Sam Turken

After living in North Carolina the past four years, Miami native Sam Turken is back in the city he’s always called home.

Sam is a proud Miami Beach Senior High alum and a recent graduate of Duke University where he studied journalism, public policy and history. He caught the public radio bug three years ago when he covered a gun buyback in Miami while on his spring break. Since then, he’s produced audio pieces on race, social justice and public housing. He enjoys using sound to tell rich and intimate stories.

A former managing editor of The Duke Chronicle, Sam has digital experience covering a range of other topics. He’s investigated the absence of female managers in Duke men’s basketball program and reported on enrollment imbalances within public schools in Durham, N.C. He’s also interned with WBUR in Boston and Fusion, written for the Raleigh News & Observer and worked for the Duke Reporters’ Lab.

When Sam isn’t doing journalism things, he enjoys the outdoors. He runs, plays tennis and soccer and spends time around the bay and ocean—something he wasn’t able to do while in college. You may also spot him riding his bike around Miami’s streets.

Hundreds of union workers who prepare food for flights out of Miami International Airport are voting whether to strike for higher wages.

The workers employed by LSG Sky Chefs have been submitting ballots Thursday and Friday, and the union representing them—Unite Here Local 355—expects the vote to pass.

The employees include cooks who prepare food at kitchens near the airport to drivers who load the food on to American Airlines, Delta and United flights. The union says the workers make an average of $12.95 per hour. They want to see wages rise to at least $15 per hour.

After meeting on Thursday, Broward County and Hollywood commissioners still disagree over where to put a new 911 communications tower. 

The meeting between both sets of lawmakers was the latest highlight of a nine-month battle between the county and city over the location of the 911 tower. The Broward commission has wanted the tower placed in the county-owned West Lake Park but has needed the city’s approval to build the tower there.

Thunder cracked and roared over Miami Beach this weekend, but there wasn't a drop of rain for miles. The sound that rang out above the city came courtesy of the jet engines and shining wingtips of the U.S. Navy and Air Force. 

Thousands of people came to watch the third annual Hyundai Air and Sea Show, which showcased the military's Blue Angels and left people awe-struck across the island as they watched the deftly executed aerial manuevers overhead. 

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg made a campaign stop in South Florida on Monday, meeting with local students and holding a fundraiser in Wynwood where he discussed several national issues affecting the region.

During a nearly 20-minute speech in front of more than 70 people, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said his candidacy marks an opportunity to “change the channel” in Washington and make politics more accountable.

More than 150 beachgoers, activists and elected officials joined hands at noon Saturday on the shore of Miami Beach to call for more environmental stewardship and to protest against offshore oil drilling and fossil fuels.

“What we’ve got are a bunch of people who care about the world, and we’re standing together along the water to say, ‘This is our beach, this our world.' To say, 'Yes to clean renewable energy,'” said Sam Van Leer, president of the non-profit Urban Paradise Guild.

More than 60 people gathered in between racks of clothes and jewelry at a Neiman Marcus Thursday night to discuss a Florida industry that is quickly growing and attracting new business—cannabis.

The networking event and seminar involved lawyers, accountants and other professionals who see opportunities in the cannabis sector and want to capitalize. They discussed state regulations for cannabis companies with people already involved in the industry and challenges new businesses can face.

More than 100 climate activists, South Florida elected officials and local residents gathered Tuesday evening to discuss the Green New Deal, the ambitious congressional plan to combat climate change. Many attendees left the town hall optimistic that the goals of the proposal are achievable, despite significant obstacles.

“It’s as aggressive as it needs to be,” said Daniella Vargas of Fort Lauderdale. “Anything that is going to make the changes that we need to make has to be that ambitious, if not more.”

The 29th annual Fleet Week is continuing in Broward County through the weekend, as Navy sailors participate in community projects and take thousands of people on tours of their ships docked at Port Everglades.

The celebration is meant to showcase the military to residents. In addition to going aboard the Naval vessels, people can attend Navy concerts on Saturday and Sunday. The event coincides with the annual Fort Lauderdale Air Show on Saturday and Sunday.

A Broward Circuit Court judge has held off ruling on whether the confessed Parkland school shooter still needs a public defender, amid questions about his finances and concerns that changing his legal team could delay the start of his trial.

Long shifts outside without water breaks, broken and dangerous equipment, wage theft and an entrenched climate of fear. Contracted baggage haulers, airplane cleaners and other employees say working conditions at Miami International Airport are inhumane and abusive.

With next year's Super Bowl in Miami-Dade County expected to draw tens of thousands of tourists to the area, a new project aims to promote sustainability and mitigate the environmental impact of the event. 

The 'Ocean to Everglades' initiative, which will begin in the coming months and run through February 2020, will feature beach cleanups, mangrove planting and coral restoration. It also seeks to harness attention on the Super Bowl to create more awareness about challenges facing South Florida’s environment, organizers say. 

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says immigrants and non-citizens in South Florida should not fear a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

During a visit to Miami Thursday to meet with local business leaders, Ross—who oversees the census—emphasized that Census Bureau workers cannot share people’s responses with other government authorities. The comment came in response to continuing concerns that immigrants will sit out the census for fear their answers could be released to federal immigration authorities.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, on her second visit to Florida since becoming a Democratic presidential candidate, emphasized her support on Tuesday for a universal public health insurance option and also called on the Trump administration to extend Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans.

During a meeting with Venezuelan exiles in Doral, Klobuchar discussed the ongoing political turmoil in Venezuela and said she approved of recent sanctions against the regime of embattled president Nicolás Maduro.

The state commission that is investigating the Parkland school shooting met on Wednesday with families of victims of the massacre to discuss their traumatic experiences of finding out about their loved ones’ fates after the shooting.

California Congressman Eric Swalwell kicked off his 2020 bid for president at a Broward County town hall on Tuesday with an emotional vow to make gun violence a top priority during his campaign and possible presidency.

 

Pages