Local News

From Palm Beach to the Florida Keys, WLRN's award winning reporters work every day to bring you the most relevant stories in your community. 

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Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Howard Webster’s third graders had “first-day jitters” on Sept. 18. But the first day of school had been nearly a month earlier.

Gateway Environmental K-8 Learning Center in Homestead was closed for seven school days because of Hurricane Irma, as were most other schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

“With the kids being out so long, it's like starting school all over again,” Webster said during an after-school event shortly after the storm.

tall buildings
Flickr Creative Commons via Osseous / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale’s dreams of a Downtown streetcar system took an unexpected turn on Monday when the bids for the project came in much higher than anticipated. 

 

Roberto Koltun / Miami Herald

Data confirms what many South Floridians might have guessed: the alarming impact of Hurricane Harvey in August likely motivated people to prepare early for Hurricane Irma last month. And that meant spending a lot of money. Think of it as plywood and Pop Tart spending.

City of Key West

For years tourists have flocked to take photos at Key West's Southernmost Point Marker.

That came to a halt when the concrete buoy was damaged during Hurricane Irma. But the buoy is photo-ready again.

The Florida Keys News Bureau reports that the City of Key West hired Danny Acosta, the original artist, and artist Henry DelValle to repaint the graphics on the Florida Key's most photographed tourism icon.

The colorful marker represents the southernmost point of land in the continental United States.

Lisa Marteeny survived 8-to-10 feet of storm surge during Hurricane Irma in Everglades City. But her husband of nearly 13 years Lee Marteeny did not. He died at the age of 72 from a bacterial infection days after wading in nearly chest-deep floodwaters with his wife. Lisa Marteeny, 62, describes in her own words what it was like to wait out the major storm on her neighbor Adela Butler’s back porch, which is on stilts. And she talks about losing her husband days later:


Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

TOA BAJA – Heavy rains fell last week in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, a town west of San Juan. The sound of the downpour took 68-year-old Carmen Rivera back to September 20 – the day Hurricane Maria roared into Puerto Rico and destroyed her home.

Florida is paying nearly $437,000 to cover the fees of attorneys who sued Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

C.M. Guerrero / Miami Herald

Fed up with piles of post-Irma debris in your neighborhood?

You're not alone. Hundreds of South Florida residents have taken to social media to complain.

Hurricane Irma at 8 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2017.
National Weather Service

In the six weeks since Hurricane Irma first made landfall in Florida, almost 750,000 property insurance claims have been filed. Almost one out of every three of those have been filed by property owners in South Florida. And most of those insurance claims remain open.

"So far, I am satisfied," said Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier about the process. "We do have ways to go, so that's a preliminary assessment."

man at podium
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

After 14 people died at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills following Hurricane Irma, the ongoing question of what to do about nursing home regulations at the federal level has been answered. At least, by one lawmaker. 

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced on Monday that she is planning to file a  bill, and if it is passed she says it will strengthen how rules for nursing homes are enforced around the nation. 

Miami Herald

This fall, a Miami man was trashing the U.S. government and its anti-terrorist actions around the world while a confidential informant listened to his every word.

Vicente A. Solano told the informant that he wanted to carry out a terrorist attack at a crowded Miami-Dade mall on Black Friday, the big Christmas shopping day after Thanksgiving, according to federal authorities. The informant said he could introduce Solano to someone who could assist him but he needed proof that his intentions were for real.

Get Those Jackets Ready: A Cold Front Will Be Hitting South Florida By Wednesday

Oct 23, 2017
FPREN

Temperatures will tumble this week in Florida. For the first time in nearly five months, a cold front will make it all the way through the Keys and Miami by Tuesday. This will not only mark the end to the state’s rainy season, it will send many to their coat closets to find a jacket or hoodie.

Read more: Here is South Florida's weather forecast for the next 7 days 

A new statewide poll shows environmental issues to be one of the top five issues facing Floridians. But not all parts of the state have the same concerns.

State officials say they have distributed more than $1 billion worth of food assistance following Hurricane Irma.

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