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Transportation
7:48 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Will Ride-sharing Apps Make Cabs Come Tumbling Down?

Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

UPDATE: The Miami-Dade County Commission has canceled the May 19th workshop on ride-sharing, but most expect the meeting to be rescheduled.

There’s a big legal gray area in Florida when it comes to ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber. Technically they’re operating illegally, but local counties have turned a blind eye to their operations, which in Miami are now hitting the one-year mark.

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News
4:06 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Fannie Mae Accused Of Neglecting Properties In Black and Hispanic Neighborhoods

Fannie Mae is accused of neglecting its foreclosed properties in South Florida's predominantly black and Hispanic communities.
Credit HOPE Inc

A South Florida watchdog group is filing a complaint against the federal housing agency known as Fannie Mae. HOPE Inc. says Fannie Mae neglected foreclosed properties in predominantly black and Hispanic communities but kept up homes in white neighborhoods.

Wednesday, HOPE  and 18 other fair housing groups from across the country held a national press conference to call attention to Fannie Mae’s alleged racial discrimination in how it maintained foreclosed properties nationwide. Fannie Mae has denied the accusation.

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Sunshine Economy
1:17 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Gaining Altitude: The Aviation Industry in South Florida

Adult aviation students at George T. Baker Aviation Technical College in Miami await a classmate's instruction. Miami is one of the largest job markets for aviation technicians in the U.S.
Credit Tom Hudson

In Florida, flight is the number one export. In 2014, almost $4.8 billion worth of aircraft, engines and aircraft parts made in Florida were shipped out of state, putting it in the top 10 for aviation.

Toya Henry wants to enter the family business, but she's not sold on staying in Miami. She's in the adult powerplant program at George T. Baker Aviation Technical College in Miami. The school is a Miami-Dade County Public School that has been training aviation workers since the early days of the industry.

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Aviation Industry
11:53 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Sunshine Economy: Training Tomorrow's Aviation Workers

Students at George T. Baker Aviation Technical College have to attend 85 percent of the time in order to qualify for FAA certification.
Credit Tom Hudson

This is a sign in a second floor avionics classroom at George T. Baker Aviation Technical College in Miami. It's a Miami-Dade County Public School with 550 high school students and 800 adult students taking FAA-certified classes on airframes, power plants and avionics. The sign serves as a clear reminder this is more than a classroom.

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Culture
7:38 am
Wed May 13, 2015

A Scoop Of 'Black Ice Cream' With Tinsel On Top

South Florida-born artist Helado Negro brings a fusion of music, dance and sculpture to PAMM this week.
Credit Helado Negro

He’s been called a “sound artist,” and a “sonic stylist.”  His music has been described as “genre-defying.”  It seems that fans and music critics alike are always struggling to describe exactly what Roberto Carlos Lange does for a living.

“I struggle with it,” says Lange with a smile.

The Brooklyn-based, South Florida-born artist says he’s not into labels.  “When people label something, I oppose it,” he says. “And, so then, I sabotage that label.”

But a metaphor?  That’s a different story.  Take his stage name: Helado Negro, Spanish for black ice cream.

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Latin America Report
7:08 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Former Miami Mayor Ferré: Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis Is Florida's Migration Boom

Michelle Datiz holds a Puerto Rican flag at Miami's Calle Ocho festival in March.
Credit Alexia Fodere / El Nuevo Herald

The Caribbean is known for blue water, white beaches – and red ink. The region is home to seven of the world’s 10 most indebted nations.

But the Caribbean’s worst crisis involves a U.S. territory: Puerto Rico, whose debt is a staggering $73 billion.

That burden now threatens to financially sink the island of 3.5 million people – and that in turn promises to drive more migration into Florida. Puerto Ricans are the state’s fastest-growing Latino group, especially in the central I-4 Corridor.

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Airlines
6:48 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Customers Are Grumbling With Spirit Airlines

Spirit is seeing high rates of complaints, which they say is in part because of their business model.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Eric Salard (https://flic.kr/p/rRgdfK)

Despite being a little bit better at keeping on schedule, airlines are facing more complaints from customers, according to the latest Department of Transportation Air Travel Consumer Report.

Spirit Airlines, the Miramar-based budget airline, had the second-worst rate of complaints in March among all 13 reporting carriers, including AmericanAirlines, which operates U.S. Airways. Only Colorado-based Frontier Airlines had more reported grumbling customers than Spirit.

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Press Release
4:00 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

WLRN Wins Four Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

Judges of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow broadcast journalism competition bestowed WLRN-Miami Herald News with the most awards of any large-market radio station in Region 13, which comprises Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands. WABE in Atlanta also won four regional Murrows.

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Culture
11:52 am
Tue May 12, 2015

South Florida Science Center Celebrates Lice, Mosquitoes & Other Critters

The South Florida Science Center's current exhibition.

The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach is on a mission to gross you out this summer: The center's "EWW! What's Eating You?" exhibition is designed to make visitors' skin crawl. 

Hear more about it here:

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Feature
8:02 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Let's Talk This Out: Teens Get Candid With Cops

Teens and police officers discussed the recent events in Baltimore at the Government Center in Downtown Miami.
Credit Diego Saldana-Rojas

The recent protests in Baltimore are the latest in a series of events that have strained the country’s relationship with police.

In South Florida, a new program is sparking conversation between Miami-Dade police officers and teenagers from the neighborhoods they patrol.

Sarah Odio works for Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez. Odio realized something while watching the recent unrest across the country involving police brutality.

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News
7:36 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Governor Has Short Time To Decide Fate Of Online Voter Registration System

Almost half of the states have online voter registration. Florida will join them if Gov. Rick Scott doesn't veto a bill by May 22 that would create an online system.
Credit Vox Efx/flickr

Governor Rick Scott has less than two weeks to decide whether to veto a bill creating online voter registration in Florida. 

The bill requires the Division of Elections to develop an online voter registration system. It has to be operational by October of 2017.

Supporters say the bill would make it easier for service members to register and update voting records.

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Obituary
2:28 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Longtime South Florida Broadcaster, Former WLRN Anchor Kelley Mitchell Dies At 58

Kelley Mitchell is pictured with her Corgi, Oscar, in her backyard in Miami Shores. She wrote essays about Oscar's chemotherapy for the Miami Herald and WLRN.
Credit Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Longtime South Florida broadcast journalist Kelley Mitchell died Sunday. Mitchell was 58 years old.

Mitchell had battled cancer in the past, but at this time the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office has not confirmed the cause of death.

Mitchell, an Oklahoma City native, came to South Florida in 1991, according to her biography. She worked as an anchor and reporter for WSVN-TV (FOX) and WPLG-TV (ABC). Most recently, Mitchell had been substitute hosting at WIOD.

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News
8:10 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Hurricane Hunters Fly Into Keys

The hurricane hunter planes made the final stop of their awareness tour in the Keys - even as some crews were already flying into Tropical Storm Ana off the Carolina coast.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Hurricane season began early this year, with Tropical Storm Ana edging along the coast of the Carolinas over the weekend. Which means hurricane-hunter aircraft were already at work, even before some of the fleet had finished its annual awareness tour of the Atlantic coast.

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StateImpact Florida
8:07 am
Mon May 11, 2015

As Florida Reduces Testing, Teacher Evaluation Questions Remain

Broward Teachers Union president Sharon Glickman, with Broward County schools superintendent Robert Runcie, calling for changes to the teacher evaluation system in October.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

Florida lawmakers’ decision to end mandatory final exams for every class will mean that more teachers’ performance will be judged on subjects they don’t teach.

Concerned about the amount of testing in schools -- and pressured by activists and educators -- this year lawmakers rescinded a state law that requires school districts to have a standard final assessment in any class that doesn’t already have a statewide exam. In most cases that’s a test, but it could be a final project or compilation of a student’s work.

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U.S.-Cuba Relations
5:55 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Is U.S.-Cuba Texting The Next Telecom Barrier To Fall?

Cubans using cell phones, which their communist government allowed them to purchase for personal use in 2008.
Credit AP

If you’ve ever tried to send a text message to someone in Cuba, you know that… you can’t do it. But as the U.S. and Cuba normalize relations, a number of telecom barriers between the two countries are coming down. And it looks like the latest is texting.

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