News

Tax Incentives
2:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

State Asks For Half A Million To Reclaim $20 Million From Bankrupt Company

Scene: Digital Domain filed for bankruptcy in 2012 after investors and state and local governments sunk a total of $135 million in cash, land and tax credits into the digital animation studio.
Credit openDemocracy /Flickr

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is asking state lawmakers for half a million dollars in order to recoup a $20-million investment in the now-defunct digital animation studio, Digital Domain.

And according to local experts, Florida has a tough fight ahead to get its money back.

The state originally gave Digital Domain $20 million in incentives in order to lure the company--and jobs--to Port St. Lucie. Four months ago, the firm filed for bankruptcy, shut down and let go 300 Florida workers.

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Super Bowl Ads
1:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Does This Volkswagen ‘Jamaican’ Commercial Cross A Racist Line?

Screen shot from Volkswagen commercial. Watch the spot by scrolling down to the last paragraph

With the Super Bowl only a few short days away, anticipation is building up for the superstar lineup of commercials.  The spots are widely known to be the products of endless hours of brainstorming, and deeper pockets than the average citizen can fathom.

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News
7:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

State Launches Public Awareness Campaign For Child Abuse Reporting Law

Lauren Book was a sex abuse victim who now advocates for child abuse prevention.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

The toughest child abuse reporting law in the nation went into effect in Florida last October, and the state has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the legal obligation to report suspected abuse.

The new law was introduced in response to the scandal at Penn State University.  Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of molesting children years after the abuse was discovered by staffers.

If a similar situation happens in Florida, the institution could now be fined a million dollars for each person who failed to report the abuse.

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Performance-enhancing drugs
6:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

South Florida May Be Source Of Banned Drugs In Major League Baseball

A pipeline for banned drugs may start in South Florida.
Credit Sean Winters/Flickr

South Florida may be a source for banned performance-enhancing drugs making their way into major league baseball.

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Immigration
9:44 am
Mon January 28, 2013

'Path To Citizenship' Part Of Senators' Bipartisan Immigration Plan

Air interdiction agent Jake Linde in 2010, on the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:03 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: Jim Hawk reports

Saying their proposal would "secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system" and create "a tough but fair legalization program for individuals who are currently here," eight senators unveiled a "bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration reform."

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Marketplace In Miami
2:00 pm
Sun January 27, 2013

Sports Arenas, Big Mall Are Regional Assets

INTERNATIONAL ATTRACTION:South American tourists flock to Sunrise to shop at Sawgrass Mills.
Credit Kenny Malone / WLRN

The Marketplace Morning Report is broadcasting this week from WLRN's studios in the city it thinks typifies the evolution of America: Miami.

In its first segment this morning, host Jeremy Hobson discussed the region's "inferiority complex" with Miami Herald economy reporter Doug Hanks and how that might drive spending on sports arenas.

Also, WLRN's Kenny Malone explored Broward County's gigantic Sawgrass Mills, which is an international tourist destination as well as a shopping mall, and lost his car in the parking lot.

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NBA Dreams
4:14 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

At $17.5 Million A Year, LeBron James Is Underpaid

A bargain at $17.5 million a year.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:29 pm

LeBron James is arguably the best player in the NBA. His salary is $17.5 million a year. He's worth much, much more.

"He's getting hosed," says Kevin Grier, an economist from the University of Oklahoma.

James used to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he left, the value of the team fell by tens of millions of dollars — and the value of his new team, the Miami Heat, rose by tens of millions. The economists I talked to said James should be making closer to $40 million a year.

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Sun Life Stadium
9:00 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Stadium Funding Loyalty May Force Dolphins To Favor Miami-Dade Over Broward

TEAM LOYALTY: Miami-Dade is OK with helping the Dolphins renovate Sun Life Stadium. What does that mean for the team's relationship with Broward County?
Credit hergamelife.com

Miami-Dade commissioners on Thursday voted to get behind state legislation that would provide nearly $200 million in public funding to Sun Life Stadium renovations sought by the Miami Dolphins.

If all goes as planned, the Florida Legislature will approve a package of sales tax and hotel bed tax revenue that the team will match to proceed with their $400 million stadium-improvement project.

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Golf Course Fight
8:30 am
Fri January 25, 2013

West Palm Seniors Teed Off Over Plans For Golf Course

Residents from the Century Village in West Palm Beach during Thursday's County Commission meeting.
Credit Christine DiMattei

Thousands of West Palm Beach senior citizens will have to wait another month for a decision on a controversial development planned near their retirement community.

After hours of public comment on Thursday, a Palm Beach County Commission meeting ended in a tied vote on the future of the project, named "Reflection Bay."

Developers want to turn an unused golf course next to the West Palm Beach Century Village into a neighborhood of homes and retail stores.

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Session 2013
6:30 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Fast, Slow And Distracted Motorists Are Focus Of Two Proposed Bills

District 27 Senator Jeff Clemens wants slow drivers to stay out of the left lane.
Credit J. Clark/Flickr

Safe driving is the focus of two proposed bills being filed in Tallahassee this session. One bill addresses texting while driving. The other bill deals with slow people in the fast lane.

According to the News Service of Florida, Senator Nancy Detert, a Venice Republican, believes this year will be the year her texting-while-driving ban passes.

This will be her fourth attempt.

Although the bill has passed the Senate twice before, Detert says it has never been heard in the House.

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We're Glad It's Not Florida
2:58 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Yikes! 15,000 Crocodiles Escape Farm In South Africa, Area Evacuated

His cousins are on the loose. (2008 file photo taken at the Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.)
Warren Little Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 6:44 pm

As flood waters rose Sunday, a South African crocodile farmer near the border with Botswana was forced to open his gates to prevent a storm surge from destroying the property.

And, no, this isn't the plot of some horror flick:

About 15,000 crocodiles escaped, according to the local newspaper, Beeld.

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Tourism
1:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Silver Springs, Oldest Florida Tourist Attraction, Will Become A State Park

OLD DAYS: This postcard was a boast about the clarity of Silver Springs.
Silver Springs

With fewer and fewer tourists ringing its cash registers and encroaching pollution clouding its trademark crystalline waters, Florida's oldest tourist draw, Silver Springs, is going out of business.

But it will not disappear. On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet agreed to release the Marion County attraction's operators from its lease so that Silver Springs can become a state park.

Instead of having to stick it out for 16 more years, Festival Fun Parks will be released from its obligations in September.

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Traffic Woes
11:44 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Your Comments: 'Driving In Florida Is NOT For Beginners'

Florida we love you, but not the way you drive.

That about sums up the audience reaction to something that Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson mentioned on Wednesday morning.


Hurricane Sandy
7:30 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Drill, Baby, Drill: Post-Sandy Restoration Work Begins On Fort Lauderdale's SR A1A

Workers begin drilling along a section of State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale.
Credit C. DiMattei

A four-block stretch of State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale that got a pounding from Mother Nature last fall is now getting a drilling by construction workers.

Between October and November, crashing waves, high tides and storm surge from Hurricane Sandy destroyed parts of the beach, seawall and roadway just north of Sunrise Boulevard. 

This week, an enormous rig positioned along the beach will drill about 40 feet down, to prepare the way for the installation of a new seawall.

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Economic Incentives
3:00 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Florida Gave Tax Breaks To Industries Blamed For Mass Shootings

The National Rifle Association has blamed violent video games and films for recent mass shootings. The state of Florida gives economic incentives and tax breaks to both industries as well as gun manufacturers.
Credit Jon Worth/Flickr

Q&A with Miami Herald political reporter Toluse Olorunnipa

Florida taxpayers are helping subsidize three industries that have been blamed for recent mass shootings: violent movies, bloody video games and high-powered assault weapons.

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