News

Food Insecurity
3:28 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

How Many People Are Going Hungry In South Florida? Maybe More Than You Think

Volunteers hand help hand out food at an event in South Beach for Hunger Action Month.
Credit Arianna Prothero/WLRN

South Florida is known as a place where the wealthy live and play, but activists say that image can hide some of the problems facing residents in poorer areas-- specifically the issue of hunger.

The organization Feeding South Florida raises awareness and food donations for people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. The group serves the whole region from Palm Beach to Monroe County and it’s ramping up its efforts this month to get more people engaged in solving the problem.

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Environment
3:23 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Two Alligators Topping 720 Pounds Each Caught In Mississippi

Beth Trammell of Madison, Miss., poses with the 723.5-pound alligator she and five others caught over the weekend.
Ricky Flynt Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Department

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 6:24 pm

Two alligators, each weighing more than 720 pounds, were caught in Mississippi this past weekend, setting a new state record for heaviest male alligator. Both animals measured more than 13 feet in length; it took hours to get the trophies into the hunters' boats.

The huge reptiles were brought down on the same day, setting a state record that stood for less than two hours before it was broken again.

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The Florida Roundup
7:00 am
Tue September 3, 2013

How Drugs May Be Helping Miami’s Real Estate Rebound

Credit Jeff Hester / Creative Commons/Flickr

For 18 months straight South Florida home prices have been rising. One reason is cash. For every 10 homes sold in July in our region, seven were bought with cash: no mortgage, no credit check.  

Moreover, 90 percent of the cash buyers of Miami condos are foreign, which often means less financial oversight is involved in the purchase.

RELATED: What Kind Of Money Fuels The Miami Real Estate Market?

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Politics
8:00 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Florida To Replace 'Mental Retardation' With 'Intellectual Disability' Throughout State Law

Derrick Sneed asked the Florida Legislature to end use of the R word - “retardation” - in state law.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

Thirty-seven-year-old Derrick Sneed testified before Florida lawmakers last spring for a new law that removes all references to “mental retardation” in state law. 

“The more I learn about the R-word (the more I want) to get rid of this R-word and stop this R-word right now. It’s very important to me,” Sneed said. “People say retarded – and I said respect someone.”

The term “mental retardation” is being removed from more than 400 Florida statutes and being replaced with “intellectual disability.”

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Health Care
3:56 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

New Medicaid Managed Care System Expands To South Florida

Credit medicaid.gov

Thousands of low-income seniors in Southwest Florida and areas of the East Coast are poised this weekend to become part of the state's long-debated shift to a Medicaid managed-care system.

The change, which will take effect Sunday, will involve an estimated 13,450 people in 12 counties who need long-term care --- most of them seniors. It is part of a gradual move that ultimately will lead to almost all Florida Medicaid beneficiaries enrolling in HMOs or other types of managed-care plans.

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Transportation
3:18 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

It's That Time Again: Thousands Of Critical Mass Cyclists Take To The Streets

Critical Mass takes places on the last Friday of every month all over the world. Credit Smilinggoat/Flickr
Credit Credit Smilinggoat/Flickr

If you're driving through the center of Miami tonight, you need to take a close look at the map below. 

The monthly group bike ride called Critical Mass is taking place again. Cyclists will be riding 12.5 miles around Miami starting at Government Center and ending at Grand Central Park.

RELATED: A Tale Of Two Bike Shares From Miami Beach To Broward

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Invasive Species
3:09 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

"Bear," who has been trained to sniff out Giant African Land Snails.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 11:41 am

More than 128,000 Giant African Land Snails have been found and eradicated in the two years since the highly destructive creatures invaded the Miami-Dade area, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam says.

While it's too soon to declare victory, "we are confident that we will win this fight," Putnam adds.

Part of the credit, officials say, should go to "canine detector teams" that are sniffing out snails in places that are tough for humans to search.

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Invasive Species
2:43 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Got Giant African Land Snails? Release The Hounds!

Will sniff snails for treats: Bear, a three-year-old black lab, is being trained to follow the scent of giant African land snails.
Credit Sammy Mack / WLRN

In the ongoing assault on invasive giant African land snails, Florida is ready to release the hounds.

Literally.

The state will be adding snail-sniffing dogs to its team of 50 full-time snail hunters.

RELATED: Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

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Transportation
11:17 am
Fri August 30, 2013

A Tale Of Two Bike Shares From Miami Beach To Broward

Flamingo Park in South Beach hosts two bike share stations.
Credit Arianna Prothero/WLRN

The city of Miami Beach and Broward County both launched bike shares in 2011 but the two programs have seen vastly different success rates.

Bike shares have been popping up across the country over the past few years with one of the most recent additions launching in New York City earlier this summer. Despite its reputation for not being bike-friendly, South Florida was an early adopter of the bike share-- an idea, like many things in our region, born in another country.

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Water Policy
2:33 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Gov. Scott Announces $90 Million Everglades Plan In Ft. Myers

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 10:25 am

Gov. Rick Scott was in Fort Myers Wednesday surrounded by state, local and federal officials to discuss his plan to deal with the escalating water quality problems in Southwest and Southeast Florida due to ongoing water releases from Lake Okeechobee.

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Sports
1:06 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

NFL, Retirees Reach $765M Settlement On Concussions Suits

Junior Seau sustained many concussions during his career and was suffering from a degenerative brain disease when he killed himself in May 2012.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:45 pm

The NFL and more than 4,500 retired players have reached an agreement calling for the league to contribute $765 million to a fund that will pay "medical and other benefits, as well as compensation" to those who suffered concussions and related injuries during their careers.

Details of the agreement, which would settle concussion-related lawsuits by former players and still needs a judge's OK, were released by the league early Thursday afternoon.

According to that statement:

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Infrastructure
12:15 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Miami's Decrepit Sewage System In Desperate Need Of Repair

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:32 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Americas
12:11 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

In Colombia, Starbucks To Take On Juan Valdez

Drew Angerer AP

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:07 pm

Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has announced it's going to expand to Colombia.

The country is known for its Arabica beans and for the mythical coffee farmer Juan Valdez. He's helped sell Colombia's coffee for 50 years. Starbucks has cafes in 50 countries. And now, it's coming to perhaps the country most associated with coffee.

Howard Schultz, the company's chief executive, announced that the first shop will open in Bogota in 2014, followed by 50 more cafes and in other cities over five years.

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Labor
12:09 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

For Restaurant Workers, A Struggle To Put Food On The Table

Losia Nyankale helps daughter Jonessa and son Juliean learn the alphabet. Nyankale, who works in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., says she needs food stamps and child-care subsidies to make ends meet.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:27 am

Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.

"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."

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Media
11:39 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Univision's New Cable Channel Fusion Opens HQ In Doral

Doral Mayor Luigi Boria (left) Florida Gov. Rick Scott (middle) and Univision President Cesar Conde (right) take their positions at the ribbon cutting of Fusion, the new ABC/Univision joint venture on August 26.
Credit Patrick Farrell / MIAMI HERALD

Univision dominates Spanish-language broadcasting, more than doubling the audience of its largest rival, Telemundo. But starting this fall, Univision will tackle an audience that has always been foreign to the Doral-based network: people who watch television in English.

With ABC as a partner, Univision is betting big on carving out a niche in English-language television with Fusion, a cable network billed as targeting young Hispanics.

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