News

Politics
2:38 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Suspect Dead, Two Police Officers Injured In Chase At U.S. Capitol

A police officer checks out a car on grass with his canine near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The Capitol and the White House were placed on lockdown after an 'active shooter' situation was reported.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:39 am

We last updated this post at 7:19 p.m. ET.

A woman who authorities say tried to ram a security barrier outside the White House led the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police on a high-speed chase that ended near Capitol Hill, where gunshots were fired by police. Congressional lawmakers were briefly ordered to shelter in place, but by 3 p.m. ET, police had lifted the lockdown.

The incident left a suspect dead and two police officers injured. The 1-year-old child who was in the car with the suspect is OK and in protective custody.

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Environment
7:43 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Miami-Dade Expands Urban Development Boundary

FIU Geography Professor Jeff Onsted straddles the Miami-Dade County Urban Development Boundary at Miller Road and SW 167th Avenue.
Credit Tom Hudson

Miami-Dade County commissioners on Wednesday opened the door to more warehouses and offices west of Doral, agreeing to expand the Urban Development Boundary to include a 521 acre-chunk already surrounding by buildings.

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Transportation
6:00 am
Thu October 3, 2013

How Miami-Dade's Dreams Of Light Rail Look A Lot Like Its Past

A streetcar in Coral Gables in April, 1925
William A. Fishbaugh/State Archives of Florida

Once again, Miami-Dade County is studying whether a light-rail train from mainland Miami to the beach would actually work.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the county’s metropolitan planning organization think it could be a solution to the traffic problems of South Beach. If traffic gets worse, Gimenez has said it will “kill the tourism industry.”  

A History Of Light Rail

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Recreation
5:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Reminder: Florida State Parks Remain Open To The Public

A view of the gun room and 10-inch Rodman cannon at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
Credit FloridaStateParks.org

While the partial shutdown of the federal government has caused national parks like the Everglades to close temporarily, the state parks are still open.

The Florida Park Service is reminding residents and visitors that all 171 state parks are open for business seven days a week.

Park managers say visitors who have planned a trip to a closed federal park shouldn't cancel their plans; they should just visit a nearby state park instead.

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Politics
9:44 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Local Police Gear Up To Enforce Florida's New Texting While Driving Ban

Enforcing the texting ban might prove difficult.
Credit Creative Commons Via Flickr user Steven Damron

As Florida's texting while driving ban goes into effect, local police officers are still figuring out the best way to enforce the new law.

"This is something new to all of us," said Freddy Cruz, a sergeant with the City of Miami Police Department. "This is going to be quite a challenge, but from an educational standpoint, we have to educate the public on the dangers [of texting while driving].

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Politics
9:21 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Tourists, Workers Turned Away As U.S. Shutdown Hits South Florida

Eduardo Echeverria, a federal law enforcement ranger at Everglades National Park, closes the main gate on October 1 because of the government shutdown.
Credit MARICE COHN BAND / Miami Herald Staff

“Closed” signs went up at national parks, and federal employees went home across South Florida on Tuesday as the federal government limped its way through the first day of a shutdown.

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Politics
9:10 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Beyond The Shutdown, There's A Bigger Battle Brewing

The Capitol is mirrored in its reflecting pool early Tuesday, as the partial federal shutdown began. But there's a battle still to come in which the stakes are even higher.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:38 pm

This week's government shutdown could be just a warmup for an even bigger budget battle in a couple of weeks.

Congress has to raise the limit on the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow by Oct. 17. If the debt ceiling is not raised on time, President Obama warns that Washington won't be able to keep paying its bills.

"It'd be far more dangerous than a government shutdown, as bad as a shutdown is," Obama said Tuesday. "It would be an economic shutdown."

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Obamacare
9:03 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Tech Problems Plague First Day Of Health Exchange Rollout

Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new health insurance exchanges on Tuesday.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:35 am

Many Americans got "please wait" messages Tuesday when they tried to start shopping for health coverage on the federal government's new health insurance website, healthcare.gov. A series of technological glitches, delays and crashes kept people from getting to several of the 16 state exchanges, too.

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Politics
7:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

U.S. Shutdown Leaves Local Taxpayers Out In The Cold

Visitors to Broward County's main IRS office are greeted with locked doors and signs referring them to the agency's website.
Credit C. DiMattei

South Florida branches of the Internal Revenue Service are among the agency offices being affected by the current U.S. government shutdown.

And the situation is leaving some local taxpayers angry and frustrated.

Seventy-one-year old Alfonso Valencia of Sunrise said he was summoned by letter to the IRS' Plantation office several days ago to settle a real estate tax matter in person.  

When told that the office is closed until further notice, he took it in stride. Nevertheless, he stomped his foot down on the pavement -- hard.

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Energy
2:11 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Are FPL Customers Paying $43M For Nuclear Projects That May Never Happen?

FPL's Turkey Point nuclear power plant.
Credit www.fpl.com

Florida Power & Light customers will pay nearly $43.5 million next year for nuclear-power projects, including $16.2 million for a plan to eventually build two new reactors in Miami-Dade County, state regulators decided Tuesday.

The project costs will have relatively little impact on customers' monthly bills. A residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will pay about 46 cents.

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Obamacare
1:58 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Exchange Shopping Starts Now, But No Need To Rush

Stephanie Groover of Independence Blue Cross provides information about coverage to commuters in Philadelphia on the opening day of the health insurance exchanges.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:26 pm

Well, today's the day health insurance marketplaces open for business. And despite a partial shutdown of the federal government and some technical jitters, they're available for insurance shoppers.

While Oct. 1 is a milestone in the implementation of the health law, other dates are likely more critical for consumers planning to shop for health insurance on their state marketplace.

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Politics
8:15 am
Tue October 1, 2013

A Look At The Impact Of The U.S. Shutdown On South Florida

Social Security checks will still be mailed and the exchanges that are central to the the new health care law will still kick into gear Tuesday. But an estimated 800,000 federal employees are being told they can't work because the politicians haven't been able to agree on a way to fund the government.
Credit Fang Zhe /Xinhua/Landov

Much of South Florida may not notice that large parts of the federal government shut down early Tuesday, but Washington’s budget stalemate promises to bring a list of challenges for the region.

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Politics
7:37 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Economists Say Shutdown Will Hurt, But Hard To Add It Up

Government workers protest the possibility of a federal shutdown in Chicago. Nearly 100 employees from federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development rallied in a downtown plaza Monday.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:14 am

After weeks of wondering what would happen, Americans now know:

1. Congress missed the midnight funding deadline for the new fiscal year, triggering disruptions in government operations.

2. That will slow economic growth, at least in the short term.

But just how far the damage will go is far from clear. Economists say they can't refine their predictions because they have no idea how long the shutdown might last or how many federal workers may be furloughed.

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Politics
10:21 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Shutdown: A Guide To What Would And Wouldn't Close

If Congress does not reach a budget agreement and the government shuts down, the U.S. Postal Service is one agency expected to remain in operation.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:05 pm

With House Republicans and Senate Democrats still miles apart on a budget deal, the federal government appears headed for a shutdown at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Here's a quick breakdown of what government agencies and programs would and would not remain operational in the event of a shutdown:

What Stays Open

  • The Postal Service would continue to deliver mail on its regular schedule.
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Obamacare
3:30 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

How A Tax On Medical Devices United Political Rivals

U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (center) and colleagues gather before a Sunday vote on Capitol Hill. The House passed two new provisions to a federal spending bill to delay Obamacare for a year and to repeal the medical device tax.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:26 pm

As the federal government lurches toward a shutdown, there's one thing a lot of people in Congress actually agree on.

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