Politics

Local Politics
11:07 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Doral Council Fires City Manager Joe Carrollo

Former Doral City Manager Joe Carollo leaves the city council meeting after been fired on Monday, April 28, 2014.
Credit Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

As television cameras, heckling residents and bickering council members packed Doral City Hall on Monday, Joe Carollo sat quietly on the dais in the city manager’s seat.

On Friday, he had predicted he would lose his job.

Thirty minutes later, his prediction came true.

Council members voted 3-2 to fire the outspoken manager, during a meeting that erupted at times into shouting, name-calling, spontaneous boos and applause. Carollo had been on the job for 15 months.

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Session 2014
4:19 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

A Day In The Life Of A Tallahassee Lobbyist

Jack Cory waits outside the House chambers on the 4th floor of the Capitol. Lawmakers often come out for brief chats with lobbyists during the final days of the session.
Credit Jack Cory / WLRN

Tallahassee is full of lobbyists, and they’re in high gear at the Capitol for the final week of the legislative session.

A lobbyist is someone who is hired by a company or organization to convince lawmakers to pass legislation benefiting their clients.

Long-time lobbyist Jack Cory doesn’t stop moving much during the session. His firm’s two-dozen clients include the Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, Florida Citrus Sports, and the Florida and National Greyhound Associations.

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The Sunshine Edition
11:36 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Session 2014: The Sunshine Edition - The Business Of Politics

In a re-election year for Governor Rick Scott, the Republican-controlled legislature has mostly tried to avoid controversial issues.
Credit Meredyth Hope Hall / Courtesy of the Florida Governor's Office

 

 

For two months each year,160 men and women elected by Florida voters gather in Tallahassee to make state policies. Everyday during this final week of the legislative session, WLRN-Miami Herald News will be reporting and examining what Florida lawmakers have accomplished, what’s been ignored, and how it will affect you for our special Session 2014: The Sunshine Edition.

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The Florida Roundup
11:29 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Education Bills Highlight Differences Among Republican Leadership

House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel), left, shakes hands with Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).
Credit Florida House of Representatives

State Senate President Don Gaetz likes to introduce House Speaker Will Weatherford as the “taller, smarter, better-looking version of the Weatherford-Gaetz” duo. Their alliance has led to the quick passage of legislation like last year's ethics reform package and this year's sex offender bills. But on several education bills, the two diverge.

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Politics
12:01 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Florida Lawmakers Ready To Strike Popular Energy Rebate Program From The Books

Homes and businesses using solar panels like these were eligible for rebates under a state program that ended in 2010.
Credit lkarrowhead26/flickr

An energy bill that is nearing passage in the Florida Legislature would strike an old solar rebate program from the books.

The program was more popular than expected, and when it ended in 2010, thousands of rebate holders hadn’t received all of the money they were due.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has recommended that lawmakers clean up state statutes by eliminating the rebate program. Since the program has ended, he says it's no longer needed on the books.

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Politics
6:10 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

What We Learned From Our Innocents Lost Town Hall On The Child Welfare System

Democratic Sen. Eleanor Sobel and Republican Rep. Erik Fresen spoke at the WLRN and Miami Herald town hall on the child welfare system.
Credit HECTOR GABINO / EL NUEVO HERALD

For more than a year, the Miami Herald dug through Department of Children & Families records and police reports to find out how and why nearly 500 children died over the past six years after falling through the Florida Department of Children & Families’ protective net.  

The investigative series, Innocents Lost, uncovered the disturbing stories and found that the agency had embraced a family preservation philosophy without ensuring all the necessary social services were in place to keep children safe in troubled homes.  

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Legalizing
9:21 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Why Rep. Katie Edwards Supports Medical Marjiuana

Rep. Katie Edwards supports the research of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Credit TheNewsHerald/Flickr

Before there was a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in Florida on this coming November ballot, there was West Broward Representative Katie Edwards.

She represents parts of Davie, Plantation and Sunrise.

A democrat from District 98 with a background in agriculture and applied economics -- along with a law degree -- Edwards first made a legislative effort to address the possibility of medical marijuana in 2013.

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Gabriel García Márquez
12:59 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Gabo And Gringos: Did Magical Realism Bridge Or Divide The Americas?

Gabriel García Marquez, 1927-2014
Credit Ricardo Timão / Flickr

Gabriel García Márquez, who died Thursday at age 87, provided one of the eerier moments of my journalism career.

In 1996, a colleague and I had been conducting a series of interviews with the Colombian Nobel laureate about his newest book, called “News of a Kidnapping.” It was a nonfiction work on his country’s violent drug-crime culture. Shortly after García Márquez sent the final proofs to his publisher, I called him at his Mexico City home and he sounded shaken.

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Venezuela Crisis
5:34 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Florida Senators In Doral To Make Stronger Call For Venezuela Sanctions

Florida Senators Bill Nelson (left) and Marco Rubio in Doral Thursday morning.
Credit C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

Not one but both Florida Senators came to Doral Thursday morning to show solidarity with the state's large Venezuelan community.

In their bipartisan appearance at the Arepazo Dos restaurant, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio said U.S. sanctions against Venezuela's socialist government - which has been widely criticized for its heavy-handed response to anti-government protests - may be a stronger possibility now. 

Hear the full story below.

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Politics
1:54 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Concern For Public-Records Access As Florida Legislative Session Nears End

NOT-SO-PUBLIC RECORDS: Watchdogs say this year's Legislature could raise the total number of public records exemptions to nearly 1,100.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net

With two weeks to go in the lawmaking session, open government and ethics measures favored by watchdog groups are stalled in the Florida Legislature. There is a two-part concern about citizen access to public records.

The first worry is about the number of public-record exemptions that are pending this year. Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation says it's a dozen.

"It will be a record number of new exemptions and push the total number of exemptions to both the public records law and the open meetings law close to 1,100," Petersen said.

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Politics
7:13 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Lawmakers Ban Biometric Data Collection In Florida Schools

Kids won't get their eyes scanned or any other other biometric information collected at school under a bill approved by the Florida Legislature.
Credit dash.null/flickr

Schools won’t be able to collect the fingerprints or other biometric information of students under a bill approved by the Florida Legislature.

The new requirement is part of a broad package designed to protect kids’ privacy.

When lawmakers in Tallahassee talk about biometrics, they’re talking about hands and eyes being scanned or fingerprints being collected.

For Senator Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, it’s a slippery slope.

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Innocents Lost Town Hall
3:18 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Former DCF Admin: System Suffers From Overload And Underfunding

A Miami Herald investigation found that 477 children had died in the past six years due to abuse or neglect, despite warnings to DCF about their situation.
Credit MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Join the Miami Herald and WLRN-Miami Herald News for a town hall on how to fix the child welfare system at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 17 at the Doral headquarters of the Herald. Learn more at MiamiHerald.com.

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Latin America Report
10:56 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Was "Cuban Twitter" Dumb Or Defensible? Or Both?

A Cuban state television camera at the Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana.
Credit cubadebate

Confession: When I criticized ZunZuneo as the story emerged earlier this month, I left something important unsaid.

I support its basic intent. That is, the effort to help Cubans or anyone else access news, information and opinions that authoritarian governments around the world try to block.

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Session 2014
10:26 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Surprise Amendment Could Change Jackson Contract Negotiations

A new bill could change the way union contracts are negotiated at Jackson.
Credit Salvatore Vuono / freedigitalphotos.net

TALLAHASSEE -- A high-profile healthcare bill moving through the Florida House could strip the Miami-Dade County Commission of its authority to make the final decision on labor union contracts at the county’s public hospital system.

The bill originally sought to create new rules for trauma centers, allow skilled nurses to practice independent of physicians, and pave the way for hospitals to use virtual healthcare services.

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