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Politics
2:41 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Ethics Commission Refuses To Close Complaints Against Miami Lawmaker

Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, addresses the House of Representatives on May 2, 2013.
Credit Myfloridahouse.gov/MarkFoley

Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, hasn’t put his issues with the Florida Commission on Ethics behind him.

Fresen is refusing to pay a $1,500 fine related to his work as a legislative aide in 2003. He was fined because he didn’t file a required financial form.

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News
2:30 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Florida Senate Panel Wants To Stop 'Rehoming' Of Children

The term "rehoming" used to refer to pet adoption. Now it has a darker meaning.
Credit littlebluecottage/flickr

A Florida Senate committee has approved a bill cracking down on parents who illegally put their children up for adoption.

The practice often involves children who were adopted from other countries.

It's called "rehoming," and it puts kids into new families -- for free. The kids are typically offered for adoption on the Internet by parents who just don’t want them anymore.

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Science
9:12 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Gorgeous Marine-Life Stills From UM's Underwater-Photo Contest

Mating Mandarin dragonets
Credit Pietro Cremone / Courtesy UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

It's not easy to get an amazing shot of marine animals or an arresting fish photo when you're in over your head and trolling camera equipment. But each spring, hopeful amateur snappers from around the globe enter the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science's annual underwater-photography contest.

And each year, the winning photos are breathtaking. This year's fan favorite is of a pair of amorous dragonets. Even their name titillates.

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Street Art
6:00 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Wynwood Blares Miami's Booty-Bass Past From The Boombox Building Near I-95

Check It: Chor Boogie and Trek 6 revamped the boom box mural for Basel 2013.
Credit Lizzie Easton

 Wynwood is Miami’s gritty art safari. On the edge of Overtown and downtown, this neighborhood beckons crews of artists – local and international -- who come here to paint wild and stunning designs on decrepit walls.

With each spray can and paint roller, street artists spawned a new life to the district’s 30 or so blocks.

But if these walls could talk, no wall would speak to 305 pride better than the Boombox.

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Salaries
5:32 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

MIAMI HERALD: Miami-Dade Commissioners Scheduled To Take Up Mayor’s Veto On Workers’ Pay

Credit Facebook.com/MayorGimenez

The first order of business for the Miami-Dade County Commission’s last meeting of the year Tuesday will be to uphold or override a veto by Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

On Saturday, Gimenez rejected the commission’s decision two weeks ago to restore most county workers’ pay by ending a requirement that they contribute 5 percent of their base pay toward group healthcare costs.

The mayor offered a compromise: keeping the healthcare contribution but giving the lowest-paid employees a one-time bonus to alleviate some of their economic hardship.

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Mid-Day Links
5:09 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories For Dec. 9-13

The people of Basel: Are they art?
Credit Mark Hedden / WLRN

The Art Basel afterglow is still upon us in South Florida, and that's evident in what you've been reading this past week.

But amid stories of Basel and it implications for Miami and its surroundings, the Keys' efforts to save a landmark bridge were popular on our site, as was one of our many stories on Nelson Mandela's passing.

Scroll on to see and hear this week's most popular stories.

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The Sunshine Economy
2:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

ENCORE: The Sunshine Economy On Agriculture

Credit Tom Hudson

Click play to hear Tom Hudson host this episode of WLRN's ongoing radio and online series, The Sunshine Economy, airing Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on WLRN 91.3 FM.

Squeezed between South Florida's neighborhoods and the Everglades is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. Tomatoes, beans and avocados all sprout from the rocky South Florida soil along with one of the largest nursery industries growing trees, shrubs and other landscaping plants.

Agriculture generates a direct $700 million dollars a year in Miami-Dade County alone. The economic impact of the plowing, growing and picking of those crops is much larger.

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Education
2:19 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

For Homeless Students, College Enrollment Means A Roof Over Their Heads

Sierra DuBose outside of Lotus House, the shelter where she lives.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

It is college-application season, which means high-school seniors across the country are scrambling to write personal statements, list all their extracurricular activities and take the SATs.

Sierra DuBose is one of those seniors, enrolled at Miami Edison Senior High, but she is also one of almost 7,000 kids in the Miami-Dade public-school system who are homeless. That's about 2 percent of the student population.

Sierra currently lives in a shelter for women called Lotus House, on the edge of Overtown.

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StateImpact Florida
10:26 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Studying Fine Arts Benefits Students, But Educators Want To Know Which Ones

Allison Rojas is a senior at Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami
Credit Sammy Mack / StateImpact Florida

When Allison Rojas looks at a painting by Alice Neel, the high-school junior sees more than a seated woman in a purple sari.

“She uses very bold lines as you can see,” says Rojas. “Very fleshy paintings.”

Rojas has an eye that’s been trained in fine-arts classes at Miami’s Design and Architecture Senior High. DASH is an arts magnet — consistently ranked among the country’s top public schools — and every year, Rojas and her classmates take a field trip with the school to Art Basel, where she gets to see works like Neel’s "Woman."

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People
6:00 am
Mon December 16, 2013

New Board Members At Friends Of WLRN

Friends of WLRN, the fundraising arm of WLRN Radio & Television, has chosen seven new board members to support the future direction of the station and public media in South Florida.

The new members -- Carlos Blanco, Dwight Hill, Diana Parker, Flora Perez, Randel Ransom, G. Frederick Reinhardt and Tadd Schwartz -- bring a wealth of expertise and represent leading sectors of the regional economy, from real estate and banking to transportation and telecommunications.

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Tongue Ho!
8:00 am
Sat December 14, 2013

A Word On Food: Taco Lingo

Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post by Norman Van Aken.

I learn words in many ways, but the best may be in eating. The words on the menus and in the cookbooks I have from around the world have helped me conquer at least ‘parts’ of foreign languages.

I have a good knowledge of French, Italian and even some Japanese, if you allow that food is the central most important aspect of understanding a people’s tongue. My vocabulary was broadened by at least seven new words in Little Havana just the other day at a place blandly named, “Viva Mexico.”

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Holidays
6:48 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Florida Capitol's Festivus Pole Gets International Attention

Chaz Stevens and his Festivus beer can pole meet with reporters in the Capitol.
Credit Margie Menzel/News Service of Florida

A 6-foot pole made of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans is making news around the world as it stands in Florida’s Capitol building.

Maker Chaz Stevens and his beer-can pole have been featured on the Colbert Report, the Huffington Post, and the major networks.

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Sea-level Rise
6:38 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Guess What? Seas Are Still Rising

Reporter Wilson Sayre with DNA host Derrick Ashong.
Credit Wilson Sayre

WLRN-Miami Herald News reporter Wilson Sayre spoke on Fusion network's news program DNA with Derrick Ashong to talk about the range of local responses to sea-level rise. She was joined by Andrea Bernstein of WNYC's Transportation Nation.

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Commentary
1:12 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Look West, Miami, At Mexico's Epic Oil Reform

Drilling for oil in southern Mexico
Credit Flickr

When it comes to Latin American oil, South Florida’s attention seems exclusively fixed on South America. We focus on petro-titans like Venezuela and Brazil because we do so much trade with and receive so many immigrants from that region. But this week it was hard not to look west – across the Gulf of Mexico, at one of the most important oil reforms in almost a century.

Late Wednesday night, Mexico’s Congress approved President Enrique Peña Nieto’s plan to allow private and foreign participation in the country’s state-run oil industry for the first time in 75 years.

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The Florida Roundup
12:15 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Handcuffs And A Handshake: A Roundup Of This Week In South Florida

Alex Saleh, owner of 207 Quickstop, a convenience store in Miami Gardens, had hours of video footage showing police questioning or arresting black customers, who, records show, had committed no serious crime.
Credit Alex Saleh

 

Allegations that Miami Gardens police harassed and intimidated black employees and customers at one convenience store has led to the resignation of that city’s police chief. Julie Brown from the Miami Herald says that the city's police chief, who is black, is actually a rarity: nearly all of the commanders and most squad officers are white and Hispanic, although Miami Gardens is predominantly black.

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