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Sundial

Broward’s new superintendent, Gov. DeSantis’ immigration policies, Wildlife Thursday: Clyde Butcher

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Courtesy of Clyde Butcher
Myakka River State Park

Broward County finally has a permanent school superintendent. Business leaders and the Archdiocese of Miami are pushing back against the governor on immigration. Plus, It’s Wildlife Thursday and we’re talking with someone that has an eye for Florida’s true beauty.

On this Thursday, Feb. 10, edition of Sundial:

Broward’s new superintendent

It took a few months, but after a national search Broward County Schools has chosen its permanent leader.

Dr. Vickie Cartwright succeeded Robert Runcie as interim superintendent when he stepped down in August 2021. On Wednesday, the board chose her for the job permanently.

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Cartwright received a lot of support in her quest to become the permanent superintendent — especially from the teacher’s union. The president of the Broward Teachers Union, Anna Fusco, joined Sundial to discuss.

Broward’s new superintendent
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Gov. DeSantis’ immigration policies

Some Cubans who arrived in the U.S. through Operation Pedro Pan are joining immigration advocates in speaking out against Governor Ron DeSantis’ immigration orders.

Pedro Pan is the 1960s government-backed operation that brought 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban minors to the U.S.

“I had never been away from my mother, from the rest of my family ... I cried every single night when I was away from them, and I can empathize with the way these children feel," said Aida Levitan, who came to the U.S. as an unaccompanied child back then.

A number of those who came through that operation have now signed a letter calling on the governor to reverse an emergency order that could shut down shelters that house unaccompanied minors coming into the country today.

At least one of those local shelters is run by Catholic Charities.

"Immigration might be problematic because it's a convoluted system that's broken, but the immigrants are not problems," said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami. "We have to remember the dignity of the immigrant themselves and see their faces and not just see them as numbers."

Wenski wrote a column opposing the governor’s order and some proposed immigration bills in the legislature.

Gov. DeSantis’ immigration policies
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Wildlife Thursday: Clyde Butcher

The man behind the famous and stunningly beautiful black and white photos of the Everglades and Big Cypress is Clyde Butcher.

His images have been compared to the great American photographer Ansel Adams.

Butcher has his main gallery on the outskirts of Big Cypress. And he’s at the center of our conversation for this week’s Wildlife Thursday.

We spoke with him about swamp walks, encounters with wildlife and his thoughts on the state of the environment in the Everglades.

“When you’re out in the wild, they [the wildlife] ignore you," said Butcher. "I think they think you’re a big old walking tree or something. You don’t make much noise. Just a tree that happens to be moving.”

He shared the story of one of his most frightening encounters with wildlife … it surprisingly was with a cow.

The Big Cypress Gallery is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wildlife Thursday: Clyde Butcher
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Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.