News

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Thousands of Venezuelans seeking political asylum continue to live in South Florida as a bill that would grant them Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, stalls in Congress. The U.S. House attempted to fast-track the bill to pass last month, but those efforts ultimately failed before the Senate left for a six-week break. 

Madeline Fox / WLRN

When a total solar eclipse was due to pass over a large swath of the United States in 2017, Carol Prusa hadn’t initially planned to see it firsthand.

J Pat Carter / AP Photo

Florida's iconic palm trees are under attack from a fatal disease that turns them to dried crisps in months, with no chance for recovery once they become ill.

Spread by a rice-sized, plant-hopping insect, lethal bronzing has gone from a small infestation on Florida's Gulf Coast to a nearly statewide problem in just over a decade. Tens of thousands of palm trees have died from the bacterial disease, and the pace of its spread is increasing, adding to environmental woes of a state already struggling to save its other arboreal icon, citrus trees, from two other diseases.

Miami Herald File

Florida schools are reopening for a new academic year. With the new year, comes new changes, including a new rule that Florida public schools are now required to provide mental and emotional health education to middle and high school students.

Schools will give information about coping skills, ways to sustain good mental health, suicide prevention and the impacts of substance abuse. It comes as attending school is potentially becoming more stressful.

John McCall / South Florida Sun Sentinel

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, who once had an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, says Congress should — and will — pass new gun restrictions in the aftermath of the most recent mass shootings, in El Paso and Dayton.

The South Florida Republican said universal background checks would become law. And, he said, restrictions on assault weapons could pass also.

“One of the changes is that you see a lot more [Republican] representatives from across the country ... that are stepping out in ways they didn’t previously step out,” Mast said. “I’m glad to see them doing that.”

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Boil-water notice issued for Lauderhill areas.

A boil-water notice was issued Sunday evening for parts of Lauderhill after Florida Power & Light Co. broke a water main.

Covered by the notice are the following areas: 2351-2551 NW 41st Avenue, 26th Street from State Road 7 to Northwest 42nd Avenue, and 2439-2701 State Road 7.

Read more at the Sun Sentinel.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary / NOAA

It's been more than 20 years since the last comprehensive plan to manage the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Now the sanctuary is releasing a restoration blueprint that will include four alternatives for protecting the coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass flats around the Keys, from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas.

Miami Waterkeeper

A crack in a half-century old iron sewer pipe has grown and could keep leaking for up to three weeks while workers struggle to fix it, Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Director Kevin Lynskey said Friday.

Nadege Green / WLRN

James Valsaint is concerned about displacement in Little Haiti. He knows the neighborhood’s high elevation is attractive to developers and perspective homeowners because it doesn’t flood. He questions how the majority low-income residents in the area will fare as rent costs balloon and where they will go.

Damian McNamara is a homeowner in Morningside, less than a mile from Little Haiti. His neighborhood is affluent, as is the case with most coastal enclaves in South Florida.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

This story has been updated with an additional statement at 1:55 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16.

An independent consultant has deemed West Lake Park the best location for where a disputed 911 radio communications tower should be built in the city of Hollywood.

Motorcyclist Arrested In Shooting Death Of Cyclist On Rickenbacker Causeway

Aug 16, 2019
Miami Herald

Kadel Piedrahita, a cycling enthusiast who live-streamed a violent rant about a fellow biker before a morning ride earlier this week across the Rickenbacker Causeway, was arrested Friday for shooting and killing the man during an altercation that was caught live on video.

Piedrahita, 41, was picked up by police at his home Friday morning and is expected to be charged with single counts of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.

MIAMI HERALD

Federal immigration agents are beefing up their efforts to apprehend undocumented immigrants in South Florida as part of a nationwide effort to “keep communities safe” away from land borders.

The target: transportation hubs.

In the past few weeks, Customs and Border Patrol officials have been spotted by commuters at Greyhound bus stations across Miami-Dade and Broward counties, asking riders on board, or in the process of boarding a bus, for proof of legal status.

Andre Penner / AP

West Nile Virus was detected in chickens in Palm Beach County, so humans have to be extra careful to avoid mosquito bites.

A human being hasn’t had a reported case of the virus since 2011. But chicken flocks in the Belle Glade and Pahokee areas tested positive for it, and the health department is warning residents to guard themselves against bites.

Gerard Albert III / WLRN

Alan Espino didn’t discover his love for hot sauce growing up eating his mother’s Cuban cooking. 

He’s part of a growing number of Miami hot sauce makers cashing in on the popularity of the condiment. Nationally sales have increased by 23 percent over the last five years. In South Florida, hot sauces are infused with ingredients from the diverse range of cultures in the area.

“Growing up, hot sauce was just not a thing; spicy food is just not a thing. At least for the Cuban community, hot sauce is very polarizing,” Espino said.

Miami-Dade Public Schools
Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission expressed frustration Thursday with a new state Department of Education tool to assess threats at schools. The Florida Schools Safety Portal launched earlier this month, on Aug. 1. 

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