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Politics
5:34 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Session Update: Election Law Changes, Guns In Schools, Gov. Askew Dies

Gov. Reubin Askew takes the oath of office on January 5, 1971. He died last week at age 85.
Credit State Library and Archives of Florida

Lawmakers altered their session schedules this week to say goodbye to former Gov. Reubin Askew. He died Thursday at age 85. Flags are flying at half-staff at local and state buildings.

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Jobs
5:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Miami Fast-Food Workers Protest Their Low Wages

Credit Tax Credits/ Flickr

Tuesday morning was one of the few times fast-food workers publicly protested lower wages in Miami, joining the dozens of cities that hosted protesters back in December. The protest coincided with the release of a new study from FIU's Research Institute of Social and Economic Policy which, among other things, looks at the intersection of low-paying jobs and wage theft.

Wilson Sayre went to the protest:

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Politics
5:25 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Bill To Grant Cheaper Tuition For Undocumented Students Struggles In Senate

No matter how long they've lived in Florida, undocumented students must pay the out-of-state rate to attend college here. It's about three times more expensive than the in-state rate.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net

High school senior Diego Ramirez from Florida City told lawmakers he’s in the top 10 percent of his class. He’s lived in Florida four years and is undocumented.

“I’ve always wanted to go to college [and] become a businessman because that’s my dream,” Ramirez said.

Undocumented students in Florida have to pay out-of-state rate for college, which is three times more expensive.

Now, a bill to grant cheaper, in-state college tuition to undocumented students may be in trouble.

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The Sunshine Economy
8:03 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Redland's Schnebly: From Wine To Beer To Spirited Expansion

Customers usually show up at the tasting bar just before lunch hour at Schnebly Redland's Winery.
Credit Karen Rundlet / Miami Herald

 

Florida’s southernmost winery is located in the heart of Miami Dade’s farm country, Redland. It’s called Schnebly Redland’s Winery and it’s been up and running over a decade. For me, the trip to Schnebly Redland’s Winery meant a couple of hours in the car, heading south on U.S. 1, with a view of Miami Dade slowing down.

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News
7:50 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Realtors Fear Negative Impacts of Miami-Orlando Train

Credit AllAboardFlorida.com

A passenger rail connecting South Florida and Orlando is on track to start running next year.

But not everyone is jumping for joy.

A group of real estate experts serving parts of northern Palm Beach and Martin Counties says it has serious concerns about All Aboard Florida.

The $1.5-billion railway project would add 32 passenger trains to the 14 freight trains already running on the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks. Stations would be located in the downtowns of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

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Links
7:49 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories March 9-15

Credit Kenny Malone

Venezuelan boycotters and the history of the I-95 road symbol were our top stories. Other honorable mentions include Ira Glass telling us how weird Florida is as a state, Beckham bringing soccer to Miami and -- where does our water come from? Seriously, where?

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Homeless
7:45 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Britto Meters Still Confuse Drivers, Passersby

Stephen Sawitz with one of his "Britto meters" in the parking lot of Joe's Stone Crab.
Credit Wilson Sayre

It’s a cool Saturday night and Anthony Rolle pulls his blue Infiniti into the parking lot at Joe’s Stone Crab on South Beach, where he’s headed for dinner. He gets out and drops a quarter into the meter in front of his space.

Rolle starts to look a little puzzled. The meter is painted bright yellow with hearts, flowers and cozy-looking houses. This is not a normal parking meter. It's not actually a parking meter at all.

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Sunshine Economy
9:31 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Bottoms Up: The Liquor & Wine Business In South Florida

Miami Club Rum began distilling in the Wynwood neighborhood in 2012. Founder and CEO Matt Malone uses Palm Beach County sugarcane byproducts and Miami-Dade County public water to make his rum.
Credit Tom Hudson

South Florida may not have the valleys and vineyards of Napa Valley nor the hollows and oak barrels of Kentucky but the wine and liquor industry is here in its own unique way.  Think mango wine not chardonnay, rum not bourbon and you've got the idea.  

South Floridians can talk about rum the way oenophiles go on about wine. There are the aromas of the rum, the notes and the finish. There may be hints of chocolate, berries or citrus.  For many outside of South Florida rum means one company: Bacardi.  

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Technology
7:58 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

See How Long Floridians Can Go Without Touching Their Phones

Credit UNICEF Tap Project

With a new app, UNICEF provides one day of clean water to a child in need for every 10 minutes spent without touching your phone.

The app ranks Florida fifth in the country for total time spent without phones. California is in first place. This correlates with a recent Nielsen study that ranked South Florida as fifth in the country in smartphone usage.

By going to tap.unicefusa.org on a smartphone and then letting the phone rest without touching it, anyone in the U.S. can donate clean water.

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Real Estate
6:24 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Want To Buy A Prison? You're In Luck

The prison might make a nice renovation project for the right person.
Credit Creative Commons via WikiCommons / Illustration by Wilson Sayre

A 66-acre plot of land off Sheridan Street has excellent security features, and it will soon be on the market. The Broward County Correctional Institution, a former women’s prison, is being sold off by the state.

The property also boasts an interesting history. For 35 years, it has housed Florida’s female death-row inmates, including serial killer Aileen Wuornos, played by Charlize Theron in the 2003 film "Monster."

For the most part, the property's value is in the land. It's hard to find such big tracts for sale in South Florida.

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Election Results
2:08 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

The Ballots Are Counted In Boca

Newly elected Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie.
Credit Haynie campaign

Elections are over in Boca Raton. The fight for mayor ended with Susan Haynie defeating Anthony Majhess with 57 percent of the vote. This was the first mayoral race in recent Boca history that pitted two City Council members against each other. 

Haynie has also served as Deputy Mayor and sits on several transportation planning boards, while Majhess is a professional firefighter in Palm Beach County. The biggest issue in the mayoral race had to do with building and expansion. Boca residents say with Haynie as mayor, the city will see much more urban development.

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Miami Stories
2:05 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

The Many Different Smiles That Make Up Miami

Oliveira with his daughter when he first moved to Miami.

This story, as told by Marcos Oliveira, is part of an oral history series. 

My experience here in Miami has shown me that here you have the opportunity to make relationships with many kinds of people. This gives you ample possibility to be flexible with people and at the same time with yourself. 

Why? Well at the same time that you’re at a meeting, you can sit in a table with someone that’s from Colombia, another from Venezuela, another from Chile, another from here in Miami, another from Europe. Then you have to maintain a dialogue with those kind of people.

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The Florida Roundup
11:30 am
Fri March 14, 2014

SunLife Stadium Renovations: How About Now?

Credit Original photo from Miami Dolphins with added pizzazz by Kenny Malone

The Miami Dolphins renovate plans to fix-up SunLife stadium. Stadium and team owner Stephen Ross offers to pay for up to $400 million in renovations - if - he gets a break on property taxes.  Ross says it’s again about bringing the Super Bowl back to town, but that doesn’t comfort the City of Miami Gardens and the school board that are looking at losing $1 million each in lost property revenue.

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Storytelling
6:37 am
Fri March 14, 2014

This Floridian Life: Ira Glass On Our Weird Stories

Ira Glass, host of This American Life, says Florida is one of the best places there is to tell stories -- and also, very 'F'd up'.
Credit Stuart Mullenberg

There's been an ongoing debate among the staff in our newsroom about whether Florida really is weirder than the other states.  In December, we set out to produce a feature -- one segment -- about the weirdest stories of the year. Those stories spilled into three separate segments, and we could have easily kept going. But still, maybe it  just seems like we're weirder because this is where we are, this is what we know. Isn't New Orleans weird? Isn't Chicago?

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The Legislature
7:09 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Legislators, Who Want Voters To Make The Gambling Decisions: 'We Stink At This!'

Credit Bruno Belcastro on Flickr

In Tallahassee, the House package of gambling legislation includes a measure that would prevent the Florida Legislature from ever again making a big gambling decision. Click below to hear reporter Rick Stone's radio story on a possible cry for help from lawmakers who don’t think they’re any good at lawmaking. 

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