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Joe Biden Visits Miami, Hospitality’s Comeback, High School Sports In Miami

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Carl Juste
/
Miami Herald
Former Vice President Joe Biden visited Ball & Chain in Little Havana on Sunday, September 15, 2019, for a meet-and-greet with Hispanic voters in Miami, Florida.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden is in Miami this week. How is South Florida’s hospitality industry making a comeback? And when are school sports coming back?

Joe Biden Visits Miami

Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden was in South Florida Monday for a number of campaign events, with the Nov. 3 election less than a month away.

He spoke at the Little Haiti Cultural Center before heading to Little Havana ahead of an NBC Town Hall at the Perez Art Museum Miami Monday night.

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“Whether this was planned as a direct result for the criticism they received, I do not know that,” said Miami Herald politics reporter David Smiley, about the criticism the campaign received when Kamala Harris visited places like Doral and not Little Haiti when she was in South Florida last month. “But it certainly does seem to be something that the campaign chose to do in order to nullify those concerns.”

The former Vice President’s visit comes as President Trump remained hospitalized for COVID-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center through Monday afternoon.

The coronavirus is expected to be a major piece of Biden’s conversations with voters.

We spoke with Smiley about Democratic presidential nominee’s visit.

Monday is also the final day to register to vote in Florida to participate in the November election. You can find more information about registering here.

Joe Biden Visits Miami

Hospitality’s Comeback

Bars and restaurants are catching a break with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ most recent order — allowing them to reopen with fewer restrictions.

People in the industry who were laid off or lost their job when the shutdown happened are now looking forward to rejoining the workforce.

The free Bacardi-Teach program from FIU’s hospitality school is aiming to help these workers better their job prospects.

“In the wine world, when a vine is under stress and it actually produces better grapes for better wine. And right now, our industry is under stress. And what we're going to produce at the end is actually going to be a better product because we're going to learn from this and we're going to grow,” said Brian Connors, the interim director of the Bacardi Center of Excellence at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.

We spoke with Connors and Jonathan Mendez, a recent graduate from the school, who was working as a bartender before the pandemic shut down bars. Mendez completed the free spirits education program and has launched his own hospitality business during this time.

South Florida’s Hospitality Industry Comeback

High School Sports In Miami

Students are back in classrooms in Miami-Dade County for the first time since mid-March.

“Every supply that needed to be in schools, was in schools. We have literally millions of facial coverings, masks. We have gone above and beyond. We never promised face shields, but we have provided face shields. Hand disinfectants — plenty in every single classroom, every single school,” said schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho during a press conference outside a new elementary school in Doral.

Some Miami-Dade teachers have shared complaints about the district's online education portal being down, internet outages and not having enough PPE.

Sports and after school activities are expected to start soon, though the exact dates haven’t been announced.

“We put it out to a vote to all 40 of our high schools that participate in the Greater Miami Athletic Conference and as a result of that vote we came up with five schools that chose to opt-in in football and 35 that opted out in football,” said Steffond Cone, the Assistant Superintendent of School Operations at Miami Dade Public Schools.

We spoke with Cone about when sports will finally get started, and how the district will try and keep students and coaches safe.

High School Sports In Miami

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.