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Christine DiMattei

Years ago, after racking her brains trying to find a fun, engaging, creative nighttime gig to subsidize her acting habit, Chris decided to ride her commercial voiceover experience into the fast-paced world of radio broadcasting. She started out with traffic reporting, moved on to news . . . and never looked back. Since then, Chris has worked in newsrooms throughout South Florida, producing stories for radio broadcasts and the web.

In her other life, she has been married to 12 husbands (including a not-so-wild boar and a garden slug), given birth to 15 children, died four times, twice taken vows as a nun and once been abducted by pirates in the Caribbean. And all this by doing English language dubbing for dozens of foreign films, soap operas and cartoons. 
 
Both lives, she says, have been "a most excellent adventure."

Florida is one of more than two dozen U.S. states dealing with an outbreak of Hepatitis A. To date, Florida is reporting 2,675 cases of the highly contagious virus. If left untreated, it can cause liver damage.

In the last week of August, the monster storm now known as Hurricane Dorian began its life as a bit of thunderstorm activity off the West African coast.

Although scuba diving might seem like a great adventure and snorkeling a stress-free, almost Zen-like activity, both still carry certain risks. In the last month, five people died in separate diving and snorkeling incidents in the Florida Keys. All but one were over the age of 55.

The Atlantic Hurricane season starts June 1. That means people have likely begun begging you to get your hurricane emergency plan in order and not wait until the last minute to stock up on water, canned food and other supplies (including us).

But a lot of people in South Florida can’t afford to do that.

Virtually all of us will have to endure some aches and pains in the course of growing older. Maybe a bad back that makes getting out of bed a grueling ordeal. Or arthritic knees that seem to throb in protest after the slightest attempt at bending.

During Florida’s 2019 Legislative session, lawmakers had two months to debate hundreds of bills. In the end, the House and Senate worked a half-day of overtime to approve a $91-billion budget -- with record spending on the environment and even more planned for public schools.

But the session closed with hundreds of measures left undebated and a number of high-profile issues that didn’t pass.

When Hurricane Michael struck Mexico Beach on October 10, 2018, it made history as the strongest storm to hit the mainland United States since Hurricane Camille in 1969.

Just shy of Category Five strength, the storm cut a path of destruction through ten North Florida counties, killing at least 47 people before heading into Georgia. Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation recently reported that the insured losses from the storm have topped $5.8 billion.

In the opening scene of Christopher Demos-Brown's play "American Son," a black woman sits alone in the waiting room of a Miami police station, desperately waiting for word of her missing 18-year-old son.

Demos-Brown says the impetus for the story was a number of deadly interactions between American police officers and young black men in recent years. But he says his past experience working in the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office gave him a glimpse of the relationships between law enforcement officers that eventually made it onto the stage.

One year ago, a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and, within six minutes, took the lives of 17 people and injured 17 others.

In the following months, survivors turned into activists, rallying Florida and the country to get serious about gun control.

“Never again” was the rallying cry.

Although the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) use the months in between for critical research.

So what effect might a prolonged federal government shutdown have on hurricane forecasting and research?

Code Reds, hard corners, and arming teachers are some of the recommendations made by the state commission investigating the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

 

This week, four men connected to a white supremacist group were arrested and charged with rioting at last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hundreds of neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right had gathered there ostensibly to protest against the removal of monuments honoring Civil War Confederate generals. The rally turned fatal when an avowed white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters – leaving one woman dead and several other people injured.

Until last week, there was plenty of speculation about who the two major party nominees for Florida governor would choose as their running mates.

Eventually, Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis named Miami State Rep. Jeanette Nuñez, while Democrat Andrew Gillum tapped one of his primary opponents, Orlando businessman Chris King.

Florida currently has more than 13 million active registered voters eligible to cast ballots in next week’s primaries. With close Senate and gubernatorial races, this is one of the most important states for both major political parties in the 2018 midterm elections.

A Palm Beach Post investigation has uncovered Florida's role in igniting the country’s heroin epidemic in 2011.

 

The state’s repeated failure to control its own prescription drug problem would eventually lead to more addicts turning to heroin not only on Florida, but in other states around the country. 

In the aftermath of any major storm, we can expect to see many toppled and uprooted trees in South Florida. But recently one massive tree in a public park in Miami-Dade was tagged with a heartfelt plea for passersby.

Stuck on the tree were two handwritten signs reading “I’m alive. So stand me up!”

“It's a good intention,” says Adrian Hunsberger, urban horticulture agent with the University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Extension Office. “But usually if it's blown over and it's laying on its side it's really beyond salvaging.”

Just imagine that you’re sitting in your home and you hear a loud explosion from down the street that nearly blasts your eardrums out.

And then after another 10 seconds . . .

BAM!

After 10 more seconds, another deafening blast. And another and another. Over and over again. Day and night.

That’s what many marine biologists say marine mammals will have to endure from seismic testing. 

We're nearly two months into the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. And if you’ve lived in South Florida for any length of time, you’ve probably become accustomed to hearing advice from friends and family on how to prepare.

Two weeks before Election Day, Donald Trump made a campaign promise during a rally in Collier County that Floridians have been hearing from politicians for years:

"A Trump administration will also work alongside you to restore and protect the beautiful Everglades,” said Trump.

The Everglades restoration isn't the only environmental issue facing Florida. Sea-level rise also remains a serious threat here. 

It’s that time of year again.

Perhaps you recently went into a pharmacy or grocery store, spotted the sign reminding you to get your flu shot and said to yourself, “Nah.  I don’t need it.”

But if you’re in one of several high-risk groups, maybe an ounce of prevention . . . well, you know the rest.

In the following interview, WLRN Health Reporter Sammy Mack clears up some popular misconceptions about the flu shot. If after hearing it you are still doubting, then read our handy FAQ about the flu shot. 

FLU SHOT FAQ

Burmese pythons, lionfish, african land snails -- these are just a few of the invasive species considered threats to Florida ecosystems. And the fact that you really can't snuggle with serpent, a venomous fish or a disease-carrying mollusk perhaps makes them easier to eradicate.

But what does Florida do about a potential invader that's a little on the cute side?

New cases of the virus that causes AIDS are becoming less frequent throughout the United States.

But not in Florida.

Statewide, HIV infections have been increasing in recent years, with Miami-Dade and Broward counties topping the list. But a new law might help stem the tide of those new cases. For the first time, Florida has a needle-exchange program for intravenous drug users.

When President Obama was sworn into office for his second term in January 2013, it was Miami-raised writer Richard Blanco who read the inaugural poem.

He was the first Latino and first openly gay inaugural poet in U.S.  history. And now Blanco, a child of Cuban immigrants, will put his poetic stamp on another historic event -- the re-opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba.

After last year’s legislative session, Florida failed to secure the tax incentive money it needed to lure more movie and television projects to the Sunshine State.

But things could change in 2015. And Palm Beach County lawmakers want to play a starring role in replenishing those funds.

As Floridians ring out the old and ring in the new for 2015, there’s one thing they can say “farewell” to: a tax on their insurance bills that goes toward paying hurricane damage claims.

Insurance policies issued or renewed after Jan. 1, 2015, will no longer include the hurricane tax for the Florida Catastrophe Fund. The charge shows up on most insurance bills including homeowner and auto insurance policies.

But watchdog groups are urging policyholders to check their insurance bills, anyway. 

Youth sells.

Both in the glamorous world of high-fashion modeling and, sadly, in the dark underworld of human trafficking.

Whenever 19-year-old Robbie Walsh tells friends and family back home in Maryland that he goes to Lynn University, they do a double-take.

"They go, 'Lynn University? What?'" he says. "Then I have to tell them it's in Boca Raton, Florida, and a lot of them say, 'Oh, FAU,' or 'The University of Miami.'"

Many of Lynn's students and faculty who gather at the campus cafe say they hear that sort of thing all the time. But university spokesman Joshua Glanzer says a new T-shirt showing up on campus gives it right back.