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Floridians are old pros when it comes to hurricane preparation, but these last few years of near hurricane drought may have taken the edge off storm preparation.

But Harvey's Texas devastation is a stark reminder about the kind of damage a major hurricane can do.


Irma Now a Category 4 with an Eye on Florida

Sep 5, 2017

Irma strengthened Monday afternoon to a Category 4 storm, and the latest forecast data suggests the Major Hurricane will approach South Florida this weekend. It was too soon to make or deny that call in the past few days, but it’s now time for all Floridians in a hurricane prone area - no matter which coast you live along - to take Irma seriously.

Allison Light, WLRN

President Donald Trump is likely to announce the end of a program that extends legal protections to people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children, multiple news agencies report.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey

Low-wage jobs in Florida are one of the main reasons families live in poverty or near poverty, according to a new study by Florida International University.

The yearly report, “State of Working Florida,” found Florida’s economy to be unbalanced and unequal.

While unemployment numbers are down statewide, that has not made a dent in income disparity across the state.

Irma strengthened Monday, and new forecast data suggests the major hurricane will approach South Florida this weekend. It was too soon to make or deny that call over the weekend, but confidence is increasing that the Category 3 storm will come very close, it not make a direct hit, on the Sunshine State in six to eight days.

Michael Lambrix is set to be executed on Oct. 5.

He was next in line to be executed when a U.S. Supreme Court decision threw Florida's death penalty into limbo. He was one of two Death Row inmates who had active death warrants for a year and a half. Mark Asay, the other inmate, was executed on Aug. 24, breaking the hiatus.

Updated at 11:20 p.m. ET

The governors of Florida and Puerto Rico have declared pre-emptive states of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma, a powerful Category 4 storm churning through the Caribbean on a westward track. The U.S. Virgin Islands also declared a state of emergency.

Forecasters say the dangerous storm also looks increasingly likely to hit the U.S. East Coast, either in South Florida or the Carolinas.

"We have established protocols for the safety of all," Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said, urging islanders to take precautions.

Photo courtesy Brevard County

A $302 million clean-up of the Indian River Lagoon isn’t neglecting its shoreline.

Researchers are mapping some 200 miles of Indian River Lagoon shoreline in a first-of-its kind study in Brevard County aimed at understanding its condition.

Melinda Donnelly of the University of Central Florida led the team. She says natural shorelines help filter pollutants and provide habitat for an array of species.

Courtesy of Brightline

Brightline trains are leaving the station, but it's not quite yet full steam ahead for the express rail service being built between West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. That could pose a problem for Miami-Dade County's long-term transit plan, officials told the Miami Herald last week.

Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Education has traditionally been a mainstay topic for labor activists. So it seems appropriate that going into Labor Day this year, some South Florida educators are trying to unionize.

In recent years, colleges and universities, hoping to cut costs, have increasingly relied on part-time professors. In response, a growing number of part-time professors are pushing for unions. They're seeking things like higher wages and health-care benefits.

NOAA

Hurricane Irma strengthened to 120 mph sustained winds by the 8 a.m. Monday morning advisory. The Category 3 storm is expected to get more muscular throughout Tuesday and Monday, as it edges toward the Caribbean.

Hurricane watches were posted for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, which could start to see hurricane and tropical storm conditions by late Tuesday.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has set a date for the execution of Michael Lambrix.

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

Political conditions in Venezuela are growing darker by the day. But so is Venezuela’s financial situation. In the meantime, Florida politicians are calling for more help for Venezuelan immigrants.

Much of the international community now labels Venezuela’s socialist government a dictatorship. And this week the regime is doing its best to live up to that billing.

Flickr/Creative Commons

Gov. Rick Scott wants to do away with bonuses for employees at the state's tourism and business-recruitment agencies, at least for now.

After fighting with the Legislature earlier this year to keep the agencies funded, Scott on Thursday rejected the bonuses “at this time.”

Scott sent a letter to members of the boards of directors at Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida outlining his opposition to the employee rewards.

State wildlife officials say human-bear interactions are on the rise, and they’re trying to educate Floridians on ways to defuse those situations. 

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