Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Interview with Novelist Sandra Cisneros

Sandra at San Miguel Allende Mexico
© Copyright 2011 Alan Goldfarb

01/02/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with literary contributor Ariel Gonzalez and writer Sandra Cisneros.  For decades, she’s inspired young Latino authors. Her latest work is a departure:  an illustrated children’s book which takes place in San Antonio.  And more, at 1:30:  Linda Gassenheimer discusses how consumers can avoid endangered seafood species with the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch.

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Delray Beach
10:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Delray Beach To Event Organizers: Pay Up Or Be Gone

Credit FlickR/aldenjewell

If you want to hold a major street fair or festival in Delray Beach, the city wants some cash up front first.

Delray Beach officials say they're tired of the unpaid bills left behind by major event organizers in recent years.  The city is in the hole for about $50,000 after certain festivals failed to cover costs for events not hosted by the city.

Several major fairs – including the Carnevale and the Delray Beach Film Festival -- have been banned for skipping out on the tab.

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Health Care Reform
10:00 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Florida Is 'Interesting' As Obamacare Dawns

WELCOME TO ALL: Once one of Obamacare's worst enemies, Florida appears ready to comply with it.

Florida led the multi-state court case that tried unsuccessfully to derail President Obama's health care reforms last year.

But now, Gov. Rick Scott seems to be halfway through a complete reversal toward complying with Obamacare.

He's setting up an infrastructure to support the insurance exchanges that the Affordable Care Act would create. He's got a meeting with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius next week and his state Senate has already set up a committee to study Florida's Obamacare options.

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Property Insurance
9:00 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Florida Dodges Storms But Gets Smacked By Rising Insurance Rates

Citizens' new president says right now the company still charges far less than a private company would.
Credit Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Florida has successfully dodged a major storm for a while now. But, the state's residents have not been so lucky at dodging rate increases on their property insurance.

Property insurance rates have been rising for millions of Floridians even though the state hasn't been directly hit by a hurricane in seven years.

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Fiscal Cliff
8:50 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In Florida, Payroll Tax Means It's Still A Cliff

CLIFF NOTE: A leading economist says the two percent payroll tax increase will drain $6.5 billion out of the Florida economy.

Congress' fiscal cliff compromise may have protected Florida's middle class wage earners from a massive income tax increase, but the small tax increase it didn’t address remains a threat to the recovering state economy.

Starting Jan. 1, a two percent payroll tax holiday that President Obama put in place in 2010 expires, meaning that the paycheck deduction that funds Social Security will increase by that same two percent.

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Guns And Society
8:00 am
Thu January 3, 2013

'Stand Your Ground' Linked To Increase In Homicides In Florida

STOOD HIS GROUND: George Zimmerman, shown here in court, is the defendant in the Trayvon Martin shooting which became a flashpoint for 'stand your ground' laws around the country.

If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that's what it used to do.

In 2005, Florida became the first of nearly two-dozen states to pass a "stand your ground" law that removed the requirement to retreat. If you felt at risk of harm in a park or on the street, you could use lethal force to defend yourself. The shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford drew national attention to these laws.

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7:48 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Domino's Birth Control Verdict Heartens Catholic Pizza King's Florida University

TOM MONAGHAN: Catholic businessman and founder of Ave Maria University wins his birth control case.

A federal court in Michigan has ruled that Domino's pizza founder and former owner Tom Monaghan has the constitutional religious freedom to exclude contraception from his employees' insurance coverage.

Now he's waiting to see whether that ruling will extend to the other institution he founded, Florida's Ave Maria University. Monaghan sold Domino's Pizza in 1998.

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Terrorist Support Trial
7:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Jury Selection Is Underway In Miami Imams' Taliban Case

Jury selection began Wednesday in the trial of two South Florida imams accused of financially supporting the Taliban.
Credit Kittisak /

Jury selection began Wednesday in the trial of two South Florida imams accused of financially supporting the Taliban.

Hafiz Khan, 77, and his 26-year-old son, Izhar Khan, are charged with funneling $50,000 to the Taliban in Pakistan.

Both men are U.S. citizens born in Pakistan. Hafiz headed the Flagler Mosque in Miami. His son oversaw the Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen mosque in Margate.

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Foreclosure Crisis
6:00 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Florida's Mortgage Mess: When Help Is At Arm's Length

Sometimes lenders are hesitant to take on government programs that could help foreclosure victims.
Credit Robert Lyle /WLRN

Foreclosure help in Florida comes with conditions.

Florida pops to the top of the list anytime someone mentions home foreclosures.

The federal government and the major banks are trying to help people modify mortgages so they can stay in their homes. But those programs frequently come with caveats and conditions.

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