News

Latin America Report
1:06 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Why So Many Latinos Are Leaving Catholicism – And Religion Altogether

The Rev. Albert Cutie, a former Roman Catholic priest, baptizing a Latino baby at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park.
Credit Tim Padgett / WLRN

To gauge how dramatically things have changed in the Latino community, look no farther than the gold chain around Marisol Medina’s neck.

The necklace, which Medina’s devoutly Roman Catholic mother gave her, once held a cross – which has been replaced by a globe.

“It represents my shift from religion,” says Medina, “to the world, which I now believe in more than the cross or religion.”

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Medicare Fraud
2:28 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Unusual Medicare Billing Patterns Are A Red Flag For Fraud

Unusual Medicare billing patterns can tip off fraud investigators.
Credit Patrisyu / freedigitalphotos.net

 

A ProPublica investigation earlier this month looked at how Medicare providers charged for their services in 2012 and found unusual billing patterns among a number of Florida care providers.

On average, most providers only charged for the most complex, expensive level of care during office visits about 4 percent of the time. But in Florida, nearly 100 Medicare providers with relatively high volume billed at the most expensive rate 100 percent of the time.

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Environment
8:05 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Despite White House Warnings, Florida Legislators Skeptical About Climate Change

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation, especially South Florida, if action isn't taken to combat climate change.
Credit David Burdick / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation, especially South Florida, if action isn't taken to combat climate change. Some states' Republican lawmakers still are not buying it.

Things won't be pretty in South Florida if the latest White House climate assessment is right. You can expect intensified storms and a sea that will keep steadily encroaching on your way of life slowly nipping away at that shore your toes used to trust.

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Transportation
4:44 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Parking In Miami Beach Will Be Easier Now (Maybe)

Miami Beach hopes two new apps will make parking easier on the beach.
Credit Creative Commons

Every year, Memorial Day vacationers flock to Miami Beach for a whole lot of sun, sand -- and parking stress. Just in time to help reduce some of that hair pulling, the Miami Beach Parking Department has released two smartphone apps.

ParkMe helps drivers find nearby parking, and for some locations, how full a specific deck or lot is. The other, called Parkmobile,  lets drivers to pay for parking on their smartphone.

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Prisons
10:22 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Is There A Culture Of Abuse At Dade Correctional?

As Dade Correctional Institution comes under fire for not resolving a two-year-old death of an inmate, allegations of abuse and failure to hand reports have come to the surface.
Credit Creative Commons

Almost two years ago, Darren Rainey was found dead in a scalding-hot shower at Dade Correctional Institution. Despite several accounts that the 50-year-old, mentally ill inmate’s death was the result of abuse, no one has been held accountable, nor has the medical examiner completed an autopsy.

George Mallinckrodt was a psychotherapist who counseled inmates at Dade Correctional. He has filed a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding Rainey’s death. Mallinckrodt talked with me as former employee about the culture of abuse he saw -- and fought -- at the prison.

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Religion
5:20 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

South Florida Hosts Interfaith Discussion On Compassion

Dr. Nathan Katz introduces the seven panelists at Florida International University's GC ballrooms.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Florida International University hosted a panel discussion between leaders of different faiths Wednesday evening. The theme of this interfaith dialogue was “Love and Compassion is Our True Nature.”

Representatives from six different religions each spoke about compassion and how it relates to their practices.

The panel was put together to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Paramahamsa Hariharananda’s journey to the West. He was born in India, studied all religions and worked and lived in Miami before passing away in 2002.

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#WhyIStay
10:45 am
Thu May 22, 2014

We Want To Know: What Makes You Stay In South Florida?

Wilson Sayre, WLRN reporter, says she stays for friends who have these views.
Credit Wilson Sayre

 South Florida is an expensive place. Thirty-eight percent of working households in Miami spend at least half of their income on housing, according to the Miami Herald and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. 

Combine that with rising gas prices, congested traffic and lack of job opportunities -- it makes us wonder: What makes you stay in South Florida?

Is it the tropical climate, the beaches, the pastelitos, or something more personal? What do you sacrifice -- financially or otherwise -- by living here?

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All Tech Considered
10:33 am
Thu May 22, 2014

A Camera Designed To Take And Send GIFs (Bring Your Own Cat)

The OTTO will sell for $199.
Courtesy of Next Thing Co.

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 3:05 pm

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News
10:33 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Pennsylvania Becomes Latest Gay Marriage State

Peg Welch, center left, and her wife Delma Welch gather with others at a gay marriage rally on the steps of the state Capitol Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Harrisburg, Pa. Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned Tuesday by a federal judge in a decision that makes same-sex marriage legal throughout the Northeast. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 3:28 pm

Pennsylvania’s Republican Governor Tom Corbett says he won’t appeal yesterday’s ruling from a federal judge striking down a state law that banned gay marriage.

Hundreds of gay couples are rushing to get married in the state, which as of today has become the 19th state where gay marriage is legal.

On Monday, a federal judge in Oregon struck down a voter-approved ban on gay marriage and a federal judge in Utah ordered state officials to recognize more than 1,000 gay marriages performed there in the two weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court issued an emergency stay.

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News
2:05 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Miami Beach Gets Ready For Urban Beach Week

Credit Miami Herald

This Memorial Day Weekend, hordes of people are expected to flock to Miami Beach for Urban Beach Week. 

Apart from an enthusiastic crowd and a fun time, this means traffic.

But fear not. Police have employed a traffic and safety plan that will go into effect starting Friday at 7 a.m. until Tuesday at 7 a.m. The hope is to keep the flow of traffic moving.

The traffic and safety plan will include parking restrictions, closed roads, more lighting, a massive police force and DUI checkpoints. The checkpoints will start at 7 p.m. Friday and last until 5 a.m. Saturday.

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Sports
6:42 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

South Florida's New Pro Basketball Team Plays In What League?

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

While the Miami Heat dribbles an orange basketball up and down the court, the South Florida Gold will dribble a red, white and blue ball.

The Gold is a professional basketball team owned by the American Basketball Association. The team started playing last year and will call Boynton Beach home this November. Mayor Jerry Taylor hopes the team will benefit the city's economy, the Sun Sentinel reports.

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Storm Season
5:13 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

FPL Adds New Storm Service Technology

Two linemen demonstrate how they isolate a power outage using the information from smart meters.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Florida Power & Light says it is prepared for hurricane season.

Since 2004, FPL has made $1.4 billion worth of technological changes to turn the lights back on quicker after storms. The company wants to make sure the past doesn’t repeat itself.

"Well, it was 10 years ago actually this year that we had Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Francis and Jeanne impact our service territory," says FPL president Eric Silagy. "All of you who were here at that time remember how devastating that was."

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Services
5:09 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Should Lawyers Pay More Dues To Help The Poor Get Legal Aid?

The question of how the state funds legal services for the poor is coming to a head as one loose coalition asks for lawyers to pitch in more.
Credit Creative Commons

If you walk into Legal Services of Greater Miami on any given weekday morning, there are rows of plastic chairs filled with people looking for help with legal issues. Over the past couple of years, though, it’s been the various legal service and aid providers themselves that have needed help -- financial help.

To make up for significant loss of funding in recent years, Florida Legal Services, the umbrella organization, is floating an idea to get more money. Through the Florida Supreme Court, it will ask the Florida Bar to up its dues -- to have lawyers pitch in more.

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Katharine The Great White
4:32 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Project Hopes To Give Sharks A Theme Other Than "Jaws"

A group is tracking great white sharks to try and shed some light on their lives.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Travelbag Ltd

South Florida beaches have a special tourist this season. But this one won’t be slathering on the tanning lotion. Boasting a couple hundred teeth and some killer ancestry, Katharine the Great White Shark is now swimming off the coast of Key Largo.

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Trade And Logistics
8:17 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Sunshine Economy: Going Through The Miami Tunnel

The light at the end of the tunnel. After 55 months of construction the Miami Tunnel is due to open to traffic before the end of May. The tunnel is designed to move cargo trucks and cruise passenger traffic out of downtown Miami and under Government Cut between Watson Island and PortMiami.
Credit Tom Hudson

I'd been asked a lot of things in advance of an interview with a source, but the text from Chris Hodgkins was my first wardrobe question: "What size shoes do you wear?"

Hodgkins is a vice president with MAT Concessionaire, the conglomerate formed to build, and eventually operate, the Miami Tunnel.  More than four years after beginning construction, the $1 billion tunnel is scheduled to open to traffic by the end of May.

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