Kate Stein

Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.

Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.
 

The first funerals for students killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were held on Friday.

When fire alarms blared for the second time on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, many students found it a little odd. They'd already had a fire drill earlier in the day, and were surprised to have another one with just 20 minutes left in their last class period.

Wood storks, roseate spoonbills, ibises and egrets are among the many birds that fly, paddle and wade through the Everglades.

They draw visitors, particularly photographers, to the ecosystem. But the Everglades' birds are important for another reason: The health of wading bird communities says a lot about progress on Everglades restoration.

South Florida could see two feet or more of sea level rise in the next forty years, according to a joint projection by Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

A state senator and congressional candidate says it’s time for Florida to have a unified strategy for sea-level rise.

To make his point this legislative session, he’s wearing rain boots in the Senate.

Miami commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to oppose drilling for gas and oil off Florida's coasts.

The vote follows confirmation by the U.S. Department of the Interior that Florida is among states where drilling could be expanded, despite a statement to the contrary by Interior  Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Steve Messam describes his city, Belle Glade, as having two main exports:

"Sugar," he said, "and wide receivers."

Local lore has it that National Football League standouts -- including Super Bowl-winning wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Santonio Holmes -- hone their speed by chasing rabbits through burning fields, as controlled fires strip sugarcane of excess leaves in preparation for the harvest.

Everglades National Park is a World Heritage site, and it’s under siege from drought, invasive species and sea-level rise. 

By 2050, the world’s oceans are on track to contain more plastic than fish, by weight.

One of South Florida’s state senators is making a fashion statement as the state legislative session starts Tuesday.

In Florida, poop in the water is... a problem we all live with.

For most of us, culverts -- the pipes that help water flow under roads and hills --  aren't particularly exciting news.

But the South Florida Water Management District is celebrating a Dec. 14 decision by its governing board to speed up building four new culverts that are part of a project to restore coastal areas along Biscayne Bay.

Seafood is a big part of South Florida’s culinary scene and its culture. Conch, snapper, mahi mahi, grouper, marlin and stone crab -- they have places in our hearts, as well as on our plates.

They sound like environmental superheroes.

"These teams are the planet's best hope to solve this problem," said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, describing finalists in the foundation's $10 million competition for technology to remove phosphorus from water.

Did you lose power for a week after Hurricane Irma? Are you frustrated with the king tide flooding on your street? Or maybe thoughts of climate change keep you up at night?

 

Excess water from Hurricane Irma is still making its way through Florida, exacerbating the significant water management challenges the state's faced this rainy season.

Miami-Dade needs to improve its communications before the next storm, said Mayor Carlos Gimenez, acknowledging that the county could have been clearer about which shelters were open when in the days leading up to Hurricane Irma last month.

In the hours before Hurricane Irma came barreling towards Florida, Gloria Guity and her adult children went to five different shelters before they arrived at Miami Edison Senior High School.

“Here is better than where we were,” Guity, 76, said sitting at a cafeteria table. “Here I told them to put me next to the bathroom so at least I can take them to the bathroom.”

The nursing home where residents died following a hurricane-induced air conditioning outage was not on the priority list for power restoration, according to the facility's utility provider and Broward County officials.

Emergency responders confirmed eight deaths last Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility's air conditioning system.

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, water managers in South Florida are bracing for heavy rainfall they say could exacerbate high water issues from record-setting rains the region experienced earlier this summer.

A meeting between Miami-Dade County officials and county residents concerned about aerial mosquito spraying was cancelled Monday.

In South Florida, climate change means higher seas, stronger storms and hotter summers. That could make the region unlivable within a couple hundred years. But scientists say if the world takes steps like reducing carbon emissions, we could buy ourselves some time.

A group of concerned citizens is trying to get that message out.

 

A lot of people in South Florida buy bottled water for drinking -- they don’t get it from the tap. In part, it’s a cultural thing. In many other countries, people don’t drink tap water because of concerns about contamination and they continue this habit even after moving here. 

A chemical used for mosquito control in South Florida has been the source of controversy in recent weeks, after a study showed it could be linked to developmental delays in infants.

When he had a landscaping business, Bob Hartmann grew 200,000 orchids and thousands of other plants on his three acres in Southwest Ranches, about 15 miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale.

 


Planning to have a baby in the Miami metro area? You’d better do it fast.

A study released Thursday says that of the 50 largest U.S. cities, Miami is the fourth most likely to face a shortage of obstetricians and gynecologists in the coming years.

Analysts say the number of OB/GYNs -- doctors who deliver babies and treat women of all ages -- isn’t growing fast enough to keep up with the growing U.S. population. That’s because many OB/GYNs are approaching retirement age, but not so many med students are entering the field to replace them.

The case counts are low, but Zika's still a threat.

That was the message of a meeting of county and state mosquito control officials Monday in Doral.

A federal judge has dismissed a request to stop aerial spraying of the pesticide Naled in Miami-Dade County, describing the plaintiffs' complaint as "poor" and recommending they get a lawyer before pursuing further legal action.

Last year, the pesticide Naled was one of several tools officials used to control mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. Dr. Michael Hall was one of many Miami Beach residents who protested, saying Naled exposure leads to symptoms like headaches and nausea. He and other protesters also expressed fears the pesticide could have longer-term health effects.

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