Earlier this year, Ross Walker Jr. received a letter from Germany with incredible news.He called a reporter. “This poor old guy is probably the victim of another scam,” she thought.It turns out that Mr. Walker had a story better than she could have imagined - a story with history, love and family…
Listen to the audio story on our website: http://wfae.org/post/german-daughter-finds-meets-her-world-war-ii-american-gi-father
The wedding photograph of Wong Lan Fong and Yee Shew Ning, in front of the Mei Yi Mei Church, a Chinese Methodist Church, at the island of Honam, across the Pearl River from Canton (now Guangzhou) in 1926. Courtesy of U.S. National Archives and Records.
Second piece for WATC: Immigration, The Gold Mountain And A Wedding Photo
Deep inside the National Archives in Washington, D.C., old case files tell the stories of hundreds of thousands of hopeful immigrants to the U.S. between 1880 and the end of World War II.
These stories are in the form of original documents and photographs that were often attached to immigrant case files. Many of them are part of a new exhibit at the Archives, called "Attachments."
First piece for WESUN: Planes, Patience and Slightly Kid-Friendlier Security
It's 7 a.m. at the Kimball's Washington, D.C., home. Peter and Leslie Kimball are running up and down the stairs, changing diapers and trying to feed their kids breakfast.
They're packing for a work conference in Orlando, Fla., but they've also planned a surprise for their daughter Lane's birthday: a visit to Disney World.
This summer, more than 200 million people are expected to fly out of U.S. airports. The Kimballs are one of many families flying with their kids.
Sadrul Fashi, president of the UHI CommunityCare Clinic in Miami Gardens.
Last week, Florida International University assistant professor Christine McFarlin was going over a patient's chart with a third year medical student. She was discussing which HPV exams would be the most cost-effective for a patient the student had just seen.
McFarlin went over the paperwork and advised the student to order a regular test and a second, more expensive exam if the results from the first test came back positive for HPV.
The Health Council of South Florida estimates that there are about 100 free clinics in the state of Florida, with only a handful of free medical clinics in South Florida. A free clinic in Miami Gardens, the Universal Heritage Institute CommunityCare Medical Clinic, is the first to host medical students from Florida International University.
More than a decade after 9/11, heightened security at U.S. airports has become routine, yet some religious and minority groups say they're unfairly singled out for even more screening. Well, now there's an app for that.
The mobile app is called FlyRights. Travelers who suspect they have been profiled take out their smartphone, tap a finger on the app and answer about a dozen questions. Then they hit "submit" and an official complaint is filed immediately with the Transportation Security Administration.
The app is the work of civil rights groups led by The Sikh Coalition. Amardeep Singh, co-founder of the Coalition, says the idea came from Sikh entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley who felt they were being stopped unfairly at airports, too often.
"They literally said to one of our staff members, 'There should be an app for that'," Amardeep said. "We thought, great idea, let's start working on it."
The app has already been tested with the TSA. Amardeep hopes the app will encourage more people to file complaints so that there is more accurate data on improper screening.
Stripped Of Dignity
Hardayal Singh has a long, black beard and wears a dark olive turban. He's the director of United Sikhs, a human rights advocacy group — but he isn't related to Amardeep by blood; most Sikh men share the name of Singh.
Many Sikh men — and some women — also wear turbans, called dastaars, to cover their kesh, or uncut hair. Hardayal says the turban is meant to serve as a symbol of equality and justice, but at airports, turbans lead to extra scrutiny.
Courtesy of Walford Campbell
The South Florida Princeton Prize for Race Relations Committee has awarded a thousand dollars each year to high school students in the greater Miami area. This year, a high school junior from Tamiami won the top prize.
Walford Campbell is a junior at Miami's Belen Jesuit Preparatory School.
On a school trip last year with his A.P. U.S. History class, Walford heard from Holocaust survivors during a "youth Day" event at the Miami Beach convention center. There he met Holocaust survivor Sol Lipson.
"He told me about his plight during the Holocaust and how he watched people die because of their faith and how they looked and that inspired me because he saw all these cruel things and evil things happen yet he never really gave up hope in mankind," Campbell said.
At the end of the event, a woman took the stage. She told the students that it was now their turn to make sure something like the Holocaust never happened again. Walford took her words to heart.
Belen Jesuit is a mostly white, Cuban and Catholic high school. Walford sticks out here because he looks different. He is one of about a dozen African-American students at the high school. Some of his classmates have told him that he is their first black friend.
So he decided to start the Culture club at his school, a place where minorities could speak openly about their beliefs.
In one recent meeting, the Culture club invited a Hindu student to speak.
"People never really understood his religion so we invited him to club and he talked about Hinduism, what he believes in and how many of the times people that call him muslim or call him a terrorist is completely wrong and false."
Walford says speaking at the club helped curb the number of comments toward the student.
Jonathan Colan, chair of the South Florida Princeton Prize for Race Relations Committee said judges were impressed with Walford because he took the lessons of the Holocaust and related it to the racial and ethnic mix of Miami.
"I think that schools need it, universities need it and even adults need it, because we can all work to improve our racial understanding to promote racial harmony," Campbell said.
He says Belen is a very open and welcoming school, but he feels that barriers between different ethnic groups, stereotypes and prejudices have broken down since the club started.
Over 300 daily newspapers nationwide have launched paywalls on their website. Last week, the South Florida Sun Sentinel became the first daily in the region to do so. Other South Florida papers may soon follow suit.
If you read The Sun Sentinel online and don't subscribe to the paper -- by now, you may have already passed your limit of 15 free articles per month. On April 9, the paper began charging $2 a week to access content on its website. Mary Helen Olejnik is the community programs development manager for The Sun Sentinel.
"We're going to keep the number internal, but we're pleased with the response," Olejnik said.
Other South Florida papers -- including The Miami Herald -- are monitoring the paywall initiative carefully. Eric Weiss is an online editor at The Palm Beach Post.
Clay Clifton is the digital manager at The Palm Beach Post.
"They're our competitor but they're also our partner in that we share content," Clifton said. "They're also a fellow newspaper so it'll be interesting to see how a newspaper in South Florida fares under a paywall."
The Palm Beach Post has a content-sharing agreement that allows them to publish full articles from the Sun Sentinel in their newspaper. But when it comes to website, since the paywall launched, The Palm Beach Post editors have published fewer articles from The Sun Sentinel on its website. Editors there say readers don't like to be teased with two paragraphs and then be redirected to another website to read the rest of an article.
The South Florida Business Journal, charges for online content, and says it has been doing well. Editor Kevin Gale, who used to work at The Sun Sentinel, says the newspaper industry is still exploring how to make money online.
"Journalism is like any other product," Gale said. "There are very few free lunches in the world and I think this is the first step but we're only in the initial phases so we'll have to see how it works out."
Matthew Krotzky of Hollywood used to work as a reporter for The Sun Sentinel. But he says even he won't be signing up for the subscription plan. He says the paper doesn't do a good enough job covering his neighborhood.
"I covered the city of Boynton Beach and I was competing against the reporter from the Palm Beach Post," Krotzky said. "And today, Fort Lauderdale, which is right in the Sun Sentinel's backyard has one reporter and that's it."
Krotzky says he doesn't think charging for access will solve the economic problems facing newspapers. But like everyone else, he has only one option: to wait and see.
Miami is where the magic was in 1959 — at least according to the newest show on the Starz network
called Magic City
. Network executives like the show so much, the show was renewed for a second season, even though it hasn’t officially aired on television (the first three episodes are available for streaming online)
. And it even already has loyal fans in South Florida.
The opening scene of a Magic City episode takes place in a fictional place — the Miramar Playa Hotel. Half a dozen girls in knee-length dresses are dancing on op of a bar and a senator remarks, “You don’t see this everyday in Tallahassee”.
These are the humble beginnings of modern-day Miami Beach in 1959. It revolves around a powerful hotel mogul, Ike Evans, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who is desperately trying to keep his family and fortune intact. Fidel Castro’s rebels are seizing Havana. And it is a turbulent time in Miami as the Kennedys, the mob and the CIA jockey for power.
Ike is considered the king of the land as the owner of the Miramar Playa, but a silent financier of the hotel, Ben “The Butcher” Diamond, played by Danny Huston, is king of the underworld and Miami’s nightlife. The dynamic between Ike and Ben create a strong story line.
Jack Acker, 65, who lives in North Miami Beach and moved to Florida in 1960, said he enjoys the show because it feels authentic.
“I like the setting, the clothing, the styles, the costumes, of course it’s done well, it’s attractive people with interesting dialogue,” Acker said.
Another fan of the show, Mario Obregon of Kendall, 27, says he’ll keep watching because it focuses on the Cuban-American experience in Miami. He hopes it will be another way to learn about his ancestry and the experience of his family members. He said he plans to host a TV-watching party for the Magic City premiere on Friday, April 6 at 10 p.m.
“For it to be about where I was born and where I was raised, it’s that much more interesting [to watch] as a Miami resident,” Obregon said.
This story has since become national, but the family visited the offices of The Miami Herald on Thursday to tell us more about Trayvon Martin last week:
It’s been more than three weeks since a Miami-Dade teenager was shot dead while visiting with family members near Orlando. A crime-watch volunteer is being investigated after authorities say he shot Trayvon Martin in the chest. Outraged family members are calling for justice — and are speaking openly about their loss.
Police say seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking to a Sanford 7-11 to buy some snacks. But on his way to the store, George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain began to follow him.
Trayvon was African-American, stood six foot three inches tall, and weighed about 140 pounds. He was wearing a hoody. Twenty-eight year-old Zimmerman called police and reported Trayvon as a “suspicious person”.
And here’s where details get sketchy. Police say a fight broke out between Zimmerman and Trayvon. Zimmerman shot the 17-year-old in the chest with a nine-millimeter handgun.
Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, says the family has lost faith in the Sanford police department. They say they don’t understand why Zimmerman hasn’t been charged yet.
“It seems to us that they are protecting Zimmerman and we don’t know why,” Fulton says. “We feel like Trayvon is the victim. And we need the protection.”
His mother describes Trayvon as a happy, outgoing, and energetic teenager. She says he was an average student — but did not go to parties, do drugs or have problems with the police.
Other family members say he was an athletic teenager with a passion for aviation — an interest he shared with his uncle, who became disabled after a car accident. Trayvon was encouraged to take classes at the George T. Baker Aviation School.
“So his uncle pushed him … forced him … put pressure on him because he thought it would be good for him and this is was something Tray wanted to do, to participate in this program.”
Trayvon’s Mom says he loved to eat anything and everything — especially fried chicken. She says the first thing he would do when he got home from school was eat. He also participated in wrestling, football and basketball. When he died, he was found with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea in his pocket.
He also enjoyed horse-back riding in Davie, swimming and babysitting younger cousins. He would spend any free time he had with family. One routine the family had was going to church every Sunday morning. Trayvon especially enjoyed going to church … because it always meant going out to eat afterwards.
Activists are planning a larger rally for March 26 at the Sanford City Council meeting if charges are not filed on the case.
A new Spanish-language television
station based in Miami is making history. It calls itself 100 percent social with programming driven by viewers’ comments on their website, Facebook and Twitter. The channel already reaches 3 million households in 15 major media markets, but it will make its official launch on Tuesday, March 13.
Read the Miami Herald piece here
. And the El Nuevo Herald Piece here
. (My first article in Spanish!)