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South Beach Wine & Food Festival
6:00 am
Wed February 20, 2013

South Beach Wine & Food Festival: Then & Now

Stock photo of 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival
Credit Trina Sargalski

Thursday is the first day of the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival. In our interactive timeline (below), we take a look back at the indulgent and now-famous South Beach Wine & Food Festival last year, in 2005 and back in 2001, when it was still known as the "Florida Extravaganza."

How have ticket prices, visiting chefs, food trends and popular events changed (or not changed) over the years?

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Session 2013
3:40 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Local Legislative Leaders Talk Priorities For Florida's Session 2013

State senators Maria Sachs (D-Boca Raton), left, and Anitere Flores (R-Miami)
Credit Florida Senate

What's on state lawmakers agenda for the upcoming session? Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) and Sen. Maria Sachs (D-Boca Raton) discuss what's on their list with WLRN's Phil Latzman.

For Republican Anitere Flores, there's little hesitation when she's asked what she'll be working on first when the session begins. 

"The most important issue that I'll be tackling this year," she says, "is Citizens Property Insurance."

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Community Contributor
2:00 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Citizens Insurance Rate Hikes Seem Like Bait And Switch To This Homeowner

Florida Gov. Rick Scott hasn't made specific proposals for insurance reform, but legislators are considering a bill that could increase Citizens rates dramatically.
Credit Photo by Creative Commons user MrX

As a very young man, I remember getting a phone call from mom (then a bank VP) telling me to get my butt out of the house and get some money in my account because I was about to be overdrawn.  The point is, I learned from a very young age to watch my expenses and know how much I could afford. When funding a home, for instance, it always makes sense to try to figure not only what your current payments will be but to also adjust for things getting more expensive—such as taxes and insurance.

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Sea walls in Palm Beach County
8:29 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Sea Walls Designed To Save Beaches May Actually Speed Up Erosion

Hurricane Sandy and seasonal high tides destroyed much of Fort Lauderdale's beach.
Credit daspader / Flickr Creative Commons

The beach is emblematic of Florida life, so it computes that waterside residents in Palm Beach County are scrambling to find ways to keep the beach from crumbling into the ocean. Unfortunately, proposed sea walls -- meant to slow the beach erosion widely seen throughout South Florida -- actually hasten the problem, according to some environmental groups and government officials. 

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Sea Level Rise
6:10 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Tallahassee Lawmakers Hear How Rising Seas Threaten South Florida

South Florida lawmakers gather at the Capitol to hear about the threat of rising seas.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

The rising sea level threat facing South Florida communities is on the radar of the region's lawmakers.

They recently met at the Capitol to hear from a panel of experts.

Monroe County administrator Roman Gastesi says the waters off Key West have gone up 9 inches in the last hundred years, and the rise is accelerating.

“What we’re looking at now is 9 to 24 inches in the next 50 years,” Gastesi says. “Three to seven (inches) in 20 years.”

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Pythons in Everglades
4:00 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Python Challenge Hunter: "It's Eerily Quiet In The Everglades"

A young Burmese python at the Python Challenge awards ceremony.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

Tom Rahill knows the Everglades. He has been camping, hiking, clearing trails, and "hanging out" in Florida's River of Grass for an estimated 35 years. When he sweats, Rahill says he "even smells like the Everglades." A participant in the recently-wrapped and much-maligned Python Challenge, Rahill recognizes that much of the press and public appear unimpressed with the contest's final tally of 68 snakes.  

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New Documentary Airing This Week
2:00 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Stories From The Overseas Highway: Q&A With Filmmaker Tim Long

Airing on WLRN Channel 17 on the following dates and times:

Friday, February 22 @ 11:30 pm

Saturday, February 23 @ 4:00 pm
Sunday, February 24 @ 9 pm
Wednesday, February 27 @ 7:30 pm

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Miami Fashion
10:00 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Are You Wearing The Miami Art Scene? A New Clothing Line Is Designed To Bolster Local Artists

Credit Photo by Joshua Weaver

There are a few nearly inarguable aspects about the "new Miami" -- the young, smart version of the city spreading through its central core:

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All Florida Boca Raton Museum of Art
7:57 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Artists Have An Edge In This Year's "All Florida" Competition

The Boca Raton Museum of Art's 'All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition' is open to emerging and established Florida artists.
Credit Boca Raton Museum of Art

Changes in the Boca Raton Museum of Art's 62nd annual All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition will give a leg up to artists who submit their works by the competition's Feb. 28 deadline.

The cutoff date for the show is earlier than in previous years, and submissions were at about "one-third" their usual level, said assistant curator Kelli Bodle. 

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Community Contributor
6:34 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Transparency 2.0, Florida's $5 million Public Access System, Simply Waits To Be Turned On

Gov. Scott has yet to activate a website meant to make state government more transparent.
Credit Photo courtesy of the governor's office

Florida taxpayers have spent $5 million on a budget transparency portal called Transparency 2.0 that promised to herald a new era for citizen access to the state’s informational stores.

Currently, questions remain as to whether the public will ever be able to use the program, which is ready to go but has sat unused for a year and a half.

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Politics
9:00 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Proposed Bill Would Protect LGBT Floridians Against Discrimination

A bill filed Thursday would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Florida Civil Rights Act already bans discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age and marital status.
Credit European Parliament / Flickr

Some two dozen states ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Florida isn’t one of them.

According to News Service of Florida, however, a bill filed in the House Thursday hopes to change that:

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Science
5:00 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

The Python Challenge Final Tally: 50 Dead Snakes And A Whole Lot Of Unanswered Questions

The Python Challenge: a bust or a boon? Depends on how you look at it.
Credit USFWS:Southeast / Flickr Creative Commons

The wacky challenge that grabbed national headlines -- and perhaps more than its fair share of derision -- will come to a head Saturday morning, when the 2013 Python Challenge awards are presented in Miami.

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Great Backyard Bird Count
4:00 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

This Weekend's Great Backyard Bird Count Allows South Florida Birders To Shape Science

The painted bunting is just one of many species a South Florida birder might tally in the Great Backyard Bird Count.
Credit rarvesen / Flickr Creative Commons

Dust off those binoculars and brush up on your birding skills. The 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count is on and South Florida is a historical hotbed of action.

The four-day count -- a joint effort by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada -- is a large-scale citizen-science project with participants from around the globe. There's no cost to join and it's open to birders of all levels, from the casual feeder watcher to hardcore "listers." 

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Red Light Cameras On School Buses?
12:30 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

This Bill Could Mean Tickets From School Buses

Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater filed a bill in the House on Tuesday that would allow school districts to install cameras on school buses. This is an attempt to identify drivers who illegally pass buses when children are boarding.
Credit Arvind Balaraman / freedigitalphotos.net

A familiar yellow school bus slows to pick up a group of giddy children at the corner. Florida drivers, perhaps caught in the morning rush to work, know they’re supposed to stop. After all, the bus’s retractable red stop sign and flashing lights serve as glaring reminders. But are motorists actually following the law?

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

The State Of Florida's Union: Thirsty Marco Rubio And Spanish As A Second Language

Although Doral's City Council unanimously rejected the largely symbolic proposal to officially make Spanish its second language, Spanish is often a necessity for living in South Florida.
Credit Sparkzy

On the Florida Roundup, we take a look at the week in news in our region and state:

  • As President Obama addressed the Congress and the nation, how is the state of Florida’s union?  From voting and gun rights to climate change, we take a look at what resonated here from the President’s speech.
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