Amanda Rabines / WLRN

It's like a scene from a movie. On one side there are bare and dead avocado trees. On the other, there are freshly planted and seemingly healthy avocado trees - some bearing the large green fruit we love to squish and turn into guacamole. 

The contrast paints a picture of the effects of laurel wilt, a fungal disease spread by the non-native Redbay ambrosia beetle. 

South Florida tropical fruit farmers have been dealing with the disease, since 2012, after the first recorded case of laurel wilt was found in a commercial avocado tree. 

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald


Even after thugs broke into Anahís Montiel’s house, dragged her into the street, murdered her with machetes and threw her corpse into a nearby ravine, they still had time to return to her home and rob everything while her husband and six children were forced to watch it all.

They had about eight hours, in fact, since local cops did nothing.

On Stage Black Box Theater

As far back as 1899, Russian playwright Anton Chekhov worried about the environment and the effect that industrialization and its attendant pollution would have on the natural world. He covered that theme and more -- lost love, the wasted life, alienation -- in his play, "Uncle Vanya."

And now, under the direction of playwright Nilo Cruz, the Spanish-language version of the play comes to the Miami-Dade Auditorium's Black Box Theater  as "Tio Vania."

Dr. Gillian Hotz is not your typical gamer. But wearing a white lab coat and tapping furiously at a tablet screen—trying to get her football-playing cartoon avatar in position for a tackle—it’s clear she knows what to do.

Elbows in. Head up. Arms ready.

Another cartoon character runs in for the hit, and Hotz is ready.

“Good job!” shouts a coach somewhere off screen.  

“That was a successful tackle; I’ve had a lot of practice,” says Hotz.

New Locally Transmitted Case of Zika Reported Outside Of Wynwood

Aug 3, 2016
Associated Press

Zika virus is spreading in South Florida, state health officials confirmed on Tuesday, with reports of a new locally transmitted case in Miami-Dade County — this one outside of the Miami neighborhood where the nation’s first cluster of local infections emerged in July.

Kate Stein / WLRN

The key to avoiding Zika is avoiding contact with the mosquitoes that carry Zika. The official advice is to wear bug repellent, avoid affected areas, and stay indoors. But for people who spend extended periods of time on Wynwood's streets, following that advice is difficult.

Michal Kranz/WLRN

Alleged bias in the beauty industry is once again in the headlines, this time here in South Florida.


Génesis Dávila was crowned Miss Florida USA last month but has since been stripped of her title. On Monday she filed a $15 million defamation lawsuit against the owners of the Miss Florida USA pageant in order to win back her title.



The Republican Party of Miami-Dade County announced its executive committee of six members will hold a straw vote for the GOP candidates in the race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat.


Local leaders will cast an unofficial ballot for who they want to represent the party in the general election in November.   The primary election is Aug. 30.


Tim Padgett /

At a Brazilian restaurant in Doral called Brazuca’s, Danilo Leão is whipping up his most popular dish, feijoada. Pronounced fay-ZHWAH-dah, it's a heavenly stew of black beans, meats and spices created centuries ago by Brazilian slaves.

Kate Stein / WLRN

"Give transit a try!"


That’s the message Miami-Dade County is sending commuters with an upgrade to its Transit Tracker smartphone app. The updated app features real-time bus and Metrorail tracking, and has a new support tab. It also includes schedules for most trolleys in the county and uses geolocators to provide lists of the closest bus and Metrorail stations.




Schools and school districts are among those reacting to news of 14  locally-acquired cases of the Zika virus confirmed in South Florida.

With the first day of school still weeks away, Miami-Dade County Public Schools sent out an automated voicemail to parents last week reinforcing basic anti-mosquito measures.

The recording advised parents to wear "long-sleeved shirts and long pants," to "apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing  and use mosquito netting with children younger than two months." 

Associated Press

Pregnant women are being asked to stay away from Wynwood.

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  has issued a Zika-related travel warning for pregnant women to an area just north of Downtown Miami.


Florida Department of Health

Florida health officials have identified 10 more people who likely contracted the Zika virus through a mosquito bite in South Florida, bringing the total to 12 cases in Miami-Dade and 2 in Broward County.

It’s been two weeks since Charles Kinsey, an unarmed black man, was shot in the leg by a North Miami police officer. Kinsey, a behavioral therapist, had been trying to help a client with autism return to a group home where he worked.

North Miami City Hall and the police department were flooded with phone calls since the shooting and they set up a special community hotline. The police department recently posted the first batch of calls on their website.

Katherine Lepri / WLRN

If you tried calling the main public library in Downtown Miami Saturday night, instead of a regular greeting you heard: “Hogwarts Library, Dumbledore speaking”.