News

Transportation
7:21 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Reverse Commutes Now Often A Daily Slog, Too

Reverse commuters, include Kathy LeVeque (in the foreground), wait for an approaching outbound Metra commuter train at the Mayfair neighborhood stop on Chicago's northwest side.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

It is still as dark as night as Jim Rix steps out of his red brick Chicago bungalow and gets into his car, parked on the street. It's 6 a.m., and the 53-year-old engineer is getting an early start on his 35-mile commute out to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago's southwest suburbs.

"Depending upon weather and time of day, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to get to and from work," Rix says.

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Public Services
7:19 am
Tue October 29, 2013

How Miami-Dade County Helps Seniors Figure Out Health Care

Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation will host health fairs for seniors all over the county.
Credit Wilson Sayre

The Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department is trying to do its part to help seniors navigate the health insurance maze.

Yesterday, the department kicked off a series of health fairs to be held all over the county as part of their Active Adults program.

Health service providers gave short presentations about how they can help to navigate the complicated health system -- tips about how to get the most out of coverage and ways to avoid health care fraud.

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Health Care
12:34 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Some Health Screenings May Harm More Than Help

Stacy Riggs of Fairfax, Va., is prepped for a screening for atrial fibrillation by Life Line Screening medical assistant Kennea Blake at Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:26 pm

Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va., is unusually busy for a Thursday morning. It's not a typical time for worship, but parishioner Stacy Riggs and her husband have come for something a little different: a medical screening.

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Politics
12:20 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement

Fed up with what they see as a lack of representation at the California Capitol and overregulation, supervisors in the far Northern California county of Siskiyou, which includes Yreka, have voted in favor of secession.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:59 pm

There's a big race right now to become the 51st state.

Forget traditional contenders like Puerto Rico. In several existing states, residents of less populous areas are hoping to create new states of their own.

Citizens in 11 mostly northeastern Colorado counties are among them. They'll vote on Nov. 5 whether to break off and form their own state. Many are unhappy about liberal state legislation they believe reflects the values of the Denver-Boulder corridor, but not their part of the world.

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Climate
7:14 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Is Rebuilding Storm-Struck Coastlines Worth The Cost?

The Long Beach High School marching band prepares to march down the Long Beach boardwalk during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 2:10 pm

One year ago Tuesday, Hurricane Sandy bore down on the East Coast, devastating shoreline communities from Florida to Maine.

Many of these areas have been rebuilt, including the Long Beach boardwalk, about 30 miles outside New York City. Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new boardwalk Friday.

Ninety percent of the funding for the restoration came from the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid $44 million to repair the devastation.

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Politics
1:29 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

New Crist Video Looks Like A Campaign Ad

Credit facebook.com/charliecrist

Expected next month to launch a bid to return to the governor's office, Democrat Charlie Crist released a YouTube video Friday that might foreshadow the themes of his 2014 campaign.

Crist referred to himself as the "people's governor," a familiar mantra from his days in office. Though he didn't mention Republican Gov. Rick Scott by name, Crist took shots at Scott, who has used a theme of "It's Working" while trying to convince voters the state has rebounded under his stewardship.

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Transportation
7:32 am
Fri October 25, 2013

In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars

A mechanic repairs a bike at Calmera bike shop in Madrid in September. As car sales slump across Europe, bicycle sales in Spain are outpacing cars — a trend seen across much of the Continent.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:11 pm

We know that Europeans love their bicycles — think Amsterdam or Paris. Denmark even has highways specifically for cyclists.

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Transportation
6:00 am
Fri October 25, 2013

It's That Time Again: Thousands Of Critical Mass Cyclists Take To The Streets

Credit Karelia Arauz/WLRN

If you're driving through the center of Miami tonight, you need to take a close look at the map below. 

The monthly group bike ride called Critical Mass is taking place again. Cyclists (many in costume for Halloween) will be riding 12.5 miles around Miami starting at Government Center and ending at Grand Central Park.

The Miami event usually draws a couple thousand cyclists and can back up traffic. The route also changes every month.

Cyclists joining in Fort Lauderdale's Critical Mass have a 14-mile route planned that will start at the War Memorial Auditorium.

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Health Care
7:47 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Why It's Important To Know Who's Giving You Obamacare Advice In Florida

Katrina Copeland talks about the Affordable Care Act during a forum at St. Mary's Primitive Baptist Church in Tallahassee as Pastor H.B. Holmes of Lakeland looks on. The two are part of the Obamacare Enrollment Team, a subsidiary of a Stuart-based insurance agency.
Credit Tia Mitchell/Herald-Times Tallahassee Bureau

Forums are being offered around the country about the Affordable Care Act.

A group calling itself the Obamacare Enrollment Team is providing information and answering questions.

But the people on the team do not work for the federal government, and they’re pushing products sold by a South Florida insurance company.

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Americas
7:23 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Following Bloomberg's Lead, Mexico Aims To Fight Fat

A street vendor fries food for lunch customers in Mexico City on July 10. Mexico has now surpassed the United States in levels of adult obesity, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Ivan Pierre Aguirre AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:10 am

Nearly a third of all Mexicans are obese, putting Mexico at the top of the list of overweight nations — ahead of the United States.

In the battle against the bulge, lawmakers are taking aim at consumer's pocketbooks. They're proposing a series of new taxes on high calorie food and sodas. Health advocates say the higher prices will get Mexicans to change bad habits, but the beverage industry and small businesses are fighting back.

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People
6:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

How 'The Condom Lady' Teaches Local Seniors About Safe Sex

Marguerite Bryant, 69, (left) and program coordinator Victor DeSouza watch as Kate GeMeiner, 82, known as The Condom Lady, displays a female condom at a seminar.
Credit Charles Trainor Jr / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Kate GeMeiner, in a pixie haircut and a sensible brown pantsuit, holds up what, from the back of the room, appears to be a see-through balloon. It isn’t.

“Never use Vaseline with a condom,” she says in her best announcer’s voice. “Never, only KY jelly.”

The audience sits in rapt silence.

“And before you use a condom, check it for the expiration date.”

In a corner, a couple of women titter.

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Beatles Mania
3:36 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Were You One Of The Miami Teens Photographed By Beatle Ringo Starr In 1964?

Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr is looking for these teenagers in Miami Beach whom he photographed on the band's first U.S. tour in 1964.
Credit Ringo Starr/Genesis Publications

Update 3:12 p.m. Oct. 24: The mystery of the identity of the kids in a car whose photo was snapped by Ringo Starr during The Beatles first visit to the America may have been solved.

Sadly, Starr may have gotten his cities mixed up. The photo was likely not taken in Miami, but in New York.

A Boston attorney says he recognizes the kids in the photograph, which began circulating earlier this week, as his classmates at Fair Lawn Senior High School in New Jersey in 1964.

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Special Investigation
12:10 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

How A Flawed System Of Reviewing Medical Complaints Puts Floridians At Risk

The Florida Board of Medicine, responsible for the discipline of medical professionals in the state, met earlier this month in Orlando.
Credit Mendy Indek

Medical professionals in Florida hang onto their licenses and continue practicing as the state grapples with a lengthy disciplinary process that can take years, according to an analysis by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

Between 2010 and 2012, it took the Florida Board of Medicine an average 434 days to resolve charges of misconduct against doctors, physician assistants and anesthesiology assistants, according to Florida Department of Health records.

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Politics
9:03 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Poll: Support For Legalizing Pot Surges During Past Year

A person identifying himself as Jermagisty Tha King of Denver lights up a 28 ounce blunt on April 20, 2012 in Denver, Colo.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:44 pm

Over the past year, Americans' support for legalizing pot has surged 10 percentage points.

That's according to Gallup, which has been asking the question since 1969. That means that 58 percent of Americans — a clear majority for the first time in more than 40 years — support legalizing marijuana and just 39 percent say the opposite.

To see the dramatic shift in public opinion, just look at this historical graph from Gallup:

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Americas
8:32 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Haitian Cholera Strain Spreads To Mexico

A nurse treats a cholera patient at the Juan Pablo Pina Hospital in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, in August. Health officials say that the strain of cholera circulating in the country— the same one that first appeared in Haiti three years ago — has also caused outbreaks in Cuba and now Mexico.
Erika Santelices AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:21 pm

A South Asian strain of cholera that was introduced into Haiti three years ago this month has now spread to this continent's mainland.

Mexico is the fourth Western Hemisphere country to experience the cholera outbreak. It's a disease that's very hard to stamp out once it gets into an area with poor water and sanitation.

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