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Florida’s election police, emergency response training for residents, a legendary local sports broadcaster

Miami Herald
Linda Williams, a Coconut Grove resident, has been a member of her neighborhood’s Community Emergency Response Team for years. She encouraged people to register for the training at an event Thursday outside City Hall to mark the relaunch of the city’s CERT program with new federal funds.

There’s a new office of election security in Florida. Plus, how you can get involved in helping your community during natural disasters and emergencies. And we learn about the legacy of one of the biggest names in sports broadcasting in Miami.

On this Wednesday, July 13, edition of Sundial:

Florida’s election police

Florida’s new election police has its first-ever leader.

The Office of Election Crimes and Security was created just this year, championed by Governor Ron DeSantis and his administration.

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It’s going to be led by a familiar figure. Pete Antonacci is an attorney who has held multiple important government positions in Florida throughout the years — from his role as Palm Beach County’s state attorney to Broward County’s Supervisor of Elections,and many more public service jobs in between.

He’s earned the reputation as “Mr. Fix-It," writes Gary Fineout, a reporter with POLITICO covering politics and policy.

“For the most part, he garnered good marks. There weren't any major black eyes with Broward. One of the biggest things was the vote got counted in Broward in 2020 relatively quickly and without many problems,” said Fineout about Antonacci taking over as Broward’s Supervisor of Elections in the aftermath of the 2018 recount.

He joined to discuss this controversial new position and the challenges that will come with it.

Florida’s election police

Emergency response training for residents

The next storm that comes around, it could be you or your neighbor that gets to an emergency situation before the first responders arrive.

Would you know what to do?

The city of Miami is bringing back a federally funded program that trains and equips people to join a Community Emergency Response Team, or a 'CERT' team.

To explain, Robert Hevia joined Sundial on Wednesday. He is the outgoing Emergency Manager and Assistant Fire Chief with the City of Miami Fire Rescue. He soon takes over as the city’s Deputy Fire Chief.

"The community is the first responder. And that's true even for you and for me in my home. If there's an emergency, or something happens, and we walk over, we're there before the professional responders arrive. Right? Even if 9-1-1 takes five minutes to get there, you know for the first 5 minutes, it's your neighbor that's there," Hevia said.

You can find out more about the program, here.

Emergency response training for residents

A legendary local sports broadcaster

Sports fans who have lived in Miami and Broward counties over the last fifty years have likely come across the name Hank Goldberg.

He was a broadcaster in the 70s for the Miami Dolphins. He later started doing football and horse racing reports for ESPN. He passed away recently at the age of 82.

The broadcast icon had a couple of radio shows in Miami and he was someone who always wanted to break the big story.

Joe Zagacki, who worked closely with Goldberg, joined Sundial to look back at his life and his role in sports radio in Miami.

Zagacki is the radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Hurricanes.

A legendary local sports broadcaster

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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.
Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, currently leads the WLRN Newsroom as Interim Managing Editor. Prior to transitioning to leadership from production, Caitie reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News for four years.