News

Politics
7:24 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Congress Approves Bill To End Government Shutdown, Avert Default

Speaker of the House John Boehner pumps his fist after leaving a meeting of House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 12:32 am

Bringing to an end an episode that once again exposed Washington gridlock at its worst, the House approved a Senate deal that will end a 16-day federal government shutdown and avert the first government default in U.S. history.

The 285-144 vote came at the eleventh hour, after weeks of partisan bickering and a very public airing of deep divisions within the Republican party. President Obama signed the bill into law after midnight Thursday.

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Technology
7:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

How A Mobile App May Someday Help Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease

Doctoral candidate Leon Brown analyzes a graph measuring the user’s gait.
Credit Leon Brown/FSU

Wendy Nader remembers when her mom started showing obvious signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

“I would talk to her on the phone and she would repeat what she had just told me two or three times in one conversation,” Nader said. “When she started doing that, it was a huge red flag. It wasn’t too long after that, that she started getting lost.”

Nader’s mom, in her early 70’s at the time, would drive to a Miami mall or bank where she was a regular – only to forget where she was.

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Energy
5:20 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

The 1973 Arab Oil Embargo: The Old Rules No Longer Apply

On Dec. 23, 1973, cars formed a double line at a gas station in New York City. The Arab oil embargo caused gas shortages nationwide and shaped U.S. foreign policy to this day.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 8:31 am

Forty years ago this week, the U.S. was hit by an oil shock that reverberates until this day.

Arab oil producers cut off exports to the U.S. to protest American military support for Israel in its 1973 war with Egypt and Syria. This brought soaring gas prices and long lines at filling stations, and it contributed to a major economic downturn in the U.S.

The embargo made the U.S. feel heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil, which in turn led the U.S. to focus on instability in that region, which has since included multiple wars and other U.S. military interventions.

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Food
2:57 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Discovering Guava Cake Specialities In The Everglades

Joanie Griffin, owner of the historic Tamiami Trail restaurant, Joanie's Blue Crab, is all smiles with her daughter Terri Rementeria. The pair took first place in a recent guava coconut cake contest in Everglades City.

Just like Key Lime pie is an iconic dessert from the Florida Keys, some locals claim the guava cake, or some form of it, is a mainstay Everglades favorite.

The name "guava" is derived from the Greek word meaning "edible fruit."

But despite its gastronomical attributes, many people would be surprised to learn that the common guava is officially listed as an invasive species.

Reporter Patricia Sagastume traveled to edge of the Everglades to see how one town is not likely to condemn this tasty fruit.

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Economics
2:34 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Why U.S. Taxpayers Pay $7 Billion A Year To Help Fast-Food Workers

New York City Council speaker and then-mayoral candidate Christine Quinn speaks at a fast-food workers' protest outside a McDonald's in New York in August. A nationwide movement is calling for raising the minimum hourly wage for fast-food workers to $15.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:48 pm

If you hit the drive-through, chances are that the cashier who rings you up or the cook who prepared your food relies on public assistance to make ends meet.

A new analysis finds that 52 percent of fast-food workers are enrolled in, or have their families enrolled in, one or more public assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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Environment
2:07 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

As Greenland Seeks Economic Development, Is Uranium The Way?

Workers stand inside the gold mine in Greenland's Nulanaq mountain in 2009. The Danish territory's underground wealth was at the forefront of elections in March. Now, Greenland faces another dilemma: whether to end a zero-tolerance policy on uranium extraction.
Adrian Joachim AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 6:39 pm

Karen Hanghoj, a scientist with Denmark's Geological Survey, points to the southern tip of Greenland on a colorful map hanging in her office.

"What you can see here in the southern region here is you have a big pink region," she says. "And then within the pink region, you see you have all these little purple dots.

"And what the purple dots are is a later period of rifting. These complexes have these weird chemistries and have these very, very strange minerals in them," she adds.

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Recreation
10:46 am
Wed October 16, 2013

The Sport Of Hardcourt Bike Polo Is Flourishing In South Florida

FTL Bike Polo players at night.

Forget American football for the moment. There's a lesser known sport gaining traction around the world and in South Florida, especially Broward County.

Hardcourt bike polo cropped up in Seattle in the early 2000s and is an underground version of grass bike polo, which was invented in Ireland in 1891.

Players form teams of three or four and use handcrafted mallets made from ski poles to skillfully maneuver a ball into a goal.

The games are played on streets and hard surfaces like basketball courts, tennis courts and roller hockey rinks.

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Community Contributor
7:36 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Questions Linger After Sedwick's Death In Cyberbullying Case

On September 9, Rebecca Sedgwick committed suicide, at least in part, because of cyberbullying.

Rebecca Sedgwick will never graduate from high school or attend the prom. She’ll never sit in the stands of a homecoming football game.  She did not live to see her 13th birthday.  On September 9, she killed herself.

And last night, over a month after her death, two girls -- ages 12 and 14 -- have been charged with felony aggravated stalking, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

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Culture
2:24 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

One Roof, Many Generations: Redefining The Single-Family Home

Three generations live under this roof: (from left) 19-year-old Jamie Dusseault, grandmother Jacque Ruggles, mother Marci Dusseault and 22-year-old Chelsie Dusseault.
Peter O'Dowd KJZZ

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 10:12 am

New homes are back in a big way — literally. This summer, a typical new house in Phoenix was more than 20 percent larger than a resale home as builders across the country added more space to accommodate post-recession lifestyles.

Take Jacque Ruggles' family, for example. Four women from three generations live under one roof.

"I'm the matriarch," Ruggles says. "I'm grandma."

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Milestones
2:03 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Amid Supplier Labor Strike, Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant In Miami Beach Turns 100

Credit Wally Gobetz / Flickr

From gangsters to glamor girls, presidents to princesses and actors to athletes, Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant has run the gamut of diners over its 100 years in operation.

On October 15, the legendary South Beach restaurant opened the doors for dinner service – the first of the stone crab season.

In 1913, Joe’s began as Joe’s Seafood Restaurant, serving fish sandwiches and fries, after Joe and Jennie Weiss relocated from New York to Miami Beach because of Joe’s asthma.

Joe was a waiter and Jennie was the cook.

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Obamacare
11:30 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Sebelius: Feds Holding Billions Of Dollars For Florida

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has become the Obama administration's envoy to Florida on behalf of the Affordable Care Act. She has visited the state half a dozen times since June, trying to get the word out to the state's millions of uninsured to sign up for a health plan.

Recently, she visited the University of South Florida's Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, where Health News Florida editor Carol Gentry spoke with her.

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Obamacare
11:03 am
Tue October 15, 2013

How Obamacare Foes Are Recruiting Young Americans

Last month Generation Opporunity launched two videos featuring Creepy Uncle Sam. The message: government is messing with your health care.
Credit YouTube

As the battle over the healthcare law grinds on — Republicans no closer to victory than when they forced the government shutdown — a different fight was rising on a recent Saturday from inside Sharkey’s, a bar near the campus of Virginia Tech, 260 miles away.

Lured by free beer, gift cards and the chance to win an iPad, 100 students heard a pitch from the young staffers of a group named Generation Opportunity: Obamacare is a bad deal, and you should opt out.

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Pop Culture
7:00 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Are You A 'Hypebeast' Or 'OG?' Welcome To Miami's Sneaker Culture

Credit Chloe Herring

Shoe enthusiasts gathered recently at the Bank United Center on the campus of the University of Miami for SneakerCon.

The event allows vendors and guests to buy, sell and trade their “kicks.” It's also a hot place to check out the shoe scene in Miami.

Arthur Williams, 19, attended the event to buy shoes and noticed various kinds of interests.

“You’ve got ‘hypebeasts’ and people that just want to buy shoes. But me and my friend -- we’re real ‘sneakerheads.’ We’ve been in this since ninth grade,” said Williams.

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History
3:14 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

A Night At The Rock: Former Alcatraz Inmate Journeys Back

Bill Baker returned to Alcatraz for the first time since he was an inmate there more than 50 years ago.
Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 6:19 pm

For 29 years, Alcatraz — the notorious prison off the coast of San Francisco — housed some of the nation's worst criminals: Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Birdman Robert Stroud.

Today, 50 years after it closed, it's a museum. And earlier this year, the National Park Service gave Bill Baker, a former inmate, special permission to stay the night in his old cell. He was 24 when he was transferred to The Rock. Today, he's 80.

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Fishing
12:56 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Why Stone Crabbers Are Praying For A Better Season

Stone Crabbers line up on the Barron River behind the Everglades City Rod and Gun Club to receive a blessing before the start of stone crab season.
Credit Marya Repko

All summer, stone crab crews have been mending their traps and preparing their boats -- waiting for the start of the stone crab season.

With the opening of the season starting Oct. 15, the economic future of the industry will hinge on how bountiful the catch is for Monroe, Lee and Collier counties.

It’s these three areas that provide the bulk of the two to three million pounds of stone crab landings in Florida each year.

But last year, the going was rough for a lot of the crabbers.

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