9:43 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Florida Supreme Court Sides With House In Session Departure

April 28, 2015 - House Speaker Steve Crisafulli strikes the gavel, abruptly adjourning the House's legislative session three days early.

The Florida Supreme Court has sided with the House of Representatives in a lawsuit filed by Florida Senate Democrats. The House left Tallahassee three days before the scheduled end of session because no agreement could be reached on a budget. 

Democrats in the Senate wanted the court to force House members back to Tallahassee for more session work, but the court denied the motion.

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4:01 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Conference Gives Leadership Training For Transgender Rights

An attendee of the LGBTQ task force summit at Unity on the Bay.
Credit Diego Saldana-Rojas / For WLRN

The National LGBTQ Task Force held a conference focusing on advocacy for transgender and non-gender-conforming individuals Friday in Miami. Attendees at the Unity on the Bay building in midtown were instructed on how to canvass neighborhoods and given leadership training.

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3:14 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Children's Advocates Mourn Dead Bills

Credit John Liu / Flickr CC

  Children's issues had a rocky legislative session, thanks in part to its abrupt ending.

One proposal that would have boosted health and safety standards for early-education programs (SB 7006 and HB 7017) died for the second straight year. Supporters said the proposal's failure means leaving some kids in risky situations.

"It was a major disappointment," said Ted Granger, executive director of the United Way of Florida. "The failure to pass these bills ensures that those children are going to be staying in unsafe places for another year."

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2:23 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

#FLHouseMovieTitles Mock Legislature's Early Adjournment

In response to the Florida House abruptly adjourning its 2015 session three days early, the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times invited their audiences to modify movie titles and tweet them with the hashtag #FLHouseMovieTitles.

Here are some of the ones that stood out to us:

Panelists discussed the legislative session on the Florida Roundup Friday, May 1.

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11:28 am
Fri May 1, 2015

PIN Analyst/Digital Strategist

Station: WLRN Public Media
Company: South Florida Public Media
FLSA Status: Full-time, Exempt
Reports to: Digital editor
Schedule: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday - Friday or as assigned
Location: Miami/Doral, Florida

To apply:

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11:23 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Florida Roundup: A Surprise To The 2015 Legislative Session

Credit Steven Martin / Flickr/Creative Commons

A twist to the end of the state legislative session means lawmakers need to reconvene again. 

Legislative Session

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Health Care
9:11 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

LIP Service: Hearings On How To Pay For The Uninsured Come To South Florida

Jackson Health President and CEO Carlos Migoya addresses the LIP Hearing in Doral Thursday.
Credit Tim Padgett / WLRN

How will Florida keep paying healthcare costs for its poor and uninsured? That issue has brought the state legislative session to a halt. But it’s getting public hearings this week. On Thursday, the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration brought the discussion to Doral - and South Floridians are especially anxious.

Florida’s $2 billion low-income pool – or LIP – is a joint federal-state program that reimburses hospitals for treating uninsured patients. The feds want the state to end LIP and instead expand access to Medicaid for some 850,000 Floridians under Obamacare.

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8:18 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

A New World Grad Overcomes The Odds

Damion Bradbury is on his way to the Garth Fagan Dance Company after graduating from New World School of the Arts Tuesday.
Credit Courtesy Damion Bradbury

Before the pianist plays the final arrangement, Damion Bradbury stands in the front row of the New  World School of the Arts dance studio towering over most of his fellow dancers at 6'4".

His feet are tuned out in a “V” shape, first position. His long arms hang by his side.

The piano notes waft through the room.

Gerard Ebitz, a ballet teacher at the school, talks the students through what will be the last reverence at New World for the 2015 senior class.

There is a solemn feel to this dance sequence performed at the end of every ballet class. 

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8:59 am
Thu April 30, 2015

To Get More Customers, Small Businesses Bake Social Media Strategy

Brenda Shapiro sets up a LibbyLicious display table, part of a "Ladies Night Out" fundraiser for a South Florida Kosher food bank.
Credit Kenny Malone / WLRN

In the middle of the night, Brenda Shapiro woke up and thought: “LibbyLicious.” The prefect name for a small baking business built from a mandelbread recipe handed down by her husband’s grandmother, Grandma Libby.

Unfortunately, the South Florida baker did not wake up with a social media strategy.

“This is why I have my daughter-in-law do this for me,” Shapiro says. “I’m busy baking, delivering, packaging, going out and selling my cookies myself. I’m a one-person show.”

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8:48 am
Thu April 30, 2015

What The Budget Standoff In Tallahassee Means For Florida

January 28, 2015 - House Speaker Steve Crisafulli looks on as Senate President Andy Gardiner tells reporters in Tallahassee about their plans for the legislation session.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli surprised lawmakers Tuesday when he abruptly adjourned the chamber three days before the legislative session was scheduled to end. He did so because the House and Senate are far apart on a budget plan.

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Latin America Report
11:28 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Don Quixote At 400: Why The Spanish Loon Flies Higher Than Ever

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
Credit Gustave Dore / Wikimedia Commons

En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme...

Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember...

-opening to "Don Quixote"

Anyone who’s grown up under communism can appreciate Cuban émigré Erisbel Tavio’s taste in books.

To survive totalitarian governments, and occasionally stand up to them, it helps to be a little insane. And there’s no more heroic nut in all of literature than Don Quixote, the protagonist of the classic novel of the same name by Spanish author Miguel Cervantes.

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Vacation Rentals
6:00 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Keys Tourism Agency Calls For Crackdown On Unlicensed Rentals

Tourism in the Florida Keys is booming — which means there's a high demand for vacation rentals, licensed or not. The Keys tourism agency recommends local governments crack down on the unlicensed units.
Credit Bob Krist / Florida Keys News Service

The tourism industry in the Florida Keys is booming with high occupancy and record-high room rates this season. Still, the Monroe County Tourist Development Council this week released a report (see it at the end of this post) on unlicensed vacation rentals and rental scams, calling for a crackdown by local governments.

The Keys have 15,000 licensed lodging units — that includes hotel rooms, campsites and homes with licenses for short-term rentals. In most of the Keys, short-term is defined as less than a month.

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2:26 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Tri-Rail Plagued With Delays

Tri-Rail has suffered from a 58-percent on-time rate.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Phillip Pessar (

Over the past month, the commuter rail service Tri-Rail has been plagued with delays, including a number of fatal collisions with cars and pedestrians, and mechanical breakdowns.

This has resulted in an on-time rate of about 58 percent, a far cry from the 90-percent-rate industry standard Tri-Rail strives for.

The delays are in part due to a long-anticipated takeover of operations of the train’s rail corridor.

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11:16 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Miami Blog Helps Women Embrace Their Cancer Scars

Lori Cuellar, left, is posing with her daughter, Renee Cuellar, right.
Credit Leslie Lyn / Wear To Now

A Miami-based blog is featuring fashion shoots with women who have battled cancer. It’s called Wear To Now. The women get photo shoots with professional hair, makeup and styling for free. The blog is trying to help women embrace their scars.

Lori Cuellar posed for the camera at Matheson Hammock Park. The morning sun was hitting her. Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline were in the background.

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Law Enforcement
4:19 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Training South Florida Police Officers In Mental Health

Catherine Daniels Brown (left) and Marsha Brown (right) son Lavall Hall was shot dead by police in Miami Gardens. The officers were trained in dealing with mentally ill people.
Credit José A. Iglesias / Miami Herald

The Miami-Dade Crisis Intervention Team trains police officers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties on how to respond to calls that involve someone who is mentally ill.

The CIT had trained more than 4,500 police officers across 35 police departments.

In February, 25-year-old Lavall Hall was killed by a Miami Gardens police officer. He suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Police say Hall was carrying a broom and attacked two officers.

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