News

Business
6:30 am
Fri July 5, 2013

The Fairy Tale Of A South Florida Home Buyer

When it comes to real estate in South Florida, we can’t pretend it’s anything other than a seller’s market right now.

Prices are climbing and inventory is tight.

If you’re looking for a home or a condo, you’re competing against plenty of buyers who can pay full price and more, in cash.

Miami Herald Business reporter Karen Burkett tracks a South Florida woman who has been trying to become a first time homeowner for two years.

Market forces compelled Ashley Arends to face the reality of property and neighborhoods that was possible.

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4th of July
9:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

These Fireworks Might Be Illegal, But They Are Easy To Buy

Assortment packages, which bundle many different types of fireworks, are some of Phantom's most popular items.
Patience Haggin

For Miami-Dade residents, fireworks may be illegal, but they are easy to get. At Phantom Fireworks in Key Largo, the week leading up to the Fourth of July is the busiest time of the year.

The pyrotechnics outlet draws customers not only from the Keys, but also from Miami-Dade County, where many of the store’s explosives cannot be sold legally.

The shop has seen about 1,000 customers per day and has stayed open until one AM for the past week, according to store manager Kary Singh.

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4th of July
8:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Lost On The 4th? A Roundup of Displays In South Florida

Credit Bob B. Brown/Flickr

The midsummer heat and humidity in South Florida means celebrating Independence Day is not for the faint of heart. But, the sweat and dehydration is all worth it when nightfall comes, and we get to sit back and watch fireworks crack and sparkle over brilliant skylines and dark, reflecting waters. South Florida is definitely a great place to watch fireworks. 

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4th of July
7:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood Lift Open-Container Bans On Beach.. For Today

Credit Wikimedia Commons

If you’re hoping to enjoy a beer on the beach this Fourth of July, you’ll be able to do so in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood for one day only.

Both cities have announced a one-day exception to their ordinances banning open containers of alcohol on the beach.

The reason for the ban is to keep beach-goers from disrespecting and disrupting the enjoyment of others while visiting the shore, said Fort Lauderdale mayor Jack Seiler. The city lifts the ban for special events.

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Zimmerman Trial
12:42 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Medical Examiner: Zimmerman Injuries 'Very Insignificant'

George Zimmerman in court.
Credit Pool photo

A medical examiner testifying in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial Tuesday described Zimmerman’s injuries from the night he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin as “very insignificant” and “not life threatening.”

As WMFE’s Nicole Creston reports, the testimony comes as state attorneys work to undermine Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.

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Politics
11:29 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Miami Beach City Manager: Scale Back Plan For Convention Center Project

The 17th Street corridor, from the 17th Street parking garage east to The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater, figures largely in the Miami Beach Convention Center project.
Credit Marsha Halper / Miami Herald Staff

Two weeks before the city is set to choose a team for its $1 billion convention center project, Miami Beach’s new city manager is recommending large-scale changes that would result in higher public costs.

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Transportation
1:53 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

New Miami-Orlando Express Train Is Just A Handshake Away

Plans for a privately-funded express train linking Miami and Orlando are in the final stages.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Two years after Gov. Rick Scott rejected a federal proposal for high-speed rail in Florida, a privately funded project for an express line connecting Orlando and Miami is just one deal away from beginning construction.

All Aboard Florida, a private company based in Coral Gables, has plans to build a line that would connect Orlando to Miami in just under three hours. It would also make stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

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World
12:12 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Nelson Mandela's Prison Adventures

Near the end of his 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was taken to secret meetings with government officials and for drives around Cape Town. Here, he returned to his Robben Island prison cell for a visit in 1994, shortly before he became South Africa's first black president.
Louise Gubb Corbis

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 7:15 pm

On Christmas Eve 1986, a South Africa prison commander responsible for watching over Nelson Mandela casually asked the world's most famous prisoner, "Mandela, would you like to see the city?"

Mandela was completely surprised, but agreed. The prison commander, Lt. Col. Gawie Marx, promptly put Mandela in his car for a leisurely drive around Cape Town, one of the world's most scenic cities.

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Zimmerman Trial
10:57 am
Tue July 2, 2013

The Secret History Of The Word 'Cracker'

Fun with homonyms!
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 10:21 am

As you might have gathered from our blog's title, the Code Switch team is kind of obsessed with the ways we speak to each other. Every Monday in "Word Watch," we'll dig into language that tells us something about the way race is lived in America today. (Interested in contributing? Holler at this form.)

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Transportation
10:10 am
Tue July 2, 2013

I-95 Sign Maker In Arkansas Misspells Florida, Twice

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene. Florida's Department of Transportation ordered a new sign for Interstate 95. It read: Exit 344, University of Florida, Florida State College South Campus. Only one issue. Both times, Florida was spelled wrong. It read: Flordia. The sign manufacturer in Arkansas made that mistake. According to First Coast News, the company has agreed to fix the sign for free. They also might want to get off at that exit and head back to school.

Weird Florida
6:00 am
Tue July 2, 2013

New Blog To Cover Florida's Ironic (But Hilarious) Shortcomings All Month Long

The Mosely Flag: The flag was hoisted by Governor William D. Moseley on March 3, 1845 when Florida became the 27th state. It never became an official state flag because of controversy about the motto "Let us alone".
Credit http://dhr.dos.state.fl.us/

Did you know that the first flag to fly over Florida's capitol after admission into the Union read "Let Us Alone?"

Yes. That's right. Neither did we.

But thanks to a blog that Slate is starting with the help of Tampa Bay Times Reporter Craig Pittman, there will be plenty more where that came from.

All this month Pittman will be running a Florida blog for the website, highlighting all the strange and spectacular things that make this the best place to be a journalist.

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Politics
1:50 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Here Are New Florida Laws Taking Effect July 1

Florida Capitol
Credit StateImpact Florida

The state's $74.1 billion budget, which will fund 114,481 positions, 3,955 more than in the current fiscal year, kicks in on Monday.

The fiscal package also includes the first raise those workers will see in seven year.

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Cuba
12:05 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

'Technological Disobedience': How Cubans Manipulate Everyday Technologies For Survival

A Cuban rikimbili-- the word for bicycles that have been converted into motorcycles. The engine of 100cc's or less typically is constructed out of motor-powered, misting backpacks or Russian tank AC generators.
Credit rikimbili.com

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Environment
10:13 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Why Invasive Lionfish Are So Hard To Eradicate From South Florida Waters

The latest tool in the battle against Florida's lionfish invasion is the Antipodes, a five-person manned submersible operated by OceanGate, Inc.
Credit OceanGate, Inc.

A team of scientists from  around the country recently spent two days off the coast of South Florida to investigate the explosion of lionfish.

What they found was shocking. Why?

Because there’s a war going on and the indomitable lionfish are winning.

These voracious predators are known to invade the shallows of coral reef.  They’re dangerous because they ruin the habitat and eat juvenile spiny lobsters, snappers, groupers, tarpon and bonefish - all valuable marine species humans rely on.

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Health Care
6:41 am
Mon July 1, 2013

You Ask, We Answer: Demystifying The Affordable Care Act

Families soon will be able to sign up for new health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Cheryl Focht of Mary's Center performs a checkup of Jayson Gonzalez, 16, while his mother, Elizabeth Lopez, looks on.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:25 am

The biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin less than three months from now. Oct. 1 is when people can start signing up for coverage in new state health exchanges. The policies would kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.

It can all be a little confusing, we agree. So two weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to know about the health law.

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