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Florida Hospital Executive Charged In $1.4B Rural Hospital Billing Scheme

Jun 30, 2020
I-70 Community Hospital in Sweet Springs, Missouri, formerly managed by Miami businessman Jorge A. Perez, has remained closed since February 2019.
Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News

A Miami entrepreneur who led a rural hospital empire was charged in an indictment unsealed Monday in what federal prosecutors called a $1.4 billion fraudulent lab-billing scheme.

In the indictment, prosecutors said Jorge A. Perez, 60, and nine others exploited federal regulations that allow some rural hospitals to charge substantially higher rates for laboratory testing than other providers.

Thirteen-foot-high floodwalls could line part of Miami's waterfront, under a proposed Army Corps of Engineers plan being developed to protect the area from storm surge. The $4.6 billion plan is one of several drafted by the Corps of Engineers to protect coastal areas in the U.S, which face increased flood risks stoked by climate change. Similar projects are already underway in Norfolk, VA and Charleston, SC.

Chef Michelle Bernstein
Michael Pisarri

Social distancing has changed our everyday lives. For chefs, that means cooking and serving food differently. 

Senator Rick Scott
Office of Senator Rick Scott

After a meeting in Miami with President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro Monday, Senator Rick Scott has decided to self-quarantine.

He was alerted by the Brazilian Embassy Thursday that Bolsonaro's communications director had tested positive for coronavirus.

After returning to Miami last month from a work trip in China, Osmel Martinez Azcue found himself in a frightening position: he was developing flu-like symptoms, just as coronavirus was ravaging the country he had visited.

Dayanny De La Cruz
Matthew Noel for Centerplate

On the first Sunday in February, 50,000 football fans, members of the media and others will descend upon Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium for Super Bowl LIV. And they’re bringing their appetites with them—which makes Dayanny De La Cruz the true MVP in our book.

For Yaniv Cohen, his passion for teaching people about spices all started when his daughter was born nine years ago and he found himself wanting to give her a feeling for the tastes and aromas of his childhood in Israel.

John Legend Lends Support As Florida Felons Get Voting Rights

Nov 10, 2019
People casting their votes at polling booths
WUSF Staff

Singer John Legend was on hand to lend support Friday as 18 former felons were granted the right to vote in what Miami officials called a simple and streamlined process.

Over the past few years, Miami native Trenise Bryant has seen her neighborhood, the African-American enclave of Liberty City, start to change. Bryant grew up in one of the area's oldest public housing projects, Liberty Square. Lately, rents have gone up, and Bryant has seen people priced out and forced to move away.

One factor driving this, Bryant says, is climate change.

Schultz To Visit Miami, Tampa As He Considers Presidential Bid

Mar 13, 2019
@howardschultz Facebook

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is set to provide more details on what an independent presidency could look like despite not yet deciding whether to enter the White House race himself.

There's a bridge in Overtown, under the 836 Expressway, that has long sheltered homeless people, many of whom are addicted to heroin.

Now a public health investigation is looking into a group of new HIV cases there. That’s part of what prompted Miami city commissioners to pass an emergency resolution to close the street two weeks ago.

A couple of sets of barricades block traffic to the area. Cars can't get through, but people are still staying there.

Updated 9:18 a.m.

Beaches in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties are open again after being shut down due to a red tide outbreak, according to county authorities.  

The City of Miami will ask voters in November whether or not to make the city mayor the most powerful individual in the city government’s power structure. 

Florida officials say an invasive and destructive agricultural pest has been eradicated from Miami-area farmlands.

The City of Miami Beach is in a battle with the state that could impact hundreds of Florida municipalitiesIt’s about home rule and the city’s ability to set its own policy when it comes to wages.

Florida’s minimum wage is $8.25 an hour. The amount may go up each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Miami Beach leaders voted two years ago to approve a higher minimum wage than the state.

There's a new person in charge of emergency management in Broward County.

Tracy Jackson started as the director of regional public safety and emergency services at the end of May, days before this year's hurricane season began. In addition to hurricane preparation, he now oversees Broward's regional 911 system. 

Jackson began his career as a firefighter in the  Miami Fire Rescue Department in 1982. He was the division chief of support services during and after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, heading up logistics.

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.

The Miami-Dade County Police Department has created a new unit tasked with preventing people with serious mental illnesses from reaching a crisis point or potentially shooting someone with firearms, WLRN has learned.

A deadly chemical that targets baby mosquitoes is much more effective when attacking Zika virus than traditional insecticides, according to a new study.

State Issues New Pot License, Gets Ready For Four More

Jul 16, 2018

Florida Department of Health officials took two major actions in the medical-marijuana sphere Friday, issuing a highly sought-after license to a Miami nursery that successfully challenged the state and laying out the process for four more licenses as the cannabis industry continues to blossom.

The first few matches of this year’s FIFA World Cup have been seismic.

Mexico literally shook the ground after beating Germany –a highlight for some fans like Susan Dirgins-Friend, who's from California and lives in Davie.

"Though I am not Latin, Mexico, Mexicans and Mexican Americans are close to my heart," she says.

If you thought sea-level rise was the greatest immediate threat to South Florida’s future, you may need to think again.

There’s growing concern that the perception of the sea-level rise threat by insurers, banks and investors might submerge South Florida before rising seas do.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue

An innovative pedestrian bridge being built at Florida International University was put to a "stress test" before it collapsed over traffic, killing six people and sending 10 to a hospital, authorities said.

Thousands of bacteria-infected mosquitoes will be flying near Miami to test a new way to suppress insect populations that carry Zika and other viruses.

Needle Exchange Program Passes Committee

Jan 25, 2018

New legislation expanding a needle-exchange program moved through both the Florida House and Senate today. 

Miami A Finalist For Amazon HQ; Tampa, St. Pete Miss Cut

Jan 18, 2018
Amazon.com

Amazon named Miami one of 20 finalists on Thursday to house the tech giant’s second headquarters, HQ2, according to an announcement made by City of Miami Major Francis Suárez. Tampa and St. Petersburg did not make the cut.

In an old warehouse-turned-office in northwestern Miami, a powerful but painful conversation by a group of women began.

Sitting on metal folding chairs around an improvised altar covered with a yellow sheet and a lit candle at its center, 16 women shared their intimate stories of sexual harassment and abuse.

A senior U.S. Justice Department official is leading a discussion in Miami on the growing problem of human trafficking and finding ways to combat it.

The country's first private high-speed rail service is opening this month in Florida, promising to transform congested South Florida highways by taking as many as 3 million cars off the road.

Eugene Johnson purchased two loaves of bread and batteries for his flashlight. Those are his supplies in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

“I’m on fixed income,” said Johnson. “This hit me out of the blue. I had to pay my rent, my electricity bill and stuff like that.”

In his kitchen cabinet he already had a few cans of tuna and he plans to boils some eggs.

Johnson, 65, lives in an affordable housing complex in Miami and, like many of his neighbors who are also on fixed or limited income, he doesn’t own a car.

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