Politics

Florida Legislature
4:16 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Florida Senate Passes Bill To Overhaul Citizens Insurance

Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland
Credit flsenate.gov

UPDATE 4:36 p.m. - The Florida Senate passed SB 1770 today, 24-15.

Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland, believes he has the votes to put his sweeping overhaul of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. up for a final vote in the Senate on Thursday.

Simmons was busy lobbying his colleagues over the proposal (SB 1770) during the floor session on Wednesday after the measure was postponed for the second time in nine days from being put up for a final Senate vote.

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Dolphins Stadium
11:42 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Foreign Banks Could Pay For Renovations At Dolphins Stadium

SunLife Stadium where the Miami Dolphins play their home games.
Credit sunlife.com

To create a tax break for the Miami Dolphins, Florida might eliminate a tax break for Miami’s foreign banks.

On Thursday, the state Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill allowing Florida to pay out $15 million a year in sales-tax rebates for stadium renovations, including a possible $3 million yearly subsidy for the Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium. To pay for the new stadium dollars, the legislation would end a tax deduction reserved for international banking operations, which in Florida are clustered in the Miami area.

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Politics
9:00 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Miami Sex Abuse Victim Finishes Fourth Walk Across Florida

Lauren Book, flanked by media near the Capitol, completes her fourth walk across Florida.
Credit Jordan Michael/WLRN

Around this time of year, a lot of people walk to achieve the highly coveted yellow-polka-dot-bikini body.

Lauren Book walks to help mend lives.

Book ended her fourth annual trek on Tuesday, walking 1,500 miles from Key West to Tallahassee.

She was joined on the last mile of the trip by an army of supporters in blue shirts adorned with footprints and the words “Walk In My Shoes 2013.”

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Florida Roundup: Gun Control, Medicaid, Venezuela

Nicolás Maduro, former vice president under Hugo Chavez, wins Venezuela's presidential election with 50.7% of the vote. His challenger Henrique Capriles received 49.1%.
Credit chavezcandanga / Creative Commons/Flickr

Join us for an hour of conversation about the week's news on The Florida Roundup, live at noon on WLRN:

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Politics
11:30 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Citizens Property Insurance Rates Could Skyrocket Under Proposed Legislation

Attorney Sean Shaw is a critic of Citizens Property Insurance. He is founder of the group Policyholders of Florida.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

The Florida Legislature is considering big changes to Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

The state-run insurer is supposed to be the last resort for property owners in high risk areas who can't get coverage in the private insurance market.

Citizens Property has about 1.3 million policy holders.

The company is trying to reduce its risk by raising premiums and sending hundreds of thousands of customers back to the private market.

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Venezuelan Election
9:28 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Venezuela Grows More, Not Less Polarized After Chavez

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles protest in the area of Altamira, in Caracas, capital of Venezuela, on Monday.
Mauricio Valenzuela Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 8:37 am

Under the rule of its late president, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela became a nation sharply divided between those who supported his self-styled socialist revolution and those who opposed it.

But after a disputed presidential election in which Chavez's deputy was ruled the winner by a razor-thin margin, the country appears more polarized than ever.

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Gun Control
1:24 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Wasserman-Schultz: GOP Faces Consequences After Gun Vote

Credit Deborah Acosta / WLRN / The Miami Herald

It's been a busy week in Washington, D.C.

As lawmakers react to the Boston Marathon bombings, parts of the Capitol had to be evacuated after suspicious letters addressed to U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and President Barack Obama were intercepted at mail screening facilities.

While dealing with that scare, members of Congress are getting their first look at a proposal for immigration reform put forth by the so-called "Gang of Eight" Senators including Florida's freshman Republican Marco Rubio.

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Community Contributor
8:03 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Hospital Gun Scare Taught Doctor About Need To Be Armed

In the mid ‘70s, I had recently left the Army and started working as an emergency physician at a hospital in Huntsville, Alabama. It was a Wednesday, church night, and I was working the evening shift.

A woman in her thirties was brought in with a bullet wound in her leg. She told us that her boy friend had shot her during an argument. The wound didn't look serious; bleeding was minimal. It appeared to have been caused by a 32- or 38-caliber hand gun. I placed her in a room, ordered an X-ray, and sat at the physician desk to write up the chart.

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Venezuelan Election
12:52 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

We Have A Winner In Venezuela, Or Do We?

A Venezuelan flag waves in the wind. The South American nation voted over the weekend but the election result is being contested.
Credit Guillermo Esteves

Nicolas Maduro, heir to the late Hugo Chavez, appears to have won Venezuela's presidential election.

But it's by a margin so thin that opposition candidate Henrique Capriles is challenging the legitimacy of the results, demanding a full recount.

Maduro, acting president since Chavez's March 5 death, held a double-digit advantage in opinion polls just two weeks ago, but electoral officials said he received just 50.7 percent of the votes compared to 49.1 percent for Capriles. With nearly all ballots counted, that's a difference of about 300,000 votes.

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Politics
12:22 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Miami's Pitbull Responds In Kind After Jay-Z Raps About Cuba

Miami artist and rapper Pitbull
Credit Wikipedia

Cuban American musician Pitbull has come out with his own song about Cuba just days after rapper Jay-Z released an "Open Letter" about a controversial trip to the communist island with wife Beyonce.

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Venezuelan Election
10:10 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Venezuela Says Recount Likely After Chavez Heir's Close Win

Supporters of acting President Nicolas Maduro celebrated Sunday night in Caracas, Venezuela, after the initial vote count showed him enjoying a narrow victory.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 8:30 pm

A surprisingly small victory margin for Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor in Sunday's special presidential election looks likely to be followed by a recount in Venezuela.

Chavez, Venezuela's fiery, controversial and charismatic leader, died on March 5.

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SFWMD Assessing Lands In Palm Beach County
7:01 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Like Kayaking The Loxahatchee River? Public Asked To Weigh In On Future Of State Lands

Sections of land surrounding the Loxahatchee River are being assessed for possible surplus by the SFWMD.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

Several ecologically-significant tracts of public land in Palm Beach County will go under the microscope this month as a state agency continues its multi-region assessment of state-owned lands throughout South Florida. 

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Venezuelan Election
12:22 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuelan Humorist Engages Kidnappers In Election Dialogue

Laureano Marquez, a popular Venezuelan writer and political satirist, says he is always opposed to the government in power. "The mission of humor is to show the people that things can be better," he says.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:18 pm

Earlier this week in Caracas, we were about to go to an interview when it had to be rescheduled. The man we were going to speak with was unavoidably detained — kidnapped, to be precise.

It took awhile after that for Laureano Marquez to free up his schedule and meet us in a coffee shop.

"I'm so sorry," he said when he finally arrived, as if it was his fault for being thrown into a car and driven off to the far reaches of town.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Top News This Week In South Florida: Dolphins Referendum, Venezuelan Election And Medicaid

Join us for an hour of conversation about the week's news on The Florida Roundup, live at noon on WLRN.  Here's what we're watching:

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Education
11:50 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Lawmaker Warns Parent Trigger Bill Confuses Empowerment With Involvement

Sen. Bill Montford wants to see more parents involved in their children's schools. He says the parent trigger bill isn't needed because they are already empowered.
Credit billmontford.com

Sen. Bill Montford, a Democrat from North Florida, doesn't like the Parent Empowerment in Education bill. It's much better known as the parent trigger bill.

“We know overall that the majority of students that are successful have parents that are involved,” Montford said. “It's critical to have parent support and involvement in the schools.”

Montford is CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

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