News

Negron Water Plan Picks Up Other Projects Across The State

Mar 8, 2017
Amy Green / WMFE

A controversial plan to speed construction of a 60,000-acre reservoir on farmland south of Lake Okeechobee --- to reduce the risk of more "guacamole-thick" water appearing in Treasure Coast communities --- was expanded Wednesday to include water projects in other parts of the state.

And the measure (SB 10), now called the "Coast-to-Coast Comprehensive Water Resource Program," might not be done growing, its sponsor said.

House Raises Questions About University Funding

Mar 8, 2017

Laying the groundwork for a more austere higher-education budget, the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday heard more than three hours of testimony on university spending and the use of foundations by the schools.

Committee Chairman Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, said that over the past decade, state funding for the 12-university system has increased by $1.4 billion.

"Do we really think, and there are 30 members of this committee, it is lack of funding? Or do we really think it might be some misappropriation of money?" Trujillo told reporters after the meeting.

Roberto Koltun / Miami Herald

A massive higher education bill became the first real piece of legislation heard by the full Florida Senate Wednesday.

The legislation would, among other things, change how the performance of state colleges and universities is calculated, something that according to critics would benefit of more traditional four-year universities.

Roberto Koltun / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

South Miami teacher Jorge Cast has his enemies of the people all neatly figured out – including the mainstream media.

“My family came from Cuba, and they taught me something very basic,” Cast told WLRN last Saturday at a rally in Tropical Park in support of President Trump.

“When the media tells you something is white, you believe it’s black. When they tell you it’s right, you believe it’s wrong.”

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Robert Asencio’s office is in what he jokingly refers to as the nosebleeds—on the 14th floor of the Florida Capitol building. A poster for the Miami Book Fair is propped against a couch, not much has made it onto the walls yet.

Associated Press

Gov. Rick Scott took his fight for business incentives directly to critics Tuesday, using his "State of the State" address to defend requests for tens of millions of dollars to lure companies to Florida and to market the state's tourism industry.

Trice Denny / U.S. Navy

The image of the liveaboard life in the Keys is free and easy — toss down an anchor and you're home. But there's one location off Key West where the U.S. Navy wants the boats at anchor to move on. Now.

Fleming Key is a small island off Key West with facilities that the public rarely sees, like the city of Key West's sewage treatment plant. And bunkers where the Navy stores weapons and ammunition.

Those bunkers have "explosive safety arcs," or areas that could be blast zones in the case of an accident. Sailing and especially anchoring within those areas is prohibited.

Kate Stein / WLRN

The Tamil word for python is "malaippāmpu." Translated literally, it means "mountain snake."

But two Tamil-speaking snake trackers from India, who are in South Florida to help with the region's python problem, think "water snake" would be a more appropriate name.

Amanda Rabines / WLRN News

‪The School Board of Broward County became the first district in South Florida to pass a resolution that makes school grounds and education-related activities, such as sports tournaments or even prom,  safe zones for immigrant students and their families.

A community resolution, drawn up with input from organizations like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Florida Immigrant Coalition, passed unanimously Tuesday. 

President Trump's Tweets, Annotated

Mar 7, 2017

President Trump tweets a lot. With tens of millions of followers on Twitter, Trump proposes policy, shares his latest actions and reacts to the news. But 140 characters rarely gives the full context. Here, we attempt to do just that for key tweets beginning on Jan. 20, when he officially took office.

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The House's first full floor session Thursday is expected to include taking up bills that would abolish Enterprise Florida, overhaul Visit Florida and make a key change in the state's death-penalty sentencing laws.

Read More: Florida's Death Penalty Has Been On Limbo For More Than A Year

The 2017 legislative session will start Tuesday with a largely ceremonial session, and the House is slated to meet Thursday afternoon to begin taking up bills.

Tom Hudson

A Miami-based rapper. A second-tier English soccer club and a sports car racing team.

 

What ties them together is Visit Florida, the state group that markets Florida to tourists across the country and across the globe. What also ties these three together is they provided the ammunition for opponents of using taxpayer money to promote tourism.

 

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org


Madeline Fox / WLRN

If you dialed 211 in Miami in September of 2016 and again after the new year, you probably wouldn’t have noticed any difference. But on January 1, the helpline and its services quietly transferred from Switchboard Miami, the organization that had overseen them since 1968, to Jewish Community Services of South Florida.

Switchboard had been struggling financially since early 2016.

“They just lacked the cash to continue to provide services at the level they were required to by all their grants,” says JCS CEO Fred Stock.

Jeremy Wallace / Tampa Bay Times

The leader of Gov. Rick Scott’s most cherished agency abruptly resigned Monday, citing a “critical” difference of opinion with the governor over their vision of Enterprise Florida.

Chris Hart’s sudden resignation comes on the eve of the Florida Legislature beginning its annual session. House leaders have vowed to kill the agency and have a bill ready to pass as soon as this week to eliminate the agency — and Hart’s job — entirely.

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