News

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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Medicare Investigation
9:32 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Florida's Unusual Medicare Charges, And Why They Matter To Patients

ProPublica found unusual Medicare billing patterns in Florida and elsewhere.
Credit cooldesign / freedigitalphotos.net

A group of Florida doctors has been charging Medicare at a surprisingly high rate.

A ProPublica investigation analyzed a recently released Medicare database and found unusual billing patterns in Florida and elsewhere. ProPublica used that same data to create an online tool that lets patients see how individual doctors compare to their peers when it comes to procedures and billing patterns.

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Nigerians In South Florida
3:55 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Rally For Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Spurs South Florida Involvement

Hundreds gathered on Saturday to raise awareness around the dire situation in Nigeria.
Credit Selima Hussain

A sea of green and white flooded into Rolling Oaks Park on Saturday, as more than 150 people rallied to raise awareness of the recent kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria.

The rally, organized by the Coalition of Concerned Nigerians in South Florida, brought religious speakers, political figures and South Florida Nigerians to the Miami Gardens park. Splashes of green and white, the colors of the Nigerian flag, danced on unique headpieces, t-shirts and posters.

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Amendment Two
2:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Florida's Medical Marijuana Law Would Out-California California, Opponents Charge

One advocacy group in Florida is concerned the new medical marijuana rules are full of loopholes.
Credit Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department / lacounty.gov

The group that wants you to vote "no" on legalizing medical marijuana this November has launched a web site and produced a video. Its media warns that Amendment Two is much more permissive and loophole-ridden than most people realize.

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Religion And Politics
7:49 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Festivus Man Wants To Bring Satanic Prayer To Deerfield Beach

Chaz Stevens is using Satanic prayer to protest a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user nzhamstar

Chaz Stevens is a South Florida activist who passionately disagrees with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. In a five-to-four split, the high court ruled that opening a town board meeting with prayer was constitutional.

So to poke fun at the decision, Stevens has asked Deerfield Beach to allow him to read a Satanic prayer to open a commission meeting.

The prayer goes like this:

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Jobs
6:21 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Fast-Food Workers Gather To Protest Minimum Wage In South Florida

Fast-food workers hold up signs emblazoned with messages like "Better Pay for a Stronger Miami" to raise awareness for minimum wage increase.
Credit Selima Hussain

Late in the morning on Thursday, about 50 people gathered at Jackson Memorial Hospital to protest South Florida’s minimum wage of $7.93. The group marched through a steady drizzle of rain to a nearby Wendy's.

“We can’t support our families with what we’re making,” said Rebecca Ray, who works at the Wendy’s. “So we’re doing something about it.”

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News
3:20 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Politifact Rates Beckham Stadium Opposition Group's Claim False

An artistic rendering of David Beckham's proposed soccer stadium. Politifact Florida rated the claim that building a soccer stadium at PortMiami would threaten jobs at the port as false.
Credit Miami Beckham United

PolitiFact Florida has rated false an ad put out by a group opposing David Beckham's proposed soccer stadium in downtown Miami. The Miami Seaport Alliance claims the stadium would threaten PortMiami jobs.

The group, led by Royal Caribbean Cruises, put out television and radio ads claiming that building a soccer stadium near PortMiami would threaten 207,000 port jobs.

That number comes from a 2012 report, before the stadium was proposed.

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ProPublica Investigation
12:15 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Florida Docs Charge Medicare Top Rate For Office Visits

An analysis of Medicare billing rates show some doctors charge an unusually high amount for office visits.
Credit Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / freedigitalphotos.net

Office visits are the bread and butter of many physicians’ practices. Medicare pays for more than 200 million of them a year, often to deal with routine problems like colds or high blood pressure. Most require relatively modest amounts of a doctor’s time or medical know-how.

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The Santa Maria
11:48 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Have They Found The Ship That Found The New World?

A diver inspects the remnants of what may be the Santa Maria.
Credit Brandon Clifford (courtesy)

Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492 on a ship called the Santa Maria. The vessel ran aground that Christmas Eve, off Haiti’s north shore near what is now Cap Haitien. Using historical records, underwater archeologist Barry Clifford says he recently located remnants of the ship.

The job of confirming the blockbuster find falls to Charles Beeker, the director of Indiana University’s underwater science program. Beeker says the evidence he’s seen so far, including wrought iron guns, is strong.

Hear an interview with Charles Beeker here:

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Department Of Children And Families
7:02 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

What Does A Guardian Ad Litem Do For Children In The Court System?

Guardian Ad Litems are volunteers who act as the voice of abused and neglected children. Here, hopeful volunteers work in groups as part of their training.
Credit Wilson Sayre

A Guardian ad Litem is the court-appointed voice of a child when government agencies suspect abuse or neglect. But the GAL program is, on the surface, unusual.

It’s built on a network of solely volunteers who take one case at a time, acting as eyes and ears for kids who are often too young to discerningly use their own. The future of those children is in large part determined by the Guardian ad Litem’s recommendation to the court.

Although the GAL program is held up as an example of what works in child advocacy, it is in a time of transition.

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