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Lawyer said he plans to file sexual harassment lawsuit against Miami Gardens Police Chief Antonio Brooklen

Letter of intent sent Monday to city’s mayor and attorney

A day after the city of Miami Gardens announced the resignation of Police Chief Antonio Brooklen, a local attorney confirmed that earlier this week he notified the city that he was preparing to file a federal lawsuit against the top cop. Attorney Stephan Lopez on Friday said that he served the city with a letter of intent to sue on Monday. Lopez said that the letter was sent to Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III and City Attorney Sonja Dickens. A letter of intent is a prerequisite required under Florida law before a person can sue a municipality. The city has up to six months to deny a claim. If there is no response, the lawsuit can forward. Lopez said the case, on behalf of a female officer, involves Brooklen and has numerous allegations, including civil rights violations, and claims of sexual orientation discrimination and sexual harassment. “I did send a letter of intent to sue on behalf of a former police officer of Miami Gardens,” Lopez said. He said he could not divulge any other details about the case, or give the name of the officer. Brooklen, Miami Gardens chief of police for a little more than 10 months, tendered his resignation, Thursday, Sept. 22, citing the need to spend time with his family. The resignation is effective Oct. 1, 2016.

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Antonio Brooklen, Miami Gardens police chief, resigns

Revolving door of top cops since 2013 stop-and-frisk scandal

Antonio Brooklen, Miami Gardens chief of police for a little more than 10 months tendered his resignation, Thursday, Sept. 22, citing the need to spend time with his family.

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Community icon Dorothy Edwards dies at 102

Viewing is scheduled for Friday; services on Saturday

Known as a mentor and inspiration to many in Miami’s Black community, retired school administrator and community icon Dorothy Wright Edwards died Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. She was 102 years old. Wright was born in Jacksonville, on January 13, 1914. Recruited by Florida A&M College, now Florida A&M University (FAMU), Edwards was a

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Finga Licking: The hype is so real

The Seven Wonders of the World have mystified humankind for eons. Well, we may need to amend that list to add the eighth wonder—Finga Licking’s Mystery Drink ($3.25). Yes, this colorful kaleidoscope of liquid goodness will have you checking your blood sugar after a couple of sips, but it’s well worth it. With each sip, I was transported to the 90s when, as a child, I would run to the candy lady’s house to get a chilled cup of Kool-Aid or a frozen cup and guzzle it down before I even hit the sidewalk.

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Veteran in Parks and Recreation Department retires

Sandra Hill will be honored on September 24th

Congratulations to Sandra Hill upon her retirement after an outstanding and very diverse career of 43 years with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Hill will be honored at a retirement party on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC), 6161 NW 22nd Ave., at 6 p.m. Born in North Carolina, Hill moved to Adel, Georgia in 1961 and graduated in 1968 from Cook High School. After marrying her childhood sweetheart she moved to Miami in 1970 and later received an Associate of Arts degree from Miami Dade Jr. College in 1973.

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Museum sheds light on Black history

Exhibits, Opening on saturday, confront U.S. slavery history while highlighting Black culture

"There will never be a Negro president in this country," a young African American man is seen saying to James Baldwin, a renowned writer and civil rights activist in San Francisco in 1963. Baldwin assures the young man: "There will be a Negro president of this country, but it will not be the country that we are sitting in now." This spine-tingling clip, playing at an exhibition aptly called “Making a Way Out of No Way,” is part of the Smithsonian's Museum of African American History and Culture, which will be inaugurated on Saturday, Sept. 24, by Barack Obama, the United States' first Black president.

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Mayor race do-over set for Dec. 6

Supreme Court voids the Aug. 30 election results; puts Wright on ballot

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert said the Florida Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Aug. 30 primary election results threw him for a loop. But he will abide by the decision and prepare to hit the campaign trail again for a ballot that will include challenger James B. Wright. “Every court said Miami Gardens didn’t do wrong. The law was bad,” Gilbert said. “The city did nothing wrong, but the city will have to pay upwards of $100,000 for an election.” The state Supreme Court, by a 6-1 decision, ruled last Thursday that the law used to disqualify Wright was unconstitutional, and said he should be placed on the ballot. The strongly worded opinion suggestions the law disenfranchises prospective political candidates. “This law unconstitutionally erects a barrier that is an unnecessary restraint on one’s right to seek elective office. This unnecessary and irrational barrier … can no longer stand. Unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions on the elective process are a threat to our republican form of government,” the justices wrote. “At their worst, they cloak tyranny in the garb of Democracy. … The right of voting for

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Opa-locka proposes tax rate of 10 percent

City leaders have until Sept. 30 to balance the 2016 budget

Opa-locka will enter the new fiscal year with fewer employees, department reorganizations, and the highest property tax rate allowed by state law, as city leaders struggle to fix its finances. Meanwhile, Merrett Stierheim, the state-appointed inspector general who oversees the city’s financial recovery efforts, sounds increasingly dour at where Opa-locka and its leadership are headed. In a lengthy Sept. 14 memo to the city leaders and the financial oversight board, Stierheim also expressed dismay at a decision by commissioners to approve a request by City Manager Yvette Harrell to resume her law practice. “I have reluctantly concluded that the severity of the city’s financial condition and the operational challenges … have not been fully realized by either the City Commission or the City Manager. Among other action items, the authorization for the City Manager to be engaged in her outside legal practice does not send a very encouraging signal.”

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Trump meets with the Haitian community in South Florida

Supporters say they are impressed he came, while detractors protest

Haitian religious leaders from the tri-county area, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, gathered at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami to speak to Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. Former New York Mayor and former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani accompanied Trump. Trump also had another appearance Friday at the James L. Knight Center in Miami. Religious leaders in attendance praised Trump for visiting the community and lambasted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for the alleged damage that agency had done to Haiti.

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Miami Gardens mayoral race a comedy of errors

Last Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court made its ruling that Miami Gardens mayoral candidate James Wright was denied his constitutional right when he was disqualified from the race because of a returned check. It was a decision in defense of democracy. But the events leading up to the need for the decision seemed avoidable, with a little attention. The missteps by the bank and its slowness to resolve a returned campaign check set in motion what has become a costly mistake for the candidates and the citizens of Miami Gardens, Miami-Dade and the entire state — not to mention the emotional rollercoaster ride for so many.

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Voting rights focus at Black caucus conference; new initatives announced

WASHINGTON – With a historic presidential election just weeks away and new restrictive voter laws in many states, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) last Wednesday announced new initiatives, it said, will help protect voting rights for African Americans and others at the opening press conference for the organization’s 46th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). The CBCF is the fundraising and program arm of the Congressional Black Caucus, an organization of congressional representatives for mostly predominately African-American districts. The legislators and their foundation hosted a “Voter Protection” series during the conference. The series highlighted “challenges and solutions in order to overcome restrictive voting laws,” said A. Shuanise Washington, the president and CEO of the CBCF.

North Miami CRA gets the green light

County commission reauthorizes agency for 29 years

North Miami’s community redevelopment agency, once heavily criticized for using the bulk of its funds for salaries and administrative costs with little done to benefit the community, was given new life Tuesday via the Miami-Dade County Commission. During the regular meeting, commissioners voted unanimously and without comment to reauthorize the CRA for 29 years. North Miami officials seated in County Hall commission chambers cheered when the vote ended. “We’re ecstatic and extremely happy,” said CRA director Rasha Cameau. “We’re going to be doing great things in North Miami.” City Manager Larry Spring, who also went to County Hall, hailed the turnaround for the agency, which is designed to improve slum and blight conditions in less affluent portions of municipalities.

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Questionable behavior

The Black community is tired of being everybody’s stepping stone to raise a platform on, especially when the platform is us. The sad part about it is, that it’s the very same people that look like you and I that’s giving the ok to do it. I’ve seen Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho on the scene of most of the shootings that affect students. I understand why Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez was at the press conference that didn’t consist of Jada Page’s mother Dominque Brown and father James Page. But the one thing they both need to realize is that timing is everything.

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Miami Times publisher emeritus ICONS guest

Garth Reeves was featured speaker of the Black Archives at Historic Lyric Theater Sunday, Sept. 18

As soon as his presentation to dozens inside the Historic Lyric Theater on Sunday ended, Garth C. Reeves Sr. headed for the stairs that led off the stage into the auditorium. It wasn’t that he was trying to leave. He was hurrying to greet an old friend. From the left side of the auditorium, Ruth Walkes slowly made her way toward Reeves. The two met somewhere in the middle, hugging each other, not letting go. Reeves and Walkes are the two remaining students of the 1936 graduating class at Booker T. Washington Senior High School, the only high school where Blacks could attend at the time. Reeves is now 97 and Walkes is 99 years old. She turns 100 in December.

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Kenneth D. Duke’s aim: “To preach and live God’s word”

Members of his church consider him as thought-provoking, engaging, inspiring

Elder Kenneth D. Duke is the son of a pastor, Elder Kenneth A. Duke and Evangelist Julia A. Duke. His siblings are twin brother, Elder Kelon, and sister, Aheisha Duke. He has one daughter, Kennedi Duke.

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Fighting cancer at 14 with faith, positivity

Emmanuel Cooper says he’s “going to beat this”

At 14 years old, Emmanuel Cooper is facing the biggest battle of his life – a fight against cancer. But his positive attitude, his faith, and his loving bond with his family are keeping him strong. “The first words that came out of his mouth when he found out he was sick were: I’m going to beat this,” remembers his mother, Chanda Johnson.

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Eat healthy to reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer

Healthy eating should be a way of life for everyone. Eating well makes you feel better and it also helps reduce the risk of many diseases. Prostate cancer is no exception. The second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States, prostate cancer affects one in every seven men. There are some risk factors that cannot be controlled: having a family history of prostate cancer, being older than 50, and being of African American or African Caribbean ancestry.

Tackling prostate cancer: Steps to take after diagnosis

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in men in the U.S. according to the American Cancer Society. In fact, one in seven men will be diagnosed in their lifetime. Being told you have prostate cancer sometimes creates confusion about which treatment is the most effective. Fortunately, specialists like internationally-renowned urologist Sanjay Razdan, MD, MCh, from Jackson South Community Hospital’s Urology Center of Excellence, can clue you in on what to do following a prostate cancer diagnosis. What do I do after a diagnosis?

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Real Men Wear Pink runs through Oct. 31

Miami-Dade County Chairman Jean Monestime among 25 to raise awareness, funds for American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society has nominated Miami-Dade County Chairman Jean Monestime as one of 25 men to participate in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign. Each Real Men Wear Pink nominee is charged with a fundraising challenge and will compete to be the top fundraiser among the other nominees by the end of the campaign, which runs until Oct. 31. “Funds raised will allow American Cancer Society to provide support for those touched by breast cancer, from research to education, prevention to diagnosis, and treatment to recovery; the society provides support to everyone impacted by the disease,” said Communications Manager for the American Cancer Society Viviana Martir. “Every action we take moves us one step closer to a world free from the pain and suffering caused by breast cancer.”

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Black woman performing new scar-less hysterectomies locally

Dr. Lanalee Sam has been doing the robotic surgeries since Jan. 2007

Technology is closing the gap between medical miracles and reality. The latest product that supports this is the da Vinci Xi Surgical System, a machine that performs single-incision hysterectomies without leaving a scar on the patient. A hysterectomy is a medical operation during which a woman has her uterus and cervix removed. On Friday, Aug. 19, Dr. Lanalee Sam used the da Vinci system to perform a robotic-assisted total hysterectomy at Broward Health Imperial Point in Fort Lauderdale. The operation took about 23 minutes, she said. Sam said she is the first Black female doctor to perform a hysterectomy with the da Vinci Xi in South Florida. Sam now wants to spread awareness of this technology so people know they have options if circumstances ever lead to this type of surgery. “I believe more hospitals should offer this technology to surgeons to provide better care for their patients,” Sam, the medical director of

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