The Sunshine Economy

9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays

The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

Frost photo: Tom Hudson, Clayton photo: courtesy SEC

Miami biotech billionaire and philanthropist Dr. Phillip Frost says he was stunned by the stock trading fraud charges filed against him earlier this month by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Frost denies the allegations, saying in a statement, they "are belied by common sense, my history of supporting promising scientific technology, and the facts."

Frost declined WLRN's invitation for an interview.

courtsey: Securities and Exchange Commission

Stock fraud, quarterly financial results and crypotcurrencies were a few of the topics WLRN discussed with the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission over the course of two interviews.

The SEC is the nation's top stock market cop. We spoke with Chairman Jay Clayton in July when he visited the agency's regional office in Miami. A second interview was recorded last week with Clayton in his Washington D.C. office.

Tom Hudson

The White Sands Inn and Hawks Cay Resort are only four miles apart in the Middle Keys, but they represent two very different types of hotels along the island chain. They also represent two very different realities in the year since Hurricane Irma hit Monroe County.

Hawks Cay is one of the largest hotels in the Keys with 177 rooms and 250 rental villas, and it is one of the largest private employers in the Keys. During the business season, it employes 350 people. It's owned by a real estate investment group based in New York City.

Luis Hernandez / WLRN

Florida teachers’ unions are planning to sue the state over a new law that threatens their long-term survival.

Spirit Airlines is a major economic force in South Florida: it is the second largest carrier at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; it is a top five employer in Broward County with more than 3,000 regional employees; and it is one of the largest South Florida companies with more than $2.5 billion in annual revenue.

Tom Hudson

The companies Ron Antevy and Rodrigo Griesi help run are very different. One is homegrown, the other was exported to South Florida from Brazil. One has about 200 people on its local payroll. The other has one local employee, but is part of the global gig-economy -- working with freelancers all over the world. One company is more than 20 years old. The other started only five years ago.

Tom Hudson

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez thinks that transportation woes in the region have gotten worse, but he thinks drivers have become more courteous.

Those two statements came at the beginning and at the end of an interview with the mayor focused on transportation in the region.

This is how we started our interview:

WLRN: Would you agree that transportation is in crisis in Miami-Dade County?

Gimenez: No. Does it need improvement? Yes, it does. Has it gotten worse? Yes, it has. 

And this is how it ended:

Tom Hudson

Katlin Svadbik and Mauricio Aristides are co-workers. She’s 25 years old, from Miami, and is finishing her sophomore year at New World School of the Arts College.  He’s 49 years old, born in Chile, grew up all around South America, studied archaeology in Mexico and came to South Florida in 2005.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School almost 10 weeks ago has ushered in a new era of activism. A vocal group of students at Stoneman Douglas has led school walkouts, marches and social media campaigns protesting gun violence. They have inspired student groups across the country to do the same.

 

Sammy Mack

If you're like a lot of Floridians and get your health insurance through an employer, some of your health care decisions may be made for you before you ever set foot in a doctor's office, hospital or lab. 

Tom Hudson

It seems appropriate that the first item on the list of Chinese goods facing the threat of a U.S. tariff in the gathering storm over trade -- Thorium -- is named for the Norse God of Thunder.

 

The last item on America’s $50 billion, 1,300-item list is parts of seats made of bamboo. The U.S. imported about $1 million worth of it from China last year.

 

Miami Herald

For the first time in decades, Florida lawmakers passed new limits on guns. They also approved a record-breaking state budget. Gov. Rick Scott signed the $88.7 billion budget into law on Friday.

 

The budget includes $400 million for school safety and mental health counseling as part of a historic bill in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. It increases overall public education funding, but not by much in big school districts like those in South Florida.

 

AP Photo/Terry Renna

If the call to boycott travel to Florida over gun control has any impact, this tweet is where it began.

Tom Hudson / WLRN

Mike Fernandez has raised millions of dollars for mostly Republican politicians, but he says no one seeking public office will get his money if they don't support gun control.

courtsey: Citrix Systems

One out of every 100 open jobs advertised in Broward County today is at a single address: the Fort Lauderdale headquarters of the software company Citrix Systems. Citrix CEO David Henshall says the company has postings for 277 positions out of the 21,500 open jobs county-wide, according to Career Source Broward.

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