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Florida allows some of the easiest access to government records and meetings of any state in the country under the state's Sunshine Laws. 

People have a right to access state documents like minutes from meetings between government officials, foster care case files and environmental studies. Government meetings for the most part are open to the public for anyone to attend.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Seagrass in Florida Bay has died off rapidly over the past couple of years. About 40,000 acres have been lost, harming the habitat of animals from manatees to toadfish and imperiling the area's fishing industry.

Rowan Moore Gerety

When Yomaira Hidalgo set out for an associate’s degree taking classes at ITT Tech three nights a week, it didn’t take long to unravel the precarious routine she shared with her husband, her mother and three young children. In a word, she says, it  was “miserable.”

Tom Hudson

Big cruise companies like Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corp. are increasingly turning to technology to step up their passengers’ on-board experiences and make boarding the ships more efficient in all aspects, including the design.

 

Priscila Serrano / WLRN

Renting a spare room through Airbnb could soon become illegal in parts of Miami as it already is in Miami Beach, as mayors of both cities want to implement stricter rules on homeowners. 

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado will propose an ordinance to Miami city commissioners on Thursday to prohibit short-term rentals in some areas.

Publix Supermarkets

Doctors are in short supply, but a new partnership could help patients get a quicker appointment - at their grocery store.

In the coming months, BayCare Health System will be creating "telehealth" centers at  Publix Super Markets in the Tampa Bay area.

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Palm Beach County officials are growing increasingly anxious over the rising cost of providing security for President Donald Trump’s frequent visits.

The county has incurred more than $1.5 million in overtime costs so far, but has not been reimbursed by the federal government.

County Mayor Paulette Burdick says the response has been…crickets.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Puerto Rico is still mired in one of the worst economic crises in the island’s history. Its new young governor, Ricardo Rosselló, is on a campaign to turn things around - and he's betting an important ally will be South Florida’s booming Puerto Rican diaspora.

Rosselló is only 38 years old. But he’s leveraging his youthful energy in an effort not only to reform the U.S. territory’s disastrous finances but to change the often dysfunctional relationship between the U.S.  government  and Puerto Rico – whose residents are U.S. citizens.

Miami Herald

Every 20 years, a 37-person commission comes up with a list of amendments to the Florida Constitution.

The next cohort of the Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) met on Monday for the first time,  in the Florida Senate chambers in Tallahassee.

The group will have a year to travel around the state and figure out what kinds of changes need to be made to the constitution. It already scheduled visits to Orange, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.

U.S Marshal

Former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega remains unconscious in a Panama hospital after brain tumor surgery. Doctors say his prognosis is not good.

Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

Republicans aren't playing nice in Tallahassee. Insults are flying at news conferences and in social media, but they aren't being hurled at the other side of the aisle. The rhetoric is being waged against fellow Republicans.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Artist Jenna Efrein loves the Everglades. Since moving to South Florida, she's spent a lot of time exploring the ecosystem and learning about the challenges it faces. That passion -- and 10 years of gymnastics experience -- have shaped an installation of her work on display now at the Wynwood Building.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

NPR Politics team will live blog the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The live blog will include streaming video, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

WLRN News has won three awards from the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters. Ten additional works are finalists for awards, which will be announced next month.

The three winners for the 2016 Florida Associated Press Broadcasters awards are:

- Investigative Series

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

In an effort to bring Airbnb under some of the same regulations its competitors in the hotel industry face, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has reached an agreement with the popular home-sharing platform to collect county resort taxes.

Under the agreement, Airbnb will collect the 6 percent Miami-Dade resort tax from its hosts and remit that money to the county every month. If trends continue, that would amount to at least $8 million a year for the county, said Benjamin Breit, an Airbnb spokesman.

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