Alexander Gonzalez

Alexander Gonzalez is a recent graduate of the University of Miami. He majored in English and was the the editor-in-chief of The Miami Hurricane newspaper from 2014-15. He was WLRN's digital intern during summer 2015. He subscribes to too many podcasts and can't get away from covering the arts in Miami.

Aventura Police confirmed a shooting Friday morning at Aventura Mall.

Police spokesperson Hans Maestre told WLRN two people were hurt and taken to Aventura Hospital. One person is in critical but stable condition. The other person is in normal condition.

WSVN first reported the incident.

The shooting happened at about 11:20 and officers that normally patrol the mall responded to the area and took the suspects into custody after a brief chase.

While the state was urging social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, spring break crowds descended on parts of South Florida over the weekend.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who became one of the first U.S. elected officials to test positive for the new coronavirus, is trying to reassure people about the experience.

"I want them to see what it's like because I know there's a lot of fear and anxiety," he said Friday on The South Florida Roundup.

Suarez has been live-blogging his COVID-19 experience daily. As of Sunday, it's been three days since he was diagnosed with the illness.

Florida is now trying to reduce the spread of COVID-19 the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
 
The CDC confirmed Monday two positive cases in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the surgeon general to declare a public health emergency. 
 

WLRN's Alexander Gonzalez got the latest from Health News Florida editor Julio Ochoa.

Jose Melendez, who lives in San Francisco, was visiting Miami about a week before the Super Bowl. He said he’s planning to cheer on his team from afar.

“I’m not going. I can’t afford it. It’s too expensive,” he said with a laugh, wearing a bright red 49ers jersey at the Super Bowl LIVE Experience, a free festival that the local host committee organized.

 

As the Super Bowl approaches on Feb. 2, a more South Florida sports match ended Saturday, recognizing veteran and amateur python hunters.

Several Florida students are continuing a legal fight over climate change inaction. They're suing the governor and other state lawmakers for not doing enough about climate change. They claim their future is in jeopardy.

Among the news that will likely dominate headlines in 2020 is the upcoming presidential election — and ever the swing state, Florida typically plays a crucial role on Election Day.

Voters will first cast their ballots in March during the presidential primary. Several Democratic candidates began rallying in South Florida last year — especially during the first debate held in Miami.

New sea level rise projections for South Florida show an alarming trend: higher waters are coming faster than previously expected.

According to the Southeast Florida Climate Compact, seas could rise between one foot and two-and-a-half feet by 2060 – two to five inches more than 2015 projections.

It’s going to take more time before Miami-Dade County starts to sound like Monaco.

County lawmakers will continue to debate the possibility of holding a Formula 1 race at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. At a packed meeting Tuesday, commissioners failed to override a veto by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

 

He issued one on Nov. 8 against a resolution passed on Oct. 29 that would’ve made it harder to hold the race at the proposed stadium site.

Brightline and Tri-Rail take South Floridians across the region. Now a monorail plan is in the works.

The University of Miami is leading a national study of aging people with HIV. Researchers will explore the impacts of non-infectious conditions, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, on both women and men with HIV.

The city of South Miami and several other nonprofits, including the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, have launched the first legal challenge to the new state law that bans so-called sanctuary cities in Florida.

Fears of widespread immigration raids in South Florida appeared to dissipate without major actions on Sunday - but left migrant communities and advocates with renewed reason to come up with different strategies to deal with deportation of themselves or close family members.

In West Kendall, longtime immigrant rights advocate Nora Sandigo was praying she wouldn’t get a call on Sunday from any of her more than 1,500 children.

“Today we haven’t seen anything major,” she said in Spanish. “We hope it stays like this for the next few days.”

William Latson, the principal of Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, was removed from his post this week. The Palm Beach Post reported on an email exchange he had with a parent – he wrote he could not say the Holocaust was a factual event.

Latson was reassigned to a district office job after the Post published its story. The Palm Beach County school district will likely vote on whether to renew his contract on July 24th.

DISCLOSURE: The authors and editors of this article are employees of South Florida Public Media, the nonprofit that operates WLRN News.

The Miami-Dade County school district has opened the bidding process for entities that could manage WLRN public radio and television stations.

The 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls debated this week about everything from healthcare to higher education to gun violence.

Notably missing from both nights — Latin America policy. Four hours of debate in Miami — the gateway to the Americas — and not a mention of Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua (what the Trump administration has called the "troika of tyranny").

Two years ago, it looked as if Hurricane Irma would make a direct hit to South Florida. Hundreds of thousands of people were ordered to leave their homes. Many did and found emergency shelters with no room and gridlocked traffic.

Key West, a longtime home for poets from Elizabeth Bishop to Richard Wilbur, has selected Florida Keys native Arlo Haskell as the Conch Republic’s new poet laureate.

“We certainly have more than our fair share of poets, living and dead right here on this little rock,” he said in his remarks at a city commission meeting Tuesday. “As poet laureate, I’m going to try to build a genuine Conch Republic of Letters.”

It’s almost six months into Gov. Ron DeSantis’s first term, and the biggest shift from the Rick Scott administration has been his focus on the environment.

During the start of his weeklong trade trip to Israel, Gov. Ron DeSantis said South Florida has one thing in common with Tel Aviv.

“Tel Aviv is worse than Miami traffic,” he told reporters Monday.

In less than a month, 20 Democratic presidential candidates will debate in South Florida.

When Andrew Otazo decided to write his version of Miami’s origin story, he didn't draw from history, but from Greek mythology and the Bible’s Book of Genesis.

“Almost every civilization has their own creation myth. I wanted to do that for Miami because it deserves its own obviously completely ridiculous and hyperbolic set of myths," he said.

The state Legislature on Friday passed a bill that would dissolve Miami-Dade County’s toll roads agency, the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX).

The proposal, sponsored by two Miami Republicans, Rep. Bryan Avila of Miami Springs and Sen. Manny Diaz of Hialeah Gardens, would replace MDX with a new board, which would take over MDX’s five expressways. Current MDX board members would  not be able to join the new board.

A Miami-Dade city is banning all single-use plastics. It’s one of the most comprehensive legislation of its kind in the state of Florida.

The village of Bal Harbour recently passed an ordinance that prohibits places like restaurants and hotels from using, selling or distributing plastics, such as straws and shopping bags.

In the hunt for housing affordability, mobile home parks have been an oasis. But developers are eyeing them, increasing rents and forcing some residents to leave.

The Florida Cabinet is planning to hold its next meeting in Israel next month.

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the trip’s main purpose is to promote investment in the state.

The second floor of the Miami-Dade County Library in downtown Miami buzzes with conversation. It's a space where talking is encouraged.

Eight people seated around a table are discussing the day’s news. Min Shaheen, a librarian, brings up the Trump administration’s plans to end a deal between Major League Baseball and Cuba.

“What’s the take of the potential players?” Shaheen asks Carlos Fernandez, who moved to South Florida from Cuba three years ago.

The political turmoil in Venezuela continues to intensify.

On Tuesday, officials loyal to President Nicolas Maduro stripped opposition leader Juan Guaidó of immunity – which means he could face prosecution and arrest.

In January, Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim president. More than 50 countries, including the United States, have recognized him as president.

The Ultra Music Festival returns Friday to South Florida.

This year, the three-day electronic dance music concert, which was held for years in Bayfront Park, has been set up in a new location – Virginia Key Beach, a nearly 900-acre barrier island in Biscayne Bay.

Some environmentalists are concerned the loud music will harm wildlife in the coastal area.

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