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."

Ways to Connect

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.

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.

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.

Christine DiMattei

Remember the days when you could leave your front door unlocked? 

OK – neither can we. But if you want to live in a place where break-ins and other crimes are a rarity, you might want to give Parkland a try.

Jacksonville-based Safe Choice Security says the lush, green Broward County enclave is No. 1 on its list of the safest cities in Florida.

kratomonline.org

While many Florida voters debate the wisdom of legalizing medical marijuana, a different substance is causing concern in Palm Beach County.

County officials are considering a ban on kratom, an herb that’s becoming a staple at some trendy cafes.

Kratom is grown in Southeast Asia. The herb is available in packets sold at some gas stations and also at some cafes that serve kava, a beverage growing in popularity for its calming effects.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

Can Beckham Bend It At A Boat Slip?

May 23, 2014
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.

Pages