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June 30, 2008

Florida's amendments: Inside our constitution

Learn more about amendments and past constitutions. Read on.


The 1885 Constitution, pictured above, was the fifth constitution in Florida. The Florida's Early Constitutions site at the Florida State Archives has info on all of them, including scans of the original documents. Image courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.

flconspage.jpgUPDATE: DOWNLOAD THE GRAPHIC My News Illustrated page in Sunday's South Florida Sun-Sentinel discusses different ways initiatives can be made and key amendments in the Florida constitution. In case you missed it you can download the pdf.

The Division of Election's database has information on initiatives including vote totals for those that made it to ballot.

The Florida's Constitutions: The Documentary History, within the Florida State University, has constitutional amendments and revisions from 1838 to 1998.

The Florida Legislature has the full content online.

POSTED IN: Cindy Jones-Hulfachor (46), Politics (29)

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June 25, 2008

Everglades: State land to aid restoration

UPDATE, TAKE TWO (April 1, 2009): Here is the map of the latest proposal to buy US Sugar land. You can get the story on the new deal here.


UPDATE: Here's the latest map illustrating Florida's plan to buy US Sugar and create a natural flow for water into the everglades. Get the full story.


Here's a couple graphics from our archives that relate to the recent story on the state purchasing land in the EAA.
Graphics locate government-owned property in the EAA and diagram the "River of Grass" through the Everglades.


POSTED IN: Cindy Jones-Hulfachor (46), Environment (52), Government (48)

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June 23, 2008

Learn to swim: Priority No. 1

The most important skill you can learn this summer is how to swim.

Ten children have already drown in Broward and Palm Beach counties, younger than 13. With summer here and numbers climbing, now is a perfect time to focus on pool safety.


UPDATE: My News Illustrated page in Sunday's South Florida Sun-Sentinel shows how you can prevent pool tragedies by safe guarding your pool and home. In case you missed it you can download the pdf.

Expert Village has a library of swim lessons that can be viewed for free.

The American Red Cross offers Learn-To-Swim classes in most cities. Classes range from $29 to $70 depending on the number of sessions. Select Broward or Palm Beach county to download a PDF file with classes near you.

Have a safe summer.

POSTED IN: Cindy Jones-Hulfachor (46), Health (21)

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June 20, 2008

Presidential polls put into context

Now that the presidential horse race between McCain and Obama is under way, it's time to get yourself on over to Pollster. Yeah, Yeah, we know...

Don't polls have a huge margin of error? Sort of.

Don't polls talk to ridiculously small groups of people? Not really.

How do I know which poll is right? You can't know for sure, but Pollster can help...

Pollster simplifies things by charting results from many polls to show a general trend. It doesn't make them right. It just makes a lot of sense.

Here are two examples:


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June 18, 2008

Hurricane shutters: Pay now or pay more later

As much as you don't want to admit it, hurricane season is here. If you don't have shutters, get them now before prices go up in Summer. Check out all things hurricane on our hurricane guide page.

POSTED IN: Home (7), Renee Kwok (24)

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Florida's offshore drilling ban: To drill or not to drill

Governor Crist flipped on drilling oil off Florida's coast. Here is a map of the current Florida buffer zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

POSTED IN: Politics (29), Renee Kwok (24)

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June 16, 2008

Crime near you: Breaking down local crime


If you didn't catch my News Illustrated page on Sunday, you can find it here.

For more information on the crime in your city, you can find PDFs of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Uniform Crime Report here. There is information about the number of each type of crime by city, county and state and also information about arrests.

POSTED IN: Government (48), LIndsay Dubois (35)

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June 13, 2008

Father's Day: Make a wacky story


Write your dad a funny story and print it out with this AWESOME Dad-lib.



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Crime stats: Is it safe in your neck of the woods?


The overall crime rate in Broward and Palm Beach counties rose in 2007 from 2006. It was the first rise in Palm Beach County since 2002 and the second time in three years that Broward County saw an increase. Fortunately, violent crime fell by 4.5% in Broward and 1.6% in Palm Beach County.

To see maps of where the crime is and see how your city fared, check out my News Illustrated page on the back of the Outlook section on Sunday.

POSTED IN: LIndsay Dubois (35)

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June 11, 2008

U.S. Open at Torrey Pines: Explore the golf course

Two of our favorite West Coast newspapers created guides to the U.S. Open. Our sister paper, the Los Angeles Times, has video reports on each hole.

USOpen5.jpgAnd our friends at the San Diego Union-Tribune created a terrific hole-by-hole guide to the course, complete with zoomable graphics, walk-throughs and flyovers.



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June 10, 2008

Dinosaur mummy comes to life in documentary

If you missed my News Illustrated page on Dakota, the dinosaur mummy, in the paper Sunday, check it out here.

Also, the video below talks more about the discovery process and shows some great footage of the dinosaur mummy being uncovered. It is pretty cool because you can actually see the head of the dinosaur being uncovered and see footage of them digging it up in North Dakota.

Here are 6 different parts of a documentary by the National Geographic Channel on Dakota's discovery. You can see how the scientists used CT scans and other information to create a computer generated model of how hadrosaurs walked and ran. It aired on tv back in December.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Also, if you are planning to visit North Dakota anytime soon, the dinosaur's arm, tail and foot will be put on display this summer at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismark. A large life-size photo of the rest of the body will be put on floor tiles, with the body parts in place where they would attach. A camera will also be set up for visitors to see the rest of the body being prepared.

POSTED IN: LIndsay Dubois (35), Science (44)

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Salmonella: Has your state been pelted with tomatoes?


The FDA has issued warnings on certain tomatoes. Look to this Q & A for all your answers.

The FDA has information for raw produce and fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices.
• Buying tips
• Storage tips
• Preparation
• Safety
• Q & A on fresh produce

At this time Florida tomatoes are not on the contaminated list.

POSTED IN: Cindy Jones-Hulfachor (46), Health (21)

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June 9, 2008

Widgets! Get your widgets here!

So we're trying something new. We're offering up some of our graphics as widgets you can add to your web site, Facebook, MySpace, etc. First one out of the gate is a small version of the Crist-O-Meter, a graphic we posted a little while back. Editors monitor news stories and update Charlie's chances of being McCain's running mate.

To get it, click on the "get and share" button on the bottom of the graphic. All the necessary code will be provided.


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June 6, 2008

FOUND: Dinosaur Mummy


A 3D dinosaur mummy nicknamed Dakota was found in North Dakota in 1999. Scientists are still uncovering it and learning new things about dinosaurs as they go. It is an amazing fossil because it is one of only five naturally preserved dinosaur mummies ever found, but instead of only having skin impressions on bones, Dakota's entire skin envelope remains. It has maintained it’s 3D shape for 67 million years.

The fossil is also the largest object ever scanned at high resolution. It is so large that it had to be scanned a CT scanner normally used to for space shuttle parts for NASA.

To learn more about how Dakota fossilized and what the scientists have been learning about dinosaurs through their discovery, check out my News Illustrated page in the Outlook section on Sunday.

National Geographic is also airing another segment of their special "Dino Autopsy" on Sunday, June 8 at 2p.m on the National Geographic Channel.

POSTED IN: LIndsay Dubois (35), Science (44)

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Florida population: Some counties see boom, others see bust

Oh great! Recent news confirms Broward County lost some residents since 2006, but what about the other counties?

Check out this Flash graphic we did earlier this year that shows Florida's population in more detail. Click on any county you want to learn more about its population change between 2006 and 2007.


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June 5, 2008

Breaking down the race to the nomination


POSTED IN: LIndsay Dubois (35), Politics (29)

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June 3, 2008

Chevy Volt: Hybrid sports car could replace Hummer

General Motors has announced that it may discontinue the Hummer because of a drop in sales and the need for more cost-efficient options. In turn, the GM board has approved production of the Chevy Volt which could hit the market in late 2010.


Photo courtesy of General Motors

Price: Initial cars may be close to $40,000 but the goal is to be less than $30,000.
How it runs: It runs on electric power until the battery runs down. Then and only then does the internal combustion engine run to work an onboard generator that propels the car. Batteries can be recharged by plugging into your home electrical outlets.
Distance: It will run about 40 miles on electric and up to 400 miles with a full tank of gas.
MPG: No gas is used for the first 40 miles. Miles driven after will get an equivalent of 50 mpg.

Read more at Edmunds Inside Line and at the Chevy Volt Concept Site.

POSTED IN: Cindy Jones-Hulfachor (46), Technology (27)

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June 2, 2008

Ocean buoys: Helping forecasters predict the weather

If you didn't see Sunday's New Illustrated page on hurricane buoys, you can download it here. The page explains how the buoys help forecasters predict storms by measuring air temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind speed, wind direction and wave data.


POSTED IN: Environment (52), Kwency Norman (13), Science (44), Technology (27)

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