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And Crime Writers Weigh In
1:00 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

In Key West, Graveyard Thief Flouts Police, Becomes Celebrity

An image capture from security footage of the Key West Graveyard Thief.
Credit John Martini

Over the last year, the small, two-house compound in Old Town Key West where John Martini lives has been robbed at least four times.

“We've kind of lost count, as a matter of fact,” he said. “The first time or two, maybe he hit us and we didn't even know ... because he only stole cash, and he stole it out of our wallets and put our wallets back in the same place.”

Once Martini realized they were being robbed, he installed locks on his doors, something he hadn't done since he moved in in 1978. When the compound was robbed again, they installed a security-camera system.

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Landmark Architecture
11:44 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Take A Virtual Tour Of Broward County's Main Library

This exterior view of the building was taken from the middle of southeast first Ave., a few yards south of southeast first street . The bridge visible in the lower left frame connects the library to a municipal parking lot.
Diego Saldana-Rojas WLRN

With its asymmetrical exterior shape, dark, contrasting windows and floating staircases; the Broward County Main Library in Fort Lauderdale separates itself from surrounding buildings.

The library was recently awarded landmark status by the county despite being currently under several remodeling and construction projects.

To see what's so cool about the the 29-year-old, eight-story building, click through the photos above to take a virtual tour.

Opinion
11:32 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Cursive Writing Is Just One Casualty Of Common Core And Modern Education

Most school districts no longer require students to learn how to write in cursive. Since the 1970s, fewer and fewer people see the importance of curlicues.
Credit Neyda Borges

Every October, high-school students across the country take the PSAT, or Practice SAT, a standardized test developed by College Board that provides high school students a chance to enter scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools.

But, it wasn’t the algebraic equations that terrified the kids. It was the cursive. 

Seriously.

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StateImpact Florida
10:59 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Three Education Questions For Senate President Don Gaetz

Senate President Don Gaetz doesn't want in-state tuition for undocumented students. He does like the idea of university performance funding.
Credit Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

Florida’s move toward Common Core standards in schools is sure to be discussed during the upcoming legislative session.

Lawmakers will also consider allowing undocumented college students to pay cheaper, in-state tuition. Plus, state universities that improve their graduation rates may be able to boost their funding.

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The End Of The Road
6:56 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Why You Don't Get Speeding Tickets From Your SunPass (And Why @EvanBenn Owes Us)

An FHP trooper in one of the few places on 95 Express where the shoulder is wider than eight feet.
Credit Kenny Malone

Two weeks ago we brought you a story about how the Florida Highway Patrol has been flooded with complaints about unchecked speeding in the I-95 Express Lanes. As FHP explained, there's only so much they can do given the abnormally narrow shoulders in those lanes.

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Business
4:45 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Friday Business Report Revisits Innovation Jobs Program In South Florida

Ronald Herbas is on the right in a dark suit.
Credit courtesy Ronald Herbas

Last fall, an innovation training program called StartupQuest launched in South Florida. Full time employees were not welcome. It was specifically for folks who were out of work or underemployed.

The goal of the program was to help people get new technology skills -- and jobs.

When you hear the words "technology" or "innovation," you might picture a kid, in a hoodie, coding all night at a computer. But in this program, the average age of participants was 51, and almost everyone had a master’s degree and decades of experience.

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Stamps And Romance
3:25 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

For $50,000, You Can Buy Your Valentine This Victorian Love Letter

Clara Dwight Marsh received a love letter from Samuel Eager in 1857.
Credit American Stamp Dealers Association

There are many ways to send a Valentine's Day greeting in 2014 -- text, email, social media.

But in 1857, there weren't so many.

A passionate love letter from Samuel Eager to Clara Dwight Marsh is being displayed at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Convention Center.

The Sun Sentinel reports that the tiny letter along with a rare stamp is on display at the American Stamp Dealers Association convention.

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Parasailing
12:45 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Victims Of Parasailing Accidents Beg Lawmakers For Stronger Regulations

Shannon Kraus cries during a news conference at the Capitol Thursday. Her teenage daughters were in a parasailing accident in 2007 in Pompano Beach. Amber White was killed and Crystal White suffered permanent injuries.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

A series of deaths and injuries may lead to stronger oversight of Florida’s parasailing industry. Victims and their families are lobbying lawmakers in Tallahassee for help.

Crystal White was 17-years-old when she and her younger sister went parasailing in Pompano Beach in 2007. White says she remembers the boat operator talking about bad weather approaching, but he sent them up anyway. Then, the wind picked up.

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The Florida Roundup
11:24 am
Fri February 14, 2014

How Jimmy Ryce's Death Changed The Way We Treat Sex Predators

Nine year-old Jimmy Ryce was raped and killed by Juan Carlos Chavez in Redland in 1995.
Credit courtesy of the Ryce family / Miami Herald

Nineteen years after the crime, Jimmy Ryce’s killer has been put to death. Juan Carlos Chavez is the second death row inmate to be executed in Florida this year, as state legislators look to strengthen sexual predator laws, enacted after Ryce’s killing.

This week on the Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson will discuss the Ryce case with Fernando Vila of Fusion, Tia Mitchell of the Tampa Bay Times, Amy Driscoll and Juan Vasquez of the Miami Herald and Rhema Thompson of WJCT Public Radio in Jacksonville. 

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Weekend Activities
8:49 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Third Annual Art Wynwood Celebrates Street Art On Presiden'ts Day Weekend

Victoria Martinez Hart and Art Wynwood

This weekend, 70 galleries from all over the world -- including 17 galleries from South Florida -- will feature modern works from emerging street artists in the third annual Art Wynwood.

The event celebrates the legitimacy and rising popularity of street art and graffiti -- Art Wynwood also claims to be the only street art fair in the world. Organizers intend to give street artists a platform to show their works to an international audience.

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They Loved Us, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
8:11 am
Fri February 14, 2014

How The Beatles Stole Miami's Heart (And Vice Versa)

The Beatles came to Florida in 1964.
Credit State Archives of Florida / floridamemory.com

Suffice it to say, almost everyone tries to score a trip to South Florida in February.

And, in February of 1964, that was true of the band almost everyone wanted to see: The Beatles.

Trade Liverpool for the swimming pool -- that's what John, Paul, George and Ringo did.

Fresh off their record-setting performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Beatles made one more stop in Washington, D.C. for their first public U.S. concert.

But Sullivan the showman knew what he had. And he wasn't letting it go so quick.

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Love, Art, Hurricanes
7:28 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Woman Hates Songwriter's Big Hit, Marries Him Anyway

Jodi & Zach Ziskin today: she loves the man but hates his song
Courtesy of Jodi and Zach Ziskin

This is a story about a song. So you really kind of have to hear it. Check it out: 

Just before Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc in Miami-Dade County in 1992, Zach Ziskin had left South Florida for the Berklee College of Music in Boston. His cousin, Bruce Berman, rode out the storm in a closet in Country Walk, while the house he was in blew apart all around him. 

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The Sunshine Economy
2:47 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

5 Questions For Invizio's Kevin Michael: South Florida 'Fiercely Competitive'

Invizio co-founder Kevin Michael says South Florida is not all fun-in-the-sun and is more competitive than some might think.
Credit Tom Hudson

 

In our 5 Questions series, we ask local entrepreneurs and CEOs how they got where they are and what they think of the business community in South Florida.   

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Heritage
12:20 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Hear Florida's Black History Through Song

Miami Beach after the 1926 Miami Hurricane.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The unnamed hurricane that devastated South Florida in 1926 left hundreds dead and caused an economic crisis. The powerful storm remained in the minds of survivors and their descendants for years. In 1940, it was commemorated in song by a group of black men from Kenansville, Fla.

You can listen to the rare recording below, because the Library of Congress last week released it and several other old-Florida folk hymns as part of its "Songs of America" series.  The 80,000 tracks pan a century of American culture, with several pieces from Florida.

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Opinion
8:14 am
Thu February 13, 2014

America, Florida Want Cuba Policy Change Because They Want Change In Cuba

Cuban women walk by wall graffiti in Havana.
Credit Flickr

A major poll released Monday confirms most Americans, and especially Floridians, feel it’s time to normalize relations with communist Cuba after more than a half century of Cold-War rupture.

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