6:47 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

PolitiFact Florida on Rubio's Defense Spending; Patrick Murphy's Health Care Votes

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 11:08 pm

Our military budget is back in the news.

Even with the U.S. combat role in Iraq and Afghanistan officially over, potential presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio is calling for a reversal of a shrinking defense budget.

Earlier this month, Rubio moved to raise the Pentagon’s budget - despite the end to two wars. In a speech on the Senate floor, he said the defense budget already has gone down too much.

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6:46 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Florida Senate Seeks To Ban Powdered Booze

Powdered rum and cosmopolitans are among the adult beverages the Florida State Legislature is considering banning

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:50 pm

Spirits aren't high on the future of powdered alcohol being mixed in Florida.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on Monday unanimously supported a measure (SB 998) that would prohibit the sale and possession of powdered alcohol throughout the state.

The effort to ban powdered alcohol comes shortly after the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the sale of a powdered alcohol called Palcohol by the privately held company Lipsmark LLC.

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6:40 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Protecting Florida's Rare Coastal Dune Lakes

Sunset at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Steve Newborn WUSF News

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 10:51 pm

Tucked into a slice of the western Florida Panhandle is one of the rarest ecosystems in the world. The Coastal Dune Lakes are where fresh water lakes occasionally mix with the salty surf of the Gulf of Mexico. at 8 p.m. Thursday, WUSF TV will air the premiere of a documentary of this unique ecosystem, Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast.


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6:36 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Circuit Court Ruling Puts Former Miami Lakes Mayor Back In Office

Michael Pizzi after he was found not guilty in August 2014.
Credit the Miami Herald

Former Miami Lakes mayor Michael Pizzi was reinstated to his old position Tuesday.

Pizzi was arrested in August 2013 on bribery charges and found not guilty last August. Since then he’s been trying to get back his seat as mayor.

Current mayor Wayne Slaton won’t budge. This has led to a circuit court judge ruling that Pizzi be reinstated.

A shakeup like this has the ability to affect the town government’s morale.

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6:33 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Florida Near The Top In The Number Of Hate Groups

Southern Poverty Law Center "The Year In Hate and Extremism" Report.
Credit Southern Poverty Law Center /

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports there are currently 784 hate groups nationwide. Those groups can be anything from Ku Klux Klan to neo-Nazis to black separatists and anti-LGBT groups. All of them are listed in the SPLC's The Year In Hate and Extremism report.

But if that sounds like a large number, it's actually smaller than the year before. Actually, for the second straight year the number of such hate groups is on the decline.

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6:47 am
Wed April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015: U.S., Cuba Begin Human Rights Talks

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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2:04 am
Wed April 1, 2015

For Palm Beach County Seniors, Stickball Is A Return To Childhood

Palm Beach Stickball League All Star Game at Village Park.
Credit Luis Hernandez / WLRN

There's always something that can take us back to our childhood in an instant. It could be a toy, a song or maybe a game.

For many kids growing up in the early and mid-20th century on the streets of New York, or Boston or Philadelphia, that game was stickball. The streets, the parks and the alleyways became Yankee Stadium, or Fenway Park or Connie Mack Stadium. Stickball was as big as most major sports for kids in their early teens.

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US-Cuba Relations
6:09 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Washington And Havana Start Human Rights Talks; Will Cuba Ramp Up Internet Access?

Tom Malinowski, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, who heads the U.S. delegation at talks between the U.S. and Cuba on human rights
Credit AP

Talks between the U.S. and Cuba on human rights started Tuesday in Washington as part of the effort to restore diplomatic relations. And while they won’t reform Cuba overnight, rights experts say they’re at least a start - and may bring Cuba under more global scrutiny than it's used to.

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5:24 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Marijuana Rule Hit with Two More Challenges

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 9:21 am

A Central Florida nursery and a trade association this week filed legal challenges to a state Department of Health proposal to carry out a new law allowing limited types of medical marijuana.

This comes as lawmakers have expressed impatience with the delays in carrying out the 2014 law allowing the types of medical marijuana. It spurred the Senate Regulated Industries Committee this week to approve a bill (SB 7066) aimed at jump-starting the process.

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5:24 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Report: Wildlife Still Feeling Impact from BP Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig after the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 7:56 pm

Five years after the BP oil spill, the environmental impacts are still being felt.

According to a report released Monday by the National Wildlife Federation, animals such as dolphins were found dead at four times the historic rates in 2014. The group believes the oil spill may be to blame.

"Bottle-nosed dolphins in the places most-affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are very sick, their pregnancies are failing, and they're dying in large numbers," said Ryan Fikes, a restoration scientist with the National Wildlife Federation.

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5:23 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Poll: Jeb, Rubio Get Boost in Florida

Jeb Bush

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 10:33 am

With voters pointing to concerns about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's honesty, former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio have gained ground on the Democrat in the presidential race in Florida, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Bush, who has been traveling the country and raising tens of millions of dollars in anticipation of a bid for the Republican nomination, leads Clinton by a margin of 45 percent to 42 percent in Florida, the Quinnipiac University poll said. A similar survey in early February showed Clinton ahead 44 percent to 43 percent against Bush.

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3:09 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

App Gives Parents Access To Their Children's Cyber Life

Credit olarte.ollie / Flickr Creative Commons

Parents want to know what their kids are up to, but they don’t always have access to their children’s cyber lives.

There's an app for that.

Digital monitoring apps like TeenSafe give parents unfiltered access to their kid’s digital world.

TeenSafe CEO Rawdon Messenger says his app and others like it are recommended for parents who want to monitor their children’s digital activities.

The app, which works on most tablets and cellphones, tracks location and allows parent to view texts, deleted texts and social media sites. 

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Financial Education
3:07 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

College-Affiliated Bank Accounts Often Not A Good Deal For Students

Miami Dade College was singled out in a report critical of partnerships between colleges and banks. Students can pay hundreds of dollars a year in overdraft fees from banks. Often those banks have special partnerships with colleges or universities, but students can likely find as good or better deals on their own.
Credit xinntii / Flickr

The federal government should ban overdraft fees for financial accounts established through a partnership between banks and colleges and universities, according to a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending.

Those overdraft fees can cost students hundreds of dollars a year -- more than books -- on accounts often set up to handle financial aid payments.

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9:16 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Legislation To Ensure Pay Equity For Miami-Dade Women In The Works

Credit 401(K) 2012/Flickr

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava is currently drafting legislation to ensure pay equity for women in the county. It’s a CEDAW ordinance -- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

CEDAW was adopted by the United Nations in 1979. The United States is one of the few countries in the world that hasn’t ratified the convention.

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Real Estate
1:13 am
Tue March 31, 2015

South Florida Ranks Fifth For Unaffordable Housing

New affordable apartment towers for seniors were built by the Richman Group in West Brickell.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

A new report from, an online real estate service provider, ranks South Florida fifth for unaffordable housing in the nation. It’s just below New York, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, which tops the list. 

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