Peter Haden

Palm Beach Reporter

Peter Haden is WLRN’s Palm Beach Reporter. His stories cover the diverse issues and voices of a region that includes both the richest and poorest cities in Florida, the president’s “Winter White House,” the state’s leading agricultural territory, a bustling cruise and container port, vibrant immigrant communities, world-famous beaches and the Everglades.

Before joining WLRN, Haden reported for the investigative reporting showcase Reveal, WJCT in Jacksonville, Cronkite News in Phoenix and as a worldwide freelancer. He’s crouched at the intersection of desert Figure 8 races, skimmed alligator-infested waters with Florida bangstick hunters, ridden atop freight trains with migrants crossing Mexico and atop horses with Chilean cowboys crossing the Andes — to bring his audience into the story.

Haden’s radio and multimedia work has won awards from Edward R. Murrow, PRNDI, IRE and the Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists. His stories have been featured on programs including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Reveal and The Takeaway.

Haden holds degrees in geography, international studies and multimedia journalism. He grew up in the Midwest shearing sheep.

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Peter Haden / WLRN

Spit in a tube. Drop it in the mail.

In a few weeks, a genetic counselor calls you up with your results.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Dozens of people marched through downtown Lake Worth Tuesday evening before holding a rally for International Workers Day.

There were young boys drumming on buckets, and adults carrying banners and chanting.

The group represented a broad network of community, labor and health organizations.

Ubaldo Cruz, of West Palm Beach, served 22 years in the United States Marine Corps. He said he wants to see equal rights for all people.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” said Cruz, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Florida Keys--Public Libraries

There will be no harvesting of Goliath Grouper in Florida, for now.

Peter Haden / WLRN

A smart new building in Palm Beach Gardens is drawing visitors and jobs.

United Technologies Corp. cut the ribbon on its Center for Intelligent Buildings in a ceremony Tuesday.

The building is part headquarters, part product showcase, according to UTC Climate, Controls & Security President Bob McDonough.

“We’re a company that does many different things. HVAC, elevators, escalators, fire and security, building automation,” said McDonough. “This is the first place where I can bring people to show them all of that technology under one roof.”

Peter Haden / WLRN

Opera may seem like work for the grand stage.

But at the front of a crowded assembly room in Lake Worth imaginatively costumed performers recently presented an epic tale of striving, loss and the triumph of friendship: The Adventures of Lola & Friends.

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Authorities in South Florida have charged more than 60 sober home and drug treatment center operators with health care fraud over the past year and a half.

 

On Thursday, 27-year-old Albert Jones of Boynton Beach was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison and was ordered to pay $2 million in restitution.

 

Peter Haden / WLRN

Palm Beach County sugarcane growers have a new use for their crop: tableware.

Tellus Products’s new state-of-the-art facility in Belle Glade uses leftover sugarcane fiber, or bagasse, to produce biodegradable plates, bowls and take-out containers.

Gov. Rick Scott cut the ribbon on the 120,000-square-foot facility at a ceremony Tuesday.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

The first of more than 800 March For Our Lives events in Washington, D.C., the U.S. and around the world took place early on Saturday on the island of Pohnpei in the Pacific nation of Micronesia.

Here in South Florida, things kicked off, fittingly, in Parkland - which was the site of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people and ignited the student-led #NeverAgain movement for stricter gun control and school safety. Marches were also held in Miami Beach, Boca Raton and Key West.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN News

Demanding change and promising their generation would make it happen, students walked out of schools across South Florida and the country on Wednesday — one month after 17 students and teachers died in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

WLRN News

Exactly one month after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, students across South Florida and the rest of the country walked out of their classrooms  to protest gun violence. 

Palm Beach County School District

Palm Beach County public schools will soon have a new leader from inhouse.

After three rounds of voting, school board members chose Donald Fennoy to be the district’s next superintendent.

Fennoy, 41, has been the district’s Chief Operating Officer since May 2016. He will be the first black superintendent of Palm Beach County schools.

“My role is to be a model for equity, to be a model for leading with dignity and respect, and also be a model for just listening,” Fennoy said.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz discussed gun control at a roundtable Monday alongside students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

In the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the school that killed 17 people, Wasserman Shultz said state and federal legislators must act.

“We have to ban semi-automatic assault rifles. We have to ban high-capacity magazines. And we have to make sure that background checks are universal,” said Wasserman Schultz.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott says he expects major school safety reform to pass by next Friday — the last day of the legislative session.

Scott pushed his $500 million plan at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Thursday.

Gov. Scott’s plan would include more law enforcement officers at schools, target hardening (making school buildings harder to attack or breach), more funding for mental health programs and keeping guns away from people who may be a threat to themselves or others.

“We have the money,” Scott said. “We have to spend the money.”

Florida Trend via Miami Herald

As a veteran and West Point graduate, retired Florida real estate developer Al Hoffman Jr. says he knows what military-style weapons like the AR-15 can do.

“They're still designed to kill people,” said Hoffman, of North Palm Beach. “I don't care what anybody says, that's what they're for.”

Hoffman served as finance chair for the Republican National Committee and co-chair of both George W. Bush campaigns. Now, as a private citizen and major Republican donor, he plans to put his influence to use to ban assault weapons.

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