Bridget O'Brien

Associate Producer of News and Public Affairs

Bridget O'Brien produces WLRN's The Florida Roundup as well as morning newscasts. A long-time public radio geek, she feels that audio journalism can take a story beyond text and allows listeners to truly connect through the power of voice. With a background in drama, she brings a theatrical element to everything she does. 

Bridget is a Miami native and graduated from Florida State University. After spending some time on the West Coast as producer at a local station in Sarasota, she was happy to return home and join WLRN’s team.

Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Education has traditionally been a mainstay topic for labor activists. So it seems appropriate that going into Labor Day this year, some South Florida educators are trying to unionize.

In recent years, colleges and universities, hoping to cut costs, have increasingly relied on part-time professors. In response, a growing number of part-time professors are pushing for unions. They're seeking things like higher wages and health-care benefits.

Courtesy of @darnelmanes

On the first day of August, traces of Tropical Storm Emily brought heavy rains to Miami-Dade County during high tide bringing extreme flooding to certain areas, most notably in Miami Beach.

The city has spent half-a-billion dollars on flood management efforts including raising streets and installing a series of pumps to battle high water. But it wasn't designed to deal with so much water at once and the city's pumps lost power during last week's heavy onslaught. How well are these anti-flooding projects equipped to safeguard from unexpected meteorological events? 

This week on The Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson, Miami Herald reporter Patricia Mazzei and WLRN's  Tim Padgett discuss how Venezuela's crisis impacts policy and politics in South Florida. Also part of the conversation: This week's torrential downpours overwhelmed some local flood control efforts, and what would South Beach look like if voters choose to move up last call?  

Listen: 

Peter Haden/WLRN

Palm Beach County prosecutors have dropped a case looking into voter fraud over absentee ballots in a County Commission and state House election last August.

Investigators with the State Attorney's Office found more than 20 fake signatures forged on request forms for absentee ballots. A team of detectives looked into the case over the past year, but could not identify a suspect to accuse. 

AP

Last week  South Miami became the first city in Florida to mandate that all new homes, townhomes, condo and apartment buildings have rooftop solar panels. 

The measure also requires current homeowners who chose to enlarge their homes by 75 percent or more or replace at least three-quarters of them  to add solar panels. 

The new rule takes effect on Sept. 18.   

CREATIVE COMMONS

This week on The Florida Roundup ...

The state finds itself as a defendant in one lawsuit as well as in another soon-to-come lawsuit. 

We're joined by the Miami Herald's Mary Ellen Klas and Gary Fineout with the Associated Press to discuss a week of legal action in Florida. 

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

This week on The Florida Roundup...

The Florida Department of Education released the latest school grades for the 2016-17 year and the results are astounding. The percentage of schools that earned an "A" or "B" jumped from 47 percent the previous year to 57 percent and the number of failing schools decreased by more than half. 

This week on The Florida Roundup ...

After weeks of private negotiations, Senate Republicans unveiled their Better Care Reconciliation Act, their proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. Florida has more at stake in this debate than any other state and South Florida alone has more than 600,000 people signed up for individual coverage through the ACA this year. 

Steve Cannon/AP

This week on The Florida Roundup...

Ahead of last week's three-day special session, the state's top legislative leaders -Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron- appeared to have reached an agreement about public spending in the new fiscal year. 

MADELINE FOX/WLRN

The Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO) is facing criticism over its handling of the fatal mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last January. 

C.M. GUERRERO / Miami Herald

A fatal accident on the Julia Tuttle Causeway early this morning caused traffic delays throughout Miami-Dade and even Broward County. 

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

This week on The Florida Roundup...

President Donald Trump embarks on his first overseas trip since taking office visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican before meeting with NATO and the G7. The trip comes as foreign policy talk has been dominated by  scandal surrounding the alleged administration links with Russia.  

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