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Food
12:04 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

The Croqueta Comeback: Shuttered Barley & Swine Wins Croquetapalooza

Kendall's Finka Table & Tap dazzled with their chicken croqueta.
Credit Gregory Castillo / WLRN

Past the flashing lights of slot machines and green poker tables, a battle for fried finger food supremacy raged on at the Magic City Casino Sunday afternoon. 

Hundreds gathered for Croquetapalooza, the first event of its kind, honoring the crispy, gooey Cuban snack.

"This is an idea we had to simply find out who has the best croqueta in Miami," says Sef Gonzalez, event mastermind and creator of the Burger Beast blog. 

Ten restaurants accepted the challenge of creating the best possible dish for what was the Super Bowl of croquetas. 

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Sports
6:14 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Senator Sets Sail After Passing Of Parasailing Law

Senator Maria Sachs suits up in a life vest prior to her parasailing flight.
Credit Gregory Castillo / WLRN

Senator Maria Sachs (D-Delray) knows how far she's come when she's parasailing over the crystal-blue waters of Fort Lauderdale Beach.

It's been more than 10 years since Florida's Legislature attempted to create new regulations for the parasailing industry. By the time of her Thursday morning flight, the law had finally changed. 

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Health Care
2:23 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Miami-Dade Moms Among The Highest In C-Section Rates

Karolina Salas had two unplanned C-sections because the doctor told her it was necessary for the baby.
Credit Constanza Gallardo / WLRN

Although the World Health Organization recommends Cesarean rates stay between 10 and 15 percent, last year almost half of all babies born in Miami-Dade County were delivered by C-section.

That’s a 49-percent rate.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the cesarean rate in Miami-Dade County has been steadily growing during the past decade. 

Karolina Salas had her first baby two years ago. She had planned with her doctor for a relaxed atmosphere with no drugs and, most importantly, no surgery.

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Inner City
10:25 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

How This Miami Food Truck Is Run By At-Risk Youths

The Vibe 305 food truck is staffed by the young men participating in the Empowered Youth USA program.
Credit Carla Javier / WLRN

The Vibe 305 food truck serves up sandwiches with unconventional names: gratitude, hope, and opportunity, for example.

It's staffed by young men, 12 to 19 years old. They are part of the Empowered Youth USA program in Miami.

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Public Spaces
9:16 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Local Woman Plans A Sound Garden For Miami's Bayfront Park

The Sound Garden is one of two projects from the challenge that will be implemented in Bayfront Park.
Credit Carla Javier / WLRN

Yida Hernandez, a student at Miami-Dade College wants to change Bayfront Park into a sound garden.

She says she hopes to create an audio oasis that "surrounds people with the soothing sounds of the instrumental music that we will be piping in through a hidden audio system."

The plan is to install fancy chairs in the northeast corner of the park, as well as free wi-fi. Hernandez hopes to get it running by November.

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South Florida Culture
5:13 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

How South Floridians From Different Countries Get A Taste Of Home Through Rice

Coconut rice is served as a side dish with fish, tostones and salad.
Constanza Gallardo WLRN

Click through the photos above to see the different dishes.

By itself, rice is a pretty simple grain. But in South Florida, rice takes on several roles.

For some cultures, it's a side dish, for others it's a main dish or even a delicacy. Below, South Floridians from different countries talk about what rice means to them.

COLOMBIA

Maria Teresa De Arango learned how to make coconut rice when she was 10 years old, from her aunt who lived in Cartagena, a small town off the coast of Colombia.

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Election
2:09 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

One Candidate For Florida Governor Makes A Beer Stop In South Florida

At the Wyllie for Governor craft brew tour stop in Coral Springs, campaign members and volunteers gave out materials to supporters.
Credit Carla Javier / WLRN

In a recent Quinnipiac University poll, libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie has 9 percent of the support in the race for Florida governor.

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FreeBee
5:19 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Is This Free Car Service In The Same Category As Lyft And Uber?

FreeBee director of public affairs Linnea Rae says the company's fleet of 20 vehicles are 100 percent electric.
Credit facebook.com/TheFreebee

This weekend, a service called FreeBee will start offering free short-distance rides in Brickell. The electric cars are paid for by advertisers in exchange for branding exposure.

The service's fleet of 20 electric vehicles has already been operating for two years in Miami Beach. 

FreeBee director of public affairs Linnea Rae calls the service a "marketing asset for prospective advertisers" that "caters to consumers by giving free rides around the community."

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Election
6:42 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Adrian Wyllie To Tour Breweries Statewide

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie on Tuesday announced a month-long, 30-city campaign tour of some of Florida's local breweries.

Wyllie for Governor campaign manager Danielle Alexandre says they chose to tour breweries because "the craft-beer industry had come under fire with legislators in Tallahassee."

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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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HistoryMiami
4:18 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Miami Stories: Grandaughter Recounts Day Trips With Abuela

Family photo taken after Olga's brother Henry’s First Holy Communion at Immaculate Conception Church. Pictured from left to right, her father Henry, mom- “Cuqui”, Grand Aunt Estelita, Maternal Grandmother Olga, Paternal Grandmother Abuela Nena (on which story is based), Olga in front of her and her two brothers Henry and Dave.

This story, as told by Olga Perez-Cormier, is part of an oral history series. 

It was always exciting when Abuela would tell me that she needed to go downtown for the day. This meant she had business to attend to at “El Refugio,” the Cuban Assistance Center. This also meant that we would do a little shopping. As a reward for helping her translate and get around, she would treat me to lunch at McCrory’s.

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Legislation
6:03 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Cruise Passengers Call For Regulation, Industry Disagrees

The Cruise Lines International Association calls the Cruise Passenger Protection Act 'a solution in search of a problem.'
Credit Ines Hegedus-Garcia / Flickr.com

A bill that would lead to better protections for cruise passengers has yet to move forward in Congress.

Last week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on cruise passenger safety. The hearing was called by committee chairman and senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia, who sponsored the Cruise Passenger Protection Act. 

At the hearing, lawyer and International Cruise Victims Association board member Philip Gerson testified. He is the legal representative of a 15-year-old victim of rape on a cruise ship. 

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Bicycle Safety
3:39 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Critical Mass Tonight In Miami and Fort Lauderdale

It's that time of the month again.

Tonight, the Critical Mass swarm of bicycles share the road with cars in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The event usually happens at the end of every month -- to represent the Miami Bike Scene in Miami and to inspire road sharing.

While the ride is one of the largest social gatherings in South Florida, drivers and cyclists are warned to be cautious. Critical Mass has resulted in injuries and even deaths in the past. 

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Religion
2:26 am
Fri July 25, 2014

As Ramadan Comes To A Close, Local Muslims Come Together To Break Fast

Volunteers at a local mosque prepare plates for iftar, the breaking of the fast at sundown.
Credit Constanza Gallardo / WLRN

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is coming to a close. During Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day -- no food or drink. They break the fast with a meal after sundown called iftar. (See our Unique Eats: Ramadan Edition.)

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Politics
2:04 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Sholom & Mohamed: Brothers In Spite Of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Sholom and Moe take a selfie together with their respective flags.
Credit Sholom Neistein

Mohamed Ghumrawi and Sholom Neistein have been friends for six years.

Sholom is Jewish. Mohamed is Muslim and of Palestinian descent. 

"I think it’s interesting how people perceive our friendship," says Mohamed, or Moe for short. "People see us and the first thing that comes to mind is, 'A Palestinian and an Israeli together? What? I must be in the "Twilight Zone".' ”

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