News

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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Latin America Report
5:35 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Power To Peru: The (Quiet) Latin American Boom That's Making South Florida Swoon

IN THE SUN: Apparel from Peru's Escudo line on the runway at Miami Fashion Week in May.
Credit Miami Fashion Week

Peru is the loudest Latin American boom you’ve probably never heard – but should.

These are the kind of macroeconomic data that made the world swoon over Brazil in the 2000s:

Ÿ● Peru’s economy has grown an average of almost 7 percent the past four years. Wall Street expects equally robust growth for the next five years.

Ÿ● Wall Street also ranks Peru No. 2, behind only South Korea, when it comes to resisting external shocks to its economy.

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Veterans Affairs
4:19 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Nurses Training At FIU To Team Up With VA

Credit Creative Commons

Florida International University will now partner with Veterans Affairs medical centers in Miami to provide training to budding nurses.

The Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership provided the university with an $8 million grant to bring in more students and faculty over the next five years. Twenty additional students will start this fall, totaling 160 students over the next five years.

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Airports
5:34 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Tip Your Wheelchair Pusher At Fort Lauderdale Airport

Many wheelchair attendants at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport make less than minimum wage.
Credit Wilson Sayre

Take our quiz to see how good you are at identifying who you should tip.  

If you eat at a restaurant, it's obvious you won't just pay the price of your meal. Tipping is not just customary, it is understood to be part of a server's take-home pay.

It is not so obvious, however, that wheelchair attendants at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport are paid the very same way.

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Food Banks
12:18 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Local Food Distrubutor Gets Funding Increase

Homestead-based Farm Share received an extra $500,000 this year to go towards food transportation.
Credit Creative Commons

A Homestead-based food-assistance program called Farm Share received a $1.5 million check last week. State Rep. Kionne McGhee delivered the money, which was allocated in this year’s state budget. This is a $500,000 increase from last year’s state contribution.

Farm Share uses inmate and volunteer labor to sort, package and deliver food to churches, soup kitchens or other organizations across the state that use and distribute food to those in need. It provides the food for free, unlike many other food distribution organizations.

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News
11:50 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Law Banning E-Cigarette Sales To Minors Goes Into Effect July 1

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

E-cigarettes aren't made with tobacco, but they vaporize a mixture of flavorings -- and nicotine. Because of the nicotine, e-cigarettes are addictive. But until recently, there were no laws in Florida banning their sale to minors.

State Rep. Frank Artiles sponsored a bill to ban e-cigarette sales to people under the age of 18. He says he was inspired to sponsor the bill after witnessing a 12-year old "vaping" an e-cigarette at an amusement park.

"Because the FDA has not ruled on the e-cigarettes, I thought it'd be a great bill to protect our youth," he says.

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Remembering
11:49 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Trayvon Martin Foundation Finds Home At Florida Memorial University

The Trayvon Martin Foundation has found a home at Florida Memorial University.
Credit Creative Commons

The Trayvon Martin Foundation now has a home at Florida Memorial University.

The foundation was started by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of the Miami Gardens teen who was shot and killed in 2012. Fulton is an alumna of the university. Her foundation works to raise awareness about the impact of violent crimes on families and communities. It’s a support system for people who have experienced tragedies.

Roslyn Artis, president of the Miami Gardens university, sees this as an opportunity to turn tragedy into education.

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Living
11:41 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Florida Gets Big Food Stamp Bonus

Florida will get a big bonus for accurately administering it's food assistance program.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Clementine Gallot

Florida is getting a big bonus this year. The Federal Department of Agriculture is rewarding the state $7 million for being efficient and accurate when it comes to giving out food stamps to families.

At 0.81 percent error rate, the state ranks the second most accurate in the country. That means families don’t get more, or less, help than they qualify for.

The bonus won’t mean more money in the pockets of families, but it will help streamline the process for future need.

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Fraud
3:38 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Seniors On Medicare Patrol In Miami

Gustavo Franco, of Senior Medicare Patrol, warns seniors of Medicare fraud.
Credit Al Diaz / Miami Herald

It’s a crime that requires no guns. It frequently goes unnoticed until after the fact, and the victims are unwitting U.S. taxpayers duped to the tune of $68 billion a year. Medicare fraud has become one of the most profitable illegal activities in the country — and South Florida is the most likely place to get fleeced.

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