News

Tattoos Are Clues
7:26 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

How MIA Spots Human Traffickers And Their Victims

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

The Code Kristi program at Miami International Airport to spot human traffickers and their victims has been in place since 2012. It all came about when Ken Pyatt, the Deputy Director of Miami-Dade County's Aviation Department, and in charge of security, attended a fundraiser for Kristi House. Kristi House is the county's child-advocacy arm that focuses on getting help for sexually abused children. At the fundraiser was a young girl who once had been trafficked and exploited for sex. She described how she was be forced in and out of a

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Farm Bill
7:09 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Food Stamp Cuts Won't Hurt South Florida Too Badly

One of the first U.S. food stamps.
Credit Library of Congress

The U.S. House of Representative voted Wednesday to approve a new farm bill after a two-year standoff. It cuts $8 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, but the brunt of those cuts won’t be felt in South Florida.

The food stamp program accounts for almost 80 percent of the current farm bill. With pressure to reduce spending, it was inevitable that the program would be scaled back.

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Taxis
3:38 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

MIAMI HERALD: Taxi Tech Upgrades Coming To Miami-Dade County

Michael Cruz, of Lyfekloud, demonstrates virtual dispatch equipment installed in a taxicab outside Miami-Dade County Hall Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Credit WALTER MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

 

Old technology — but new to many Miami-Dade County taxis — is coming to local cabs.

An overwhelming majority of county commissioners signed off Tuesday on sweeping legislation requiring all cabs to take credit cards and install SunPass transponders, GPS devices and digital security cameras.

Drivers will have six months to install SunPass. Credit-card machines will be required in two years. GPS and backseat security cameras will be required in 30 months.

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Endeavor Miami
12:45 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

New Report Says Entrepreneurs Are Attracted To Miami

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Days after Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was quoted in the Washington Post saying his city would never become a tech hub, a small-business group released a report that says entrepreneurs are attracted to the Miami area.

RELATED: Tech CEOs Respond To Philip Levine

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Music & Culture
6:46 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Sailing The Sloop With Seeger: A Local Remembers

Pete Seeger and Allen Aunapu in 1969.
Credit Christina Leps

Allan Aunapu was 26 in 1967, when he went north from Miami to work on the Sloop Clearwater, which would be bound for the Hudson River. The sloop came from the imagination of legendary folk singer and anti-war activist Pete Seeger, who died Monday, Jan. 27, at 94 years old.

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News
1:26 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Free Lolita? Feds Seek Public Comment On Miami's Captive Orca

Credit Animal Legal Defense Fund

For years, animal-rights activists have been trying to win freedom for the captive orca known to Miami Seaquarium audiences as “Lolita.”  A recent announcement by federal officials could be the first step.

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South Florida crimes
7:23 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Domestic Violence Or Human Trafficking? The State Is Just Learning To Tell

Credit Creative Commons via Flickr user d'n'c

Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney for Miami-Dade County, says she had never heard of any criminal cases involving human-trafficking victims in Miami.

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Digital Currency
7:00 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

North American Bitcoin Conference Comes To Miami

Finance Professor Charles Evans speaks at the North American Bitcoin Conference
Credit Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

Bitcoin users from around the world attended this year's North American Bitcoin Conference this past weekend at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Moe Levin, who organized the conference, says attendance exceeded his expectations.

"I was expecting 800 people and now there are 1,200," Levin said. "It [was] a hugely successful Bitcoin conference."

Conference goers attended workshops held by Bitcoin-accepting and facilitating merchant vendors, like bitpay and 3DCart.  

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Links
2:53 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

WLRN's Top Five Stories Jan. 20-24

Credit Courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Among the stories you liked most this past week are a race between a car and a bus and a debate on the state of Miami Beach as a tech hub.

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Legislation
2:32 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Florida Supreme Court Approves Ballot Language for Medical Marijuana

Credit Vlado / Flickr CC

The Florida Supreme Court has approved the ballot language for the legalization of medical marijuana.

In a four-three decision the court decided that the ballot's wording does not mislead the public, like Attorney General Pam Bondi had argued.

Ben Pollara, manager of the United We Care campaign that gathered the signatures needed for the amendment to get on the ballot, called this a "historic day for Florida."

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News
1:55 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Citizens Rolls Out Property-Insurance Clearinghouse

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

A program aimed at shrinking billions of dollars in liability from Florida’s state-run insurance company launches Monday, Jan. 27.

Citizens Property Insurance is widely known as Florida’s insurance company of last resort.  In actuality, it's become a major player in the insurance marketplace.  State lawmakers felt that Citizens’ $500 billion of risk was too much for Floridians to shoulder.  So they've been trying to shift policyholders from Citizens into the private market.

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Community Contributor
8:46 am
Mon January 27, 2014

'Pretty Silicon Beach': Tech Entrepreneur Responds To Phillip Levine

Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine was quoted Jan. 22 in the Washington Post saying "Miami Beach is never going to be a high tech hub. As much as it sounds great, it's sexy, that's not who we are."
Credit Daniel DiMassa

Editor's Note: This is a community contributor post that has been edited for clarity.  The views expressed here are those of the author and not WLRN or WLRN-Miami Herald News.

My name is Daniel DiMassa and tech start-ups are more of a religion than passion to me.

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Bunches of Bitcoins
7:54 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Digital Currency Conference Hits Miami Beach

Latin House Burger & Taco Bar customer pays in Bitcoin.
Credit Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

Hundreds of Bitcoin users flocked to Miami Beach this weekend for the North American Bitcoin Conference

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that Florida Atlantic University finance professor Charles Evans says will change the way international business is conducted.

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News
4:53 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Medical Pot Campaign Reaches Its Petition Signature Goal

Credit Vlado / Flickr CC

Elections officials certified on Friday, Jan. 24, that the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida collected enough qualified signatures to put the proposed amendment on this November's ballot.

Campaign manager Ben Pollara says his organization, United We Care, gathered more than 1 million signatures to come up with the 683,149 needed to win a ballot spot.

He is now starting to fundraise for what he says will be an expensive and difficult campaign.

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News
11:55 am
Fri January 24, 2014

E-Cigarette Sales To Minors Now A Crime In Three Broward Cities

E-cigarette use -- or 'vaping' -- is on the rise nationwide.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages

If you’re under 18 and try to buy a pack of cigarettes in Florida – well, you can’t.

And three Broward County cities have passed laws to ensure the same thing happens with the trendy new electronic alternative to a pack of “smokes.”

This week, Weston banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.  The ordinance makes Weston the third Broward County city to try to regulate the sale of the increasingly popular devices where kids are concerned.  Sunrise and Lighthouse Point recently passed similar ordinances.

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