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Tech Startups
5:47 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Miami Beach Tech Hub Responds To Mayor With Invitation

Levine addresses Rokk3r Labs, accompanied by his dog, Earl.
Credit Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

A Miami Beach tech company invited Mayor Philip Levine to their lab for a visit this week in response to comments Levine made at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting last month. Levine said he could not see Miami Beach becoming a tech hub.

"It's the dumbest idea in the world," Levine said at the Mayors meeting, according to the Washington Post. "People cling on to things that are not the highest and best use for their city. Miami Beach is never going to be a high tech hub. As much as it sounds great, it's sexy, that's not who we are."

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Latin America Report
4:53 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

From Scorched Earth To Palm Beach: The Maya Are Coming To Florida

An outreach worker in indigenous Guatemalan garb aids a Maya family in Palm Beach County.
Credit The Guatemalan-Maya Center, Lake Worth

The Maya have many cool nicknames. The Greeks of the New World. Men of Maize. But you can add a more unfortunate moniker – the Children of Scorched Earth – to explain why they’re suddenly one of Florida’s fastest-growing immigrant communities.

The Maya are the largest indigenous group in the Americas, descendants of the glorious pre-Columbian civilization that occupied southern Mexico and northern Central America. Most live in Guatemala – where in recent decades they’ve faced one violent plague after another.

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College Culture
9:03 am
Tue February 25, 2014

FAMU Brings Anti-Hazing Message To South Florida Through Music

"Groove 87" brought anti-hazing awareness throughout the mini-concert in Miami to make high school recruits feel safe.
Jessica Meszaros WLRN

Florida A&M University's music department toured South Florida this past weekend to recruit high school students and promote its anti-hazing stance. After their drum major Robert Champion of the Marching 100 was beaten to death in 2011 during a hazing incident, the university is trying to get young musicians to feel safe at their institution. 

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Politics
9:08 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Democrat: Republicans Waging Class Warfare On Average Floridians

Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, says Republicans have spent years giving away tax breaks and other perks to the wealthy and the large corporations at the expense of working families.
Credit myfloridahouse.gov

Florida’s Republican leaders announced their policy goals last month for the upcoming legislative session.

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Arts
5:18 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

In Lake Worth, Ephemeral Street Art Is The Year's Biggest Event

Lake Worth's 20th Annual Street Painting Festival
Andrea Richard

Artist Bill McCaffrey took 15 hours to complete a chalk painting of a Titanic scene on the street in Lake Worth, before the rain came and washed it away. But that's OK with him.

"The longer I do street art, I become less possessive of my work," he says. "You learn to let it go."

McCaffrey was one of the featured artists at the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival, in which he has participated for 17 years.

The two-day festival drew a crowd of nearly 100,000 people to the small town over the weekend.

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Links
4:17 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories Feb. 17-21

Luisa Toledo and her grandson Michael Toledo
Credit Kenny Malone

If you were to read the week's top stories as just one, the plotline would be a little like this: A caffeine-driven abuela is on the loose. She is wanted on multiple charges, including robbing several Key West homes, criminal mischief at the Perez Art Museum, speeding on the I-95 express lanes and forcing musician Julio Iglesias out of his home and into a party.

But they're really five different stories. Here they are:

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If I Were Mayor
3:23 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Key West Mayor Craig Cates Responds To Your Ideas

Credit Courtesy of Craig Cates

Our final If I Were Mayor interview was with Key West Mayor Craig Cates.

Mayor Cates is a 4th generation Key West resident and has been the mayor of Key West since 2009. Though he got his second term with 70 percent of the vote, in 2013 he garnered only 54 percent, a difference he attributes to his approval of a controversial dredging study and his support for a 24/7 homeless shelter

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Sunshine Economy
8:58 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Bittersweet: The Sugar Industry In South Florida

Rick Roth, President of Roth Farms, stands among his sugarcane in Palm Beach County.
Credit Tom Hudson

Talking about sugar in South Florida is like talking about politics and religion in polite company. Few people are without strong opinions about the sugarcane farms stretching across the eastern Everglades south of Lake Okeechobee. The industry is a mix of government price policies, environmental regulations, trade practices and the demand for food.  

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The Florida Roundup
7:30 am
Mon February 24, 2014

What To Make Of The Michael Dunn Case And Stand Your Ground

Would George Zimmerman (shown left) and Michael Dunn (right) have been convicted for the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, respectively, if the prosecution had pursued less serious charges?

"The Daily Show" on Comedy Central takes note of the irony of the Michael Dunn verdict occurring during Black History Month.

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The Sunshine Economy
10:30 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Big Sugar's Influence Stretches From South Florida To Washington

Sugar companies get money from taxpayers through the U.S. Farm Bill. In turn, those companies pay a privilege tax to help clean up the environmental damage caused by sugar farming.
Credit africa/freedigitalphotos.net

Sugar is one of the biggest special interests in Tallahassee. More sugar comes from Florida than anywhere else in the country. 

It’s grown in a 700,000-acre region between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades known as the Everglades Agricultural Area. (Actual farming acreage, which includes other crops, is 470,000 because of conservation areas and other projects.) 

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News
3:48 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado May Have Mixed Up His Numbers

Credit Phillip Pessar/Flickr

In our If I Were Mayor interview with Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, we asked him a few questions about the state of homelessness in the area.

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The Caribbean
3:10 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Haitian Judges Greenlight Duvalier Atrocity Charges

Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier at a hearing last year.
Credit Milo Milfort / IPS

After last Thursday's new court decision against him – a ruling that he can be tried for crimes against humanity –  is Baby Doc discovering that you can’t go home again?

When Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier made his stunning return to Haiti in 2011 after 25 years in exile, he probably figured the country was in such a shambles that it wouldn’t have the time, energy or resources to bother with him.

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Religion
3:07 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Miami Archdiocese Gets New Auxiliary Bishop

The new Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Miami, Peter Baldacchinno.
Credit VASSALLOMALTA.COM

Pope Francis has announced the new Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Miami. He is Monsignor Peter Baldacchino from the European island nation of Malta.

Baldacchinno says he is excited to begin his new position of assisting Archbishop Thomas Wenski.

"It comes as a surprise to me from the fact that I’m Bishop-elect of the Archdiocese of Miami. I wait to learn what it involves," says Baldacchinno.

Baldacchino has spent the past 15 years serving as chancellor of the Mission of Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. 

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The End of the Road
2:54 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

How Madonna Shaped My Romance With I-95

Mark, left, and Clark.
Credit Clark Perks

In 1990, when we were both 22 years old, my friend Clark and I drove from New Jersey to the Canadian border, bought a box of donuts, turned the car around, and drove the entire length of the southbound Interstate 95 non-stop, as quickly as possible. It was what we called a “high-velocity vacation."

For reasons unclear we decided to only listen to one song the entire way: Madonna’s “Like A Prayer.” We had the cassingle.

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Mexican Cartels
3:56 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

They Got Shorty! But Will Arrest Of World's Most Wanted Drug Lord Bring Change?

Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman after his arrest in Mazatlan.
Credit Mexican/U.S. government handout

Mexico's nightmarish, decade-long drug war seemed to start in 2001, when Joaquín Guzmán escaped from a Guadalajara prison inside a laundry truck.

So could this weekend's celebrated capture of Guzmán – the world's most wanted drug lord – mark the ebb of that violence?

Don't count on it – at least not until Mexico addresses more seriously the deep police and judicial flaws that helped make it so hard to collar Guzmán in the first place.

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