Holiday Slideshow
9:30 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Slideshow: West Palm Beach Marks The Holidays In Florida Fashion

The company Team Sandtastic created 7 different holiday themed sand sculptures for the City of West Palm Beach.
Arianna Prothero

For the second year in a row, West Palm Beach has opted to decorate the city in a very South Florida fashion this holiday season.

Large, intricate holiday themed sand sculptures have been erected all down Clematis Street between Rosemary Avenue and the waterfront.

City of West Palm Beach spokesman Elliot Cohen said the sculptures have been more than festive, they've been good publicity. The largest sculpture is a 35-foot-tall Christmas tree made with 400 tons of sand.

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Preserving Florida's Past
6:30 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Troubled Bridge Over Water: Why A Key Part Of Keys' History Is In Danger

People from Marathon and around the world go to the Old Seven Mile Bridge to exercise or enjoy the sunset.
Arianna Prothero

The Old Seven bridge may crumble without support.

When the Old Seven Mile Bridge was built, it was an engineering wonder of the early 1900s. Part of Henry Flagler’s famous railway to Key West, it ran across nearly seven miles of open water to connect Marathon to the Lower Keys.

Today, the bridge is still a popular spot with both locals and tourists, but it’s slowly falling apart. Salt water and storms are eroding the bridge faster than the state can afford to repair it. Much of it is now closed. Historians and activists are desperately searching for a way to preserve what's left: a 2.2 mile section of the Old Seven Bridge that is still open to pedestrians and cyclists.

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Pill Mills
4:30 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Pill Mills Migrate North To Georgia

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that three of every four overdose deaths in 2008 involved prescription painkillers.
Credit Mouse, Flickr

Florida's war on so-called "pill mill" pain clinics  appears to be pushing the problem into Georgia.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2010, there were just 10 pain clinics in the state of Georgia. Today, there are more than 125 clinics  and the state's per capita prescriptions of oxycodone has tripled in the last decade.

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Cuba & Venezuela
3:30 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

2012: The Year of What Didn't Happen In Latin America

Credit Guillermo Esteves

2012 may be remembered in Latin American for what didn't happen more than for what actually did, especially in Venezuela and Cuba.

VENEZUELA

The year began ominously for Venezuelan nationals living in South Florida.  The U.S. State Department expelled the country's consul-general, alleging she was involved in a cyber-terrorism plot. In January, Venezuela's Miami consulate was shut down by President Hugo Chavez, who was facing a tough reelection campaign. 

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Florida Holidays
1:30 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Florida Holidays: Publix Commercials Make Us Cry

WUSF reporter/producer Dalia Colón rarely cries over movies, but this Publix commercial had her in pieces.
Credit YouTube screen shot

tvOur friends at WUSF in Tampa have been collecting holiday stories and traditions from around the state for a series they call "Florida Holidays." The following was originally posted by WUSF reporter Dalia Colón.

Confession: Publix holiday commercials turn me to mush.

Maybe it's the music. Maybe it's because I'm already in the holiday spirit. Or maybe it's just good marketing.

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Capital Punishment
7:40 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Florida's Surging Death Penalties Buck Trend

NEW MISSION: Exonerated after 12 years on Florida's death row, Freddie Lee Pitts became an activist.
Credit deathpenaltyphotos.org

Texas executed 15 convicts in 2012, the most of any state, according to an end-of-year report from the Death Penalty Information Center.

But Florida led the nation with new death sentences for the year: 21, more than twice as many as Texas. California, with 14 death sentences, was the only other state to achieve a double-digit performance.

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Unemployment
6:55 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Judging Rick Scott's Job Creation Record

HARD TIMES: The Florida unemployment rate has been reduced mostly by discouraged workers abandoning the job search.
Credit Sweets and Flowers/Flickr

His big campaign pledge was 700-thousand jobs in seven years.

So, halfway through his term, how is Gov. Rick Scott doing with that?

The answer...it's complicated.

Unemployment has dropped from 11.4 percent in January, 2011, to 8.1 percent in November of this year. But almost half of the improvement is attributed to discouraged workers leaving the workforce.

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Arts
6:30 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Young Musicians Band Together Against Anti-Gay Bullying

Flickr/Eddie~S

The stands in front of the teenagers’ chairs hold the same sheet music – the theme to “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  But each of the young musicians has a different story to tell about anti-gay bullying.

Like the bi-sexual flutist, who says she’s pretty much been bullied all her life.

And the gay saxophonist, who describes how it “really gets to you inside and sometimes you start believing what people are saying.”

Even the heterosexual clarinetist is not immune.  She feels too many of her classmates use the word “gay” to describe something bad.

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Election 2012
6:20 am
Wed December 26, 2012

How S. Floridians Canceled Their Own Votes

UNRECOVERABLE ERROR: A lot of South Floridians canceled their own votes with time, place and signature mistakes.

Floridians will remember how hard it was to vote on election day in November of 2012.

But many will forget what was easy: Losing their vote because of simple mistakes.

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