Budgets
10:46 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Mayor Gimenez's Veto Prevails In County-Worker Pay Dispute

Credit epSos.de / Flickr CC

The healthcare deduction for Miami-Dade County employees stays put. Commissioners failed by one vote to overturn Mayor Carlos Gimenez's veto on union workers' pay.

That means most county employees will continue to contribute 5 percent of their base pay toward group healthcare instead of getting that money restored as of Jan. 1, as commissioners had supported two weeks ago.

Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa switched her vote, saying she could not endorse eliminating the healthcare contribution if it could lead to employee layoffs.

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StateImpact Florida
9:54 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

After The KKK: The Future -- And History -- Of Jacksonville's Forrest High

Brothers Rodney Jones and Tremain McCreary attend the school that will no longer be named Nathan B. Forrest High School
Credit Sammy Mack / StateImpact Florida

When Rodney Jones and Tremain McCreary walked to school on Tuesday morning, the brothers were headed to the same classrooms, to sit next to the same students, in a building with the same façade it had on Monday.

But it was not the same school they had gone to the day before.

“It’s a relief to me to know the school name had changed. I was thinking about it: How do we have a KKK leader’s name for our school?” Jones says.

“Things are changing around this school,” says McCreary.

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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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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

The Psychopath Inside

Fallon's brain (on the right) has dark patches in the orbital cortex, the area just behind the eyes. This is the area that Fallon and other scientists say is involved with ethical behavior, moral decision-making and impulse control.
The normal scan on the left is his son's. Jim Fallon

12/17/13 - Today’s Topical Currents is with neuroscientist James Fallon.  After decades of studying human brains, he found that his own scan showed psychopathic patterns. Did he have the genes of a serial killer? He’s written THE PSYCHOPATH INSIDE:  A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey Into the Dark Side of the Brain. That’s Topical Currents Tuesday at 1pm.

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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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