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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.

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.

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. 

Critical Mass Tonight In Miami and Fort Lauderdale

Jul 25, 2014

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. 

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

Jul 25, 2014
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.)

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".' ”

Carla Javier / WLRN

More than a year after its deck collapsed during a Miami Heat game, Shucker's Waterfront Grill is reopening with a new deck.

The restaurant, also known as Shucker's Bar & Grill before closing last summer, is located in North Bay Village. 

Carla Javier / WLRN

According to research at San Francisco State University, Florida is second in the nation in child deaths from heatstrokes in hot cars.

Reggie McKinnon lives in Cape Coral. He lost his daughter Payton to heatstroke in March 2010 after he left her in his car.

Bob Jagendorf / Wikimedia

Miami-Dade County officials are calling on Gov. Rick Scott to investigate the death of a mentally ill inmate at Dade Correctional Institute.

Darren Rainey was found dead two years ago in a closet-size shower stall. He had been put there and left for two hours in scalding-hot water as punishment.

Sen. Dwight Bullard organized a press conference at Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church this week to address law enforcement misdoings.

He says people deserve the right to live, whether they are inmates, individuals looking for federal assistance or workers.

On Saturday, hundreds of Palestinians and concerned citizens gathered in front of the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale to protest for peace in the Gaza Strip. 

And on Sunday, thousands of Israelis and concerned citizens gathered in front of New World Symphony in Miami Beach -- to protest for peace in Israel. 

While the protesters differed in ideas of how the Palestinian-Israeli conflict should be handled, both sides wanted to see one thing: peace.

Dan Kipnis / Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper

An environmental non-profit organization has filed a letter that says it may sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  

Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper in Miami alleges the Army Corps violated the Endangered Species Act by not protecting coral reefs affected by dredging at PortMiami.

Miamigov.com

After being shut down for a little over a decade, the newly renovated Caribbean Marketplace in Little Haiti will bring life back into this tight-knit enclave.

The Marketplace opened in 1990 and closed just nine years later due to structural and financial problems. The Northeast Second Avenue Partnership was involved in the building’s renovation.

Executive director Joann Milord says one of the reasons the Marketplace shut down was the building's lack of air conditioning. That contributed to its physical breakdown --  mold grew and the building started to decay.

Gov. Rick Scott Signs Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act

Jul 17, 2014
Constanza Gallardo / WLRN

Two years after the hit-and-run accident that killed cyclist Aaron Cohen was killed, the Florida Legislature passed a bill with tougher penalties for drivers who flee the scene.

Gov. Rick Scott signed the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act in Key Biscayne on Wednesday, with Cohen’s family in attendance.

“This happened a year and a half ago and the Legislature reacted,” says Gov. Scott.  “They’ve increased the penalties so hopefully this won’t happen to somebody again. You can’t imagine how this would change somebody’s life.”   

Miami.com

For the first time, the Overtown Music and Arts Festival won't only have live musical performances, art exhibits and free food; you can also get your drivers license renewed. 

Yvette Harris, a spokesperson for the event, says the service is being offered because going to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a license renewal is sometimes a challenge for some locals.

"It's a really good way for the community to tap into resources," she says. "It's something to offer to those who need it." 

After more than a month of car impounds, citations and dense political squabbles, ride-sharing companies Lyft and UberX may finally be able to function legally in Miami-Dade County.

But probably not anytime soon.

A preliminary vote to legalize the services was made during a county commission meeting, where 10 out of 12 commissioners voted "yes" to legislation proposed by Commissioner Esteban "Steve" Bovo.  

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