Florida is hosting eight of the 38 postseason games in college football – more than any other state. 

This season’s games will bring football fans from 15 out-of-state schools. State and local governments will get an economic boost as those fans flood theme parks, beaches and other attractions.

One look at the Brazilian flag and you think: This must be a space-age, high-tech country. That star-spackled orb in the middle glowing like a planetarium. The banner wrapped around it hailing "Order and Progress." Engineers must be rock stars there, right?

Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

The line for the new Miami-Dade IKEA has been in place for two days and boasts tents, fans, and a lot of IKEA passion.

The Swedish store’s location, adjacent to Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater, will start selling it’s affordable, assemble-yourself, modern furniture. At 416,000 square feet, the store will be the second largest in the country and also have Florida’s biggest solar panel array on its roof.

Tony Grandson got to IKEA at 5 a.m. on Monday. As the first person in line of about 40 people, he has a chance to win bragging rights and a brand new sofa.

Daniel Reichert (Creative Commons License:

Miami’s post-recession recovery is going relatively well; Hialeah’s is not, according to a new study from WalletHub.

The company, which provides online financial analysis tools for individuals and small businesses, looked at 18 different metrics to develop their own recovery ranking: changes in home value, the poverty rate and the foreclosure rate, to name a few.

02/24/14 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with popular economist, journalist and broadcaster Tim Harford.  His book, THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST sold millions internationally.

North American Bitcoin Conference Comes To Miami

Jan 27, 2014
Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

Bitcoin users from around the world attended this year's North American Bitcoin Conference this past weekend at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Moe Levin, who organized the conference, says attendance exceeded his expectations.

"I was expecting 800 people and now there are 1,200," Levin said. "It [was] a hugely successful Bitcoin conference."

Conference goers attended workshops held by Bitcoin-accepting and facilitating merchant vendors, like bitpay and 3DCart.  

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories For Jan. 6-10

Jan 14, 2014
Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

This week's top attention-grabbing  stories include:  A proposal to add a Satanic statue in the Oklahoma Capitol, a Vero Beach company employing all-day surveillance of company smartphones and computers,  a free trolley giving locals access to Biscayne and Everglades national parks, and more.

Tom Hudson

Squeezed between South Florida's neighborhoods and the Everglades is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. Tomatoes, beans and avocados all sprout from the rocky South Florida soil along with one of the largest nursery industries growing trees, shrubs and other landscaping plants.

Agriculture generates a direct $700 million dollars a year in Miami-Dade County alone. The economic impact of the plowing, growing and picking of those crops is much larger.

Brookings Institution

There are two basic realities about Cuba’s communist dictatorship that U.S. policy, and the anti-Castro hardliners that shape it, prefer to ignore. The first is that the Castro brothers will almost certainly die in power. The second is that market-oriented economic reforms, albeit tentative, are as much a part of Cuba’s landscape today as 1956 Chevrolets.

Gov. Scott's Top Business Recruiter Gets A Pay Hike

Oct 31, 2013
Rachel Morello

The outlook was largely positive as Governor Rick Scott, government officials and business leaders gathered in Coral Gables to discuss progress in boosting Florida’s economy.

The Oct. 31 gathering coincided with a board meeting of Enterprise Florida, the state’s public-private economic development agency.

Gov. Scott opened the discussion by praising both the public and private sectors for contributing to recent signs of economic recovery. He cited an increased focus on education and the addition of 365,000 private sector jobs since he took office.

Florida’s Senate Gaming Committee held its first public workshop recently to hear local perspectives about the future of gambling in the state as well as the potential social and economic impact expanded gaming would have on South Florida.

Early last year, state lawmakers shot down a bill to allow major casinos in South Florida. But now they’re reconsidering that decision, and possibly changing other state laws on gambling --- and that has plenty of people concerned.

In an alley in Northeast Washington, D.C., hundreds of pounds of produce are piled haphazardly on pallets. Mexican Fruits, a discount grocer, can't sell the fruit and vegetables inside these boxes because the food has gone soft or is lightly bruised. Some will be donated, but most boxes are destined for a large, green Dumpster nearby.

South Florida Food Banks Prepare For Funding Cuts

Oct 28, 2013
Gloria Lewis

Florida's food programs are bracing for cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that kick in Nov. 1 --- while watching warily as U.S. House and Senate conferees prepare to negotiate a federal farm bill, which could have much more far-reaching consequences for hungry Floridians.


Last year I spoke by phone with a frustrated woman in Santiago, Cuba, who was trying to start a seamstress business. It’s the sort of small private enterprise that Cuban leader Raúl Castro claims to be encouraging as part of free-market reforms meant to salvage the island’s threadbare, communist economy. (But don’t dare say Raúl is copying China’s communist-capitalist system. That makes him mad.)

Adam Bouska via

10/23/13 - Wednesday’s Topical Currents is with South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  She chairs the Democratic National Committee. She’s served in the U.S. House nine years and has written FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:  A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation’s ProblemsWasserman Schultz’s district covers portions of Broward and Miami-Dade, including Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach. She’s the mother of three, and is a breast cancer survivor. Tune in for Topical Currents Wednesday at 1pm on WLRN.