Broward County

Purple Heart veterans
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

In the military, the Purple Heart medal is awarded to members of the armed forces injured in enemy combat. It's a sign of bravery and gratitude that can trace back its origins all the way to 1782, with General George Washington. 

Over the years, there have been different civilian initiatives to honor Purple Heart recipients. In the 90s, for example, some nature trails became designated as "Purple Heart Trails" so hikers could commemorate soldiers while they explored across the country. 

That idea spread. Now there are Purple Heart-designated cities, counties, and even whole states. 

Lighthouse Point is Broward County's latest city to write up a proclamation to remember recipients of the medal - and recently Broward County designated itself a Purple Heart County as well.

One local group of veterans led the charge to make that happen and they say they won't stop until they get the chance to talk to every municipality in the county about what it really means to be Purple Heart-designated.

STACY GOLDATE AND CRAIG COLTON / Courtesy

A new documentary examines the role one retirement community in Broward County is playing in shaping Florida's politics.

As the 2018 midterms are rapidly approaching, there’s a segment of the population in South Florida that will have a definitively large impact on the election -- seniors.

The Wynmoor retirement community in Broward County is indicative of that power. They've hosted Joe Biden, Charlie Crist and many other high profile politicians on the campaign trail.

Fort Lauderdale Forum
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

In recent years, the City of Fort Lauderdale has faced heavy criticism for its treatment of homelessness, including of a long-running legal dispute it's had with groups distributing free food in public spaces.

Hallandale Beach
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Beaches in Broward County still don't look like what they did before Hurricane Irma washed sand away. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has two beach renourishment projects planned in the county to fully fund fixing the damage from Irma. 

The first project will tackle adding dry sand back to Southern Broward County beaches, including Dania, Hollywood, Hallandale beaches. 

Silver Tsunami report
Courtesy of The Community Foundation of Broward / WLRN

Tracy Jackson
Courtesy of Broward County / WLRN

There's a new person in charge of emergency management in Broward County.

Tracy Jackson started as the director of regional public safety and emergency services at the end of May, days before this year's hurricane season began. In addition to hurricane preparation, he now oversees Broward's regional 911 system. 

Jackson began his career as a firefighter in the  Miami Fire Rescue Department in 1982. He was the division chief of support services during and after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, heading up logistics.

Senior Planet / Courtesy

Aurora Oliphant uses the internet to look up Bible scriptures on YouTube for her church meetings and comedy videos like Abbott and Costello.

Oliphant, 70, is a recent graduate of the Senior Planet program, a 10-week course in Broward County through the South Florida Institute of Aging that teaches people 60 years and older the basics of using the web. The group is bridging the digital divide for seniors by teaching them to use computers and mobile devices.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

With a Republican majority in the United States Senate, the confirmation of conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court may seem inevitable. 

But not to one U.S. Representative from South Florida: Debbie Wasserman Schultz. 

Vivitrol
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Broward County is about to get more money for programs helping people fight their opioid addictions. 

The federal government set aside nearly $1 billion to fight the opioid crisis nationwide this year. Florida is set to receive $49.3 million from those funds, of which  an estimated $7-10 million is going to Broward County.

County officials don’t know yet exactly how much they will get. 

opioid crisis
Franieleon via Flickr / WLRN

Last year saw 1,642 opioid overdoses treated in Broward County emergency rooms. And 85 percent of those cases were overdoses on heroin.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN News

Polling stations around South Florida opened this morning at 7 a.m. for Primary Election Day, when registered Republicans and Democrats choose their candidates for governor, agriculture commissionerattorney general and U.S. Congress. Local elections also include school board and judicial races. But turnout at many precincts throughout the morning appeared thin.

Vivitrol
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Enrique Martinez was dripping water when he walked into Fifth Street Counseling Center, in Plantation, on a Tuesday evening last July.  

Las Olas Fort Lauderdale
Wally Gobetz via Flickr / WLRN

If a penny tax on the Nov. 6 Broward County ballot passes, cities who support the tax could get at least 10 percent of the money generated to fund their own transportation projects. 

The county commission is trying to get cities to support the surtax, which would raise the countywide sales tax from six cents per dollar, to seven.

Daniel Varela / Miami Herald

Surveillance footage from outside the Parkland school shooting should soon be released after the Florida Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from the Broward County School Board and Broward State Attorney’s office.

In rulings released Wednesday, the court said it would not entertain any further motions for rehearing.

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