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When the latest “School Grades” were released last week, districts across the state scrambled to portray their results in the most favorable light possible: they focused on rules changes that led to a statewide drop in the proportion of A schools (Miami-Dade), or pointed out the number of schools that had held their A grades steady (Broward); they considered “A and B schools” together as a group.

 

 

laptop
Alan Joyce via Flikr / WLRN

Pass a class, get a free laptop.

 

High schoolers in Monroe County who might fear computer coding now have an incentive to add it to their class schedules.

 

The program Monroe Computes has promised a free laptop to all high school students in the county who successfully take and pass the advanced placement computer science class from Florida Virtual School.

 

The toxic blue-green algae plaguing the Treasure Coast has inspired people to take action against one of Lake Okeechobee's largest pollutants: Big Sugar. Last week, a surf shop in Stuart started a petition asking Publix to stop buying from Florida Big Sugar.

 

“Publix is a Florida-owned company so it's got to be affecting them, the owner, in some way,” said Brent Meinhold, one of the managers of Ohana Surf Shop.

 

Florida Institute for Health Innovation

Floridians with chronic diseases like asthma and COPD may have one more problem to worry about: sea-level rise.

The Health And Sea Level Rise: Impacts on South Florida report released Monday maps out sea-level rise projections alongside health data from Palm Beach County down to the Keys—and there were some surprises about who’s at risk.

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

After a year in Bertha Vasquez’s class at George Washington Carver Middle School, 13-year-old Penny Richards says she reads climate news while she rides the bus to school.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

The wider Panama Canal opened two weeks ago – servicing more massive post-Panamax ships. On Saturday PortMiami received its first vessel of that kind from the Canal. And it may mean a new era for Miami as a world commercial hub.

The Chinese ship MOL Majesty measures almost a thousand feet long and 150 feet wide. Larger than any cargo ship PortMiami has ever seen. Post-Panamax ships like the Majesty can carry three times the cargo of ordinary vessels. And PortMiami was recently dredged down to 50 feet to accommodate them.

Michal Kranz / WLRN

Hundreds of protesters marched to the Broward County Jail chanting, “Black lives matter.”

In Miami, social workers and counselors gently guided a discussion about the trauma black people experience when a black person is killed by a police officer. They called it a healing circle.

After the recent police shootings of two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana, social justice groups and nonprofits quickly rallied to provide outlets in South Florida for communities to cope and protest.

WLRN

WLRN Public Media won nine awards for work produced during 2015 at this year's Public Radio News Directors Inc. annual conference. The honors, part of PRNDI’s highly-competitive national awards competition, were announced during a ceremony June 25 during the organization’s annual conference in St. Louis.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Nicklaus Children's Hospital received multiple phone calls reporting an active shooter and a bomb threat on Friday at around 2:58 p.m., according to the Miami-Dade Police Department. 

The police department's assistant director, Alfredo Ramirez, said the hospital,  at 3100 SW 62nd Ave., responded quickly.

They "immediately implemented their emergency procedures and contacted us," he said. 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Denyse Woods has published five novels that have been translated into six languages.

But she said she was still surprised — and elated — when she learned that she had won the first Florida Keys Flash Fiction contest. Especially when she read the praise for her story from contest judge Karen Russell, author of "Swamplandia."

"I had to lie down for a few minutes," Woods said. "When somebody like that writes about your work in that way ... You need to take three deep breaths and pinch yourself. A lot."

The algae problem in Lake Okeechobee is so bad it can be seen from space. The massive bloom continues fouling waterways on the Treasure Coast as new money is promised to help, but how would those dollars address the blue-green gunk fouling up waterways?

Essay

Dwyane Wade is leaving. After 13 years with the Miami Heat, Wade is leaving the only NBA team he has known. He’s leaving, like LeBron James did two years ago, to return home. In Wade’s case, he’s headed to the Chicago Bulls -- a team he grew up with as a kid in the southern suburbs of that city.

Chicago is a city I spent almost 15 years in before moving to South Florida. Like Wade, I know both places well. They are both special places for those of us lucky to have lived and love them both.

  Miami is the Magic City.

Facebook recently announced it will be making  new changes to its mythical algorithm,  the formula that decides what postings you see in your timeline. According to the company, it will give emphasis to content published by "friends and family" over content published by news organizations and pages that you like. 

In practice, this means that the average user will miss valuable news updates and other content produced by news organizations and other pages.

Many Floridians with disabilities can now enroll in tax-free savings and investment accounts without the threat of the money they save affecting their government benefits.

Under Florida’s Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, or ABLE, qualified disabled residents will be allowed to save up to 14 thousand dollars annually, without the cash impacting their Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid eligibility.

Matt Johnson

Biscayne National Park is about to get 45 acres larger. The Miami-Dade Board of Commissioners approved a transfer of land north of Black Point on Biscayne Bay to the National Park Service this week.

 

The park’s waters have suffered from increasing salinization in recent decades. Caroline McLaughlin, the Biscayne program manager at the National Parks Conservation Association, says the transfer will help to bring freshwater into the park.

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