In 1961, Robert Frost became the first poet to read at a U.S. inauguration when he recited "The Gift Outright" at President John F. Kennedy's swearing in. Since then, only three other poets have taken part in subsequent inaugural ceremonies: Maya Angelou, Miller Williams and Elizabeth Alexander. Now, there's a fifth.
When Gov. Rick Scott recently listed ways he thinks Florida could reduce voting difficulties and long polling lines, he drew the most attention for a change of course in suggesting that more early voting might help.
But another idea Scott raised may have more far-reaching implications for public policy in Florida, and might even be more difficult to accomplish than the politically volatile suggestion about early voting.
All week long we've been bringing you the story of Fabienne Jean, a dancer who lost her leg in the earthquake in Haiti three years ago this month.
A prosthetic technician from Boston heard her story and fitted Fabienne with a fake leg. He tried to help Fabienne recover in other ways too. He hatched plans to help her start her business, buy a house and open a dance studio to raise money for Haitian amputees.
But as reporter Jacob Kushner discovered, Fabienne's recovery has been a slow, frustrating process.
When you walk into artist Pablo Cano’s Red Velvet Theater in Little Havana, you are greeted by the most elegant of ladies — Marie Antoinette herself. The larger-than-life marionette welcomes you with her tightly corseted waist, lifted bosom and fine European lips.
Still undecided about whether to repair or permanently shut down an idled nuclear-power plant, Progress Energy Florida faces the likelihood of eventually refunding up to $100 million to customers.
The refunds stem from a wide-ranging settlement agreement that Progress reached in early 2012 with representatives of consumers and business groups. Under that settlement, the utility would not have been subject to refunding money if it started repairs on the Crystal River nuclear plant by Dec. 31.
Advocates for working folk haven’t had a lot of luck establishing a right to paid sick leave in Florida.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan's proposal was defeated last year and, in Orlando, Orange County commissioners found a way to avoid a sick time referendum, even though 50,000 residents had won a ballot spot, fair and square, with their signatures on a petition.
Republican State Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla of Miami was an early and enthusiastic supporter of cutting back Florida's early voting period from 14 to 8 days in 2011. He called it a "voter friendly" bill that would save money.
"Generally, early voting in Miami-Dade County has not been very efficient, " Diaz de la Portilla said at the time. "What you see more often than not is that there is a trickle of two or three people a day at a very high cost to keep those public libraries and polls open. ... We felt it was an efficiency measure."
Next time you go to the Everglades you'll have the option to pick up an anti-vulture kit.
The park is offering the kits so people can protect their cars against vultures during the winter months. The black vultures sometimes rip the rubber and vinyl parts--such as windshield wipers and sunroof seals--off of cars.
Yesterday we began the story of Fabienne Jean, a dancer who lost her leg in the earthquake that devastated Haiti three years ago this month. A prosthetic technician from Boston promised to help Fabienne dance again. But he didn't stop there. He wanted to help her put the rest of her life back together too.
In the second part of our week-long series, Jacob Kushner tells us how difficult their task would become.
Evidently at its wits' end over the Burmese pythons swarming the Everglades, Florida has declared a month-long snake season for armed amateurs. They'll go into the 'Glades to compete for cash prizes by killing as many as they can.
A South Florida lawmaker filed legislation Friday to repeal the law allowing the use of red light cameras, following a report earlier this week that says intersections where they're used have seen drops in crashes in most places.
Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, seeks to end the use of the cameras, saying they unfairly dole out tickets to people who can't defend themselves, noting that malfunctioning cameras can't be cross-examined.
Part I: Three years after the earthquake in Haiti, Fabienne Jean is still rebuilding a life.
The earthquake that struck Haiti three years ago this month sent a concrete wall crashing down onto the 30-year-old dancer Fabienne Jean. Her right leg was crushed and had to be amputated. When Fabienne danced again, she was hailed as a symbol of Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery.
But as reporter Jacob Kushner discovered, the quest to rebuild one woman’s life would take much more than that.
As time goes forward, the histories of the place names that we know become obscured. After some amount of time they take a life of their own as names become places, and we scarcely think of the individual.
Among the more than 80 House freshmen who were sworn in this week, there were several who had been there before — including Florida Democrat Alan Grayson.
After starting his first term four years ago, Grayson quickly made a name for himself with biting comments targeting Republicans — like when he said during the health care debate: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."
His national stature, however, didn't prevent him from being defeated in 2010. But now Grayson is back.
Bill Andrews from Hollywood says the landmark that best represents Broward is the Broadwalk in Hollywood: "there are plenty of other cities--very nice tourist locations--in Broward besides Ft. Lauderdale."
Credit Andrew Leone
Andrew Leone from Fort Lauderdale says the county is defined by its beaches.
Credit Elizabeth Wentworth
Elizabeth Wentworth from Fort Lauderdale thinks that the new name "Lauderdale County" would increase community pride and the place that best represents the County: Riverwalk in Fort Lauderdale.
Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca wants to transform Broward County by changing its name. LaMarca says many outside Florida don't recognize "Broward" and associate Fort Lauderdale with fun in the sun. He plans to propose the name Lauderdale County, an idea that will be debated next week in a function hosted by the Tower Forum, a Broward (soon to be Lauderdale?) non-profit business organization. Miami-Dade changed its name in 1997.
The Obama Administration has announced another significant reset of national deportation law that could allow hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to apply for legal residency without leaving the country.
It was another use of the president's executive power, analysts say, to soften the ground for major legislative immigration reforms ahead.
The new policy applies to immigrants who are spouses, parents or children of U. S. citizens and would otherwise face long family separations under the previous process of applying for residency.
All this week, we've been looking at the continuing foreclosure crisis sure crisis in Florida. Today, we check in back in with one woman who fears losing her home.
While there are many federal, state and private bank programs to modify troubled mortgages, each requires the lender to agree.
Unlike the more than 260 lenders in Florida who are helping, Marla Popkin’s mortgage holder won’t. Popkin is an Occupational Therapist in Miami. Work is slow and she has come into some rough times. Now she's trying to save her home.