSON CONTRACTS: The county commission could lose power to approve labor contracts with employees of Jackson Health System under a proposal approved last week by a House committee as part of an omnibus health-care bill. Rep. John Wood, a Winter Haven Republican, proposed an amendment that would allow appointed members of the Public Health Trust to execute labor contracts without commission approval. “I’m trying to take politics out of labor negotiations,’’ he said before the Health & Human Services Committee approved his amendment 12-5. The proposal drew opposition from the county, Jackson and the Service Employees International Union, which represents Jackson employees. Critics questioned the need for the change and said trust officials would still face political pressure.