News

Homelessness
6:53 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

City Of Miami Approves Changes To Homeless Protections

The Miami City Commission approved changes to an historic settlement that protected the rights of the homeless.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr user Andrew Brown

Behind closed doors on Wednesday, the Miami City Commission approved major changes to the Pottinger settlement.

The historic court agreement has protected the rights of Miami’s homeless since it first went into effect in 1998. The original Pottinger agreement protected what’s called "life sustaining activities" like sleeping on the street, lighting fires for cooking and urinating in public — all without being arrested.

Read more
Odd News
5:37 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Earthquake Off Cuba's Coast Felt In Key West, Residents Not Rattled

Credit Google Maps

There was a magnitude 5.1 earthquake between Key West and Cuba Thursday afternoon. According to the National Weather Service in Miami, the epicenter was about 110 miles southeast of Key West, and there was no tsunami warning. Here's the news you heard on air:

Key West residents Pam Hobbs, Cori Convertito and author Janet Hartwell talked with WLRN's Sammy Mack about feeling tremors. See some of their quotes in the Storify below, and hear their voices here:

Read more
Army Veterans
9:05 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

'Honorable' Or 'Honorably'? Difference Keeps Disabled Miami Veteran Off The Bus

Credit Tom Curtis / freedigitalphotos.net

A U.S. Army veteran from Miami-Dade County has been told he's not "honorable" enough to qualify for a veteran's transit pass and he's filed a lawsuit against the county transit agency.

It's a dispute over words and how the military grades soldiers as they return to civilian life. But a benefit hanging in the balance could potentially make a big difference in the lives of low-income veterans.

Read more
News
5:44 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Senator Says Florida's Troubled Unemployment System May Violate Federal Law

Florida's new unemployment benefits system, CONNECT, was supposed to provide convenience and better service. Instead, many applicants are going weeks, even months, without unemployment checks.
Credit floridajobs.org

The trouble with Florida’s revamped unemployment website is getting more attention in Washington. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is again calling for a federal investigation.

More than 200,000 jobless Floridians use the website to file for weekly benefits worth up to $275.

The new website debuted in mid-October after the state spent four years and $63 million upgrading equipment.

Read more
Americas
10:43 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Beauty Queen Murder Shines Light On Venezuelan Violence

This May 23, 2005 file photo released by Miss Universe shows Monica Spear, Miss Venezuela 2005, posing for a portrait ahead of the Miss Universe competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Venezuelan authorities say the soap-opera actress and former Miss Venezuela and her husband were shot and killed resisting a robbery after their car broke down. Prosecutors said in a statement that Monica Spear and Henry Thomas Berry were slain late Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela’s main port.
Credit AP file photo

  Venezuela got a tragic New Year reminder of one of its most pressing problems: violence. Mónica Spear, 29, a former beauty queen and a popular soap opera star who was raised in Orlando, was killed Monday night during a presumed highway robbery.

Authorities said her partner Thomas Henry Berry, 49, reportedly from the U.K., was also killed and that their five-year-old daughter was injured in the incident.

Read more
Religion
6:56 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Group Unveils Satan Statue Design For Oklahoma

Credit Satanic Temple / AP photo

A satanic group unveiled designs Monday for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan it wants to put at the Oklahoma state Capitol, where a Ten Commandments monument was placed in 2012.

The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds, including an artist's rendering that depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that's often used as a symbol of the occult. In the rendering, Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him.

Read more
News
12:34 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

What Part of 'Do Not Call' Do Florida Telemarketers Not Get?

Credit freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages

Take a guess: What one issue do you think Florida consumers complained about the most last year?  Was it high energy bills, losing money on a lemon car or disputes with landlords?

Turns out the number one consumer gripe involves telemarketers who can't take "Do Not Call" for an answer.

Florida consumers complained the most last year about getting targeted by telemarketers -- despite being registered with the state's "Do Not Call" list.

Read more
Religion
10:46 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Christians, Atheists Say 'Keep Capitol A Free-Speech Zone'

'In God we trust'
Credit Kdt / Flickr CC

Christians and atheists may have found a little common patch of ground, the rotunda of the Florida Capitol as a space to express themselves.

The threat of a lawsuit is hovering over the state's rejection of a satanic display, and the rotunda exhibit policy is set to undergo a staff review. But the prevailing view among those who have recently jumped at the chance to use the public floor space to express their beliefs is to simply let everyone have their say.

Read more
Staff Lists
6:15 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

New Year's Resolutions We've Already Broken

Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

It's early January, and even a week in, reality has set in.

Those New Year's resolutions we made? Yup, already broken. Don't pretend yours aren't broken, now. Unless they really are not -- in which case, kudos to you.

Reporter Wilson Sayre says her resolution didn't make it past Jan. 1:

Read more
Links
5:32 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories For Dec. 30-Jan. 3

Credit Elaine Chen / WLRN

As 2013 came to a close, you were most interested in stories about Pope Francis to tourism in South Florida. There were some others, too.

Here's what topped our charts this week. 

PHOTOS: This Is How South Florida Babies React To SnowEven South Florida preschoolers are feeling the polar vortex. Armed with an ice machine, Marty Enis, owner of Florida Ice Manufacturing, brings snow to the South. Here are photos of the kids' reactions to their personal winter wonderland.

Read more
Transit And Tours
9:17 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Homestead Launches Free National Parks Trolley

Homestead's trolley goes to and from Everglades National Park three times, and Biscayne National Park twice on Saturdays and Sundays.
Jessica Meszaros WLRN

  

About a year ago, the city of Homestead was designated "The Gateway To Biscayne and Everglades National Parks." This past weekend the city launched its first free, guided trolley ride into the parks, which the city hopes will see more local visitors with the start of the new service.

Read more
Employee Tracking
6:17 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Your Employer May Well Know You’re Reading This

Credit Julia Duba / WLRN

Ask your boss if she likes this story. With the right software she could be monitoring every key stroke and screen shot of your company-issued smart phone or computer. Every single day. Every word you say.

Read more
News
9:52 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott Orders Execution For Murderer Of Jimmy Ryce

Credit Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott has scheduled a February execution for Juan Carlos Chavez, who committed the notorious 1995 murder of 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce in Miami-Dade County.

Scott notified Florida State Prison Warden John Palmer of Florida State Prison on Thursday that the execution for Chavez, 46, will be held at Feb. 12.

Chavez was convicted in 1998 of kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Ryce. The brutal crime spurred the Legislature to pass the Jimmy Ryce Involuntary Civil Commitment for Sexually Violent Predators' Treatment and Care Act, known simply as the Jimmy Ryce Act. 

Read more
Tech News
6:52 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Florida Loses Out On Bid For Drone Testing

Credit Don McCullough / Flickr CC

  Florida wasn't among six states selected Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration for drone development testing. A law approved in 2012 gave the FAA three years to develop a way drones can share airspace and Florida was among those competing for the research work.

Space Florida, the quasi-government agency, made a $1.4 million proposal to use the shuttle landing facility at Kennedy Space Center for the testing, with the goal of establishing corridors for drones to safely fly between Sunshine State cities.

Read more
Year In Review
7:43 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Florida Is Weird. But Here's What Was Weirdest This Year.

Credit Sammy Mack, John Spade, Roberto Koltun, Andrew Derksen / WLRN, Flickr, El Nuevo Herald, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Cooperative Pest Survey Program

Florida can be a pretty weird place, and it's something of a holiday tradition for news organizations throughout the state to put together lists of the weirdest stories of the year. (Read our "Why South Florida Can't Have Nice Things" roundup from last year.)

We decided to go straight to the people on the front lines: WLRN-Miami Herald News anchors, producers, editors and reporters. Here are what they thought were the most bizarre Florida stories of 2013. 

Read more

Pages