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Latest News: Broward school board vote to close at least five schools

Published June 20, 2024 at 6:00 AM EDT

It's Thursday, June 20, 2024.

🌡️ Check here for today's weather forecast.

*For more Americas news and analysis from Tim Padgett, sign up for our newsletter

On the WLRN website today:

    ⬇️ Scroll down for the latest news in South Florida:

    Florida Keys

    $1 million worth of cocaine found in the Florida Keys

    Posted June 20, 2024 at 12:39 PM EDT

    The United States Border Patrol has seized $1M worth of cocaine found floating off the Florida Keys. 
     
    The Associated Press reports that recreational boaters found a package containing approximately 21 individually wrapped kilograms of cocaine. 
     
    The drugs were found about seven miles off Islamorada over the weekend.

    READ MORE: Revamped clinic in Key West aims to withstand major storms

    WEATHER

    New disturbance near Bahamas brings unsettled weather

    Posted June 20, 2024 at 11:00 AM EDT

    Along with Tropical Storm Alberto, the National Hurricane Center is closely watching a disturbance near the Bahamas that is tracking toward the Southeast coast.
     
    Megan Borowski from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network said: "Although this low won’t turn into a tropical system, it will cause unsettled weather for the Atlantic coast. Gusty and quick moving downpours will likely be on and off throughout the day today.

    "Also, wind gusts in excess of 30 mph are possible. On top of that, rough surf, rip currents, coastal flooding, and beach erosion are expected too."
     
    Megan says that high surf and rip current alerts are in effect for the Atlantic — so it would be a good idea to heed lifeguard flags and stay out of the water until conditions settle down.

    READ MORE: Tropical Storm Alberto brings flood risk to Texas as Florida monitors a disturbance

    Miami-Dade

    Damage assessment surveys for those affected by last week's flooding

    Posted June 20, 2024 at 10:34 AM EDT
    A group of people try to pull a car with a rope to keep it from crashing in the neighboring car
    Al Diaz
    /
    The Miami Herald
    Christian B. and his two friends Claudia and Barbara tried to pull his car with a rope to keep it from crashing in the neighboring car to no avail in Miami Beach, Florida on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

    Miami-Dade residents and business owners who were affected by last week’s flooding are being encouraged to fill out a damage assessment survey. 
     
    The county’s Department of Emergency Management launched it Wednesday, and officials say it could potentially bring some aid for those impacted.
     
    Erika Benitez, spokesperson for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said:" Survey responses will also allow the state to expedite recovery efforts by gathering data and assessing the needs of affected businesses and residents in our community."
     
    However, the county is stressing that the survey is not a way to file insurance claims.

    The survey is available in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole at .

    READ MORE: As flooding recedes in South Florida, affected residents clean up

    Government & Politics

    City of Miami wants private property owners to maintain drainage systems

    Posted June 19, 2024 at 5:13 PM EDT

    With neighborhoods still reeling from last week’s floods, the City of Miami wants to hold private property owners more responsible for stormwater drainage.

    The city commission advanced an item that will require owners to maintain and recertify their drainage systems every 10 years. That includes stormwater grates and manhole covers.

    At today’s commission meeting, City Commissioner Damian Pardo explained the need.

    "There was probably like seven or eight wells that were not being tended to, that were not being maintained," Pardo said. "The Brickell area was flooding like crazy. People forgot that maintenance was part of their responsibility."

    The item passed on first reading, and will go up for a second commission vote later this month.

    READ MORE: As flooding recedes in South Florida, affected residents clean up

    Education

    Broward school board votes to close at least five schools next year

    Posted June 19, 2024 at 1:14 PM EDT

    The Broward school board tackled two major issues at its meeting on Tuesday.

    Howard Hepburn, right, is ceremoniously sworn into office as the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools by retired Judge Zebedee Wright as Hepburn’s wife, Sheba, holds a Bible alongside daughter Audrey, 7.
    Carl Juste
    /
    The Miami Herald
    FILE - Howard Hepburn, right, is ceremoniously sworn into office as the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools.

    The Board voted 7-2 to close at least five schools in the 2025-2026 school year. The agenda item did not name which schools would be closed.

    The Broward County School District says the closures are necessary in the face of a severe decline in student enrollment.

    According to the Miami Herald, the board also asked the superintendent to come up with programs to add to some schools.

    The School Board also agreed to pay $108 million to local charter schools by 2027. The charters successfully argued that they were shortchanged out of money from a voter referendum that passed in 2018.

    Last fall, some of the charter schools took the Broward School district to court, arguing that a 2019 state law mandated the district to share the money. The Florida Department of Education interfered in late March and ordered the school district to settle the dispute.

    READ MORE: Some Broward students, parents push back against school district’s proposed changes

    Government & Politics

    Broward County names new Port Everglades director

    Posted June 19, 2024 at 7:09 AM EDT
    Charles Trainor Jr.
    /
    Miami Herald

    Port Everglades has a new director. The Broward County Commission confirmed the appointment of Joseph Morris on Tuesday.
     
    Morris is currently the Port Director for the Massachusetts Port Authority. 
     
    In his new role, Morris will oversee the port’s maritime business, which generates more than $26.5 billion in economic activity statewide annually. Port Everglades also supports nearly 11,000 local direct jobs and results in more than $925 million in state and local tax revenue. 
     
    He’s expected to begin at Port Everglades next month.

    READ MORE: DeSantis, state environmental regulators greenlight bigger ships at Key West harbor

    South Florida

    Two South Florida players win Quick Pick lottery

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 5:27 PM EDT

    Hey South Florida Lotto Players, you may want to take another look at your tickets because two locals won big.
     
    For the third consecutive day, a winning Fantasy 5 jackpot ticket was sold in Miami-Dade County on Monday. The players won the jackpot through the Quick Pick midday ticket with the numbers 4,8,10,13 and 21. That’s according to the Miami Herald
     
    One ticket was sold at Brown Food Supermarket in Overtown. The other was sold in Delray Beach. The tickets are each worth $26,139 
     
    Winning tickets can be redeemed at any Florida Lottery district office.

    READ MORE: Florida restaurants are seeing increased costs, weekend traffic, according to report

    Government & Politics

    DeSantis vetoes $205 million for flood mitigation projects

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 5:17 PM EDT
    This aerial view taken from video shows multiple cars stranded on a road in Northeast Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Thursday, June 13, 2024.
    Daniel Kozin
    /
    AP
    This aerial view taken from video shows multiple cars stranded on a road in Northeast Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Thursday, June 13, 2024. A tropical disturbance brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida the day before. Floridians prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday.

    Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed about $205 million from the state budget that would have helped pay for flood mitigation projects.

    In Biscayne Park, $400,000 in state funding would have paid for new drains. And in the small village of Virginia Gardens, $700,000 would have continued building drainage systems in flood-prone areas.
     
    But these are just some of the projects that were cut from Florida’s 2024-2025 fiscal year budget, according to the Miami Herald.
     
    It came in the same week that parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties were hit with heavy rainfall and severe flooding. 
     
    However some water projects did get approved. Like $20 million to help reduce stormwater runoff into Biscayne Bay.
     
    The governor’s office is encouraging local governments to request funding through the state Department of Environmental Protection.

    READ MORE: New law to provide Florida homebuyers with more transparency on flood history

    Broward

    Fort Lauderdale's first elected mayor dies at 78

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 4:18 PM EDT

    The first elected mayor of Fort Lauderdale has died. 
     
    Robert Dressler's death was announced yesterday on X by current Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis.
     
    Dressler died at the age of 78. 
     
    Dressler was elected Mayor of Fort Lauderdale in 1982 and re-elected three years later. He led the start of the efforts to revitalize the beachfront and develop the Las Olas Riverwalk.
     
    He also founded the Northwest Advisory Board whose goal was to give minorities a voice in city government. 
     
    Dressler served on the Board of Regents of the State University System of Florida for six years and was a retired private practice attorney.

    READ MORE: Housing, insurance and health care — the forces driving South Florida's population changes

    South Florida

    Site of an apartment fire and shooting is set to be demolished

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 3:10 PM EDT

    An apartment building in Miami that police said was the scene of a double crime last week is set to be demolished today.
     
    Last week, Juan Figueroa, 73, was arrested after police said he ignited a fire in the apartment complex after shooting a building worker on the property.

    The gun-shot victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition and more than 40 residents were left without a home after the fire. 
     
    According to the Miami Herald, city officials said the building is on the verge of imminent collapse. 
     
    They add that the building has also been severely damaged from recent torrential rainstorms. 
     
    Due to the structural safety concerns, residents were not allowed to retrieve their personal items.

    READ MORE: Four South Florida cops indicted for 2019 shootout with robbers who killed a UPS driver, passerby

    Americas

    Russian warships leave Havana's port after five days of military drills

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 2:05 PM EDT
    FILE - Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov frigate arrives at the port of Havana, Cuba, June 24, 2019. Cuban officials announced on June 6, 2024, that four Russian warships, including the Gorshkov, will arrive in Havana starting June 12.
    Ramon Espinosa
    /
    AP
    FILE - Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov frigate arrives at the port of Havana, Cuba, June 24, 2019. Cuban officials announced on June 6, 2024, that four Russian warships, including the Gorshkov, will arrive in Havana starting June 12.

    A fleet of Russian warships, including a nuclear-powered submarine, has left Havana’s port after a five-day visit to Cuba following planned military drills in the Atlantic Ocean.

    That's according to the Associated Press.

    The drills have been seen by some as a show of strength by Moscow against the backdrop of tensions as the United States and other Western countries support Kyiv in Russia's war on Ukraine.

    It’s unclear what the next destination is or where the vessels will dock next in the Caribbean, although U.S. officials have said that they could possibly also stop in Venezuela.

    READ MORE: Russian warships reach Cuban waters ahead of military exercises in the Caribbean

    *For more Americas news and analysis from Tim Padgett, sign up for our newsletter

    Education

    Broward charter schools slated to collect $108M from the district

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 1:37 PM EDT

    Charter schools in Broward County are expected to collect $108 million from the county's public school district today.

    This comes after the charters argued that they were shortchanged out of money from a voter referendum that passed in 2018.

    According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the School Board agreed in April to resolve legal battles with charter schools but didn’t reveal the dollar amount of the settlement.

    READ MORE: Florida reporters talk about the state's shrinking public school districts

    Weather

    Forecasters say system developing over the Gulf does not pose risk to Southeast

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 12:23 PM EDT

    There are two weather disturbances developing on either side of Florida right now

    The National Hurricane Center said a system over the Gulf of Mexico is expected to become a tropical storm at some point today or tomorrow.

    Meteorologist Megan Borowski from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network said that the system doesn’t pose much of a risk for the Southeast.

    "This potential tropical cyclone is located over the Bay of Campeche between the Yucatan and mainland Mexico, and it is forecasted to strengthen into a tropical storm and track to the west northwest," Borowski said. "Parts of Mexico, and far southern Texas may experience tropical storm force winds tonight into Wednesday, but the main story is going to be widespread rainfall triggered by this system. Southeastern Texas could receive over a half a foot of rain between now and Thursday."

    Although we shouldn’t expect impacts from PTC One, Borowski said the National Hurricane Center is monitoring the Southeast coast for possible tropical development this week. Chances are low that a system will form, but there’ll be a chance for an uptick in downpour chances and the potential for rough surf and beach erosion along Atlantic beaches.

    READ MORE: Tropical disturbance forming near Bahamas could impact Florida

    Environment

    PortMiami completes major green initiative: Shore power for cruise ships

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 11:10 AM EDT
    Pedro Portal
    /
    Miami Herald

    The largest cruise ship terminal in the world just got a little bit greener. That’s after Miami-Dade County officials announced the completion of a major project on Monday.

    The project allows cruise ships to plug into electricity while docked at PortMiami instead of having to burn fuel on board to keep the lights on.

    The project cost $125 million — a number that included millions in state and federal grants.

    Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the infrastructure project will go a long way toward helping the county reduce carbon emissions, since shore power is much more efficient than burning fuel on a docked ship.

    Some cruise ships will be able to plug in starting this week with more to come in the following months.

    READ MORE: Advocate calls Big Energy the 'only winner' after climate change removed from law

    Sign up for WLRN’s environment newsletter Field Notes to receive our insider’s guide for living in South Florida’s changing landscape. Get original reporting and recaps, with context, delivered to your inbox every Friday. Subscribe here.

    Health

    Some South Florida stores are recalling this brand of arepas

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 8:07 AM EDT

    Arepas sold in supermarkets across South Florida are being recalled.

    Villa Nueva Interservices LLC., the company behind Arepas La Mejor, is recalling their 25-ounce bags of Arepa de Choclo after noticing the bags went to stores with a label that does not list milk as an ingredient.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says people with an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products

    You can return the arepas where you purchased them for a full refund or replacement. For more information on the recall, visit FDA.gov/recalls.

    READ MORE: New CDC guidance for schools encourages vaccination and masks

    Sports

    Florida Panthers rack up historic travel mileage in Cup final history

    Posted June 18, 2024 at 7:47 AM EDT
    linesman Jonny Murray (95) drops the puck as Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, left, and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) face off during the third period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla.
    Wilfredo Lee
    /
    AP
    Linesman Jonny Murray (95) drops the puck as Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, left, and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) face off during the third period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla.

    The Florida Panthers are just one victory away from what could be their first-ever Stanley Cup Championship. But the hockey team is also making history in another way.

    The Panthers will go against the Edmonton Oilers for game 5 tonight at the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise.

    This series — with the South Florida-based Panthers, and the Canadian-based Edmonton Oilers — is the longest distance between teams in Cup final history.

    The teams are spending nearly as much time in the air as they are on the ice playing games. And players from both teams are finding ways to kill the time.

    For example, the Panthers are big on card games. Their plane essentially has a mini casino, with a table of poker and another of Seven Up, that's according to the Associated Press.

    Meanwhile, the Oilers are all about the video game Mario Kart.

    As for the coaches, it's a chance to watch video and prepare for the next practice.

    But hopefully, after tonight, the Florida Panthers won’t have to make that 6 hour flight across North America again.

    READ MORE: Florida Panthers, with help from NHL, push to grow hockey in Latino communities

    Business & Economy

    Florida gas prices are falling to new low

    Posted June 17, 2024 at 5:05 PM EDT
    A motorist pumps gasoline at an ARCO gas station in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 12, 2022.
    Damian Dovarganes
    /
    AP
    A motorist pumps gasoline at an ARCO gas station in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 12, 2022.

    Gas prices in Florida have declined the past three consecutive weeks, falling to the lowest level since mid-February. 
     
    According to Triple A, on Sunday, the state average was $3.25 per gallon.
     
    The most expensive gas is at $3.45 a gallon in the West Palm Beach and Boca Raton areas. The lowest prices are in Crestview and Fort Walton Beach, where gas is $3.05 a gallon. 

    READ MORE: 'No longer necessary': Florida begins repealing renewable energy goals

    Health

    A boil water issue has been issued for parts of Hialeah

    Posted June 17, 2024 at 4:35 PM EDT

    As of this afternoon, the precautionary boil water order for residents of the Hialeah Heights neighborhood is still in effect. 
     
    On Friday, the city of Hialeah Public Works office put the order in “out of an abundance of caution.” They advise residents to boil any water they’ll be using for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth or washing dishes. 
     
    The precautionary boil water order will remain in effect until the public works office receives confirmation that shows the water is clear of possible contamination. 

    READ MORE: Can I drink the tap water in South Florida? How to check the quality of your water

    Government & Politics

    Miami commissioner sponsors item to outlaw bedrolls on public property

    Posted June 17, 2024 at 4:02 PM EDT
    Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust outreach teams engaging with people experiencing homelessness during extreme heat earlier this year.
    Courtesy
    /
    Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust
    Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust outreach teams engaging with people experiencing homelessness during extreme heat earlier this year.

    Flood waters last week postponed a City of Miami Commission meeting. Instead, city leaders are meeting tomorrow morning.

    On the agenda: An item that will ban homeless encampments on public property. This comes as Miami-Dade County struggles with homelessness amid a housing affordability crisis.

    Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes sponsored an item that adds more definitions to the city’s law against encampments. Under his proposed language, having a bedroll or mattress on public property would be illegal, punishable by fine or imprisonment.

    Earlier this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a state law that will ban people from sleeping on public property. That will go into effect in October.

    READ MORE: Homelessness survivor builds mission to aid hotel families: 'I wish I did not have to do it'

    Transportation

    Boca Raton debuts new low-cost shuttle service to downtown area

    Posted June 17, 2024 at 12:52 PM EDT

    A new shuttle service offering low-cost rides in Boca Raton aims to reduce traffic congestion.
     
    The on-demand service, Boca-Connect, consists of electric vehicles that can be requested through an app, just like other ride sharing services.
     
    Rides to and from the city's downtown area are completely free.

    Rides outside of that service area are $2 per rider, with an additional $1 per rider, capped at $5 per one-way trip.

    READ MORE: Where South Floridians with medical needs can register for shelters and emergency transport

    Government a& Politics

    Several Florida Democrats win their races unopposed

    Posted June 17, 2024 at 11:55 AM EDT

    Eleven Democratic candidates — many from South Florida — won state legislative races late last week since they did not have any opponents before Friday's qualifying deadline. 

    Two candidates locked up Senate seats, and nine incumbent House members won another two-year term. 

    Republicans have controlled the Florida House and Senate since the 1990s. 

    READ MORE: Florida appeals decision to block laws restricting voter-registration groups

    Housing

    New state law aims to strengthen oversight of condo boards

    Posted June 17, 2024 at 9:53 AM EDT
    Four beachfront condo buildings amid vegetation on a barrier island.
    Matias J. Ocner
    /
    Miami Herald
    Beachfront condos in Key Biscayne

    Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill aimed at giving more rights to condo owners.

    The new law goes into effect on July 1.

    is aimed at strengthening oversight of condo boards, making them more accountable for maintenance, repairs, reserves and record-keeping.

    The new law also makes it harder for boards to stifle dissent, and gives state officials more power to investigate abuses.

    But the Tampa Bay Times reports that certain condo owners are already threatening to sue the state of Florida, if lawmakers don’t fix certain provisions of the new law.

    At issue are portions of the bill that give developers more control over common areas in mixed-use buildings, where, for example, a condo shares the premises with a hotel.

    Such mixed-used condo buildings are becoming increasingly popular with retirees.

    READ MORE: An innovative plan will free up millions of dollars each year for affordable housing in Broward

    Environment

    The Florida Keys is getting its own rehab center for dolphins and whales

    Posted June 17, 2024 at 7:18 AM EDT
    A young Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, like these pictured above, was freed from an illegal gill net in Biscayne Bay by Miami-Dade Marine Patrol Officer Nelson Silva last month.
    Miami Herald archives
    A young Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, like these pictured above, was freed from an illegal gill net in Biscayne Bay by Miami-Dade Marine Patrol Officer Nelson Silva last month.

    The Florida Keys will soon have its own rehabilitation center for dolphins and whales.

    That’s after Islamorada council members unanimously voted to re-develop one of its properties for the veterinarian hospital.

    Right now, the property holds a Protect Center belonging to the Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder. But the nonprofit’s founder, Art Cooper, said it wants to turn some of the retail space into a whale and dolphin ICU.

    "The most difficult thing for us to do, is to go out and respond to an animal, pick it up, stabilize it, and make the call to SeaWorld or Clearwater and hear that there's no pool space available and we have to euthanize it," Cooper said.

    The project will include a 40-foot diameter above ground pool that is large enough for any species of whale or dolphin. It will also include a salt water well and sleeping quarters for 24-hour surveillance and treatment of the animals.

    READ MORE: Revamped clinic in Key West aims to withstand major storms

    Sports

    The Florida Panthers inch closer to winning their first-ever Stanley Cup

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 6:28 PM EDT
    Florida Panthers center Carter Verhaeghe (23) and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky celebrate after beating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
    Wilfredo Lee/AP
    /
    AP
    Florida Panthers center Carter Verhaeghe (23) and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky celebrate after beating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

    The Florida Panthers are one win away from what could be their first-ever Stanley Cup championship.
     
    The Panthers beat the Edmonton Oilers last night in the third game of the Stanley Cup Final.
     
    Within a little over six minutes of starting the second period, the Panthers scored three goals.
     
    They ended with a 4-to-3 win. 
     
    The Panthers could wrap up the series and possibly snag a historic Stanley Cup win as early as tomorrow during game four up in Edmonton, Canada.

    READ MORE: Florida Panthers seek to clinch Stanley Cup Final after Game 3 win

    Environment

    Miami Shores and Hallandale Beach rack up 20 inches of rainfall

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 5:45 PM EDT

    Now that South Florida has surpassed the worst of the rain this week, the National Weather Service is taking stock of the region’s hardest hit areas.
     
    As of 4:30 a.m. on Friday, Miami Shores documented 21.66 inches of rain. Just under that, the city of Hallandale Beach received 20.65 inches.
     
    Northern Miami-Dade and southern Broward counties endured the worst of the storms. Meanwhile, a flood watch remains in effect for all of South Florida through this evening.

    READ MORE: As flooding recedes in South Florida, affected residents clean up

    Government & Politics

    State deploys nearly 100 water pump trucks across South Florida

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 5:29 PM EDT
    This aerial view taken from video shows multiple cars stranded on a road in Northeast Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Thursday, June 13, 2024.
    Daniel Kozin
    /
    AP
    This aerial view taken from video shows multiple cars stranded on a road in Northeast Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Thursday, June 13, 2024. A tropical disturbance brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida the day before. Floridians prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday.

    About 90 water pump trucks have been deployed across South Florida’s flood-affected areas after days of heavy rainfall.
     
    That’s according to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who held a press conference in Hollywood today.

    "And there's also pumps at the municipal and county level. And so all in total, I think there's about a hundred pumps that are actually in use right now," DeSantis said. "Then, the state has more capacity to do even more."

    Much of the water has receded since Wednesday, when the heaviest amount of rain fell across the region. But rain is still in the forecast, and DeSantis said some areas, like RV and mobile home parks, still have a lot of standing water. 
     
    Overall, the state said it has so far pumped out over 12 million gallons of water from flooded areas as of Friday early afternoon.
     
    READ MORE: As flooding recedes in South Florida, affected residents clean up

    Sports

    U.S. cricket team advances to second round in Twenty20 World Cup

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 3:59 PM EDT
    Team United States' cricketers walk in the field before an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between the United States and Ireland at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Fla., Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
    Lynne Sladky
    /
    AP
    Team United States' cricketers walk in the field before an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between the United States and Ireland at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Fla., Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

    The United States cricket team qualified for the second round in its Twenty20 World Cup debut after its last group game against Ireland was washed out in Lauderhill on Friday.

    Rain meant the match was abandoned without a ball bowled, advancing the U.S. to the Super Eight stage and automatically qualifying the Americans for the 2026 T20 World Cup in India and Sri Lanka.

    The U.S. qualified for this T20 World Cup only as a co-host with the West Indies, but it has used home advantage to make a stunning first impression in its first global cricket tournament.

    Lauderhill joins the U.S. cities of Dallas and New York, in hosting matches in which players will play according to the popular Twenty20 rules — a shortened version of cricket.

    READ MORE: As Team USA advances, South Florida gears up for the Cricket World Cup

    South Florida

    South Florida cities distribute sandbags to residents

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 2:58 PM EDT
    Members of the Tampa, Fla., Parks and Recreation Dept., help residents load sandbags Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. Residents along Florida's gulf coast are making preparations for the effects of Tropical Storm Idalia. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
    Chris O'Meara/AP
    /
    AP
    Members of the Tampa, Fla., Parks and Recreation Dept., help residents load sandbags Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. Residents along Florida's gulf coast are making preparations for the effects of Tropical Storm Idalia. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    The National Weather Service says a flood watch remains in effect until this evening for all of South Florida.

    Although the forecast doesn't show the kind of intense and prolonged rain that led to Wednesday's flash flood, emergency managers say just a bit of rain can set off another round of flooding
     
    Several cities in South Florida are helping people get ready in case that happens. They're distributing free sandbags to help protect property against any rising floodwaters.
     
    can pick up sandbags today from until 7 p.m. this evening at the city's Public Works Department.
     
    can pick theirs up today from noon until 4 p.m on the surface parking lots at 2111 Collins Avenue and 225 79 Street.

    can get them today and tomorrow at the following locations:

    • Sunset Lakes Community Center
    • Lakeshore Park
    • Multi-Service Complex

    And the City of Miami is distributing sandbags until supplies run out 2755 SW 37th Ave. and Little Haiti Soccer Park, 6301 NE 2nd Ave. 
    More information on the locations can be found on the cities' websites and social media platforms. 

    READ MORE: Hurricanes aren’t just a coastal problem. How to gauge your risk level

    Health

    Officials explain the health risks of wading in flood water

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 1:46 PM EDT
    Francisco Lopez stands near the flooded parking lot of his apartment building, Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Hallandale, Fla. A tropical disturbance has brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida. Floridians prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday.
    Marta Lavandier
    /
    AP
    Francisco Lopez stands near the flooded parking lot of his apartment building, Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Hallandale, Fla. A tropical disturbance has brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida. Floridians prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday.

    In the aftermath of the massive flash flooding that struck South Florida this week, perhaps you've seen images of people wading waist-deep in water or even swimming in the streets.

    That sort of resilience in the face of severe weather might be uplifting, but it has South Florida health officials alarmed. They're reminding everyone that contact with floodwater can make you sick.

    Skin contact with flood water does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk. But it does become a concern when water is contaminated with bacteria or dangerous debris. 

    Officials from the Florida Department of Health are advising everyone to avoid contact with flood water, especially if you have open cuts or sores.  

    But if you do come into contact with it, you should wash the area with soap and clean water as soon as possible to prevent infection.

    And you should also take any food or drinks that you suspect have been tainted by floodwater and throw them out.

    READ MORE: What to know about a series of storms that swamped South Florida with flash floods

    South Florida

    Today is the last day for Florida's hurricane supplies tax break holiday

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 12:30 PM EDT
    A sign left behind on the empty water shelves says "Prepare for the when. It's hurricane season be ready with these items," ahead of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
    Brynn Anderson
    /
    AP
    A sign left behind on the empty water shelves says "Prepare for the when. It's hurricane season be ready with these items," ahead of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

    If you have yet to buy hurricane supplies, you've still got some time to shop without having to pay sales tax. 
     
    Today is the last day of a two-week tax holiday, when Floridians can save on items ranging from batteries to portable generators.
     
    A second tax break for the same items will be held for 14 days starting Aug. 24, ahead of the mid-September peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

    READ MORE: What to put in a hurricane emergency supply kit

    Government & Politics

    Broward Sheriff's Office says it needs $10 million more for new training center

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 11:26 AM EDT

    The Broward Sheriff's Office is about $10 million short of the funds needed for its new training center. 

    According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a newly-published Broward County audit shows that the facility is expected to cost nearly $74 million.

    To help pay for the center, the Sheriff's Office has left some vacant positions unfilled. 

    The training center was originally going to cost as much as $40 million less. But as the plans expanded, so did the price tag.

    The training center will include two 50-yard tactical firing ranges, training laboratories and a fitness center.

    The Broward Sheriff's Office said the building will open next month.

    READ MORE: Fort Lauderdale, police sued for violent 2020 attacks against protesters of George Floyd murder

    Law & Justice

    New regulations for Doral businesses following mass shooting

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 10:19 AM EDT
    Police cruisers are stationed before the roundabout inside CityPlace Doral on Saturday, April 6, 2024.
    D.A. Varela
    /
    The Miami Herald
    Police cruisers are stationed before the roundabout inside CityPlace Doral on Saturday, April 6, 2024. A security guard and the gunman were shot dead, and seven others were injured in a shootout involving police at a Doral nightclub early Saturday.

    The Doral City Council has approved a new ordinance mandating earlier closing times and additional security measures for late-night businesses.

    This comes after a mass shooting in April at Martini Bar in shopping mall CityPlace.

    Under the new ordinance that’s set to go into effect September 30, all late-night establishments — mostly bars and clubs — may not have last call later than 1:30 a.m. They must also close by 2 a.m., according to the Miami Herald.

    However, businesses can apply for an extended hour permit, granting them last call at 2:30 a.m. and closing at 3:30 a.m.

    The new law also mandates businesses with extended hours to implement security features such as security cameras, metal detectors and hiring off-duty police officers.

    Some business owners have told the Herald that they already comply with those measures. but others say that security costs outweigh any potential profit from the extended hours.

    READ MORE: Doral mayor, council locked in legal battle with former city leaders over pension benefits

    Weather

    Rain rates expected to lessen. But don't let your guard down, meteorologists say

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 9:07 AM EDT

    A flood watch remains in effect for all of South Florida through this evening.

    Over the past week, between one and two feet of rain have fallen over parts of our region and the rainfall is is not letting up.

    "We’ve still got ample tropical humidity in place to fuel downpours, but good news is that the dynamics won’t be as supportive as earlier in the week," said Meteorologist Megan Borowski from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

    "So this afternoon, expect storms to become scattered over South Florida-including West Palm, Fort Myers, Naples, and Miami, but rainfall rates should be less intense."

    Borowski said the greatest chance for driving rain rates will be over the far southern tip of the peninsula and over the Keys. Even with less intense or prolonged rainfall, state and local officials are urging South Floridians not to let their guard down, since only a bit of rain could set off another round of flooding.

    READ MORE: Flood risk for South Florida extended through Friday

    Palm Beach County

    Palm Beach County deputies find body of 8-year-old found in the Intracoastal

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 8:14 AM EDT

    After an 8-year-old boy fell into the Intracoastal Waterway in Boynton Beach, a major search and rescue effort ended in tragedy after his body was recovered.

    The incident prompted a response from multiple agencies, including the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Fire Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard.

    The 911 call came shortly after 6 a.m. Agencies deployed marine units —divers, boats, helicopters — eventually the Boynton Beach Fire Rescue Dive Team found the deceased child just before 11 a.m., according to the sheriff's office.

    Detectives, investigators and the county’s Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating.

    READ MORE: Gov. Ron DeSantis signs a law to offer free swimming lessons to kids in Florida

    Law & Justice

    Four arrests have been made in 2021 mass shooting at a Miami-Dade banquet hall

    Posted June 14, 2024 at 7:07 AM EDT

    Prosecutors announced the arrest of four people connected to a 2021 mass shooting at a banquet hall in Northwest Miami-Dade that left three dead and 20 injured.

    This shooting drew national attention when it happened three years ago, and it led Miami-Dade County officials to launch a gun violence prevention program called Operation Summer Heat.

    The four suspects —Willie Hill, Allen Chambers Jr., Eugene Holmes and Jacaree Green — have each been charged with counts of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder.

    READ MORE: Fort Lauderdale, police sued for violent 2020 attacks against protesters of George Floyd murder

    Weather

    Damage still does not compare to 2023 April deluge, Fort Lauderdale officials say

    Posted June 13, 2024 at 6:32 PM EDT
    Two women react as they see flooding on their street, Thursday, June 13, 2024, in North Miami, Fla. A tropical disturbance has brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida. Floridians prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday.
    Marta Lavandier
    /
    AP
    Two women react as they see flooding on their street, Thursday, June 13, 2024, in North Miami, Fla. A tropical disturbance has brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida. Floridians prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday.

    Parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties experienced life-threatening floods yesterday and more heavy rainfall is expected this evening into tomorrow morning.

    Including in Fort Lauderdale, where the Broward Sheriff's Office had to rescue some people out of their cars who were stuck in high water.

    But Mayor Dean Trantalis says it doesn't compare to April of last year, when hoards of vehicles were damaged in addition to many residents left with damage to their properties.

    "That is certainly a function of the fact that there's a lot less water that came down in one small period of time. Remember, last year, it was 26 inches of rain in five hours and here we're seeing about a foot of rain over a period of days," Trantalis said. "So, we have seen water creep into people's homes, it's certainly not as severe as we did see last year."

    Trantalis added that the city has not yet done a statistical analysis on the amount of damaged homes, businesses and vehicles.

    Still, a flood watch remains in effect through tomorrow evening across all of South Florida. And some areas could see 10 inches of additional rainfall.

    READ MORE: Tropical rainstorms in South Florida lead to flight delays, streets jammed with stalled cars

    Weather

    Miami-Dade County Mayor says they're preparing for another round of flooding

    Posted June 13, 2024 at 6:12 PM EDT
    Francisco Lopez stands near the flooded parking lot of his apartment building, Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Hallandale, Fla. A tropical disturbance has brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida. Floridians prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
    Marta Lavandier
    /
    AP
    A man walks on a flooded street on his way to work, Thursday, June 13, 2024, in North Miami, Fla. A tropical disturbance has brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida. Floridians prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday.

    Much of the severe flooding that impacted parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties yesterday has receded, but local officials warn more rain is coming.

    Water pumps have been deployed across the two counties to help clear roads of standing water. But at a press conference earlier today, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said are preparing for another round of flooding.

    "We are anticipating some of the flooding will not have much time to recede before the rain starts again," Levine Cava said. "It will not take much time to already, exacerbate the saturated conditions in the hardest hit areas."

    Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued a state of emergency for Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

    A flood watch remains in effect through tomorrow evening across all of South Florida. Some areas could see 10 inches of additional rainfall.

    Meanwhile both counties have returned to mostly normal operations today, with most public transportation back on their normal routes and schedules.

    Both Miami International and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airports are back in operation. But more rain could bring delays and cancellations, so it’s recommended to check with your airline if you’re traveling today.

    READ MORE: Flood risk for South Florida extended through Friday

    Government & Politics

    Inclement weather postpones City of Miami commission meeting

    Posted June 13, 2024 at 4:21 PM EDT

    The City of Miami has postponed its biweekly commission meeting today, due to severe flooding throughout the city.
     
    Miami Mayor Francis Suarez declared a state of emergency. All city services at city hall and city parks have been suspended.
     
    A special city commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 18.

    READ MORE: After rare flash floods, South Florida prepares for more heavy rainfall

    Transportation

    Key Biscayne permanently bans motor scooters and e-bikes

    Posted June 13, 2024 at 1:38 PM EDT
    Two children ride electric bikes
    KBI Photo
    /
    Tony Winton
    Children riding e-bikes in Key Biscayne, Fla. Dec. 27, 2022. Image digitally blurred.

    The Village of Key Biscayne has permanently banned the use of motorized scooters and electric bicycles.
     
    Council members finalized the ordinance at a meeting this week.

    A temporary ban had been in place since mid-February, after a woman was killed when she was struck by an e-bike driven by a 12-year-old. 
     
    Council member Brett Moss said the ordinance has had positive feedback from residents.

    "They're like, 'thank you so much... I can now walk to CVS. I was driving there. I used to walk there all the time.' You talk to kids who are riding their bicycles to school now," Moss said. "My kids stopped riding their bicycle for like four years now. They're all back on their bicycles."
     
    Key Biscayne officials said the village is now working with Miami-Dade County on finalizing new safety measures for the county-operated Crandon Boulevard.

    READ MORE: Is there a compromise over Key Biscayne's E-bike & scooter law?

    South Florida

    Don't remove manhole covers, Miami-Dade officials warn

    Posted June 13, 2024 at 12:31 PM EDT

    Miami-Dade County officials are asking residents not only to look both ways before crossing the streets but also to look down.
     
    The Miami Herald reports that when streets flood, people sometimes create illegal drains by removing manhole covers, which then drains water into the county's sewer system.
     
    Aside from obvious danger to pedestrians, removing the covers can cause sewage pipes to flood and overwhelm treatment plants, leading to untreated water spilling out and polluting the bay.
     
    In Miami-Dade, removing manhole covers is a crime and could lead to a fine of up to $1,000.

    READ MORE: After rare flash floods, South Florida prepares for more heavy rainfall

    Government & Politics

    Former South Florida official reacts to temporary block of financial disclosure law

    Posted June 13, 2024 at 10:24 AM EDT

    A federal judge has temporarily blocked a controversial Florida law on financial disclosures for local government officials.

    The law would require elected officials to file highly detailed reports on their personal finances starting on July 1. It was met with pushback from local elected officials, some of whom resigned because of the law — like David Norris, former mayor of North Palm Beach.

    "I’ve got a law firm with a whole host of employees and don’t really need everybody knowing all the details of my finances," Norris said.

    Federal Judge Melissa Damian put a temporary block on the law this week, saying the legislature didn’t try hard enough to be less intrusive.

    Norris said the time has passed for this to affect him.

    "It’s too late. Those of us that weren’t going to do the disclosure have already resigned," he said.

    A court case challenging the law is still ongoing.

    READ MORE: Commissioner calls for Miami City Manager's resignation over furniture contracts

    Education

    Broward school board member calls for probe into potentially illicit union talks

    Posted June 13, 2024 at 9:14 AM EDT
    Members of the Broward County School Board discuss a proposal for a district-wide police force.
    Gerard Albert III
    /
    WLRN News
    Members of the Broward County School Board discuss a proposal for a district-wide police force.

    A state inspector general will not investigate allegations of improper communications between the Broward school board and teachers union. 

    In March, school board member Torey Alston asked for the Florida Department of Education’s inspector general to investigate whether board members were discussing closed-door matters with the union. 
     
    According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Alston also alleged some board members may have supported teacher raises, after receiving union endorsements and contributions. 
     
    The Department of Education said it would reevaluate if additional evidence or details are disclosed.

    READ MORE: DeSantis vows to increase funding for teacher pay, but educator unions say it's not enough

    Sports

    Florida Panthers face flight delays ahead of Game 3 in Stanley Cup finals

    Posted June 13, 2024 at 8:22 AM EDT
    linesman Jonny Murray (95) drops the puck as Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, left, and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) face off during the third period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla.
    Wilfredo Lee
    /
    AP
    linesman Jonny Murray (95) drops the puck as Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, left, and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) face off during the third period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla.

    The Florida Panthers are two victories away from winning the Stanley Cup Championship.

    With a 2-1 lead on the Edmonton Oilers, the Panthers left for Canada yesterday to play in Game 3 this evening. That was after severe weather delayed their flight.

    Captain Aleksander Barkov was injured during Game 2 earlier this week, and it’s unclear whether he will play in Game 3.

    The Panthers face off against the Oilers for Game 3 at Rogers Place stadium in Edmonton, Canada at 8 p.m. tonight.

    READ MORE: The Panthers say they have to be better in Game 2. And that's after they beat the Oilers

    Weather

    Miami officials deploy pump stations and crews to mitigate severe flooding

    Posted June 13, 2024 at 7:01 AM EDT
    A City of Miami Public Works employee waves towards a vehicle driving through a flooded street in Edgewater along N.E. 23 Street in Miami, Florida on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.
    Al Diaz
    /
    The Miami Herald
    A City of Miami Public Works employee waves towards a vehicle driving through a flooded street in Edgewater along N.E. 23 Street in Miami, Florida on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

    With heavy rainfall expected all this week, the city of Miami is taking steps to fight back against severe flooding.

    The Miami government has installed 12 temporary pump stations around the city in low-lying neighborhoods prone to flooding. Those areas include Morningside, Brickell Plaza, the Magic City Casino area, and Silver Bluff.

    The city has also deployed 10 specialized trucks used to clear out stormwater pipes and drains to mitigate severe flooding.

    READ MORE: Rainy deluge in South Florida blocks roads, delays flights and floods homes

    Education

    University of Miami president steps down to become UCLA's new chancellor

    Posted June 12, 2024 at 5:44 PM EDT

    The University of Miami’s president is stepping down after almost a decade leading the private university.

    According to the Miami Herald, Julio Frenk will take on a new role as chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles beginning in January.

    Frenk will become the first Latino to lead UCLA in its 105-year history.

    UM’s board of trustees has appointed the school’s CEO, Joe Echevarria, as the acting president effective immediately. 

    READ MORE: UM cost of attendance climbs $5,000. Students to pay $93,000 next year

    Weather

    Traffic in Broward diverted as severe flooding shuts down parts of I-95

    Posted June 12, 2024 at 4:52 PM EDT
    A City of Miami Public Works employee waves towards a vehicle driving through a flooded street in Edgewater along N.E. 23 Street in Miami, Florida on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.
    Al Diaz
    /
    The Miami Herald
    A City of Miami Public Works employee waves towards a vehicle driving through a flooded street in Edgewater along N.E. 23 Street in Miami, Florida on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

    *This story has been updated on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at 10:50 p.m.

    Heavy rainfall is bringing widespread flooding across South Florida, with a flash flood emergency in effect for northwest Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties.

    Fort Lauderdale City Manager Dean Trantalis announced on social media that he is in process of declaring a State of Emergency for the city.

    Major roadways like Broward Boulevard and Federal Highway near downtown are experiencing high water levels. And I-195 Southbound at Oakland Park Boulevard is closed because of flooding. Drivers are re-entering the highway at Stirling Road.

    All of city administrative offices and board meetings have been canceled for today. And all Broward County libraries have also been temporarily closed as of Wednesday evening.

    Officials with Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport say there's been flight delays and cancellations. If you're traveling today, check your airline for updates.

    The Broward Sheriff's Office says it has been receiving many calls related to the inclement weather and disabled vehicles.

    Authorities stress to stay off roadways until the flooding has subsided.

    READ MORE: Florida's 2024 hurricane season arrives with a rainy deluge

    Weather

    A flood watch remains in effect as heavy downpours soak South Florida

    Posted June 12, 2024 at 3:33 PM EDT

    An area of low pressure being monitored by the National Hurricane Center continues to fuel tropical downpours across South Florida today.

    Over parts of our area, rain rates surpassed 3 inches an hour at times, and flash flooding has become more widespread.

    "This low is tracking over North Central Florida, and unfortunately for us, it keeps on circulating tropical humidity overhead, and a swath of excessive rain rates has been relentless over our area today," Borowski said. "Heavy rain rates should continue to be widespread over almost all of South Florida through tonight, and flooding will likely become more widespread too. Tomorrow, storms should be scattered — rather than numerous — over our region, but any additional rainfall will not be needed, and the flood risk will persist."

    A flood watch remains in effect for our area through at least tomorrow night. She said that some parts of South Florida have received between 6 and 12 inches of rain since Monday, and several more inches are possible between now and the weekend.

    Borowski said that a few isolated strong thunderstorms are possible tomorrow, as was the case earlier today along the Treasure Coast.

    READ MORE: Florida's 2024 hurricane season arrives with a rainy deluge

    Government & Politics

    Fort Lauderdale mayor says Broward's inspector general overstepped in Chavarria case

    Posted June 12, 2024 at 2:34 PM EDT
    City Manager Greg Chavarria Speaking at the 6th Annual Homeless Symposium.
    Screenshot
    /
    City of Fort Lauderdale
    City Manager Greg Chavarria Speaking at the 6th Annual Homeless Symposium.

    The mayor of Fort Lauderdale is criticizing Broward County's inspector general for investigating a charge that the former city manager broke the city's residency rules.

    The Inspector General's office says it used SunPass records to determine that former Fort Lauderdale City Manager Greg Chavarria did not live in the city until over a year after taking the position.

    According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Mayor Dean Trantalis sent a letter to Broward's inspector general office yesterday, saying it had exceeded its authority and taken on what he calls a pointless investigation. 

    Chavarria resigned from his position earlier this month, citing personal reasons.

    READ MORE: Fort Lauderdale's outgoing city manager leaves a city in the midst of major projects

    Arts & Culture

    Miami-based chef wins prestigious James Beard Award

    Posted June 12, 2024 at 1:30 PM EDT

    A Miami-based Chef has won a James Beard Award, one of the culinary industry’s most prestigious honors.

    Valerie Chang is the mind behind Matty’s in Midtown Miami. She was named Best Chef for the South at a ceremony in Chicago on Monday night. That’s according to the Miami Herald.

    The James Beard Foundation recognizes high-achieving movers and shakers in America’s food scene, including chefs, presenters and journalists.

    Only one other Miami contender made it to the finalist round: Caracas Bakery owners Manuel and Jesus Brazon in the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Bakery Category.

    READ MORE: Tinta y Café brings it home: How the Miami restaurant is earning its chops in the food world

    Education

    Free breakfast and lunch offered for kids across Miami-Dade schools

    Posted June 12, 2024 at 12:23 PM EDT
    FILE - Apples and orange slices rest in trays for student lunches at the Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School, in Essex Junction, Vt., June 9, 2022.
    Lisa Rathke/AP
    /
    AP
    FILE - Apples and orange slices rest in trays for student lunches at the Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School, in Essex Junction, Vt., June 9, 2022.

    Free breakfast and lunch are being offered for kids and teens this summer across more than 180 Miami-Dade schools.
     
    That’s through a partnership between the district and Florida’s Summer BreakSpot program. Anyone 18 or younger are eligible to receive the meals on site through August 2.
     
    There is no longer a grab-and-go service. Cafeterias will be open for them to sit and enjoy on-site. There is no income or registration requirement. 
     
    You can find locations online at .

    READ MORE: Advocacy groups are urging Florida leaders to enroll in a federal food benefits program

    South Florida

    Florida has second-highest number of hate groups nationally, report says

    Posted June 12, 2024 at 11:17 AM EDT
    Man with beard wears dark glasses, baseball cap and bulletproof armor.
    Noah Berger/AP
    /
    FR34727 AP
    Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio rallies in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 17, 2019.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center recently released its 2023 report on hate and extremism in America.

    Florida posted the second-highest number of hate and anti-government groups in the nation.

    In its findings, the civil rights watchdog SPLC recorded 114 groups across the Sunshine State. That's up from 89 groups last year and includes organizations like the Proud Boys and Moms for Liberty.

    FBI data from 2022 show most hate crime incidents were against individuals and motivated by race, ethnicity or ancestry.

    2023 FBI data isn't available, although the SPLC says there were more than100 hate-flyering incidents last year – meaning times when literature with inflammatory rhetoric or messaging were distributed or littered.

    READ MORE: Prosecutors are appealing length of prison sentences for Proud Boys leaders convicted of Jan. 6 plot

    Business & Economy

    New rideshare app offering armed drivers is coming to Miami

    Posted June 12, 2024 at 10:08 AM EDT

    Like most rideshares, passengers using the service called BlackWolf pay a fee to get from one point to another. But the company founder Kerry KingBrown boasts one very key distinction:

    "You have Uber and you have Lyft, now you have the Black Wolf app. The biggest difference is, your driver is armed," he said.

    Yes, drivers are armed with guns.
    While booking, passengers are not made aware of what kind of gun their driver carries.

    KingBrown launched the company last year and markets the service as a means to help deter or mitigate potentially unsafe situations that may be encountered during a rideshare trip. Particularly for women.

    "We only hire veterans, law enforcement officers and those who have been in the private security sector," KingBrown said.

    Applicants must have at least four to five years of experience in the security or law enforcement fields, as well as drive a premium SUV or sedan.

    Other criteria include having a concealed carry permit and CPR certification. Driver applicants are asked to agree to a background check. Passengers may also request an unarmed driver through the service.

    READ MORE: In Florida, teens caught with guns get a second chance to turn their lives around

    Weather

    Risk for flooding and more heavy rain continues in South Florida

    Posted June 12, 2024 at 9:16 AM EDT

    After heavy rain prompted flash flood warnings to be issued for parts of South Florida, including parts of our area yesterday, the risk for flooding continues today.

    Meteorologist Megan Borowski from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network said that storms will be fueled by several factors,

    "We are sitting just ahead of a stalled front and with that comes southwesterly winds and a continued stream of tropical humidity," she said. "On top of that, low pressure, which the National Hurricane Center is monitoring for tropical development later this week, is nearby and the dynamics associated with that are helping multiple rounds of widespread storms to be highly likely again today for us."

    Up to six inches of additional rainfall are possible today, and part of that could fall within a very short period of time.

    "That’ll overwhelm the already soaked environment and we’re going to have a risk for flash flooding again today, especially along the immediate coastline and in developed areas," Borowski said.

    A flood watch is in effect and forecasters are urging everyone to remain weather aware today, as flash flooding can happen quickly. People should never to attempt to navigate through flooded areas as floodwaters can wash away roads and contain dangerous materials and wildlife.

    READ MORE: Hurricanes aren’t just a coastal problem. How to gauge your risk level

    Broward

    Fort Lauderdale historian and educator Ernestine Ray Augusta dies at 72

    Posted June 11, 2024 at 7:10 PM EDT

    The Fort Lauderdale community has lost a local historian and educator.

    Ernestine Ray Augusta was the superintendent of the American School System for the U.S. State Department in Ghana, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. She also was the longest-serving curator at the Old Dillard Museum in Fort Lauderdale.

    There, she handled multiple exhibitions centered around the African diaspora.

    Ray also founded Ancestral Rays and Ancestral Legacies, two cultural and educational organizations in Fort Lauderdale.

    Ray died last month. She was 72.

    READ MORE: For these Broward photographers, cameras are a preservation tool

    Government & Politics

    Miami-Dade County Commissioners win reelection in unopposed races

    Posted June 11, 2024 at 6:32 PM EDT

    Three Miami-Dade County commissioners have automatically won reelection for another four-year term after no opponents qualified to run against them.

    Commission Chairman Oliver Gilbert the Third represents Miami Gardens in North Dade.

    Eileen Higgins represents a district that runs from Little Havana to South Beach and Kionne McGhee represents broad parts of South Dade, including Homestead.

    Also automatically winning reelection for another four-year term is Miami-Dade state attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. The Democrat is the top prosecutor in the county.

    READ MORE: Several candidates for Miami-Dade sheriff live in Broward. Is that okay?

    Weather

    Flood watches are in effect for South Florida throughout the night

    Posted June 11, 2024 at 5:46 PM EDT

    A flood watch is in effect for our area as rounds of thunderstorms and heavy rain continues.
     
    Meteorologist Megan Borowski said that the National Hurricane Center is monitoring the low that is responsible for this stormy pattern.

    "The National Hurricane Center identified low pressure over the Gulf as having a low chance for developing as it tracks northeastward, away from Florida, later this week," Borowski said. "But this low is already producing substantial impacts for us: It’ll will continue to funnel tropical humidity overhead, and it’ll also help to kick up continued round of heavy rain."

    Flood watches have been issued for South Florida. Borowski said a few strong thunderstorms and a stray tornado can’t be ruled out of the forecast.

    She said for our immediate area widespread storm totals through Sunday should range between five and nine inches, but locally higher amounts are possible. The flood risk will continue to mount over the next few days, and we should expect drainage areas and low-lying streets to be overwhelmed.

    READ MORE: High flood alert! South Florida prepares for deluge

    Immigration

    U.S. Coast Guard repatriates 196 Haitian migrants

    Posted June 11, 2024 at 5:12 PM EDT

    The U.S. Coast Guard has repatriated 196 people to Haiti after two boats were intercepted in waters north of the island nation.

    Coast Guard crew members stopped the boats last week, on June 5 and 6. And the people who were on those boats were repatriated to Haiti yesterday.

    The interceptions came just as the Department of Homeland Security announced a new rule, making the asylum process more strict.

    Migrants who illegally enter through the southern border, including the southwest land border and the southern coastal borders, will be restricted from seeking asylum.

    READ MORE: Biden’s new executive order denies asylum claims to most migrants crossing the border unlawfully

    Palm Beach County

    One person shot during a training exercise hosted by the school district

    Posted June 11, 2024 at 4:35 PM EDT

    A person was shot during a training exercise with the School District of Palm Beach County yesterday.

    The district was holding a civilian training exercise at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Shooting Range when an accidental discharge resulted in a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the person’s hip. That’s according to WPTV.

    The individual was treated at a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

    READ MORE: Once a sheriff's deputy in Florida, now a source of disinformation from Russia

    Sports

    Florida panthers beat Edmonton Oilers in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

    Posted June 11, 2024 at 4:06 PM EDT
    An aerial view of three people playing ice hockey.
    Wilfredo Lee
    /
    AP
    Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) attempts a shot on Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) and defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) during the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla.

    The Florida Panthers are two victories away from winning the Stanley Cup Final.

    Last night, the Panthers beat the Edmonton Oilers 4 to 1 at the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise.

    But the win came with a price for the Panthers when they lost their captain, Aleksander Barkov, after an Edmonton forward launched toward him and hit him in the head during the third period.

    Barkov stayed down for some time and was taken off the rink for further evaluation.

    It is unclear if Barkov will play in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

    The next game is on Thursday at 8 p.m. in Edmonton, Canada.

    READ MORE: The Panthers say they have to be better in Game 2. And that's after they beat the Oilers