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1:33 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories Feb. 10-14

Credit Christine DiMattei / WLRN

The death -- or not -- of Wynwood is our most popular story this week, topping out with more than double the views of the other stories in this list. Perhaps the loss of Wynwood's "authenticity" resonates with more South Floridians than opening relations with Cuba, a move that according to recent surveys most Floridians would back. Read on to find out what else made our list this week. 

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News
1:25 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Bill Would Eliminate Health-Care Enrollment Waiting Period For Immigrant Children

The proposed bill would open Florida KidCare to an estimated 26,000 children.
Credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Under Florida law, children who are born outside the United States and live here legally must wait five years to qualify for the subsidized health insurance known as Florida Kidcare.

Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, and Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, are proposing a bill to change that during this year's Legislative session.

Before 2009, the waiting period was a federal requirement.

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Art
3:12 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Local Artist Denounces Ai Weiwei Pot Smasher

The vase on the right with the green top half was destroyed this weekend.
Credit Perez Art Museum Miami

The news about the smashed pot at the Perez Art Museum Miami has now reached as far as France, China and even Romania. The green-and-peach pot created by Ai Weiwei as part of a 16-pot installation has been valued by the museum at $1 million.

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Business
4:45 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Friday Business Report Revisits Innovation Jobs Program In South Florida

Ronald Herbas is on the right in a dark suit.
Credit courtesy Ronald Herbas

Last fall, an innovation training program called StartupQuest launched in South Florida. Full time employees were not welcome. It was specifically for folks who were out of work or underemployed.

The goal of the program was to help people get new technology skills -- and jobs.

When you hear the words "technology" or "innovation," you might picture a kid, in a hoodie, coding all night at a computer. But in this program, the average age of participants was 51, and almost everyone had a master’s degree and decades of experience.

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Heritage
12:20 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Hear Florida's Black History Through Song

Miami Beach after the 1926 Miami Hurricane.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The unnamed hurricane that devastated South Florida in 1926 left hundreds dead and caused an economic crisis. The powerful storm remained in the minds of survivors and their descendants for years. In 1940, it was commemorated in song by a group of black men from Kenansville, Fla.

You can listen to the rare recording below, because the Library of Congress last week released it and several other old-Florida folk hymns as part of its "Songs of America" series.  The 80,000 tracks pan a century of American culture, with several pieces from Florida.

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Jimmy Ryce Act
7:34 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Questions Linger Over Jimmy Ryce Act's Prevention Of Violence

The Jimmy Rice Act was named for the nine-year-old boy who was raped and murdered in Florida.
Credit sakhorn38 / freedigitalphotos.net

Juan Carlos Chavez's inadvertent legacy to the people of Florida was a piece of legislation now known as the Jimmy Ryce Act, in honor of the nine-year-old boy Chavez raped and murdered in 1995. It was one of those crimes so heinous that it inspired action.

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Walking Around
12:30 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

New Crosswalks For Biscayne Blvd. Pedestrians

A resident who will be affected by the construction on Biscayne Blvd. reviews the plans.
Credit Diego Saldana-Rojas / WLRN

The Florida Department of Transportation has pedestrians in mind with a new plan for Biscayne Blvd.

FDOT estimates it will spend upwards of $780,000 on new crosswalks and sidewalks along the busy road. Construction will span 3.9 miles from northeast 16 to northeast 74 street.

“Everyday on the news you always see there is a pedestrian hit by a car – a lot of people don’t follow the rules,” says community member Malcolm Moyes, who thinks the additions will favor area pedestrians. 

Design plans include:

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Links
8:16 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories Feb. 3-7

Credit Jeffrey Katz / Courtesy FDOT

From the stories you've been reading on WLRN this week, one could weave the following fictional story:

On the day formerly known as Chinese New Year, Cuban hackers got into the city's traffic-light system and were able to rush onto I-95. Once there, they sped to Wynwood only to find that the neighborhood has lost all its appeal. So they decided it was best to head to a place that was truly dead: the ancient Tequesta village downtown.

Read on to see what the top-five stories are.

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Living
7:42 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Miami-Dade Homeless-Count Tallies 350 More Than Last Year

There are more homeless people living in Miami-Dade County than before.
Credit Wilson Sayre

After a night-long count a few weeks ago, Miami-Dade County has just released the newest numbers. In total, 4,156 homeless people live in Miami-Dade County. Eight-hundred and forty people are living on the street, about the same as previous counts.

But this census also tallies the number of homeless sleeping in shelters, in hotels and transitional housing. That number is 3,316, about 200 more than in August and 353 more than last year. Most of those people were in hotels or motels, placed there as part of a program designed for struggling families.

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News
8:05 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Pilot Program Would Supply Clean Needles For Drug Users In Miami Dade

Hansel Tookes is a fourth-year med student at the University of Miami who went to Tallahassee to testify in favor of the needle-exchange bill. The bill has been renamed the Miami-Dade Infectious Disease Elimination Act (IDEA).
Credit Gina Jordan / WLRN

Miami-Dade County has another chance at getting a program that would enable drug users to safely exchange their dirty syringes.

A bill to create a five-year pilot program has been filed again in Tallahassee, and a University of Miami medical student is behind the push.

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Remembering
8:05 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Trayvon Martin Foundation Plans Events To Honor Teenager

Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman was found not guilty of his murder.

It’s been nearly two years since Trayvon Martin of Miami Gardens was fatally shot while walking home in Sanford, Fla.

This weekend a peace walk and a remembrance dinner are planned to celebrate the life of the teenager who would have turned 19 this month.

The shooting that claimed his life, along with the subsequent trial and acquittal of the man who pulled the trigger, led to a nationwide discussion about Florida’s self-defense Stand Your Ground law, and racial profiling.

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Living Wage
5:42 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

South Florida Wages Not Growing Very Quickly

Wage growth in South Florida is tapering off.
Credit Creative commons courtesy of Flickr user Images_of_Money

Workers wages and salaries grew 2.4 percent over the past 12 months. That's down from 2.6-percent growth half a year ago. Which not only means there has not been a lot of growth, but that what we have had is slowing.

On top of that, total compensation, which includes things like salaries plus health benefits and bonuses, has not been growing at a comparable rate.

As the wage growth slows, other costs of living like housing, food and transportation continues to rise at a much higher rate--putting more pressure on peoples’ pockets.

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Little Haiti
10:20 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Notre Dame d'Haiti Church Holds Its First Mass In New Building

Notre Dame d'Haiti holds its first mass.
Credit Lisann Ramos

The new Notre Dame d'Haiti church in Little Haiti opened this past weekend. But fundraising for it began eight years ago.

For the church’s pastor, Father Reginald Jean-Mary, the process has been much longer than that.

"It began 35 years ago when Archbishop [Thomas] Wenski, [back then] Father Wenski, established this mission," Jean-Mary says. "Because at that time what you could say was that this was the 'church of the living stone' because of the people. Who built that church? The people."

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Small Business Administration
11:12 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Palm Beach County's Flash-Flood Victims Get Financial Help

The Disaster Recovery Center will be open at the Palm Beach County Library’s Hagen Road Ranch branch in Delray Beach until Thursday, February 13.
Credit Christine DiMattei

Help is on the way for people whose homes and businesses were damaged by the freak flash floods that hit parts of Palm Beach County in January.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has set up a disaster recovery center in Delray Beach where flood victims can apply for low-interest loans.

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Medical Marijuana
7:41 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Miami Entrepreneurs Trained To Capitalize From Cannabis

Credit TheNewsHerald/Flickr

The Cannabis Career Institute (CCI) held a day-long seminar last weekend in Miami with the goal to train businesspeople on establishing legitimate, legal cannabis businesses.

According to the CCI's president Bob Calkin, entrepreneurs need to be ready if medical marijuana use is approved by voters in November.

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