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.
If there are any undecided voters left in Florida, just weeks before the election, chances are they're educators.
Many say President Obama and Mitt Romney have strong education platforms that differ so subtly it may take a teacher's practiced eye to tell them apart.
"They're both strong on testing and accountability," says Doug Tuthill, who runs a nonprofit in Tampa for low-income K-through-12 students. "They both believe that student achievement should be included in teacher evaluation systems.
After her emotional speech Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention, Ann Romney resumed the campaign today with a visit to St. Petersburg where she cut the ribbon to open a new physical therapy playground at All Childrenâ€™s Hospital.
During the event, she found some common ground with 11-year-old Seth Morano of Sarasota.
Seconds after the pieces of red ribbon had fluttered to the ground in the shady playground Seth leaned back in his wheelchair, tilted his head for maximum projection and shouted a short message.
Powerful businessman Norman Braman is casting a long shadow over the Miami-Dade County Commission election. He's backing a slate of four candidates against four incumbents, ostensibly in the name of reform and good government.
Braman, a civic activist, Â car dealer and former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles football team,Â was the prime mover in the recall of former county mayor Carlos Alvarez. He was also a bitter but unsuccessful opponent of the Miami Marlins stadium deal. BramanÂ favors reforms that would limit spending and commissioners' political power.
While we were working on ideas for stories to commemorate theÂ 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, WLRN Miami Herald News journalist Rick Stone found some old tapes of his reporting after the storm.Â He reported many radio stories after Hurricane Andrew (you can hear some of those original stories on the players below), but one in particular inspired us.
Next Tuesday's primary will be the first election since redistricting under anti-gerrymandering rules changed all of the political maps. The process made, changed or destroyed some political careers in the Florida Legislature, and not every one is sure the redistricting process accomplished its goals.
As Republican U.S. Representative Allen West is hoping to be elected in a new district, two candidates from way over on the other side of the aisle are each hoping to fill the congressional seat he leaves behind.Â
On a bright Saturday morning in a southeast Pompano Beach neighborhood, Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs -- all legs and sunglasses in a short green skirt and sleeveless blue t-shirt -- zips by at the controls of a two-wheeled Segway.
TALLAHASSEE-- At the midpoint of the legislative session,Â an organization of domestic violence opponentsÂ drove hopefully to the state capitalÂ from Miami for the first committee hearing on a bill they were supporting.Â The legislation would allow domestic violence victims who are being stalked at work to quit their jobs and still qualify for unemployment.
MONTICELLO, Fl. -- Late in the 1980s, crime was rising, prisons were filling up and Florida needed new places to build prisons. But a grim penitentiary full of criminals was a gift that few counties wanted back then. Â
Jefferson County, just east of Tallahassee, was different. Then, as now, under populated and desperately poor, it saw an opportunity and it did something unusual.Â
State senators decided by two votes last night to kill a massive privatization program designed to reduce state prison costs by seven percent a year.Â Nine Republicans joined the Democratic minority to kill the bill, which had divided the Senate and called into question the leadership of Senate President Mike Haridopolos.
The privatization scheme called for turning 28 southern Florida institutions over to private contractors, eliminating thousands of jobs and reducing the state prison budget by an estimated seven percent.