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Moms At Work
5:33 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Miami-Dade Teachers Fight For Right To Pump Breast Milk

Monica Howell and her baby, Celeste, in their Miramar home, Sept. 19, 2014. Howell and other teachers are campaigning for Miami-Dade schools to establish policies to allow lactating teachers time and space to pump breast milk.
Credit Charles Trainer Jr. / Miami Herald

When Monica Howell gave birth to her daughter Celeste earlier this year, the Miami-Dade school teacher knew she wanted to breastfeed for as long as possible.

On her first day back in the classroom after maternity leave, Howell carried a new set of supplies: an electronic breast pump, ice packs and storage containers for her milk.

She met with her assistant principal to schedule the times she planned to pump.

"Her reply to me was, 'Absolutely not, we cannot accommodate breastfeeding mothers,'” Howell said.

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Threatened Species
1:05 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Sea Turtle Travels Cross Country By FedEx

Devin Merriman, Richie Moretti and Bette Zirkelbach get Sapphire, an injured loggerhead sea turtle, ready for its journey across the country via FedEx to its new home near San Diego.
Credit Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

  How long does it take a sea turtle to travel from the Florida Keys to southern California?

Only a few hours when it travels by FedEx. That's what Sapphire, a loggerhead sea turtle, is doing today on a journey from the Turtle Hospital in Marathon to The Living Coast Discovery Center near San Diego.

The turtle has been at the Middle Keys rehab center for 16 months and cannot be released back to the wild.

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Commentary
12:46 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Bring Peace To Colombia Or Block Venezuela From A U.N. Seat? Pick One

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos speaking to WLRN's Tim Padgett at the U.N. General Assembly this week in New York.
Credit Pilar Calderon / Presidencia de Colombia

Today’s international affairs quiz: Would you rather see Venezuela denied a temporary seat on the U.N. Security Council, or would you prefer to see an end to Colombia’s eternal civil war?

Pick one. Can’t have both.

That’s at least what Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told me this week during our interview in New York, where he and a host of other heads of state are gathered for the U.N. General Assembly.

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Language
6:04 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

More English, More Money? Maybe Not In Miami

A new report says workers with poor English skills may be dragging down the economy.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net

The list of things that threaten the U. S. economy is long, indeed. But here's one item that might not have occurred to you.

Speaking bad English.

As the Brookings Institution scopes it out in a report released Wednesday, immigrants seeking work in the U. S. often have to settle for jobs beneath their qualifications just because their English is not up to snuff.

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Politics
6:02 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Adrian Wyllie: I'm More Than A Spoiler In Governor's Race

44-year-old small business owner Adrian Wyllie is making his first run for governor.
Credit wyllieforgovernor.com

The Libertarian candidate for governor of Florida is getting some attention in a race where there's little excitement about the front-runners. 

Adrian Wyllie is former chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida and a former syndicated radio host. Aside from campaigning, he owns an IT consulting firm.

Wyllie may not get a lot of votes, but he might impact the race. The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows incumbent Republican Gov. Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Democrat, are virtually tied. Wyllie is getting about 8 percent of voter support.

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Race for Governor
4:42 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Poll Shows Florida Governor's Race Too Close To Call

Former Governor Charlie Crist and Governor Rick Scott.
Credit Peter Andrew Bosch (Crist), Emily Michot (Scott)/ Miami Herald Staff

Less than two months before Election Day, Florida voters are split between their top two choices for governor, but they agree on one thing --- neither candidate turns them on.

That's according to a poll by Quinnipiac University released Wednesday. The survey found that Republican Gov. Rick Scott has a slight edge over Democrat Charlie Crist but, because that two-point lead falls within the margin of error, the contest is too close to call.

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Environment
4:27 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Feds: Underwater 'Christmas Trees' Key To Saving Rare Coral

Hang a shining star upon the highest . . . PVC pipe? An undersea NOAA nursery where pieces of growing coral dangle like Christmas ornaments from plastic piping.
Credit NOAA

"Maybe it just needs a little love," said Peanuts character Charlie Brown in describing his tiny Christmas tree with branches so fragile a single ornament weighs them to the ground.

Perhaps the same could be said of distressed coral.

Federal scientists believe that a spindly structure resembling an underwater Charlie Brown tree could play a huge role in saving rare coral damaged by the PortMiami deep-dredge project.

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School Supplies
1:25 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Miami-Dade Teachers Still Waiting On School Supply Debit Cards

Miami-Dade teachers are still waiting to use $281 state-funded debit cards for school supplies. The school district said they wanted to wait until they knew which teachers would last through the school year.
Credit vamapaull / Flickr

Miami-Dade teachers are still waiting to cash in their $281 debit cards for supplies -- six weeks into the school year.

Gov. Rick Scott pushed the state-funded cards last year. Lawmakers said they intended the cards to be used prior to the school year.

"Basically it’s an issue of making sure that the teachers who spend the money will be the teachers who spend the year in the classrooms," said Miami Herald education reporter Christina Veiga.

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Homelessness
12:16 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Florida Sees Record Number Of Homeless Kids

Florida saw record numbers of homeless children in the latest numbers out from the U.S. Department of Education, but most of them will not get any housing assistance.
Credit Filckr user Joseph Choi / http://bit.ly/1DwVFIs

A record number of homeless students are attending Florida Schools according to new numbers out from the U.S. Department of Education. Almost 70,000 kids in the state were homeless during the 2012-2013 school year, a 10-percent increase compared to the national average of 8-percent.

However, most of those kids are not recognized as homeless by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which acts as a clearinghouse for many social services available to the homeless.

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Wynwood
12:54 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Breaking Bread At Zak The Baker's Before Rosh Hashannah

Jewish Rye on display at Zak The Baker In Wynwood
Photos by Gregory Castillo / WLRN

Between colorful murals and art galleries, the smell of freshly baked bread wafts through the air in Wynwood. And though the sign on the building simply reads "Bakery," inside Zak the Baker's Wynwood café, a lot more is going on than at your average corner bake shop.  

"Sometimes I take a step back and look on what we've done and I'm quite proud. I'm pleased with the direction," says Zak Stern, owner of Zak the Baker. "I'm grateful for the way the community has supported this project, just seeing it grow from the garage to where it is today." 

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Keys Blog
12:45 am
Wed September 24, 2014

For Whom The Air Cools: Ernest Hemingway's Key West Home To Get AC

Soon-to-be-cool cat: The Ernest Hemingway Home in Key West has been approved for air conditioning, 163 years after it was built. The museum's famous cats still have to live outside.
Credit Monroe County Tourist Development Council

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is already hugely popular with visitors -- but soon they'll be able to stroll through the writer's Key West home in more comfort, especially during the sweltering subtropical summer.

The house, built in 1851, is now set to have air conditioning installed for the first time. At the moment, stand-up fans offer the only relief.

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Aftermath
1:18 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Victims' Mothers To Hold Vigil At Liberty City Mass Shooting Scene

Teddy bears rest near the scene of the June 24 Liberty City mass shooting.
Credit Nadege Green / WLRN

Hermana Richardson is returning to the Liberty City street where her son and his best friend were murdered.

It’s been three months since one of the worst mass shooting in Miami’s history. Seven people were injured. Two died.

“Three months they’ve been murdered and we haven’t heard anything yet,” says Richardson.  “They’re not talking about it anymore and I don’t want it to be thrown on a shelf.”

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Latin America Report
12:39 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Marina Silva: From Amazon Orphan To President Of Brazil?

Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva on the campaign trail this month.
Credit Marina40

A political phoenix has risen from the ashes of a plane crash in Brazil. Next month it might result in South America's political upset of the decade.

Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in that Aug. 13 accident outside São Paulo. Days later Campos’ running mate – environmentalist and former Senator Marina Silva – took his place as the Brazilian Socialist Party’s nominee. In voter polls, Silva quickly catapulted alongside the incumbent front-runner, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. She’s now tied with Rousseff ahead of the Oct. 5 election.

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Politics
12:32 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Sen. Detert: Lawmakers Will Fix Extended Foster Care

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

  The sponsor of Florida's 2013 law extending foster care to age 21 is working on a legislative fix to resolve confusion about which state agency is responsible for severely disabled young adults in the program.

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, is meeting with children's advocates and service providers about the issue, which involves whether the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities or the Department of Children and Families should pay for disabled people in foster care between ages 18 and 22.

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News
12:19 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Miami Agency That Polices Police Is In Turmoil

Sheila McNeil says the CIP failed her in trying to get justice for her son Travis McNeil who was killed by a Miami officer.
Credit Nadege Green / WLRN

Sheila McNeil says she still holds hope that the Miami police officer who killed her unarmed son three years ago will one day be held accountable.

Prosecutors cleared Officer Reynaldo Goyos, who believed Travis McNeil was reaching for a gun when he shot him during a traffic stop. Goyos was fired in 2013, only to be reinstated with back-pay. But there’s one agency left with an open case: Miami’s Civilian Investigative Panel, which reviews cases of alleged police misconduct.

The independent watchdog has yet to close its inquiry — nearly two years past its own deadline.

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