Miami

C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald Staff

Regular commuters have the next month and a half to register for the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority’s new toll reimbursement program.

The Cash Back Toll Dividend Program allows MDX to give some commuters a percentage of their tolls back if the organization is running a budget surplus.


“There’s definitely going to be a dividend declared,” says MDX spokesman Mario Diaz. “What we’re looking at is, and we have to finalize those numbers and the board has to finalize, but it appears that it’ll be somewhere around $3 million this year.”

Marco Ugarte / AP

COMMENTARY

Once again, Donald Trump’s got it all wrong.

Mexican immigrants aren’t the problem. Mexican officials are.

Especially all the Mexican officials who live deep inside the pockets of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the world’s richest and most wanted drug kingpin. Thanks to them, El Chapo, or “Shorty,” was able to waltz out of Mexico’s most secure penitentiary through a mile-long escape tunnel that’s already being called one of the country’s engineering marvels.

Al Diaz / AP

It was the first major story I ever covered here in Miami.

The first – and quite possibly the worst. But it’s worth recalling because it led us to the Cuba moment Miami is living right now.

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the end of the Elián González drama – the ugly international custody battle that gave the cable news networks bizarre fodder for seven long months in 1999 and 2000.

Courtesy Peter Zimble

Part 2 of Cuba Online

Some people visit Cuba to drink up rum mojitos. Peter Zimble goes there to dream up web services.

“The woman who runs the apartment where I’m staying was lamenting that she had to walk my visa to a government office to register me as a guest,” Zimble told me by phone from Havana’s seaside Malecón. “It would be so much easier if there were an app for that.”

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Part 1 of Cuba Online

When Cuban bikini maker Victor Rodríguez visited Miami this month, he was on a pilgrimage – not just for bathing suits but for bandwidth.

The most important stop on Rodríguez’s schedule was lunch in Wynwood, Miami’s high-tech district, with Mel Valenzuela, who owns the online swimwear store Pretty Beachy.

Miami-Dade Transit

The entire Metromover system will be shut down this Saturday and Sunday. Miami-Dade Transit will provide free shuttles to replace the Metromover routes while upgrades and routine maintenance will force the closure.

Shuttle busses will run between Metromover stops every 10 to 15 minutes and, for the most part, follow the path of the Metromover tracks. Below is a map showing the exact stop locations.

Tom Rollo / IEFA/Grace Photography

Starting today, Miami is the home of yet another major hemispheric gathering. The International Economic Forum of the Americas has moved one of its biggest events here - from a South Florida neighbor.

The International Economic Forum of the Americas, or IEFA, has become a key platform for issues affecting the Western Hemisphere. The Montreal-based group used to hold its annual World Strategic Forum in Palm Beach County. But it aims to raise its profile now by taking advantage of Miami-Dade’s more Latin American atmosphere.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Thirty years ago, when I was a graduate student in Caracas, I met a young Venezuelan socialist who introduced himself as Stalín.

“Yes, after the Russian,” he told me rather condescendingly – hoping to shock an American with the news that the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was his namesake.

I didn't take the bait. But I did think of Stalín recently when Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed his own admiration for “Comrade Stalin, who defeated Hitler.”

Miami Artist Captures Concerts In Drawings

Feb 13, 2015
Photo Courtesy of Brian Butler

In a crowd of concertgoers hidden in the shadows of a dimly lit venue, one man can’t help but stand out. Equipped with a pen and sketchbook, Brian Butler regularly claims a post near the many stages he comes across, ready to capture the diverse environments around him. 

Butler, originally a Massachusetts native and a Massachusetts College of Art and Design graduate, moved down to Miami about five years ago. He cites having seen rock legend Iggy Pop perform on the beach during Art Basel as part of the motivation for this move.

Junette Reyes / WLRN

Miami International Airport is acting Cupid as Valentine’s Day approaches, receiving and shipping over 90 percent of flowers imported to the United States.

The overwhelming number of flower shipments from South America and other regions bring up concerns of pests and plant diseases for the nation’s agricultural and floral industries.

Together, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, LAN Cargo, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection go through an annual inspection process to prevent the industries from being harmed.

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