Florida

Environment
3:49 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Corps Of Engineers Hopes To Accelerate Permit Process To Protect Endangered Species

In South Florida, marine species are at the top of the endangered species list.
Credit Wikimedia / Creative Commons

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a controversial history in Florida -- especially when it comes to the Everglades and the state’s wildlife.  

But now, the agency wants Floridians to know they’re working harder to protect endangered species.  

Each year the Corps of Engineers receives requests for various projects to build on regulated wetlands or the coast.  

The agency tries to issue half of those permits within 120 days.

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Mortgage
3:34 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Florida Homeowners Will Receive Significant Portion of SunTrust Settlement

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

A nationwide settlement between SunTrust Mortgage and a state and federal partnership amounts to over $500 million. Nearly 40 percent of the settlement will go to Floridians who financed their homes with SunTrust.

According to Whitney Ray of the Attorney General's Office, 8,400 Floridians have been targeted for direct cash payments. They are borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between 2008 and 2013.

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Voting Rights
2:40 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Locals Testify On Florida's Election Issues

The commissioners from left to right: Leon W. Russell, Dr. Daniel A. Smith, The Honorable Dan Gelber and Lida Rodriguez-Taseff.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The National Commission on Voting Rights met Monday at the University of Miami. 

National and local experts on voting law heard witness testimony on topics ranging from felon disenfranchisement, to long voting lines, to restroom access at polling places.

The goal of this commission is to create reports out of the testimony in hopes that Congress will make changes to voting laws. 

Hear what some Florida voters would like to see changed for the 2016 election.

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News
6:38 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Why Florida's Immigrant Children Must Wait Five Years For Health Care

Severiana Novas-Francois and two of her daughters. Under Florida law, Novas-Francois has to wait until her children have lived here for five years to qualify for the subsidized health insurance known as Florida Kidcare.
Credit Courtesy of Severiana Novas-Francois

In Florida, children who were born outside the United States -- and live here lawfully -- have to wait five years to qualify for the subsidized health care program known as Florida KidCare.

Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, and Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, are sponsoring legislation to drop the five-year waiting period.

The law made its third trip to the legislature this year, and will get its first hearing in the Senate committee Tuesday.

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Sunshine Economy
8:47 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Got Water?

Water being treated on its way to from Florida City to the Keys via a 130 mile pipeline.
Credit Tom Hudson

 

The good news from last summer's rains is that South Florida's water supply is running above average. But that doesn't ease the concerns of those responsible for finding, protecting, cleaning and distributing freshwater to the more than six million people from Pam Beach County through Key West.

They tell us there is no "average" year for water supply. It's either too wet or too dry. And while it's technically the dry season, there's plenty of water.

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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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Commentary
4:46 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Can Venezuela's U.S. Dollar Restriction Keep $1 Billion Out Of Florida?

Trading U.S. dollars for Venezuelan bolívares
Credit venezuelaanalysis.com

What do you do when your country’s foreign reserves are dropping at a rate that would make avid bungee jumpers nauseous? If you’re left-wing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, you take strong, decisive macroeconomic action.

You withhold dollars from Mickey Mouse.

Yessir, you discourage your countrymen from traveling to Florida, by further restricting the amount of dollars they can spend there with their bank credit cards – from $2,500 to $700.

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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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Science
6:36 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

How We Left Hurricanes In Our Dust This Year – Literally

What we dodged this year: Haitians struggle through Hurricane Sandy's devastating floods last year.
Credit Carl Juste / Miami Herald

It’s hard to be a fan of hurricanes. Two out of three Haitians don’t have enough food to eat these days – thanks largely to storms like last year’s Hurricane Sandy and how they’ve ravaged Haiti’s agriculture.

And yet we need hurricanes once in a while. They’re a sort of planetary thermostat that cools oceans and redistributes hot air. Their rains more effectively alleviate droughts, and that can be a help instead of a horror to impoverished countries like Haiti.

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Energy
7:00 am
Mon July 8, 2013

New Florida Law Challenges Federal Ethanol Standards

Credit Rama/ Creative Commons

On July 1, close to 200 new Florida laws went into effect, one of which is a direct challenge to Federal fuel regulations.

And one unexpected beneficiary is the recreational boat user.

Florida struck down the following part of its Renewable Fuel Standard Act:

“Each terminal supplier, importer, blender, and wholesaler shall also include in the report to the department the number of gallons of blended and unblended gasoline.”

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Summer Reading
7:15 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Summer Reading List For Floridians (Yes, This Includes That 'Rolling Stone' Story)

Summer calls for the sand, sun, and a lot of reading material.
Credit chrismeller / Flickr Creative Commons

Summer is the time when snow birds and tourists abandon the state and leave native Floridians to swelter alone in the subtropical sun. Instead of bemoaning the heat and humidity (and occasional hurricane), delve into some writings that celebrate -- at least, in most cases -- what it means to live in this state.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Ponce de Leon’s 500th Florida Anniversary

“Viva Florida 500”
https://www.facebook.com/VivaFlorida500

06/13/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with info about the “Viva Florida 500” program.  It commemorates the arrival of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon in 1513.

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Environment
7:00 am
Wed June 12, 2013

The Not So Quiet Rebellion Against Florida's State Bird

The roseate spoonbill is often mistaken as flamingo.
Credit Beautiful Lily/Flickr

Birding blogger Nicolas Lund recently argued in an article for Slate magazine that Florida should change its state bird to the Flamingo.

He was actually advocating for several states to change their birds, but he seemed particularly peeved with Florida’s current choice:

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Improbable Tales of the Real Florida

Jeff Klinkenberg
http://www.jeffklinkenberg.com/

05/15/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents is with veteran Florida journalist and raconteur Jeff Klinkenberg. In the tradition of the great Al Burt, Klinkenberg discovers the quirks and funky aspects of our diverse and often unusual state. He’s found that a low register tuba blast can trigger bull alligators to bellow. That and more in his book, ALLIGATORS IN B-FLAT:  Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida.    Topical Currents at 1pm on WLRN-HD1 rebroadcast at 7pm on WLRN-HD2 and audio on-demand after the live program. 

Aired 3/8/13 on WLRN Channel 17
8:53 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Saving Florida Wildlife

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