Inspiring millions of virtual fans with heartfelt dispatches and persistent calls for greater political freedom, blogger Yoani Sanchez is the most visible symbol of both sweeping change inside Cuba and the modern power of social media to crack some of the world's most closed societies.
Not everyone remembers the moment when they lost the innocence of their childhood. But Paul Novack is reminded of that moment every day.
“Something about the Goldman house is that I drive by it at least twice a day,” says Novack. “It’s a constant reminder of what happened here in 1966.”
What happened in 1966 was suddenly the town of Surfside – Paul Novack’s town – became a place where horrendous crime happened. It began when a robber slipped in through the unlocked back door March 28, 1966, while the Goldman family slept.
Steve Augello lives in Spring Hill Florida, just outside of Tampa. Like a lot of dads, he always made his 17-year-old daughter, Alessandra, check-in with him when she was out. Augello also had a rule.
“You weren’t allowed to have that cell phone out while you’re driving,” Augello remembers telling Alessandra. “I even tested her a few times I called her when she was driving and it always went right through to the recorder.”
PortMiami is undergoing a massive expansion project, which includes deepening the channel for larger cargo ships, building a tunnel for tractor trucks and connecting the port to the Florida East Coast railway tracks.
President Barack Obama will be visiting PortMiami Friday to talk about the economy. Gov. Rick Scott, meanwhile, is asking the federal government to repay Florida for the money it has spent on port improvements.
Although Scott often criticizes the federal government for spending too much, he says this is different.
The squiggly line seemed to show up out of nowhere.
It happened at the Greensboro Coliseum on Sunday, March 17th.
Confetti was falling. Hurricanes were celebrating. The University of Miami had made history by winning the first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in school history. Jeannine Edwards, an ESPN reporter, was standing by with second-year UM coach Jim Larranaga.
Have an idea for a specialty license plate in Florida?
You can create one by jumping through a few hoops, forking out some cash, and convincing the Legislature to approve it.
Just as lawmakers pass bills that Gov. Rick Scott signs into law, both the House and Senate have to vote for proposed specialty plates.
Take the proposed Sun, Sea, and Smiles specialty plate. For an additional $25 above the cost of a standard plate, drivers may soon be able to get a specialty plate that raises money for a half-dozen Caribbean-related charities.
On a recent Sunday morning, a group of hikers paused on a heavily canopied trail to observe a bird perched high atop a tree, its body silhouetted against the rising sun. A brief hush took hold as binoculars focused in on the back-lit bird, loudly churring its morning song. Bodies shifted for a better view, until: "Yep, great crested flycatcher!"
My dedication to legalizing medical marijuana results from personal experience. My daughter has epilepsy, and although she was always compliant with her medication, she continued to have occasional seizures. When she moved to California for her job, and had yet another seizure, she met with a neurologist, who recommended that she join a medical marijuana dispensary. That was in 2000. She has not had another seizure since.
But she cannot come home to visit us in Florida. Because of our marijuana laws, she cannot legally maintain her doctor-recommended medical regimen.
South Florida artist Virginia Erdie strives to be "a little bit of an activist" with her work. It's fitting, then, that her art has ruffled a few feathers along the way. Her next major installation almost didn't see the light of day.
We spoke with the governor about his hopes for this legislative session, his political turn to the left, his support of Medicaid expansion and teacher raises, the issue of illegal internet cafes, guns, jobs, property insurance and a proposed texting-while-driving ban.
When Art Basel came to Miami Beach in 2002, I couldn’t have been happier. I was about to graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art and had plans to return to Florida. It seemed this was the place to be – outside of New York, that is. Over the years, Art Basel has grown, with satellite shows and pop-up galleries expanding throughout Miami.
Last month, Josh's Deli in Surfside was transformed into the Saffron Supper Club. The lights were turned down, and the duck prosciutto and smoked salmon were tucked away. Candles covered the long diner counter, and an infatuating aroma of nutty rice tahdig greeted dinners.
Florida's sales tax is a huge competitive downside for local retailers who sell the same products as their Internet competitors.
Because online sellers rarely collect the sales tax, it leaves the brick-and-mortar shops at a roughly 7-percent price disadvantage. And that's why business and retail lobbies have been demanding sales tax collection for online sales for years.
The issue arose during the WLRN-Miami Herald Session 2013 Town Hall last month, where we heard from Fort Lauderdale bookseller Donna Mergenhagen.
On a mostly sun drenched South Florida day, about 900 former Miami Herald employees—myself included-- joined the current staff on Wednesday to reminisce, cry, and mourn the loss of the once proud building by the bay that will soon become a hotel/condo and possible mega casino now planned for the old property.
The Miami Herald isn’t going away. The newspaper operations, along with news partner WLRN, will move out to Doral in April.
State officials, local dignitaries, and conservationalists gathered last Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Tamiami Trail bridge project. The plan took more than two decades to achieve and is part of a larger effort to restore fresh water flow to the Everglades.
The Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection Friday to turn over most of its control of water standard levels. The Florida Legislature will have to approve the plan by Dec. 1, 2014 for it to go into effect.
On any given day, 53-year-old Ron Wooldridge guides dozens of flights in and out of Boca Raton Airport, just east of I-95. But early next month, instead of manning the airport's control tower, he could be standing on the unemployment line.
"I find it a little ridiculous,” says Wooldridge. “They're not thinking of the safety of the aircraft. Or how it's going to affect the rest of the city itself."
Fire ants are notorious Florida invasives, leaving a trail of painful welts and blisters in their wake. Those pesky exotic intruders also happen to be a serious threat to some of the state's most vulnerable endemic species. This includes the Florida grasshopper sparrow, which recently made the March/April cover of Audubon Magazine as "the most endangered bird in the continental United States."
Shaded area indicates the reach of Ultra's sounds. This is not a scientific map, but rather one based on observations. We drew the lines from the point where ambient sounds from the urban environment become louder than the music itself.
A sound level meter reading safe sounds blocks away. Any workplace with a constant level of 90 or louder must provide protection for employees. Ultra employees were provided protection.
Credit Daniel Rivero / WLRN
Audiologists Cindy Simon (right), and Allison Melograno (left) take sound levels outside the gates of Ultra Music Festival. Even from outside the gates, levels were dangerously high for extended periods of time.
Credit Daniel Rivero / WLRN
Michael Lefkowitz was born deaf, but still enjoys going to Ultra Music Festival. He sits on the board of the non-profit Ear Peace: Save Your Hearing Foundation.
Credit Daniel Rivero / WLRN
The party stops as the drawbridge goes up. View from Miami Circle Park just off Brickell Avenue
Standing outside the gates of Ultra Music Festival, an audiologist and her colleague are staring at their sound level meters. The devices track the decibel level of the atmosphere, giving us some unsettling clues as to how safe the environment is for your ears.
After an extended buildup, the beat finally drops. As the fans go crazy, the bass starts to pump. Even a few hundred feet from the stage, casual conversation is strained.
An ambitious Miami-Dade school board member--who happens to be daughter of Miami's mayor--talks up education priorities for state lawmakers. What Raquel Regalado has to say about teacher raises, charter schools and the transition away from F-CAT's.
It's all in the family.
Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regalado grew up listening to her father Tomás host one of Miami's most popular radio talk shows. She watched as her famous dad won a spot on the Miami City Commission, and eventually become mayor in 2009.
Now, she's got a high-profile job of her own, and may be following in dad's footsteps.
The younger Regalado hosts her own Spanish-language radio program on La Poderosa, 670 AM, and was elected in 2010 to represent district 6 on the Miami-Dade School Board.