Miami-Dade

A recent series of stories by the Miami New Times found that police in Miami-Dade County have made tens of thousands of arrests for small amounts of marijuana, even after a 2015 policy allowed them to issue civil citations for those same offenses.

Those optional arrests have at times led to life-changing consequences for the suspects.

President Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have been reluctant to acknowledge the link between climate change and some of Florida's current environmental challenges, like King Tide flooding, stronger hurricanes and rising temperatures.

Saltwater intrusion is just one of the risks facing South Florida's drinking water. 

The Biscayne Aquifer, a 4,000-mile sponge-like rock formation that filters and stores the region's clean groundwater, is also being polluted by sewage runoff and other contaminants. 

When it comes to sea-level rise, planners in South Florida typically use the benchmark of two feet in the next 40 years, but there’s a chance it could be less -- or more -- than that.

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Siding with the University of Miami, an appeals court Wednesday upheld the constitutionality of a 2011 state law designed to shield some medical schools and doctors from liability in medical-malpractice cases.

Over the past 20 years, a special team at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department has rushed around South Florida, preventing venomous snake bites from turning fatal. 

ReThink Energy Florida and First Street Foundation are hosting a series of Tidal Town Halls where politicians will address the threat of sea level rise in Florida as part of the 2018 midterm election cycle.

The Ft. Lauderdale Tidal Town Hall will be on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Nova Southeastern University at 3301 College Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Click on the link above for details.

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While the number is down from the past two years, Florida has had 59 reported cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in 2018, according to a state Department of Health website.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida toured the Liberty Square public housing complex with local politicians Friday before meeting with more than a dozen Liberty City activists—some of whom have lost relatives to shootings.

The discussion focused on ways to reduce gun violence and improve housing and other opportunities in the area that has long been a hotbed for violence and poverty. 

If current sea-level rise trends continue, the ocean that makes many South Florida cities desirable places to live may become an existential threat.

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With hurricane season in full swing, staff at Florida's evacuation shelters are busy making preparations like what to do for specials needs evacuees and where to send victims of domestic violence. But this year they're practicing for a new issue — what to do if immigration officials want to take a look around.

The newspaper headline for August 28, 2019, reads: “Category 5 Hurricane Expected to Hit Homestead, South Miami in Three Days.”

Hurricanes and warming ocean waters have led to damage in Florida’s coral reefs. Now experts say the state’s corals are facing a new danger—an especially pervasive bacteria.

Hundreds of protesters representing 23 advocacy groups rallied on Saturday against the Trump administration’s family separation policies at a Homestead detention center for children who crossed the Southern U.S. border.

Chants of “Hey, Trump, leave the kids alone!” remained steady throughout the protest, even when it began to rain heavily. Many of those leading chants were children themselves.

A proposal to extend state road 836 — the Dolphin Expressway — in Miami-Dade County could imperil future funding for Everglades restoration, critics say.

Members of the Hold the Line Coalition, a group of transportation and environment organizations, oppose extending the 836 expressway into wetland and agricultural areas outside Miami-Dade's urban development boundary. The proposed 14-mile expansion is intended to alleviate traffic in the Kendall area by providing commuters an alternative to Florida's Turnpike.

Former Palm Beach Gardens Officer Nouman Raja tried to use Florida's "stand your ground" law to have manslaughter and attempted murder charges against him dismissed. Raja shot and killed  Corey Jones, 31, whose car was stranded on the side of the road.

On Friday, Circuit Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer denied the motion to dismiss.

A vote by Miami-Dade commissioners this week is causing concern among Monroe County residents and environmental advocates who say a collaboration between Miami-Dade and Florida Power & Light is developing too quickly.

A plan to use treated wastewater to freshen Florida Power & Light’s troubled nuclear cooling canals will move forward, for now, without meeting strict water standards set for nearby Biscayne Bay.

On Tuesday, Miami-Dade commissioners authorized the county staff to negotiate the deal, but put off setting the standards.

Instead, terms of the costly treatment will be ironed out as the utility and the county staff work out details. Any project will ultimately come back to commissioners for final approval. But by then, critics worry it may be too late.

People drinking tap water across the Miami area this week may notice the smell and taste of chlorine as Miami-Dade launches the annual cleaning of its underground pipes.

The “cleansing” began Monday and runs through Nov. 19. The county issued an advisory about the likelihood of changes in odor and taste in Miami-Dade’s drinking water.

The environmental advocacy group Miami Waterkeeper is suing Miami-Dade County for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act after finding a sewage pipe that might have been leaking into the ocean for almost a year.

The Waterkeepers filed a notice of intent to sue in 60 days. The lawsuit will ask the county to fix this leak and inspect all outfall pipes, as well as suggest that the county contribute to the Biscayne Bay restoration trust fund, instead of paying civil penalties.

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.

Environmental activists and concerned citizens expressed outrage Thursday night over a planned development they say endangers a tract of rare pine rockland near Zoo Miami.

The critics say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should intervene because the developer’s habitat conservation plan does not offer adequate protection to endangered and threatened species.

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Officials say a Florida police officer who shot an autistic man's caretaker is facing criminal charges.

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Miami-Dade County officials are monitoring four zones in the Miami area where the Zika virus spread through local mosquitoes.

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Florida health officials say they have one new case of a locally-transmitted Zika infection in Miami-Dade County.

An adult aedes aegypti mosquito measures about six millimeters. That’s roughly a quarter of an inch. Yet for weeks this summer, it looked to threaten a $26 billion a year industry that underpins the South Florida economy -- tourism.

The bug remains a big public health worry -- so much so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends that pregnant women stay away from all of Miami-Dade County -- but it in its early months, hasn’t hurt tourism.

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But try telling that to Donald Goldberg, manager of the Wynwood Diner.

Florida Governor Rick Scott hosted a Zika preparedness roundtable in Miami's Little River neighborhood on Friday, responding to a request by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.

The governor said there are seven local cases of Zika confirmed in the 1-square-mile area of Little River, and that Florida has not yet received Zika prevention and research funding approved by Congress at the end of September.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened its Zika guidance Wednesday, recommending that pregnant women consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County and reiterating a recommendation that pregnant county residents take steps to prevent the virus's spread.

The updated guidance reflects concerns that the virus may be spreading in areas throughout the county, not just in the two "Zika zones" on Miami Beach and near Little River.

It has been more than two months since the Zika virus was found in Miami-Dade County and almost three-fourths of voters surveyed in a new WLRN-Univision 23 poll are satisfied with the response by county government.

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