Plaza Health Network cited repeatedly by feds, state for nursing home violations

Plaza Health Network President and CEO Elaine Bloom and Chairman Ronald Lowy Photo: NBC 6

By Francisco Alvarado
Plaza Health Network, the embattled nursing home chain that six months ago agreed to pay $21.5 million to settle federal civil charges that it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid, has habitually violated state and federal healthcare regulations by providing inadequate, and at times negligent, care to residents at its facilities.

New union deal at Miami-Dade Schools to begin push toward $15 hourly minimum wage


By William Gjebre
A tentative agreement between Miami-Dade Public Schools and the union representing its general employees raises the minimum pay for some of district’s lowest paid workers to $10 an hour, marking what a top union official says is the start of a drive to obtain a minimum hourly wage of $15.

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Federal judge tosses out town’s RICO suit against residents seeking public records

By Dan Moffett
The Coastal Star
Gulf Stream’s legal offensive against residents Martin O’Boyle and Chris O’Hare suffered a huge setback late last month when a federal judge in West Palm Beach threw out the town’s federal racketeering suit against the two men.

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Sex offender convinces appeal court to reverse Broward judge

Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach

By Dan Christensen
Every day, state prisoners flood Florida’s courts with appeals and pleadings about their cases that they’ve written themselves. Those pro se filings – Latin for “on his own behalf” – rarely get far. This spring, however, an inmate sex offender serving a life sentence convinced the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal that a Broward judge erred when she failed to order prosecutors to explain potentially serious discrepancies about his Miranda rights warning form.

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More controversy as Broward looks to begin $800 million school construction program

Pictures of water build up under a leaky roof in an outside hallway at Fort Lauderdale's Northeast High School that were used to push for passage of last year's bond issue. Photo:  NBC6

By William Hladky
The controversy surrounding the Broward School District’s $800-million bond construction program continues with an allegation of another Sunshine Law violation, and a question as to why the same company was ranked first for two offsetting contracts designed to check and balance each other.

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Collision course: With wary eye on big trucks, bike riders seek safe space on city streets


By Bridget Huber
On a July afternoon in New Orleans last year, Philip Geeck was riding his bicycle in a marked bike lane on a busy street when he was crushed to death by a tractor-trailer truck that witnesses said tried to turn right without signaling. Heavy trucks make up a fraction of the vehicles on the road, but they are involved in a disproportionate share of accidents that kill bicyclists and pedestrians, according to federal data.

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Florida gives $3.8 million to Lauren’s Kids charity after questionable poll on sex abuse

Gov. Rick Scott and Lauren Book at an April rally in Tallahassee  for Lauren's Kids charity

By Francisco Alvarado
Before Florida gave it another $3.8 million this month, the politically-connected charity Lauren’s Kids published the results of an alarming online survey about child abuse whose trustworthiness can’t be verified.

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Off-Road industry looks to Congress to put brakes on safety regulation

Photo: Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association

By Myron Levin
Manufacturers of off-road vehicles have mounted fierce resistance to proposed federal rules aimed at reducing rollover crashes that have killed hundreds of riders. After failing to persuade the Consumer Product Safety Commission to shelve the rules, the companies have turned to Congress to run interference.

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South Florida winning war against saltwater intrusion, but it’s not cheap

An illustration of saltwater intrusion. Courtesy:

By Ann Henson Feltgen
Saltwater intrusion leading to contaminated drinking water wells has long been feared in South Florida. But, billions spent on measures to protect our water supply — mostly paid for by utilities and their customers — have paid off so far.

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Connections, conflicts and $600K in deal criticized by Miami-Dade schools auditor

Doral College executives, State Sen. Anitere Flores, left and Rep. Manny Diaz Jr.

By Francisco Alvarado
Since 2013, a non-accredited college employing two Miami-Dade state legislators as its top executives has collected $600,000 in state charter school funds for offering high school students virtually worthless two-year degrees.

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Is Broward terrorist figure Adnan Shukrijumah dead? FBI can’t confirm it


By Dan Christensen
Six months after former Broward resident and suspected al Qaeda leader Adnan El Shukrijumah was reported killed by the Pakistan army, the FBI has not confirmed his death and continues to include him on its list of “Most Wanted Terrorists.”

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