The Florida Roundup

Fridays at noon & Saturdays at 6 AM on WLRN 91.3FM

Each week a panel of journalists from South Florida and around the state discuss the week in news. 

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12/29/17: The Year In Review

Dec 29, 2017

A historic Hurricane Irma leads to unprecedented evacuations while charter schools result in big changes and a sexual harassment scandal rocks the state legislature.


WLRN/Miami Herald

A lot has happened in the past 365 days.

A Category 4 hurricane plowed across the Florida Keys. President Obama ended the “wet foot, dry foot” policy for Cubans. The death toll related to Florida's opioid epidemic climbed higher. Venezuela sank further into economic and social chaos.

For the last episode of The Florida Roundup in 2017, editorial page editors from the Miami Herald, the Sun Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post — Nancy Ancrum, Rosemary O’Hara and Rick Christie — sat down with WLRN's Tom Hudson to review the year’s biggest news stories. 

Miami Herald

About 4,700 people died in Puerto Rico in September and October of 2016. A year later, 5,800 people died over that same two-month stretch. Could the difference of 1,100 deaths been caused by Hurricane Maria?

According to the island’s official count, the storm killed 62 people. The Center for Investigative Journalism looked at government data on deaths, trying to get a handle on Maria’s death toll on the island.

A Florida senator quits after news of more bad behavior and big changes could be coming to the shipping industry after the disaster surrounding El Faro. Plus, we have a look at the far-ranging influence of Florida icon Jimmy Buffett.


REUTERS

Two of Florida’s largest counties, Palm Beach and Broward, have started a process that could take opioid drug makers to court for their roles in the opioid crisis. 

Miami Herald

Sexual harassment, abuse and inappropriate behavior are not new, and South Florida itself is not immune. "Abuse isn't an economic issue; it's across the board. In Hispanic culture it is a double whammy: It's a culture of machismo and a culture of silence. It's a deadly combination," says Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago.

M. SPENCER GREEN / AP

There are nearly two million gun licenses in Florida but figuring out exactly how many guns are in the state is a more challenging figure to extract. Florida, like most states, does not require gun owners to register their weapons. 

Bridget O'Brien / WLRN News

This week on a special edition of The Florida Roundup at the Miami Book Fair, WLRN's Tom Hudson spoke with a panel of authors about the changing political and cultural landscape of South Florida.

National Book Award finalist and MacArthur finalist Edwidge Danticat, host of NPR's Full Disclosure Roben Farzad and Dr. Andrew Frank, professor of history at Florida State University took to the stage to discuss everything from uncertainty over immigration to the slow expansion of medical marijuana and the backlash against Confederate symbols scattered across the state. 

This week we’re discussing fighting the opioid crisis at Florida’s pharmacies along with paying claims and paying for cleaning up two months after Hurricane Irma. We also are looking at the opportunity and anxiety of our divided politics. 

Florida Blue Makes A Move To Combat Opioid Addiction

Florida Blue, the state’s biggest health insurer, says it will not cover Oxycontin prescriptions after January 1.

Will this move make a difference in stemming the tide of opioid overdoses?

Wilson Sayre

The effort to put emergency money for food into the pockets and bank accounts of South Florida meant waiting in  lines and in court this week.

D-SNAP is the government program for disaster food assistance. The federal government program returned to the region for three days this week after overwhelming demand last month led to long lines and police shutting down some distribution sites over public safety concerns. 

AP Photo/Steve Cannon

The first reports of Sen. Jeff Clemens' extramarital affair with a lobbyist came four days before Halloween. The Lake Worth politician was the top Democrat in the state Senate and set to lead the minority party in 2019. He resigned that same day.

Facebook via Miami Herald

It was a Nixonesque moment — a politician asked about questionable campaign tactics — when Michael Grieco told the Miami Herald to “look right into my soul.”

 

Greico, a first-time commissioner elected in 2013, handed in his resignation at City Hall on Oct. 24. He faced a charge of accepting an illegal campaign contribution, but he avoided admitting guilt and said he didn’t do it.

 

AL DIAZ // THE MIAMI HERALD

After more than a month of finger-pointing and name-calling over the length of power outages after Hurricane Irma, the Coral Gables commission says it will sue Florida Power & Light to force the utility to upgrade its infrastructure within the city. 

Courtesy

This week on The Florida Roundup we're looking at tax dollars going to private schools along with Gov. Rick Scott's desire to spend more on the environment. We also have a look at the new film, "The Florida Project," that shines a light on life along the state's economic fringe.

You can listen to the full show here

Private Schools

One month since Maria hit Puerto Rico, the wait for Irma's food benefits in South Florida and Florida public schools vs. the state over charter schools all on this week's 'special pledge edition' of The Florida Roundup with host Tom Hudson. 

Guests: 

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