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2:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

The Rise Of The Cuban-American Democrat

Former Hialeah mayor and Democratic Congressional candidate Raul Martinez
Credit Facebook

    

The Cuban-American Democrat. It is an unusual breed in Florida.

Since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 made the Democratic administration of John F. Kennedy look bad, and caused many Cubans to flee their homeland forever,  El Exilio community in South Florida especially has been strongly Republican.

But that's beginning to change. Some exit polling indicated Cubans nearly split their vote between President Obama and Mitt Romney this past election, something that has never happened.

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Session 2013
1:08 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Bill May Aid Job Search For Floridians With Rocky Credit History

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, said a new measure may ease the job search process for Floridians.
Credit James Barker / freedigitalphotos.net

Rocky credit history? A bill that would prevent potential employers from weighing a job applicant's credit history unanimously passed the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee Tuesday.

Some say the bill (SB 100), sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, is an effort to ease the job search process for Floridians.

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Historic Preservation
12:14 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Fearing For History, Beach Preservationists Make Their Stand At A Star Island Mansion

ENDANGERED: Beautiful but beyond repair, its new owner says, this home at 42 Star Island Dr. is at the center of an unusual preservation debate.
Credit AlexShay.com

In an unusual case of pre-emptive historic designation, Miami Beach preservationists are trying to protect a decrepit Star Island mansion from being torn down by its new owner.

That would be plastic surgeon Leonard Hochstein, who bought the waterfront place at 42 Star Island Drive for $7.6 million and then found it too far gone to be renovated.

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Session 2013
10:01 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott, Black Caucus Find Little Common Ground As 2013 Session Nears

PERRY THURSTON: House minority leader says Gov. Scott 'doesn't relate well to others.'
Credit myfloridahouse.gov

Gov. Rick Scott's hour-long sit-down with the Legislative Black Caucus on Tuesday was frostily correct and almost completely nonproductive for the black lawmakers, according to two accounts of Tuesday's session in Tallahassee.

The Tampa Bay Times and the Palm Beach Post described the governor as almost completely unyielding on voting rules, ex-felon rights and appointments to the judiciary and other state positions.

As to the 2011 voting law that many say turned the 2012 election into a Florida disaster, the governor said he should not be blamed for that.

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Your Smart Phone
9:30 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Midnight Alert Tone Meant Your Smart Phone Had Just Become A Public Facility

SPEADING THE WORD: Amber Alerts the old way, left, and the new smart phone way which relies on software that government ordered installed on all post-2011 phones.
Credit amberalert.gov, Florida Today

Right now, it’s Amber Alerts for missing children and possible emergency messages from the president.

But the fact is -- as many South Floridians found out this weekend -- the government has found a way to co-opt your smart phone for its own purposes.

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Nursing Home Policy
8:30 am
Wed January 16, 2013

How To Find Out If Your Nursing Home Is On A State Watch List

Some advocates want to make nursing home violations easier to research.
Credit anankkml / freedigitalphotos.net

Deciding to put a loved on in a nursing home is hard enough, but as our partners at WUSF and Health News Florida in Tampa report, researching nursing home quality isn't easy in Florida.

And in a state where a fifth of all nursing homes are on a state watch list, some advocates are asking the Agency for Health Care Administration to take a more active role in distributing lists of facility violations.

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The Art Of Politics
8:00 am
Wed January 16, 2013

How You Can Write A Poem For A President

This could be a long poem.
alextorrenegra flickr

Here at WLRN, we're big fans of interactive storytelling

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Session 2013
7:34 am
Wed January 16, 2013

In Tallahassee, A Dim View Of NRA Gun Bills

Gun policy is back in the Florida Legislature this year.
Naypong freedigitalphotos.net

Indications are growing that the gun lobby might face unusual difficulties in the Florida Legislature this year.  

In Tallahassee on Monday, the Republican chairman of the Senate Education Committee announced his opposition to arming Florida school teachers as a defense against school shooters and a Democratic senator filed a bill to repeal one of the National Rifle Association's trophy bills from 2011, the law forbidding doctors to ask patients whether they have guns at home.

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StateImpact Florida
2:00 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Report Says Florida A National Leader In Charter School Growth — Another Says It’s Not Fast Enough

Volunteers build a playground at a charter school in Tampa.
Credit Kaboomplay/Flickr

The number of charter schools operating in the United States has surpassed 6,000 for the first time, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Charters are now serving a record 2.3 million students based on estimates from the current school year. But a pro-choice non-profit says Florida school districts are preventing more charters from opening.

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Session 2013
12:30 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Senate President Don Gaetz Has Ethics, Voting Proposals To Take To Legislature

DON GAETZ: He says ethical behavior is so rare the public is losing respect for elected officials.
Credit Orlando Sentinel

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) is ready to toughen ethics laws, reform campaign finance, streamline the Florida ballot...just about every issue of timely significance, he told the Orlando Sentinel editorial board, except for gun control.

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Twitter Story
12:00 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Tweet Us A Story: You Can Co-Author A Story With Geoff Dyer

Geoff Dyer gave us the first line, now you get to finish it.
Marzena Pogorzaly geoffdyer.com

Welcome to the Key West Literary Seminar edition of Tweet Us A Story

Starting at 5:00, we'll be writing a story with KWLS author Geoff Dyer.

Dyer has graciously given us the first line of a tale. It's up to you to help us finish it.

You can join in on the storytelling in the space below. Check out the rules at the bottom of the page.

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Miami City Hall
10:30 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Frank Suarez Says He'll Run For Miami Mayor

HE'S RUNNING: A Miami city commissioner since 2009, Frank Suarez grew up during his father, Xavier Suarez's, four terms as mayor.
Credit City of Miami

It's election year in the region's largest city and the race for Miami mayor has just become a little more interesting. City Commissioner Francis "Frank" Suarez, 35,  will officially announce a challenge to incumbent Mayor Tomas Regalado today.

Suarez is the son of former longtime Miami mayor and now county commissioner Xavier Suarez, who was removed from office in 1997 after charges of voter fraud. The younger Suarez, who grew up with his father running the city before being removed after winning a fourth term, says "sins of the father" should having nothing to with him

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Session 2013
8:59 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Uninsureds' Midnight Fears Raise Curtain On Obamacare Legislative Session In Florida

COST ESTIMATES: Senate select committee chairman Joe Negron says lawmakers must plan with better numbers.
Credit Florida House

As lawmakers decide how --- or whether --- to move forward with parts of the federal Affordable Care Act, House and Senate select committees plunged Monday into issues such as a potential expansion of the Medicaid program and the law's effects on Florida businesses.

In back-to-back meetings, lawmakers heard testimony from people with far-different perspectives about the controversial health overhaul, which Florida Republican leaders resisted for more than two years.

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The Week In Dogs
8:14 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Rick Scott's Missing Labrador Gives Governor, PR Staff A Lesson In Political Power Of Dogs

WHAT DID RICK SCOTT DO TO THIS DOG? It barked too much and the governor held it accountable.
Credit Facebook

If Gov. Rick Scott didn't know this before, he sure knows it now: If you're in politics, your dog can make you or break you.

A hilarious  story in the Tampa Bay Times tells how the Scott family's photogenic but slightly psychotic Labrador, Reagan, failed to work out as a gubernatorial dog and was discreetly gotten rid of. 

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AIDS In Haiti
7:00 am
Tue January 15, 2013

A Poetic Journey After The Quake: HIV/AIDs In Haiti

Alex, 17, lives in the municipality of Carrefour.
Photos by Andre Lambertson, Haiti, 2010.

 

Reporter Patricia Sagastume spoke with poet Kwame Dawes about one specific love story within Voices of Haiti.

The devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti demolished the country's health care system along with everything else.

But from the ruins came Voices of Haiti -- an odyssey in verse that grew out of a commission from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to document HIV/AIDS after the quake. The multimedia project, which came to the University of Miami this year, blends Haitian voices to conjure up images of strength, hope and faith.

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