Around the region for Jan. 31, 2011


Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 31, 2011 at 12:12 a.m.

STATE

Sale of hotel is raising worries

FORT LAUDERDALE — The sale of a historic Fort Lauderdale hotel has some preservationists worried about its fate.

The long-shuttered Escape Hotel opened on New Year’s Eve 1949 and is one of the remaining mid-century modern architectural survivors on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Developers had promised to save the hotel building and convert it to condos and townhouses, but recently decided their plan wasn’t financially feasible and sold the property.

A company called Tiffany House LLC purchased the property Dec. 23 for $6.25 million.

State Farm wants 28 percent hike

FORT LAUDERDALE — The state’s largest private property insurer wants to hike rates by an average of 28 percent.

State Farm Florida Insurance says premiums need to go up to cover the risk in the state. The company says it’s suffered a spike in non-catastrophic claims, including hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to sinkholes. State Farm received approval for a 28 percent increase in the average policy in 2009 and another 6.6 percent increase last year. It covers nearly 700,000 homes.

The rate request goes before the Office of Insurance Regulation on Feb. 15.

Police investigating burning of man

FORT WALTON BEACH — Police are investigating after a homeless man in the Panhandle was apparently set on fire.

Fort Walton Beach Police Detective Frank Van Schmidt says the man was in stable condition Saturday night, although suffering from second-degree burns. Another homeless person found him under a bridge earlier in the day.

No arrests have been made. Authorities have not released the 44-year-old victim’s name because the investigation is ongoing.

— Compiled from

The Associated Press

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