News

Food Prices
8:30 am
Mon February 4, 2013

$5 A Pound? Tomato Price Threat Seen As Tactic In Trade Dispute With Mexico

EXTREME TOMATO: The price in Japan is nearly five dollars for a single tomato. In the U. S., a prediction of five-dollars-a-pound is being debunked as a scare tactic to preserve Mexican market share.
Credit www.omroundtheworld.com

Will stopping Mexican tomatoes at the border raise tomato prices prohibitively for American consumers?

An importers group predicted recently that if the 1996 tomato agreement with Mexico is terminated, tomatoes could rise to $5 a pound in American supermarkets. Florida growers now say that's a scare tactic by interest groups who favor Mexican imports. "Under no circumstances will this be true," said Edward Beckman, president of Certified Greenhouse Farmers.

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Housing
6:45 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Foreclosure Process Hammers Florida's Housing Market

FORECLOSED IN THE 305: Florida's balky legal process has given it the highest foreclosure rate in the U. S.

A decade ago, speculators in Florida were pumping up a huge housing bubble.

"You couldn't go wrong," Tampa real estate attorney Charlie Hounchell says. In that overheated period from 2001 to 2006, "you could buy a house and make $100,000 a year later by selling it," he says.

But the party ended in 2007 and the hangover persists. The state now has the highest foreclosure rate in the country, beating out Nevada for the first time in five years.

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Immigration
12:26 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Rubio's Path Through Immigration Politics May Be Tough As Illegals' Path To Citizenship

THE PATH IS THE PROBLEM: University of Miami law professor David Abraham (inset) says Sen. Marco Rubio's path to citizenship for illegals, tough as it is, may still be too much for the Tea Party to accept.

Now that a group of key senators and the president have proposed their plans for immigration reform, what would some of the proposed changes mean to South Florida's unique immigrant communities? We hear from  University of Miami immigration law specialist David Abraham.

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Public Health
10:00 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Poverty, Access Issues Blamed For Poor Health In Broward's Black Communities

BABIES AT RISK: Black residents of Broward County experience higher rates of infant mortality than whites or Hispanics, according to a new Urban League health report.
Credit Kolonoj on thepeoplespoetrycorner.blogspot.com

Black residents of Broward County are much more likely than whites or Hispanics to experience infant mortality, obesity or HIV/AIDS, according to an alarming new report from the Urban League, and nobody should try to blame the results on poor lifestyle choices .

According to the Urban League's Danielle Doss-Brown, it's unarguably the result of poverty and lack of access to insurance and health care. Complicating it is a shortage of sources of healthy food in many black communities.

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News
7:00 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Study Says Florida Could Boost Economy With More Advertising

A Taxwatch study finds that South Beach could have more international visitors - boosting the state's economy - if Florida would spend more money on advertising.
Credit mgiants/flickr

Florida gets about 87 million visitors a year. The nonprofit research group Florida Taxwatch wanted to know what would happen to the economy if that number reached 100 million.

The group did a study. The results suggest 121-thousand jobs would be created and other good things would happen to the economy.

So, the report recommends that the Legislature allocate more money for advertising.

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Musical Tribute To Spec's
6:49 am
Fri February 1, 2013

A Swan Song For Spec's Music Stores

Herald Music Critic Howard Cohen Still Keeps His Eye On Helen Reddy.
Credit Howard Cohen

In 1973, future Miami Herald music critic Howard Cohen burst into the Spec's Music store on South Dixie Highway in Coral Gables with of all the energy of a 10-year-old about to begin a 40-year habit.

That's because he was.  

He and his mother had piled into their 1971 yellow Ford Pinto for the express purpose of taking home Helen Reddy.  At least in the form of her hit single, "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)." 

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Child Abuse Law
7:00 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Florida Wants You To Know: You Are Legally Responsible For Reporting Child Abuse

Florida has launched a campaign to help people identify signs of child abuse.
Credit http://dontmissthesigns.org/

The toughest child abuse reporting law in the nation went into effect in Florida last October.

It used to be that only parents or caregivers suspected of abuse had to be reported.  

Now, anyone who suspects a child is being abused or neglected is required to report it regardless of the suspect.  Failure to do so could lead to a felony charge resulting in a five year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.

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Gun Policy
12:00 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Visualized: Guns and Murder in Florida

Florida homicide data from 2000 to 2011 shows that, over the last decade, the likelihood that a murder in Florida will involve a firearm has steadily increased.
Credit Grant Smith / FCIR

The horrific killing of 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., revived the debate over gun control in the United States. President Barack Obama outlined his controversial proposal for gun control last Wednesday, including requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, strengthening the ban on assault weapons, and limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines.

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Tax Incentives
2:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

State Asks For Half A Million To Reclaim $20 Million From Bankrupt Company

Scene: Digital Domain filed for bankruptcy in 2012 after investors and state and local governments sunk a total of $135 million in cash, land and tax credits into the digital animation studio.
Credit openDemocracy /Flickr

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is asking state lawmakers for half a million dollars in order to recoup a $20-million investment in the now-defunct digital animation studio, Digital Domain.

And according to local experts, Florida has a tough fight ahead to get its money back.

The state originally gave Digital Domain $20 million in incentives in order to lure the company--and jobs--to Port St. Lucie. Four months ago, the firm filed for bankruptcy, shut down and let go 300 Florida workers.

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Super Bowl Ads
1:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Does This Volkswagen ‘Jamaican’ Commercial Cross A Racist Line?

Screen shot from Volkswagen commercial. Watch the spot by scrolling down to the last paragraph

With the Super Bowl only a few short days away, anticipation is building up for the superstar lineup of commercials.  The spots are widely known to be the products of endless hours of brainstorming, and deeper pockets than the average citizen can fathom.

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News
7:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

State Launches Public Awareness Campaign For Child Abuse Reporting Law

Lauren Book was a sex abuse victim who now advocates for child abuse prevention.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

The toughest child abuse reporting law in the nation went into effect in Florida last October, and the state has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the legal obligation to report suspected abuse.

The new law was introduced in response to the scandal at Penn State University.  Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of molesting children years after the abuse was discovered by staffers.

If a similar situation happens in Florida, the institution could now be fined a million dollars for each person who failed to report the abuse.

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Performance-enhancing drugs
6:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

South Florida May Be Source Of Banned Drugs In Major League Baseball

A pipeline for banned drugs may start in South Florida.
Credit Sean Winters/Flickr

South Florida may be a source for banned performance-enhancing drugs making their way into major league baseball.

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Immigration
9:44 am
Mon January 28, 2013

'Path To Citizenship' Part Of Senators' Bipartisan Immigration Plan

Air interdiction agent Jake Linde in 2010, on the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:03 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: Jim Hawk reports

Saying their proposal would "secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system" and create "a tough but fair legalization program for individuals who are currently here," eight senators unveiled a "bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration reform."

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Marketplace In Miami
2:00 pm
Sun January 27, 2013

Sports Arenas, Big Mall Are Regional Assets

INTERNATIONAL ATTRACTION:South American tourists flock to Sunrise to shop at Sawgrass Mills.
Credit Kenny Malone / WLRN

The Marketplace Morning Report is broadcasting this week from WLRN's studios in the city it thinks typifies the evolution of America: Miami.

In its first segment this morning, host Jeremy Hobson discussed the region's "inferiority complex" with Miami Herald economy reporter Doug Hanks and how that might drive spending on sports arenas.

Also, WLRN's Kenny Malone explored Broward County's gigantic Sawgrass Mills, which is an international tourist destination as well as a shopping mall, and lost his car in the parking lot.

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NBA Dreams
4:14 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

At $17.5 Million A Year, LeBron James Is Underpaid

A bargain at $17.5 million a year.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:29 pm

LeBron James is arguably the best player in the NBA. His salary is $17.5 million a year. He's worth much, much more.

"He's getting hosed," says Kevin Grier, an economist from the University of Oklahoma.

James used to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he left, the value of the team fell by tens of millions of dollars — and the value of his new team, the Miami Heat, rose by tens of millions. The economists I talked to said James should be making closer to $40 million a year.

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