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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Music
7:38 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Cuban-American Jazz Legend Receives Presidential Honor

Arturo Sandoval (left) and his hero and mentor, jazz great Dizzy Gillespie.
Credit arturosandoval.com

This week, President Obama bestowed the nation's highest civilian honor on 16 celebrated Americans, one of them a Cuban-American widely considered one of the world's greatest living jazz artists.

The cover of Arturo Sandoval's 1991 album "Flight to Freedom" features a photo of the musician wearing a smart suit and a radiant smile, his right hand gripping his trumpet, his left curled into a triumphant fist.  Just one year before the release of that album,  Sandoval was living in Cuba under the Castro regime. 

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Elevation Zero
8:05 am
Mon November 18, 2013

For A Future Glimpse Of Sea-Level Rise, Check Out The King Tide

The Ghost of Sea-Level Rise Future? Last month's King Tide had pedestrians wading through knee-deep water in Miami Beach.
Credit Arianna Prothero

Want to see the effects of sea-level rise?  Don’t want to wait 50 years?  Just walk to virtually any coastal area during the natural phenomenon called “King Tide.”

There are plenty of charts, graphs and artist renderings hinting at what South Florida will look like once sea-level rise gets a foothold.  But experts say it’s probably Mother Nature who offers the most vivid preview of things to come.

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Veterans Day
4:14 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Black South Florida Vets Pen Book Of Vietnam's 'Untold Stories'

Credit beckhamhouse.com

When 63-year-old Bobby White served as an infantryman in Vietnam in the late 1960s, he and his fellow African-American soldiers had a handshake ritual they called "The Dap."

"It was sort of amazing," White says. "Sometimes the guys touched each other's hands, their arms, with a charismatic sort of flair. And sometimes it would go on for a minute to five minutes, just to show appreciation that you, as another brother serving in the war, we are connected to each other."

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City Planning
8:56 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Fort Lauderdale Votes To Extend Sistrunk Boulevard Farther East

About $15 million of city, county and federal funds have been invested in a massive revitalization of the Sistrunk corridor.
Credit FortLauderdale.gov

In most big cities, altering a street sign is not much cause for fanfare.  But Fort Lauderdale’s decision to re-brand one particular street is being hailed by many in the city’s African-American community.

City commissioners decided Tuesday night that the name “Sistrunk Boulevard” will no longer stop near the railroad tracks, a segregation-era dividing line between the city’s black and white communities.  Sistrunk will now appear along with Northeast Sixth Street on signs running through Flagler Village, a section quickly gentrifying into a predominantly white neighborhood.

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Race
6:00 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood Has Change Of Heart In Sistrunk Naming Debate

During segregation, most Fort Lauderdale blacks lived west of the railroad tracks.
Credit Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center

Last month, we brought you the story of a Fort Lauderdale community divided over a street name honoring one of the city's African-American heroes.  Since then, one of the neighborhoods in question has done a complete about-face that could end years of emotional debate. 

But at least one city official has questions about what sparked the turn-around.

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Arts Season
4:22 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

How Rookies, Veterans Breathed New Life Into Palm Beach County Theater

'The Sound Of Music' was the debut show at The Wick Theatre, a new player on the theater scene in Palm Beach County.
Credit Amy Pasquantonio

It was a recession-era wallop that left South Florida theater circles reeling: the 2011 shuttering of Manalapan’s Florida Stage, followed almost immediately by the closing of Boca Raton’s Caldwell Theatre Company.

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Arts Season
7:00 am
Wed October 9, 2013

How Shakespeare Is Bringing Together U.S., U.K. Talent At GableStage

Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney will adapt and direct Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” as part of a collaboration between Miami’s GableStage, The Public Theater in New York City and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Credit George Schiavone

When Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” goes up at Miami’s GableStage in January, audiences will be watching the work of three great theater companies instead of just one.

They'll also see a ravishing Haitian ruler defending her homeland against French colonizers, not an Egyptian queen squaring off against her Roman conquerors.

The production, directed by Miami-native Tarell Alvin McCraney is an international collaboration between GableStage, New York City’s Public Theater and England’s Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

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Politics
7:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

U.S. Shutdown Leaves Local Taxpayers Out In The Cold

Visitors to Broward County's main IRS office are greeted with locked doors and signs referring them to the agency's website.
Credit C. DiMattei

South Florida branches of the Internal Revenue Service are among the agency offices being affected by the current U.S. government shutdown.

And the situation is leaving some local taxpayers angry and frustrated.

Seventy-one-year old Alfonso Valencia of Sunrise said he was summoned by letter to the IRS' Plantation office several days ago to settle a real estate tax matter in person.  

When told that the office is closed until further notice, he took it in stride. Nevertheless, he stomped his foot down on the pavement -- hard.

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City Planning
6:00 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Why Renaming A Street After A Local Black Hero Scares One Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood

African-American men gather outside a Fort Lauderdale store, circa 1940. During segregation, blacks lived west of the railroad tracks and were forbidden from crossing to the east side after dark.
Credit African-American Research Library and Cultural Center

In every major city, there's at least one street sign that tells black folks they're in the right place, but tells white folks that they probably took a wrong turn.

For decades in Fort Lauderdale, one of those signs has read Sistrunk Boulevard.

The boulevard, which runs through the city’s historically black business district, is currently at the center of a contentious debate between two communities.

And the dispute is raising questions about what it takes for a neighborhood with a troubled past to rehabilitate its image.

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Movies
6:00 am
Wed September 18, 2013

How A UM Film Graduate Coaxed Writer David Sedaris Onto The Big Screen

Jonathan Groff stars in 'C.O.G.,' directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez.
Credit Screen Media / Focus Features

    

Most writers are thrilled to get attention from Hollywood. But not David Sedaris.

For years, the humorist and frequent NPR contributor has fended off advances from movie producers eager to turn his mordant essays into blockbusters.

So how did a young filmmaker who cut his teeth in Miami -- and who has only one other movie to his credit -- become the first to get a Sedaris story to the big screen?

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Politics
12:18 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Gov. Scott Launches Tax Cut Tour In West Palm Beach

Gov. Rick Scott addresses an audience at the Palm Beach County Convention Center during the kick-off of his It's Your Money tour.
Credit C. DiMattei

“It’s your money, it’s no one else’s money," said Governor Rick Scott to an audience at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. “So we have to spend it in a manner that makes sense.”

The governor launched his “It’s Your Money” tour in West Palm Beach on Tuesday, just days after announcing his plans to cut taxes and fees by $500 million in the 2014 proposed budget.

The governor’s office says the tour offers a chance for Floridians to discuss taxes they want to see reduced.

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Film
3:15 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Film Festival Returns Lake Worth Playhouse To Its Movie Palace Roots

L-Dub Festival Directors James Venable (Left) and Charlie Birnbaum (Right.)
Credit C. DiMattei

    

When Charlie Birnbaum saw the logo design for the L-Dub Film Festival, he flipped out . . . but in a good way.

“I said, 'This is perfect!’  I couldn’t have asked for more,” says Birnbaum, manager of Lake Worth Playhouse’s Stonzek Theatre.

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Environment
8:39 am
Mon August 19, 2013

How Artificial City Lights Are Killing Baby Sea Turtles

One in every three sea turtle hatchlings disorient to artificial light in Broward County
Staci-Lee Sherwood, Sea Turtle Oversight Protection

South Florida is at the height of sea turtle nesting season, the time of year when thousands of turtle hatchlings burst out of their nests and instinctively use moonlight to guide them out to the ocean.

Although conservationists have made progress in dimming the lights along the beach, they're still running up against a form of light pollution that's hard to control.

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Film
11:41 am
Fri August 2, 2013

SeaWorld Pushes Back Against Film About Killer Whales

Credit Magnolia Pictures

Imagine you’re wrenched away from your mother at two years of age, transported thousands of miles away, put in the care of strangers then kept day and night in a small, cramped, dark space. You’re forced to do tricks for food.

But eventually you've grown to a weight of about 12,000 pounds, and finally see your chance to get even. So you take it.

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Economics
9:05 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Local Politicians Spend A Week Trying To Live On Florida's Minimum Wage

Credit FlickR.com/Images_of_Money

Two South Florida politicians said a week spent just "getting by" -- has gotten to them.  

Broward County Commissioner Martin Kiar and State Senator Dwight Bullard agreed last week to spend five days trying to live on Florida's current minimum wage of $7.79 an hour.

Kiar says the week-long budget he drew up for himself left only $106 dollars for food, travel and entertainment for him and his family.

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