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Cycling Safety
6:48 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott Signs Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act

Gov. Rick Scott signed the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act in Key Biscayne next to Aaron Cohen's family and Commissioner Jose Diaz.
Constanza Gallardo WLRN

Two years after the hit-and-run accident that killed cyclist Aaron Cohen was killed, the Florida Legislature passed a bill with tougher penalties for drivers who flee the scene.

Gov. Rick Scott signed the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act in Key Biscayne on Wednesday, with Cohen’s family in attendance.

“This happened a year and a half ago and the Legislature reacted,” says Gov. Scott.  “They’ve increased the penalties so hopefully this won’t happen to somebody again. You can’t imagine how this would change somebody’s life.”   

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Technology
6:44 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

How A Library Program Is Helping A Miami Gardens Teen Become A Neuroscientist

Favour Nkwocha, right, works on the computer with Marlon Moore, the YouMedia project coordinator.
Credit William Rolle / YouMedia Miami

Over the past few months, we've been covering the efforts of Miami-Dade library supporters to keep libraries fully funded. Advocates say libraries are more than just books -- they're major learning centers. One popular library program is YouMedia Miami where teenagers learn about technologies like coding, graphic design and music production.

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Preview
6:40 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Renew Your Drivers License At The Overtown Music And Arts Festival

Credit Miami.com

For the first time, the Overtown Music and Arts Festival won't only have live musical performances, art exhibits and free food; you can also get your drivers license renewed. 

Yvette Harris, a spokesperson for the event, says the service is being offered because going to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a license renewal is sometimes a challenge for some locals.

"It's a really good way for the community to tap into resources," she says. "It's something to offer to those who need it." 

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News
1:22 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Attorney General Files Notice Of Appeal In Monroe County Gay Marriage Approval

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones at home with their dogs Riddick and Kira.
Credit Kenne Tucker / Facebook

Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Thursday afternoon. He ruled in favor of Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, a same-sex couple seeking to marry -- but they will only be allowed to do so after Tuesday, July 22.

Later on Thursday afternoon, the office of Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a notice of appeal against Judge Garcia's decision.

The judge compared the gay-marriage ban to earlier laws that prevented women from voting, banned interracial marriages and imprisoned Japanese Americans during World War II.

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Politics
11:35 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Charlie Crist Announces Running Mate From Miami

Charlie Crist announced Miami-Dade Democratic Party chair Annette Taddeo-Goldstein will be his running mate.
Credit Charlie Crist Facebook

When Charlie Crist stopped at a converted warehouse for Miami entrepreneurs, 12-year-old Andrew Castro handed him a miniature state of Florida produced by a 3-D printer.

“A little Florida! Thank you," Crist said.

Crist was at LAB Miami Thursday morning because he thinks another South Floridian can help hand him the whole state this fall -- Annette Taddeo-Goldstein.

Taddeo-Goldstein was born in Colombia, is chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party and owns a translation business. She unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2008.

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Transportation
6:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

What The County's Vote On Lyft And UberX Actually Means Right Now

After more than a month of car impounds, citations and dense political squabbles, ride-sharing companies Lyft and UberX may finally be able to function legally in Miami-Dade County.

But probably not anytime soon.

A preliminary vote to legalize the services was made during a county commission meeting, where 10 out of 12 commissioners voted "yes" to legislation proposed by Commissioner Esteban "Steve" Bovo.  

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Politics
6:48 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Study: Black Women Underepresented At All Levels Of Political Office

Credit wilson.house.gov

  A recent study found black women are underrepresented at all levels of politics — federal, state and local government.

Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics and Higher Heights for America, a national nonprofit that seeks to elevate the voice of black women in politics, conducted the study. The group argues black women face distinct challenges when running for political office and are more like to be discouraged from running than their white counterparts or black men.

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StateImpact Florida
6:21 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Students React To The Closure Of A Giant For-Profit College

An Everest Institute campus in Boston. Parent company Corinthian Colleges is closing Massachusetts campuses, but selling Florida campuses.
Credit Kirk Carapezza / WGBH

After a long reign as the fastest-growing and most problematic sector in higher education, for-profit colleges are on the ropes.

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Southernmost Housing
5:32 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Some Homes May Be Too Old For Key West's Old Town

This home at 904 Emma St. is owned by the Key West Housing Authority.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

You can’t just tear down a house in Key West’s Historic District. Even if it’s in pretty bad shape. That’s why people were so surprised when the city -- which normally enforces the preservation rules -- came up with a list of five houses in Old Town that could be torn down.

One of those houses “looks like it’s sitting on limestone piers which are not anchored on anything , so the building’s sitting here unsecured,” says Ron Wampler, the city’s chief building official.

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Health
5:04 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

South Florida Health Center Receives $2 Million Grant Under the Affordable Care Act

Thirteen medical residents started their training on July 1.
Credit Community Health of South Florida

Community of Health of South Florida received a $2 million grant to train primary physicians. The center is the first in the state to receive funding from the Health Resource and Services Administration.  

Thirteen medical residents started a training program this month to meet the needs of many patients newly insured under the Affordable Care Act.

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Environment
3:49 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Corps Of Engineers Hopes To Accelerate Permit Process To Protect Endangered Species

In South Florida, marine species are at the top of the endangered species list.
Credit Wikimedia / Creative Commons

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a controversial history in Florida -- especially when it comes to the Everglades and the state’s wildlife.  

But now, the agency wants Floridians to know they’re working harder to protect endangered species.  

Each year the Corps of Engineers receives requests for various projects to build on regulated wetlands or the coast.  

The agency tries to issue half of those permits within 120 days.

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Health Care
3:22 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Florida First In Medicaid Coverage For Mentally Ill

Florida is rolling out new Medicaid plans specifically for people with severe mental health diagnoses.
Credit Creative Commons of Charles Bell's Anatomy of the Brain, c. 1802 / Flickr user Shaheen Lakhan

  This month, Florida became the first state to offer a Medicaid plan dedicated to people who are diagnosed with severe mental health disorders.

It’s part of a larger move by the state’s Medicaid officials to move coverage towards a managed care system. It means one organization takes care of and coordinates all of a person’s health care needs: no more separate dental, vision, and internal medicine plans.

Mental health issues are almost twice as prevalent among Medicaid recipients than in the general population.

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Housing
7:19 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Little Havana Development Gives Homes To Nearly 200 People

Amistad is the newest affordable housing development from Carrfour Supportive Housing and Pinnacle Housing Group
Credit Wilson Sayre

 

Almost 200 people now have a place to call home in an affordable housing development just opened in Little Havana.

In addition to a roof, kitchens and beds for low-income and formerly homeless people, Amistad’s 89 apartments offer supportive housing services:

“We do case management, we do employment and training services, we do life-skills training, we do parenting-skills trainings, we do activities with the kids,” says Stephanie Berman, president of Carrfour Supportive Housing.

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Latin America Report
7:11 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

How Panama Cut Poor Kids Out Of A Florida Millionaire's Will

BEQUEST BATTLE: Impoverished children in Panama.
Credit Appropriate Projects

Panama today is best known for its economic boom, and rightly so. But unfortunately, poverty and piracy remain as much a part of the country's image as the Panama Canal.

According to the World Bank, half of Panama’s children are poor. A fifth of them are malnourished. Those underfed kids cram Panama charity centers like Nutre Hogar. On a recent visit there I saw the devastating effects of child malnutrition, including brain damage.

“We don’t only feed them,” one Nutre Hogar staff member told me. “We spend a lot of time repairing their motor skills.”

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Miami
6:58 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Liberty City Community To Protest Recent Shootings

Miami police are investigating a shooting in Liberty City that left two people dead. Up to 10 people were shot. The shooting happened in the 6500 block of Northwest 12th Avenue.
Credit WALTER MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Miami's Liberty City community will rally in an anti-violence protest on Saturday. The residents will gather in response to a recent mass shooting that left two dead and five injured.

Since the mass shooting in June, a man riding on his bicycle was shot dead and 67-year-old Pastor Kenneth Johnson was also murdered in the neighborhood. Johnson was attacked by two young men who tried to steal money out of his hand and a gold-plated chain from around his neck.

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