Florida Puerto Ricans Play Key Role in Election: Puerto Ricans could play a key role in this election cycle, according to an Associated Press story. And the campaigns for both presidential candidates aren't wasting any time. The sheer growth of Puerto Ricans in Florida, increased civic involvement, and being the segment of the state's population that is most likely to be independent makes  them an attractive constituency to both parties.

Muslim Doctor Urges Interfaith Congregation to Unite: During an interfaith iftar, an evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the month of Ramadan, a Muslim-American physician urged the gathered 450 people to be more united, according to a Courier-Journal report from Rolling Hills, Ky. "We cannot let the hate-mongers win," said Muhammad Babar, a Pakistan native, according to the story. Babar has helped organize numerous interfaith public-service projects.

Grocery Store in Low-Income New Orleans Ward to Get $1M Loan: An iconic grocery has received a $1 million loan from the city's Fresh Food Retailer Initiative, a program designed to bring food stores to so-called food deserts, The Times Picayune reports. Since Hurricane Katrina the 7th Ward Circle Food Store has remained shut, but with the loan it's scheduled to open in the spring, according to the story.

Deported Father Gets Rare Chance to Reenter U.S.: A father of three young children who was deported to Mexico two years ago after he was repeatedly caught driving without a license is getting a rare opportunity to reenter the country to attend a hearing on his parental rights, according a story in Colorlines.com. His children, all U.S. citizens, remain in foster care near Sparta, N.C. The Child Welfare Department has said that the youngsters would be better off living in the U.S. with nonrelatives than with his father in Mexico. 

This article is part of our Next America: Communities project, which is supported by a grant from Emerson Collective.

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