Rick Stone

Reporter,

Rick Stone has been a journalist in Florida for most of his career. He's worked in newspapers and television but believes that nothing works as well as public radio. He and his wife, Mary Jane Stone, live in Broward County.

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Politics
1:54 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Concern For Public-Records Access As Florida Legislative Session Nears End

NOT-SO-PUBLIC RECORDS: Watchdogs say this year's Legislature could raise the total number of public records exemptions to nearly 1,100.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net

With two weeks to go in the lawmaking session, open government and ethics measures favored by watchdog groups are stalled in the Florida Legislature. There is a two-part concern about citizen access to public records.

The first worry is about the number of public-record exemptions that are pending this year. Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation says it's a dozen.

"It will be a record number of new exemptions and push the total number of exemptions to both the public records law and the open meetings law close to 1,100," Petersen said.

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Renewable Energy
6:37 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Who Was That Tea Party Lady At The Solar Energy Rally With Charlie Crist?

RALLY IN (AND FOR) THE SUN: Hundreds of students, activists and solar energy entrepreneurs crowded the capitol grounds for Solar Uprising.
Credit Rick Stone

There was an odd moment at the Solar Uprising rally at the state capitol on Thursday, which Charlie Crist attended to be seen championing solar energy for our state.

It was provided by a woman named Debbie Dooley, who addressed the crowd a few minutes before Crist took the stage. What she said was this: "I know I'm unique in this crowd because I like Gov. Scott. But he's wrong on the issue of solar." 

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Session 2014
12:03 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Miami Legislators Will Eat On A Minimum-Wage Food Budget

A MINIMUM WAGE SHOPPING TRIP: State Rep. Cynthia Stafford (D-Miami) says a minimum wage budget doesn't buy much healthy food. She'll be living on the state's lowest legal wage for a week.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

In Tallahassee, legislative Democrats are facing a time of store brands and junk food -- or so they say -- as they begin a week of subsisting on the state's $7.93 minimum wage. It's all in support of an effort to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. But the bill that would do that is stalled in the Legislature and it's very unlikely to pass this year.

Click below to hear the story.

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Business
5:07 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Senate Film Industry Incentives Include Charges To Local Governments

TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: A movie shoot in Miami Beach. A state Senate committee thinks there should be more incentives available to lure movie producers to Florida.
Credit Ray from LA/flickr

Dramatic increases in state incentives to lure film and entertainment production to Florida may be on the way. But this time, local governments would have to pay to play. A bill approved in the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee would charge counties where the productions take place 10 percent of the face amount of the producers' tax incentives.

Click below to hear the full story.

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Greyhound Racing
6:03 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Florida Senate Committee Aims To End Greyhound Racing

GREYHOUND HEY-DAY: Visible in this undated photo from Hollywood Kennel Club is something you don't see anymore: crowds coming out to watch dog racing.
Credit Hollywood Kennel Club/Flickr

The Florida Senate's Select Committee on Gaming makes its last stand in Tallahassee this week with a couple of bills that could end greyhound racing in the Sunshine State. It's the only gambling issue that still remains within the committee's grasp.

Click below to hear the radio story:

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Session 2014
10:29 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

How Governor Scott Could De-Liberalize State Supreme Court On His Last Day

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT: A Senate bill could give Gov. Scott the power to remake the court on his last day in office.
Credit Fammy on flickr

On the day his successor takes power, a defeated or departing Florida governor would be allowed to appoint replacements for state Supreme Court justices whose terms expire on the same day.  That's in a controversial bill the state Senate passed on Thursday. And that governor could be Rick Scott four years from now, when the court's liberal majority face mandatory retirement all at once.

Click to hear Rick Stone's radio story.

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Addiction Recovery
6:27 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Legislature Wants To Tighten Scrutiny Over South Florida's Multitude Of 'Sober Houses'

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Rules to govern the so-called "sober houses" that proliferate in Palm Beach and Broward counties have survived one gauntlet of committees in the Legislature and they're ready for a full House vote.

The bill aims to protect the sober houses' complaining neighbors as well as the recovering addicts themselves. Listen to the full story below.

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Health Care
3:15 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Miami Nurses In Tallahassee Find Legislation Has No Desire To Extend Medicaid

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

The campaign to expand Medicaid for Florida's uninsured poor continued in Tallahassee last week with a mass lobby conducted by doctors and nurses from Miami's Jackson Hospital. They went from office to office in the Capitol seeking legislative support, but got basically nowhere.

Hear the full story:

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DCF
10:34 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Innocents Lost: The 477 Children Who Died On The State Of Florida's Watch

A woman grieves the loss of her 3-year-old grandson, whose mother struggled with drug addiction.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

This story originally ran on March 17, 2014. This week, we'll dedicate an hour on-air during the Florida Roundup to the Innocents Lost investigation. Tune in Friday, March 28 at noon.

Last week, the Miami Herald launched a series on a history of failures at DCF -- Florida's Department of Children and Families. But these are failures with a body count: Over six years, nearly 500 children died after DCF had been warned, sometimes repeatedly, that they or their siblings could be in danger. There were many missed opportunities for the state to protect the children. 

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Dept. Of Children And Families
4:30 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

DCF's Problems Partly About Lack Of Better-Educated Workers, Legislators Say

Hollywood Democrat Eleanor Sobel is chair of the Senate committee on Children and Families: "We are proud of this [bill] that will save lives of many many children in the state of Florida."
Credit Florida House of Representatives

 

A state Senate committee agrees that one of the keys to fixing persistent child welfare problems at Florida's Department of Children and Families is more and better-trained caseworkers. The panel has passed a group of bills with a package of solutions for a very troubled system.

Here's WLRN reporter Rick Stone's radio story.

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Legalizing Marijuana
5:34 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Medical Pot Backer Calls Recreational Pot Bill A Threat

Credit Wikipedia Commons

  Bills to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Florida have been filed for this session of the Legislature. So far, sponsors have little to show for their work -- except they've now been accused of jeopardizing the cause of medical marijuana, which will be on the ballot in November for Florida voters.

Here's Rick Stone's radio story.

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The Governor
5:50 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Scott: I Inherited A Mess From Charlie Crist. But Look At Me Now.

Credit JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NEWS

Gov. Rick Scott presented his record on job creation and economic growth in his fourth State of the State message to a joint session of the Legislature on Tuesday, March 4. It was partly a personal speech about his early life in poverty. But it seemed mostly focused on making sure he doesn’t lose a second term to former Governor Charlie Crist.

Here's Rick Stone's radio report.

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State of the County
11:15 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Except For Budget Gap And Pending Layoffs, State Of Miami-Dade Is 'Strong'

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez speaks to reporters after his State of the County address.
Credit Doug Hanks / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez declared the state of the county "strong" in his annual address on Wednesday, save for one $200-million detail.  

Miami-Dade County is the nation's seventh-largest county. It has an international profile; a hot real estate market and a thriving arts, sports and entertainment culture. And all of that, Mayor Gimenez said in his address, enables his government to serve the people through the lens of economic opportunity.

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The Caribbean
5:42 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

How Haitians' Beef With Dominican Republic Complicates U. S. Trade Relations

ANGER AT THE DR New Dominican immigration policy could make ethnic Haitians ineligible for citizenship in the Dominican Republic.
Credit Rick Stone

One of the latest villains in the rogues' gallery of human rights is the Dominican Republic because of a decision handed down by the country's highest constitutional court late last year.

Reaching back decades into its shared but troubled history with Haiti, the nation with which it shares the island of Hispaniola, it ruled that ethnic Haitians living in the D.R., some of them since 1929, are not eligible for citizenship because of the "in transit" status of their parents.

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Gun Control
5:12 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Miami-Dade Mayors Rally Behind Plan To Control Gun Industry With 'Market Forces'

Arms With Ethics plans to target the gun industry through its reliance on purchases by municipal police departments.
Credit Josh Lopez via Flickr/Creative Commons

Firearms makers will have to make sure their products stay out of the wrong hands under a new gun control approach that's already taking root in Miami-Dade County.

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