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6:24 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Want To Buy A Prison? You're In Luck

The prison might make a nice renovation project for the right person.
Credit Creative Commons via WikiCommons / Illustration by Wilson Sayre

UPDATE 6/2/2014: The City of Pembrook Pines has won their bid for the empty prison. Mayor Frank Ortis says the City wanted to control what happened with the land which is not far from houses that fall within city limits.

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A 66-acre plot of land off Sheridan Street has excellent security features, and it will soon be on the market. The Broward County Correctional Institution, a former women’s prison, is being sold off by the state.

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Election Results
2:08 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

The Ballots Are Counted In Boca

Newly elected Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie.
Credit Haynie campaign

Elections are over in Boca Raton. The fight for mayor ended with Susan Haynie defeating Anthony Majhess with 57 percent of the vote. This was the first mayoral race in recent Boca history that pitted two City Council members against each other. 

Haynie has also served as Deputy Mayor and sits on several transportation planning boards, while Majhess is a professional firefighter in Palm Beach County. The biggest issue in the mayoral race had to do with building and expansion. Boca residents say with Haynie as mayor, the city will see much more urban development.

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Miami Stories
2:05 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

The Many Different Smiles That Make Up Miami

Oliveira with his daughter when he first moved to Miami.

This story, as told by Marcos Oliveira, is part of an oral history series. 

My experience here in Miami has shown me that here you have the opportunity to make relationships with many kinds of people. This gives you ample possibility to be flexible with people and at the same time with yourself. 

Why? Well at the same time that you’re at a meeting, you can sit in a table with someone that’s from Colombia, another from Venezuela, another from Chile, another from here in Miami, another from Europe. Then you have to maintain a dialogue with those kind of people.

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The Florida Roundup
11:30 am
Fri March 14, 2014

SunLife Stadium Renovations: How About Now?

Credit Original photo from Miami Dolphins with added pizzazz by Kenny Malone

The Miami Dolphins renovate plans to fix-up SunLife stadium. Stadium and team owner Stephen Ross offers to pay for up to $400 million in renovations - if - he gets a break on property taxes.  Ross says it’s again about bringing the Super Bowl back to town, but that doesn’t comfort the City of Miami Gardens and the school board that are looking at losing $1 million each in lost property revenue.

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Storytelling
6:37 am
Fri March 14, 2014

This Floridian Life: Ira Glass On Our Weird Stories

Ira Glass, host of This American Life, says Florida is one of the best places there is to tell stories -- and also, very 'F'd up'.
Credit Stuart Mullenberg

There's been an ongoing debate among the staff in our newsroom about whether Florida really is weirder than the other states.  In December, we set out to produce a feature -- one segment -- about the weirdest stories of the year. Those stories spilled into three separate segments, and we could have easily kept going. But still, maybe it  just seems like we're weirder because this is where we are, this is what we know. Isn't New Orleans weird? Isn't Chicago?

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The Legislature
7:09 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Legislators, Who Want Voters To Make The Gambling Decisions: 'We Stink At This!'

Credit Bruno Belcastro on Flickr

In Tallahassee, the House package of gambling legislation includes a measure that would prevent the Florida Legislature from ever again making a big gambling decision. Click below to hear reporter Rick Stone's radio story on a possible cry for help from lawmakers who don’t think they’re any good at lawmaking. 

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Soccer In Miami
6:02 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Why Beckham's Soccer Team Would Not Meet The Miami Fusion's Fate

Credit Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

Soccer brings people together around the world unlike any other sport.

I grew up in England playing it for fun. Since I was young, I found the game gave me something in common with people from different places. When talking to someone from Holland or Argentina, it helped to break down the language barrier and learn about different cultures.

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to Ronaldo or Messi.

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Education
4:52 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

The Urban League Of Greater Miami Wants 'School Choice' For Liberty City

Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The Urban League of Greater Miami wants parents to consider sending their children to charter schools. The organization hosted a town hall in Miami Wednesday night to build support for their idea of "school choice."  

T. Willard Fair is the League's president. He says charter schools abide by  contracts promising to produce certain outcomes, and if they fail, the contracts get canceled. 

"What would happen if every poor performing school in Liberty City had to sign a contract? They all would be closed up," says Fair. 

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Arts Preview
4:31 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Jazz In The Gardens Fest Mostly R&B, Hip-Hop -- But For A Reason

Credit Courtesy of Jazz in the Gardens

South Florida’s Jazz in the Gardens festival kicks off this weekend at SunLife Stadium. Now in its ninth year, the festival has a line-up of mostly funk, hip-hop, and R&B artists.

So the event is hardly about jazz and not in a garden. 

But the city of Miami Gardens originally launched the festival as a purely jazz event.

According to the festival’s senior operations director, Ula Zucker-Williams, that idea lasted exactly one year:

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Museums
4:15 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

North Miami's MOCA Possibly Merging With Bass Museum

Credit Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami

Fans of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami might soon need to cross the bay to their get art fix.

In a city council meeting Tuesday, North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau said she met with museum board members and learned of their plans to move MOCA's collections and operations to the Bass Museum in Miami Beach.  

Both museums have not formally stated a plan to merge but officials have mentioned they are both in on-going conversations.  

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Marriage Law
1:44 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

ACLU Sues Florida For The Rights Of Married Same-Sex Couples

Credit Peetje2 / Creative Commons/Flickr

  A new lawsuit challenging part of Florida’s ban on gay marriage has been filed in a federal district court in Tallahassee.

The ACLU of Florida is representing 8 same-sex couples who say their U.S. constitutional rights are being violated because Florida doesn’t recognize their out-of-state marriages. The lawsuit names Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and two other state officials as defendants.

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Events
7:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

More Made In Miami Conferences

Eric Baca at the 2012 Hispanicize conference.
Credit Latino Leaders Magazine

South Florida has always been a prime location for out-of-town conferences and conventions. But recently there's  a growing number of local organizations putting together these events from their own backyard. 

Miami-based conferences are pulling in major corporate sponsors and attendees from all over the world and speakers from the White House, Google and Facebook.

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Dept. Of Children And Families
4:30 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

DCF's Problems Partly About Lack Of Better-Educated Workers, Legislators Say

Hollywood Democrat Eleanor Sobel is chair of the Senate committee on Children and Families: "We are proud of this [bill] that will save lives of many many children in the state of Florida."
Credit Florida House of Representatives

 

A state Senate committee agrees that one of the keys to fixing persistent child welfare problems at Florida's Department of Children and Families is more and better-trained caseworkers. The panel has passed a group of bills with a package of solutions for a very troubled system.

Here's WLRN reporter Rick Stone's radio story.

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Sunshine Economy
3:35 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Interviewing By Eating: 5 Questions for CEO Felecia Hatcher

Credit Tom Hudson

Felecia Hatcher is co-founder and “chief popsicle” of Feverish Pops, a gourmet popsicle company based in Miami. Hatcher says she is “obsessed with desserts” and, as proof of that passion, she points out that she was married at a donut shop in Portland, Oregon.  

Hatcher began the popsicle company after getting fired from her marketing job with Nintendo.

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Transportation
2:56 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

More Cheeks On Seats Of South Florida's Public Transit

More people are riding on South Florida's public transportation.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user interbeat

A new ridership report from the American Public Transportation Association says overall, more people are using public transportation in South Florida than last year, specifically in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Pompano Beach.

In Miami, bus and MetroMover numbers were up from last year. Way up was the MetroRail ridership, which increased by 10 percent.

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