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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.




'What We Can Do Better:' Polk County Sheriff Explains MSD Commission's Next Report

The state commission investigating the Parkland shooting is wrapping up a second report that outlines more school safety recommendations. It’ll be sent to the governor’s office by Nov. 1. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission met near Orlando for two days this week. Members discussed mental health, threat assessments in schools and the “guardian” program, which allows some school staff to carry firearms. The commission has until 2023 to meet again. On the South...


UN Climate Change Report Projects Bleak Future For Ocean Health

A report recently released by the United Nations's International Panel on Climate Change finds that oceans around the world are in trouble. More than 100 scientists from 36 countries worked on the report that shows carbon emissions from human activities are putting a dire strain on ocean health. The findings have big implications for South Florida, where much of life revolves around the water. On the South Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson delved into the issue with WLRN’s environment...


South Florida Politicos Weigh In On Presidential Impeachment Inquiry

Until this week, most Florida Democrats were circumspect about calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. For some, the release of the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and accusations that Trump obstructed justice in that investigation were more than enough. Still, some Florida Democrats largely avoided the word "impeachment." Things changed this week. House Democrats are calling for a formal impeachment inquiry into the president's actions...


Miami Beach Commissioners Are Trying To Keep People From Smoking Pot In Public Places

Now that smoking hemp is legal across Florida, it's causing problems for local governments who want to prohibit smoking illegal marijuana. The substances are similar enough in chemistry and smell that recently the Miami-Dade County state attorney's office said it will not prosecute minor pot possession cases. In Broward County, the state attorney has a new three gram minimum before his office will prosecute. So lawmakers in Miami Beach are working on their own solution to stop smoking in the...


Bahamians Coming To The U.S. Face Immigration Challenges

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Dorian decimated parts of the Bahamas. The death toll has climbed to at least 50, and according to some news reports , 1,300 people are reported missing — a drop from an initial figure of 2,500. Thousands of Bahamians face a difficult decision in the days, weeks and months ahead: whether they should stay to rebuild, come to the United States for awhile, or aim to start a new life in America. A week ago, a cruise ship of Bahamian evacuees arrived in...


How Well Did South Florida Respond To Hurricane Dorian?

Hurricane Dorian spared South Florida from the worst of the winds, rain and storm surge. There were no mass evacuations. Power outages were few. But there was plenty of anxiety. South Florida Roundup's host Tom Hudson was joined by The Miami Herald’s Nancy Ancrum , the Sun Sentinel’s Rosemary O’Hara and the Palm Beach Post’s Rick Christie. The three publications, along with WLRN, have teamed up to address the threat of higher seas to South Florida in the award-winning Invading Sea project....


Hurricane Dorian Strengthens; Are South Florida's Nursing Homes Prepared To Lose Power?

Hurricane Dorian has been getting stronger, slowing down, and it’s predicted path has been drifting, putting central, and potentially south Florida, increasingly at risk. The 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center shows Hurricane Dorian has curved slightly north. The hurricane has strengthened into a Category 3 storm. It’s expected to bring lots of rain and storm surge, in addition to the wind. As the storm has slowed down, it will come ashore after the King Tide. How important...


'Multiculturalism Is Just The Way We Are,' Says Adam Serwer About Speaking Another Language In FL

Florida’s Department of Health is investigating a claim filed by seven workers who say they were told to stop speaking Spanish at work. The nurses say they were threatened with termination if they did not comply. It happened at a state health clinic in Polk County. One nurse says being bilingual was a hiring requirement because many of the clinic’s patients speak Spanish and English. It’s illegal to require workers only speak English at work, except for what the Department of Labor calls...


Melreese Golf Course To Open Again After Not-So-New Soil Contamination Revealed

The Melreese golf course that could house David Beckham's soccer stadium will reopen, according to the City of Miami.


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...