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Politics
9:26 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Florida Roundup: Health Care And Budget Plan Gaps

More on our series into the health coverage gap is at WLRN.org/healthgap.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

  On the Florida Roundup, here are the week's topics we discuss.

Health Coverage Gap

About 850,000 Floridians live in the health coverage gap -- they don't earn enough for subsidies through the Affordable Care Act but they don't qualify for Medicaid. However, they would benefit from Medicaid expansion if it was enacted in the state.  Lawmakers haven't come to an agreement.

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O, Miami
12:54 am
Fri April 24, 2015

With Shadow Puppets, Federico Garcia Lorca's Poetry Comes To Life

Julia Miller (left) and two other puppeteers create a scene in "My Soul's Shadow."
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Behind two white screens on a concrete loading dock with no air conditioning, six overhead projectors hum away. People quietly dart around, picking up what look like small cutouts of faces and figures. They place them on the projectors and with almost imperceptible motions move then across the hot screens.

Sometimes a person stands in front of the projectors, his crisp profile forming a silhouette on the other side of a white screen. He interacts with the shadows of these various cut outs - opening a drawer, taking the bite of a giant apple or falling out of a boat.

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Invasive Snakes
12:48 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Florida Wildlife Officials Order A New Python Hunt

A student holds a Burmese python from just behind its jaw during a Python Patrol training class at Tree Tops Park in Davie, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. The free class teaches how to safely and humanely capture the invasive snakes.
Credit DANIEL BOCK / FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Florida wildlife officials are hosting another snake hunt, but they don't want to call it a hunt. It's the Python Challenge. It's not likely to put much of a dent on the growing population of the invasive species, but that doesn't mean the event will be a failure.

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Metromover
12:44 am
Fri April 24, 2015

How To Get Around Without The Metromover This Weekend

Credit 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.

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Miami History
3:42 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Local Bar Tobacco Road Finds A New Home

The iconic neon sign above the entrance reads, "Tobacco Road Liquor Bar 'til 5 AM"
Credit Michael Scott Sheerin

Tobacco Road, known as the oldest bar in Miami, has secured a new home.

The iconic bar had its last call in October, and since then patrons have been waiting to hear where Tobacco Road would take up residence. 

The bar is expected to reopen in January 2016 at 69 Southwest Seventh Street.

A lot of the old pieces of Tobacco Road will become decorative memorabilia along the walls of the new location, like handbills, fliers from past events and photos. The bartop and the neon sign also made it out of the old place.

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News
3:11 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Inspectors Find Card Skimmers At South Florida Gas Pumps

The card skimmers were mostly found in South Florida, but even gas stations along interstates in otherwise rural areas of the state have also been affected.
Credit futureatlas.com / Flickr/Creative Commons

Inspectors from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have found more than 80 “skimmers” at gas stations across the state.

Skimmers are small devices attached to card swipe machines at gas pumps, and they steal credit and debit card information from drivers while they are filling up their cars.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says skimming is a lucrative business for thieves, as most gas pumps handle a significant number of transactions every day, involving banks from across the country.

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News
2:26 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

FBI Report: Florida Affected By Flawed FBI Hair Analysis Testimony

Credit Luigi Caterino / Flickr Creative Commons

 

According to an FBI report released this week, almost all of the FBI’s experts who conducted microscopic hair analysis gave flawed testimony in criminal trials.

The error-filled testimony went on for more than two decades since 2000, according to the report, which is the largest post-conviction review in the history of the FBI.

The hair analysis was scientifically flawed, and in most cases bolstered prosecutors' cases against defendants, the report found. 

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Environment
1:09 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Community Talks The Future Of Turkey Point In Public Meeting

A view of Turkey Point Nuclear Plant from Biscayne National Park.
Credit fcir.org

Florida Power And Light wants to build two new power reactors at Turkey Point in south Miami-Dade.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission met with the public Wednesday at Florida International University to discuss concerns raised by the recent FPL proposal.

Florida Representative José Javier Rodriguez was one of those who spoke out against the idea.

“Basically, the application is seeking approval for two new units on a low peninsula into a shallow bay that’s already highly vulnerable to storm surge,” Rodriguez said.

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Politics
1:50 am
Thu April 23, 2015

South Florida Lawmakers Try to Block Cuba Terrorism Delisting

South Florida lawmakers are up in arms over President Obama’s decision to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Credit Don McDougall / flickr Creative Commons

Most South Florida lawmakers cringed when they saw President Obama shake hands with Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas. But the momentary cringe turned into revulsion when the president shared to Congress his intent to remove the island nation from the state sponsor of terrorism list.

South Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks for many in the delegation.

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Falling Into The Gap
1:41 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Medicaid: For The Loafer-Wearing Special Interests Or For The Neediest Floridians?

Cynthia Louis at a free mobile health clinic, one of the few places she can go to get health care as a person in the "coverage gap."
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

This is the fourth and final part of our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

Cynthia Louis is a big fan of President Obama. A collage of pictures of the president is propped up against the living room wall along with pictures of her children and a certificate of appreciation from her church.

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Politics
4:31 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

President Obama Visits The Florida Everglades

Credit Jenny Staletovich / Miami Herald / Twitter

EVERGLADES--This was President Obama's first trip to the Everglades. In a speech that lasted about 15 minutes, the president reiterated his administration's stance on preserving fresh water and reducing carbon emissions.

Seemingly in response to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's purported ban on the phrase "climate change," the president said, "(climate change) can't be edited out." Gov. Scott has denied any such ban exists.

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Politics
2:45 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

House Approves 24-Hour Waiting Period For Abortions

State Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, is the sponsor of the bill.

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 3:08 pm

With the Senate also poised to take up the issue, the Florida House on Wednesday approved a bill that would require 24-hour waiting periods before women can have abortions.

The measure (HB 633), sponsored by freshman Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, passed on a vote of 77-41, largely along party lines.

The debate followed party lines, too, with Republicans arguing for the sanctity of life and Democrats arguing for the right to choose.

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Falling Into The Gap
8:17 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Selling Eggs For Medicine: Tradeoffs People In The Gap Make For Health Care

Cynthia Louis in one of Florida International University's Neighborhood HELP Program parked in parking lot of the Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Miami Gardens.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

 This is the third part in our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

Every Tuesday, a giant blue bus parks in front of the Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Miami Gardens. Inside looks like a doctor’s office with a reclining exam chair and anatomical charts. You only know that it’s not a traditional office when it shakes as people get on and off.

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Latin America Report
8:17 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Why Cops Are In The Crosshairs Of Venezuela's Murder Crisis

Venezuelan policemen outside Caracas carry the coffin of a fellow officer slain by gang criminals.
Credit Andrew Rosati

Venezuelans are emigrating in droves to South Florida, and it’s not just because Venezuela’s economy is collapsing. Public security has imploded too: South America’s most oil-rich nation has the worst murder rate on the continent.

The homicide crisis has gotten so bad, in fact, that some of the most frequent victims today are the very people who are supposed to fight it: the police.

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Expanding Medicaid
6:41 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

State Economist Warns 'We Will Feel It' If Medicaid-Related Hospital Funds Are Lost

Photo illustration of Medicaid card.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

  TALLAHASSEE -- State House Republicans emerged from a closed-door meeting on Tuesday apparently still resolved to oppose expanding Medicaid for 800,000 low-income Floridians.

Meanwhile, the Senate, in an unusual workshop session to hash out the Medicaid problem and its implications for Florida's hospitals and its economy, was hearing from the state's chief economist that the House position threatens an economic catastrophe that begins with Florida's safety net hospitals.

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