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4:06 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Government Watchdog Finds $1 Billion In Savings For Florida Taxpayers

Florida Taxwatch has come up with suggested cost savings for the state for the last five years. Lawmakers and the governor have acted on $4.2 billion in recommended savings so far.
Credit Jordan Michael/WLRN

Florida TaxWatch, a nonprofit government watchdog group, is out with its annual list of ways the state can cut costs and be more efficient -- without cutting services.

The report, called Modern Management & Sensible Savings, found $1.2 billion that could potentially be returned to state coffers. Lawmakers could act on the recommendations when they convene for the annual legislative session next spring.

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Education
1:34 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Broward County School Board Signs Agreement Aimed At Reducing On-Campus Arrests

The Broward County Public School Board aims to decrease the rate of arrests in public schools.
Credit Rachel Morello / WLRN

The Broward County School board teamed up with a group of community partners Tuesday to sign a collaborative agreement on school discipline. The agreement, first of its kind, establishes new guidelines for handling non-violent misdemeanor offenses on school campuses, outlining when law enforcement is necessary and when problems can be handled through school resources.

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Local Elections
10:36 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Miami-Dade County Election Highlights

Below, we've compiled a list of notable results in Tuesday's Miami-Dade County elections, including the chosen mayors for Homestead, Hialeah, Miami and Miami Beach.

RELATED: Do South Florida Mayors Do Anything?

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City Planning
8:56 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Fort Lauderdale Votes To Extend Sistrunk Boulevard Farther East

About $15 million of city, county and federal funds have been invested in a massive revitalization of the Sistrunk corridor.
Credit FortLauderdale.gov

In most big cities, altering a street sign is not much cause for fanfare.  But Fort Lauderdale’s decision to re-brand one particular street is being hailed by many in the city’s African-American community.

City commissioners decided Tuesday night that the name “Sistrunk Boulevard” will no longer stop near the railroad tracks, a segregation-era dividing line between the city’s black and white communities.  Sistrunk will now appear along with Northeast Sixth Street on signs running through Flagler Village, a section quickly gentrifying into a predominantly white neighborhood.

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StateImpact Florida
6:45 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Speakers Defend Jacksonville School Named For KKK’s First Grand Wizard

Nathan Bedford Forrest was the Confederate general who oversaw the Fort Pillow Massacre.
Credit New York Public Library

A petition to change the name of Jacksonville’s Nathan B. Forrest High School—whose namesake was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan—has reached more than 160,000 names.

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Americas
8:07 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Miami Versus Pinochet: As Chile Holds An Election, It Recalls Justice in Florida

Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship killed or "disappeared" roughly 3,000 Chileans.
Credit Center for Justice and Accountability

Chile’s northern Atacama Desert is arguably the driest place on Earth. In some parts of it, rainfall has never even been recorded.

Which means, if you’re a mass murderer, it’s also a fairly dumb place to bury your victims.

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Miami History
7:22 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Cafe Pilon: From Door-To-Door Peddling To The American Dream

Credit Alex Villar

Cuban coffee -- in white styrofoam containers, its brown liquid leaking through the lid, accompanied by tall stacks of thimble-like cups -- is everywhere in Miami.

If you talk to the drinkers at small cafeteria windows called "ventanitas," the older Cubans will say you’re not Cuban if you don’t drink the coffee. To round out the traditional Cuban look, they pair a cup with a white guayabera button-down shirt.

Although, today you'll also find young non-Cubans who are equally devoted to the drink, such as Caylee Otto, a 26-year-old from Pittsburgh.

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Elevation Zero
6:14 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Exclusive: See Meta Impact Of Sea-Level Rise On South Florida

Credit Climate Central

Global warming has raised global sea level about 8 inches since 1880 while rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. In fact, a Climate Central analysis found that the odds of worse floods occurring by 2030 are on track to double or more for widespread areas of the U.S.

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Elevation Zero
2:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

WLRN Special Report: Sea-Level Rise In South Florida

Credit Claudia H. Munoz

When it comes to climate change, one thing is certain: our oceans are rising. And South Florida is expected to be among the first regions on Earth to experience the impact. In fact, some initial preparations are already underway

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Advanced Placement
9:24 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Miami-Dade Wins Top College Board Award For AP Classes

Credit StateImpact Florida

Miami-Dade schools has earned top honors for successfully expanding access to tough, college-level courses while improving passing scores, the College Board announced Monday.

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If I Were Mayor
7:54 am
Tue November 5, 2013

What South Floridians Would Do To Help Their Cities

With several mayoral races underway, WLRN-Miami Herald News wants to know what you would do if you were in charge of your town. The project is called "If I Were Mayor."

Send us your ideas on how you'd improve your community and why.  Make sure to tell us how that issue affects you personally.

We'll be posting your ideas and stories online and sharing some of them on-air.  You can also tweet us #IfIWereMayor.

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Politics
10:26 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Florida Taxes Would Determine The True Cost Of Medical Marijuana

Credit Vlado / Flickr CC

A Financial Impact Estimating Conference report concluded Monday that the cost of medical marijuana in Florida could not be determined due to uncertainty regarding taxation of the plant.

Although the Department of Health estimates the annual cost for Florida would be roughly $1 million, the FIEC report would be more-accurate if marijuana sales taxes were clear.

"The extent to which medical marijuana would be tax-exempt is unclear without legislative or state administrative action," the report said.

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Gambling
8:54 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Casino Lobbyist Wants Gaming Committee To Consider Lower Tax Rates

Credit Wikipedia.org

  A lobbyist for an international casino operator that wants to expand into Florida called Monday for the state to create a strong gaming commission that would oversee all gambling --- including one destination resort casino in South Florida.

However, Nick Iarossi, the lobbyist for Las Vegas Sands Corps., told members of the Senate Gaming Committee that proposed sales tax rates suggested in a new study on the future of gaming in Florida could hinder the construction of such a world class complex.

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News
8:25 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

State Says Bug-Prone Unemployment System Is Improving

Jesse Panuccio is in his first year as executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The department oversees unemployment benefits.
Credit floridajobs.org

Florida’s new unemployment claims system isn’t perfect yet, but state leaders say it’s less bug-prone.

The Florida Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee got an update Monday on problems with the new system, which launched three weeks ago.

Executive Director Jesse Panuccio runs the Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the program for jobless benefits.

He says the kinks have mostly been worked out.

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Criminal Justice
5:36 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Florida Considers Reopening Correctional Facilities

Credit Kate Ter Haar/Fickr

Florida might soon reopen several prisons, a year after closing them after the state projected a growing inmate population. Gov. Rick Scott announced the closing of prisons across the state as good news, saying it saved the state money.

But next year, the Department of Corrections wants the legislature to reopen nine facilities from Miami to the panhandle. That will include two prisons, five work camps and two reentry centers.

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