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Politics
4:24 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Jobs, Education, Tax Cuts Top Priorities In Gov. Rick Scott's Second Term

Gov. Rick Scott greets supporters at a campaign event at Orlando Harley-Davidson in November.
Credit Scott For Florida

Gov. Rick Scott’s inauguration is less than a month away. Scott is only the second Republican governor in Florida history to win reelection. Jeb Bush was the first.

Scott told reporters at the Capitol this week he'll focus on education and tax cuts, as well as growing jobs during his second term. 

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Latin America Report/Herald Wish Book
8:20 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Migrant Farm Worker Family Loses Its Mom — But Not Her Christmas Hopes

Lucas Ajtum at home in Florida City with his children (clockwise from left) Leonardo, Francisca, Margarita and Bani Luz. He's holding a family portrait that included their late mother, Veronica.
Credit Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Cocking her head with an impish grin, 6-year-old Francisca Ajtum gives her holiday voice a spin at home in Florida City.

“I want to wish you a Merry Christmas!” she sings, belting out José Feliciano’s bilingual classic “Felíz Navidad” in equally proficient English and Spanish. Her showmanship elicits giggles and shrieks from her three siblings: Her 8-year-old sister Margarita, brother Leonardo, 7, and her kinetic little sister, Bani Luz, 4.

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Health Care
9:01 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Sheryl Sandberg's Mom Cares About Your Hearing

Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Three years ago, when the noise level at the American Airlines Arena shrieked to a deafening level, fan Adele Sandberg covered her ears and winced. Intent on the fast-paced court action, she didn’t yet know about the growing danger of hearing loss. She didn’t know yet that preventing it would become her passion.

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Miami Police
5:08 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Police Union Denounces Miami Police Chief's Eric Garner Statements

Chief Manuel Orosa (left) and police union president Sgt. Javier Ortiz.
Credit El Nuevo Herald, Miami Herald

Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa weighed in on the deadly encounter between Eric Garner and New York police officers during a television appearance on WPLG's This Week in South Florida.

Orosa said when one of the officers placed Garner in an apparent chokehold, it was improper procedure. He said the grand jury’s recent decision not to indict the officer was a surprise.

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Politics
4:41 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott Faces New Complaint After Release Of Private Emails

Gov. Rick Scott waves to supporters during a campaign stop last month in Lakeland.
Credit Scott For Florida

Gov. Rick Scott could face sanctions over his use of a private email account now that a judge in Tallahassee has given the okay for an additional complaint against Scott relating to public records. 

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Art Basel
3:21 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Traffic, Parking Among Complaints During Art Basel

Paintings by artist Jack Early greet visitors at the VIP opening of Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014.
Credit Al Diaz / Miami Herald

    

Amid all the glowing reviews of Art Basel week, some art lovers also had complaints.

Getting to and from arts shows  was not always a pleasant experience for people who wanted to enjoy the exhibits and happenings this past week.

Parking in Miami Beach, Midtown and Wynwood - where most of the activities were taking place - was almost nonexistent past 5 p.m.

Lyng Ramirez of North Bay Village said she walked for blocks to her destination because  “parking is an issue.”

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News
2:08 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Three Days Of Police Brutality Protests In South Florida

Protestors in Miami on Sunday walk on a deserted I-195.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Until this past weekend South Florida had been relatively quiet amid a large, nationwide protest movement in response to several killings by police officers.

That changed Friday, when around 400 protesters shut down Interstate-195 in Miami. It was rush hour during Art Basel weekend.

There was a smaller protest in Fort Lauderdale -- around 100 people -- on Saturday and another Sunday in Miami maxing out at 200 people.

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StateImpact Florida
11:56 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Why First-Generation Students Find It Tougher To Earn A College Degree

Cecilia, one of the students featured in "First Generation," will be in Miami for a screening Tuesday. This is a still from the documentary.
Credit Courtesy of "First Generation."

Students who are the first in their family to attend college often have a more difficult time finishing their degree.

Research shows those students know less about how to get into and pay for college. They're also less likely to take tough high school courses needed to prepare for college.

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News
11:43 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Miami’s Last Cop Shooting Conviction Left A Legal Legacy

Protests continued during the trial of Miami police office William Lozano. On a day before a guilty verdict in his 1989 trial, Asi Niamaya and James Mackey helped carry mock coffin through Overtown during a "Victory March". There were two coffins, symbolizing the two motorcyclists killed by Officer Lozano.
Credit C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald File

 In a city long torn by racial tension, a uniformed police officer fatally shot a black man. Days of upheaval and rioting riveted the nation.

A series of investigations scrutinized the officer’s use of deadly force. He claimed self-defense. Would the cop face criminal charges?

The case that exploded in Miami in 1989 still resonates today, echoing the murky, racially charged confrontation that has put a 24/7 media spotlight on the small Missouri town of Ferguson.

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Coding
8:25 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Miami-Dade Students To Learn Basics Of Coding Through International Program

Kids throughout Miami-Dade will be learning the basics of coding this week.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

 This week, Miami-Dade schools will participate in Code.org's Hour of Code initiative. School board member Raquel Regalado says Florida high-tech jobs are growing, and students need to be ready. 

She stresses that for today's kids coding will become like typing was to earlier generations.

"In the same way that right now we all handle our own email, this generation is going to handle their own apps, their own basic web development," says Regalado.

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Art And Business
12:06 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Art And The Sunshine Economy

VIPs and media make their way to the 2014 opening of Art Basel Miami Beach. The art fair, which began in 2002, is credited with bringing a global art audience to South Florida each December.
Credit Tom Hudson

    

There are plenty of ways to measure the meaning of art: aesthetic value, emotion resonance, ticket sales, auction price, jobs. South Florida's art economy is young but growing.

Communities have invested hundreds of millions of public dollars in performing arts centers and museums, cultural programs and outreach efforts. The arts are embedded in the promise of South Florida marketed to visitors.

And increasingly, South Florida artists are appearing on the world's stage. 

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HARP
11:51 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Refinancing For Underwater Homes Ends Next Year

Federal Housing Finance Agency hosted a panel discussion at Miami Dade College North Campus about HARP for borrowers whose homes are underwater. From left to right: Laura Reichel of Ditech Mortgage Corporation; Robert Koller of Fannie Mae; Yvette Gilmore of Freddie Mac; Mark McArdle of the Homeownership Preservation Office; and Joseph Cvelbar of Consolidated Credit Solutions, Inc.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The Home Affordable Refinance Program, HARP, is rolling into its last year.

The program run by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is a critical help for some South Florida homeowners.

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Transportation
11:49 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Uber Expands Throughout Florida, Still Faces Legal Battles In South Florida

An Uber graphic touting their new expansion through Florida.
Credit Graphic by Uber. Color darkened by WLRN for clarity.

From Pensacola to Key West, the ride-sharing company Uber announced that its app-based service -- specifically its lower cost "uberX" service -- will now be available in dozens of new locations around Florida including Naples, Sarasota, Fort Myers and the Florida Keys.

"Now we’re nearly everywhere in Florida," an announcement claimed on the company's blog. "As of today, over 82 percent of Floridians have access to Uber!"

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News
10:55 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

#ShutItDown Protest Of Police Killings Blocks Art Basel Traffic

At the closing of the protest, a line of people stood holding a sign saying "black lives matter."
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

Protests in Miami and Fort Lauderdale shared the spotlight with Art Basel this weekend.

During Friday rush hour, around 400 people gathered in Midtown Miami, eventually moving to completely block Interstate-195.

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The End of the Road
10:29 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Blazing The Waze: FDOT Is The Traffic App’s First U.S. Partner

Earlier this year the Florida Department of Transportation entered into a partnership with the traffic data company Waze. The Israeli startup, now owned by Google, lets “Wazers” use a smartphone app to report the location of crashes, congestion, potholes, road kill and police officers among many other things.

The agreement is purely a “data-sharing” partnership. Waze gets access to the stream of information produced by the road sensors FDOT uses to monitor traffic flow on Florida’s major highways. And FDOT gets access to the myriad reports filed by Wazers.

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