Christine DiMattei

Anchor/ Reporter

Years ago, after racking her brains trying to find a fun, engaging, creative nighttime gig to subsidize her acting habit, Chris decided to ride her commercial voiceover experience into the fast-paced world of radio broadcasting. She started out with traffic reporting, moved on to news . . . and never looked back. Since then, Chris has worked in newsrooms throughout South Florida, producing stories for radio broadcasts and the web.

In her other life, she has been married to 12 husbands (including a not-so-wild boar and a garden slug), given birth to 15 children, died four times, twice taken vows as a nun and once been abducted by pirates in the Caribbean. And all this by doing English language dubbing for dozens of foreign films, soap operas and cartoons.  Both lives, she says, have been "a most excellent adventure."

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Primary Election
11:33 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Polls Close At 7 p.m. For Florida's Primary Election

Voters at the Miami Shores Community Center. Polling places close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Credit Walter Michot / Miami Herald

No long lines and quiet polling places are what most South Florida voters can expect so far during the primary election on Tuesday.

For most Democratic voters, the highlight of this election is getting to choose who will run against Republican Gov. Rick Scott in November: Charlie Crist or Nan Rich. But there are local races on the ballot, and some voters are finding it’s wise to go into the voting booth with a plan.

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Real Estate
6:05 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Why South Florida Is A Great Place For Landlords

As more locals are renting instead buying properties, part-time landlords are profiting.
Credit thinkpanama.com

When the housing market collapsed in South Florida, many homeowners who lost their homes became renters. And the region's blazing-hot rental market is making this a profitable place for part-time landlords.

Real estate website Zillow.com rates South Florida the second-best market in the country for landlords who don't rely on tenants for primary income. The average monthly profit is $515, right behind Oklahoma City at $536.

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Immigration Reform
6:00 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

7 Immigration Activists Arrested Outside Pompano Detention Center

Yadira Dumet, 26, was one of seven protesters arrested for blocking the entrance of the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach. The protesters want to highlight the plight of 'low-priority' undocumented immigrants detained at the Center.
Credit C. DiMattei

A group of protesters in Pompano Beach said they were ready to go to jail Wednesday to speed the release of undocumented immigrants facing deportation – and that’s exactly what happened.

The seven protesters chained themselves to each other outside the Broward Transitional Center.  Rally organizers say the detention facility is holding between 500 and 700 undocumented immigrants awaiting decisions on their deportation cases.

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News
2:47 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Feds: Undersea 'Little Houses' In Florida Keys A Threat To Marine Life

One of hundreds of 'casitas,' illegal lobster traps on the ocean floor off the Florida Keys.
Credit NOAA/TetraTech

For the last two months, marine restoration teams have been hauling up coffee table-like structures from Florida Keys waters. They're called casitas -- Spanish for "little houses."

Cute name -- but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says these things can be really nasty. They're made out of a wide variety of materials, including corrugated tin, plastic and cement.

When lobsters seek shelter under the artificial habitats, poachers can catch as many as 1,500 a day, far exceedng the daily catch limit of 250.

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Arts
12:24 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

"The Miami Generation: Revisited" Still Exhibits Yearning For Cuba

"The Miami Generation" of Cuban-exile artists in 1983.
Credit thecubanhistory.com

The recurring image of a pierced heart in a gallery at the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale is almost certainly coincidental. But former Miami Herald art critic Helen Kohen says for this exhibit, titled "The Miami Generation: Revisited," the motif is fitting.

"It’s an enormously strong symbol of a huge change in your life and a huge switch-over,” says Kohen. “To lose their native land. To be an exile."

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The Florida Roundup
10:59 am
Fri July 25, 2014

The Florida Roundup: Taking The "Affordable" Out Of The Affordable Care Act?

Health insurance subsidies are on shaky ground after two contradictory court rulings.
Credit cooldesign / freedigitalphotos.net

This week on the Florida Roundup, we're exploring why subsidies to help nearly a million Floridians buy health insurance are on shaky ground.

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Arts
12:30 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Miami Choreographer Channels Her Inner Showgirl, Teams Up With NY's Ballet Hispanico

Miami's own Rosie Herrera began her career as a performer in Little Havana's Teatro de Bellas Artes.
Credit Daniel Azoulay

Originally published June 6, 2014.

They’re cat’s-eye glasses, the kind that made Rocky’s girlfriend Adrian look like such a plain Jane in the first “Rocky” movie. But when Rosie Herrera wears them, she’s probably one of the few people who can make them look cool.

“I’ve had the same glasses since I was in the third grade,” says Herrera, with a chuckle. “I think I can pull them off because I really like them,” she says.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Can Beckham Bend It At A Boat Slip?

Miami Beckham United unveiled its drawings for the new site on Thursday.
Credit Miami Beckham United

On The Florida Roundup: Former soccer star David Beckham's team presents a new plan for a stadium and park at a boat slip by the American Airlines Arena after their vision for a facility at Miami's Port faced fierce opposition. 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez got into office by touting his opposition to Marlins Park. But this week he was all over in the news for deals with sports teams, including the Miami Heat and Dolphins. What’s changed?

And a reporter spends eight months delving into the world of South Florida's Seminole and Miccosukee Indians.

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Interview
3:57 am
Fri May 2, 2014

The "Eyes" Have It In Florida Grand Opera's "Thais"

Early Christian asceticism and pagan decadence go head to head in Barbe and Doucet's staging of Massenet's 'Thais'
Credit Jeffrey Dunn

The names Barbe and Doucet might not be as widely known as Wagner, Puccini or Verdi -- but their influence is felt in opera houses worldwide.

French director Renaud Doucet and Canadian set and costume designer André Barbe are partners in life as well as work.  And this month, they're bringing their combined talents back to the Florida Grand Opera for Jules Massenet's "Thais."

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News
3:20 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Palm Beach School Board Kills Parental Dress Code Idea

Credit Flickr CC

UPDATE, April 24, 2014: At a Palm Beach County school board meeting Wednesday, April 23, members refused to even entertain the proposal of implementing a parental dress code.

The idea of dress codes for parents who come to events was proposed by board member Karen Brill, following the subject coming up in Broward County schools.

Booty shorts. Saggy pants. Tight, cleavage-baring tank tops. Even pajamas.  

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Arts
3:52 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Nationwide Ukulele Craze Takes South Florida By Strum

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

The jam session at the Penny Lane Music Emporium in Fort Lauderdale is probably one of the few musical gatherings in South Florida where senior citizens and teenagers play out of the same songbook.

About 20 people of all ages stand or sit in a circle, strumming ukuleles. Each of them has one eye on the sheet music, the other on their host, Ty Olopai.

"Beginners, when they pick it up, learn music in a minute,” says Olopai.

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Arts
2:05 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Nilo Cruz Returns To Holocaust's 'Voyage Of The Damned' In New Play

Some of the nearly 1,000 Jewish refugees aboard the St. Louis arriving in Belgium after being refused entry into Cuba and the United States.
Credit jdc.org

The fate of a German ocean liner in 1939 is one of the darkest moments in both American and Cuban history. The M.S. St. Louis was bound for Havana, carrying nearly a thousand Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution.

After Cuba and the U.S. both turned the ship away and it returned to Europe -- most of those passengers perished in the Holocaust.

And now, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz has raised the specter of that doomed voyage in his latest work, titled "Sotto Voce."  

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Music
8:35 am
Wed March 19, 2014

FIU 'Complaints Choir' Shows The World Its Whine List

FIU's newly formed chorus is one of hundreds of 'complaint choirs' worldwide.
Credit Christine DiMattei

"We will run out of resources!
Miami drivers all stink!"

The young men and women are standing in a practice room in Florida International University’s School of Music, singing a whole string of gripes and lamentations.

A litany of complaints, as it were.

"People don't know to turn right on red!
They never use their turn signals either!"

They're all members of FIU’s newly formed "Complaints Choir," a group of singers whose sole purpose is taking common everyday annoyances and setting them to music.

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News
7:50 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Realtors Fear Negative Impacts of Miami-Orlando Train

Credit AllAboardFlorida.com

A passenger rail connecting South Florida and Orlando is on track to start running next year.

But not everyone is jumping for joy.

A group of real estate experts serving parts of northern Palm Beach and Martin Counties says it has serious concerns about All Aboard Florida.

The $1.5-billion railway project would add 32 passenger trains to the 14 freight trains already running on the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks. Stations would be located in the downtowns of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

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