Kate Stein

Reporter

Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.

Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read. 

Ways to Connect

Florida Department of Transportation

It's intended to connect the MacArthur Causeway with I-95 and the Dolphin Expressway, but a project to improve I-395 has divided Miami-Dade leaders and the Florida Department of Transportation. And with FDOT's selection of a project contractor on Friday, local leaders say the state transportation agency has work to do to bridge an ideological gap.

AdamFirst via Wikimedia Commons

A controversial proposal to extend State Road 836 — aka the Dolphin Expressway — has been delayed on its route to the Miami-Dade County Commission.

The county’s Government Operations Committee, which consists of five county commissioners,  announced Tuesday it's deferring until next month a vote on the plan that would extend the western end of 836 south by about 15 miles into Kendall. The plan aims to give commuters another highway option west of Florida’s Turnpike. But critics say the expansion would encourage more development in agricultural areas and the Everglades.

Rilea Group

 

Development and sea level rise are two things Miami is known for. And they go hand-in-hand, as developers and local officials plan how to make buildings resilient against water that could rise three to six feet by 2100.

 

Kara Starzyk

Monday is the 25th anniversary of Fort Lauderdale’s Sun Trolley system, and the celebration promises to be a multi-sensory experience.

The eye-catching red-and-yellow trolleys run on eight routes through Fort Lauderdale, taking riders to the beach, shopping and work. By the end of the month, they'll have a new app and website to make seeing routes and tracking transit easier.

Matias Ocner

 


Miami-Dade County is rolling out new technology to improve transit.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Payrolled python hunters. They’re the latest story on the South Florida python beat, and they’re drawing national and international media attention, too.

Kate Stein / WLRN

For the second weekend in a row, protesters marched across the country against President Donald Trump's policies.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Officials from four South Florida counties are collecting public input on an updated regional plan to address climate change and related challenges.

Peter Haden / WLRN

According to official records, more than 1,000 people in South Florida overdosed last year on opioids including heroin and carfentanil -- a drug so potent it’s used as an elephant tranquilizer.

The growing threat of the opioids epidemic is mobilizing law enforcement and community leaders to form new partnerships and collaborate in events such as last week's discussion hosted by Florida Atlantic University (FAU). 

Red Huber, MCT via Miami Herald

Things are looking up for Florida's manatees.

The West Indian manatee has long been considered "endangered"-- a species on life support. But at the end of March, federal officials changed the manatees' status to “threatened,” which means their condition is less critical. In early 2017, officials counted more than 6,000 manatees in Florida’s waters.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Are you a South Floridian who's been meaning to explore the Everglades, ride a boat on Biscayne Bay or trek through Dry Tortugas... but just never gotten around to it?

Well, now you're out of excuses. This weekend (April 22 and 23), you can visit South Florida's three national parks for free. It's part of National Park Week, which goes through Sunday. And the celebration includes abundant activities to highlight these natural, national treasures.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, is trying to fill in fellow U.S. senators on climate change. So it makes sense that he invited members of the Commerce Committee — of which he's the ranking minority member — to West Palm Beach to learn about increasing temperatures and rising seas from the experts who know it firsthand.

But whether those committee members will ever hear the testimony from the hearing on Monday is unclear. None of the other 26 senators on the Commerce Committee attended.

Kate Stein / WLRN

A controversial plan to build a reservoir that would help address damaging water discharges in the Everglades ecosystem is one step closer to being enacted — thanks to revisions that take into account the concerns of farmers in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

On Wednesday, Florida’s Senate Appropriations Committee approved a revised version of Senate Bill 10. The bill aims to alleviate blue-green algae on Florida’s coasts by reducing the amount of water that's discharged to the coasts from Lake Okeechobee.

Kate Stein / WLRN

What makes water managers celebrate?

New pipes, of course!

So South Florida Water Management District employees were stoked Monday when a flatbed truck with a massive aluminum pipe -- about 60 feet long and five feet in diameter -- finally arrived at a big district construction site southwest of Homestead. The pipe is one of three to be used in a project providing Florida Bay with more of the fresh water it desperately needs.

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