News

I-395
8:06 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Gov. Scott Seeks Funds For Miami's 'Signature Bridge'

DOUBLE WISHBONE: An early idea for a signature bridge, it would have been called the 'Wishbone Arch.'
Credit Florida Dept. of Transportation

Under construction during most of the 1960s, Interstate-95 ripped right through the heart of Overtown. Thousands of homes were torn down. Instant slums were created as the concrete expressway ripped apart the neighborhood's cultural, economic and education connections.

The result is the Overtown that's visible today -- the Overtown that's still trying to recover.

"[I-95] caused great harm in the past," says Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. "We need to rectify that."

So, let the rectification begin.

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Journalism
12:00 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

WLRN Announces Senior Leadership Team For News

WLRN Public Radio and Television has named Tom Hudson as vice-president of news, Terence Shepherd as news director and Alicia Zuckerman as editorial director for all of WLRN-Miami Herald News.

“We have brought together one of the best, if not the best, leadership teams in public media news,” said John Labonia, general manager of WLRN Public Radio and Television. “Our goal of making WLRN the round-the-clock, pervasive and constant source of news and information about and of interest to South Florida is now in reach. I am honored to be working with such talented individuals.”

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Philippines
7:10 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

WATCH: Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra's Philippines Relief PSA

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is helping to spearhead an effort to get money to Typhoon Haiyan victims.

Spoelstra's mother is from the Philippines and he has held several basketball camps and clinics there since becoming head coach for the championship team.

He says his family in the Philippines came through the storm just fine, with wind and rain in and around Manila, where they live.

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Transportation
6:55 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Miami-Dade Moves Forward With Some Changes To Taxi Operations, Sits On Others

Credit Joseph Mayuga / Flickr CC

The Transportation and Aviation Committee met 

Wednesday for a hearing about regulations for luxury-sedan and limo drivers. If Miami-Dade County commissioners allow for an unlimited number of such drivers, mobile-dispatch companies such as Uber could operate in the county.

The Uber app allows users to hail cabs with their mobile phones. Regional manager Rachel Holt says it would benefit those users as well as local taxicab workers.

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Poverty
3:23 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Miami Celebrates Homeless Awareness Day With Rallies

The Homeless Trust works to end homelessness in Miami.
Credit Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Nov. 14 is Homeless Awareness Day in Miami-Dade County. For the event's fifth year, the Homeless Trust is putting on Homeless Awareness Day rallies aimed at publicizing the homeless' plight, as well as celebrating individuals who have dedicated themselves to the cause. An opening ceremony honored the Homeless Trust's outreach workers, known as the "green shirts."

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Veterans Day
4:14 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Black South Florida Vets Pen Book Of Vietnam's 'Untold Stories'

Credit beckhamhouse.com

When 63-year-old Bobby White served as an infantryman in Vietnam in the late 1960s, he and his fellow African-American soldiers had a handshake ritual they called "The Dap."

"It was sort of amazing," White says. "Sometimes the guys touched each other's hands, their arms, with a charismatic sort of flair. And sometimes it would go on for a minute to five minutes, just to show appreciation that you, as another brother serving in the war, we are connected to each other."

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Mid-day Links
7:33 am
Tue November 12, 2013

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories For Nov. 4-8

Here's a shot from the Key West Zombie Bike Ride.
Credit Mark Hedden / WLRN

You might not have time to sift through a week's worth of public-radio color in the form of feature stories and curated audience commentary. So we've rounded up the best of WLRN's content this week in an easily digestible feed, all for your viewing convenience.

Click on the stories to read their full versions, or plug in your headphones and listen in right from this page.

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Holocaust Survivors
10:03 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Surviving Relatives Fight For Lost Insurance Benefits

CLAIMANTS: From left, Holocaust survivors David Mermelstein, Israel Sachs and Herbert Karliner.
Credit Rick Stone

David Mermelstein doesn’t have the insurance policy or the policy number. His claim depends entirely on his childhood memory of the blue metal plate that hung on his front door, the proof that those inside were insured by Assicurazioni Generali, the Italian company that catered to the Jewish trade in pre-war Germany.

Like thousands of Holocaust survivors all over the world, Mermelstein, 84, says he is owed benefits by an insurance company for the deaths of family members at the hands of the Nazis.

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Elevation Zero
4:18 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Will South Florida’s Real Estate Market Prices Plunge As The Seas Rise?

An aerial view of Ford Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and the Port of Key West.
Credit npr.org

Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post by business reporter Karen Rundlet

Plenty of local realtors will describe South Florida’s housing market as recharged.  The latest reading from the popular Case-Shiller Index showed sales of single-family homes up 13.5 percent from a year ago in August.

There is continued demand for waterfront properties, fueled in large part by international cash buyers from countries like Canada and Brazil. In Miami-Dade County, for instance, the category of luxury properties selling at price points above $600,000 and below $1 million, saw growth in sales of almost 68 percent.

However, the question remains. If you add the threat of rising sea levels to the real estate investment equation in South Florida, are rooms with an ocean view actually a terrible place to put your money?

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Community Contributor
4:10 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Dolphins Bullying: If You Celebrate Savagery, Civility Might Be Too Much To Ask

Incognito and Martin force us to focus on NFL behavior. When does locker-room behavior go too far?

There are two facts repeated in almost every telling of the story of bullying and harassment in  the Miami Dolphins' organization: Richie Incognito, named "the dirtiest player in the NFL," is no stranger to controversy, and Jonathan Martin is a Stanford graduate whose parents both graduated from Ivy League school, which would make him part of the elite in some circles.

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Elevation Zero
6:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Meet The Miami Man Spearheading Climate-Change Research

The man and his maps. University of Miami professor Brian Soden studies the atmosphere and its affect on climate change.
Credit -Brian Soden

Growing up in landlocked Iowa may be precisely the reason that the lure of the ocean was so strong for Brian Soden.

It pulled him from the cornfields to the waters around the University of Miami with designs on perhaps being the next Jacques Cousteau.

Except for one pesky problem. He didn't care all that much for biology. No fish fetish here.

What did emerge was a curiosity about how the oceans got to be the way they are, how the atmosphere factors into that and how water vapor, clouds and rainfall play a role in the planetary picture.

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News
5:34 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Florida House Dems Back Senate Tweaks of Stand Your Ground

The Stand Your Ground law is being revisited due to last year's death of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, shot by Sanford, Fla., George Zimmerman.

Florida House Democrats met with reporters Wednesday to say they don't want to turn Thursday’s Stand Your Ground hearing into a publicity stunt.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will take up a bill by Democratic state Representative Alan Williams. The measure would repeal the 2005 Florida law that says people don't have to retreat in a situation where they fear for their lives.

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City Planning
8:56 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Fort Lauderdale Votes To Extend Sistrunk Boulevard Farther East

About $15 million of city, county and federal funds have been invested in a massive revitalization of the Sistrunk corridor.
Credit FortLauderdale.gov

In most big cities, altering a street sign is not much cause for fanfare.  But Fort Lauderdale’s decision to re-brand one particular street is being hailed by many in the city’s African-American community.

City commissioners decided Tuesday night that the name “Sistrunk Boulevard” will no longer stop near the railroad tracks, a segregation-era dividing line between the city’s black and white communities.  Sistrunk will now appear along with Northeast Sixth Street on signs running through Flagler Village, a section quickly gentrifying into a predominantly white neighborhood.

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Gambling
8:54 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Casino Lobbyist Wants Gaming Committee To Consider Lower Tax Rates

Credit Wikipedia.org

  A lobbyist for an international casino operator that wants to expand into Florida called Monday for the state to create a strong gaming commission that would oversee all gambling --- including one destination resort casino in South Florida.

However, Nick Iarossi, the lobbyist for Las Vegas Sands Corps., told members of the Senate Gaming Committee that proposed sales tax rates suggested in a new study on the future of gaming in Florida could hinder the construction of such a world class complex.

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News
8:25 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

State Says Bug-Prone Unemployment System Is Improving

Jesse Panuccio is in his first year as executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The department oversees unemployment benefits.
Credit floridajobs.org

Florida’s new unemployment claims system isn’t perfect yet, but state leaders say it’s less bug-prone.

The Florida Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee got an update Monday on problems with the new system, which launched three weeks ago.

Executive Director Jesse Panuccio runs the Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the program for jobless benefits.

He says the kinks have mostly been worked out.

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