Miami-Dade County

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Pollution from auto emissions has gone up 55 percent in the Tampa Bay area since 1990, according to a nationwide analysis the New York Times published last week.

The numbers are nearly the same or worse for other parts of the state during that time period: a 53 percent increase in the Jacksonville area; 58 percent in the Dade-Broward region; 61 percent in the Sarasota-Bradenton area; 98 percent in the Orlando region; and a whopping 126 percent in Naples.

Miami-Dade County

A Miami-Dade County citizen transit oversight board has recommended the approval of a publicly-funded Virgin Trains station in Aventura despite lingering concerns the station could attract low ridership at high ticket fees.

The plan involves Miami-Dade’s purchasing a plot of land near Aventura Mall and building a $76.7 station with taxpayer funds. Virgin Trains, formerly Brightline, would cover the operating costs for the service between its existing Downtown Miami station and the new Aventura station.

MIKE STOCKER / South Florida Sun Sentinel

South Florida local governments are finding that if they want a Brightline station, taxpayers could help foot the bill. The most recent example: Aventura, where a station could get a $76 million contribution from Miami-Dade County.

Brightline, the South Florida high-speed rail service, has been in talks with local governments to start building stations in Aventura, as well as in Boca Raton and PortMiami. But unlike the rail line’s initial buildout, where the company paid to build the stations now in operation, taxpayer funds are now a consideration.


The Department of Health in Miami-Dade County on Wednesday posted swimming advisories for five Miami-Dade beaches for too much fecal matter.

The beaches in or near Key Biscayne (Crandon North, Virginia Key, Key Biscayne Beach Club, Cape Florida) were joined by Surfside 93rd Street as waters the DOH recommends swimmers avoid.

The bacteria enterococci count in the waters at these beaches, according to the DOH, “may pose an increased risk of illness...”

Douglas Hanks / MIAMI HERALD

Miami-Dade commissioners on Thursday briskly approved a $4.9 million subsidy package for a $224 million electric steel mill proposed by a partnership that includes a son of Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the largest award of its kind that the county has on record.

The proposal to rebate a portion of Esteel’s construction and equipment costs passed without discussion, including the two No votes from Esteban “Steve” Bovo and Daniella Levine Cava. Mayor Gimenez, who formally recused himself from decisions on son Julio Gimenez’s steel venture in 2017, was not present for the vote.


Miami-Dade may spend $76 million to build a train station near the Aventura Mall to serve the for-profit Virgin Trains USA rail service, using money for Metrorail and buses to create a new transit hub in one of the most congested areas along the coast.

Jose A. Iglesias / MIAMI HERALD

Carlos J. Rodriguez has lived for 30 years in a modest mobile home on the south bank of the Miami River, next to the 27th Avenue bridge. He bought the unit with money he’d saved up from his job as a courthouse clerk in 1989 and placed the structure on a lot he rents in the Paradise Mobile Home Park.


Miami commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a $1 billion spending plan that includes new rent subsidies for low-income seniors, park improvements and surveillance cameras to combat illegal dumping.

Sam Turken / WLRN

When Iqbal Akhtar first moved to the Brownsville neighborhood in Miami about two years ago, he noticed the area lacked access to fresh produce. So he decided to plant papaya and other fruit trees around his house. His garden drew notice from other residents.

"They were interested. They were like, ‘What are you doing? What is a papaya?'" Akhtar said.

The reaction helped inspire Akhtar’s idea of converting nearby Glenwood Park into a community garden with fresh fruits and vegetables. On Sunday, his idea became a reality.

WLRN archives

Miami-Dade County’s morgue sits on a gritty corner opposite the Ryder Trauma Center, in the shadow of a boxy parking garage.

It’s not an unsurprising setting for cataloguing the worst of South Florida. What’s unexpected is inside: a skylight bathes the lobby in sunshine and makes the green carpet look like a forest floor. Loveseats and chairs are arranged for hushed conversations and hugs. A painting of a heron perched in a cypress swamp hangs on a wall outside the records room.

Tim Padgett / WLRN


City and county officials in Miami are showing support for the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, urging residents to donate supplies and calling for rescue teams to be sent to the island.



Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez held a press conference Tuesday together with the Consul-General of the Bahamas in Miami Linda Mackey, and was joined by several county commissioners.

Mayor Giménez announced four locations accepting donations and said the county is planning to add more.


Before heading to the beach, you might want to check if it’s safe to swim at your chosen spot.

Elevated poop levels have led to Florida Department of Health swimming advisories for a total of eight beaches in Miami-Dade. Other beaches across the state — including six in Okaloosa County — were also put on warning Wednesday.

The advisories for Miami-Dade issued Wednesday were for: Surfside, 93rd Street; North Shore, 73rd Street; Collins Park, 21st Street; South Beach at Collins Avenue; South Beach at South Pointe Drive; and Virginia Beach.

BRIAN TIETZ / Miami Herald

In recent weeks, Customs and Border Patrol officials in Broward and Miami-Dade counties have been visiting Greyhound bus terminals and asking riders to show their immigration papers. This practice referred to as “transportation checks,” or the act of asking commuters for proof of their legal status, has ramped up in recent years as part of President Trump’s strict immigration strategy. The Miami Herald’s Monique O. Madan has been reporting on the story and joined Sundial for an update.


A sewage spill that began Sunday afternoon by Oleta River might not be stopped until Friday as Miami-Dade launches a 24-hour underwater repair operation on a pipe that the county had planned to replace within two years.

The leak of raw human waste comes from a 48-inch pipe that runs 12 feet under the Oleta in the middle of the state park that carries the river’s name. It carries sewage from the Sunny Isles Beach area to the North District Wastewater Treatment Plant.