Fort Lauderdale

Ben Sorensen

Fort Lauderdale made national headlines last year when bulldozers cleared out a homeless encampment in Stranahan Park. Before that the city had become part of late night talk show fodder after authorities arrested then 90-year-old Arnold Abbott for feeding the homeless in areas not designated for that activity.

Robin Martin / WLRN

On May 19, 2017, LaLa Dior arrived home from cosmetology class at the Florida Barber Academy to find her belongings thrown in a bright blue trash bin.

Dior, who was living in a homeless encampment next to Downtown’s Stranahan Park, learned 80 city employees came with a front-end loader and dumpster truck and threw away her belongings, along with those of some 40 to 50 other people.

When the call went out for a doctor on board, the U.S. surgeon general says he gladly stepped in to help with a medical emergency on a commercial flight.

New River Inn
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale’s New River Inn has worn many hats since it was built in 1905. It started as a railroad hotel in 1905, then it became city offices. In 1977 it became the original site of the Museum of Discovery and Science before it became what it is today, a museum for the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society

wave streetcar project
wavestreetcar.com / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners voted 3-2 to adopt a resolution that asks Broward County to stop The Wave project by not giving the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) the required consent to keep going.

 


The Wave streetcar
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale’s new City Commission is looking for ways to undo the previous commission’s plans to build the Wave streetcar system downtown. Monday at city hall, commissioners held a public workshop about the Wave. 

Jack & Jill Children's Center
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Two-year-old Ari Williams is testing out the new motor-sensory friendly playground at the Jack & Jill Children’s Center on West Broward Boulevard.

“It’s sand!” she yells, and scoops tiny cups of sand into smaller containers.

She then jumps to the water tables where she throws her hands in and can splash around. 

Yo-Yo Ma
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

A program from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts called Arts Across America came to Fort Lauderdale Sunday to sponsor master cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a community discussion about the power of art.  

Dean Trantalis
Dean Trantalis / WLRN

Former City Commissioner Dean Trantalis took office as Fort Lauderdale’s mayor just over one month ago. A lot has happened in his first few weeks leading the city.

 

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN News

Brightline train tests began Wednesday morning for the Miami-to-Fort Lauderdale route, at the same time as Miami-Dade County and Brightline officials were meeting in downtown Miami to discuss rail safety measures.

Dream Flights
Top photo courtesy Dick Wells. Bottom: Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The Rev. Arthur “Art” Stejskal, 90, never got to fly during his time in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a clerk in 1947.

“I was in charge of enlisted men separation, so I had a lot of happy customers,” he said. “I did the discharges ... I always wanted to fly, and being a missionary in Taiwan I never had the opportunity.”

Fort Lauderdale gun shows
U.S. Customs and Border Protection / AP

Fort Lauderdale’s War Memorial Auditorium, inside Holiday Park, has been hosting gun shows seven times a year for the last 30 years. On Tuesday, the City Commission announced at a conference meeting that it’s looking to end those shows later this year.

 

Charlie King lives in the city’s Victoria Park neighborhood and frequently speaks in front of the commission. He told commissioners at the meeting that he doesn’t like the gun show location. 

Fort Lauderdale fire chief
Korey Howell / WLRN

It will be somewhat of a homecoming for Fort Lauderdale's next fire chief.

Rhoda Mae Kerr began her career in fire service in Fort Lauderdale in 1983, and after becoming the first female fire chief of Little Rock, Arkansas, and then again in Austin, Texas, the New Jersey native is ready to come back to where it all began for her. 

Carina Mask / Miami Herald

It's official. Fort Lauderdale has a new mayor. 

Dean Trantalis beat opponent Bruce Roberts on Tuesday night.  Trantalis made city history by also becoming the city's first openly LGBTQ mayor. 

A third candidate,  Charlotte Rodstrom,  did not get enough votes during the primary election in January to stay in the race.

Elizabeth Athanasakos, a Fort Lauderdale resident of 61 years, voted at the Coral Ridge Mall polling location early Tuesday. She said she was motivated to come and vote for mayor this election because of her stance on development.

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