The Kids Are Alright
3:47 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Report Cards Are In: Almost Half Of Florida's High Schools Earn An 'A'

This year the number of 'A' grades for high schools raised from 31 percent to 47 percent.

The State Board of Educations recently permitted many changes that paved the way for higher grades to label Florida's high schools with. 

According to State Impact, "The board lowered the passing grade on the state writing test, suspended the penalty for schools whose lowest-performing students did not improve their scores and only allowed school grades to drop by a maximum of one letter."

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Gun Control
1:30 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Six Questions With 'Gun-Free Zone' Florida Representative

Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Dennis Baxley commenting at a 2012 panel discussion in Tallahassee.
Credit Florida House of Representatives website

Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been all over the news this week. On Monday, responding to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, he said all remedies must be "on the table" legislatively, including allowing teachers and principals to arm themselves on school   grounds. 

On Tuesday, after his comments had been reported widely, Baxley issued a statement that this is a time to respect the victims. "Contrary to media reports, no specific proposals have been advanced or filed by me," he wrote.

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South Florida Arts Beat
1:00 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Key Largo Food/Wine Festival, Ten Best Films, Author Bob Kealing, Broward Arts Cal

12/21/12 - Next time on South Florida Arts Beat, restaurateur Bobby Stokey, shares his excitement about the “Uncorked: Key Largo & Islamorada Food and Wine Festival,” now expanding to 10 days starting January 10th.  Film critic, Dan Hudak, delivers his year-end Top Ten Best Films of 2012. Author Bob Kealing talks about a Florida musical legend in his new book, Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock. Our arts calendar features Jody Horne-Leshinsky with enticing Broward County events.

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Community Health Center
12:00 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Why A Venerable Coconut Grove Healthcare Center Is Losing Federal Funding

The Bentley center will be losing $1.8 million in federal funds due to federal health agency audit findings that the center did not have proper accounting practices in place.
Credit photoblog0006

The well-regarded Helen Bentley Family Health Center, a fixture in Coconut Grove, will be losing almost to $2 million in federal funding next year.  

The Miami Herald says the funding represents approximately 17 percent of the center’s operating budget.  The center will continue to provide services but laid off several support staff due to the reduction.     

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Gun Control Debate: Is Florida "The Gunshine State"?

With over a million concealed weapons permits, Florida has more than any other state.
Credit Zweroboi

On the Florida Roundup: The tragedy in Connecticut hits home in what some people call “The Gunshine State,”as Florida has over a million concealed weapons permits, the most in the country.    Do you feel safer?  We hear your reaction to Florida’s milestone.  And will gun control be on the agenda in Tallahassee?

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Documentary
11:46 am
Fri December 21, 2012

A New WLRN Documentary "Weird Florida: On The Road Again"

Update 8 a.m. Sunday, December 23: "Weird Florida" On Page One

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel featured WLRN's latest documentary, "Weird Florida," on its Sunday front page story on December 23. Reporter Johnny Diaz interviewed WLRN's own Mia Lorenzo:

WLRN producer Mia Laurenzo says she wanted to take viewers on a TV tour of seldom-seen attractions.

"I like it when viewers say, 'Wow, I really didn't know that' — especially people who live here,'' says Laurenzo, who traveled with Carlson, the dog and a cameraman for several weeks beginning in May.

The Hollywood resident got the idea for the documentaries after spotting Carlson's 2005 book, "Weird Florida: Your Travel Guide to Florida's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets." Taking a cue from the classic series "Ripley's Believe It or Not!," the WLRN show also has segments on creepy legends such as a lake monster in the city of Frostproof and a "skunk-ape" north of Lakeland.

"It's not your typical PBS travel show which tells you about the types of food, the culture, the area and [has] these beautiful sweeping aerial pans,'' Laurenzo says. "'Weird Florida' is campy. We take a look at these roadside attractions."

Posted at 11:46 a.m. Friday, December 21:

WLRN takes viewers on a trip through Florida in search of weird places and whacky people, with its new documentary Weird Florida: On the Road Again !  This exciting new documentary was produced due to the tremendous success of the first television special Weird Florida: Roads Less Traveled, which has aired on PBS stations from Miami, Florida to Juneau, Alaska.  To fulfill the desires of weird fans everywhere, the bizarre journey to Florida’s zaniest places will continue in this all new Weird Florida: On the Road Again.

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Food
10:00 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Hedy Goldsmith, Pastry Chef At Michael's Genuine, And Her Magical Easy-Bake Oven

A 1964 Kenner Easy-Bake oven as photographed for an eBay auction.
Credit "Titominny" / eBay

Hedy Goldsmith recalls her first efforts at baking -- with the Easy-Bake Oven, in her new cookbook -- Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors.

We spoke with Goldsmith, executive pastry chef at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, about her new Easy-Bake Oven and about holiday baking.

Goldsmith recently got a 1964 Easy Bake Oven with the original cake mixes:

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Quinnipiac Poll
9:48 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Q Poll Charts Strongly Held Education Views In Florida (And Some Gay Marriage Wavering)

REALLY? Voters doubt a college degree can be had for as little as $10,000.

The News Service of Florida

Florida voters are overwhelmingly against charging college tuition based on what people study, skeptical that degrees can be offered for $10,000 and strongly against setting different educational goals based on race, a new poll has found.

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Housing
9:08 am
Fri December 21, 2012

S. Florida Leads In Foreclosure, Delinquency

FORECLOSED IN THE 305: The crisis is worst in South Florida.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area remains on the bleeding edge of the nation's still-critical foreclosure problem, according to new rankings from the Center for Housing Policy. It has, by far, the highest rate of  homes in foreclosure -- but the rest of the state is not far behind.

In the 13 metros with the highest percentages of homes in foreclosure, only one is not in Florida. It's number two.

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Labor Dispute
7:53 am
Fri December 21, 2012

'Jersey Boys' Canceled A Fourth Time As Stagehand Strike Darkens Kravis Center

STRIKERS: Union stagehands picket the Kravis Center. Four performances of
Credit Allen Eyestone / IATSE

A strike by stagehands at West Palm Beach's Kravis Center for the Performing Arts has forced the cancelation of yet another performance of the hit show "Jersey Boys," the fourth since the union walk-out on Tuesday.

Kravis officials have stopped selling tickets for the production and they are now offering refunds to ticket holders.

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