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."

Pages

Health Care
11:21 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Palm Beach County Expands Drug Take-Back Program

Twenty-two drop boxes like this one give Palm Beach County residents places to safely dispose of their old prescription medications.
Credit C. DiMattei

Palm Beach County wants your drugs.

Actually, the county only wants the medications taking up space in your bathroom cabinet, the ones that might end up in the wrong hands. 

At first glance, the receptacles cropping up all over Palm Beach County look like the donation bins that collect old clothes for charity.  But printed on the front of each drop-off box is the urgent instruction to “Deposit Your Unwanted Prescription Drugs Here!” 

Read more
DOMA Ruling
6:00 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Gay Couple's Green Card Victory Activates Florida's Same-Sex Marriage Supporters

Julian Marsh (left) and his husband, Traian "Tray" Popov (right) with their two Yorkies, Phoebe and Rosie. The two men are the first binational same-sex couple to have a marriage-based green card petition approved by U.S. Immigration officials.
Credit Christine Dimattei

 Julian Marsh and Traian “Tray” Popov have two computers in the office of their Fort Lauderdale home.  But when the couple shows off their wedding photos, they use the desktop with the bigger screen.

"I think we both said that was absolutely the most special moment EVER in our lives," says Marsh.

They’ve been married less than a year.  And like many newlyweds, they admit they were so nervous during the ceremony that some of it is a blur. 

Read more
Philanthropy
7:00 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Oprah Gives Young Broward Amputee $100K For Boston Marathon Charity

Despite losing both hands and feet to a massive infection five years ago, 13-year-old Michael Stolzenberg of Weston is an avid athlete.
Credit Mikey's Run.com

A young South Florida amputee and his brother just found out they're getting some star power behind their efforts to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has pledged $100K toward a charity created by 13-year-old Michael Stolzenberg and his older brother, 18-year-old Harris.

Just five years ago, at eight years old, Michael lost both hands and both feet to a massive skin infection.  

Winfrey told Michael's story to Harvard University's class of 2013 during her commencement address last month.

Read more
Weather
8:24 am
Thu June 6, 2013

After Sandy, Crews Wrap Up Work On Fort Lauderdale's Stretch Of A1A

Work crews on a stretch of A1A along Fort Lauderdale Beach put the finishing touches on a five-month long road repair.
Credit C. DiMattei

The folks who live along a small stretch of Fort Lauderdale Beach just north of Sunrise Boulevard know the drill.

Actually, they spent the first part of 2013 hearing little else.

Nearly every day since early January, work crews have been out between Northeast 14th Court and Northeast 18th Street  installing a new sea wall.  The first phase involved a huge rig drilling 40 feet down to make way for 500 pieces of sheet metal pilings.

Read more
Weather
7:34 am
Mon June 3, 2013

The Delicate Art And Science Of Naming Hurricanes

Credit C. DiMattei

With all the unknowns attached to the 2013 hurricane season, there’s at least one thing that’s down in black and white:  the 21 names chosen for this year’s tropical storms.

The first name up: “Andrea.”

Gulp.

Strike the last letter, add a “w” and you’ve got the name of the 1992 hurricane that killed 65 people and caused an estimated $26 billion worth of damage. 

Read more
Arts
8:27 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Check Out The Emerging Arts Scene In Boynton Beach

C. DiMattei

If you’re looking for Boynton Beach’s arts district, you won’t find it near any trendy restaurants or high-end boutiques.  Actually, the closest business is an auto shop and the nearest place to grab a bite to eat is a gas station on the corner.

But if no one took this artists’ enclave seriously 18 months ago . . .

“ . . . they do now!” exclaims Rolando Chang Barrero.

Read more
Arts
11:40 am
Fri May 24, 2013

How Costumes Are Saving One Palm Beach Theater

The new Wick Theater in Boca Raton will mount at least six shows next season, including The Sound of Music.
Credit C. DiMattei

A Broward County costume company is breathing new life into a Palm Beach County theater that fell victim to financial hard times.

The owners of Costume World are renovating the 30,000-square-foot former home of the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton and will operate the theater themselves under a new name.

Last year, the Caldwell closed down under the weight of $7 million in debt.

Read more
Miami Art Museum
6:46 am
Wed May 15, 2013

How A Miami Billionaire's $100 Print Became A $20 Million Collection

How it all began: The $100 Joan Miro lithograph that launched Perez's collection in the late 1960's. It still hangs in his office.
The Related Group

"It was ages ago," says Jorge Perez with a laugh, recalling the first artwork he ever invested in.

It was purchased when Perez was still a young student in New York, years before he became a billionaire developer and the man Time Magazine dubbed the "Donald Trump of the tropics.”

"It was a Miró.  A Miró lithograph.  It cost me $100,” says Perez, with another chuckle.  “I still have it in my office.”

Read more
News
6:00 am
Mon May 13, 2013

WLRN Adds Latin America Correspondent In Collaboration With NPR And The Herald

Tim Padgett is the new Americas Correspondent for WLRN-Miami Herald News. The former Time correspondent will be based in Miami but coordinate coverage with reporters throughout Latin America.
Credit C. DiMattei

Journalist Tim Padgett spent nearly a quarter of a century covering Latin America and the Caribbean for TIME and Newsweek magazines.

But he's always been envious of the way foreign correspondents deliver the news for NPR.

"They're giving listeners a richer sense of the sounds and the colors than perhaps I'm able to do as a print reporter," he says.

Read more
Arts
2:39 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

New Broward Center Lounge Offers Taste Of High Life

A theater patron enjoys a drink inside Club Level at the Broward Center while a Miami Heat game plays on one of the lounge's two flat-screen TVs.
Credit C. DiMattei

At the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, it's intermission during a production of "War Horse."

Eric Chirinsky stands at the bar of the Broward Center's new lounge Club Level, drink in hand, watching the Miami Heat battle the Chicago Bulls on a flat-screen TV.

"I just figured I'd check it out and see how our home team was doing tonight," he says.

But his wife, Katarina, isn't focused on pro basketball right now.  She's sitting alone, enjoying a plate of hors d'oeuvres and a glass of bubbly.

Read more
Texting Ban
3:40 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Simulator Offers Crash Course On Dangers Of Texting

"It Can Wait" Tour Manager Griffin Hagler shows 16-year-old Park Vista High School student Webster Jean how to work AT&T's Texting-While-Driving Simulator.
Credit C. DiMattei

Sixteen-year-old Webster Jean is driving around on city streets, left hand on the wheel, right hand holding a smartphone.  As he reads and responds to his text messages, he repeatedly veers across the double-yellow lines.

And then --  wham.

"I crashed,"  says Jean with a chuckle.

Jean tee-bones another car – but he’s fine.  The teenager is just taking a spin in a texting-while-driving simulator brought to Park Vista High School by wireless carrier AT&T. 

Read more
News
12:59 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Negotiation Is Key For Women Seeking Equal Pay

Equal-pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter signs her new book for a fan at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
Credit C. DiMattei

The woman whose name is synonymous with the fight for equal pay for women brought her message to South Florida this week.  And Lilly Ledbetter has some advice for working women at any stage of their careers:  learn how to negotiate.

A study released last month by the National Partnership for Women & Families shows that South Florida women are earning 86 cents for every dollar their male co-workers earn.  Although that's better than the national average of 77 cents, Ledbetter responds to that statistic with three words:

"Not good enough."

Read more
Education
7:30 am
Thu May 2, 2013

What To Do About The Rising Cost Of College Tuition

30-year-old FAU student Alberto Jordat says he's concerned about the rising cost of college tuition in Florida.
Credit A. Jordat

Throughout the 2013 legislative session, we've been posing questions to Tallahassee lawmakers that were raised at a WLRN-Miami Herald News Town Hall last February.

Among the topics is the rising cost of higher education in Florida.

Read more
Arts
6:30 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Key Largo Honors Humphrey Bogart With Film Festival

Credit Humphrey Bogart Film Festival

Here's lookin' at YOU,  Bogie fans.

Starting today, fans of Humphrey Bogart will be flocking to Key Largo for a film festival celebrating one of Hollywood's most beloved tough guys.

Read more
Journalism
6:00 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Pursuing Reckless Cops Wins Sun-Sentinel Its First Pulitzer

Sun-Sentinel Investigative Reporter Sally Kestin
Credit Christine DiMattei

It was a humdinger of a story.

A Miami police officer in a marked squad car is pursued, pulled over and handcuffed by a Florida state trooper after speeding down the turnpike like race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

A dash-cam video of that pre-dawn October chase in 2011 went viral and sparked a three-month investigation by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper into how local police officers routinely endangered the general public through reckless driving.

Read more

Pages