The Florida Roundup | WLRN-logo

The Florida Roundup | WLRN


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.


United States


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




Marjory Stoneman Douglas Student Journalists Reflect On Covering Shooting Two Years Later

It's been two years since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The tragedy that killed 17 people has changed daily life for many Floridians. School safety has taken up a lot of the conversation in Tallahassee. A state commission was even created to investigate the shooting. That group has proposed policies that aim to make schools safer -- including a program that allows some school staff to carry firearms. Meanwhile, the path towards healing remains difficult...


Looking Ahead To The 2020 Florida Democratic Primary Election

Florida Democrats will be voting in the presidential primary next month -- and it remains a tight race. The Iowa caucus results came in days after voting, and there have been several reports of inaccuracies. Former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobucher all came out of the troubled Iowa caucus with double digit support. Mike Bloomberg wants to compete after the early...


Miami-Dade Superintendent Says Figuring Out Later School Start Times Requires 'Balance'

Public high schools in South Florida start before 8 a.m. — they have for years. But research finds a later beginning is better for teenagers and their sleep cycle. Miami-Dade schools are considering changing school start times and having the first bell ring later at high schools. On the South Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson talked about the effort with Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. Here's an excerpt of their conversation: ALBERTO CARVALHO: I think the perfect solution...


New Plan Seeks to Increase Affordable Housing in Miami

The rent is just too high for a lot of people living in South Florida. In Miami, many renters spend at least half of their paychecks on housing. And consider this: The median household income for people in the city of Miami is $34,000. The average rent is around $1,800 across apartment sizes. That would cost someone making an average income two-thirds of their paycheck before taxes. The City of Miami ordered a study about a year ago to help solve its housing affordability crisis, and that...


The 2020 Presidential Election And The Year Ahead In South Florida News

Among the news that will likely dominate headlines in 2020 is the upcoming presidential election — and ever the swing state, Florida typically plays a crucial role on Election Day. Voters will first cast their ballots in March during the presidential primary. Several Democratic candidates began rallying in South Florida last year — especially during the first debate held in Miami. President Donald Trump, who recently became a Florida resident, also called on supporters in 2019 in Central...


Hurricane Dorian And Other Top Stories Of 2019

Hurricane Dorian stands out as one of the biggest news stories of 2019. The ominous Category 5 storm threatened South Florida for days. While the region escaped its destruction, the storm stalled over the northern Bahamas, scouring the islands with high winds and storm surge.


What's The Future Of The National Flood Insurance Program?

Congress has passed two spending bills to fund the federal government. President Donald Trump is expected to sign them, avoiding a shutdown. One provision in those bills is a reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. With the president's approval, the program will be extended through Sept. 30, 2020. While the insurance program will continue for now, its future is in jeopardy: It's more than $20 billion in debt. Premiums are too low, and there are people who probably should be...


Are Feds, State Officials Keeping Fishermen, Divers In Mind For Water Conservation Efforts?

Federal and state officials are trying to strike a balance between conservation and public access to South Florida waters. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agreed Thursday to back tighter fishing limits in Biscayne National Park, where fish populations have dwindled. The commission is also considering a new plan that would restrict access to popular reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Several scientists are researching ways to restore the corals that...


What New Sea Level Rise Projections Mean For The Florida Keys

New sea level rise projections for South Florida show an alarming trend: higher waters are coming faster than previously expected. According to the Southeast Florida Climate Compact , seas could rise between one foot and two-and-a-half feet by 2060 – two to five inches more than 2015 projections .


Broward Elections "Mailer Scare" Marks Almost A Year Since Major Recount

Around this time last year, the political sphere zeroed in on Broward County, which was dealing with a crucial recount in a couple of statewide races. The office has recently dealt with another blunder , according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. More than 50,000 voters received a “final notice” mailer that threatened to designate them inactive voters. The county’s elections supervisor Peter Antonacci later apologized for the mailer and said no one’s status will change. On the South...


Report: Repairs Delayed For 97 Percent Of Broward Public Schools

Repairs to aging Broward schools have taken awhile, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. In 2014, Broward County voters approved a $800 million bond referendum for renovation work. The Sentinel found that five years later, work was completed at eight of 233 schools. On the South Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson spoke with Scott Travis, Sun Sentinel education reporter, and Steve Hillberg, an engineer who serves on the Broward Schools bond oversight committee. Here’s an excerpt of...


South Florida Congresswoman Says Visits To Homestead Shelter Won't Stop Despite Expected Shutdown

The Homestead detention center for migrant children is expected to close at the end of this month. The private prison company that runs the facility will not have its federal contract renewed when it expires Nov. 30.


Parkland Father, Broward State Senator On Opposing Sides Of Reinstating Scott Israel

The statewide commission investigating the Parkland shooting is working on a second school safety report , which is expected to be submitted to the governor by Nov. 1. This comes just over a week after the Florida Senate voted – largely along party lines – to permanently remove Scott Israel, Broward County’s former sheriff, from office. In a rare special session, senators also heard testimony from Parkland parents like Ryan Petty, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Alaina in the shooting at...


'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...