Year In Review
7:43 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Florida Is Weird. But Here's What Was Weirdest This Year.

Credit Sammy Mack, John Spade, Roberto Koltun, Andrew Derksen / WLRN, Flickr, El Nuevo Herald, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Cooperative Pest Survey Program

Florida can be a pretty weird place, and it's something of a holiday tradition for news organizations throughout the state to put together lists of the weirdest stories of the year. (Read our "Why South Florida Can't Have Nice Things" roundup from last year.)

We decided to go straight to the people on the front lines: WLRN-Miami Herald News anchors, producers, editors and reporters. Here are what they thought were the most bizarre Florida stories of 2013. 

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Party Safe
5:42 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Pitbull And The City Of Miami Don't Want You To Fire Your Gun On New Year's Eve

Miami officials are urging revelers not to shoot in celebration.

On the last day of the year people all over South Florida will be looking to bring in 2014’s first moments with a bang. But Miami officials are asking that guns be excluded from those New Year’s Eve celebrations.

On Monday, county commissioner Audrey Edmonson took a swing at tackling celebratory gunfire again this year with the “One Bullet Kills the Party” campaign.

Pitbull, also known as Mr. Worldwide, is the face of the campaign which seeks to make people aware of the dangers of celebratory bullets that cause can injuries, property damage, and in some cases, death.

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StateImpact Florida
4:25 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Children's Authors On Education Policy: Michael Buckley Talks Bullying And Non-Fiction

Michael Buckley is a best-selling children's author.
Credit Abrams Books

  Children’s author Michael Buckley has spent a lot of time thinking about bullies. He’s the bestselling author of the NERDS series, which features a bunch of nerdy kids who deal with bullies during the school day and moonlight as top-secret superheroes the rest of the time.

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Topical Currents
1:30 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Novelist Allan Gurganus

Local Souls
http://www.allangurganus.com/

12/30/13 - Literary contributor Ariel Gonzalez visits with novelist Allan Gurganus.  He’s known for documenting southern US sentiments and the bittersweet lives of the citizens of a present-day fictional town in North Carolina.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times

“Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times”
http://www.projectcensored.org/

12/30/13 - Join us for Monday’s Topical Currents, when we begin with Andy Lee Roth, coauthor of Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times.”  The book chronicles news censorship and under-reported stories from the past year.

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StateImpact Florida
12:41 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Children's Authors On Education Policy: Sheila Keenan Talks Common Core And Graphic Novels

Sheila Keenan is author of the new graphic novel, Dogs of War.
Credit Scholastic.com

Sheila Keenan, author of a new graphic novel for kids, called Dogs of War, says she tries not to think too much about classroom policies when she writes.

Her latest work is about the relationships between soldiers and dogs during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. It’s fiction, but she did a lot of research to make sure it was historically accurate.“Good storytelling is good storytelling,” says Keenan.

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Education
12:29 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

The Florida Education Stories To Watch In 2014

StateImpact Florida covers education policy in Florida.
Credit Daniel Moyle

IMPLEMENTING NEW COMMON CORE STANDARDS

Florida is one of 45 states that have fully adopted new math, English and literacy standards known as Common Core. Political opposition to the standards built throughout the year in both Florida and across the country.

Every Florida grade is scheduled to switch to the new standards this fall. The standards outline what students should know at the end of each grade.

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Education
12:06 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

The Biggest Florida Education Stories of 2013

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett is under criticism resigned his post on August 1. Pam Stewart was chosen to replace Bennett.
Credit Tony Bennett / StateImpact Indiana

Here’s our pick for the biggest education stories of 2013 — a few of which will likely dominate 2014 as well.

TONY BENNETT’S RESIGNATION

Bennett came to Florida in January with a reputation as a rising star among self-proclaimed education reformers and a leading voice for the Common Core English, literacy and math standards fully adopted by 45 states. He also came on the heels of losing his reelection bid as Indiana’s state schools chief to Democrat Glenda Ritz.

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Commentary
9:45 am
Mon December 30, 2013

New World Pope Challenges Old World Church: Francis Is Top LatAm Story in 2013

Pope Francis wears an indigenous Pataxo headdress during his visit to Brazil last July for World Youth Day.
Credit L'Osservatore Romano

They say Americans will do anything for Latin America except read about it. But even gringos couldn’t ignore the noise next door in 2013.

Seemingly overnight, Brazil experienced violent anti-government unrest – then just as quickly it became the spokesnation for a world outraged by the U.S. surveillance overreach exposed by Edward Snowden.

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Sailor Stews
8:00 am
Sat December 28, 2013

A Word On Food: Chilau

Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post by Norman Van Aken.

A play of light mesmerized me as I lay in bed, savoring the last moments of an unmoored  consciousness. I allowed my mind to wander as I simply enjoyed the light show and worked on understanding where it was coming from and how it was working.

The process of cooking is nearly identical for me. The analyst in me came to realize that the fluttering sequences of light and shadow dancing on the unadorned wall placed me in the room that once was my son’s. The light of the early morning sun punctuated by the rhythm of the ceiling fan sought to keep me lulled and sleeping longer.

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