News

Transportation
7:53 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Car-Centric Spain Begins To Embrace The Bicycle

Cyclists whiz past Madrid's Puerta de Alcalá monument as part of Bici Crítica, a movement that seeks to raise awareness of bike safety. On the last Thursday of every month, thousands of cyclists ride in unison through downtown Madrid, blocking traffic during rush hour.
Lauren Frayer NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:47 am

For the first time on record, bicycles have outsold cars in Spain.

Higher taxes on fuel and on new cars have prompted cash-strapped Spaniards to opt for two wheels instead of four. Last year, 780,000 bicycles were sold in the country — compared to 700,000 cars. That's due to a 4 percent jump in bike sales, and a 30 percent drop in sales of new cars.

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Politics
11:36 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott Delivers Mea Culpa On Voter Purge

Credit Photo by Creative Commons user MrX

In a rare display of contrition coming to a Florida city near you, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is acknowledging what civil rights groups and local elections officials had already been saying: Last year’s attempted purge of noncitizens from voter rolls was fundamentally flawed.

“I accept responsibility for the effort,” Scott’s secretary of state, Ken Detzner, told the Herald/Times. “It could have been better. It should have been better.”

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Politics
11:47 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Morale Plummets For Federal Workers Facing Unending Furlough

John Zangas, a furloughed federal worker, protests the government shutdown outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 3:13 pm

The work that Shaun O'Connell does is required by law, yet now he's sidelined by the government shutdown.

O'Connell reviews disability claims for the Social Security Administration in New York, checking that no one's gaming the system, while ensuring people with legitimate medical problems are compensated properly.

Billions of dollars are at stake with this kind of work, yet O'Connell is considered a nonessential employee for purposes of the partial government shutdown.

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Friday Business Report
7:33 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

How To Get A Startup Job In Broward

Startup Quest mentees meet every Thursday at a ballroom at the Signature Grand in Davie. Almost everyone in the program has at least a master's degree.
Credit Karen Rundlet

According to last month’s employment statistics, Broward County added more than 23,000 jobs. Miami-Dade didn’t do as well, with about 3,000 new jobs being added there.

But it’s not as though unemployment or underemployment have gone away. And a new program in Broward is trying to tackle those problems.

It’s called Startup Quest. The program puts patented ideas from universities into the hands of people who are underemployed or straight up out of work. Mentors and mentees serve as bosses and workers, respectively.

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Americas
7:57 am
Fri October 4, 2013

How Drug Traffickers Are Returning To The Caribbean

Crew members aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Valiant transfer bales of cocaine caught on Feb. 19. Roughly 1,400 pounds of cocaine were seized from a speedboat in the Caribbean in the operation. Officials say drug traffickers are sending larger shipments of cocaine through the Caribbean.
Credit Petty Officer 3rd Class Jon-Paul Rios / U.S. COAST GUARD

More of the cocaine smuggled to the United States is passing through the Caribbean, officials said, representing a shift in which drug traffickers are returning to a region they largely abandoned decades ago.

RELATED: Why Uruguay Is Latin America's Marijuana Reform Laboratory

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Design
7:42 am
Fri October 4, 2013

2 By 2 and 2x4s: The Building Of Noah's Arks

Carolina and Reniel Peralta of the Hidden Ark in March, before the county government made them tear down the ark. The ark was deconstructed in June, but the concrete elephant still stands.
Kenny Malone WLRN

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:38 am

There are just about 30 days — and 30 nights — left in South Florida's rainy season. That will not deter a monumental building task being attempted by a group of people near Miami.

The Hidden Ark project was originally planned for a 5-acre spot just outside Hialeah, Fla., not far from the Everglades. In the spring, builders worked to create a one-tenth of a full-scale Noah's ark — imagine a 150-foot-long bathtub made of wood.

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Sports
7:00 am
Fri October 4, 2013

When Florida Broke The Color Barrier In College Football

Serious on the sidelines.
Credit www.samuelfreedman.com

If college football,  desegregation and civil rights sound like an unlikely triple option play to you, it certainly didn’t to Samuel G. Freedman.

Freedman has written the book Breaking the Line, which lays out a both tumultuous and triumphant time, when college football became the catalyst for integrating both the sport and the colleges themselves.

The year was 1967, when Florida A&M University and Grambling College of Louisiana played for what was known as the black college championship.

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Food
3:31 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Why Lots Of Grass-Fed Beef Sold In U.S. Comes From Down Under

Patricia Whisnant, who runs Rain Crow Ranch in Doniphan, Mo., says her grass-fed beef can compete with the Australian product because it has a better story American consumers can connect with.
Courtesy of Rain Crow Ranch

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:24 pm

Beef from cattle that have grazed only on pasture is in high demand — much to the surprise of many meat retailers, who didn't traditionally think of grass-fed beef as top-quality.

George Siemon, a founder of Organic Valley, the big organic food supplier, says the push for grass-fed beef started with activists who wanted to challenge a beef industry dominated by factory-scale feedlots. In those feedlots, cattle are fed a corn-heavy diet designed to make the animals gain weight as quickly as possible.

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Obamacare
3:29 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Medicaid Looks Good To A Former Young Invincible

Brad Stevens used to think he didn't need health insurance.
Sarah Varney

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:38 am

Have you heard about the young invincibles? That's the name given to young people who think nothing bad can happen to them.

Enrollment of healthy people like them in insurance under the Affordable Care Act is key to offsetting the costs of older, less healthy buyers.

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Politics
2:38 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Suspect Dead, Two Police Officers Injured In Chase At U.S. Capitol

A police officer checks out a car on grass with his canine near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The Capitol and the White House were placed on lockdown after an 'active shooter' situation was reported.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:39 am

We last updated this post at 7:19 p.m. ET.

A woman who authorities say tried to ram a security barrier outside the White House led the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police on a high-speed chase that ended near Capitol Hill, where gunshots were fired by police. Congressional lawmakers were briefly ordered to shelter in place, but by 3 p.m. ET, police had lifted the lockdown.

The incident left a suspect dead and two police officers injured. The 1-year-old child who was in the car with the suspect is OK and in protective custody.

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Environment
7:43 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Miami-Dade Expands Urban Development Boundary

FIU Geography Professor Jeff Onsted straddles the Miami-Dade County Urban Development Boundary at Miller Road and SW 167th Avenue.
Credit Tom Hudson

Miami-Dade County commissioners on Wednesday opened the door to more warehouses and offices west of Doral, agreeing to expand the Urban Development Boundary to include a 521 acre-chunk already surrounding by buildings.

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Transportation
6:00 am
Thu October 3, 2013

How Miami-Dade's Dreams Of Light Rail Look A Lot Like Its Past

A streetcar in Coral Gables in April, 1925
William A. Fishbaugh/State Archives of Florida

Once again, Miami-Dade County is studying whether a light-rail train from mainland Miami to the beach would actually work.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the county’s metropolitan planning organization think it could be a solution to the traffic problems of South Beach. If traffic gets worse, Gimenez has said it will “kill the tourism industry.”  

A History Of Light Rail

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Recreation
5:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Reminder: Florida State Parks Remain Open To The Public

A view of the gun room and 10-inch Rodman cannon at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
Credit FloridaStateParks.org

While the partial shutdown of the federal government has caused national parks like the Everglades to close temporarily, the state parks are still open.

The Florida Park Service is reminding residents and visitors that all 171 state parks are open for business seven days a week.

Park managers say visitors who have planned a trip to a closed federal park shouldn't cancel their plans; they should just visit a nearby state park instead.

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Politics
9:44 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Local Police Gear Up To Enforce Florida's New Texting While Driving Ban

Enforcing the texting ban might prove difficult.
Credit Creative Commons Via Flickr user Steven Damron

As Florida's texting while driving ban goes into effect, local police officers are still figuring out the best way to enforce the new law.

"This is something new to all of us," said Freddy Cruz, a sergeant with the City of Miami Police Department. "This is going to be quite a challenge, but from an educational standpoint, we have to educate the public on the dangers [of texting while driving].

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Politics
9:21 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Tourists, Workers Turned Away As U.S. Shutdown Hits South Florida

Eduardo Echeverria, a federal law enforcement ranger at Everglades National Park, closes the main gate on October 1 because of the government shutdown.
Credit MARICE COHN BAND / Miami Herald Staff

“Closed” signs went up at national parks, and federal employees went home across South Florida on Tuesday as the federal government limped its way through the first day of a shutdown.

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