News

Inauguration Day
11:30 am
Mon January 21, 2013

How South Florida Is Spending Inauguration Day, And What People Are Saying

Carol City High School Band at the Adrienne Arsht Center of the Performing Arts
Christine Di Mattei

As South Florida prepares for a day of dual celebration for Inauguration Day and MLK Day, we are rounding up what is going on in the community, and what people are talking about.  There are watch parties all over the place- but we have sent our reporter Chris Di Mattei to the Arsht Center to sit in on the watch party there.  Our StateImpact education reporter Sarah Gonzales just happens to be in Washington D.C. for the event, and we are going to be hearing from her, too.

Inauguration Day
11:30 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Obama's Florida Body-Double In D.C. For Inauguration

Lynn University student Eric Gooden with a life-sized cut-out of President Obama, days before the Oct. 22nd debate.
Credit Lynn University

Among the throngs of people gathered at the National Mall to watch today's inauguration ceremony is Boca Raton's "President Obama."

That would be Lynn University student Eric Gooden.  Last fall, the 24-year-old senior served as a stand-in for the President during Lynn University's final preparations for the presidential debate in late October.

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Sun Life Stadium
9:30 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Tax Funds For Dophin Stadium Would Be 'Welfare For Billionaires,' Braman Says

Divided opinions may make Dolphins' stadium renovations a hard sell.
Credit Nathan Rupert (flickr)

South Florida businessman Norman Braman is calling the  proposed plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium with the public dollars "plain welfare for a multi-billionaire."

He contends that Miami Dolphins owner Shephen Ross’ football team is a private asset and should not receive any public money. 

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Social Media
6:26 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Is Facebook Friending Between Judges And Trial Lawyers Improper? Even In 2013?

FB VS. FAIRNESS:The State Supreme Court may decide whether judges can face Facebook friends in court and still be impartial.

If you’re a judge and you’re Facebook friends with a lawyer and that lawyer winds up in your courtroom to try a case, does that mean you have a conflict of interests?

That's what the state appeals court based in West Palm Beach wants the Florida Supreme Court to decide. It's the same court that took Broward County Circuit Judge Andrew Siegel off of a case because, it decided, his Facebook friendship with the prosecutor made it impossible for him to be impartial.

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Post-Newtown
9:35 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Palm Beach Sheriff Wants To Respond To Anonymous 'Suspicious Behavior' Reports

WATCHFUL EYES: The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office says citizen suspicions quickly reported may reduce acts of violence such as the school attack in Newtown.
Credit David Sillitoe/Guardian

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is seeking funding for teams of social workers and deputies who can respond 24/7 to anonymous citizen complaints of suspicious behavior by others.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw's second-in-command, Chief Deputy Michael Gauger, announced the program at a community forum on Wednesday. He said early vigilance and quick response might have prevented the school shootings in Newtown. The Palm Beach Post was there:

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Another Tax Payer Funded Stadium?
6:10 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Why Economists Are Skeptical Of Dolphins' Plan To Renovate Stadium With Tax Dollars

Unlike the Miami Marlins and Miami Heat, Sun Life Stadium is privately owned and does not receive any public money. The proposed bill would change that.
Credit Matt Velazquez (Flickr)

The Miami Dolphins' proposed deal to use state and local tax dollars to renovate Sun Life stadium is getting some big endorsements.

But the  benefits a renovated stadium would bring  the county are questionable, some economists say.

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Your Smart Phone
9:30 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Midnight Alert Tone Meant Your Smart Phone Had Just Become A Public Facility

SPEADING THE WORD: Amber Alerts the old way, left, and the new smart phone way which relies on software that government ordered installed on all post-2011 phones.
Credit amberalert.gov, Florida Today

Right now, it’s Amber Alerts for missing children and possible emergency messages from the president.

But the fact is -- as many South Floridians found out this weekend -- the government has found a way to co-opt your smart phone for its own purposes.

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Sun Life Stadium
6:37 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Miami Dolphins Ask Taxpayers To Go 'Halfsies' On Stadium Facelift

An artist's rendering of a renovated Sun Life Stadium
Credit Sun Life Stadium

The Miami Dolphins say they're willing to foot most of the bill for a badly needed facelift for Sun Life stadium -- and are hoping state and local funding will supply the rest.  But lingering taxpayer anger over another stadium deal could be hanging over the proposal like a dark cloud.

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News
5:43 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

What Miami's Regalado And Other U.S. Mayors Say Will Ease Gun Violence

Mayor Regalado's office is hosting a gun buy back program in Miami starting January 19th.
Credit Arianna Prothero

On the one month anniversary of the Newtown, CT school shooting, mayors across South Florida and the country called for stricter gun regulations on Monday. Among them was Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

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Sun Life Stadium
3:05 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Dolphins Unveil Stadium Renovation Plan; Taxpayers' Half Would Come To $200 Million

$400 MILLION STADIUM PLAN: Modular seating is one of the features of the Sun Life Stadium renovation plan. The team wants public funding for half of that.
Miami Dolphins

New seating, new scoreboards and shelter for the fans from the sun and rain.

That's how Miami Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross envisions Sun Life Stadium after a $400 million renovation for which he hopes the taxpayers will pay half.

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Florida Perspective
2:00 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Key West: A Complete View From The Edge

BEGINNING AT THE END: A coffee break leads to a new way to consider the Florida Keys.
Credit Daniel Rivero

I had set out to find a real cafè con leche during the half-hour break in the Key West Literary Seminar, and the task proved to be more difficult than anticipated. As I sat on the curb at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming, sweating and sipping my reward, I spotted a family walking my way.

They were obviously tourists, probably from the Midwest and looked fresh off the cruise ship.

The couple was about to pass me when the wife noticed the sign on the nearest pole, directly in front of me. "It read ‘Begin US1. Mile 0."

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Sun Life Stadium
7:41 am
Mon January 14, 2013

We're Not The Marlins, Dolphins Say, But We Do Need Tax Money For Our Stadium

NEEDS WORK: Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wants a partial roof and reconfigured seating at Sun Life Stadium and he wants taxpayers to fund some of the renovations.
Credit Wikimedia

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has an appointment with reporters today to discuss his plans to go after public funding to renovate Sun Life Stadium.

The cost estimate is $400 million, says the Miami Herald, some of which Ross apparently hopes to raise from state and local government sources.

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Environment
6:47 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Fearing Underwater 'Silent Spring,' NOAA Seeks Public Comment On Coral Decline

Credit FlickR/mattk1979

Corals are not as visible as panthers, manatees or dolphins.  But scientists say they deserve just as much protection -- and respect -- as other animals beloved by Floridians. 

The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed extending federal protection to 66 species of coral, including seven local species that scientists say are nearing extinction.

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Haiti
8:01 am
Fri January 11, 2013

On The Anniversary Of The Haiti Earthquake: Has The Diaspora 'Checked Out?'

Jacqueline Charles
Credit Twitter

It's been three years since an earthquake leveled Port au Prince and shook all of us indirectly in South Florida, home to the nation's largest population of Haitian-Americans.

Miami Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles remembers January 12, 2010, well.

That day, Charles was in the process of writing a story about Haiti's latest mess, a controversy over the government taking a loan from Venezuela to help the country rebuild an airport.

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Florida Everglades
7:43 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Now, It's Personal: Sen. Bill Nelson Headed To The 'Glades To Hunt Enemy Pythons

WATCH OUT, SNAKE: Sen. Bill Nelson will be packing a pistol and a machete when he joins the Everglades python hunt.

The big Everglades python hunt starts Saturday and, so far, 670 people have signed up for the fun and a chance at cash prizes.

Among them is our intrepid U. S. Senator, Bill Nelson. He and a companion -- described in the Tampa Bay Times as a "rancher from Davie" -- will strap on pistols and machetes on Thursday  to go after the huge Burmese pythons that Nelson has  worried so much about, occasionally to the amusement of his Senate colleagues.

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