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News 2013 September

Stories for September 2013

Friday, September 27

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Tiger Woods voted PGA Tour player of the year

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida (AP) — Tiger Woods was voted U.S. PGA Tour player of the year for the 11th time on the strength of his five big wins and return to No. 1 in the world. It was the third time Woods won the Jack Nicklaus Award despite not winning a major. He made up for that with two World Golf Championships and The Players Championship among his five wins. No one else won more than twice this year, and Woods won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average and the tour money title. “It’s been an incredible year to have won five times, two of those World Golf Championships and one Players,” Woods said on a conference call on Friday. “It’s been just a fantastic year all around. It’s also an incredible feeling to be voted by your peers, and to have that type of respect is something that’s very humbling.” The tour does not release the percentage of votes won or even who finished second.

Thursday, September 26

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Marissa Alexander, woman sentenced to 20 years for firing warning shot, gets new trial

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appeals court is ordering a new trial for a woman sentenced to 20 years to prison after she fired a warning shot in a wall during a dispute with her husband. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that a judge did not properly instruct the jury handling the case of Marissa Alexander. But the appeals court also said the judge was right to block Alexander from using the state's "stand your ground" law as a way to defend her actions.

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Edmonson welcomes Cape Town Mayor

Miami-Dade County [M-DC] Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson recently joined Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioner Sally Heyman to welcome the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille,

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Woman’s prayers answered — starts own courier service

Gina Delice off and running with Miami Mini Riders

Some people may be born with a silver spoon in their mouths but that clearly was not the case for 52-year-old, Overtown native, Gina Delice. And while she says she always had a passion for helping others, she could not have imagined the places where God would take her.

Jordan honors Opa-locka AARP members

Group wins Florida Chapter of the Year Award

During the recent Miami-Dade Board of County Commission meeting, Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan honored the Opa-locka Chapter of the AARP for winning the 2012 Florida Chapter of the Year Award.

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Which District 5 candidate is the best fit?

It may depend on how voters see the puzzle

It may be hard to believe, but in six weeks [Tuesday, Nov. 5] the voters of the City of Miami will return to the polls to select a mayor and to chose commissioners for Districts 3 and 5. But for Blacks, all eyes are particularly fixed on District 5

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Lifestyle Happenings

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity members from Miami Dade College North and South are making plans for a reunion. Call 305-623-7991. 

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Retrospective: The 1967 Orange Blossom Classic

Black college coaches fought to end southern racism

One of the most overlooked events in history that helped advance the goals of the civil rights movement was the Orange Blossom Classic football game — an annual championship often referred to as the “Black Rose Bowl.” Conceived in the 1930s by J.R.E. Lee, Jr., the son of Florida A&M University’s [FAMU] then-president, the game migrated between Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa until 1947 when it settled in Miami.

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The homeless are people too, right?

The homeless of Miami are probably used to being treated like playing cards — shuffled about like deuces or pushed from one corner of the City to another, as if they were mindless pawns in an endless game of chess.

National Family Day celebration continues

Gang Alternative, Inc. shows boys and girls another way

Gang Alternative, Inc.’s CEO Michael Nozile reports that this is the fifth year that Gang Alternatives, Inc. has celebrated National Family Day. Nozile states, “having dinner together, helping your children with their homework or attending their after school activities, have a lasting effect on your kids. Each of these moments offers an opportunity to connect, share and really listen to what’s on their minds.”

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Second Canaan marks 20 years of dedicated service from pastor

On May 8, 1983, Jeffrey Mack preached his first sermon, hence becoming a third-generation preacher in the Mack clan. “ I was at my father’s church, [Community Missionary Church], in Carver’s Ranches when I preached my initial sermon and for the last 20 years, I have been the senior pastor at Second Canaan Missionary Baptist Church [43rd St. and 17th Ave.],” Mack said.

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Teams vying for second place in Dist. 16-6A

Chances slim that Central can be dethroned

The majority of district 16-6A teams, whether they want to admit it or not, are playing for second place. That’s because Central’s dominance pretty much guarantees that they’ll hold on to the top spot in the district. Last Friday’s 16-6A district play leveled the playing field among the next four teams even more when Carol City defeated Northwestern 28-15 at Traz Powell and Norland upset Homestead 19-17 at Harris Field.

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Coral Reef remains undefeated

stops Killian 21-20 in overtime

Coral Reef looked playoff ready after an emotional overtime win against district rival Killian last Friday afternoon at Southridge. Coach Chevas Clements embraced senior receiver Jacob McCrary in a post-game celebration after beating last year’s district 16-8A runner-up 21-20.

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Londyn's Closet New business caters to S. FL single moms

Eliminating the barriers associated with parenting children at an early age

Nearly half of non-hispanic Black teen girls become pregnant at least once before age 20— nearly twice the national average according to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. And the founder and CEO of Londyn’s Closet, Inc., Veronica T. Curry, has made it her mission to touch the lives of young, single moms in Miami-Dade County so that they can lead successful lives no matter what their circumstances.

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SNAP cutbacks a real threat to seniors

Could Food Stamp reductions cause illness and more crime?

For the last few weeks, The Miami Times has received numerous calls from concerned City and County residents inquiring about the possibility of their monthly Food Stamp allotment being reduced or completely eliminated. As our incoming call volume continued to increase, we thought the best thing to do was to go to the source.

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Sheyes Liberty City center faces trying times

Owner Juanita Walker refuses to let robberies stop their mission

Every child is unique in their own right and Juanita Walker, owner/CEO of Sheyes of Miami Learning Centers, say she is determined to improve every child’s self-esteem and confidence through positive feedback and rewards. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more challenging to keep her doors open — because of culprits in her own community.

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Brandon Jones to be ordained

ordination service for Minister Brandon A. Jones, 23, on Sunday, September 29 at 6 p.m.

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Kevin Roundtree: “Special Olympics Athlete of the Year”

In too many instances, children of color who have mental challenges are not granted the same kinds of opportunities that whites receive. At least that’s what Courtney Haynes, the father of a mentally-challenged, 17-year-old child, says.

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South Dade demolishes rival Palmetto 43-0

What can Palmetto be proud of after being shutout 43-0 by district rival South Dade last Thursday night at Harris Field? Maybe they can be grateful the score wasn’t higher.

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Lucie Tondreau case dismissed

North Miami mayor says she’s ready to move on

North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau can now breathe a sigh of relief and place her focus squarely on the issues facing her City. That’s because a Miami-Dade County judge recently dismissed a case filed by former North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns that claimed that Tondreau never properly qualified to run for office.

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Let’s keep the Overtown project ‘totally transparent’

Within the last month, as the deadline approached for the Miami county commission to either approve or reject the CRA-recommended developer for a $250M multi-use project,

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Blacks must confront our troubles with mental illness

We often make comical remarks — stereotypes if you will — when describing the characteristics associated with different ethnic groups.

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Terry McMillan returns with another tale of overcoming adversity

Heroine realizes the futility of ‘trying to fix everything’

You can’t fix everything. That’s a hard lesson to learn, no matter who you are. You can’t swoop in and make things right when they’re not yours to correct.

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Chatter That Matters: September 25, 2013

Last week, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the newly-elected president and former Judge Shirlyon McWhorter met at the Omega Activity Center with Bethune-Cookman-University Alumni to formulate operation plans for the Alumni Association of B-CU and the tailgate party.

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People: September 25, 2013

Recently the U.S. Congress honored the four little girls killed 50 years ago by the Ku Klux Klan in the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama church.

Florida Power and Lights kicks off Teacher Grant Program

Program aims to reduce out-of-pocket expenses

Electricity isn't the only thing Florida Power and Light [FPL] Company provides to Florida residents. The largest rate-regulated electric utility in Florida recently announced its new education initiatives for supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] learning for the 2013-14 academic year.

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Trayvon Martin Foundation helps youth attend college 

The Trayvon Martin Foundation recently gave back to youth — with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin both presenting scholarships to four graduating seniors at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School — the school that their son Trayvon Martin once attended. The total amount of the scholarships was $50,000. 

Northwestern alums to be inducted into school Hall of Fame

The Miami Northwestern Alumni Association will hold it annual induction ceremony and banquet for 2013 Alumni Hall of Fame honorees on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. at the school, 1100 NW 71st Street. Honorees are inducted into one of two categories — service and athletics.

Tuesday, September 24

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Barack Obama: my wife scared me into quitting smoking

The president's comments to official unwittingly recorded by microphone at UN general assembly

NEW YORK -- President Barack Obama says he hasn't had a smoke in years – thanks in no small part to first lady Michelle Obama. Obama was chatting privately with a U.N. official Monday and said he hoped the official had quit smoking. The exchange was caught on camera and aired on CNN. After the official appeared to ask Obama about his own cigarette use, Obama said he hadn't had a cigarette in probably six years. He added, with a broad grin, "That's because I'm scared of my wife." Obama has acknowledged over the years struggling with tobacco use. Mrs. Obama said in 2011 that her husband had finally kicked the habit. Monday's exchange came on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Monday, September 23

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Tupac Shakur biopic to be filmed in 2014

A new biopic on slain rapper Tupac Shakur is coming. Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla Films announced in a Thursday news release they are in final negotiations to partner on the production of "Tupac." The picture will begin filming next year in Atlanta. Gunned down in 1996 in Las Vegas, Shakur's murder has not been solved. He remains a towering figure in rap music, the subject of Elvis-like conspiracy theories and one of two slain symbols with Biggie Smalls of the East Coast-West Coast beef that ruled rap for a time in the 1990s. The film will be executive produced by Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur. The news release says the film will center on Shakur's life, but makes no mention of who will star as the rapper or who will direct.

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Common: Chicago needs to better understand the youth

CHICAGO -- Chicago rapper Common says his hometown needs to better understand the young people contributing to its violence problem and be more consistent in efforts to help them. Common's comments Friday at a city-sponsored music conference came hours after 13 people were wounded in an attack at a park on the city's southwest Side. Among the wounded was a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the face. The Grammy-award winning hip-hop artist told The Associated Press that gang violence may have increased, but so has poverty and other challenges. Common has spoken before about the violence in his hometown. He has established a foundation that helps expose disadvantaged young people to the creative arts. He says he and other rap artists have to do more to help stem the violence.

Thursday, September 19

Black banker elected to the board of directors

Miami native Sheldon T. Anderson brings impressive credentials

Banker Sheldon T. Anderson has been elected to the board of directors of Bioheart, Inc. — a company committed to leading the country within the cardiovascular sector of the cell technology industry. Mike Tomas, CEO of Bioheart, Inc.,

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“Be happy for as long as you can”

The willingness to be happy in spite of, and not because of our circumstances is not as widely put into practice as allowing happiness in the face of adversity to become just an abstract notion, a mere concept that we would rather scoff at, and thus, never experience in our personal lives.

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M-DC’s first Black fire chief talks about his rise and fall from grace

Pens his autobiography to “set the record straight”

In July 2003, Charles U. Phillips, now-60, resigned his post as Miami-Dade County’s first Black fire chief — two months after County officials began investigating allegations that he had sexually harassed an employee.

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Faith Calendar: September 18, 2013

Evangel Church International invites you to experience 36 hrs. of Transformation Shout, Sept. 20-21. Call 786-248-1297.

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Chef Larkin: Custodian by day — chef for life

Miamian recaptures his life's dream of entrepreneurship

Chef Aaron Larkin is no stranger to the kitchen. It all began when he was 12 years young, shadowing his grandmother in her kitchen. Once he turned 14 his uncle opened up a business called “Slicks BBQ” which is where he helped out and did “a lot of prep work”

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Iconic local business left to owner's mentee

Photo company given to another man with a dream to succeed

For one 39-year-old Miami native, ending up in the wrong places at the right time may have led him to inevitably running an iconic community business.

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Overtown project goes ahead with rare compromise

Developers says the real winners will be the residents

It was standing room only at last week’s City of Miami commission meeting, with Overtown residents and supporters arriving by the busload to weigh-in on two multi-million dollar proposals.

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Sweet Home MBC to install new pastor

The Rev. Theo Johnson honored in five-day celebration

Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church will officially install Reverend Theodis (Theo) Johnson, III, 38, as its new pastor in special installation ceremonies this month, beginning Wed., Sept. 18 and continuing for five days through Sun., Sept. 22.

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Is affirmative action an idea that needs to stay?

Educator and scholar Randall Kennedy says yes in his book "For Discrimination"

You were pretty sure the job was yours. You successfully interviewed, passed a background check, even met the office’s other workers. Everything looked positive — until you got a “we’re sorry, but” letter.

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Chatter That Matters: September 18, 2013

Ms. Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, chairman, and Dr. Enid C. Pinckney, president, invited Cumnmings-Grayson & Co. P.A. to the end-of-year audit report of the Historic Hampton House Community Trust, Inc. before board members, trustees, and volunteers.

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Soar Park gets family center makeover

The Little Haiti Optimist Club recently spearheaded a remodeling project at Soar Park that will brighten the lives of families with computer training,

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Mayweather— a lot better

Okay Floyd Mayweather, I am finally convinced. For a long time I looked at the flamboyant fighter as a loud mouth boxer who is pretty good in his own right. Even better than pretty good, I considered Mayweather among the best fighters of this era

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Miami seeks to rescind rights of the homeless

Is rationale to help the unfortunate or eliminate an eyesore?

In August 2012, The Miami Times published a front page story that tackled the issue of hunger, poverty and homelessness in Miami. At that time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 46.2M U.S. citizens had slipped into poverty

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Commissioners refuse to yield to Mayor’s scare tactics

Majority approve use of reserves in order to balance budget

Miami-Dade County [M-DC] commissioners participated in a marathon public hearing last week as hundreds of concerned citizens addressed issues including library, fire department and waste management services — all viewed by the public as essential to the well-being of County residents

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Annual Dual Day theme is paradigm for devoted pastor

"We’ve come this far by faith together"

Seventeen years and three days ago, [Sept. 15, 1996], Rev. Harold Marsh was installed pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church at 2601 N.W. 65th St. In 2001 he left Fellowship Baptist and founded the New Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church [NCTMBC].

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Attorney Nyanza Shaw leads micro educational workshop

Miami Film Life Center invites community to be ‘in the know’

All good things come to an end. Miami Film Life Center [MFLC] will be concluding their month-long community events with an informative workshop on Wednesday, September 25, 2013.

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Lifestyle Happenings

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity members from Miami Dade College North and South are making plans for a reunion. Call 305-623-7991.

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Miami Springs wins a thriller over Edison 25-24

The matchup between two teams whose names have fallen into the abyss as far as respected football programs go, was surprisingly a nail-biter.

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UM food service workers demand higher wages

Chartwells employees making just below $10,000 per year

Last spring, Chartwells employees fought to have a union and ultimately were granted that request. Now months later, cafeteria workers at the Hecht Dining Hall are facing a new battle. For the last several months, University of Miami [UM] food service employees under the company Chartwells Dining Services have been in negotiation surrounding two issues: money and affordable health insurance.

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Spirit of Life Choir’s director holds the baton for 32 years

Pastor Avery Jones: “I want to do what is pleasing in Jesus’s sight”

Pastor Avery Jones, founder/director/CEO of the renown Spirit of Life Choir, has been singing, playing the piano and keyboards since he was a youngster but he says his focus has changed a lot since then.

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Men’s retreat targets breaking the yoke of Black male incarceration

Ebenezer “weekend for justice” seeks to change the lives of troubled youth

The Ebenezer United Methodist Men’s [UMM] organization is determined to change the negative roads on which so many young men travel — often resulting in them becoming “tenants” in local prisons and jails. Recent statistics indicate that the highest percentage of incarcerated men are between the ages of 20 and 39 and most of them are Blacks, Hispanics and poor whites.

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Gia Wyre leaves for CA to pursue her career

Gia Wyre, affectionately and professionally known as the “songbird,” has made the painful decision to leave Miami and seek her due fame in San Diego, CA on Sept. 25.

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Queen Latifah gives the low down

Says she hopes to share inspiring stories with viewers

It’s not easy being a talk show host. Just ask Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Tavis Smiley or Ricki Lake

People: September 18, 2013

“Old Timers” of Miami were saddened by news of the death of Gwendolyn Heastie Welters who was funeralized at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church last Thursday.

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Summit discusses economic growth in 'Targeted Urban Areas'

County's action committee continues focus on challenges of small businesses

Last Friday, the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust’s [MDEAT] Economic Development Action Committee hosted their 2013 MDEAT Economic Development Summit. More than 100 people attended the event that addressed economic growth and development in Targeted Urban Areas (TUAs).

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Norland loses third straight, 26-7

Jackson pulls an upset

With the worst start in Norland’s last four years, the question is what will the Vikings do? The Vikings “program” has struggled to keep its state championship momentum consistent over the last season.

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Washington Navy Yard opens 3 days after massacre

The Washington Navy Yard began returning to nearly normal operations three days after it was the scene of a mass shooting in which a gunman killed 12 people.

Tuesday, September 17

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Jonathan Ferrell, unarmed man killed in North Carolina, was shot 10 times by police officer

Victim's family speaks out

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An unarmed man seeking help after a car crash over the weekend was shot 10 times by the Charlotte police officer who's now charged in his death, investigators said Monday. The release of the information supporting the voluntary manslaughter charge came at the end of a day that also included the first public remarks by victim Jonathan A. Ferrell's family. A family attorney and representatives of the NAACP questioned whether race played a role in the shooting of the black man by a white officer. Ferrell's family said the former Florida A&M University football player moved to Charlotte about a year ago to be with his fiancee and was working two jobs. He wanted to go back to school and eventually become an automotive engineer. "You took a piece of my heart that I can never put back," said Ferrell's mother, Georgia Ferrell, as she clutched a stuffed Winnie the Pooh doll her 24-year-old son loved as a child.

Monday, September 16

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Unarmed man shot and killed by North Carolina police officer after apparent car crash

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An unarmed man who was shot and killed by a police officer in North Carolina after a car wreck was a former football player for Florida A&M University, school officials said Sunday. Jonathan A. Ferrell, 24, played for the school in 2009-10 and had recently moved to North Carolina. Early Saturday, he had apparently been in an accident and was seeking help at a nearby house, according to a statement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. A woman answered the door and, when she didn't recognize the man, called 911. Officers responding to the breaking-and-entering call found Ferrell a short distance from the home, police said. As they approached him, Ferrell ran toward the officers and was hit with a Taser. Police said he continued to run toward them when officer Randall Kerrick fired his gun, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell died at the scene.

Thursday, September 12

Liberty City: Residents feel area “forsaken” and forgotten”

Funds designated for the district not spent to enhance the community

Since the beginning of August, residents in the Liberty City area have called The Times voicing their concerns about shabby appearance of many of the homes, public and private buildings, parks and businesses within their boundaries. [The area called Liberty City territorially begins at approximately 40th street on the south side to 79th street on the north and from 6th avenue  on the east to up to 19th avenue on the west.  Many Miami-Dade County citizens refer to any area between 40th street on the south, 79th street on the north, 7th avenue on the east to 27th on the west as Liberty City-but it isn’t.] “I believe that something is going on that does not have our [residents of Liberty City] best interest at heart,” Fred Philpot said. “When the Public Works Department is called to come out to our area to make repairs, it takes days and weeks for them to show up. It’s not that way in Coral Gables, Aventura, Brickell and other affluent communities in the County. Are the powers-that-be  trying to let this area totally fall to the gutter so that they  and/or their friends can purchase the properties for pennies on the dollar?”

Pastor of New Born and President of PULSE

Rev. Pacley: “My aim is to lead sinners to Christ by the word and deeds”

In 1988, James Pacley preached his initial sermon on his way to becoming the pastor of a congregation. And “in 1996, the second Sunday in August more than 125 members were in attendance to start the New Born Faith Deliverance Missionary Baptist Church, Pacley said. “Since 2003, our services have been held at 4816 NW 22nd Ave. We have approximately 100 names on the roll but the attendance fluctuates between 35 and 75 each Sunday,” Pacley added. Pacley is a soft-spoken, easy-going man with a warm smile that tends to light up his entire face, particularly when the conversation leans towards his ministry and the members he has ministered to over the years. He told this writer about the circumstances surrounding the meeting of one of his long-time members Sis. Marie Tate. “I went to the hospital to pray for and give communion to another member the late Sis. Mable Hall. Sis. Tate was sharing the hospital room with her. I asked Sis. Tate if she would allow me to pray for her, too. She willingly accepted the offer,” Pacley said. “The very next week she was attending service at our church. She joined and the rest is as they say, history.”

Former inspirational poet now a church elder

Terry F. Newton says his life changed after 9/11

It was in 2001 that Terry Fernando Newton of Coconut Grove introduced himself to The Miami Times. He was a poet who promoted the unification of cultures and wanted to publish some of his healing, inspirational poetry. After the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York, Newton sent a poem to a reporter in New York City and to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

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Former Dolphin brings joy to the lives of local youth

Jason Taylor takes hardworking students school shopping

During the recent Labor Day weekend, Jason Taylor, retired Miami Dolphins All-Pro, took 20 students from Brownsville Middle, Carol City Middle and Senior, Northwestern Senior and William H. Turner Senior High Schools on a $300 shopping spree to Old Navy. And by taking advantage of a 30 percent storewide sale, each student was able to make purchases that totaled $420.Taylor, the founder and president of the Jason Taylor Foundation, says that he, along with his wife, Katina [vice president] and the Foundation’s board, take their mission statement seriously. “Our goal is to facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved healthcare, education and quality of life,” he said. “I remember what it was like being a child. If your clothes were not as cool as those worn by your classmates you weren’t treated well. “It’s not a good feeling.”Sharron Henley, vice-president of programs for the Urban League of Miami, led the entourage that accompanied Taylor and his special guest, rapper Ricky Rozay, on the shopping trip. “The Jason Taylor Foundation has taken students on shopping sprees like this since 2005 and to see the happiness on the faces of the children means a lot to us,” Henley said. “He buys them the latest gear for the school year. All we can say to him and his wife is thank you.”

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The Girl Power choir is on fire

Lives are being changed and destinies redirected

Girl Power Inc., an organization dedicated to helping young girls turn their lives around through day and after-school social change programs, has been a fixture in the Liberty City community for over a decade. And in order to raise funds, the Girl Power Choir, along with Miami favorites Maryel Epps and Rochelle Lightfoot, recently put on a concert at the Armory Studios in the Design District that showcased the girls’ incredible talents. “Many of these young girls are marginalized by our community,” said Thema Campbell, president/CEO, Girl Power. “It is our mission to bring the voices of these girls to the public and we’ve found that the choir is one of the best ways to broadcast the best of Girl Power to the world.” 

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Elected officials give their support to Drew K-8

It was open house recently at the Charles R. Drew K-8 Center [1775 NW 60th Street], hosted by their new principal, Tracie Lewis, and The Miami Children’s Initiative [MCI]. MCI partnered with the school and other local organizations to help Lewis and her faculty and staff improve the academic performance of the students. The open house opened with a free dinner for parents and students and a tour of the facility. Students were surprised with free books and other items needed for their first days of school. In addition, parents were informed about employment opportunities by Drew’s PTA and Catalyst. A number of elected officials also attended, bearing gifts for the children and committing their support to Drew. Over 200 parents attended the Liberty City event and met with their children’s teachers to discuss academic goals for the new school year.

Miami Gardens cops owe residents an apology

The City Miami Gardens leadership must make a united stand against violence in the community and stop treating the residents as though they are the problem. At a recent anti-violence rally, Miami Gardens Police Chief, Matthew Boyd, called on the residents to stand up, say something and fight back. He went on to say that the people are afraid, are not speaking up and are leaving it to the police to solve the community’s problems associated with crime. Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought it was the job of law enforcement to solve crime. The responsibility of the department is to protect and serve the community. When elderly residents and their grandchildren are gunned down inside of their homes, residents naturally become fearful. Instead of criticizing the residents, it would be more helpful if the Chief’s next move would be to implement strategies that build trust between the police and the residents of Miami Gardens. Boyd must understand that the residents in Miami Gardens want to live in a city free from drive-by shootings. He should be asking himself why residents, the very people he has a duty to serve and protect, are so afraid to come forward when their lives are at risk. The Chief is right. Residents are afraid. However, a follow-up question might be what is his department doing to make a difference?

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Ground broken for $12M Liberty City Health Clinic

Wilson says 22nd Avenue will see “needed revitalization”

After the outdated Miami-Dade County Health Department’s Juanita Mann Clinic and the Jessie Trice Community Health Center were both closed many years ago, the residents of Liberty City found themselves without a health clinic in their community. What ensued were funding delays, broken promises and years of scandal after scandal – but no health clinic. But finally, last Thursday, community leaders and residents, health advocates including those from the Florida Department of Health and elected officials celebrated at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new $12M Liberty City Health Clinic [2520 NW 75th Street]. Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson [FL-24] and Miami-Dade County [M-DC] Commission Jean Monestime led words of victory before they and other participants donned their construction hats and placed their shovels into the ground to mark the long-awaited move forward.

The Black voice of South Florida turns 91

Readying for the new age in media, bringing news to the community

When an enterprising immigrant from the Bahamas, H.E. Sigismund Reeves, founded The Miami Times in 1923, he followed the examples of a handful of determined Black men, all intent on “pleading the cause of their people.” Now marking its 91st year in South Florida, the award-winning Miami Times, one of the oldest Black newspapers in the U.S, continues in that same tradition. Still family-owned, the paper is led today by Rachel J. Reeves, the granddaughter of its founder. In two of the last three years, the Times has been chosen as the top Black newspaper in the U.S. by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. During that same time span, Reeves and her staff have garnered a total of 15 awards for distinction in a variety of categories, including layout and design, general excellence, and best news, faith and family, entertainment and business sections.

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MCI raises $110K for Liberty City youth

Eighty volunteers go “over the edge” of the Marriott Marquis

As this writer can personally attest, rappelling 19 stories (200 meters) down the JW Marriott Marquis Miami [255 Biscayne Blvd. Way] is not for the faint-at-heart. But after an essential training course and with a bit of needed cajoling, some 80 volunteers demonstrated their commitment to improving the lives of Liberty City’s children and families last Friday and Saturday during the second annual “Over the Edge” fundraiser, sponsored by the Miami Children’s Initiative [MCI]. According to Cecilia Gutierrez-Abety, managing director, MCI, pledges for the event totaled $110K, with each participant raising a minimum of $1,500 in donations. “It is inspiring to see so many South Floridians ready to literally go ‘over the edge’ for Liberty City’s children – it’s truly a testament to the importance of our mission,” she said.

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CRA to face epic showdown

Will Overtown residents profit from $250M project?

The third-floor meeting room of the Camillus House [1607 NW 7th Avenue] was filled to capacity last Wednesday as Overtown residents, grassroots advocates, business owners, non-profit organization leaders and members of the clergy showed up in force to hear from the two top bidders for a $250M multi-use project. Both made their pitch to the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency [SEOPW/CRA], hoping to get the nod for a highly-prized project that will bring affordable housing, retail businesses, office space, public parking and much-needed jobs to the Overtown community. The Gateway Project and All Aboard Florida are the developers that want to build on Blocks 45 and 56 — prime property with great potential both for the company chosen to develop the property and the community itself. But after almost four hours that included presentations from the two top bidders, public comment from close to 50 people and statements from the CRA’s chairperson, City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, it still was unclear which one of the two firms had gained the upper hand.

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Developer promises express passenger rail system and much more

All Aboard FL ups the ante for $250M Overtown project

All Aboard Florida may not have been the top choice by the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency’s [SEOPW/CRA] three-person selection committee in the bid for an historic $250M neighborhood development project, but their team says they believe that when the dust has settled and the paperwork signed, they’ll be the developer with the contract. And they’ve been talking to as many stakeholders as possible, they add, including City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, in order to make sure they meet both the requirements established by the CRA and the needs of the community. “Between March 2012 and now, we’ve been listening to residents, business owners, the clergy, elected officials — whoever could help us shape this project so that it can be a transformative way to change the lives of the people of Overtown,” said Jose M. Gonzalez, vice president, corporate development, Florida East Coast Industries. “Our goal has always been to understand the key issues for the community and the CRA — and that was even before the additional parcels were on the table. For us, this started with the train project. Later we realized that with the additional parcels we could develop the train station in a truly integrated manner. For example, if we are allowed to acquire lots 45 and 56, we’ll immediately move the All Aboard headquarters and begin to develop all of the land.” All Aboard Florida is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries [FECI], the legacy company of Miami entrepreneur Henry Flagler. FECI has developed many noteworthy projects in Miami-Dade County, including Bacardi USA Headquarters, Deering Bay, Downtown Doral, Office Depot Global Headquarters and the Palms at Town and Country.

Wednesday, September 11

9/11: Reflecting on the tragic day, years later

Searching for answers

This article was first published in the Sept. 7 - 13, 2011 edition of The Miami Times. It took me four times to hear about the attacks of September 11 before I believed it was real.  The first time was when I was being driven to school. I was a sophomore at Georgia State University at the time when I heard that a news report on the radio about an airplane crashing in New York.  Not knowing more than that, I took the time to give the sympathetic prayer I always send out for incidents that are tragic but distant from me before my mind drifted back to my assignment for school. I was taking an economics class at the time and always felt like I had to be on guard or else risk falling asleep in class. It turns out I needn’t have worried. Once the class was settled down, our professor announced that the we were actually being dismissed because of the “attacks” in New York.  “Attack? The plane going down wasn’t an accident, it was an attack?” I wondered if my professor had somehow misspoken.   I felt a little uneasy and resigned myself to going home. It was when I tried to leave the building that the reality of what would become known as 9/11 began to dawn on me. Everyone seemed to be out on the streets, the midmorning lull that the city normally falls into after rush hour was fractured by the crush of people walking around, rushing here and there. Every pedestrian in sight seemed to be trying to make a phone call on their cells.  I distinctly remember that moment. I decided that I was going to call dad, then I tried to reach my mom, brother, friend. Nothing. I later learned about the mechanics behind why cell phone service had been interrupted, but at the time, it seemed an ominous sign.  Now I was frightened. 

9/11: Retracing my steps and emotions, years later

Paralyzed By Fear

September 11, 2001 started like any typical day for me. I was a beat reporter working for a weekly newspaper in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and had just begun finishing my stories for the front page. Since it was a Tuesday, and we went to press that day, it was hectic. The newsroom was buzzing as my fellow reporters and the editor made final preparations for the Wednesday edition. One of my colleagues said they had heard rumors of several passenger jets being hijacked in New York and so we did what any good reporter would do — we began to ask questions. With the radio and television both on, and with fingers flying furiously along our keyboards, we soon realized that this day would not end in typical fashion. It would be a day that we would remember for the rest of our lives. It would change the way we viewed our world. A communication came across the fax machine from Michael Powell, then-director of the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] warning us to “tread softly.” I remember wondering if there had been some sudden repeal of the First Amendment — you know, freedom of speech and the press? Looking to our publisher for direction, we continued to move very slowly, to listen, to watch and to pray. Meanwhile, things in Chicago, just a few miles away from our office, had digressed into utter bedlam as panic had overtaken the City. People were rushing out the hundreds of skyscrapers and running towards the trains. At that point we didn’t know if the U.S. was under attack or not, nor did we know if other cities like ours might be in danger.

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America remembers the victims of 9/11

NEW YORK (AP) — September 11 victims' loved ones gathered at ground zero to commemorate the attacks' anniversary with the reading of names, moments of silence and serene music that have become tradition. At last Wednesday's ceremony on the 2-year-old memorial plaza, relatives recited the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died when hijacked jets crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa., as well as the 1993 trade center bombing victims' names. Beforehand, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, musician Billy Joel, firefighters and others joined in a tribute motorcycle ride from a Manhattan firehouse to ground zero. Name-reading, wreath-laying and other tributes were also held at the Pentagon and at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville while the commemoration unfolded at ground zero, where the mayor who helped orchestrate the observances from their start watched for his last time in office — and said nothing. Memorial in Shanksville while the commemoration unfolded at ground zero, where the mayor who helped orchestrate the observances from their start watched for his last time in office — and said nothing. Continuing a decision made last year, no politicians spoke, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Over his years as mayor and chairman of the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum, Bloomberg has sometimes tangled with victims' relatives, religious leaders and other elected officials over an event steeped in symbolism and emotion. But his administration has largely succeeded at its goal of keeping the commemoration centered on the attacks' victims and their families and relatively free of political image-making. Memorial organizers expect to take primary responsibility for the ceremony next year and say they plan to continue concentrating the event on victims' loved ones, even as the forthcoming museum creates a new, broader framework for remembering 9/11. Around the world, thousands of volunteers pledged to do good deeds, honoring an anniversary that was designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009. When Bloomberg and then-Gov. George Pataki announced the plans for the first anniversary in 2002, the mayor said the “intent is to have a day of observances that are simple and powerful.” By next year's anniversary, Bloomberg will be out of office, and the museum is expected to be open beneath the memorial plaza. While the memorial honors those killed, the museum is intended to present a broader picture of 9/11, including the experiences of survivors and first responders. But the organizers say they will always keep the focus on the families on the anniversary.

Tuesday, September 10

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Zimmerman's wife calls 911, won't press charges

LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) -- The 911 call seemed frantic: George Zimmerman's sobbing estranged wife said he was threatening her and her father with a gun and she feared for her life. Please come. Hours later, after police converged on the home Monday in an Orlando suburb and after speaking to her attorney, she changed her story, said Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell. She said she never saw a gun and that she and her father, whom she said Zimmerman had punched in the face, had no interest in pressing charges. Police later said they did not find a gun on Zimmerman's person. The encounter Monday was the latest in a string of events that have landed Zimmerman in the news since his acquittal July 13 of all charges for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Besides Shellie Zimmerman filing for divorce last week, George Zimmerman has twice been pulled over on suspicion of speeding and ticketed once. He's also appeared in photos at a gun maker that were published online and helped members of a family from their vehicle following a car wreck.

Friday, September 6

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CRA meeting gets “heated” as public weighs-in on $250M project

Last Wednesday, the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency [SEOPW/CRA] invited the public to listen to the two top bidders for a $250M multi-use project that is anticipated to bring affordable housing, retail businesses,

Thursday, September 5

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Business connects ‘girlfriends’ from all walks of life

Miami-based entrepreneur hopes to get her products on shelves across U.S.

Now-a-days, Black women have adopted a bad rep. Known to other races as being “angry” and “hard-to-deal-with” over the years because of their own personal battles. One South Florida woman has made it her mission to strengthen the bond shared among “girlfriends” worldwide and reverse this reputation.

Colyer hopes third time will be the charm

Ex-DCF director says “District 5 needs a leader people can trust”

Jacquetta “Jacqui” Colyer, the former regional director for the Department of Children and Family [DCF] for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties who began her career in the area of social work many years ago, has

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North Shore opens new Comprehensive Breast Institute

In an effort to enhance its services to the community, North Shore Medical Center proudly announces the opening of the all new Comprehensive Breast Institute at North Shore Medical Center.

Did two Norland teachers give examination answers?

Hundreds of students at Miami Norland Senior High School may have received state industry certifications because they were allowed to cheat, says the Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General.

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People: September 4, 2013

Miamians were saddened to learn of the demise of Julie Smith Clarke and Henry “Sanky” Newbold, both well-known throughout Miami.  I will miss both of them fondly. They were loved by many and will be missed by all.

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Guion "Guy" Bluford: First Black in space

Refused to listen to negative advice

Guion "Guy" Bluford, Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 22, 1942. His mother, Lolita was a special education teacher and his father, Guion Sr., was a mechanical engineer.

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3.2M Floridians prepare for drastic cuts in SNAP benefits

Seniors and children to be most severely-impacted by ‘food insecurity’ in state

An estimated 3.2 million men, women and children in Florida will see a reduction in their SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program], formerly referred to as Food Stamps, on November 1st, equating to around $5M by the end of 2014 to once-eligible households in the State.

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FMU puts education first with annual scholarship gala

Special guests include NBA champ, philanthropist Dwyane Wade

It’s time for Florida Memorial University’s [FMU] 12th Annual Scholarship Gala — and this year the honorary guest will be Miami Heat Dwyane Wade. Wade has shown himself to be a true leader, both on and off the court, with his Wade’s World foundation — an organization that assists disadvantaged youth in achieving their educational goals. Wade also collaborates with FMU in providing scholarships for students.

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Shenita Hunt sizzles in holiday concert

UM-trained vocalist, song writer builds on her devoted fan base

Shenita Hunt is making the rounds in South Florida, doing what all entertainers must do before scoring that “big break” — taking gigs at all kinds of more intimate venues and filling the place with her powerful, melodious voice. And from her most recent gig, she’s definitely making the best of it.

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St. Thomas Aquinas defeats Northwestern 38-3

If social media is any indicator of popular opinion, the demand for a revamp in the Northwestern coaching staff will loom overhead for the Bulls for the remainder of the season unless head coach Stephen Fields can find a way to band-aid his team’s embarrassing 38-3 televised loss to nationally ranked St. Thomas Aquinas on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.

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Parents on a mission for high-quality education

Will the Black community ever receive equal access in schools?

At six o’clock in the evening last Tuesday, the Fellowship Hall on the grounds of the Urban League [8400 NW 25th Ave.] in Liberty City was nearly

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South Dade defeats Columbus 12-10

The South Dade Buccaneers narrowly skirted a loss to the Columbus Explorers in a 12-10 victory Friday night at Harris Field in what may have been a preview of a post-season regional battle come late November.

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Fannet Lyons celebrates 100th birthday on Sept. 8

Fannet Clark Lyons will mark her 100th birthday on Sept. 8th at Mount Herman AME Church [17800 NW 25th Ave.], where many relatives and friends will help her celebrate a very special day. The festivities begin at 1 p.m. in the Church’s Fellowship Hall.

Are we really our brother's keeper?

We have recently become a nation of marchers once again, taking a page out of the 1960s playbook to advance our individual causes and concerns. We’ve marched in the name of justice for Trayvon Martin; support for equal rights, including marriage

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True Fellowship: A ministry began in home of the Boykins

Church started from grassroots

August 1996 was the beginning of the ministry called True Fellowship Worship Center (TWFC). After sharing bible study and prayer meetings in their home from February to July, it was placed on the heart of Pastor Emeritus Myrtis Armbrister to start a full service ministry.

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Family helps bring murderers to justice

Book gives chilling details of mother and daughter’s fight to survive

It started out like any New Year’s Day evening in 2006, when Lilly Ann Pauley, 56 and her daughter, LaToya Pauley, 30, both of Richmond, VA, were doing things like recuperating from a fun-filled party at a relative’s home the night before and throwing away rumpled paper from Christmas gifts.

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ACT reports Blacks still falling behind

Data indicates that many are ill-prepared to enter college

In the eyes of your child’s teacher, your child may be ready for college and all that comes with it, but according to the ACT yearly report only 5 percent of Black students are. In fact the report shows that one-third of this year’s high school graduates who took the ACT test are not prepared for college-level writing, biology, algebra or social science classes. 

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Serena still "tennis queen" of the hill

There I was this past weekend flipping through the channels looking for some competitive sports to watch on TV and before I knew it I had hit the jackpot. Lucky me got to watch Serena Williams deliver a stern message on Sunday afternoon at the U.S. Open in New York City,