The Sunshine Economy
1:25 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Fewer Choices, More Insured?

Click the play button above to hear the radio segment from this week's The Sunshine Economy: Obamacare Comes To South Florida on September 30 with host Tom Hudson. The show airs every Monday at 9 a.m. on WLRN 91.3 FM.

Some numbers to consider as open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) gets underway:

There are 10 essential benefits all insurance plans offered under the ACA health insurance reform law must have. They include hospital coverage, ER treatment and prescription drug benefits.

Read more
Politics
9:44 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Local Police Gear Up To Enforce Florida's New Texting While Driving Ban

Enforcing the texting ban might prove difficult.
Credit Creative Commons Via Flickr user Steven Damron

As Florida's texting while driving ban goes into effect, local police officers are still figuring out the best way to enforce the new law.

"This is something new to all of us," said Freddy Cruz, a sergeant with the City of Miami Police Department. "This is going to be quite a challenge, but from an educational standpoint, we have to educate the public on the dangers [of texting while driving].

Read more
Natural Resources
9:43 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Florida-Georgia Water Dispute Goes To U.S. High Court As Seafood Industry Suffers

Credit apalachicolabay.org

Florida filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court in a long-running battle with Georgia over water withdrawals that have damaged Apalachicola Bay, but it may be too late to help the Franklin County seafood workers who were already struggling to survive.

Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi followed through on an August announcement that Florida would seek injunctive relief so more water would flow to the bay, which collapsed last year in the face of a historic drought and dwindling releases of freshwater from Georgia.

Read more
Politics
9:21 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Tourists, Workers Turned Away As U.S. Shutdown Hits South Florida

Eduardo Echeverria, a federal law enforcement ranger at Everglades National Park, closes the main gate on October 1 because of the government shutdown.
Credit MARICE COHN BAND / Miami Herald Staff

“Closed” signs went up at national parks, and federal employees went home across South Florida on Tuesday as the federal government limped its way through the first day of a shutdown.

Read more
Economy
8:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

How Incentives For Film, TV Production In Florida Are Drying Up

The final episode of Burn Notice being shot behind the former Miami Herald Building.
Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment

Now that “Burn Notice” has wrapped up seven successful seasons, will a new show step in to send the world a postcard of Miami every week?

The USA Network production ended its run recently while ratings were still strong. Thanks to a worldwide audience, it’s likely to live for years in syndication.

But the end of the show, as well as A&E’s The Glades and Starz’ Magic City this summer, leaves a void in Miami’s economy. A lot of folks made money off these productions selling props, renting cars, catering food, cleaning costumes and working on-camera.

Read more
Politics
7:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

U.S. Shutdown Leaves Local Taxpayers Out In The Cold

Visitors to Broward County's main IRS office are greeted with locked doors and signs referring them to the agency's website.
Credit C. DiMattei

South Florida branches of the Internal Revenue Service are among the agency offices being affected by the current U.S. government shutdown.

And the situation is leaving some local taxpayers angry and frustrated.

Seventy-one-year old Alfonso Valencia of Sunrise said he was summoned by letter to the IRS' Plantation office several days ago to settle a real estate tax matter in person.  

When told that the office is closed until further notice, he took it in stride. Nevertheless, he stomped his foot down on the pavement -- hard.

Read more
Americas
6:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Why Uruguay Is Latin America's Marijuana Reform Laboratory

La Mano (The Hand), a modernist sculpture at Punta del Este, is one of Uruguay's best known landmarks.
Credit Flickr

This article was originally published in October and has been updated.

Uruguayans love it when you tell them what a resort paradise Punta del Este is. Or how tasty the country’s Tannat wine is. Or what a stable democracy their small nation (pop. 3.5 million) has turned out to be.

What they don’t like is to hear Uruguay called, as many do label it today, “the Switzerland of South America.” Not that Uruguayans dislike Switzerland. But many if not most of them think the comparison is cliché, exaggerated, inaccurate, condescending.

Read more

Tom Banse covers business, environment, public policy, human interest and national news across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be heard during "Morning Edition," "Weekday," and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

If I Were Mayor
6:54 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

If I Were Mayor: In Key West, Naps And Better Bocce Courts

What would you do if you were mayor of Key West?
Credit Kwong Yee Cheng / Creative Commons/Flickr

For our If I Were Mayor project, we spoke to Key West residents about what they would do if they were in charge of their town.

Key West is holding its mayoral election today. Incumbent Craig Cates is running for his second consecutive term against repeat challenger Margaret Romero.

Read more

Pages