Greg Allen

In Florida, an ecological disaster has led to the deaths of more than 1,000 manatees. The large, slow-moving marine mammals graze on seagrass in shallow coastal areas, but a massive die-off of seagrass has left them without enough to eat.

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The omicron variant may present a serious challenge for state leaders. Most governors have yet to comment, but some Republicans are speaking out, especially those with ambitions for higher political office. NPR's Greg Allen reports.

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Public safety officials around the country are now re-evaluating how they manage large crowds. This after nine people were killed and dozens injured near the stage at Travis Scott's concert in Houston. NPR's Greg Allen reports.

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A federal inspection report has found serious violations in how marine mammals have been cared for at one of Miami's oldest attractions. The Seaquarium is where the Flipper TV series was filmed in the 1960s. For 51 years, its star attraction has been Lolita, one of the oldest killer whales in captivity. The federal report raises concerns about Lolita's health and has renewed calls for her to be relocated.

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The cost of federal flood insurance is rising for millions of homeowners, threatening to make homes in coastal areas unaffordable for many. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says its new rates better reflect flood risk in a warming climate.

There may be few places affected more by the new risk rating system than the Florida Keys, where the average elevation on the chain of islands off Florida's peninsula is just over 3 feet above sea level. Almost all homeowners are required to carry flood insurance if they have a mortgage.

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Updated October 12, 2021 at 3:48 PM ET

MIAMI — The city of Miami has suspended and intends to fire its police chief, Art Acevedo.

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Disney World, the largest theme park in the world, welcomed its first guests on Oct. 1, 1971. Over the next five decades the park — which covers more than 40 square miles in central Florida — grew into an entertainment complex that includes four theme parks, two waterparks, golf courses, a shopping destination and 27 resort hotels.

Before Disney World and Disneyland, amusement parks had existed for centuries. But Walt Disney came up with a new concept, the theme park, and it connected deeply with visitors.

Goliath groupers can be as large as a refrigerator, weigh 800 pounds, and are found prowling near Florida's coral reefs. Their large size makes them nearly fearless and easy prey for fishermen and divers with spearguns.

Felicia Coleman, a marine biologist and former director of Florida State University's Coastal and Marine Laboratory calls it "a big damn fish." Her husband, marine biologist Chris Koenig, says some they've studied have been 7 1/2 feet long.

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Classes resume this week in Florida. Many school districts are requiring students to wear face coverings, though Florida's governor has issued an executive order saying it's up to parents, not school administrators, to decide.

Bobby Bowden, one of college football's legendary coaches, has died. He was 91. Florida State University announced the news in a tweet saying, "Today we lost a legend but you never lose a legacy. Rest In Peace Coach Bowden."

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For two weeks now, rescue workers in Surfside, Fla., have been removing concrete rubble from a site that used to be a condominium building.

(SOUNDBITE OF BUCKET THUMPING)

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Updated July 2, 2021 at 6:01 PM ET

A Miami-Dade Circuit judge has placed the Champlain Towers South condo association into receivership. Judge Michael Hanzman appointed Michael Goldberg to handle all of the condo association's financial matters while the court hears lawsuits related to the building's collapse.

Five lawsuits have been filed so far, and more claims are expected in the coming months.

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