News

PolitiFact
12:33 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Pam Bondi's Claim That Florida's Medical Marijuana Amendment Too Lenient Is 'Mostly True'

USE ONLY AS DIRECTED: Florida's attorney general says Florida's proposed medical marijuana amendment is too lenient, and PolitiFact says she's mostly right.
Credit thagrdnr on flickr

The organization trying to legalize medical marijuana in Florida is baffled and annoyed by a PolitiFact conclusion that their proposal would create one of the least regulated environments for medical marijuana in the country.

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News
3:48 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

MIAMI HERALD: Miami Beach Church Seeks Financial Salvation

The front courtyard where store fronts are going to be built for commercial use at the United Church of Christ on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.
Credit CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

In dire financial straits, the church that has stood on the corner of Lincoln Road and Drexel Avenue for almost a century is considering leasing out a chunk of its historic property for $100 million.

Early plans call for Tristar Capital to build a multistory building on the Miami Beach Community Church’s small courtyard fronting the Lincoln Road Mall.

As a historic property in a historic district, it could be difficult to get city approval for development on the site. As a congregational church, its members also have to approve the deal.

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Weird News
12:30 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Florida Capitol's Holiday Display Now Includes A Spaghetti Monster

A Flying Spaghetti Monster sits in front of the Florida Capitol's Festivus pole.
Credit Karl Etters / Tallahassee Democrat

After making headlines with the Festivus pole brought in by Deerfield Beach's Chaz Stevens, Florida's Capitol building continues to welcome holiday cheer from every denomination.

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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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Budgets
10:46 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Mayor Gimenez's Veto Prevails In County-Worker Pay Dispute

Credit epSos.de / Flickr CC

The healthcare deduction for Miami-Dade County employees stays put. Commissioners failed by one vote to overturn Mayor Carlos Gimenez's veto on union workers' pay.

That means most county employees will continue to contribute 5 percent of their base pay toward group healthcare instead of getting that money restored as of Jan. 1, as commissioners had supported two weeks ago.

Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa switched her vote, saying she could not endorse eliminating the healthcare contribution if it could lead to employee layoffs.

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News
2:30 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Florida Senate Panel Wants To Stop 'Rehoming' Of Children

The term "rehoming" used to refer to pet adoption. Now it has a darker meaning.
Credit littlebluecottage/flickr

A Florida Senate committee has approved a bill cracking down on parents who illegally put their children up for adoption.

The practice often involves children who were adopted from other countries.

It's called "rehoming," and it puts kids into new families -- for free. The kids are typically offered for adoption on the Internet by parents who just don’t want them anymore.

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Salaries
5:32 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

MIAMI HERALD: Miami-Dade Commissioners Scheduled To Take Up Mayor’s Veto On Workers’ Pay

Credit Facebook.com/MayorGimenez

The first order of business for the Miami-Dade County Commission’s last meeting of the year Tuesday will be to uphold or override a veto by Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

On Saturday, Gimenez rejected the commission’s decision two weeks ago to restore most county workers’ pay by ending a requirement that they contribute 5 percent of their base pay toward group healthcare costs.

The mayor offered a compromise: keeping the healthcare contribution but giving the lowest-paid employees a one-time bonus to alleviate some of their economic hardship.

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Mid-Day Links
5:09 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories For Dec. 9-13

The people of Basel: Are they art?
Credit Mark Hedden / WLRN

The Art Basel afterglow is still upon us in South Florida, and that's evident in what you've been reading this past week.

But amid stories of Basel and it implications for Miami and its surroundings, the Keys' efforts to save a landmark bridge were popular on our site, as was one of our many stories on Nelson Mandela's passing.

Scroll on to see and hear this week's most popular stories.

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People
6:00 am
Mon December 16, 2013

New Board Members At Friends Of WLRN

Friends of WLRN, the fundraising arm of WLRN Radio & Television, has chosen seven new board members to support the future direction of the station and public media in South Florida.

The new members -- Carlos Blanco, Dwight Hill, Diana Parker, Flora Perez, Randel Ransom, G. Frederick Reinhardt and Tadd Schwartz -- bring a wealth of expertise and represent leading sectors of the regional economy, from real estate and banking to transportation and telecommunications.

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Holidays
6:48 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Florida Capitol's Festivus Pole Gets International Attention

Chaz Stevens and his Festivus beer can pole meet with reporters in the Capitol.
Credit Margie Menzel/News Service of Florida

A 6-foot pole made of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans is making news around the world as it stands in Florida’s Capitol building.

Maker Chaz Stevens and his beer-can pole have been featured on the Colbert Report, the Huffington Post, and the major networks.

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Sea-level Rise
6:38 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Guess What? Seas Are Still Rising

Reporter Wilson Sayre with DNA host Derrick Ashong.
Credit Wilson Sayre

WLRN-Miami Herald News reporter Wilson Sayre spoke on Fusion network's news program DNA with Derrick Ashong to talk about the range of local responses to sea-level rise. She was joined by Andrea Bernstein of WNYC's Transportation Nation.

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Friday Business Report
7:09 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Civic-Branding Agency Hopes To Redefine Miami

Binsen Gonzalez, founder, Our City Thoughts.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

  Binsen Gonzalez almost left Miami, but he received funding for his idea just in time.

“I was about to leave for San Francisco because I felt like there wasn’t something right for me. And then one of my mentors was like if you don’t see it, make it happen.”

That mentor happened to be former Mayor Manny Diaz. The Knight Foundation awarded Gonzalez a $75,000 grant last week for his digital civic start-up idea called Our City Thoughts.

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Firearms On Campus
1:11 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Court Strikes Down University Gun Rule

Credit Bar Jack/Flickr

A splintered appeals court ruled Tuesday that state universities cannot bar students from storing guns in their cars while on campus.

The ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal, which drew seven separate opinions from the 15-member bench, was 12-3 on the merits for striking down a policy at the University of North Florida barring firearms stowed in cars. The majority opinion drew eight votes, with some of the members drafting separate, concurring opinions, while four other judges joined a different opinion agreeing with the court's result.

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News
12:59 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Florida Drivers Can Soon Use Smartphones To Show Proof Of Insurance

Proof of auto insurance will soon be as close as your smart phone.
Credit samsungtomorrow/flickr

Florida drivers are required to carry proof of insurance.

Those who are pulled over in Miami-Dade County and can’t show proof of coverage will get a $129 ticket. (It drops to $10 if proof is provided with 30 days that the driver had insurance at the time of the citation.)

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News
6:41 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Miami Gardens' Top Cop Departs After Request For Federal Civil-Rights Probe

Miami Gardens police chief Matthew Boyd

The chief of the Miami Gardens police department resigned on Wednesday amid allegations that his officers have been harassing and intimidating local citizens.

Meanwhile, a response from the U. S. Justice Department is awaited after an NAACP request on Tuesday for a special civil rights investigation.

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