News

Mortgage Mess
11:35 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Big Banks Agree To Pay $8.5 Billion To Settle Foreclosure-Abuse Claims

April 2011: A foreclosure sign in front of a home in Richmond, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:26 pm

Ten of the nation's major mortgage servicing companies, including household names such as Bank of America and Citibank, have agreed to pay $8.5 billion to resolve claims that they abused some homeowners when they foreclosed on mortgages during the recent housing crisis, the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of the Currency announced late Monday morning.

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News
10:00 am
Mon January 7, 2013

After Mall Shooting Scare, Palm Beach County Official Wants Businesses To Beef Up Security

Credit FlickR/wallyg

A false alarm at a shopping mall has a Palm Beach County commissioner asking if local businesses are doing enough to protect the public.

Two days before Christmas, Commissioner Shelley Vana was shopping at the Boynton Beach Mall with her five-year-old granddaughter when she heard cries of "Get down!"

"I grabbed my granddaughter and pulled her down behind a planter,” says Vana.  “We were outside of the enclosed play area and I could see the people in the play area getting down behind stuff."

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Haiti Three Years Later: Part I
6:00 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Haiti Three Years After The Earthquake: Still Rebuilding A Life

Fabienne Jean walks outside her home in Haiti.
Credit Nick Kozak

Part I: Three years after the earthquake in Haiti, Fabienne Jean is still rebuilding a life.

The earthquake that struck Haiti three years ago this month sent a concrete wall crashing down onto the 30-year-old dancer Fabienne Jean. Her right leg was crushed and had to be amputated. When Fabienne danced again, she was hailed as a symbol of Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery.

But as reporter Jacob Kushner discovered, the quest to rebuild one woman’s life would take much more than that.

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Broward Identity Crisis
2:00 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

From Miami-Dade To Broward, The Case For Being Mindful When Renaming Counties

Image of the 'Dade Massacre,' which accelerated the Second Seminole War. There are five different Dade Counties in the US, and a Dade City in Florida.
http://lookingtowardportugal.blogspot.com/

Amid chatter that Broward County is considering changing its name to reflect the county’s biggest city-- Fort Lauderdale-- this all got me thinking about the names that we give to our counties in South Florida.

As time goes forward, the histories of the place names that we know become obscured.  After some amount of time they take a life of their own as names become places, and we scarcely think of the individual.

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Infrastructure
12:50 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

'Structural Deficiencies' From Corroded Steel Cause Lane Closures On Bear Cut Bridge

DEFICIENT BRIDGE: Bear Cut Bridge, marked with an A, will allow only limited travel for at least a year
Credit Google

The discovery of corroded steel support girders on the bridge to Virginia Key from Key Biscayne has prompted local officials to close the westbound lanes and route heavy trucks away from the structure until repairs are made.

And that could take up to a year, according to county transportation officials, including the two weeks in March when the Sony Open tennis tournament brings Key Biscayne its heaviest traffic of the year.

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Delray Beach
10:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Delray Beach To Event Organizers: Pay Up Or Be Gone

Credit FlickR/aldenjewell

If you want to hold a major street fair or festival in Delray Beach, the city wants some cash up front first.

Delray Beach officials say they're tired of the unpaid bills left behind by major event organizers in recent years.  The city is in the hole for about $50,000 after certain festivals failed to cover costs for events not hosted by the city.

Several major fairs – including the Carnevale and the Delray Beach Film Festival -- have been banned for skipping out on the tab.

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Property Insurance
9:00 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Florida Dodges Storms But Gets Smacked By Rising Insurance Rates

Citizens' new president says right now the company still charges far less than a private company would.
Credit Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Florida has successfully dodged a major storm for a while now. But, the state's residents have not been so lucky at dodging rate increases on their property insurance.

Property insurance rates have been rising for millions of Floridians even though the state hasn't been directly hit by a hurricane in seven years.

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Terrorist Support Trial
7:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Jury Selection Is Underway In Miami Imams' Taliban Case

Jury selection began Wednesday in the trial of two South Florida imams accused of financially supporting the Taliban.
Credit Kittisak / freedigitalphotos.net

Jury selection began Wednesday in the trial of two South Florida imams accused of financially supporting the Taliban.

Hafiz Khan, 77, and his 26-year-old son, Izhar Khan, are charged with funneling $50,000 to the Taliban in Pakistan.

Both men are U.S. citizens born in Pakistan. Hafiz headed the Flagler Mosque in Miami. His son oversaw the Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen mosque in Margate.

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Jobs
4:26 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Florida Minimum Wage Up On Jan. 1

Credit Tax Credits/Flickr

Tuesday morning, Florida's minimum wage jumps 12 cents, from $7.67 to $7.79. Florida Today  reports that since 2004, the state's minimum wage has been constitutionally linked to increases in the cost of living - one of just 10 states with similar wage mandates. 

The Florida Today story explains that the raise will affect a relatively small number of workers:

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New Year's Eve
3:30 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Why We Toast: Uncorking A New Year's Tradition

A happy-looking 1930s couple toasts.
Credit Fox Photos/Getty Images

The act of toasting feels natural: You lift your arms in affirmation and drink in honor of an occasion or a loved one.

It's what millions will do this week as they ring in the New Year, but why? Like shaking hands or saluting, toasting is a habit with incredibly foggy beginnings, so we here at The Salt decided to dig into it, for the sake of science.

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Broward County History
2:35 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Buzz Renews For Renaming Broward County

NAMED FOR HIM: Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, drainer of the Everglades, as lampooned in 1905.

It's been 15 years since Miami-area voters changed the name of their county from "Dade" to "Miami-Dade" so everyone would know where it is and that it's the container of a really famous city.

A similar buzz is arising again in Broward County where some local boosters think their county name is doing them no good at all and that a much better and more recognizable one is available: Lauderdale County.

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Florida Supreme Court
8:17 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Cameras-In-Court Justice Ben Overton Dies

JUSTICE DIES: Ben Overton, far left, was the first state Supreme Court justice to be appointed rather than elected. Gov. Reubin Askew swore him in March, 1974. At right, an official court portrait from the 1990s.
Credit State archives

The News Service of Florida

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Ben F. Overton, the first justice appointed by the governor after the switch in the 1970s from elected justices, has died from complications of heart surgery, a spokesman for the court said.

Overton, who retired in 1999, was 86.

On the court for more than two decades, his legacy includes letting cameras into Florida courtrooms.

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Guns
1:26 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Surge Of Permits Propels Florida To Top Of National Concealed Weapons Heap

VISIBLE FOR NOW: Florida recently issued its one-millionth concealed weapon permit.

After the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the country renewed a debate over gun control. At the same time, Florida quietly marked a milestone. It became the first state to issue more than a million permits allowing residents to carry concealed weapons. From Miami, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

GREG ALLEN: It's the holiday season, and at American Armory, a gun store in Homestead, Florida, the atmosphere is festive.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD)

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Labor Dispute
12:57 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Port Strike Averted As Dock Workers, Terminal Operators Agree To Extension

STILL WORKING: PortMiami is the nation's 11th largest shipper of containers. It's estimated a longshoremen's strike would cost the Miami-Dade County economy tens of millions of dollars a day.
Credit PortMiami

Longshoremen and East Coast and Gulf Coast port operators have agreed to a 30-day extension on labor negotiations, averting a potentially crippling strike that would have halted container traffic at many of the nation's largest seaports, according to a federal mediator.

The strike would also have idled cargo but not cruise ship operations at PortMiami and Port Everglades. PortMiami is the nation's 11th largest container port and a lengthy strike would be costly to the regional economy.

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Year In Review
12:33 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Florida's Top Story In 2012: Trayvon Martin

TOP STORIES: The deaths of Robert Champion, left, and Trayvon Martin created top 10 news stories in Florida in 2012.
Credit file photos

The unrelated killings of two young men, two state government controversies, election developments and a multi-fatality car crash made up the top 10 Florida news stories of 2012, according  to an Associated Press survey of newspaper editors.

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