News

Miami Herald-Jennifer Smits

This week on The Florida Roundup...

The Obama administration repealed the "wet foot, dry foot" policy for Cubans. This ends a special privilege that allowed Cubans who make it to U.S. sand or soil to stay. 

C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

A state senator who represents parts of Miami has filed a bill that would eliminate county-run expressways, including MDX, the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority.

Republican Sen. Frank Artiles (40th District) said in a press release that Senate Bill 308 would, quote, “cut down on bureaucratic government.”

If passed, the bill would transfer control of county expressways -- and their toll revenues -- from counties to the state of Florida. 

Artiles said the change would cut costs for drivers.

Fernando Llano / AP

A Broward County businessman is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty Wednesday in Houston for bribing officials at Venezuela’s state oil company.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Houston says Weston resident Juan José Hernández Comerma conspired with his business partner, Abraham José Shiera Bastidas, to bribe executives at the Venezuelan oil giant Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. – or PDVSA.

Peter Haden / WLRN

When Esteban Santiago killed five people in the Terminal 2 baggage claim of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, he revealed a vulnerable area. The baggage claim is outside airport security and  people coming off flights or into the airport can move freely.

With this in mind, airport security consultant Leticia Monteagudo says travelers should get to the security screening quickly, spending as little time as possible outside secured areas.

Madeline Fox / WLRN News

As it got dark on Thursday evening, Cuban Americans congregated in the light put out by the cafecito window of Versailles, the Cuban café on Calle Ocho, to talk about the sudden end of decades-old policy granting Cuban migrants special status in U.S. immigration.

Kali Duffy, YoungArts photography finalist

A group of young photographers from around the country huddled outside the Little Haiti Cultural Center this week listening to Carl Juste, a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist for the Miami Herald.

Juste, whose father Viter Juste is credited for coining the name Little Haiti, was schooling the photographers about the neighborhood’s vibe.

“People live on their porches, people greet. People exchange ideas and conversation outside their homes,” he said.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

 

"We need to keep as many weapons out of the airport as possible."

Emilio González knows about weapons at airports. He's a military veteran. He's a concealed weapons permit holder. And he's the boss at Florida's busiest passenger airport -- Miami International Airport.

 

Alex Markow Photography

Sam Hyken and Jacomo Bairos first got turned on to Frank Zappa not from classic albums like "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" or "Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar," but by playing his orchestral music when they were students at Juilliard (at different times).

Kate Stein / WLRN

The southernmost blocks of Biscayne Boulevard go past American Airlines Arena, the Bayside Marketplace mall and Bayfront Park. All places  where people -- often crowds of people -- like to walk. But because of all the cars speeding by, walking in the area can be dangerous. Sidewalks are narrow, and crossing the street -- well, either you can wait a long while or take your chances in the traffic.

 

Enter Biscayne Green.

 

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The "wet foot, dry foot" policy is over. For more than 20 years, Cubans migrating to the U.S. enjoyed that special privilege, which meant if they made it to dry land here they could stay. President Barack Obama ended it on Thursday– and even most Cubans here agree with him.

President Bill Clinton created the wet foot-dry foot policy in 1995 as a way to appease both the Cuban government and Cuban exile leaders. But since then it’s become a controversial rule that many Cuban-Americans say is antiquated now that the U.S. and Cuba have normalized relations.

Desmond Boylan / AP

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is ending a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident, a senior administration official said Thursday.

Courtesy Nadav Alkoby

Marcelo Salup grew up in Spain in the last years of the Franco dictatorship, mindful of the state police and their long batons, and ETA, a Basque separatist group that waged an increasingly intense terror campaign from the 1960s until a ceasefire in 2010. 

“My formative years were spent in an atmosphere where you were very conscious ETA could just bomb anything,” Salup says. In fact, the group bombed the residential building where he lived as a kid, and later, the university where he went to school.

WMFE

Justin Senior was named Wednesday as secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, after serving as interim secretary for nearly four months, according to Gov. Rick Scott's office.

Senior became interim secretary in September after Liz Dudek announced she was stepping down as head of the agency, which focuses heavily on running the state's Medicaid program.

Senior, an attorney, had been the agency's deputy secretary for Medicaid since 2011. Before that, he was AHCA's general counsel.

 

Patients who qualify for medical marijuana under a voter-approved constitutional amendment can start purchasing cannabis treatments in as little as 90 days, according to the state's top pot cop.

Whether patients would be able to start buying medical marijuana before the Department of Health approves rules to carry out the amendment — a process that could take at least six months --- has been a source of confusion for many doctors, patients and businesses.

A proposed medical marijuana ordinance in Tallahassee appears to be undergoing some changes. During a public hearing on the ordinance Wednesday Commissioner Nancy Miller suggested shortening the timeframe for a proposed moratorium on new dispensaries in the city.

“I’d really like for the public to see what other changes we are about to make and I would move that we move this time frame up to four months,” Miller said.

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