Peter Haden

Broward/Palm Beach Reporter

Peter Haden is WLRN’s Broward & Palm Beach Reporter. His stories cover the diverse issues and voices of a region that includes both the richest and poorest cities in Florida, the president’s “Winter White House,” Native American reservations, the state’s leading agricultural territory, a bustling cruise and container port, vibrant immigrant communities, world-famous beaches and the Everglades.

Before joining WLRN, Haden reported for the investigative reporting showcase Reveal, WJCT in Jacksonville, Cronkite News in Phoenix and as a worldwide freelancer. He’s crouched at the intersection of desert Figure 8 races, skimmed alligator-infested waters with Florida bangstick hunters, ridden atop freight trains with migrants crossing Mexico and atop horses with Chilean cowboys crossing the Andes — to bring his audience into the story.

Haden’s radio and multimedia work has won awards from Edward R. Murrow, PRNDI, IRE and the Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists. His stories have been featured on programs including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Reveal and The Takeaway.

Haden holds degrees in geography, international studies and multimedia journalism. He grew up in the Midwest shearing sheep. Now in South Florida, he wants to learn to surf and spearfish.

Ways to Connect

Peter Haden / WLRN

South Florida Congressman Ted Deutch held a town hall meeting in Boca Raton Thursday.

Constituents from his 22nd District — which stretches from Boca Raton south to Fort Lauderdale and west to Coral Springs — came with lots of different  things on their minds.

“Health care is the No. 1 issue in the country right now,” said Cameron Stemple, 28.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than car accidents or gun violence.

Thursday is International Overdose Awareness Day and, to mark the occasion, advocates and officials from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties will gather on the Florida Atlantic University campus in Boca Raton to call for greater federal action to end the United States’s epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths.

Rallies will be held in cities around the country.

Maureen Kielian is a parent advocate from Fort Lauderdale who helped organize the event.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Drug overdose deaths are going up in Broward County.

Deaths from opioid overdoses topped 520 in 2016, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office. That’s about 10 a week.

Cocaine overdose deaths were up more than 60 percent in Broward in 2016 — to 230 people.

It’s part of an overall trend that’s wreaking havoc around the country: poly-substance abuse.

“There are no normal drugs anymore,” said Broward County Medical Examiner Dr. Craig Mallak. “Everything’s a combination.”

Peter Haden / WLRN

Widespread incidents of fraud have given the South Florida addiction treatment industry a black eye. Law enforcement has been cracking down — with strong support from the treatment industry’s legitimate providers.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Law enforcement has been cracking down on corruption in South Florida’s drug treatment industry. State and federal officials have arrested more than 30 people for running scams in rehab centers or sober homes in the past year.

But the facilities are often filled with recovering drug users from out-of-state. And when the homes shut down, the residents frequently wind up on the street.

CHARLES TRAINOR JR / Miami Herald

The American Cancer Society has spent a lot of time in Washington opposing President Trump’s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But that hasn’t changed the organization’s plans to host its annual winter gala at Mar-a-Lago -- the president’s Palm Beach resort.

Peter Haden / WLRN

State legislators came to Palm Beach County Tuesday to discuss the opioid crisis.

Twitter -- Miami-Dade Public Schools

A South Florida lawmaker is on a personal crusade to reduce distracted driving.

State Rep. Emily Slosberg is pushing cities and all 67 counties in Florida to pass a resolution urging lawmakers to make texting while driving a primary offense.

According to state data, there were almost 50,000 crashes involving distracted driving in Florida last year. That’s more than five crashes every hour.

At a recent Boca Raton City Council meeting, Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, said she tried to get a similar law passed during the last legislative session but was unsuccessful.

Florida Keys--Public Libraries

Should Florida allow harvesting of goliath grouper?

That is the question being discussed at 15 public workshops around the state.

The mammoth fish can grow to the size of a grizzly bear. What’s not been big about goliath grouper are their numbers: Fisheries dwindled due to overfishing in the 80s. In 1990, harvest of goliath grouper was prohibited in Florida state waters and Gulf and South Atlantic federal waters.

But, a recent federal stock assessment showed goliath groupers numbers on the rise South Florida waters.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Florida Gov. Rick Scott dropped by a Boca Raton company Thursday to highlight a major job announcement.

Modernizing Medicine, a health information technology firm, said it will create more than 800 new jobs in Palm Beach County by 2022.

The company makes tablet computer software that helps doctors work more efficiently. It started in a Boynton Beach office with two employees in 2010 — the same year Scott was elected to the first of his two four-year terms.

Peter Haden / WLRN

A state investigation in Palm Beach County found clear-cut evidence of voter fraud in last year’s August primary election.

Investigators with the State Attorney’s Office found more than 20 forged signatures on request forms for absentee ballots. They investigated the case over the past year, but could not identify a suspect.

In some instances, voters said they received an absentee ballot in the mail without ever filling out a request form.

U.S. Department of Justice

An internet black market used by some Floridians to buy and sell heroin and fentanyl has been shut down in an international law enforcement operation.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Nowhere in South Florida has been hit harder by the opioid overdose epidemic than Palm Beach County.

The number of fatal opioid overdoses has gone up 230 percent in the past two years. More than 540 people died last year. All of those fatalities have to be autopsied by one of the county’s five pathologists.

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