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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Education
4:55 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Democrats' Free Tuition Strategy: Unleash Eager Parents Against Reluctant GOP

THEY WANT TUITION BREAKS South Florida Democratic State Representatives Jose Javier Rodriguez, left, and David Richardson sound out Miami Dade College students.
Credit Rick Stone

President Obama's America's College Promise would provide free community college tuition for two years to students who keep their grades up, stay in school and show progress toward graduation.

As he introduced it this month, the president presented it as a logical extension of the nation's free public school system, updated for the education requirements of the modern economy.

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Feature
1:09 am
Fri January 9, 2015

LISTEN: Florida's First 15 Hours Of Same-Sex Marriage

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, the first same sex couple to be wed in Key West, show off their wedding bands.
Credit Mark Hedden / WLRN

Just after midnight on Tuesday morning, gay marriage became legal in Florida. But the first marriages started in Miami-Dade County about twelve hours earlier.

It was about 11:30 in the morning. Judge Sarah Zabel held a hearing and decided there was no need to wait. She lifted the stay on her ruling declaring Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

And gay couples could start getting married right away.

Our reporter John O'Connor was at the courthouse. And we had people at courthouses in Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, too.

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News
9:23 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Same-Sex Weddings At Broward Group Ceremony, But Not Marriage Equality

Clerk of Courts Howard Forman officiates at a mass same-sex marriage ceremony at the Broward County courthouse. About 40 of the approximately 100 couples who got marriage licenses stayed to take their vows.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

  In Fort Lauderdale, about 100 couples were issued legal marriage licenses starting at a minute after midnight. Some will have to endure the state's three-day waiting period before they can marry. But 30 or 40 same-sex pairs who qualified for waivers stayed behind to take their vows in a mass ceremony.

The first couple in line was the first to be married. Melissa Keller and Joanne Stiger got the special treatment of a ceremony in the court clerk's chapel with County Judge Kathleen McHugh officiating.

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Gay Marriage
7:10 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Mass Gay Marriage Wedding Won't Discriminate: Straights Welcome, Too

Credit Peetje2 / Creative Commons/Flickr

If you were to pick the most likely city for a gay marriage celebration, it might very well be Fort Lauderdale, which has been attracting lesbian and gay tourism for decades.

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Holidays
11:47 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Animal Rights Campaigners Get Little Traction At Hialeah Pig Slaughterhouse Protest

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED Protected by state troopers, a man carries his Christmas pig back to the car.
Credit Rick Stone

A roast pig for dinner on Christmas Eve is a cherished tradition in many Cuban families. Part of that tradition is the family trip to the slaughterhouse to pick out the Nochebuena pig and carry it home.

But modern sensitivities almost made the tradition a controversy on Tuesday, when a handful of animal rights demonstrators showed up at a Hialeah pig slaughterhouse with protest signs and literature.

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Opening Cuba
12:27 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Obama's Cuba Move Shows How Anti-Castro Passion Still Burns In Miami's Exile Hearts

OLD SCHOOL ANGER With a protest sign that could have been made decades ago, anti-Castro demonstrators break for lunch at Little Havana's Versailles Restaurant.
Credit Rick Stone

President Obama's announced opening to Cuba this week touched off vehement reactions in parts of South Florida's Cuban community. But it also exposed generational rifts that may have put time limits on the political potency of the Cuba issue.

Many in the traditional exile community believe the president caved to the Castro government and gave away much more than the U.S. would receive for opening diplomatic relations and scaling back the embargo.

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Art Basel
5:22 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Did Art Basel Devastate The Local Arts Scene? Or Did NY Times Get It Wrong?

BASELING Heavy traffic in Wynwood during Art Basel. According to the New York Times, it's all too much.
Credit Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Under the headline "Those Artsy Early Birds Flew Away," the New York Times this week sketches a history of Art Basel Miami Beach as an ill-conceived money storm that transformed too much, delivered too little and ultimately devastated - and then scattered - the local art scene.

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History
3:52 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Broward County's Watery Relationship With The Everglades Over A Century

HIS LEGACY: Gov. Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, as lampooned by a contemporary cartoonist. His drainage attempts were small-scale and ineffective but they built his reputation.
Credit WLRN filew

Broward County is a few weeks into a year-long run-up to its centennial in October of 2015, a century since Florida's second-biggest county was manufactured from pieces of Palm Beach and Dade counties.

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Michael Brown
1:07 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Two Arrested In Miami Ferguson Protest

A sign during the Dram Defenders rally in Miami.
Credit Nadge Green / WLRN

Two men were arrested Tuesday night as more than 100 demonstrators occupied the street in front of Miami's criminal courthouse.

It was one of several protests that have erupted across the country over the refusal of a Missouri grand jury to indict police officer Darren Wilson who killed teenager Michael Brown in the town of Ferguson this summer.

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Immigration
12:36 am
Fri November 21, 2014

What Bishop Frade May Have Meant When He Called President Obama A Sodomite

FIGHTING WORDS? Episcopal Bishop Leo Frade may not have meant what you think he meant when he called the president a sodomite.
Credit Rick Stone

Miami's downtrodden, disenfranchised and undocumented probably have no greater friend than Bishop Leopold Frade, spiritual leader of Southeast Florida's 33,000 Episcopalians.

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Politics
7:48 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

For Immigrants, Obama's Executive Order May Fall Short

Bishop Leo Frade of the Episcopal Diocese of South East Florida was among the immigration advocates urging President Onbama to 'go big' with his executive order.
Credit Rick Stone

President Obama on Thursday will outline the executive order he plans to issue to protect thousands of undocumented immigrants from deportation.  That news broke in Miami as immigrants and their advocates were beginning a rally at a church near downtown Miami. They were planing to tell the president to "go big" with his executive power.

But that may not happen.

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Miami Marine Stadium
8:31 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Miami Boat Show Plans New Home At Miami Marine Stadium

The current state of Miami Marine Stadium
Credit Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

  In the 1980s, Gloria Estefan performed at the Miami Marine Stadium, just before the striking concrete structure fell into disuse and neglect. With her hits filling the air once again, she arrived in a big yacht to assume a new role in the stadium's life. 

"I'm a Cuban-American which is a no-brainer that I would love to be a part of trying to salvage, save and bring into the future one of the contributions of our Cuban-American community that is so important and so unique," she says.

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Ebola
4:04 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Rick Scott Says Following CDC Guidance Might Be Wrong

HE HAS DEMANDS: Gov. Scott wants more federal help to keep Ebola out of Florida and also a ban on travel from West Africa.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

 Gov. Rick Scott opened fire on the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, accusing the agency of starving Florida of the information, equipment and even the testing kits the state needs to be safe from the deadly Ebola virus.

"The CDC has not fulfilled any of Florida's requests," Scott said angrily. "We are now asking publicly to support us in these important efforts for our state."

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Governor's Race
8:38 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Chris Christie Doesn't Want You To Think Rick Scott Can Debate Charlie Crist And Win

GOVERNORS: Campaigning for Rick Scott, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Scott opponent Charlie Crist is probably the better debater.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday will meet his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, for the first of three October debates.

And Crist, of course, will mop the floor with Florida's Republican governor. Says who? Says Scott's new best friend, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The chairman of the Republican Governors Association. That's who.

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Health
7:30 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Miami Jackson Doctors Show Off Ebola Gear

Credit Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

After Sunday’s false Ebola alarm that disrupted life and traffic in Jackson Health System's Miami neighborhood, hospital officials used Monday for an Ebola-related media event that was oddly reassuring.

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