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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News
5:51 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Fire Department Welcomes Search Dog With A Badge

OFFICIAL FIRE DOG: Rit the Labrador retriever now has his Ft. Lauderdale Fire Department badge and he's ready to search for survivors.
Credit Rick Stone

At the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department, Rit the fire dog is dying for his first real-world assignment. The firefighters want to see it, too, but that means they'd have to wish for the kind of disaster that leaves human survivors hidden in rubble and wreckage.

So, they’re happy to wait for Rit's chance to do his stuff. It may not be long.

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Invasive Species
7:13 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Broward Shudders As Giant African Snails Cross Border From Miami-Dade

BAG OF TROUBLE: A state worker shows the African land snails she found in a yard in the Broward County town of Davie. The invasive creatures previously had been seen only in Miami-Dade County.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

A big fear of state agriculture officials isn't a fear anymore. It's reality.

The giant African land snails that have plagued Miami-Dade County -- but only Miami-Dade County -- for three years have now spread to Broward County.

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Governor's Race
1:31 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Abortion Rights? Crist Says "I Get It" And Snags Planned Parenthood Endorsement

THEIR GUY: Democratic governor candidate Charlie Crist collects the endorsement of the Planned Parenthood PAC. To Crist's right, PAC chairwoman Lillian Tamayo and running mate Annette Taddeo.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

On Saturday morning at 9:30 -- as most of the city was waking up -- Charlie Crist was collecting the endorsement of Planned Parenthood's political action committee. To an audience consisting mostly of her own staff and volunteers, PAC chairwoman Lillian Tamayo delivered the priority message.

"Gov. Rick Scott has waged an unrelenting assault on women since his election in 2010," Tamayo told the group, most of them in pink Planned Parenthood PAC T-shirts.

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Minimum Wage
12:31 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Seven Arrested In Miami-Dade As Fast Food Workers March For Higher Pay, Union Rights

Fast food workers and labor organizers block traffic on 167th Street in North Miami Beach. They closed the street for a half-hour until police took them to jail.
Credit Rick Stone

Just as they did in several other American cities on Thursday, South Florida fast food workers and union organizers demonstrated for higher wages and union rights.

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News
12:00 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Dade Voters Will Decide In November Whether To Replace Old Courthouse

OLD COURTHOUSE: Voters will decide on a $393 million bond issue to replace the old structure.
Credit Elisa Rolle via Wikimedia Commons

Disgusted, embarrassed and vaguely threatened by their decrepit 90-year old courthouse on Flagler Street, Miami Dade commissioners have decided to ask the voters to pay for a new one.

Downtown workers have been seeing the nets and fence around the courthouse for at least 12 years, and they are in no doubt about the condition of the historic building. But those who have to work there know even better. Like Glenn Sheldon, whose office is on the 22nd floor.

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Ballot Questions
7:26 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Why SkyRise Miami Depends On Voters And Visitors' Pockets

Developer Jeff Berkowitz says it would be for Miami what the Eiffel Tower is for Paris.
Credit Skyrise Miami

City of Miami voters will decide Tuesday whether to let a local developer build Florida's tallest building on the waterfront behind Bayside Marketplace. 

Jeff Berkowitz visualizes SkyRise Miami as the city's special landmark. A $400 million, 1,000-foot tower stuffed with observation decks, restaurants, a theater and even some thrill rides. It would create jobs, bolster the economy and polish up the Miami brand. He says this is what major cities do.

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News
7:18 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Germany Gifts Part Of Berlin Wall To Miami

Tomas Regalado says the city will pay for the foundation to display a part of the Berlin Wall

New York City and Miami will have another thing in common: a part of the Berlin Wall. 

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado says the city is about to receive a two-ton piece of the Berlin Wall to become a permanent exhibit across Biscayne Boulevard from the iconic Freedom Tower. Another piece of the wall will be going to New York.

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Politics
3:02 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Mitt Romney Endorses Miami-Dade School Board Member Curbelo For Congress

File photo of Carlos Curbelo, candidate for U.S. Congress for District 26. He says he wants to be a congressman his district could be proud of.
Credit C.M. Guerrero / el Nuevo Herald

Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo got a big endorsement for his run for Congress on Monday: former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Dressed in a white shirt and tie over jeans and shiny loafers, Romney says Curbelo is what the founding fathers had in mind: a man of his community with a deep understanding of how the economy creates jobs.

  He was there just to endorse Curbelo and not to talk about whether or not he’ll run for president again.

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Social Security
4:30 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Democrats Promote Social Security System That's More Generous, More Durable

Social Security had to be sold to the American people when it was launched 79 years ago.
Credit Public domain / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

After 79 years as the retirement mainstay of most American workers, Social Security is showing its age and desperately needs reform. That was the message in West Palm Beach Tuesday night from a trio of Democratic congressmen who vow to protect Social Security from Republican deficit hawks and make it more generous.

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All Aboard Florida
4:23 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

"Quiet Zones" Along The FEC Tracks May Silence Critics As Well As Train Whistles

Credit All Aboard Florida

Local planning officials say they have most of the funding in hand to create a giant no-whistles-allowed "quiet zone" from Miami to West Palm Beach. It could be a big quality-of-life improvement for South Floridians who live and work along the Florida East Coast railway tracks.

For All Aboard Florida, the company that's building a new passenger rail line from Miami through Broward and Palm Beach counties to Orlando, this is a big deal that could placate some of its critics. 

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Environment
10:28 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Map Shows Cities Their Climate Change Futures

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

By the time the 22nd Century rolls around, summers in Miami will be about six degrees hotter -- as hot as summers already are in south Texas.

That's what we learn from a new interactive map that's showing up on climate-change web sites. Just type in where you live now and the map will lead you to a city that has the same weather now as your city will have in 86 years.

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Gay Marriage
5:00 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Third South Florida Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Credit Peetje2 / Creative Commons/Flickr

Most of the plaintiffs in this year's same-sex marriage cases have been people who just wanted to get married.

But Heather Brassner was different -- she wanted a same-sex divorce. 

Brassner, a West Palm Beach art dealer, wants to marry her partner, Jennifer Feagins, but she's still in a civil union that she entered in Vermont with her ex 14 years ago.

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Amendment Two
6:30 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Pollsters Say Medical Marijuana Support Runs High In Most Florida Demographic Groups

GETTING WELL: Dorothy Short keeps symptoms at bay in this shot from the 1938 exploitation film "Reefer Madness." New polls show medical marijuana polling at around 88 percent with smaller majorities in favor of legal recreational pot.
Credit Reefer Madness/public domain

If the latest poll is believable, nearly nine out of 10 Floridians are prepared to vote "yes" on the medical marijuana Amendment 2 in November.

Quinnipiac pollsters in Florida surveyed 1,251 registered voters on the medical marijuana question. The result? Overwhelming support: about 88 percent in favor.

Voters younger than 30 were the most enthusiastic, with 95 percent in favor. Voters older than 65 were the least supportive -- but, even there, the yeses were 83 percent of the total.

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Health Care
9:36 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Dueling Appeals Court Decisions Leave Obamacare Subsidies In Limbo

Credit Amenic181 / freedigitalphotos.net

Some Obamacare insurance subsidies were struck down by one court but upheld by another during a tumultuous day for the Affordable Care Act. One of the rulings is a direct threat to the tax credits that have recently helped thousands of Floridians buy health insurance.

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South Florida Passenger Rail
6:30 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Sneaking A Peek At All Aboard's Fort Lauderdale Station

ARRIVAL: This is the ground approach to the proposed All Aboard Florida station in Fort Lauderdale. Architectural trusses are a design feature that will be echoed in all four of the railroad's stations.
Credit All Aboard Florida

 

All Aboard Florida -- the fast passenger rail that will connect Miami to Orlando through Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach -- unveiled plans for its Fort Lauderdale station on Tuesday.

The $30 million structure will straddle the Florida East Coast Railway tracks on Northwest Second Avenue between Broward Boulevard and Northeast Fourth Street, opening an overlooked and unattractive area near important downtown destinations to development and commerce.

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