Christine DiMattei

Anchor/ Reporter

Years ago, after racking her brains trying to find a fun, engaging, creative nighttime gig to subsidize her acting habit, Chris decided to ride her commercial voiceover experience into the fast-paced world of radio broadcasting. She started out with traffic reporting, moved on to news . . . and never looked back. Since then, Chris has worked in newsrooms throughout South Florida, producing stories for radio broadcasts and the web.

In her other life, she has been married to 12 husbands (including a not-so-wild boar and a garden slug), given birth to 15 children, died four times, twice taken vows as a nun and once been abducted by pirates in the Caribbean. And all this by doing English language dubbing for dozens of foreign films, soap operas and cartoons.  Both lives, she says, have been "a most excellent adventure."

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News
11:55 am
Fri January 24, 2014

E-Cigarette Sales To Minors Now A Crime In Three Broward Cities

E-cigarette use -- or 'vaping' -- is on the rise nationwide.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages

If you’re under 18 and try to buy a pack of cigarettes in Florida – well, you can’t.

And three Broward County cities have passed laws to ensure the same thing happens with the trendy new electronic alternative to a pack of “smokes.”

This week, Weston banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.  The ordinance makes Weston the third Broward County city to try to regulate the sale of the increasingly popular devices where kids are concerned.  Sunrise and Lighthouse Point recently passed similar ordinances.

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Weird News
9:41 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Job Posting: Crocodile Handlers Wanted In South Florida

Yikes! Think you can handle this?
Credit nps.gov

If you’re an outdoorsy type, Florida wildlife officials have a job for you.

But there’s a catch. Actually, several catches – all with very sharp teeth.

In the United States, the only place you’ll find an American crocodile in the wild is South Florida. It used to be an endangered species.

But not anymore.

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Arts
6:14 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Boynton Beach Arts District Picks Up The Pieces After Flood Loss

Boynton Beach Arts District founder Rolando Chang Barrero surveys a heap of soil, all that's left of the District's urban garden
Credit Christine DiMattei

There goes two-and-a-half years of work.

That’s what Rolando Chang Barrero says he was thinking as he surveyed the damage from last week’s flash floods on the Boynton Beach Arts District he founded not long ago.

“I was scared to open the door,” says Chang Barrero of the scene he walked into last Friday.  “The water was above the door about seven inches.  I just didn’t want to open the doors or the gates because I didn’t know what I was going to find.”

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Arts
7:01 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Trio Of Scientists Create Miami's First-Ever Sci-Fi Film Fest

Founders of the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival (L to R) Edward Figueroa, Eric Swain & Troy P. Bernier
Credit T. Bernier

Beam everybody down, Scotty.  Or to downtown Miami, to be exact.

From Jan. 17 to 19,  the Hyatt Regency is set to be invaded by all kinds of interplanetary voyagers and time-travelers -- courtesy of a film festival celebrating all things sci-fi.

About 50 science fiction, fantasy and horror films from around the world will be screened at the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival this weekend.

MiSciFi, as it’s called by its founders, is being billed as the first of its kind in Miami.

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Theater
3:58 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

How A Shakespeare Play Could Transform Miami Into 'Broadway South'

Chuckwudi Iwuji as Enobarbus and the cast of 'Antony and Cleopatra'
Hugo Glendinning

  The four-week run of a rarely done Shakespeare play at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach could be a defining moment for South Florida theater.

The set for “Antony and Cleopatra” is minimalist.  The costumes, unelaborate.  The play, which chronicles the dying days of ancient Rome’s Second Triumvirate, is a collaboration between another mighty trio – England’s Royal Shakespeare Company, New York’s Public Theater and Miami’s own GableStage.

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News
8:10 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Two Dead As Flash Floods Hit Parts of Palm Beach County

Flooded streets in the Kings Point section of Delray Beach
Credit Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center

The flooding left behind by heavy overnight rainfall in parts of Palm Beach County is more than just a nuisance that closed schools and blocked roads.

Now, it has caused two deaths.

The Palm Beach Post reports that a 56-year-old woman drowned after accidently driving her car from a flooded street straight into a canal.  A 90-year-old man died after he fell into a canal while out for a walk. 

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Arts Preview
11:26 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

McCraney's 'Radical Edit' of Shakespeare Play Lands In Miami Beach

Jonathan Cake as Mark Antony in 'Antony and Cleopatra'
Credit Hugo Glendinning

It’s a long distance from the rough streets of Liberty City to the bright lights of Stratford-Upon-Avon in England.  But playwright and director Tarell Alvin McCraney has made that journey – and along the way, acquired a resume that would make many artists green with envy.

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News
12:34 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

What Part of 'Do Not Call' Do Florida Telemarketers Not Get?

Credit freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages

Take a guess: What one issue do you think Florida consumers complained about the most last year?  Was it high energy bills, losing money on a lemon car or disputes with landlords?

Turns out the number one consumer gripe involves telemarketers who can't take "Do Not Call" for an answer.

Florida consumers complained the most last year about getting targeted by telemarketers -- despite being registered with the state's "Do Not Call" list.

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Personal Essay
5:17 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Name That Tweet: What Is This Bird, Anyway?

I didn’t see it at first. 

I was just getting into my car in the WLRN parking lot when I heard the warbling.  It seemed the bird song was carried along on the air in surround sound, with a resonance that my colleagues inside the building would envy.

I kept scanning the electrical poles and wires above the parking lot to see if I could spot it.  It had to be there, because he was a born performer, this bird.  What a ham!  Despite the ruckus I was making settling into my driver seat, he just kept singing away.

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Healthcare
8:53 am
Mon December 23, 2013

As Obamacare Deadline Looms, It's Clear Who In Florida Is Uninsured

UPDATE: 3 p.m., Dec. 23: The sign-up deadline for Obamacare, with health insurance effective Jan. 1, has been extended until Dec. 24.  

  For Floridians living without health insurance -- but eligible for Obamacare -- an important deadline is looming Monday, Dec. 23.

It's the last day that they can choose a policy through one of the new federal insurance exchanges if they want their health coverage to kick in on Jan. 1. Meanwhile, the picture on who Florida's uninsured residents are and where they are is becoming clearer.

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News
3:57 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Homestead Aims High With Observation-Tower Plan

A rendering of the kind of observation tower Homestead officials are considering building to lure tourists to the city's downtown.
Credit LARC, Inc.

Imagine this: You’re heading down the Florida Turnpike on your way to the Keys and spot this interesting-looking steel tower.  It’s got an observation deck that corkscrews from the ground all the way to a height of about 560 feet.

You’re gonna stop the car, right?

That’s what Homestead officials are counting on.  The city is considering building such a tower to attract tourists to its downtown.

Homestead director of community redevelopment Rick Ammirato says the city is perfectly situated to offer visitors an extraordinary view.

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Jobs
11:04 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Crist, Others Fed Up With Florida's Glitchy Unemployment Website

Credit kbzachry / Flickr CC

A U.S. senator, a Boca Raton lawmaker and a former Florida governor are demanding answers about why a new website is still tying up unemployment benefits for thousands of out-of-work Floridians.

The state's $63 million unemployment website, CONNECT, has been plagued with technical glitches since its Oct. 15 launch. Complaints have been flooding into the offices of Gov. Rick Scott and the Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the website. But the state agency won't explain what the problems are.

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Art Basel
6:52 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

The Basel Afterglow Still Shines Bright In Broward

Patrons browse the art at Basel Broward
Christine DiMattei WLRN

If you missed out on the annual extravaganza that is Art Basel, not to worry.  A Broward County gallery owner is inviting artists and art patrons to think outside the box – and outside of Miami Beach – when they hear the word “Basel.”

Starting Dec. 12, gallerist and professional artist Tom Rossetti hosts his third-annual, month-long “Basel Broward” event.

 

Rossetti started calling for artist entries for the juried art exhibit several weeks ago.  He says every year, art lovers in all of South Florida get caught up in the Art Basel Miami Beach frenzy.

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Wildlife
3:04 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Panther Adopted Out By Dying Owner Now At Palm Beach Zoo

Twelve-year-old Mirasol the Florida panther finds a new home at the Palm Beach Zoo.
Credit Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society

It's not unusual to find a Florida panther among the other "big cats" in a typical Florida zoo.  But the Palm Beach Zoo's new arrival is one with a poignant history.

The 12-year-old Florida panther named Mirasol -- nicknamed "Mira" -- is in quarantine at the Palm Beach Zoo and will be seen by visitors starting next month. 

Mira had lived virtually her entire life at the South Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Homestead. But when its founder was diagnosed with a terminal illness, he contacted state wildlife officials to help him find homes for his animals.

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Miami Book Fair International
8:11 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Go Ahead, Make Her Day: FIU Professor’s Alter-Ego Is ‘Dirty Harriet’

'Dirty Harriet' author Miriam Auerbach reads one of her novels to Elvira, her corgi.
Credit Christine DiMattei / WLRN

  "What the world needs is a female 'Dirty Harry'.”

That’s what Miriam Auerbach was thinking about 10 years ago while watching a television marathon of the iconic detective films starring Clint Eastwood.

“Suddenly I had a vision of Dirty Harry as a woman.  So she was born,” says Auerbach.

Three years later, Auerbach published “Dirty Harriet,” the first in a series of satirical mystery novels.  The protagonist is Harriet Horowitz, a gun-toting, Harley-riding former Boca Raton socialite who becomes a crime-fighter.

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