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8:33 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Marco Rubio Makes Presidential Run Official

Supporter of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio cheer his announcement that he is running for president.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida says he’s running for president in 2016.

Rubio made the announcement to about 1,000 supporters packed into downtown Miami's Freedom Tower.

Marco Rubio said the lessons he’s learned as the son of Cuban immigrants will guide him if elected president.

“I am humbled by the realization that America – America doesn’t owe me anything; but I have a debt to America I must try to repay,” he says. "This isn't just the country where I was born. America is literally the place that changed my family's history."

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The Legislature
7:06 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Florida Legislators Keep Priorities Straight By Balancing Local And State Issues

Credit Rick Stone

Every county in South Florida has big problems for the Legislature to solve this year. Some of them you may know about, some are pretty obscure. But all found their way on to lists of legislative priorities that the various county delegations brought with them this year to Tallahassee.

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Politics
7:00 am
Tue April 14, 2015

How Big Energy Wields Its Power Over Solar In Florida

Utility companies say if lots of people suddenly start using solar panels on their roofs, it would cause a huge disruption to the electric system.
Credit Solar Energy Tampa Florida/flickr

A citizen-led effort seeks to put a solar power-expanding initiative on Florida’s 2016 ballot. It would allow entities other than utility companies to sell the solar power they generate. At the same time, legislation proposed in Tallahassee would keep Florida as one of only five states that prevent anyone other than utilities from selling solar power.

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Awards
6:51 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

WLRN-Miami Herald News Wins 14 First-Place AP Broadcasters Awards

WLRN-Miami Herald News wins best overall news team at the 2015 Florida Associated Press Broadcasters awards banquet.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

WLRN-Miami Herald News won 14 first-place awards and seven second-place awards during the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters awards competition for work produced during 2014. Results were announced at a banquet in Orlando Saturday. 

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Sunshine Economy
5:18 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Flying From Key West To Cuba And Back

Air Key West owner and pilot Rob Valle stands in front of his Britten-Norman Islander. The 10-seat plane flies weekly from Key West to Havana and back on Fridays.
Credit Tom Hudson

  Rob Valle used to fly fighter jets for the U.S. Navy. Now he flies charter flights for his company Air Key West. Since late March that has included a weekly scheduled flight from Key West International Airport to Havana. He fits nine passengers, including one in the co-pilot seat next to him. They pay $525 for the round-trip flight.

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Politics
2:25 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Taking A Class At FIU With Professor Marco Rubio

A photo of Marco Rubio during the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference.
Credit Michael Vadon / Flickr/Creative Commons

Marco Rubio will speak this afternoon at the historic Freedom Tower where he will share his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race. During his time as Florida senator, he’s also held another title: Professor Rubio.

Abel Ramos Taype was 23 years old and a few electives short of graduating with a degree in international relations from Florida International University.

Upon looking for one of those final electives needed to graduate, an international relations course billed with two lecturers caught his eye.

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Politics
11:26 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Marco Rubio Tells Political Donors He’s Running For President

Marco Rubio celebrates clinching his U.S. senate on election night at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables on November 2010.
Credit Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants who rocketed from the obscure West Miami City Commission to the U.S. Senate, told top political donors Monday that he’s running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, a campaign he intends to officially launch at 6 p.m. at downtown Miami’s Freedom Tower.

In a conference call with benefactors Monday morning, Rubio cast the election as a choice between the past and the future, one of the fundraisers told the Miami Herald.

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Religion
10:53 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial Turns 25

Those observing Yom HaShoah placed candles around the pond at the memorial.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Each year the Jewish community observes Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps. It also marks the 25th anniversary of Miami Beach’s Holocaust Memorial. 

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Education
12:01 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Required Financial Literacy Course Gets Second Chance in Florida Senate

The Florida Council on Economic Education says personal bankruptcies have increased 2200 percent in the last 40 years. That’s one reason why the council is leading a campaign called Require The Money Course.
Credit Trianons Oficial/flickr

Bills filed in the Florida House and Senate would require high school students to take a one-semester financial literacy course. But with just three weeks left in the legislative session, the proposals (House bill 29 and Senate bill 92)  haven’t been discussed by committees.

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The Americas
12:00 am
Mon April 13, 2015

IEFA Forum: Miami Now Home To Yet Another Major Hemispheric Gathering

Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza will be one of the IEFA forum's featured speakers.
Credit Tom Rollo / IEFA/Grace Photography

Starting today, Miami is the home of yet another major hemispheric gathering. The International Economic Forum of the Americas has moved one of its biggest events here - from a South Florida neighbor.

The International Economic Forum of the Americas, or IEFA, has become a key platform for issues affecting the Western Hemisphere. The Montreal-based group used to hold its annual World Strategic Forum in Palm Beach County. But it aims to raise its profile now by taking advantage of Miami-Dade’s more Latin American atmosphere.

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Commentary
10:46 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

Summit Summary: U.S.-Cuba Sitdown Drowns Out Venezuelan Meltdown

Cuban President Raul Castro (left) and U.S. President Barack Obama at their historic meeting Saturday at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.
Credit White House

Imagine a U.S. President came to the Summit of the Americas and, while criticizing the government of a certain oil-rich South American nation, remarked that he does enjoy Venezuelan salsa singers like Rubén Blades.

He’d be the butt of jokes on late-night Latin American TV – because Blades is Panamanian, not Venezuelan.

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Summit of the Americas
6:40 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

After Messy Start, U.S.-Cuba Handshake May Send Panama Summit To Smoother Finish

U.S. President Barack Obama (left) and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands Friday night after the inaugural ceremony of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City.
Credit Presidencia de Panama

The Summit of the Americas kicks off Friday evening when the hemisphere’s heads of state inaugurate the two-day gathering in downtown Panama City. But while there a host of issues to discuss, all eyes are on just two guys: President Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro.

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Cuba
4:21 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Miami Artist Releases 'No Propaganda' Book About Cuba

The cover of "True Cuba."

Perhaps embodying the experience of many Miami residents, Jonathan Brooks is torn between two lands. His American father and Cuban mother raised Brooks in an environment that he describes as equal parts “Que Pasa U.S.A.?” and “I Love Lucy.”

Brooks, a writer, photographer and filmmaker, recently published the book "True Cuba," partially in response to "Vamos a Cuba," which was pulled from Miami-Dade County public school libraries in 2006 for portraying what critics called an unrealistic depiction of life on the island.

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Arts
3:09 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

What Conducting A Video Game Concert Sounds Like

Scott Flaven, resident conductor at the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, is preparing for their newest show - Frost Plays Video Game Music.
Credit Luis Hernandez / WLRN

Ever wonder what Beethoven or Mozart might think if they were asked to assemble a score for the newest edition of a Playstation video game?

Scott Flaven, the visiting conductor at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, says video game music is rapidly becoming the forefront of music composing.

So students got together and decided to create an ensemble of music from their favorite video games. Some of the games that inspired them include Portal, Bioshock, Super Mario Bros. and Pong.

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