Business briefs: Leadership Manatee application deadline approaches

May 17, 2014 

Leadership Manatee application deadline approaches

MANATEE COUNTY -- Leadership Manatee, a program created to develop knowledge, inspire service, and strengthen leadership within a perpetual pool of committed citizens, is accepting applications.

The deadline to apply for the 2014-2015 Leadership Manatee program is Friday at 5 p.m. The application is available online at

The program is designed to educate business and community leaders to all aspects of Manatee County. Leadership Manatee is a program of the Manatee Chamber Foundation in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Bradenton.

The 2014-2015 program sponsors are Blake Medical Center, C1 Bank, Sun Hydraulics, and Tropicana Products. For more information, contact Jahna Leinhauser at 941-748-4842, ext. 172 or email at

Pilot program launched by legal community

The 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida has launched a pilot program designed to provide guardians ad litem for children involved in high-conflict divorce and custody cases in the Circuit's Family Law Division.

All the volunteers for the pilot program are attorneys from the Sarasota and Manatee County offices of the law firm of Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. The program is directed by Judges Lee E. Haworth and Charles E. Williams, who are co-chairs of the Circuit's pro bono program.

After recognizing a need for independent parties to represent the best interests of children in contentious cases, the judges approached Robert Lyons, president of Icard Merrill, to ask if the firm would consider volunteering to advocate for these children, all of whom are from families at or below the poverty line. Twenty-four Icard Merrill attorneys have signed up to volunteer, drawing from all of the firm's practice groups and specialties.

The attorneys, joined by judges, judicial staff and various family court personnel, have already completed their training for the program, and case assignments are expected to begin in May in the Sarasota and Venice family divisions.

Stocks close slightly higher after day of wavering

NEW YORK -- The stock market has ended slightly higher after drifting between small losses and gains for most of the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 44 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 16,491 Friday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained seven points, or 0.4 percent, to end at 1,877. The Nasdaq composite index rose 21 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,090.

Telecommunication stocks rose the most of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index. Verizon climbed $1.11, or 2.3 percent, to $49.07 after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway revealed it had a new investment in the company.

Bond prices fell, pushing up the yield on the Treasury's 10-year note to 2.52 percent.

Herald staff and wire reports

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