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Key West among 10 best small cities in the country

Ernest Hemigway's love affair with Key West still attracts travelers

Author: Andrea Torres, Local10.com Reporter, atorres@local10.com
Published On: Jul 23 2014 12:04:38 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 23 2014 12:06:59 PM EDT

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The sun sinks over the Gulf of Mexico seen from Key West, Florida.

KEY WEST, Fla. -

The southernmost city in the nation made it to the list of top 10 small cities published on the Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

Key West earned the 10th place, because it "retains the distinctly unique flavor of its original 19th century immigrant population of Conchs from the Bahamas," said David Jefferys in the Condé Nast magazine.

Condé Nast Traveler's readerspicked the spots based on access to cultural attractions, stylish hotels and charm. The Key West hotels recommended were the Marquesa, near Duval Street, and the Gardens estate houses.

The other nine small cities were: Sedona, Aspen, Jackson Hole, Santa Barbara, New Port, Telluride, Napa, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Santa Fe.

Section of southbound Interstate 95 in need of serious repair

Golden Glades South to 125th Street possibly worst 3-mile stretch of I-95 in South Fla.

Author: Roger Lohse, Reporter, rlohse@Local10.com
Published On: Jul 22 2014 05:39:30 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 22 2014 06:30:00 PM EDT

I-95 repairs needed

CATCH THE SNAKE WHEN CHIKUNGUNYA THEY BELIEVE IS NOT CONVENIENT US IN. IF YOU'VE DRIVEN OH I-95 SOUTHBOUND RECENTLY YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED SOME OF THE INTERSTATE IS IN NEED OF SERIOUS REPAIR. THE SECTION WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE IS FROM THE GOLDEN GLADES SOUTH TO 125th STREET. LOCAL10 NEWS REPORTER ROGER LOHSE WENT OUT IN SEARCH OF ANSWERS TODAY AND HE JOINS US LIVE NOW WITH MORE FROM I-95 WITH WHAT HE UNCOVERED. ROGER. Reporter: CALVIN, YOU TALK ABOUT A WHITE-KNUCKLE DRIVE. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MOTORISTS DRIVE THESE LANES EVERY SINGLE DAY. TAKE A LOOK. AND UNFORTUNATELY FOR THEM, THIS BUMPY ROAD, WELL, IT IS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER. IT'S GOT TO BE THE WORST THREE-MILE STRETCH OF I-95 IN SOUTH FLORIDA. SOUTHBOUND DRIVERS WHO MAKE IT THROUGH THE GOLDEN GLADES ARE GREETED WITH THIS, A TREACHEROUS PATCHWORK OF CRACKED CONCRETE, UNEVEN LANES AND RAPED POTHOLES. DRIVERS HAVE TO HOLD ONTO THE WHEEL TITLE AS THEIR CARS LITERALLY BOUNCE DOWN THE HIGHWAY. IT LOOKS LIKE THEY PATCHED EVERYTHING, AND ROUGHLY PATCHED IT, TOO. WE TOOK LOCAL MECH BILL BRUINING ALONG FORA BUMPY RIDE DOWN I-95 TO GET HIS TAKE ON HOW THIS ROUGH ROAD CAN ROUGH YOU UP YOUR CAR. THIS IS WHAT KILLS SHOCKS, BALL JOINTS, BUSHINGS. Reporter: HE SAID THE PARTS DESIGNED TO ABSORB THE BUMPS IN THE ROAD GET PUSHED TO THE LIMIT ON UNEVEN SURFACES LOOK THIS, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE MOVING AT 65 MILES AN HOUR. WHEN YOU HAVE ROADS THAT HAVE POTHOLES AND ARE IN DISREPAIR, IT JUST BEATS UP SUSPENSION PARTS. Reporter: THE QUESTION IS HOW WAS THIS STRETCH OF I-95 ALLOWED TO GET SO BAD? THE ANSWER, BECAUSE CREWS ARE ACTUALLY WORKING TO MAKE IT BETTER. THE ACTUAL CONCRETE SLABS ARE THE AREAS WHERE THE REPAIRS ARE TAKING PLACE. Reporter: JULIET VALENCIA WITH THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SAYS CREWS HAVE ALREADY REPAIRED MORE THAN 700 POTHOLES, CRACKS AND ROUGH SPOTS ON THE ROAD. THEY'VE GOT ABOUT ANOTHER 300 TO FIX, AND THEY BE THE ENTIRE ROAD WILL BE RESURFACED. IT'S A $5.4 MILLION PROJECT, ONE THE STATE HOPES TO HAVE COMPLETE BY THE END OF THE YEAR. KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE ARE ALL SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE. OUR ROADS AIR LITTLE BUMPY RIGHT NOW. IT DEFINITELY WILL BE A MORE PLEASANT RIDE. AND OUR MECHANIC SAID THAT YOU HUTT ONE OF THESE BIG BUMPS THE WOK WAY OR HIT IT TOO FAST, IT CAN ACTUALLY KNOCK YOUR CAR OUT OF ALIGNMENT OR LOOSEN SOME OF THE IMPORTANT STEERING COMPONENTS. HE SAID THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOUR VEHICLE WHEN YOU'RE TRAVELING PARTICULARLY THIS STRETCH OF ROAD ON I-95 IS SLOW IT DOWN.

MIAMI -

If you've driven on Interstate 95 southbound recently, you may have noticed some of the interstate is in need of serious repair.

The section is from the Golden Glades South to 125th Street -- possibly the worst three-mile stretch of I-95 in South Florida.

Southbound drivers who make it through the Golden Glades are greeted with a treacherous patchwork of cracked concrete, uneven lanes and repaired potholes. Drivers have to hold on to the wheel tightly as their cars bounce down the highway.

"It looks like they've patched everything," said mechanic Bill Bruening, of Hallandale Complete Auto. "And roughly patched it, too."

Local 10 took Bruening along for a bumpy ride down I-95 to get his take on how the rough road can rough up your car.

"Now this is what kills shocks, ball joints, bushings," said Bruening.

Bruening said the parts designed to absorb the bumps in the road get pushed to the limit on uneven surfaces, especially when you're moving at 65 miles an hour.

"When you have road that have potholes and are in disrepair, it just beats up suspension parts," Bruening said.

Take too many hard hits, Bruening said you can knock your car out of alignment or loosen important steering components.

The question is how was the stretch of I-95 allowed to get so bad. The answer is because crews are working to make it better.

"The actual concrete slabs are the areas where the repairs are taking place," said Juliette Valencia, with the Florida Department of Transportation.

Valencia said crews have already repaired more than 700 potholes, cracks and rough spots on the road; They've got about another 300 to fix and then the entire road will be resurfaced. It's a $5.4 million project the state hopes to have complete by the end of the year.

"Keep in mind that these are all safety improvements that are taking place, that although it's a little bumpy right now, it definitely will be a more pleasant ride," said Valencia.

Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando officially opens

Park-goers must purchase two-park ticket to visit both areas

Author: Alexandra Fruin, Producer, AFruin@wplg.com
Published On: Jul 08 2014 07:54:58 AM EDT

Thousands line up ahead of the opening of a new section of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 

ORLANDO -

Universal Orlando is bringing more magic to Florida. On Tuesday, the new expanded version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter officially opened.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley comes four years after its counterpart, Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade Islands of Adventure, opened. Guests must buy a two-park ticket to travel to and from the two areas of the park, using the Hogwarts Express train. 

Thousands of people began lining up as early as 5 a.m. ahead of the new park's grand opening. Visitors had been allowed to check out the shops and walk around for the last week but the main attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringott's Ride has been closed until Tuesday. 

"It looks amazing, everything I've read it will be an incredible experience," one man who came from California for the opening said early Tuesday. "So we just got to get on it today, so that's the hope!"

The ride was open during the park's media and VIP preview but had to be shutdown following technical difficulties. On Tuesday, Universal will also have kiosks allowing park-goers to hold their place in line for the 3-D ride while they explore the rest of the park. 

Tuesday's grand opening ceremony begins at 8 a.m., followed by the park's opening at 9 a.m. According to Universal's website, the park is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. 

Two-park tickets are required to visit both Harry Potter facilities. A single day two-park ticket for adults is $136; for children, $130. 

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