News

Money
3:16 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

How Will Libraries Fare In Gimenez's Budget?

Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Phillip Pessar

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is slated to reveal his proposal for next year’s budget tomorrow and lots of eyes are on how much he will allocate for county libraries.

John Quick, president of Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Libraries, has fought cuts in library hours and personnel as the county is forced to dip into reserves to keep them afloat.

 

For Quick, $64 million is the magic number.

 

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Medical Marijuana
6:27 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

How A Boca Attorney Expects Charlotte's Web Rules To Affect Amendment Two Businesses

Credit Mohamed Aseel Hassan/Flickr

Florida's new Office of Compassionate Use has issued proposed rules for the regulation of Charlotte's Web, that buzz-free variety of marijuana the Legislature approved for limited medical use this year.

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LGBT Rights
5:31 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Monroe County Court Hears Arguments In Gay Marriage Case

William Jones, left, and Aaron Huntsman, right, are plaintiffs in the lawsuit and are seeking to marry in Florida. They are both bartenders in Key West and have been together for 11 years.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In 2008, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. In recent months, gay couples wishing to marry have challenged that provision in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Today on Plantation Key, a Monroe Circuit judge heard arguments in a case brought by two Key West men. Aaron Huntsman and William Jones have been together for 11 years and had a commitment ceremony 10 years ago. But Huntsman said they want to make it official.

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Miami Beach
5:08 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Whimsical Lifeguard Stands Coming To Miami Beach In 2015

A lifeguard stand on 13th Street in Miami Beach.
Credit Wikipedia

Miami Beach officials are replacing their collection of 29 lifeguard stands.  In their place next year will be bright, whimsical designs by local architect William Lane.

Lane says the new designs will be inspired by six iconic stands he created in the '90s.

"There was a round one, a pink one over on Eighth Street and that one is being rebuilt. It was sort of Jetsonian," he says.

That’s right, it was inspired by the '60s cartoon -- The Jetsons.

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All Tech Considered
4:49 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

We Asked, You Answered: Going To Extremes To Disconnect On Vacation

Our readers wrote in on how they tried to take a vacation from their smartphones.
Christian Wheatley iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:08 am

Summer is a great time to take a break from some of the stressors in our lives. For many of us, that stress is brought on by too much screen time and the pressure to stay connected.

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Fourth of July
7:26 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Holiday Rush Means A Hiring Boom At Broward County Fireworks Shop

TNT Fireworks Superstore in Dania Beach was open around the clock to handle the Fourth of July holiday rush.
Credit Carla Javier / WLRN

The TNT Fireworks Superstore in Dania Beach has been open around the clock since July 2nd to handle the Fourth of July holiday rush.

Marketing manager Itzhak Dickstein says the company hired an extra 200 employees to manage the steep increase in customers.

To buy fireworks, customers first have to navigate police-directed traffic and find parking among the businesses near the Broward County fireworks store. 

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Venezuela Crisis
5:33 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Jetting To Venezuela Just Got Harder: Why American Is Slashing Flights

FEWER FLIGHTS: An American Airlines aircraft at Caracas' Simon Bolivar Airport.
Credit Simon_sees / Flickr/futureatlas.com

It’s going to get even tougher to find a seat on a flight to Venezuela now. International airlines are cutting if not ending their service to the South American country. And that now includes the major U.S. carrier  – American Airlines.

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Beach
11:59 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Five Misconceptions About South Florida Lifeguards

Anthony Mariano and Erick Guzman have been Ocean Rescue lifeguards for Hallandale Beach for the past several years.
Credit Wilson Sayre

For many beach-goers, lifeguards only exist inside the tiny towers that dot the beach and in their memories of Baywatch episodes.

So what lifeguards (or ocean rescuers) actually do isn't widely understood.

Here are five misconceptions about lifeguards for you below:

1. This is a summer job for college kids.

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Transportation
6:53 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

How The Taxi Industry Became Legit In Miami

Credit Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

About 56 years ago, in a county devoid of apps, smartphones and cars with pink fluffy mustaches, there lived a taxi industry that didn't rely on Miami-Dade County regulations.

That taxi industry without regulations is long gone, but ride-sharing apps Lyft and UberX are here -- and they're trying their best to stay. The smartphone-based companies connect users with drivers, and like Miami's old taxis, they don't rely on county regulations.

The taxi industry isn't too happy about this. 

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Environment
6:25 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Task Force Releases Recommendations To Address Sea-Level Rise

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Yesterday, the Miami-Dade Sea Level Rise Task Force released a report detailing six recommendations to the county. 

The main recommendation calls on county officials to consult experts to create an infrastructure that can adapt to rising sea levels. 

Jim Murley is the executive director of the South Florida Regional Planning Council, and was the vice-chairperson of the task force.

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Environment
6:24 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Manatees Might Lose Endangered Status

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region / Creative Commons/Flickr

Manatees have been an endangered species since 1967. But on Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made an announcement that this classification may soon be lowered to "threatened."

But some environmentalists and government officials are opposed to this change. They say changing the label might result in more lenient rules about boat speed zones and dock-building limits. 

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Latin America
4:02 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Rivalry: Spanish Speakers Flood Portuguese-Speaking Brazil

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:24 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right, we're introducing you to a new word today. It's Portunol. It's a language - well, sort of. It's a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese and it is how many Spanish-speaking fans at the World Cup are communicating with their Portuguese-speaking, Brazilian cousins. The results are not always pretty. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro has this reporter's notebook on South America's great language divide.

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News
3:48 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Caribbean Airlines Flights Resume After Pilots' Sick-Out

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Due to a labor dispute, dozens of Caribbean Airlines pilots called in sick Tuesday, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.

Nearly all of the Trinidad-based airline's flights were disrupted across the Caribbean and in major hubs such as Miami, New York and London.

Airline spokesman Clint Williams says the company is in touch with travelers affected by the sick-out and has provided alternate flights for them.

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Housing
6:00 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

South Florida Rent Increases Among The Highest In the Nation

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

According to a report published by AXIOMetrics, rent increases in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties rank among the highest 25 in the nation.

For example, in Miami-Dade County the average rent rose 6.29 percent, to $1,485 a month.

Jay Denton is the vice president for research at AXIOMetrics. He says the high prices in Florida could be due to a demand which exceeds the supply.

In the report, AXIOMetrics reports occupancy rates of over 95 percent for all three South Florida counties.

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Health
5:52 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

New Law Changes How Often Florida Food Establishments Are Inspected

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

A state law changing how frequently restaurants are inspected unannounced goes into effect today. Under the new law, restaurants will be ranked on a scale from one to four. Restaurants rated as a four will receive four unannounced inspections. 

The rankings will be based on establishment type as well as history of past violations. 

Beth Frady is the deputy communications director at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. She says the new law will increase efficiency in inspections.

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