The Sunshine Economy

9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays

The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

Ways to Connect

Frankel - AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Diaz-Balart - AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Lake Okeechobee may be a natural feature of the Florida landscape, but politics also come into play when it comes to it.

 

More than $1 billion of federal support has been spent to help restore the Everglades and fix the plumbing around the lake. That money, along with other money for the Army Corps of Engineers, starts flowing from the House Appropriations Committee.

Miami Herald

Eduardo Padrón's first role at Miami Dade College was student. In August, he will resign from the role he has played for the past 24 years -- president of the school.

As he prepares to leave in August, state funding for state colleges is under pressure, the low unemployment rate has reduced enrollment, the nation's debate over immigration has affected students, and the adjunct faculty is voting on whether to unionize.

AP Photo/Franklin Reyes

Odilon Almeida was 25 when he first walked into a Western Union. He was working for Colgate Palmolive in Toronto and wanted to send money to his nephew back in Brazil for his birthday.

Almeida wasn't impressed with the experience. "I have a very big Latin name," he remembers, "and they were not used to that."

Today, Almedia runs global money transfers for Western Union from Miami. The division generates 80 percent of the company's revenues -- over $4 billion per year.

Tom Hudson / WLRN Public Media

A year after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Robert Runcie says he wants to make Broward County Public Schools the safest in the nation.

AP Photo/Steve Cannon

Familiar battlelines are being drawn over the biggest pieces Florida's state budget -- healthcare and education.

 

Republicans plan on going after healthcare regulations they contend drive up the cost of care. Democrats say, after three failed attempts, Medicaid expansion returns as their priority.

 

Tom Hudson

Miami will be in the Super Bowl next year regardless if the Dolphins win or lose. It’s all but guaranteed.

The game returns to South Florida for the 11th time in 2020.

It will have been a decade since the last Super Bowl was played here. The game, and all the fanfare surrounding it, has gotten bigger. Supporters say the economics of the game remain strong. And the Dolphin's gamble to renovate the stadium worked.

Patterson: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP Meltzer: Michelle Watson, Catchlight Group

James Patterson and Brad Meltzer have scores of best sellers between them, but it’s not because of a strategic, business plan-like approach. Both say they are writers, not business or marketing experts. They write about what interests them, not to fill an opportunity in the publishing market.

Both Patterson and Meltzer work from South Florida. Patterson moved to Palm Beach County in the late 1990s. Meltzer came here as a kid in 1983.

The second largest home insurance company in Florida would have asked state regulators to raise premiums by 25 percent if it could have asked for a hike that big. Citizens Property Insurance, instead, wants regulators to okay an average increase of 8.2 percent.

 

"What we needed was 25 (percent)," says Citizens CEO Barry Gilway.

courtesy: CMX Cinemas

When the CEO of movie theater chain CMX Cinemas moved to Miami in October, he says the immigration officer at Miami International Airport did a double take when he looked at his passport. After all, the CEO’s name is Jose Martí.

 

No, the CMX Cinema boss says he is not related to the Cuban hero and writer.

 

But like his Cuban namesake, Jose Leonardo Martí is coming to America with big dreams. He plans to build a major American movie theater company in a few short years.

 

everydayplus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Florida's largest health insurer has seen a 45 percent drop in opioid prescriptions since it stopped paying for OxyContin.

It has been almost a year since Florida Blue announced that it would no longer provide prescription payments for the popular painkiller and would require advanced permission for any opioid prescription lasting longer than seven days.

It replaced OxyContnin in its drug plans with a different opioid, Xtampza. That drug is designed to be more difficult to crush, making it tougher to snort or inject.

courtesy: George Schellenger

Guy Harvey’s art is more often worn then hung.

His watercolors and pen and ink drawings, of marlins, mako sharks and mahi, are on t-shirts, hats and even dog collars. He has been licensing his artwork to put on clothes since the late 1980s.

Illustration: WLRN

South Florida may have offered Amazon more than $500 million in job incentives to bring its HQ2 project to the region. 

We just don't know for sure.

Jobs, paychecks and taxes -- the usual issues for an election -- have given way to heated rhetoric, discord and divisiveness. How are the issues and the political environment impacting voters and their votes?

Tom Hudson / WLRN News

Water is what connects us in South Florida. No matter where we are from or how we got here, or where we live or work, water surrounds us. And this time of year, the rising seas, driven by the pull of the sun and moon, can spill over our edges, bubble up from below and seep into our lives.

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