news

Politics
6:39 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Lawmakers Wade into Amendment 1 Details

Money to keep polluted runoff out of Lake Okeechobee is at stake in the discussions over money from Amendment 1

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:47 am

New rules for Florida waters will be one of the first bills the House takes up when the legislative session gets underway.

But don't expect that all aspects of a voter-approved initiative to conserve water and land will sail smoothly through the 60-day session that begins March 3.

As House members and senators hammer out new rules and new funding levels required by the initiative, known as Amendment 1, a wide array of suggestions has poured in from Gov. Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, environmentalists and business lobbyists.

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News
6:36 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Key West Cops Get Body Cams Courtesy Of Sheriff's Office

Monroe Sheriff Rick Ramsay, left, and Key West Police Chief Donie Lee check out one of the 100 new body cameras purchased by the Sheriff's Office for the Key West Police Department.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Body cameras for the Key West Police Department. Night binoculars for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Radar units for the Florida Highway Patrol.

It was like Christmas in February at the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Friday, with Sheriff Rick Ramsay in the role of Santa Claus for fellow law enforcement agencies.

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StateImpact Florida
6:34 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Ready Or Not, Students, The New Florida Exam Is Here

The new Florida Standards Assessments begin today. Most students will take the exam online, though some students will take a paper and pencil version of the writing exam.
Credit Extra Ketchup

At Miami's iPrep Academy, getting ready for the state's new standardized test includes rapping.

Two students are recording the daily announcements, telling classmates when and where they need to be starting today.

"Monday is ninth graders, with last name A to G," one student raps, in a rhyme that's no threat to Miami's Rick Ross.



"On Tuesday, it’s ninth graders with last name H through Z," his partner continues.

"All testing is in room 2 - 0 - 4!" they conclude together, Beastie Boys-style.

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Development
4:21 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Some Rich And Powerful Would Benefit From Little Havana Upzoning

The notices for public hearings on the proposed zoning changes posted around East Little Havana are in English -- even though many of the neighborhood's residents speak only Spanish.
Credit Daniel Ducassi

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the owner of Cantelop Property Investment, Inc., as Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. The property owner is the lieutenant governor's father, Carlos C. Lopez-Cantera Sr. Friday, Feb. 27, 4:01 p.m.

A zoning proposal meant to spur redevelopment in Little Havana would benefit some well-heeled, well-connected men.

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Technology
12:00 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Add Black Tech Week To The List Of Miami Tech Conferences

Members of the conference taking a selfie on the third day of Black Tech Week.
Credit blacktechweek.com

Techies from across the country and the world have come together this week to celebrate diversity in the tech industry.

The first ever Black Tech Week is taking place this week with events all around Miami. 

Twenty-two-year-old Delane Parnell works for a venture capital firm that funds tech startups. This makes him a hot commodity at Black Tech. Parnell was a speaker at one of the events at the conference.

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News
11:56 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Miami Beach Child Pornography Arrest Used To Advocate "Revenge Porn" Legislation

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle says this wasn't just child pornography. She says it was also "revenge porn."
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Miami Beach Police arrested Antonio Giansante Thursday for possessing and promoting child pornography. 

Giansante started having consensual sexual relations with a girl -- now in her late twenties -- back in Puerto Rico when she was 16. He was her high school soccer coach. The couple moved to Miami Beach together when she was already considered an adult.

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News
11:47 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Miami To Pay Nearly $1 Million To Family Of Unarmed Man Killed By Police

Sheila McNeil holds a poster of her son Travis McNeil who was killed by Miami police officer Reynaldo Goyos.
Credit Nadege Green / WLRN

The City of Miami voted today to pay nearly $1 million to the estate of an unarmed man who was shot and killed by a Miami police officer.

Miami Officer Reynaldo Goyos killed Travis McNeil, 28, during a traffic stop in Little Haiti four years ago.

During an internal affairs interview about the shooting, Goyos said that during the traffic stop McNeil reached toward his waistband area.

“At that time I said 'don’t do it,' gave him a loud verbal command: 'Don’t do it.' And at that time I saw a black object coming up,” he said in the interview.

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Politics
11:34 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Florida Roundup: Police Relations With South Florida's Minority Communities

Fort Lauderdale Police Chief addresses the press on Tuesday regarding a police officer who was caught on camera slapping and pushing a homeless man.
Credit Miami Herald

The U.S. Justice Department this week announced it will not charge George Zimmerman with civil rights violations in the case of the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Martin's death preceded several recent killings of young unarmed black men that has sent protesters to the streets, renewing the conversation about police relations with minority communities.

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Rolling Loud
5:03 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Shouldn’t Miami Hip-Hop Hit Harder?

Local Miami rapper Denzel Curry.
Credit Mark Maturah

The lineup for Dope Entertainment's Rolling Loud Festival set South Florida hip-hop heads abuzz: the headliners are current favorites Schoolboy Q, A$AP Ferg, Action Bronson and Juicy J. 

But on Feb. 28 at Wynwood's Soho Studios, those big alternative-hip-hop acts will share the stage with underground South Florida rappers.

One of those locals is 19-year-old Denzel Curry from Carol City. 

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Michel Martin
7:17 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Giving Personality To The Immigration Debate

Panelists Diane Guerrero, Etana, Edwidge Danticat, and Richard Blanco share stories of finding their home.
Credit Ryan Stone for NPR

Joy, surprise, disappointment, hope, and the many shades of emotion in between were expressed center stage during a night of conversation and storytelling about immigration on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

Michel Martin, former host of NPR’s “Tell Me More,” hosted the show "Long Way Home: Immigrant Stories of Old Roots and New Routes" in collaboration with WLRN. The production is part of a series of live events Martin has been hosting across the country.

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Education
5:20 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

FIU Adjunct Professors Want Better Working Conditions

Joan Baker is a full-time English professor at FIU. She rallied on Wednesday, along with other permanent professors, to support her adjunct colleagues.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Wednesday is National Adjunct Walkout Day. Adjuncts are part-time college professors who get paid lower wages, as compared to permanent employees, and have no benefits. Florida International University adjuncts want change.

About 30 people gathered at FIU's south campus by a large water fountain. Full-time instructors, part-time instructors and even students came out to support adjunct professors.

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Politics
5:17 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Florida Lawmakers Try Again To End Permanent Alimony

Gov. Rick Scott vetoed an alimony reform bill passed by the Florida Legislature in 2013. Lawmakers chose not to pursue the issue in 2014 - an election year where fiscal concerns like tax cuts took center stage.
Credit WMNF Community Radio/flickr

The rules surrounding alimony are back before the Florida Legislature. It’s been almost two years since Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill that would have stopped permanent spousal support and reopened divorce cases.

"What I was concerned about on that was the retroactive part of it, that we could go back and review prior agreements,” Scott told reporters after vetoing the bill passed by the Legislature in 2013.

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Environment
5:16 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Big Cypress Preserve Applying To Be International "Dark Sky Park"

View of the night sky from Big Cypress National Preserve.
Credit Stephen Meszaros

Big Cypress National Preserve runs over 729,000 acres in Collier County and bits of Monroe and Miami Dade counties. The preserve is applying to be an international “dark sky park.” There are only 20 in the world. A "dark sky park" is a place where humans get clear, starry scenery, and nocturnal animals, like the endangered Florida Panther, see better.

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Latin America Report
1:49 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Painting And Passion: Frida And Diego Come To The NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

Frida Kahlo's self-portrait "Diego En Mis Pensamientos" (Diego On My Mind)
Credit NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale/Gelman Collection

In my interview this week with Fort Lauderdale philanthropist Stanley Goodman, he made a simple but salient observation about Latin American art:

“Latin America is more than Cuba.”

That fact still surprises some people in Miami-Dade County. But in Broward County – where Goodman and his wife Pearl are two of South Florida’s most prominent art collectors – it’s a less shocking idea.

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Culture
1:46 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Arsht Center Announces 10 New Commissions To Celebrate 10th Anniversary

Robert Battle talks about his new piece commissioned by the Adrienne Arsht Center.
Credit Nadege Green / WLRN

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is commissioning 10 new pieces to celebrate a decade in downtown Miami.

The commissions, dubbed 10@10, will all be performed in 2016. They include a dance piece choreographed by Miami native and Alvin Ailey dance director Robert Battle.

Battle attended a press conference Tuesday at the Arsht Center and talked about his dance, “The Attention of Souls,” which will debut March 2016.

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