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Mayors urge the Governor for a veto, Broward 9-1-1 is leaving calls unanswered, and Craig Baggs remembers his dad

Jenny Staletovich

Some South Florida mayors want Governor DeSantis to put local government before business, asking him to veto Senate Bill 620. Also, Broward County is having a lot of trouble hiring and retaining workers for its 9-1-1 call center. Plus, Craig Baggs offered insight into his father, one of Miami’s most important journalists, and the center of discussion for this month’s Sundial Book Club.

On the Wednesday, April 27, edition of Sundial:

South Florida mayors want Governor DeSantis to put local government before business:

Gov. Ron DeSantis is not yet finished signing bills from this year's main legislative session.

One of them left on his desk is Senate Bill 620, called the Local Business Protection Act.

It allows a company to sue a municipality if it can prove that a new ordinance caused them a 15 percent income loss in one year.

Earlier this month 20 mayors from across the state sent the governor a letter asking him to veto the bill.

Three of those mayors are from South Florida – including Tamara James of Dania Beach, Ken Thurston of Lauderhill, and Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale. Thurston and Trantalis joined Sundial to express their fears about the bill.

James wasn't able to join the show live, but she provided this statement:

"It’s a cost burdensome bill that will impact City budgets and our taxpayers. Our environment and businesses evolve daily which requires cities to pass laws affecting our environment and so much more. This Senate preemption bill could put taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in damages when nuisance businesses face regulation from the cost of lawsuits encouraged by the bill," she wrote. "We are a progressive city and we don't want to be penalized for enhancing environmental and safety rules and regulations. If passed, it would certainly take away funding from vital programs the City of Dania Beach needs to adequately move forward."

You can hear the full conversation with the mayors, below:

SB 620 and why some mayors want the governor to veto.mp3

Broward County 9-1-1 issues have consequences

9-1-1 is the number you call when there’s no one to turn to and you need help — life or death situations.

But imagine the phone ringing…and ringing…and no one answers.

The South Florida Sun Sentineldiscovered thousands of emergency calls from Broward’s regional 911 communication center are going unanswered, leaving people without life-saving help.

Local officials are now scrambling to find a solution — since the investigative report was first published over the weekend.

Some of the reporters who worked on this investigation, Brittany Wallman, Eileen Kelley and Spencer Norris, joined Sundial to talk about what they discovered.

You can hear the full conversation between Luis Hernandez and the journalists, below:

Broward 911.mp3

Craig Baggs remembers his dad's legacy

If you've ever visited the lighthouse at the end of Key Biscayne, then you've been to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It's often called 'El Faro' by Cuban families here. You might have wondered in passing, who is Bill Baggs?

Without him, the area might have been developed. And that's just one of the things he put his energy behind.

This month, for our Sundial Book Club, we've been reading a book about his legacy called: 'A Nervous Man Shouldn't Be Here in the First Place: The Life of Bill Baggs' by Amy Paige Condon.

We wanted to know a little bit more about the Miami News reporter and editor who spent his life shaping Miami and world affairs. His son, Craig Baggs, joined Sundial to remember his dad.

"I can tell you it wasn't boring. We would have discussions around the dinner table that would cover politics, would cover civil rights, it would cover current events," Baggs said. "When I was growing up, too, by the time I was a teen... I had met pretty much as many famous people as you could gather. I had met mayors. I had actually been in the White House and been into the Oval Office."

You can hear the full conversation below:

Craig Baggs remembers his dad.mp3

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.