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Latin America Report
1:06 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Why So Many Latinos Are Leaving Catholicism – And Religion Altogether

The Rev. Albert Cutie, a former Roman Catholic priest, baptizing a Latino baby at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park.
Credit Tim Padgett / WLRN

To gauge how dramatically things have changed in the Latino community, look no farther than the gold chain around Marisol Medina’s neck.

The necklace, which Medina’s devoutly Roman Catholic mother gave her, once held a cross – which has been replaced by a globe.

“It represents my shift from religion,” says Medina, “to the world, which I now believe in more than the cross or religion.”

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Politics
6:54 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Group Of Foreign Policy Experts Call On President To Relax Cuban Embargo

Among the signers of a letter calling on the president to ease restrictions in the Cuban embargo are, clockwise, former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, Related Group CEO Jorge Perez, former ambassador Paul Cejas and former Secretaries of the Interior Bruce Babbit and Ken Salazar.

A group of businessmen and former high-ranking U.S. officials is asking President Obama to relax the embargo on Cuba. They want the President to ease travel and investment restrictions to help Cubans with their economic and social needs.

A letter sent last week by the group had 44 signers including former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Jorge Perez, CEO of the Related Group.

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Arts
6:18 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Florida Arts Programs Get Highest Funding Ever From Lawmakers

From "The Hobbit" at Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre
Credit Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre

The Actors' Playhouse executive director Barbara Stein says most of the Coral Gables theater's paid performers are from South Florida.

“We hire some people out of New York, too, but our goal is to hire as many capable and qualified for each production Florida based actors that we can,” Stein says.

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Medicare Fraud
2:28 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Unusual Medicare Billing Patterns Are A Red Flag For Fraud

Unusual Medicare billing patterns can tip off fraud investigators.
Credit Patrisyu / freedigitalphotos.net

 

A ProPublica investigation earlier this month looked at how Medicare providers charged for their services in 2012 and found unusual billing patterns among a number of Florida care providers.

On average, most providers only charged for the most complex, expensive level of care during office visits about 4 percent of the time. But in Florida, nearly 100 Medicare providers with relatively high volume billed at the most expensive rate 100 percent of the time.

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Sports
11:22 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

The Miami Heat Are Smarter Than The Other Playoff Teams

Miami Heats guard Ray Allen celebrates after scoring one of four three-pointers in the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Credit Al Diaz / Miami Herald

By milking the corner three-point shot, the Miami Heat have backed the Indiana Pacers into a corner.

Following Monday night’s 90 to 102 loss, the Pacers find themselves in some troubling company: More than 200 teams have gone down 3-1 in an NBA best-of-seven series, only eight of them have ever come back to win the series.

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Environment
8:05 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Despite White House Warnings, Florida Legislators Skeptical About Climate Change

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation, especially South Florida, if action isn't taken to combat climate change.
Credit David Burdick / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation, especially South Florida, if action isn't taken to combat climate change. Some states' Republican lawmakers still are not buying it.

Things won't be pretty in South Florida if the latest White House climate assessment is right. You can expect intensified storms and a sea that will keep steadily encroaching on your way of life slowly nipping away at that shore your toes used to trust.

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Latin America
4:30 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Colombia Election: Is President Santos On The Run-Off Ropes?

Challenger Zuluaga speaks in Bucaramanga, Colombia, in 2011.
Credit Wikimedia Commons / Archivo de Marco Antonio Melo

  It’s on to Round Two in Colombia. Challenger Oscar Iván Zuluaga, a right-wing former Finance Minister, pulled an upset over the incumbent, President Juan Manuel Santos, in Sunday’s presidential election. But Zuluaga didn't get a majority ­­­– far from it at 29 percent to Santos' 26 percent – so they'll go to a run-off on June 15. 

Colombia’s peace process hangs in the balance – but Santos has to counter growing skepticism about his ongoing peace talks with the country's Marxist guerrillas, the FARC. Zuluaga has pledged to halt those negotiations.

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Influence In Education
2:47 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

How Much Influence Does Koch Money Have At FSU?

Florida State University is facing criticism over the influence of donor money in the classroom.
Credit frameangel / freedigitalphotos.net

There are questions about whether a conservative political group has too much influence at a public college. Florida State University rewrote its agreement with the Charles Koch Foundation after some on campus complained that the relationship undermined the school's academic integrity. But critics say it still gives donors with their own agendas too much influence in the classroom. NPR's Greg Allen reports: 

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Obituary
11:02 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Pinup Photographer Bunny Yeager Dies At 85

Bunny Yeager poses for a self-portrait. On display at Dezer Schauhalle.
Credit courtesy of Bunny Yeager

  Bunny Yeager, the 1950s pinup model from Miami who became a groundbreaking photographer, has died. Yeager used the natural beauty of South Florida as a backdrop for many of her photo sessions. 

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Photography
10:56 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Pinup Photographer Bunny Yeager Makes a Comeback With Two South Florida Shows

Bunny Yeager strikes a pose.

This story originally ran on June 28, 2013.

One day back in 1954, photographer Bunny Yeager snapped photographs of the then unknown Bettie Page posing in front of a Christmas tree. Those images, featuring the now-renowned naughty-but-nice appeal of Page, were sold to Playboy. Almost overnight, those photos catapulted both women's careers.

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The End of the Road
5:39 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

I-95: Road Songs With A #@!%ing Twist

One of the 1,000 vinyl copies originally made of August Campbell's "The I-95 Song."
Credit Photo by Kenny Malone/Record courtesy of Kathy Heinly

This story originally ran on February 12, 2014.

They write songs about roads: "Route 66," "Highway 61 Revisited"."Dusty, old roads with iconic signage that belongs on a pair of blue jeans.

“When you talk about ... the road as an attractive proposition, usually it’s open and it’s driveable,” says composer Carlos Rafael Rivera, who teaches American creative music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. “I-95 is a little bit of the opposite. So I can see how songs would be written in a negative way about it."

"Negative" is, perhaps, kind.

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Transportation
4:44 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Parking In Miami Beach Will Be Easier Now (Maybe)

Miami Beach hopes two new apps will make parking easier on the beach.
Credit Creative Commons

Every year, Memorial Day vacationers flock to Miami Beach for a whole lot of sun, sand -- and parking stress. Just in time to help reduce some of that hair pulling, the Miami Beach Parking Department has released two smartphone apps.

ParkMe helps drivers find nearby parking, and for some locations, how full a specific deck or lot is. The other, called Parkmobile,  lets drivers to pay for parking on their smartphone.

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Music
12:48 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Farewell, Dave Daniels. Churchill's Will Miss You.

Dave Daniels, Churchill's former owner, will officially retire May 26.
Credit Mindy Hertzon

Churchill's Pub in Little Haiti has been sold, and Dave Daniels -- the owner and founder -- will officially retire on Monday, May 26.

The dive bar and music institution will still be called Churchill's, but will have new owners. Daniels says nearly 20,000 shows have graced the bar's stages during his 35-year-long legacy.

He opened Churchill's Pub in 1979. He came from England, where he'd already been an entertainment agent, booker and bar owner for quite some time.

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Memorial Day
12:12 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Did Safety Measures Water Down Urban Beach Week?

Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Memorial Day usually means one thing in Miami Beach: Urban Beach Week.

We’ve seen the fuss about Urban Beach Week in the past. We know swarms of people populate Miami Beach clad in the latest fashions and driving the flashiest cars. The mere word “traffic” probably sends a migraine spiraling through your head, as thoughts of closed streets, congested roads and an army of police officers consume your mind.

But there doesn't seem to be as much fuss this year. 

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Can Beckham Bend It At A Boat Slip?

Miami Beckham United unveiled its drawings for the new site on Thursday.
Credit Miami Beckham United

On The Florida Roundup: Former soccer star David Beckham's team presents a new plan for a stadium and park at a boat slip by the American Airlines Arena after their vision for a facility at Miami's Port faced fierce opposition. 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez got into office by touting his opposition to Marlins Park. But this week he was all over in the news for deals with sports teams, including the Miami Heat and Dolphins. What’s changed?

And a reporter spends eight months delving into the world of South Florida's Seminole and Miccosukee Indians.

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