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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.