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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Food
5:14 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

NY Times Tells Us What A Florida Thanksgiving Tastes Like

Bored with the same old cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes? How about Mojo Turkey, black beans and plantains?
Credit Andrew Scrivani for the New York Times

Mango? How about Key lime? If you want this year's Thanksgiving Day table to include the tastes and aromas that practically scream "Florida," which would you choose?

NY Times Food Editor Sam Sifton and his team wanted to see how Thanksgiving dishes varied from state to state across the country. 

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Education
12:36 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Special Truck Delivers Auto Shop Class To Broward High Schools

Broward Technical Colleges' Automotive Mobile Lab visits four Broward high schools weekly for three-hour sessions in vehicle maintenance.
Credit Christine DiMattei

In many secondary schools nationwide, classes in vehicle maintenance are falling prey to the same kind of budget cuts eliminating art, music and phys-ed from the curriculum.

But instructors in Broward County have found a way to take automotive classes on the road -- and pull them right up to the school door.

The Automotive Mobile Lab -- about the size of an 18-wheeler -- was designed by the staff of Broward Technical Colleges and was modeled on the kind of trailers used in NASCAR races.

 

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News
4:18 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

All Aboard Florida Breaks Ground On West Palm Beach Station

Demolition begins for All Aboard Florida's West Palm Beach station.
Credit Christine DiMattei

All Aboard Florida broke ground today for its downtown West Palm Beach station.

Over the next three weeks, both the Sewell Hardware and the Sasser Glass Buildings will be razed to make way for the station between Evernia and Datura Streets, right next to the Florida East Coast Railway corridor.

The grade crossings at those streets will be closed at the end of the year for construction.  All Aboard Florida officials say they plan to build a new bypass road to run right in front of the station.

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Arts
8:13 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Exhibit Explores Bonds Between Jewish Refugee Professors, Black Students

Professor Ernst Borinski teaching in the Social Science Lab, Tougaloo College, MS, circa 1960.
Credit Coral Gables Museum

Imagine you’re a college professor driven from your home country on a wave of prejudice and bigotry. You seek refuge in a new country, where you find yourself teaching a group of people subjected to similar intolerance. This nearly forgotten part of 20th-Century history is being revisited now at a Coral Gables Museum exhibit.

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Election 2014
1:05 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Maria Sachs Defeats Ellyn Bogdanoff In Close Race For SD 34

Incumbent State Senator Maria Sachs announces her win for SD 34 last night in West Palm Beach
Credit C. DiMattei

It must have felt like deja vu for Democratic State Senator Maria Sachs last night.

"How sweet it is!" Sachs shouted to a crowd of her supporters at the Airport Hilton in West Palm Beach.

Sachs held her lead over former Republican State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff in the hotly contested race for Senate District 34, which straddles the eastern parts of Palm Beach and Broward Counties.

Sachs and Bogdanoff had a similar face-off in 2012, after redrawn districts had the two incumbents vying for the same seat.

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News
5:59 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Federal Agency Hosts Nontraditional Public Forum on Miami-To-Orlando Train

The Federal Railroad Administration is hosting public forums on All Aboard Florida in an "open-house" style, instead of traditional public hearings.
Credit Christine DiMattei

Floridians who attend any of the scheduled public forums on a proposed Miami-to-Orlando passenger train will find plenty of people to talk to—but no microphone and no podium.

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All Aboard Florida
5:05 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Why This Treasure Coast Mom Wants To Stop ‘All Aboard Florida’ Dead In Its Tracks

K.C. Traylor looks out over the St. Lucie River. Behind her is the Roosevelt Bridge, one of the drawbridges All Aboard Florida trains would cross daily.
Credit Christine DiMattei

Until just a few months ago, Kasey Carol “K.C.” Traylor knew nothing about trains.

But now the stay-at-home mom from Palm City could probably tell you everything you need to know about double-tracking, quiet zones or the decibel level of locomotive horns. 

"I know more about trains than I ever thought I would,” says Traylor, with a laugh.

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Culture
3:10 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Broward College Arts Program Seeks Audience Of "Artivists"

BSOCA Cultural Director Lamar Lovelace, left, working with performance artist Roberto 'Simply Rob' Vassilarakis.
Credit Christine DiMattei / WLRN

Until about 18 months ago, the auditorium at Broward College’s Pembroke Pines campus was largely unused.

“They’ve done graduations for kindergarten through fifth grade,” laughs Lamar Lovelace, director of the Broward College South Campus Office of Cultural Affairs. “A few film festivals here and there, but no concerted effort to program around arts and culture.”

But now, the 352-seat theater has been re-branded as BSOCA. And Lovelace is hoping its audiences get fired up enough to change the world. 

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Veterans
3:35 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Museum Helps War Veterans Reach Their Inner Artists

Vietnam veteran Howard Sweitzer, 78, works on a sketch during an Art of War session for veterans, hosted by the Coral Springs Museum of Art.
Credit Christine DiMattei

Once their tours of duty are over, war veterans sometimes have trouble readjusting to civilian life. But a program in Broward County uses art as a way to help vets cope with the trauma.

For the past few weeks, the Coral Springs Museum of Art has been hosting free sessions for veterans of all ages. They’re encouraged to express themselves however they choose -- with paints, colored pencils, collage or even poetry.

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News
1:56 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Pssst! Want a Hedgehog? Florida Wildlife Officials Seek Exotic Pet Owners

A state wildlife official poses with a tiny hedgehog. The mammals are among the exotic animals some Florida pet owners find too high-maintenance to keep
Credit Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

When exotic pets get too big, noisy or hungry to handle, their owners sometimes feel they have no choice but to release them into the wild.  

That’s the main reason Burmese pythons and other big snakes got a foothold in the Everglades, where they're wreaking havoc on native ecosystems.  But help is on the way for South Florida's overwhelmed exotic pet owners.

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Environment
4:27 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Feds: Underwater 'Christmas Trees' Key To Saving Rare Coral

Hang a shining star upon the highest . . . PVC pipe? An undersea NOAA nursery where pieces of growing coral dangle like Christmas ornaments from plastic piping.
Credit NOAA

"Maybe it just needs a little love," said Peanuts character Charlie Brown in describing his tiny Christmas tree with branches so fragile a single ornament weighs them to the ground.

Perhaps the same could be said of distressed coral.

Federal scientists believe that a spindly structure resembling an underwater Charlie Brown tree could play a huge role in saving rare coral damaged by the PortMiami deep-dredge project.

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News
3:19 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

How South Florida Modeling Agencies Could Help Stamp Out Human Trafficking

A 2008 United Nations conference on human trafficking inspired former Ford Modeling Agency CEO Katie Ford to join in the fight against modern-day slavery.
Credit Christine DiMattei

Youth sells.

Both in the glamorous world of high-fashion modeling and, sadly, in the dark underworld of human trafficking.

A fake promise of modeling or acting jobs is just one way human traffickers lure young victims -- female and male -- into lives of prostitution or domestic slavery. And now one of the most famous names in the fashion world says South Florida modeling agencies and talent scouts can play a part in the fight against the modern-day slave trade.

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News
6:03 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Palm Beach County Gets First Look At New Flood Zone Maps

This week, FEMA specialists have been helping Palm Beach County residents assess their flood risk with the help of newly-released flood-zone maps.
Credit Christine DiMattei

In the program room of the Boynton Beach City Library, 80-year-old Harvey Levine is handed a numbered ticket and a form to fill out. He then sits down and waits for his number to be called.

The room is divided into stations marked "Property Look-up," "Insurance Information,"  "Appeals and Comments,"  and "Community Assistance." This is one of several public open houses hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Levine is here to learn the status of his Lake Worth condo.

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Cuba
7:04 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Cuba Limits Amount Of Goods In Flyers' Baggage

Credit Flickr / kozumel

In the five years since travel restrictions to Cuba were eased, Cuban-American air travelers have been taking about $2 billion worth of products a year to their relatives who still live on the island.

Now Cuban authorities are limiting the amount of goods that can be brought in and have also increased customs duties on many items still allowed. The Cuban government says the new rules are meant to curtail the illegal operations of so-called "mules" who import items for black-market businesses.

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