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Mayoral election may spell change

Three Black female candidates express their platforms, agendas

Voters in the City of Opa-locka have three options for mayor in the upcoming Nov. 4 elections and the candidates share at least two qualities: they are Black women. It’s the first time this has happened in recent history, according to longtime city employees. The three women couldn’t be any more different in their stances on major issues like term limits and immediate priorities following elections. Mayoral candidates include incumbent Myra Taylor, former Opa-locka commissioner Rose Tydus, and current commissioner Dorothy Johnson. They join the ballot with four other candidates for the city commission board: Timothy Holmes, Deborah Sheffield Irby, Andre Faustin and Terence Pinder.

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Former CEO at TACOLCY responds to new OIG report

Former Belafonte TACOLCY CEO Taj Brown is speaking out after the Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General closed its probe that found no major wrongdoing at the venerable Liberty City agency. After a year-long investigation, the OIG last month concluded that none of the agency’s funds from the Children’s Trust and Miami-Dade County had been abused under Brown's leadership. OIG officials said while Brown spent money on himself, those funds came from private donations and sports programs fees. OIG officials acknowledged that efforts had been made to curb the cash-strapped agency’s spending practices in the wake of financial concerns.

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Why Miami needs a new County Courthouse

The County Courthouse, a historic building, was built in 1928, when the population of Dade County was 142,00 people. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest building South of Baltimore with 28 stories. The building at the time housed the entire county court system, Miami City Hall and a prison. The prison was in the top nine stories. The building was designed to sit seven judges.

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Economic progress on the brink again

On the brink of a long-awaited go ahead for a major economic development project with jobs, training and business opportunities for area residents, supporters of the Carrie Meek Foundation are preparing for the type of smear campaign that has become the norm in this community whenever historically underserved people are promised a piece of the pie. Whenever organizers in Miami-Dade’s underserved communities are on the brink of some important success, a campaign to discredit is launched and our community is kept from flourishing.

A tearful goodbye to Arthur Woodard

The jokes and tributes helped Vanessa Woodard Byers keep her composure at the funeral of her prominent father, Dr. Arthur Woodard. But at the cemetery, Byers was overwhelmed with emotion as her father’s casket was placed in the same mausoleum where her late mother was entombed four years ago. Byers openly wept as she placed one hand on the headstone just before Woodard was finally laid to rest.

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Leaders urge voters to reject marijuana on ballot

Dr. Fabian Thurston remembers when his 19-year-old daughter called home from college one day to tell him something. “She said ‘All of my friends smoke weed and I don’t want to be around people who do that,'” Thurston recalled. “That was a very proud moment in my life," said Thurston, chief operating officer for the Jesse Trice Family Health Center in Liberty City. Thurston joined T. Willard Fair of the Urban League of Greater Miami at a community meeting last Wednesday at Northside Police Station where the two condemned a statewide referendum to legalize medical marijuana. Entitled, “Making it legal doesn’t make it right,” the presentation aimed to educate and discourage voters from passing Amendment 2 in the Nov. 4 elections.

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II’ve Been Thinking What About You?

Please forgive my manners since this is my first time entering into your world. Perhaps I should introduce myself. My name is Jerry Rushin. Some of the older readers may remember me from “America's Most Wanted,” “The Fugitive,” “The Good the Bad the Ugly” or the local radio stations here in South Florida (Hot 105/99 Jamz). Since my retirement two years ago, I find myself reading a lot, keeping up with the local, state and national news and on some occasions world news creep into the mix.

Know Your Ballot - Part II

The Miami Times continues its candidate recommendations for election to public office on Nov. 4

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Halloween: A long standing tradition

A time for saints not witches and ghosts

Children and adults will vie for first place for the most hideous and ridiculous costumes this Friday, Oct. 31. As part of Halloween, children walk in neighborhoods, making horrible sounds at an attempt to frightened individuals into giving them goodies. This is called “trick or treat.” You give them a treat or you will be tricked. Adults who participate in celebrating this holiday, on the other hand, will strive to give the best party of the year.

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Pastor G.S. Smith: The world is his congregation

ARC’s history and legacy will live on; it’s structured that way

A pastor, who started in the ministry of Jesus Christ six decades ago, was recognized by President Barack Obama via Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson, last week. That pastor is Gilbert S. Smith, a Miami homegrown answer to the national broadcast evangelists. He and his wife have been the spiritual leaders for more than 43 years. He started in a humble storefront and today the world is his congregation.

EroticA novelist holds court

'Addicted' author Zane will talk about her new book at the Miramar Cultural Center next week

Take one bored housewife in a northeast suburb, add an overactive imagination and you get series of books about sex, sexuality and more sex. The housewife is Zane, whose real name is Kristina Laferne Roberts, and she will come to the Miramar Cultural Center, Nov. 7 to have a conversation about her latest book and her book-turned-movie "Addicted," now playing in theaters.

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I'm broke; can I be saved?

I started sweating as I watched the basket pass from hand to hand headed my way, meandering through the seemingly hypnotized parishioners. The pastor did his dance, his diamond-encrusted bracelet was as distracting as the old lady draped in all white running up and down the pews screaming: "Hallelujah!" Apparently feeling upstaged, the minister had his two bouncers – both blinged out themselves – carry her to her seat. In all honesty, this was the scene at a church I visited several years ago. It mirrored the set of a music video shoot I had visited a few weeks prior that had a Gospel theme, of course.

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Chatter That Matters

T. Willard Fair opened the 23rd Citizen Crime Watch, Miami-Dade Police Department Northside District by commending Annie Hicks Ross for more than 25 years of service with 14 groups as well as a reduction in crime. The celebration theme was “Celebrating Safe Street”.

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The Social Whirl

The 32nd Annual Unity Dinner and Gala sponsored by the Theodore R. Gibson Memorial Fund, Inc. was held on Sunday, October 20 at Jungle Island. Dinner guests were awed by the oratorical talents of Robert Carr and Skye Hervas-Jones. Carr is a first-grader at Melrose Elementary and Hervas-Jones is a seventh-grader at Key Biscayne K-8 Center.

County college fair opens door to education and jobs

On-spot admissions and fee waivers

Universities will accept high school students on the spot at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition Center tomorrow, Oct. 30 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Applications fees will be waived and scholarships given to accepted students at the fair, at 10901 Coral Way, Miami. In addition to providing education about college admissions and scholarships, the Fourth Annual College and Career Expo has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships in the last three years.

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Mr. and Miss FMU and the royal court

Congratulations to Mr. and Miss Florida Memorial University 2014 – Moses A. Bain and Aurelia A. Matthews and the entire royal court.

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Lifestyle Happenings

The BTW alumni Class of 1962 will meet 4 p.m. Sat., Nov. 1 at African Heritage Cultural Arts Center to plan their 55th Reunion. Call 305-691-1333. NSPDK/Alpha Delta Chapter will host its 10th Annual Star Educators’ Awards Luncheon at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in Hialeah Gardens at 11 a.m. on Sat., Nov. 8. Call 305-810-9689. The Egelloc Club, Inc. is recruiting 11th grade young men for their 2014-2015 MEN OF TOMORROW program until Oct. 31, 2014. Interested candidates should email nadinebaxter-atkins@keyes.com. Place “MOT” in the subject line. Miami Jackson’s Alumni Association will hold their Soul Bowl Pep Rally on Thu., Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in Miami Jackson’s gym and their annual Soul Bowl Tailgate Party 5 p.m. on Fri., Nov. 7 at Traz Powell Stadium.

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Heat begin life after LeBron

With that guy, LeBron James, running back to Cleveland, the Miami Heat will rely on a new support system to help them contend for an NBA title. Of course no one is predicting that type of finish but with Chris Bosh returning and a healthy Dwyane Wade, the Heat are hoping to be among the top teams in the Eastern conference. Can Wade stay healthy and play in enough games to help Miami get back into championship contention? That will be the million dollar question.

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Multicultural Tourism Department promotes Black communities

Start spreading the news. Overtown, Little Haiti and other ethnic neighborhoods will play a larger role in South Florida's multi-billion dollar tourism industry. After a splashy luncheon on Miami's lush waterfront Monday, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau announced a new Multicultural Tourism Department aimed at luring visitors to the city's Black and ethnic neighborhoods.

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Hey Jerk!

13th annual Grace Jamaican Festival at Markham Park in Sunrise on Nov. 9

Chef Jimmie Jackson is on a sizzling winning streak. For years, Jackson, the owner of a food seasoning company, had to settle for second place finishes in cooking contests at major jerk festivals in the South. Now, Jackson sits on the culinary throne as the defending champion of the ultra-competitive Publix Jerk Cook-off at this year’s 13th annual Grace Jamaican Festival on Sunday, Nov. 9 at Markham Park in Sunrise.

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