Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale City Commission
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale residents will have a chance to ask one of their city commissioners anything about the city - and they don't even have to make it to a city commission meeting. 

District 2 Commissioner Steve Glassman is hosting a telephone town hall Thursday for people to call in and talk. Callers don't have to live in District 2.

Fort Lauderdale City Commission
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners will vote tonight to approve the city budget for the next year. 

The second - and final - public hearing for the budget happens at 6 p.m. in the Fort Lauderdale city commission chambers.

The hearing is the last chance for residents to give input about how the city of Fort Lauderdale should spend its money. 

Adam Weinstein/FTL algae
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Toxic blue-green algae blooms have officially come to Fort Lauderdale.

The green, foul-smelling goop has been sighted in Intracoastal canals, near Annie Beck Park, and the Las Olas Isles neighborhood.  

Adam Weinstein lives on the 15th street canal, and noticed the green floating patches near the dock behind his house two weeks ago.

medical marijuana
Flick Creative Commons via Mark / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale officials decided this week to uphold a city ordinance that limits the number of medical marijuana dispensaries allowed to open in the city - despite a state law that says it does not have that power.

Florida voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana in 2016. Currently, the four dispensaries that are trying to set up shop in Ft. Lauderdale have applied to open in the same part of the city, the Northeast political district.

Joe Cavaretta / Sun-Sentinel

A controversial city of Fort Lauderdale ordinance banning the sharing of food with homeless residents in a city park was dealt a blow by a federal appeals court Wednesday. The decision declared food sharing as protected by the First Amendment, and sent the case back to a lower court to decide whether the city violated the right to free speech.

The lower court had previously sided with the city.

HOPE South Florida

Mobile showers for the homeless in Fort Lauderdale have been shut down for violating city code.

 

According to the Sun Sentinel, the charity Hope South Florida received a notice from the city at the beginning of this month, saying the use of a portable shower outside of a structure is not permitted.

climate change
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

More than 100 people answered the call from local students to march through downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday asking for action on climate change. 

'This Is Zero Hour' is a national climate change awareness and action campaign, but a group of recent graduates from American Heritage in Plantation organized a local campaign march that began in Esplanade Park. 

Faith Ward said she didn't feel like student activism had much of an impact before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on February 14.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET Saturday

The father of two students who survived the Parkland school shooting in February was fatally shot Tuesday while working at his convenience store. The man suspected of killing him was arrested Friday, police said.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

The 2018 Florida Supercon brought a cornucopia of superhero and comic fans together inside the Broward Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Claire Thornton / WLRN News

The Ft. Lauderdale City Commission approved on Tuesday a long-term plan to develop the iconic Pier 66 hotel and Sails Marina. Commissioners also voted to increase property taxes and agreed to pay for police in Broward County schools.

The committee's vote to increase property taxes means an additional $5 million stays in the city's water-sewer fund, which has seen its balance go down as money from it has been used to balance the city's budget in recent years.

The Elbo Room
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Drivers and beachgoers in South Florida are no strangers to road closures and months-long of construction projects. 

But Fort Lauderdale’s latest road closure could affect summer tourism on the city’s busy Las Olas Blvd.

Starting on Monday July 9, the two blocks of Las Olas Blvd. that connect to Fort Lauderdale Beach will be closed for construction...for nearly four months. 

 

The Gratitude Project
Courtesy of The Gratitude Project / WLRN

Over the last two years, Gaia Calcaterra has learned how to run a global nonprofit from South Florida.

Gilda Cespedes

The burn scars on Jaime Paz Zamora’s face and body are the most vivid reminders of why many consider him a hero of Latin American democracy.

In 1980, Paz was a vice presidential candidate in Bolivia, campaigning in an election meant to restore democratic rule after decades of military dictatorship.

One day, the small plane carrying Paz and his staff crashed after takeoff. Everyone on board was killed – except Paz. Authorities later called it an assassination attempt by military leaders.

Claire Thornton / WLRN News

During rush hour in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, March for Our Lives activists rallied for increased gun control  on the steps of the federal courthouse - the same place where they challenged lawmakers by "calling BS" over four months ago.

Friday's rally was part of a state-wide bus tour that includes all of Florida's 27 congressional districts. The students say their main goal is increasing the youth voter turnout rate.

Joe Trembly Keystone halls
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Joe Trembly knows homelessness firsthand. When he moved to South Florida in the 80s, he found himself out of a job and living on the streets.

He's since spent decades working with Fort Lauderdale’s large LGBT community and with people affected by homelessness at the local sober living facility, Keystone Halls. 

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