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Health
5:52 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

New Law Changes How Often Florida Food Establishments Are Inspected

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

A state law changing how frequently restaurants are inspected unannounced goes into effect today. Under the new law, restaurants will be ranked on a scale from one to four. Restaurants rated as a four will receive four unannounced inspections. 

The rankings will be based on establishment type as well as history of past violations. 

Beth Frady is the deputy communications director at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. She says the new law will increase efficiency in inspections.

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Latin America Report
5:35 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Power To Peru: The (Quiet) Latin American Boom That's Making South Florida Swoon

IN THE SUN: Apparel from Peru's Escudo line on the runway at Miami Fashion Week in May.
Credit Miami Fashion Week

Peru is the loudest Latin American boom you’ve probably never heard – but should.

These are the kind of macroeconomic data that made the world swoon over Brazil in the 2000s:

Ÿ● Peru’s economy has grown an average of almost 7 percent the past four years. Wall Street expects equally robust growth for the next five years.

Ÿ● Wall Street also ranks Peru No. 2, behind only South Korea, when it comes to resisting external shocks to its economy.

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Florida Standards Assessments
4:51 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Check Out The Practice Questions For The New FCAT Replacement

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

The Florida Department of Education has released practice questions for the new assessments that will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test next year.

The tests, which are aligned to the new Common Core-based Florida Standards, are available at the Florida Standards Assessments website.  Some questions are similar to what students might have seen on the FCAT—asking test-takers to identify main ideas in a text or figure out a percentage in a word problem.

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Veterans Affairs
4:19 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Nurses Training At FIU To Team Up With VA

Credit Creative Commons

Florida International University will now partner with Veterans Affairs medical centers in Miami to provide training to budding nurses.

The Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership provided the university with an $8 million grant to bring in more students and faculty over the next five years. Twenty additional students will start this fall, totaling 160 students over the next five years.

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Airports
5:34 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Tip Your Wheelchair Pusher At Fort Lauderdale Airport

Many wheelchair attendants at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport make less than minimum wage.
Credit Wilson Sayre

Take our quiz to see how good you are at identifying who you should tip.  

If you eat at a restaurant, it's obvious you won't just pay the price of your meal. Tipping is not just customary, it is understood to be part of a server's take-home pay.

It is not so obvious, however, that wheelchair attendants at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport are paid the very same way.

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Preservation
1:14 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Marine Stadium Embraces Street Art To Raise Funds For Restoration

Miami Marine Stadium sits on Biscayne Bay. The outdoor stadium originally served as a boat racing and concert venue.
Credit Carla Javier / WLRN

On Saturday, the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium and the National Trust for Historic Preservation teamed up to host the ART History Mural Project.

The event featured local and international street artists invited to paint the historic, outdoor stadium.

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Food Banks
12:18 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Local Food Distrubutor Gets Funding Increase

Homestead-based Farm Share received an extra $500,000 this year to go towards food transportation.
Credit Creative Commons

A Homestead-based food-assistance program called Farm Share received a $1.5 million check last week. State Rep. Kionne McGhee delivered the money, which was allocated in this year’s state budget. This is a $500,000 increase from last year’s state contribution.

Farm Share uses inmate and volunteer labor to sort, package and deliver food to churches, soup kitchens or other organizations across the state that use and distribute food to those in need. It provides the food for free, unlike many other food distribution organizations.

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News
11:50 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Law Banning E-Cigarette Sales To Minors Goes Into Effect July 1

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

E-cigarettes aren't made with tobacco, but they vaporize a mixture of flavorings -- and nicotine. Because of the nicotine, e-cigarettes are addictive. But until recently, there were no laws in Florida banning their sale to minors.

State Rep. Frank Artiles sponsored a bill to ban e-cigarette sales to people under the age of 18. He says he was inspired to sponsor the bill after witnessing a 12-year old "vaping" an e-cigarette at an amusement park.

"Because the FDA has not ruled on the e-cigarettes, I thought it'd be a great bill to protect our youth," he says.

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Remembering
11:49 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Trayvon Martin Foundation Finds Home At Florida Memorial University

The Trayvon Martin Foundation has found a home at Florida Memorial University.
Credit Creative Commons

The Trayvon Martin Foundation now has a home at Florida Memorial University.

The foundation was started by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of the Miami Gardens teen who was shot and killed in 2012. Fulton is an alumna of the university. Her foundation works to raise awareness about the impact of violent crimes on families and communities. It’s a support system for people who have experienced tragedies.

Roslyn Artis, president of the Miami Gardens university, sees this as an opportunity to turn tragedy into education.

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Living
11:41 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Florida Gets Big Food Stamp Bonus

Florida will get a big bonus for accurately administering it's food assistance program.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Clementine Gallot

Florida is getting a big bonus this year. The Federal Department of Agriculture is rewarding the state $7 million for being efficient and accurate when it comes to giving out food stamps to families.

At 0.81 percent error rate, the state ranks the second most accurate in the country. That means families don’t get more, or less, help than they qualify for.

The bonus won’t mean more money in the pockets of families, but it will help streamline the process for future need.

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Coaching
11:06 am
Mon June 30, 2014

How Better Supervision Might Mean Better Principals In Broward County

Shawn Cerra, principal of J.P. Taravela High School in Coral Springs, with the school's guidance director, Jody Gaver in 2012.
Credit Sarah Gonzalez / StateImpact Florida

The Wallace Foundation believes the people who supervise principals spend too much time making sure they follow rules and procedures -- and not enough time mentoring them.

So Wallace is launching a $30 million, five-year national experiment to test whether students benefit from principals who get more coaching.

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New Education Laws
5:48 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

New Florida Education Laws Change Veteran Tuition, Grades For Schools

Veterans living in Florida can get in-state tuition at state colleges and universities starting Tuesday.
Credit Kate.Gardiner / Flickr

Veterans will pay less to attend Florida colleges and universities starting Tuesday, one of a handful of laws taking effect at the start of a new budget year.

The Florida GI bill means any veteran living in the Sunshine State only has to pay in-state tuition. That tuition is typically one-third the cost of out-of-state rates.

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The End of the Road
4:47 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

What It's Like To Have A Gun Pulled On You On The Highway

Photos of Alyce and Neil Robertson from the beginning of their marriage and from recently.
Credit Alyce and Neil Robertson

Alyce and Neil Robertson were running late to a wedding one day 20 or 30 years ago. Because they were running late, they were arguing in the car, until some maniac on the road did something crazy.

Naturally, some of the details have slipped over the years. But the two agree they were on their way to a friend’s wedding and Alyce was mad at Neil for making them late. Here’s how they remember the rest...

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Campaign
3:41 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

"Nan Van" Follows Grassroots Gubernatorial Candidate

Former state senator Nan Rich speaks with supporters at a local campaign stop.
Credit Michael Spooneybarger / Miami Herald

Nan Rich is a long way from home.

In this ultraconservative city on the western edge of the Florida Panhandle, the Democratic candidate for governor is more than 650 miles from her base of support in left-leaning Broward County.

Any farther and she would be in Alabama.

Rich is keenly aware of the distance as she settles in for a meet and greet at a trendy restaurant that serves both sushi and Southern comfort food. Winning votes here is a long shot. But so is winning the governor’s mansion.

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Fraud
3:38 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Seniors On Medicare Patrol In Miami

Gustavo Franco, of Senior Medicare Patrol, warns seniors of Medicare fraud.
Credit Al Diaz / Miami Herald

It’s a crime that requires no guns. It frequently goes unnoticed until after the fact, and the victims are unwitting U.S. taxpayers duped to the tune of $68 billion a year. Medicare fraud has become one of the most profitable illegal activities in the country — and South Florida is the most likely place to get fleeced.

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