Fort Lauderdale

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale residents Nico and Junior Acosta have been a couple for 22 years -- they have also witnessed an evolving and more LGBTQ-accepting Fort Lauderdale grow over their years together.

It’s a beautiful thing, they said along the Fort Lauderdale Beach during the last day of Pride Fort Lauderdale,  an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community.   

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Thousands of homeless residents across Florida have been arrested in recent years on charges of asking for money in public spaces without government authorization. A lawsuit filed this month by the Southern Legal Counsel alleges that those thousands of arrests are violating the First Amendment -- a stance that has previously been upheld by U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts of Florida.

Salvation Army
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Hundreds of volunteers ran around the Community Center in Fort Lauderdale in Santa hats Friday, pushing big red shopping carts. Parents lined up out the door to pick up Christmas gifts for their children.

The Salvation Army of Broward's Holiday Toy Shop is open for one day -- and one day only. It's known as "Angel Tree Distribution Day." 

Ben Sorensen

Fort Lauderdale’s vice mayor is a key player in the city’s efforts to help the homeless population by providing them with yearlong housing, job opportunities and mental health services.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

This week, Broward County and Fort Lauderdale officials, along with business partners, cleared out a homeless camp in downtown Fort Lauderdale where about 80 people were living in tents.

   

Monday morning there was a press conference to announce the "Home for the Holidays" initiative. By Thursday afternoon, all of the tents had been cleared out of the county Main Library's plaza. A fence and a sea of barricades were all that was left by Friday morning. 

Ron DeSantis
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Ron DeSantis made his first public appearance as governor-elect in Fort Lauderdale Monday morning at the private Jewish Day School Brauser Maimonides Academy. 

DeSantis was in South Florida to finalize hiring his new Chief of Staff. Though his campaign did not announce it until after the school visit, the current Senior Vice President for the Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, Shane Strum, will be filling the position as soon as DeSantis is sworn into office on Jan. 8. 

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

New Mt. Olive Baptist Church has been in the middle of the Historic Sistrunk neighborhood, in Fort Lauderdale, for 100 years.

It's been there for so long that black people were welcomed there almost before anywhere else in Broward County.

With 11,000 members, it's also a political hotspot for the city, and candidates from different races often come there to try and woo voters.

Fort Lauderdale
Kevin Verbeem via Flickr Creative Commons / WLRN

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance helped bring more than 870 new jobs to Broward County over the last fiscal year. 

That's fewer jobs than the nearly 2,000 added the year before. 

The figures are from the public/private economic development partnership's annual report, which was released Thursday night.

Bob Swindell is President and CEO of The Alliance. Despite the dip, he said job growth in the county is steady. 

Andrews Ave. Fort Lauderdale
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

During the peak of rush hour in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, anywhere between 1,500 and nearly 2,000 cars are driving up and down Andrews Avenue every hour. 

Add all that up and it looks like up to 22,000 cars travel that section of the city per day, according to data from the Florida Department of Transportation. 

One idea to speed things up is to convert Andrews Avenue and Third Avenue into one-way roads. 

 

Home Depot
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

If you’ve driven along W. Sunrise Blvd in Fort Lauderdale over the past decade, near the Broward Blvd. intersection, you’ve likely seen Popeye. 

He often braved traffic in his wheelchair to panhandle for money and would approach people to strike up a conversation. His real name was Ronald Frederick Gray. 

Gray was killed in a hit-and-run crash in the early hours of Wednesday morning, at the corner of NW. 5th Ave. The Broward County Office of the Medical Examiner identified him.

Stranahan House
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

On the banks of the New River, the 117-year old Historic Stranahan House and Museum is the oldest building in Fort Lauderdale. It was home to the city’s founding family, Frank and Ivy Stranahan. 

But in recent years, it has suffered the effects of climate change, according to the museum’s Executive Director, April Kirk.

 

Fort Lauderdale Forum
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

In recent years, the City of Fort Lauderdale has faced heavy criticism for its treatment of homelessness, including of a long-running legal dispute it's had with groups distributing free food in public spaces.

Riverparc Square development
Courtesy of The City of Fort Lauderdale, rendering by architecture firm: Dorsky + Yue International / WLRN

This story has been updated at 11:58 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2018. 

Downtown Fort Lauderdale will soon have a massive, three tower development on its horizon. 

After some commissioners unsuccessfully tried to pull the development project up for review during Tuesday's city commisison meeting, the complex, called Riverparc Square or Southside Centre, will be going up where SW 5th St. meets Andrews Ave.

Las Olas Mobility Group
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Phrases like ‘iconic,’ ‘unique,’ and ‘world-class,’ floated around Fort Lauderdale’s City Hall Friday afternoon, as the official Las Olas Mobility group met to talk strategy. 

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