Politics

Foreclosure Crisis
6:00 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Florida's Mortgage Mess: Among The Worst In The U.S.

Florida's mortgage issues are widespread.
Credit Jeff Turner /Flickr

Florida's foreclosure crisis isn't over, but there are resources.

For the last three months, Florida has led the nation in the number of homes in some stage of foreclosure.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Since the start of the recession, the foreclosure crisis has been a horror story for the Sunshine State.

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Fiscal Cliff
1:22 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 10:01 am

  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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Congress
7:37 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Gifts And Flaws Controlled 'Mercurial' Career Of Departing Congressman David Rivera

RIVERA: Not everyone counts him out.
Credit File

Time's nearly up for South Florida Republican Congressman David Rivera who lost his re-election bid to Democrat Joe Garcia in November.

It's a stall in a remarkable political career that always kept Rivera one or two adroit steps ahead of political and personal disaster.

Still, his last round of problems -- now under investigation by the FBI and the IRS -- may lead to criminal charges with possibly uncomfortable ramifications for Rivera's close friend, U. S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

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Year In Review
3:42 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Yearly Roundup: New Districts, New Voting Problems, New Economic Hope

Even Santa's Enchanted Forest was in the patriotic spirit November 6th.
Credit Bob B. Brown, Flickr

In an election year and a redistricting year, you might have expected this. The biggest stories of 2012 ended up being an election and redistricting.

A third ongoing story also pervaded the year's news: The economy continued its long, slow rise from the ashes of the recession, and by year's end the rebound – while facing the possible stomach-punch of a fiscal cliff setback – appeared to be solid.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

How South Florida Will Remember 2012

Floridians may most associate 2012 with its irrelevance in the presidential election, when the nation had declared the winner and Florida was still counting ballots.
Credit Radio_jct

We were once again in the center of the political universe, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons as the state that can't vote straight.  It was also the year that the death of a black teen from Miami Gardens named Trayvon Martin made us reassess race relations, and the right to stand your ground.    

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Unemployment
6:53 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Florida's Jobless Teeter On Fiscal Cliff

LIFELINE: 119,000 jobless Flordians would lose unemployment checks immediately in a fall from the fiscal cliff.

 

Tumbling off the fiscal cliff will immediately cut the economic lifeline for 119,000 Floridians who depend on extended unemployment compensation now funded by the federal government.

It would also mean an immediate increase in the payroll taxes paid by every American wage-earner. But the long-term unemployed will be especially vulnerable if Congress and White House negotiators are unable to reach an agreement to head off automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts by Monday.

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Election 2012
1:46 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

2012: A Year Of Electile Dysfunction In Florida

Voting lines, both before the election--and on November 6th itself, made Florida the butt of more jokes in 2012, and exposed major flaws in the system
Credit Benjamin Thompson on flickr

In 2012, Florida remained the state that can't vote straight. 

President Barack Obama sent Florida's GOP leaders in to shock by winning the state in November, and some Democrats followed his coattails to make the state slightly bluer. But while licking their wounds, Republicans remain in firm control of Florida's agenda.

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Media
9:32 am
Thu December 27, 2012

The 2012 Weird Stories That Defined Florida

BIG BLUE EYE: It washed ashore on a South Florida Beach to become one of the year's weird stories. Now we know: It came from a swordfish.
Credit Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The end of the year is approaching and the news columns and web sites of a hungry nation are filling up with weird Florida stories, each supposedly an illustration of the character, lifestyle and unholy preoccupations of our strange, strange state.

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Pill Mills
4:30 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Pill Mills Migrate North To Georgia

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that three of every four overdose deaths in 2008 involved prescription painkillers.
Credit Mouse, Flickr

Florida's war on so-called "pill mill" pain clinics  appears to be pushing the problem into Georgia.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2010, there were just 10 pain clinics in the state of Georgia. Today, there are more than 125 clinics  and the state's per capita prescriptions of oxycodone has tripled in the last decade.

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Cuba & Venezuela
3:30 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

2012: The Year of What Didn't Happen In Latin America

Credit Guillermo Esteves

2012 may be remembered in Latin American for what didn't happen more than for what actually did, especially in Venezuela and Cuba.

VENEZUELA

The year began ominously for Venezuelan nationals living in South Florida.  The U.S. State Department expelled the country's consul-general, alleging she was involved in a cyber-terrorism plot. In January, Venezuela's Miami consulate was shut down by President Hugo Chavez, who was facing a tough reelection campaign. 

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Politics
8:44 am
Wed December 26, 2012

After Beating Allen West, House Freshman Faces New Fight

Rep.-elect Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., speaks during a news conference introducing 37 of the newly elected House Democrats at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Of the eight new seats that Democrats picked up in the House of Representatives in November, four of them come from Florida.

Democrats were aided by a big turnout for President Obama, plus new rules that helped erase a Republican advantage in how districts are drawn in the Sunshine State.

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Capital Punishment
7:40 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Florida's Surging Death Penalties Buck Trend

NEW MISSION: Exonerated after 12 years on Florida's death row, Freddie Lee Pitts became an activist.
Credit deathpenaltyphotos.org

Texas executed 15 convicts in 2012, the most of any state, according to an end-of-year report from the Death Penalty Information Center.

But Florida led the nation with new death sentences for the year: 21, more than twice as many as Texas. California, with 14 death sentences, was the only other state to achieve a double-digit performance.

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Unemployment
6:55 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Judging Rick Scott's Job Creation Record

HARD TIMES: The Florida unemployment rate has been reduced mostly by discouraged workers abandoning the job search.
Credit Sweets and Flowers/Flickr

His big campaign pledge was 700-thousand jobs in seven years.

So, halfway through his term, how is Gov. Rick Scott doing with that?

The answer...it's complicated.

Unemployment has dropped from 11.4 percent in January, 2011, to 8.1 percent in November of this year. But almost half of the improvement is attributed to discouraged workers leaving the workforce.

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Election 2012
6:20 am
Wed December 26, 2012

How S. Floridians Canceled Their Own Votes

UNRECOVERABLE ERROR: A lot of South Floridians canceled their own votes with time, place and signature mistakes.

Floridians will remember how hard it was to vote on election day in November of 2012.

But many will forget what was easy: Losing their vote because of simple mistakes.

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Federal Cat Regulation
12:09 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Feds To Monitor Safety Of Hemingway Cats

GIMME SIX: Friendly kitten is part of the contingent of six-toed cats that live at the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West. They are now under federal protection.

The multitoed cats that have lived for decades in comfort and ease at Key West's Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum may continue to do so, a court has ruled.

But those cats will be protected and regulated by the U. S Department of Agriculture from here on out, just like any animals that are exhibited for a profit.

That's the puzzling upshot of a decision that has the famously independent city in an uproar and wondering if the decision can be appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court.

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