Local News

From Palm Beach to the Florida Keys, WLRN's award winning reporters work every day to bring you the most relevant stories in your community. 

Do you have a story idea or news to report? You can send us an email to news@wlrnnews.org or send us a message on Twitter @WLRN or on our Facebook page

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Floridians pay a price for living on the coast.

 

Hurricane Michael, which made landfall just shy of a Category 5 storm, ravaged the Panhandle and Big Bend area. The storm destroyed neighborhoods and washed out roads – changing lives forever.

Mark Hedden

It's the time of year when residents from the Florida Keys can catch a glimpse of thousands of Peregrine Falcons on their way to South America.

The falcons are considered the fastest animals on earth — reaching speeds up to 240 miles per hour. Spectators and professional birdwatchers from around the world will gather in the Florida Keys this weekend for the annual “Hawk Mania” event.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

There's a bridge in Overtown, under the 836 Expressway, that has long sheltered homeless people, many of whom are addicted to heroin.

Now a public health investigation is looking into a group of new HIV cases there. That’s part of what prompted Miami city commissioners to pass an emergency resolution to close the street two weeks ago.

A couple of sets of barricades block traffic to the area. Cars can't get through, but people are still staying there.

Jonathan Clay / US Navy

A U.S. Navy hospital ship leaves Norfolk, Virginia, Thursday on a mission that means a lot to people here in South Florida. It hopes to help bring relief to the worst migrant refugee crisis in modern South American history.

Actors' Playhouse / Courtesy

A new musical examines the complex politics of Cuba in the 1950s through the lens of one couple's Cuban immigrant experience. 

"Havana Music Hall" follows the story of a husband and wife musical duo, Rolando and Ramona Calderon, who are close to getting a big break and hitting the world stage when Fidel Castro takes control of Cuba in 1959. Havana Music Hall takes the stage at Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables on Oct. 10 at 8 p.m and will run until Nov. 18.

Kate Stein / WLRN

A project intended to help address blue-green algae outbreaks took a major step forward Wednesday as the U.S. Senate passed a bill that includes a proposal for an Everglades water storage reservoir.

Senators approved the bill, which includes many other water-related projects nationwide, by a margin of 99-1.

kathleen Dubos / WLRN news

A federal appeals court has blocked a last ditch attempt to free Lolita, the orca housed at the Miami Seaquarium, in a case brought by the non-profit advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.

Alejandra Martinez

Author Patricia Engel first had the idea for her latest novel while driving in Miami with her mom more than 10 years ago.

When they drove over a bridge, Engel's mother told her a story about a man who threw a baby off a bridge. But she didn’t know any more details about the tragedy. That left Engel wondering.

This conversation led to what's now "The Veins of the Ocean," published in 2016, which tells a similar story. It's Sundial Book Club’s October pick.

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald Staff

Developers and investors looking for the next Miami real estate diamond in the rough are venturing into Allapattah, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods bordering trendy Wynwood.

That proximity to the city’s booming urban core, along with Metrorail access and riverfront views, have prompted discussion over the future of development in Allapattah, which some say is at a crossroads.

Katie Lepri / WLRN News

Many parts of South Florida appear to have escaped the worst impacts of King Tide flooding this week — at least compared with tidal flooding the previous two Octobers.

King tides in October 2017 came on the heels of record-setting summer rains and Hurricane Irma. In October 2016, a rare “super moon” intensified the highest of the high tides, which can cause water to bubble up through storm drains and into streets, corroding cars and impeding traffic.

Andrew Milne / courtesy of The Related Group

Jorge Pérez has built hundreds of condominiums in South Florida since the last housing market collapse. In fact, he has built thousands of condos in his career. They have fueled a multi-billion dollar fortune for him and reshaped the region’s skyline.

His company, The Related Group, is not putting shovels in the ground right now though. He thinks real estate in South Florida is coming in for a soft landing, but not because the American economy is softening.

Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images / NPR

Oct. 9 is the last day to register in the state of Florida if you want to vote in the Nov. 6 general elections. It is also the last day to change your address if you have moved since the last time you’ve voted.

Floridians will vote on the next state governor, Florida U.S. Senate seat, the state’s U.S. House seats and other local positions.

To register online you'll have to follow these steps:

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.

Associated Press

Election Day is just four weeks away and the deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, October 9. Early voting kicks off in two weeks. 

WLRN asked for your questions regarding the upcoming Nov. 6 midterm election.

We posed some of them to the top three election supervisors in South Florida — Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Christina White, Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher.

Here are some of your questions, answered: 

How do we update our signatures?

Florida Atlantic University
Alex Dolce, Florida Atlantic University / WLRN

Florida Atlantic University student Bridget Huston is collecting stories from people in her community about flooding. 

With a team at the university's Florida Center For Environmental Studies, she's looking at flood maps, or projections for how high water is estimated to rise during floods. Then she's comparing them to people's accounts of what flooding looks like in their own neighborhoods. She said she hopes the personal accounts make flood maps even more accurate. 

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