3:00 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Miami Archdiocese Uses TV Ad To Draw Catholics To Confession

Archdiocese of Miami coat of arms
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Archdiocese of Miami is using a TV ad to encourage the Catholic faithful to come to confession this weekend as part of the Lenten season.

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6:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Puerto Rico's Murder Problem

According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the ACLU, the police are part of the problem. But changes are afoot.
Credit Dave Conner /

Fifteen thousand people are leaving Puerto Rico every year, and half of them are coming to Florida. Many are leaving because of an explosion of violence on the island. Over the last several years, the murder rate has been between five and seven times the national average. 

Miami New Times reporter Michael E. Miller traveled to Puerto Rico to find out how things got so bad. The answer? Drugs and police, says Miller. Here's what he found out

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6:00 am
Wed March 20, 2013

South Florida's Venezuelan Jews Recall Bitter Anti-Semitism Under Chavez

Jose Moreno (third from left) chats with customers in his Judaica store in Aventura. Moreno is one of thousands of Jews who fled Venezuela during the presidency of Hugo Chavez.
Credit Christine DiMattei

Inside Jose Moreno's Judaica shop in Aventura, there's an entire wall lined with Hebrew books.  Other shelves hold glistening menorahs and there's a rack filled with special Passover games and toys for children.

An elderly customer enters the shop wearing a yarmulke and Moreno greets him in Spanish.

Moreno, 71, was raised in Venezuela and for many years owned a similar store in Caracas.

"Most of the Jewish people had good businesses and [a] good living standard,” Moreno said.  “We had a lot of synagogues, temples, schools.”

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Pope Francis
1:48 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

South Florida Reaction to America's First Pope

Miami Beach's St Joseph's Catholic Church, in the heart of "Little Buenos Aires"
Credit Christine DiMattei

Pope Francis may not be from the United States, but for many in South Florida, the fact that he's from Argentina is even better.

Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski has hailed the selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as a "great thing” for the hemisphere, and called the new Pope an American.

“Latin America, as Pope Benedict described it, is the continent of hope. And it is the continent in which we have the largest growing number of Catholics in the world.”

Wenski believes it was a shrewd political move by The Vatican to look to the Americas for its new leader.

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6:00 am
Mon March 11, 2013

How A Fake Train Station Could Improve Public Transportation In Miami

Although the Purple Line was imaginary, organizers hope it will one day lead to more public transportation in Miami.
Credit Arianna Prothero

Over the weekend, public transit advocates in Miami built a temporary train station along an imaginary transit line. They called it the Purple Line, sticking with the theme of Miami’s other two commuter rail lines, the Orange and the Green. Organizers of the project say this mock train station is going to help improve public transit in the city.

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We're Going To Need A Bigger Boat
2:49 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

South Florida Beaches Reopen After Shark Scare

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 2:30 pm

Several beaches in South Florida are open again following their closure earlier this week as a precautionary measure after thousands of migrating sharks were spotted near shore.

The Palm Beach Post reports that as of 9 a.m. ET, all Palm Beach County beaches were open because no more sharks had been spotted swimming near shore.

According to the newspaper:

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Street Sounds
6:21 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Four Musical Ways People Celebrated Hugo Chavez's Death

Cubans and Venezuelans celebrate and pop champagne in front of Versailles. They scream 'Viva Venezuela! Abajo Castro!'
Credit Brenda Medina / El Nuevo Herald

All Tuesday night, we listened to South Floridians react to the death of Hugo Chavez. Many (most) of the reactions were celebratory. Those celebrations took the form of songs, drive-by shoutings and apparently an accordion death ballad.

Below is a roundup of the most colorful reactions to the death of Venezuela's oft-beloved and perhaps equally hated leader.

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Human Trafficking in Broward
7:00 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Here's How – And Why – One South Florida Woman Is Training To Climb Mount Everest

Jill Taylor, Tina Yeager, Jen Klaassens, and Debbie Dingle will tackle Mt. Everest to raise awareness of human trafficking in South Florida.
Credit Courtesy photo

For tourists visiting Fort Lauderdale, a stroll across the massive 17th Street Causeway Bridge affords a rare panorama of bustling Port Everglades and the city-block-sized cruise ships that navigate the waters leading out to the Atlantic Ocean. For Jen Klaassens, it's an invaluable training ground.

"I go up and down the 17th Street Causeway Bridge and back and forth," Klaassens said. 

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Sweet Taste Of Latin America
11:42 am
Thu February 14, 2013

How Chocolate Is Sweetening Ecuador's Economy

Santiago Peralta of Ecuador's Pacari Chocolate brings his sweet treats into the WLRN-Miami Herald Studios.
Credit WLRN Staff

There's a chocolatier in Quito, Ecuador, who is trying to sweeten the economic history of South America.

Santiago Peralta was tired of watching his country's prized cacao beans being shipped around the world so others could create prize-winning chocolate.

He was also weary of the low wages that simply exporting raw goods produced in his country.

So he had an idea. Start his own chocolate-making company and send ready-made Ecuadorian chocolate bars around the world instead.

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11:18 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Christine DiMattei, 2013 FAPB, Individual Achievement category

Audio includes spot, hard news and feature material by WLRN reporter Christine DiMattei.

Spot:  "Obama in Century Village"
Hard News: "Palm Beach County Floods"
Feature: "Jaco" -- Parts 1 and 2


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2:00 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Prices Signal Broward Housing Recovery

SIGN OF RECOVERY: Broward County's median sales price for an existing single-family home is back above $200,000 for the first time in four years.

The median price for a single family home in Broward County is back above $200,000, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. The exact number is $208,000, compared with $185,900 in 2011.

The median price is greater than half the selling prices of the year and less than the other half.

The 2012 figure is 12 percent higher than last year and the first time $200,000 has been seen since 2009.

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And So It Goes
11:30 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Saying Goodbye To My High School: A Personal Farewell

Kelley Mitchell, center, along fellow John Marshall students Ed Howard, left and Sherrill Scott, right, in Oklahoma City, OK.
Credit JMHS Staff

I just had one of those "When Life Kicks You In The Teeth" moments.

No, nobody's dying, and, yes, it could be worse, but I'm still reeling a bit.

I've found out that my high school is being torn down.

John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City. 

The school we all couldn't wait to follow our brothers and sisters to, even if I had neither.

The school where I took driver's ed and learned from the wrestling coach who was required to be the instructor one hour a day to 'Don't never 'ccelerate during a turn.'

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8:21 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Plug To Be Pulled On Stricken Florida Nuke

DOOMED PLANT: Crippled by poorly done repairs, Duke Energy's Crystal RIver nuclear plant will become the first in the southeastern U. S. to close.

Disabled by bungled repair work more tan three years ago, Duke Energy's Crystal River nuclear power plant will not be reactivated, company officials have concluded.

The plant in Citrus County on Florida's west coast will become he first in the Southeastern U. S. to close.

Four coal-fired generators will remain in place at the Crystal River site and the company is considering whether to build a new natural gas generator to replace the energy that the 900-megawatt CR3 nuke has produced since it opened in 1977.

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Andre Barbosa Squatter
6:00 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Andre "Loki Boy" Barbosa, The Boca Raton Mansion Squatter, Making International Headlines

The waterside view of Loki Boy's Boca digs.
Credit Zillow

A tale of squatting usually calls to mind an abandoned warehouse in the industrial section of a dusty and diminished American city: That's not how the story goes in southern Palm Beach County.

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South Florida Traffic
8:00 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Study Makes It Clear: SoFla Traffic Is Terrible

TIME SUCK: South Floridians spent an average of 47 hours waiting in traffic in 2011, an hour more than the year before.

Researchers at the Texas Transportation Institute have quantified what most South Florida drivers already know deep in their guts: they are wasting more time, money and gasoline than ever sitting in worsening traffic.

The bottom line for the average commuter in 2011: 47 hours standing still behind the wheel, an increase of an hour over the previous year.

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