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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Unemployment
6:53 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Florida's Jobless Teeter On Fiscal Cliff

LIFELINE: 119,000 jobless Flordians would lose unemployment checks immediately in a fall from the fiscal cliff.

 

Tumbling off the fiscal cliff will immediately cut the economic lifeline for 119,000 Floridians who depend on extended unemployment compensation now funded by the federal government.

It would also mean an immediate increase in the payroll taxes paid by every American wage-earner. But the long-term unemployed will be especially vulnerable if Congress and White House negotiators are unable to reach an agreement to head off automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts by Monday.

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Garcia And Rivera
7:26 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Joe Garcia Wins As David Rivera Faces Down Ethics Charges

Joe Garcia won Florida's 26th Congressional District seat.
Kenny Malone /Flickr

Joe Garcia Wins

Democrat Joe Garcia convincingly beat incumbent Republican David Rivera Tuesday night to win Florida's 26th Congressional District seat.

Rivera lost by more than 10 points to Garcia. It was almost a perfect reversal from 2010, when Rivera soundly beat Garcia by more than 9 points.

After two failed runs for U.S. Congress, Garcia got some unconventional help this time around. His opponent, incumbent David Rivera, was the target of two federal investigations and was accused of ethics violations by the state ethics commission.

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Congressman David Rivera
3:39 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Rivera Slammed With 11 Ethics Charges

David Rivera: He insists ethics charged filed Wednesday will be dismissed.
Credit candidate web site

The Florida Ethics Commission has accused Miami Republican Congressman David Rivera of 11 separate violations, including misuse of campaign funds, falsifying disclosure forms and accepting corporate money he should have known was intended to influence his votes.

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Obama's Florida Prospects
9:33 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Campaign Polls: Why It Looks Like Obama Might Lose Florida

Loyal But Small: Obama support in South Florida is enough to carry the three counties but not to deliver the state.
Credit Tyjamo-old on flickr

Support for President Obama has declined so radically in South Florida that it will cost him the state on election day.

That's what Tony Man at the Sun Sentinel reported over the weekend after taking a look at modeling and projections prepared by Moody's Analytics. Moody's predicted Obama would win the Democratic strongholds of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties but by margins too small to leverage the rest of the state.

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News
7:44 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Ex-City Official, Alleged Cronies Charged In Miami Beach City Hall Bid-Rigging Case

Suspects: From the tip, Lopez, Landrin and Lopez's wife, Maria Pineda. Investigators say she financed a Mercedes with corrupt money.
Credit Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office

Miami-Dade prosecutors say Gus Lopez knew what others were bidding for city contracts in Miami Beach and he sold the information to help competitors submit lower and winning bids.

A former city procurement director, Lopez and business partner Pierre Landrin Jr., are accused of racketeering and unlawful compensation. Lopez' lawyer insists the charges are politically motivated.

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President Obama In Delray Beach
7:13 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Crowd Gathers In Delray For Obama Rally

Entrepreneur Under The Lights: The gathering crowd of Obama supporters is a market for cool t-shirts. The president speaks at 10:15.
Christine DiMattei WLRN.org

T-shirt vendors and extremely committed Obama supporters have been lining up since before dawn at the Delray Beach Tennis Center for a rally with the president that's scheduled to begin at 10:15 a. m. For everybody else, the big post-debate story this morning will be traffic. Police are advising drivers to avoid West Atlantic Avenue near the Tennis Center and public transit commuters should be ready for today-only changes on routes 1, 70, 80 and 81.

Race For Senate District 34
2:18 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

State Of The Race Turns Sachs, Bogdanoff Into Generic Partisan Placeholders

The R and the D: With Republican autocracy at stake, the records of Bogdanoff, left, and Sachs matter less than their parties.
Credit Candidate web sites

Must be awful to be objectified like this, particularly if you're a serious state senator like Ellyn Bogdanoff (R-Hollywood) or Maria Sachs (D-Delray Beach).  They're running for their second terms against each other in the Senate's only incumbent-on-incumbent cage match.

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Politics
11:05 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Republicans Like Their Chances In Florida

More Good News, You Say? Stars seem to be aligning for Republican prospects in Florida.
Wikimedia

Reporters from Politico are among the media mob in Boca Raton, where President Obama and Mitt Romney will meet for the last debate tonight at Lynn University, and what they have detected is a pronounced Republican swagger.

Why is the GOP so confident of its chances in the nation's largest swing state? Polling, mostly, among other persuasive reasons, plus the great gift of our state economy remaining in the tank. But the Democrats are not wholly despondent, writes Politico:

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One Herald Plaza
10:06 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Preserve It? Or Knock It Down? Future of Miami Herald HQ May Be Decided Today

Herald on the Bay: A waterfront site meant economical newsprint delivery by barge.
Wikimedia

The other big debate today is about the Miami Herald's maybe historic (but maybe not) bay front headquarters and what its new owners, Genting Resorts World, will be allowed to do with it.

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Boy Scout Sex Abuse
3:58 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Scores Of Floridians Named In Boy Scout 'Perversion Files'

Perversion Files: Accusations are laid out in 20,000 documents.
Credit freedigitalphoto.net

The Boy Scouts' "perversion files" have been released and the names of at least 160 Floridians are among the 1,000 former Boy Scout leaders and volunteers accused of sexually abusing Boy Scouts between 1965 and 1985.

Lawyers involved in the case say the Boy Scouts of America kept careful records of the suspects and allegations but never reported them to authorities.  Many were flagged as "ineligible to volunteer." 

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Politics
12:55 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

A Romney-Ryan Rally At A New Deal Relic

FDR Built That: Daytona Beach's Bandshell
Joe Shlabotnik on flickr

When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan rally in Daytona Beach Friday night -- and somebody should tell them this right away -- they'll be worshipping at a temple of deficit spending, Keynesian economics and executive power unconstrained.

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Senate Debate
8:56 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Showdown At Nova: Bill Nelson, Connie Mack Mix It Up In First And Only Senate Debate

Mack, left, and Nelson debated at Nova Southeastern University
Credit candidate web sites

Fact checkers were up all night after Wednesday's Senate debate between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and his Republican challenger, U. S. Connie Mack. Facts and truth were relative things, many agreed, during the one and only chance Florida voters will have to see the candidates debate.

Mack is enjoying a bounceback after trailing in the polls for several weeks and the debate at Nova  Southeastern University was animated with a few excursions into testy.

Topics included Cuba, foreign policy, health care and the candidates' respective records. 

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Absentee Ballot Challenge
7:55 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Judge Rejects Absentee Ballot Challenge In Miami-Dade Democratic House Race

On to November: Watson keeps her primary win over Julien.
candidate web site photos
  • Margie Menzel reports on the case from Tallahassee.

State Rep. Barbara Watson will keep her 13-vote Democratic primary win over fellow Rep. John Patrick Julien. A Tallahassee judge ruled Wednesday that, despite some suspicious signatures on several absentee ballots cast for Watson, there wasn't enough evidence to overturn the result.

As Julien considers his options, Watson is preparing for the general election which she is likely to win. Heavily Democratic District 107 produced only a write-in candidate to oppose her.

Simón Bolivar's Hair
3:35 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Floridian Sues Venezuela To Regain His Lock Of Liberator Simón Bolívar 's Hair

Thanks to the disputed lock of hair, we're pretty sure this is what Simon Bolivar looked like.

Florida resident Ricardo Devengoechea had what the Venezuelans needed: an actual lock of Simón Bolivar's hair that could be used to authenticate the bones stashed in Caracas' National Pantheon.  Reportedly, he lent them the hair, the match was made and Bolívar's certified skull was used to make the  digital facial image that you see on this page.

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Election Communion Day
3:03 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

South Dade Church Offers Election Night Solace For Campaign-Battered Souls

Forget Election Here: South Florida's only church for election night services is St. Andrews Episcopal in Palmetto Bay.
Credit Laura Coburn

Reconciliation. Redemption. Binding up the nation's mostly self-inflicted wounds. There's going to be a need for all of that after this bitter election cycle is over.

And that need is where Election Communion Day comes from. More than 300 churches in 44 states have signed on to conduct services and offer communion right after the polls close on Election Day.

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