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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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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Regulating The Debates
10:33 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Leaked! The Candidates' Agreement On How To Run The Presidential Debates

There are rules for these things.
Credit DonkeyHotey on flickr

For debate watchers, this MAY help you understand what you're seeing tonight. Mark Halperin at Time magazine has obtained the official 2012 presidential debate rules and put them on his blog.  This is the agreement reached by the two campaigns and neither the Commission on Presidential Debates nor the moderators were parties to it. Highlights below, see it all here.

What would happen if another candidate qualified for the debates.

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Foreclosure Settlement
8:02 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Foreclosure Settlement Will Rain Checks On Thousands In South Florida

Sign Of Anger: Banks are finally settling with people who lost their homes to sometimes questionable foreclosure methods.
Credit SEIU International

There's been a big consumer protection settlement for people who lost their homes to foreclosure and checks could be on the way early next year. Did you lose your home to foreclosure? And was your mortgage serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase or Wells Fargo?  The Sun-Sentinel is reporting you may be eligible for a $2,000 check.

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Meningitis Death
7:23 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Miami-Dade Teen's Meningitis Death Triggers Public Health Alert

Mom texted her family, 'Ask about meningitis.' Hours later, her son was dead.
Credit Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Questions arise after the sudden death of 18-year-old Christopher Valdes. Are there more bacterial meningitis cases in Miami-Dade County? And was this one misdiagnosed? Even after a specific plea to consider meningitis, doctors sent him home with painkillers and nausea pills. A few hours later, he was dead.  Christopher's father tells the Miami Herald, "I feel they were negligent."

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TB Outbreak
9:43 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Despite CDC Appeals, Politics Thwarted Tuberculosis Information Campaign

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacteria that causes the disease.
Credit MicrobeWorld

Records and emails collected by The Palm Beach Post depict state officials as too absorbed with political goals to warn the public about a tuberculosis outbreak.

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Cuban Missile Crisis
8:53 am
Mon October 15, 2012

How Cuba Nearly Joined The Nuclear Club

Khrushchev, right, considered Castro a hot head.
Credit AP

Recent research and a new book by the son of a Soviet insider are putting the Cuban Missile Crisis of a half century ago in a scary new light. Juan Tamayo of the Miami Herald reports we were closer to nuclear war than we have realized. Here's the part about the 98 nuclear missiles that Nikita Khrushchev almost left with Fidel Castro.

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Voting Laws
8:02 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Charlie Crist's Costly Stand For Early Voting

The Hug: This may have been a worse problem for Charlie Crist than his defense of early voting.
Credit seasidepost on flickr

Dismayed after black citizens, voting early, handed Florida to President Obama in 2008, state Republican leaders showed up in Gov. Charlie Crist's office to demand a law that restricts early voting.

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Capital Punishment
7:03 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Days From Death, Killer's Violent Psychosis Complicates Closure For Victims' Families

John Errol Ferguson, convicted of killing six, may have murdered twice as many.
Credit Florida Dept. of Corrections

John Errol Ferguson is scheduled for execution on Thursday for a six-victim murder that  horrified South Florida more than 35 years ago. At the time, as the Miami Herald's David Ovalle reminds us in this backgrounder, it was the worst mass murder in local history.  Is he fit to execute?

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Politics And Polls
6:02 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Nelson's Survival Shows Romney Surge Did Little For Republicans' Senate Strategy

Nelson's Republican opponent Connie Mack missed the surge.
Credit Gage Skidmore on Flickr

The Republicans' chance of retaking the Senate is about a quarter of what it was two months ago, according to the New York Times' great meta-pollster, Nate Silver. Despite Mitt Romney's comeback, Democratic Senate candidates like Florida incumbent Bill Nelson are also holding their own. Check the tables on Silver's blog at  fivethirtyeight.com.

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Quarterback Queen
9:46 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Erin DiMeglio's Big Year: South Plantation High Quarterback Is Also Homecoming Queen

Homecoming queen Erin DiMeglio in her other role
Marisa Latzman
  • WLRN's Phil Latzman met Erin Dimeglio and produced this profile.

It's hard to imagine a more completely successful senior year. Here’s Christy Cabrera Chirinos' story in the Sun-Sentinel about how 17-year-old Erin DiMeglio got her homecoming tiara...during halftime. Click the Listen link to hear Phil Latzman's profile of the groundbreaking athlete.

From dreaming of touchdown passes to…sporting a tiara?

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Big Bird On The Roof
8:19 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Dade Teachers Mock Romney With Big Bird Strapped Like Seamus To Van's Roof

The Spokesdog Speaks: Romney is "one scary individual"
Dogs Against Romney

Mitt Romney is getting his nose rubbed today in one of the most durable memes of the 2012 campaign, his hapless dog Seamus strapped to the roof of the family van during a long vacation road trip.

Only it’s not the dog this time. It’s Big Bird. Memes aren't memes, you know, unless they adapt.

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Bad Ballots
4:32 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Shades Of 2000: Palm Beach County's Bad Ballots Mean Another Hand Count Election

2000: Lawyers and elections workers spent days squinting at Palm Beach County ballots, trying to determine who had voted for whom.
AP
  • Barry Richard performs the robocall he sent to Palm Beach County absentee voters.

A misprint on 60,000 absentee ballots means vote-counting in Palm Beach County will be sort of special again this year.

Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said each of those ballots will have to be examined, the intent of each voter discerned, and the vote transferred to a properly printed ballot so it can be read by a tabulation scanner.

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