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The Florida Roundup | WLRN

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Each week a panel of journalists from South Florida and around the state discuss the week in news.

Each week a panel of journalists from South Florida and around the state discuss the week in news.
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Each week a panel of journalists from South Florida and around the state discuss the week in news.




New School Year Brings Focus On Security And Mental Health

Florida schools are reopening for a new academic year. With the new year, comes new changes, including a new rule that Florida public schools are now required to provide mental and emotional health education to middle and high school students. Schools will give information about coping skills, ways to sustain good mental health, suicide prevention and the impacts of substance abuse. It comes as attending school is potentially becoming more stressful. Active shooter drills are held every...


The State Of South Florida Plumbing — On Our Waterways

It’s been a tough summer for South Florida beaches, which have faced hot weather, seaweed and high bacteria levels.


How South Florida Schools Plan To Integrate Mental Health Education

After the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, safety is at the top of a lot of people’s minds – especially in schools.


'It's Not Going To Happen Overnight:' Broward County Transit Leader On New Monorail System Proposal

Brightline and Tri-Rail take South Floridians across the region. Now a monorail plan is in the works. Broward and Miami-Dade County transit officials are proposing a single track that would run along Northwest 27th Avenue in Miami — connecting the Hard Rock Stadium up to an area of college campuses in Broward. A penny sales tax that Broward voters approved last November would, in part, fund the project. WLRN has been asking listeners what they think about the proposed monorail. “Rail travel...


South Florida Lawmakers Make Case For TPS For Venezuelans

The U.S. is a step closer to granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans.


South Miami Mayor Explains Challenge Of Sanctuary Cities Law: 'It Interferes With Police Activities'

The city of South Miami and several other nonprofits, including the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, have launched the first legal challenge to the new state law that bans so-called sanctuary cities in Florida. The law – SB 168 – was passed during this year’s legislative session and requires local governments to comply with federal immigration authorities. Local officials who don't agree could be removed from office or even sued by the governor or Attorney General. On the South Florida...


State And School Officials Call For Resignation Of Principal Who Couldn't Say Holocaust Happened

William Latson, the principal of Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, was removed from his post this week. The Palm Beach Post reported on an email exchange he had with a parent – he wrote he could not say the Holocaust was a factual event. Latson was reassigned to a district office job after the Post published its story. The Palm Beach County school district will likely vote on whether to renew his contract on July 24th. Palm Beach schools superintendent Donald Fennoy announced...


Should Cuban Artists Get To Perform in South Florida?

It used to be that Cuban artists from the island who performed in Miami had to be ready for backlash from anti-Castro exile groups. In 1999, for example, Miami officials tried to prevent the Cuban dance band Los Van Van from performing in the city. When the band eventually got to perform, they were met with thousands of demonstrators. They were against Los Van Van and considered the group loyal to the communist government. Since then, Cuban artists have found Miami more welcoming, especially...


South Florida Emergency Officials Turn To Drones, Mapping Data For 2019 Hurricane Season

Two years ago, it looked as if Hurricane Irma would make a direct hit to South Florida. Hundreds of thousands of people were ordered to leave their homes. Many did and found emergency shelters with no room and gridlocked traffic. Even when storms come and go within a day, recouping costs for local governments can take months and years. Last month, Miami-Dade County learned it would be getting $119 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It’s money the county already spent...


Scot Peterson Charges Should Have 'Gone Further,' Says Broward County Lawmaker

Former Broward deputy officer Scot Peterson failed to respond to the mass shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland over a year ago, and was arrested on criminal charges this week. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been investigating how law enforcement officers responded to the incident. Peterson was a school resource officer at the time of the Feb. 14 shooting, and some of the charges against him include child neglect, culpable negligence and...


How Far Does Gov. DeSantis' Environmental Policy Go?

It’s almost six months into Gov. Ron DeSantis’s first term, and the biggest shift from the Rick Scott administration has been his focus on the environment. On the campaign trail, DeSantis described himself as a "Teddy Roosevelt conservationist." He’s pushed for more funding for Everglades restoration. And he’s created two new state jobs – c hief science officer and chief resilience officer. Last month, when DeSantis named the CSO, he took a big leap from the previous administration, saying...


2020 Democratic Candidates Visit South Florida Ahead Of Debate

In less than a month, 20 Democratic presidential candidates will debate in South Florida. A few of the candidates have already paid a visit to the region. This week, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg campaigned in Wynwood. Former vice president Joe Biden also spoke this week at a private fundraiser in Coral Gables. In the past few weeks, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was in the region raising money, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar also stopped by. Winning Florida is key to a...


Palm Beach County Mayor Prepares For Potential Migrants' Arrival

Before the end of the month, the federal government plans to send hundreds of migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border plans to Broward and Palm Beach counties, according to South Florida leaders. Officials in both counties say they are concerned the Trump administration’s plan puts a burden on their already strapped resources. Broward and Palm Beach are preparing to receive up to 135 migrants twice a week in each county, beginning in two weeks. Governor Ron DeSantis' office told WLRN it was not...


City Of Miami Wants To Develop Thousands Of Affordable Housing Units By 2024

It is expensive to live in South Florida. People pay a lot for housing while wages are relatively low. The latest research by the city of Miami and Miami Homes for All finds about 60 percent of renters are cost-burdened, which means they pay more than 30 percent of income for housing expenses. The Miami report includes some solutions to reach the goal of creating or preserving 12,000 units of affordable housing by 2024. A separate study published earlier this year found over half of all...


State Lawmakers Vote To Do Away With MDX Toll Roads Agency

The state Legislature on Friday passed a bill that would dissolve Miami-Dade County’s toll roads agency, the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX). The proposal, sponsored by two Miami Republicans, Rep. Bryan Avila of Miami Springs and Sen. Manny Diaz of Hialeah Gardens, would replace MDX with a new board, which would take over MDX’s five expressways. Current MDX board members would not be able to join the new board. The proposal heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature before it can...


South Florida Mobile Home Parks Face Real Estate Crunch

In the hunt for housing affordability, mobile home parks have been an oasis. But developers are eyeing them, increasing rents and forcing some residents to leave. Mobile home parks – from Homestead to Hialeah to the Keys – are caught in the squeeze between rising real estate values and housing that has remained affordable, especially for those living on smaller paychecks or fixed incomes. On the South Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson heard from some residents of these parks and a panel of...


Gov. Ron DeSantis Plans Israel Visit Amid Airbnb West Bank Controversy

The Florida Cabinet is planning to hold its next meeting in Israel next month. Gov. Ron DeSantis said the trip’s main purpose is to promote investment in the state. He also reiterated his push against companies like Airbnb. The company announced last week it reversed its ban on listings of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It had removed those listings to protest the treatment of Palestinians there. On the South Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson spoke about the issue with WLRN’s Danny...


Could Venezuela Interim President Juan Guaidó Be Arrested?

The political turmoil in Venezuela continues to intensify. On Tuesday, officials loyal to President Nicolas Maduro stripped opposition leader Juan Guaidó of immunity – which means he could face prosecution and arrest. In January, Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim president. More than 50 countries, including the United States, have recognized him as president. Guaidó’s wife Fabiana Rosales also visited Florida this week. She addressed the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis....


Miami Beach Prepares For Spring Break Crowds

Thousands of college students are crowding South Florida beaches as they normally do this time of year for spring break. Most spring breakers land on Miami Beach, but the city is not happy with what it's seeing. According to the Miami Herald , there have been beach brawls, heavy drinking and injured police officers. These incidents prompted the Miami Beach officials to hold an emergency meeting earlier this week. Some city officials want to curb spring break tourism by making it less...


FIU Marks One Year Since Bridge Collapse That Killed Six People

The Florida International University community marked Friday one year since the devastating bridge collapse that killed six people — including a student and a bridge worker. The school held a memorial service, and a moment of silence took place at 1:47 p.m., the time of the collapse. Stand with us today at 1:30pm at the Betty Chapman Plaza at MMC in a moment of silence for the victims of the Southwest 8th Street pedestrian bridge accident. #FIUStrong — FIU (@FIU)...