The Year That Was
3:30 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

South Florida's Notable Deaths Of 2012

Hundreds of cyclists showed up for a memorial bike ride on the Rickenbacker Causeway following the hit-and-run death of cyclist Aaron Cohen, 36.
Credit ImageMD

South Florida lost a number of notable figures in 2012.

Bee Gees singer and former Miami resident Robin Gibb died at 62 after a battle with cancer.

Tony Goldman, the developer credited with turning South Beach and Wynwood into thriving destinations, died at 68 from heart failure.

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12:37 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Palm Beach County To Get Express Lanes

EXPRESS LANES: The fast toll lanes will run from Glades Road on the bottom of he map to Linton Boulevard at the top. The new FAU interchange will be at Spanish River Boulevard, which is NW 40 Street on this map.

Transportation engineers are planning to install pay-per-drive express lanes as part of the next big I-95 makeover in Palm Beach County.

Already in use in Miami-Dade County and under construction in Broward, express lanes provide a faster, limited-access drive for commuters who can commit to the entire distance. Tolls rise and fall as a function of traffic congestion.

In Miami, the tolls range from 25 cents to six and seven dollars, according to traffic conditions.

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10:30 am
Thu December 27, 2012

For Lynn University, 2012 Debate Frenzy '100-Percent Worth It'

Credit Christine DiMattei

Many years from now, hundreds of Lynn University alumni will be able to tell their grandkids, "Yep, I was there."

2012 was the year Lynn went from relatively unknown university to center of the political universe when it hosted the final presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Just before the October 22nd event, Lynn President Kevin Ross repeatedly referred to the debate as the moment the university had long been waiting for.

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Preserving Florida's Past
6:30 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Troubled Bridge Over Water: Why A Key Part Of Keys' History Is In Danger

People from Marathon and around the world go to the Old Seven Mile Bridge to exercise or enjoy the sunset.
Arianna Prothero

The Old Seven bridge may crumble without support.

When the Old Seven Mile Bridge was built, it was an engineering wonder of the early 1900s. Part of Henry Flagler’s famous railway to Key West, it ran across nearly seven miles of open water to connect Marathon to the Lower Keys.

Today, the bridge is still a popular spot with both locals and tourists, but it’s slowly falling apart. Salt water and storms are eroding the bridge faster than the state can afford to repair it. Much of it is now closed. Historians and activists are desperately searching for a way to preserve what's left: a 2.2 mile section of the Old Seven Bridge that is still open to pedestrians and cyclists.

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Florida Holidays
1:30 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Florida Holidays: Publix Commercials Make Us Cry

WUSF reporter/producer Dalia Colón rarely cries over movies, but this Publix commercial had her in pieces.
Credit YouTube screen shot

tvOur friends at WUSF in Tampa have been collecting holiday stories and traditions from around the state for a series they call "Florida Holidays." The following was originally posted by WUSF reporter Dalia Colón.

Confession: Publix holiday commercials turn me to mush.

Maybe it's the music. Maybe it's because I'm already in the holiday spirit. Or maybe it's just good marketing.

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Around the Nation
11:17 am
Wed December 26, 2012

A Lull Until New Year's? Not So These Days

The CambridgeSide Galleria was bustling with people exchanging gifts and taking advantage of sales the day after Christmas 2011.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 1:32 pm

Time was, the stretch following Christmas Day until New Year's Day was a quiet, sleepy spot on the American calendar. The six-day span hung like a lazy hammock between the holidays.

Not anymore.

Nowadays, the WAC — Week After Christmas — is busy and abuzzing. All around the country, Americans continue to celebrate — Kwanzaa, the Christmas afterglow and the coming New Year.

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Florida Holidays
4:30 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Florida Holidays: The Tale Of The Flying Pie

Credit Liz_Davis217


Our friends at WUSF in Tampa have been collecting holiday stories and traditions from around the state for a series they call "Florida Holidays." The following was originally posted by WUSF reporter Dalia Colón. It came to her as an email with subject line "That's so Florida." Here's a strange tale from Anna Maria Island  resident Peggy Bode:

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Florida Holidays
3:30 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Florida Holidays: Snow in Orlando

Our friends at WUSF in Tampa have been collecting holiday stories and traditions from around the state for a series they call "Florida Holidays." Becky Wanamaker shared this story on WUSF's Facebook page and Scott Finn, WUSF's news director, originally posted this story.

Every December, our family drives to Orlando for a little winter wonderland fun at the Gaylord Palm's ICE! show. We bundle up in those big, heavy blue coats and marvel at the beautiful sculptures that created wonderful Christmas vignettes.

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Christmas Bling
1:30 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Sleigh Bells Ring, Houses Bling: Gallery of Well-Decorated South Florida Homes

Dan Grech

There are many ways to describe South Florida; subtle is not among them.

A few days after the well-decorated (and well-lit) parade of boats known as Winterfest passed through Fort Lauderdale's stretch of the Intracoastal Waterway, our news director, Dan Grech, took a boat tour along part of the parade route.

"I do find it odd," said Dan, a Pennsylvania native, "boating through the canals of Broward County, in December, looking at reindeer and snow-frosted Christmas tree decorations."

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WLRN Staff Picks
10:29 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Why South Florida Can't Have Nice Things

Florida, you give us a lot to report.
Credit Sammy Mack / WLRN

We all know South Florida can be a pretty weird place, and it's something of a holiday tradition for news organizations around the state to put together lists of the weirdest stories of the year.

We decided to go straight to the people on the front lines, WLRN's anchors, producers, editors and reporters, and ask them what they thought were the most bizarre Florida stories of 2012. 

Some stories were funny, others perplexing and some macabre.

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7:02 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

NEWSCAST: One-Act Festival To Feature South Florida's 'Shadow Artists'

Jessica Marion Welch and Rich Denis in rehearsal for New Theatre's Miami 1-Acts Festival
Credit Kim Ehly

-- State officials had some early holiday gifts for Florida on the employment and education fronts.

Education officials say nearly half of Florida's high schools received an A grade for the 2011- 2012 school year.

The letter grades for high schools in our region were generally positive.

In Broward, two schools went from a C to an A grade. In Miami-Dade, six schools made the same jump.

And the number of Palm Beach County high schools earning an A grade rose from 8 to 14.

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Community Health Center
12:00 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Why A Venerable Coconut Grove Healthcare Center Is Losing Federal Funding

The Bentley center will be losing $1.8 million in federal funds due to federal health agency audit findings that the center did not have proper accounting practices in place.
Credit photoblog0006

The well-regarded Helen Bentley Family Health Center, a fixture in Coconut Grove, will be losing almost to $2 million in federal funding next year.  

The Miami Herald says the funding represents approximately 17 percent of the center’s operating budget.  The center will continue to provide services but laid off several support staff due to the reduction.     

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Quinnipiac Poll
9:48 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Q Poll Charts Strongly Held Education Views In Florida (And Some Gay Marriage Wavering)

REALLY? Voters doubt a college degree can be had for as little as $10,000.

The News Service of Florida

Florida voters are overwhelmingly against charging college tuition based on what people study, skeptical that degrees can be offered for $10,000 and strongly against setting different educational goals based on race, a new poll has found.

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9:08 am
Fri December 21, 2012

S. Florida Leads In Foreclosure, Delinquency

FORECLOSED IN THE 305: The crisis is worst in South Florida.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area remains on the bleeding edge of the nation's still-critical foreclosure problem, according to new rankings from the Center for Housing Policy. It has, by far, the highest rate of  homes in foreclosure -- but the rest of the state is not far behind.

In the 13 metros with the highest percentages of homes in foreclosure, only one is not in Florida. It's number two.

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6:59 am
Fri December 21, 2012

NEWSCAST: More On Race-Based School Goals; Puerto Rican Architects Rebuild Port-au-Prince Cathedral

Poll says Floridians are against many school initiatives Gov. Scott is pushing.
Credit Schplook / Flickr/Creative Commons

A survey by Quinnipiac University finds voters are "dead-set" against a series of proposed school reforms by Gov. Rick Scott.

The worst offender is a plan to set different achievement goals for students based on their race. 71 percent of those surveyed think it's a bad idea, with just 7 percent saying they like it.

Most respondents don't like a proposal to charge lower tuition for freshmen and sophomores than for upperclassmen. And they also don't think liberal arts majors should have to pay higher tuition than students who major in fields like math and engineering.

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