-- State officials had some early holiday gifts for Florida on the employment and education fronts.
Education officials say nearly half of Florida's high schools received an A grade for the 2011- 2012 school year.
The letter grades for high schools in our region were generally positive.
In Broward, two schools went from a C to an A grade. In Miami-Dade, six schools made the same jump.
And the number of Palm Beach County high schools earning an A grade rose from 8 to 14.
-- Unemployment numbers are out, also. And they show Florida's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in four years.
State officials said today that the November rate was 8.1 percent -- lower than October's rate, but still higher than the national average.
Unemployment fell in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
-- A Miami theater wants to demonstrate that the performing arts don't have to be expensive to be extraordinary. So it's offering weekend audiences eight plays for $10.
Between today and Sunday, the New Theatre's Miami 1-Acts Festival will present a total of 16 short plays.
When the company first introduced the festival as a fundraiser over the summer, it was so successful that the theater decided to make it a bi-annual event.
New Theatre Artistic Director Ricky J. Martinez the festival will feature the talents of what he calls South Florida's "shadow artists."
"The people that are the underdogs of the community, who haven't really been cast in many shows," says Martinez. "Or don't really get spot-lighted. We really kind of focus on them."
The Miami 1-Acts festival is split into two programs for Friday, December 21st and Saturday, December 22nd with eight plays apiece. Sunday's event is a marathon, presenting all 16 short plays.