News

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Illegal gold molded into our wedding rings, dangling around our necks and hidden in our smartphones is polluting the rainforest with toxic chemicals and exploiting workers in Latin America.

Read the Miami Herald investigative series: Dirty gold, clean cash 

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

On an unseasonably cool day in the Florida Keys, a manatee drifted through a canal, stopping occasionally to graze on an algae-slimed recreational vehicle that just barely crested the water’s surface.

That sunken RV is just one of 16 swept from the adjacent streets by Hurricane Irma in September. This 18-foot deep canal — filled with more wrecked homes than bobbing boats — is just one of hundreds in the island chain still clogged with storm trash.

But a canal clean-up in the Keys could finally be near.

Associated

Instead of trumpeting enviable travel times between downtown neighborhoods, promoting its high-end train service and asserting itself as part of the solution to untangling traffic, Brightline has had to focus on rail safety in its first week of service.

 

Three people were hit by Brightline passenger trains in the first week they started running trips between stations in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Two were killed and one person was injured in the three separate crashes at railway crossings.

opioid crisis
Franieleon via Flickr / WLRN

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission is set to hold a special meeting Tuesday at noon at City Hall to discuss legal options on how to deal with the ongoing opioids crisis.

During the meeting, which is open to the public, five law firms will present their advice on how they think the city should legally handle the opioid crisis.

Discussion is expected to include hot topics ranging from overdoses to access to drugs, and what legal issues are at stake if the city enforces new ordinances going forward.

Proposals To Restore Felons' Voting Rights Move Forward

Jan 22, 2018
Vaguely Artistic / Flickr/Creative Commons

Two proposals that would automatically restore voting rights to felons who have served their sentences were approved last week by a Florida Constitution Revision Commission panel.

In a 6-2 vote, the commission’s Ethics and Elections Committee approved a measure (Proposal 7), sponsored by former Sen. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale, that would automatically restore voting rights to felons who have served their prison time and completed any probation or parole requirements. Felons convicted of murder or sexual offenses would be excluded.

Odalis Garcia / WLRN

More than 2,000 people -mostly women but not exclusively so- gathered on Sunday at Miami's Wynwood to mark the first anniversary of the Women's March and reiterate their commitment to "resist" President Donald Trump's administration and create a more feminist world.

Many people showed up with family, friends, and their pets. It was very much a communal affair. There were also food trucks and tents highlighting issues from reproductive rights and mass incarceration, to climate change. 

Neal Asbury stands in front of first maps of Florida at NSU exhibit.
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

There are plenty of ways to learn more about early American history: books, movies, podcasts. And for those that love maps,  Nova Southeastern University’s main library has a treasure trove of old maps telling hundreds of years’ worth of history.

 

Peter Haden / WLRN

Brightline officials addressed safety concerns at a press conference in Boca Raton Friday. Four people have been killed by the company’s trains, two within the past week.

While tragic, Brightline executives said the recent fatalities were completely avoidable. Both individuals went around safety gates and flashing lights in attempting to beat the speeding trains.

Brightline will expand its education campaign about rail safety, according to Chief Operating Officer Patrick Goddard.

Does Miami Have A Chance To Host Amazon HQ2?

Jan 21, 2018
AP

Miami is still in the race. This week Amazon announced the 20 cities on its short list as it decides where to build its second headquarters (HQ2) – a $5-billion investment promising 50,000 high-paying jobs.

Though the final list singles out Miami, the proposal was a regional effort. 

David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A particularly bad flu virus is burning through Florida and health officials say people can still protect themselves—and others.

“Getting vaccinated can prevent flu in yourself, but it also may prevent flu in people who you are not infecting,” says Dr. Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist with the influenza division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Especially for young children or people who are at high risk of flu, it's very important that people around them are vaccinated.”

WLRN’s daily news and cultural affairs show Sundial features news, politics, music, sports, arts and food — all with a local twist. It airs at 1 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Here's what the people behind the show are reading.

Luis Hernandez, host

Mayor of Pompano Beach greets resident
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

City officials beat their chests with pride but also listed some problems to focus on in the coming year in Pompano Beach during Thursday’s State of the City address. 

 

Pompano Beach’s Mayor Lamar Fisher highlighted zoning projects along the city’s eastern corridor and the revitalization of the city’s old town area during his presentation. However, he said it was the redevelopment of the beach pier and more tourism that had him filled with pride.

Odalis Garcia / WLRN

DREAMERS and activists with the Florida Immigrant Coalition gathered outside Senator Bill Nelson’s office in Coral Gables on Thursday demanding him to vote no on a spending bill that doesn't  include a clean DREAM act.

“A clean DREAM act would basically give a pathway to citizenship to undocumented youth. And it would not include more enforcement or a wall [or] more criminalization for our communities,” said Paola Muñoz, a community organizer for the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

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