News

News
6:04 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

State Working To Fix Glitch-Ridden Unemployment Website

Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity provides unemployment benefits worth up to $275 a week to more than 200,000 Floridians. But glitches in the new system are preventing thousands of people from signing up for benefits.
Credit Reilly Shiarella/flickr

Florida has a new website for unemployment claims, and much like the federal government’s health insurance website, it’s plagued with problems.

The Reemployment Assistance Connect System – known as CONNECT – is where jobless Floridians must go to file their claims. It’s overseen by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

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Jackson Health System
5:55 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

County Hospital Seeks Taxpayer Help To Attract Obamacare Customers

Now that formerly uninsured South Floridians are shopping for coverage on Healthcare.gov, Jackson wants to lure them with upgrades.

Jackson Health System wants to go after formerly uninsured individuals now receiving coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Because insured customers have increasingly been choosing hospitals with snazzier facilities, Jackson is asking Miami-Dade County voters to raise their own property taxes to cover a top-to-bottom remake of the hospital system.

If the referendum passes on Tuesday, JHS will issue bonds to raise $830 million for the renovations. The bond debt would add about $50 to the average county taxpayer's yearly tax bill.

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Americas
4:55 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

The Billionaire Who Personified Brazil's Boom Goes Bust

Batista appears with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during a ceremony in celebration of the start of oil production by OGX, Batista's oil and gas company, in 2012. The company filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.
Ricardo Moraes Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 6:14 pm

He was boastful, he was brash and he came to represent a booming Brazil that was finally taking its place as an economic powerhouse on the world stage.

Eike Batista had the cars: a Mercedes McLaren worth a quarter of a million dollars parked in his living room; the boat, called "the Pink Fleet," and the women: He was married to a former Playboy model and a Carnival queen.

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Travel
10:54 am
Thu October 31, 2013

FAA Says Fliers Can Safely Use Most Electronics

Leonardo Patrizi iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:09 am

Saying it has "determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight," the Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday that it is advising airlines they can let fliers use their much-loved e-books, tablets and other handhelds "gate-to-gate."

Cellphone calls, however, would still be prohibited.

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Politics
10:06 am
Thu October 31, 2013

No More Guns For Neighborhood Watch In Sanford, Fla.

George Zimmerman.
Gary W. Green EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:03 am

The police chief in Sanford, Fla., where neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012, will unveil rules next week that stress "volunteers are not to carry guns and not to follow suspects," our colleagues at Orlando's WMFE report.

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Business
7:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

What Happens When The Pace Of Startups Slows Down

Is this coffee shop going to grow to be the next Starbucks?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:45 pm

Since the financial crisis hit five years ago, there aren't as many Americans starting new businesses. In uncertain economic times, it's harder for entrepreneurs and investors to take the risk.

And if you look back over the past 25 years, it turns out the overall trend is toward fewer new businesses getting started, too — and that's not good at all when the country needs more jobs.

The Next Google

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Sports
7:19 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Beckham Reportedly Close To Picking Miami For Pro Soccer Franchise

British soccer star David Beckham (middle, front) with teammates.
Credit Flickr

David Beckham continues to target Miami for an expansion Major League Soccer team, and talks with investors are “looking very promising,” according to two sources close to the negotiations. But nothing is final, according to a Beckham spokesman and MLS sources.

“We are not ready to announce anything yet, but Miami remains a strong option for us,” said a statement from Beckham’s management group. An Associated Press report out of London on Tuesday saying Beckham had chosen Miami for his MLS team sent local fans and media into a frenzy. But the celebrations were premature.

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Economic Development
5:28 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Regional Plan Prepares South Florida For Consequences Of Climate Change

Credit Flickr

South Florida is already considered by many to be a global destination for culture but a local group of leaders from technology, arts, design and music want to ensure it’s a destination for creative entrepreneurship as well.

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Transportation
2:15 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

3 Charts (And A Few Words) On The Rise Of Electric Bikes

Electric bikes made by French company Moustache are displayed during the Cycle Show 2013 in Paris last month.
Charles Platiau Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 4:49 pm

We told you last week about how bicycles are outselling new cars in almost every European country.

When we delved a little deeper into the numbers, we found that while bicycle sales remained steady in a six-year period that began in 2006 (the top chart), sales of electric bikes exploded (the second chart).

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Politics
12:18 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Lawmakers Hold First Broward LGBT Town Hall

(From left to right) Florida Senate Democratic Leader Pro Tem Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs (D-Delray Beach), Florida House Democratic Leader Rep. Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale), Rep. Mark Pakford (D-West Palm Beach) and Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Plantation) listen to speakers at a town hall in Wilton Manors on Oct 28.
Credit Rachel Morello

In conjunction with LGBT History Month, state legislators met Monday night to host what was billed as the state’s first town hall meeting specifically focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

It was standing room only in Wilton Manors City Hall, where the room buzzed with enthusiasm fueled by this summer’s Supreme Court rulings striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and also allowing federal benefits for domestic partners.

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Transportation
7:21 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Reverse Commutes Now Often A Daily Slog, Too

Reverse commuters, include Kathy LeVeque (in the foreground), wait for an approaching outbound Metra commuter train at the Mayfair neighborhood stop on Chicago's northwest side.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

It is still as dark as night as Jim Rix steps out of his red brick Chicago bungalow and gets into his car, parked on the street. It's 6 a.m., and the 53-year-old engineer is getting an early start on his 35-mile commute out to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago's southwest suburbs.

"Depending upon weather and time of day, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to get to and from work," Rix says.

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Public Services
7:19 am
Tue October 29, 2013

How Miami-Dade County Helps Seniors Figure Out Health Care

Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation will host health fairs for seniors all over the county.
Credit Wilson Sayre

The Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department is trying to do its part to help seniors navigate the health insurance maze.

Yesterday, the department kicked off a series of health fairs to be held all over the county as part of their Active Adults program.

Health service providers gave short presentations about how they can help to navigate the complicated health system -- tips about how to get the most out of coverage and ways to avoid health care fraud.

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Health Care
12:34 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Some Health Screenings May Harm More Than Help

Stacy Riggs of Fairfax, Va., is prepped for a screening for atrial fibrillation by Life Line Screening medical assistant Kennea Blake at Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:26 pm

Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va., is unusually busy for a Thursday morning. It's not a typical time for worship, but parishioner Stacy Riggs and her husband have come for something a little different: a medical screening.

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Politics
12:20 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement

Fed up with what they see as a lack of representation at the California Capitol and overregulation, supervisors in the far Northern California county of Siskiyou, which includes Yreka, have voted in favor of secession.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:59 pm

There's a big race right now to become the 51st state.

Forget traditional contenders like Puerto Rico. In several existing states, residents of less populous areas are hoping to create new states of their own.

Citizens in 11 mostly northeastern Colorado counties are among them. They'll vote on Nov. 5 whether to break off and form their own state. Many are unhappy about liberal state legislation they believe reflects the values of the Denver-Boulder corridor, but not their part of the world.

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Climate
7:14 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Is Rebuilding Storm-Struck Coastlines Worth The Cost?

The Long Beach High School marching band prepares to march down the Long Beach boardwalk during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 2:10 pm

One year ago Tuesday, Hurricane Sandy bore down on the East Coast, devastating shoreline communities from Florida to Maine.

Many of these areas have been rebuilt, including the Long Beach boardwalk, about 30 miles outside New York City. Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new boardwalk Friday.

Ninety percent of the funding for the restoration came from the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid $44 million to repair the devastation.

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