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Airs On WLRN CH 17 Thurs, Jan. 9 @ 9p
6:00 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Il Volo: We Are Love

The three Italian tenors -- 19-year-old Piero Barone, 18-year-old Ignazio Boschetto and 17-year-old Gianluca Ginoble -- known to their fans as Il Volo return to WLRN-TV for their second PBS special, "Il Volo: We Are Love," filmed at The Fillmore on Miami Beach in March.

With special edition album coming out, the Italian trio have been touring since creating a splash with Hollywood actress and director Barbara Streisand  during her fall tour last year.

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Food
2:57 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Forget The Caja China – Give Hallacas A Try This Nochebuena

The Venezuelan hallaca
Credit madrid.olx.es

Gringos like me don’t forget their first hallaca.

Mine was lying on a simple white plate, in the coastal town of Lecherías, Venezuela, on the patio of my future in-laws’ home. It was a soft Caribbean Christmas Eve in 1985.

The tawny tamal was swaddled in smoked banana leaves that reminded me of the lush, exotic foliage of an Henri Rousseau painting. I unwrapped it, cut into it, took a bite – and rediscovered Christmas.

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Snow In Miami
2:57 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

PHOTOS: This Is How South Florida Babies React To Snow

The older children, here a group of 2- to 3-year-olds, are excitedly waiting to play in the snow at a preschool in Little Havana.
Elaine Chen WLRN

When I got an email from my daughter’s preschool, titled "Snow Day!" I was confused. In the Northeast, where I grew up, snow days mean the school is closed. Do South Florida schools use fake snow days as an excuse to close? The message was even more confusing:

Eight tons of SNOW will be delivered to our preschool straight from the North Pole! The cost of bringing in the snow is $1,500.00 so for this special activity the cost per child is only $15.00.

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News
11:21 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Miami Closes Two More Parks Over Potential Soil Contamination

Credit Christine DiMattei

  Two more public parks in Miami are closing after potential contamination was found in the parks' soil.

The city announced Monday that it will close Billy Rolle Domino Park at 3400 Grand Ave. in Coconut Grove, and Southside Park at 100 SW 11th St. near Brickell.

The Department of Environmental Resource Management will collect more samples to determine what's next for the parks.

For the past few months, several Miami-Dade parks have closed because of soil contamination.

In September, Miami-Dade County ordered that all 112 of its parks be inspected.

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Snow In Miami
8:29 am
Tue December 24, 2013

A Snowball's Chance in Hell: What Are The Odds Of A White Christmas In Miami?

The Miami Herald front page from Jan. 20, 1977

This story originally ran Dec. 21, 2012.

Once upon a time, snow fell in Miami.

Seems whenever the weather gets even moderately cold, someone somewhere in South Florida invokes Jan. 19, 1977 -- the day it snowed in Miami.

Not only did the snow make front page news in The Miami Herald, the front page about snow made The Miami Herald Front Pages book

Arnold Markowitz wrote the day's story, the beginning of which reads as follows:

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Healthcare
5:38 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Just As The Website Starts To Struggle, Obamacare Sign-Up Deadline Gets Extended

ALMOST DONE: Navigator Nini Hadwen, right, helps an insurance seeker during a sign-up event at Dadeland Mall.
Credit Rick Stone

The Obama Administration took some of the pressure off health-insurance seekers on Monday, extending the healthcare registration deadline for Jan. 1 coverage until Christmas Eve at midnight. That will also reduce the load on the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov, which was starting to show the strain of high demand.

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Music
5:04 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

SUN SENTINEL: FAU's Vinyl Giveaway Starts Jan. 6

Credit Matthias Rhomberg / Flickr CC

Florida Atlantic University's Recorded Sound Archives at the Wimberly Library will be purged this January. Well, sort of.

The library's sound archive is digitized, and duplicate records or those that don't fit with the school's collection will be given away Jan. 6-10, the Sun Sentinel reports. Possible finds include Glenn Miller, Barbra Streisand, Broadway, Christmas and Jewish albums.

The Nielsen Soundscan reported vinyl to be 2 percent of all albums sold. FAU archivist Ben Roth says the medium has a "warmer sound" than digitally reproduced music.

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StateImpact Florida
3:17 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Test Results Compare Hillsborough, Miami-Dade To Other Large Districts

Brickell Skyline from the Miami River
Credit Adam Mizrahi / Flickr CC

  New testing data shows Hillsborough County schools beat the performance of other large urban school districts in math and reading. Miami-Dade fourth grade readers outscored other large urban districts, but were on par in eighth grade reading and fourth and eighth grade math.

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DCF
2:51 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

It Won't Take Just Money To Reduce Florida's Abused-Child Deaths, Reps Say

Credit FrauSchütze / Flickr CC

In an outdoor press conference on Fort Lauderdale's Sistrunk Boulevard, in front of a large Christmas tree, State Rep. Perry Thurston urged Gov. Rick Scott to provide sufficient funding for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

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The Sunshine Economy
2:46 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

The Reality Of Retail

Owner Lauren Reskin of Miami's Sweat Records.

This program originally aired on Aug. 26, 2013.  

If you've wandered the hallways of the Dadeland or Aventura Malls or walked down Lincoln Road in Miami Beach on a Sunday afternoon, you know shopping in South Florida can be a full contact sport.

South Florida is home to both the biggest outlet mall in the United States (Sawgrass Mills) and the shopping destination generating the highest sales per square foot in the world (Bal Harbour Shops.) The reality of retail is a reflection of two of our most important industries; real estate and tourism.

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Healthcare
8:53 am
Mon December 23, 2013

As Obamacare Deadline Looms, It's Clear Who In Florida Is Uninsured

UPDATE: 3 p.m., Dec. 23: The sign-up deadline for Obamacare, with health insurance effective Jan. 1, has been extended until Dec. 24.  

  For Floridians living without health insurance -- but eligible for Obamacare -- an important deadline is looming Monday, Dec. 23.

It's the last day that they can choose a policy through one of the new federal insurance exchanges if they want their health coverage to kick in on Jan. 1. Meanwhile, the picture on who Florida's uninsured residents are and where they are is becoming clearer.

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DARPA
3:43 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Simple Tasks, Heavy Burdens: Robot Engineers Compete To 'Save Humanity'

THOR OP competes in the terrain task.
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

The Pentagon hosted a robotics competition at the Homestead Miami Speedway over the weekend. It’s being called the "Robot Olympics."

Teams from all over the world came to prove their robots’ agility at the Robotics Challenge trials. The teams whose robots earn the top scores would get a shot at winning $2 million in the finals next year.

But the games are about much more than the cash:

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Americas
2:54 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Latin America's Small Businesses Come To Miami To Thrive

Liliana Arevalo helps run a small company in El Salvador that makes artisanal wines. She has received technical assistance from SBNA-related groups.
Credit YouTube / U.S. State Department / SBNA

Six years ago I visited an indigenous village in southern Mexico called Santa Cruz Mixtepec. It was, or used to be, one of those impoverished rural hamlets that sent most of its population over the U.S. border to find living-wage work.

Until somebody got the bright idea to start promoting small businesses there. Through micro-lending and other assistance, Santa Cruz Mixtepec began sprouting small but viable enterprises. A carpentry shop. An irrigated tomato greenhouse. A window-frame maker.

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Football
2:52 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Dakota Dreams: Liberty City Football Players A Long Way From Home

Credit Miami Herald

It was the kind of cold they could feel in their bones, made worse by 30-mph winds that barreled across the North Dakota plains and whipped between the goal posts.

“At some point, you are going to walk out there, and your body is going to say ‘I’m cold,’” their coach had warned before kickoff. “Your body is going to try to say, ‘I can’t do this right now.’ You ignore that. You ignore that, understood?”

“Yes, sir!” they replied in chorus with their teammates.

But what did four kids from Liberty City know about playing football in freezing temperatures?

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The King's Meat
8:00 am
Sat December 21, 2013

A Word On Food: Roast Beef

Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post by Norman Van Aken.

The very words themselves call up ancient things. I imagine it on the menu that day in the year 1215 when King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede or something Shakespeare’s own mother would have served.

When I fantasize about the words being read in a perfect movie, I hear a voice like Sir Alec Guinness intoning them.

“Roast Beef.”

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