South Florida

News
4:35 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Miami International Airport Workers Voting To Strike

Airport workers gather to vote on a strike.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

  Miami International Airport restaurant workers have been without a contract for about seven months. They want higher pay and better health care benefits.

Over 50 people rallied in front of Terminal E Departures at the airport Friday. They gathered HMS Host employee signatures from 7 a.m to 8 p.m.

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HARP
11:51 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Refinancing For Underwater Homes Ends Next Year

Federal Housing Finance Agency hosted a panel discussion at Miami Dade College North Campus about HARP for borrowers whose homes are underwater. From left to right: Laura Reichel of Ditech Mortgage Corporation; Robert Koller of Fannie Mae; Yvette Gilmore of Freddie Mac; Mark McArdle of the Homeownership Preservation Office; and Joseph Cvelbar of Consolidated Credit Solutions, Inc.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The Home Affordable Refinance Program, HARP, is rolling into its last year.

The program run by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is a critical help for some South Florida homeowners.

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Knight Arts Challenge
8:00 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

From Weird Miami To Youth Mariachi, Knight Foundation Awards $2.29 Million In Grants

Visitors at the FATVillage Projects gallery in Fort Lauderdale.
Credit Mitchell Zachs / Knight Foundation

Almost 50 South Florida artists and arts organizations received $2.29 million in grants on Monday to help them build everything from a Stiltsville artist-in-residency program to a Homestead mariachi academy.

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Shopping Season
3:07 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Homeland Security Warns Of Holiday Gift Scams In South Florida

Counterfeit items that imitate Michael Kors watches and Vera Wang perfumes were confiscated in South Florida by Homeland Security.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Homeland Security Investigations held a press conference Tuesday morning in Doral, warning South Floridians about this year’s holiday shopping season.

They asked consumers to exercise caution as they gift shop for loved ones because some bargains are just too good to be true.

Robert Hutchinson is a deputy special agent for Homeland Security. He spoke to the local press in a room filled with merchandise that, when put together, would be worth about $35 million - if it were all authentic.

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Ebola
9:00 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

South Florida Nurses Protest For Better Ebola Protocols

Gillian Brown and other members of National Nurses United present their petition at the rally.
Credit Lisann Ramos

The National Nurses United union wants Ebola to be less of a threat to nurses. Members of the union gathered at Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale Friday to take a stand for their protection.

They are circulating a petition that asks President Obama and Congress to require health facilities to improve their safety standards.

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José Diaz-Balart
7:14 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Telemundo News Anchor José Diaz-Balart Gets A New Show On MSNBC

South Florida media fixture José Diaz-Balart reports in two languages.
Credit José Diaz-Balart

José Diaz-Balart says he doesn’t think of his new daily English-language show on MSNBC as South Florida being ready for the national spotlight – he thinks of it more as the nation is now ready for South Florida.

Diaz-Balart is a long-time veteran of both English and Spanish-language TV and radio – both local and international. He is currently the anchor of Noticier Telemundo at 6:30 p.m. ET.  

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Immigration
6:08 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Gang Violence Pushes Even The Prosperous To Flee Central America

Saira, 23, fled Honduras with her two children, ages 7 and 4, to Miami.
Credit Saira / Courtesy

The country is grappling with how to handle the influx of Central American children who have come to the United States over the past few months. And as Central America has become more and more violent, more families have been coming to South Florida too.

Over the last year more than 55,000 families were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s almost six times more than the same time period a year ago.

Florida is one of the top five states receiving this influx of immigrants.

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Nigerians In South Florida
3:55 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Rally For Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Spurs South Florida Involvement

Hundreds gathered on Saturday to raise awareness around the dire situation in Nigeria.
Credit Selima Hussain

A sea of green and white flooded into Rolling Oaks Park on Saturday, as more than 150 people rallied to raise awareness of the recent kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria.

The rally, organized by the Coalition of Concerned Nigerians in South Florida, brought religious speakers, political figures and South Florida Nigerians to the Miami Gardens park. Splashes of green and white, the colors of the Nigerian flag, danced on unique headpieces, t-shirts and posters.

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Jobs
6:21 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Fast-Food Workers Gather To Protest Minimum Wage In South Florida

Fast-food workers hold up signs emblazoned with messages like "Better Pay for a Stronger Miami" to raise awareness for minimum wage increase.
Credit Selima Hussain

Late in the morning on Thursday, about 50 people gathered at Jackson Memorial Hospital to protest South Florida’s minimum wage of $7.93. The group marched through a steady drizzle of rain to a nearby Wendy's.

“We can’t support our families with what we’re making,” said Rebecca Ray, who works at the Wendy’s. “So we’re doing something about it.”

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Operatic Moonlighters
2:41 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

The Secret Lives Of Local Opera Singers

Here is Martin Nusspaumer as Ismaele in Nabucco for Florida Grand Opera in January.
Credit Courtesy of Martin Nusspaumer.

When you see someone singing onstage at the Florida Grand Opera or the Adrienne Arsht Center, do you think about what goes on behind the scenes -- not just the costumes or the sets, but in the singers' lives?

Believe it or not, some of South Florida's opera singers work in electrical and mechanical engineering, accounting, education and law enforcement during the day.

The Engineers

Husband and wife Martin Nusspaumer and Maria Antunez worked as engineers in their native Uruguay.

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Crowd Hydrology
8:18 am
Tue April 15, 2014

FIU Professors Win Grant For Sea-Level Rise Project

Abel Fernandez, broadcast media junior, using FIU's new Media Innovation Incubator Lab at the north campus. Most of the sea-level rise project meetings will take place here. Students have swiveling desks and chairs, 20 laptops, 20 tablets, a smart TV and a view of the campus.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Florida International University is one of twelve colleges in the country to win a grant from the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education this year. Four FIU journalism professors proposed a project on sea-level rise in South Florida. 

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

South Florida History with Professor Dr. Paul George

Dr. Paul George points to a tombstone the city cemetery. Many of Miami’s original movers and shakers are buried here.
www.miamibeach411.com

03/17/14 - Today on Topical Currents we visit noted historian Dr. Paul George of History Miami.

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Storytelling
6:37 am
Fri March 14, 2014

This Floridian Life: Ira Glass On Our Weird Stories

Ira Glass, host of This American Life, says Florida is one of the best places there is to tell stories -- and also, very 'F'd up'.
Credit Stuart Mullenberg

There's been an ongoing debate among the staff in our newsroom about whether Florida really is weirder than the other states.  In December, we set out to produce a feature -- one segment -- about the weirdest stories of the year. Those stories spilled into three separate segments, and we could have easily kept going. But still, maybe it  just seems like we're weirder because this is where we are, this is what we know. Isn't New Orleans weird? Isn't Chicago?

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Latin America Report
9:29 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

How A Doral Woman Became A Victim Of Anti-Chavista Witch Hunts

Pietra Diwan in front of her Brazilian sweets business in Miami
Credit Tim Padgett / WLRN

Pietra Diwan takes pride in the master’s degree she earned in history back in her native Brazil. But a passion for historical accuracy may cost her the business she built here in South Florida.

As a historian, Diwan pays attention to document details. That’s why she raised flags last month when Venezuelan friends here started posting Facebook photos of the ongoing anti-government protests in Venezuela.

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Venezuela Unrest
7:56 am
Fri February 28, 2014

For Venezuelan Protesters, A Time To Ask: What's The Endgame?

Protesters wave an "SOS" Venezuelan flag during a diaspora rally in Doral last weekend.
Credit Miranda Nathanson / Miami Herald

There comes a moment in every political upheaval when the sound and fury of protests have to hook up with the clarity and practicality of platforms.

For anti-government demonstrators in Venezuela, that moment's arrived.

Since Feb. 12, the oil-rich but deeply divided country has been rocked by student-led unrest. Protesters are lashing out at President Nicolás Maduro’s heavy-handed socialist government and its inability to solve a raft of economic and social crises, including South America’s worst inflation and murder rates.

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