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News 2014 August

Stories for August 2014

Thursday, August 28

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The Lord’s vision helped Rhodes found Word Counselors Ministries

Dr. Napoleon D. Rhodes Sr., is the International Prelate of the Convention of Covenanting Churches. The organization has churches in the U.S., including Miami, Palm Beach and Riviera Beach. It also has churches in several foreign countries, including the Philippines, Africa, Asia, India and Iran. In 1977, Rhodes says he “followed a vision from the Lord and contacted two of his dearest friends and founded Word Counselors Ministries to help the body of Christ.”

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Documentary explores the real Miami through tough streets and broken dreams

Documentary explores Miami's tough streets and broken dreams

It’s raw, gritty and electrifying. The new online documentary series The Field: Miami by Worldstar Hip Hop Films, gives viewers a glimpse of Miami beyond the swaying palm trees, ritzy malls and million-dollar beachfront homes. The documentary is the second installment by Worldstar, which launched The Field: Miami Aug. 18. Film executives hope to duplicate the success of their critically acclaimed first installment, The Field: Chicago which has attracted 20 million views online since it was launched in January.

Most new teachers sent to struggling Black schools

Report calls for distribution changes

Miami-Dade County Public schools has done a poor job of distributing veteran teachers equally among its districts, according to a report released last Wednesday by a research organization called the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCQT). The report, titled “Unequal Access, Unequal Results” detailed the findings of a study requested by the local Urban League chapter. The findings were dismal for areas stricken with poverty and heavily populated by Blacks. NCQT reported that 70 percent of the 60 county schools to earn a D or F letter grade for the 2012 academic year were located in Opa-locka, Miami Gardens,

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Chatter That Matters

The Cheeks family reunion orchestrated by Cotious and Connie Arnold, along with the host committee was held in Tampa July 17-20 with the theme “A Gathering of Generations: Remembering Our Past, Living Today, and Embracing Our Future.” Attendees enjoyed excursions, and sightseeing stops. Activities included a welcome and family fun night at the Double Tree Hotel, an evening at Rusty Pelican, family worship service and of course, lots of shopping. As always, the family reunion was a great time to create memories and have fun doing it.

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The Sports Brothers

Bigger than wins and losses

America fell in love with a group of young African-American men who dazzled the nation and the world in the just concluded Little League World Series. The Jackie Robinson West All-Stars are still the darlings of Chicago, even after a disappointing loss to South Korea in the Little League World Series championship game. The Jackie Robinson West team put up an inspiring effort, including a late rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, but it was not to be. The magic of Cinderella's glass

Gimenez wants cameras on all police

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has vowed to make “body cameras” mandatory for all county police officers as protests continue nationwide over the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

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AMIKids: Separating a troubled past from a bright future

An alternative education program for helping adjudicated youth achieve

Fret not! Don't let the metal detectors at the entrance fool you, once inside the youth of AMIkids will make you feel very warm and welcomed as they are taught to take pride in the introduction of themselves. Associate Marine Institute “AMIkids” Miami-Dade North is a nonprofit alternative education program that gives troubled youth second chances. Formerly the Dade Marine Institute (DMI), AMIkids is a unique approach to redirecting the lives of troubled 14 to 18-year-old boys and girls in a marine environment.

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Florida New Majority hosts panel discussion

“Living Legends: Civil Rights Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”

The Florida New Majority, a voter participation group, hosted a panel discussion last Thursday to spark conversation about involvement in various social justice movements. An opening parable narrated by African storyteller Djenaba Gregory-Faal set an underlying theme about youth activism to the discussion. Gregory-Faal engaged the audience in song with the words “Bring on the day when a young spirit will be in charge.”

Miami Dade College: Top degree producer

Miami Dade College (MDC) confers the most associate degrees according to Community College Week’s Top 100. This past spring, MDC graduated nearly 15,000 students, most of whom were awarded associate degrees, many of which feed into the College’s baccalaureate degree pathways, which include nursing, elementary education and biological sciences, among others for in demand fields.

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Racial biases still evident

Survey highlights differences between Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown coverage

The killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer in Missouri has raised concerns about police brutality to a national platform. Brown’s incident is one of several fatal interactions with cops in the past few weeks that has stirred Blacks to protest in solidarity with oppressed communities around the world.

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A woman of God who loves God’s people

Pastor Dr. Willie Di James is the daughter of Mother Evang. Rachel Ross and Brother Willie Daniel James Boston, MA. She is also a loving and devoted mother of Brother Elijah L. James and grandmother of two lovely grandsons, Elijah Jr. and Jakorie James.

Get rid of your excess baggage

When an individual decides to change from worldly living to one with biblical principles, he or she become as what Christians describes as a “new creature,” who has received a brand new life. This new life includes different attitudes, desires, ambitions and needs. The transformation may be insidious but there have been cases where all of these characteristics manifest immediately. Some Christians even claim they have experienced a change in appearance after their conversion.

Choir Director 2 hits all the right notes

You just can’t do it. Call it cold feet, bad timing, or whatever – but you just can’t do it. Your feet are dug in. It ain’t happenin’. At least, not now. But, as in the new novel “The Choir Director 2: Runaway Bride” by Carl Weber, you’re allowed to change your mind… Aaron Mackie was about to marry the woman of his dreams.

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Fifth annual African Diaspora Dance and Drum Festival in Little Haiti

The thumping sounds of traditional African drums will celebrate ethnic pride and culture during the fifth annual African Diaspora Dance and Drum Festival from Sept. 5-7 in Little Haiti. Sponsored by Delou, Africa, Inc. the festival will include myriad music, dance and drum traditions of Africa under the event’s theme, Bridging Cultural Gaps. Adults and children of various cultures will be immersed in workshops and classes that aim to promote diversity and harmony. Organizers said the festival will also showcase the creativity and the cultural resilience of the rich traditions of Africa.

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Lifestyle Happenings

The Miami Jackson Class of 1969 will have a planning meeting, 45 Year Reunion, on Saturday August 30, at Piccadilly Restaurant, Hialeah, 10 a.m. Call 305-620-4827.   Miami Northwestern Class of 1965, invites classes 63-1967 to join them in worship at Mt. Tabor Baptist Church’s new location August 31 at 10:45 a.m. Call 305-635-8671.

North Miami unveils project to boost its downtown

North Miami city officials have proposed a multi-story garage with retail and office spaces as part of an effort to keep businesses and residents in the downtown area. The proposal was recently made by a newly formed downtown advisory committee, which met with city officials to discuss the plans and the future of the downtown area.

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Anti-crime campaign comes alive in Brownsville cemetery

The fight against crime is not dead. Amid thousands of above-ground graves and towering evergreens, District 3 Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, joined police officials in one of Miami’s oldest Black cemeteries to appeal to community residents in helping solve dozens of deadly shootings that have plagued Miami’s urban neighborhoods this past year. At an unusual press conference at Evergreen Cemetery in Brownsville, Edmonson along, with pastors and community leaders, pleaded residents to come forward

Mini police station heading to Liberty Square

Police, leaders seek to deter crime in complex

City, county and congressional leaders are working together to end the rash of fatal gun violence in one Miami’s most notorious Black neighborhoods. During a scheduled meeting last Wednesday an unprecedented solution was approved. The answer: A police mini-station in Liberty Square housing complex most widely known as the ‘Pork and Beans projects’.

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Booker T. Washington Senior High introduces Education Effect

Students present STEM projects to White House advisor

Black students remain an underrepresented group in the astronomy profession. In an effort to increase interest among youth, Booker T. Washington Senior High’s 25-year-old planetarium received a major makeover thanks to the launch of the Education Effect, a university community school partnership between Florida International University (FIU) and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

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N.D.R.C. Inc. 8th annual scholarship banquet

The North Dade Reunion Committee, Inc. held their 8th annual scholarship banquet on Sunday, August 10, awarding monetary gifts to 11 graduating high school students heading to college. This year’s recipients are:

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NSMC hosts baby shower event for the community

North Shore Medical Center pays tribute to mothers during National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August by hosting a baby shower and allowing guests to tour the hospital’s Signature Birthplace Suites.

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Learn how to save a life during CPR Day Miami

CPR is a simple lifesaving skill that just hasn’t caught on like it should. With 70 percent of Americans lacking the knowledge to perform CPR, Jackson Health System, the University of Miami, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, in collaboration with the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association, will

Wednesday, August 27

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Black incumbents win; Ighodaro, Burns headed for runoff'

After months of listening to campaign speeches and attending political forums, Blacks in Miami-Dade County headed to the polls to vote in the primary elections on Tuesday. Education, health care, unemployment and moral integrity were all important issues that concerned Black voters regarding several key political races in Miami Gardens, North Miami, Liberty City and Miami-Dade County. Black voters also turned their attention to the gubernatorial race, and the bid for the attorney general office.

Thursday, August 21

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Report: Most new teachers sent to struggling Black schools

District says data outdated, patchy

Miami-Dade County Public Schools has done a poor job of distributing veteran teachers equally among its districts, according to a report released yesterday, but county officials pointed out the weakness in the data and presented recent improvements.

Novice teachers, inferior education: A letter of concern

A reader writes to express his concern stemming from a recent study that reports that most new teachers are concentrated at poor, Black schools.

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Urban League urges dads to be active parents

As millions of students around the country returned to school Monday, the Urban League of Greater Miami urged local Black fathers to be involved in their children’s education, first by waking up to take them to school. The Urban League’s push was matched by other organizations in over 700 cities across the United States in a movement tagged Million Fathers March. The program originated in Chicago in 2004 by the Black Star Project, an organization that equips minority children with academic resources.

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Chatter That Matters

New Miami Northwestern Senior High School football coach Eddie “Rabbit” Brown feels the Bulls will see a marked improvement from last year’s 5-5 record and come out on the winning side this football season. As I observed Brown and his staff and the enthusiasm of the players, it reminded me of the 1946 Thanksgiving at the “Dust Bowl” when the Bulls defeated the BTW Tornados 2-0.

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Carol City Middle gets fresh paint job

Burger King Corp. employees in Miami gathered at Carol City Middle School last week to

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It's Tannehill's time to shine

The 2013 season for Ryan Tannehill was a step in the right direction. The second year quarterback showed promise by doubling his touchdown numbers. He also passed for almost 700 more yards, and ended up with a better completion and passing rating than his rookie season. He finished in the top 10 in the league in terms of yards passing with 3,913, and in the top half of the league in terms of yards per game and passing touchdowns. So why are some Dolphin fans reluctant to embrace this guy as the quarterback of the present and future?

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Rolling out the Red Carpet

Aug. 18 marked the first day of school

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Campaigns turn dirty as election nears

The political race for Miami Gardens’ general election turned dirty last weekend after allegations of unethical campaigning swirled among candidates seeking seats on the city council. The seats are currently occupied by Lisa Davis and Dr. Erhabor Ighodaro who are stepping up their campaigns against a group of determined candidates who want to change the city with bold opinions and fresh ideas. Davis, who occupies Seat 2, seeks a second term against Charlene Butler, 65, a retired postal worker and Tamarah Lee, who has a law degree from the University of Florida.

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Edmonson hosts eighth annual Fun Day Book Bag Giveaway and Health Fair at Olinda Park

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson helped 2,000 children get ready for the new school year at her 8th annual Fun Day Book Bag Giveaway & Health and Info Fair on Aug. 9 at Olinda Park.

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Diddy leads a REVOLT

Music mogul to host star-studded conference on Miami Beach

Diddy. Russell Simmons. LA Reid. Look out. They’re set to lead a REVOLT in Miami. The trio will be among a powerhouse lineup of some of the most influential movers and shakers who will converge on Miami Beach for the first-ever REVOLT Music Conference at The Fountainbleau Hotel OCT. 16 – 19.

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‘I have autism but autism does not have me’

David Pedemonte-Forte: From an autistic child to a genius of a man

Because of the prayers, persistence, and patience of a mother, Gloria Pedemonte, a Honduran, who believes there is nothing too hard for God to do, demonstrated through her untiring efforts that what could have been a devastating ending now simply is, “A walking miracle.” Her son, David, 28, a native of Miami, is autistic. But people who meet David constantly remark that “He is a genius.”

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What Blacks need to know about credit

While some took advantage of their summer by visiting the beach or relaxing at the pool, others decided to build their financial IQ. Throughout July and August OneUnited Bank presented Smart Money Summer School. Branch Manager Ernst Joseph and his staff conducted workshops to help consumers develop financial action plans and provided them tools to better understand credit.

Untold stories of Black men

Aspiring chef Courtney Kerr shares his tale of trials

Days after the devastating news traveled around the nation that Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old male was gunned by Darren Wilson, a seven-year police officer, in a suburb of Ferguson, Mo., communities protested with riots to express their frustrations of countless Black men dying by the same hands that were meant to protect them.

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South African delegation meets with Comm. Edmonson

A trade delegation from South Africa visited Commissioner Audrey Edmonson in her District Office on Monday, August 18. The South Africa delegation comprises Neville Matjie, General Manager of Trade & Investment Kwazulu-Natal (TIKZN) Province; Abigail Ellary, EFI’s Trade Director for Southern Africa and Thembe L. Ndlovu, Trade and Investment Officer, TIKZN. They were accompanied by Desmond Alufohai and Bryant Salter. Discussions were focused on the Business Development Mission to South Africa led by Commissioner Audrey Edmonson to Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, from March 1 - 9.

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Crist turns up campaign for the Black vote

Democratic candidate for Gov. renews attacks with “Restore Cuts Tour”

Trailing behind Gov. Rick Scott in most polls, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist campaigned heavily in Miami’s Black community last Friday with his “Restore Cuts Tour” to boost sagging numbers as the clock ticks down to Election Day. With concerns about his political aspirations fading, Crist launched the campaign to regain the lead in opinion polls against his opponent. Traveling on a yellow school bus to highlight this election’s hottest issue, education, Crist campaigned in Liberty City before he opened a new office in Miami Gardens, where he hopes to increase the number of new voters in Florida’s largest Black city.

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Fight for justice in Ferguson

Protests over shooting of Michael Brown intensify

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The National Guard arrived in Ferguson but kept its distance from the streets where protesters clashed again with police, as clouds of tear gas and smoke hung over the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer. Protesters filled the streets after nightfall Monday, and officers trying to enforce tighter restrictions at times used bullhorns to order them to disperse. Police deployed noisemakers and armored vehicles to push demonstrators back. Officers fired tear gas and flash grenades.

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Memories of Old Smokey depict sacrifice zone

Documentary details West Grove history, injustice

A tall, skinny building billows out smoke, its forceful dark clouds spewing sift indiscriminately onto school children nearby. On days when the trash incinerator was not operating those same kids would run up and down the mound on which it was built.

Problems plague Campbell in tough re-election bid

Incident, ethical problems hurt legislator’s bid to keep her seat

State Rep. Daphne Campbell is under investigation for an intense confrontation that may cost the embattled legislator her re-election bid next week. Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief accused Campbell’s brother-in-law of pulling a gun on her during an argument over politics two weeks ago in the parking lot of the WAVS Caribbean radio station in Davie. Daphne Campbell’s brother-in-law, Jeremiah Campbell, allegedly emerged from the station with a gun in his hand, according to story aired on WPLG Channel 10 Monday evening.

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Dream Defenders march in ‘hands-up’ rally

Eight arrested at peaceful rally in Downtown Miami

“Hands up, Don’t shoot,” is the chant being heard around the globe following the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., and Israel “Reefa” Hernandez, an unarmed Hispanic male who was tasered to death by Miami Beach police officers and others around the country that occurred in the last month alone.

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Lifestyle Happenings

The St. John Community Development Corp. will host its 15th annual fundraising gala Fri. Aug. 22 at the Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom. Call 305-372-0682. Booker T. Washington Class of 1965 Inc. will meet 3:30 p.m. Sat. Aug. 16 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Call 305-213-0188. BTW Alumni Association Inc. will meet 6 p.m. Thu. Aug. 21 at the BTW Cafeteria. Call 305-213-0188. The Miami Central Alumni Association is planning a bus trip to Hoover AL for the Miami Central Rockets vs. Hoover High Buccaneers on Fri Aug. 22 for the nationally televised game scheduled for Aug. 23. Call 305-310-7227.

Tuesday, August 19

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Sybrina Fulton to family of Michael Brown: Your lives are forever changed

Mother of slain Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, writes to the family of Michael Brown, a teen recently executed by police in Black suburban Ferguson, Mo.

Thursday, August 14

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Historic West Grove awaits trolley settlement

Residents in Miami’s oldest Black neighborhood are working on a settlement after a lawsuit was filed against a developer for illegally building a trolley garage in the Coconut Grove.

Miami Dade College North hosts Farm Share food distribution

Miami Dade College’s (MDC) North Campus will hold a free, back-to-school food distribution for needy students and families, beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 16. More than 100 volunteers – including MDC students – will hand out food packages including fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and other grocery items.

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Music school CEO looking to land Northside location

Executive aims to give all a chance to develop more than talent

We can recall the time where we’ve been asked over and over again, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Now the time has come, Thomas Demerritte, CEO of the ADMIT program, is giving not just adolescents, but adults too the opportunity to advance in the music business. The ADMIT program provides music and entertainment industry career training while assisting them in writing, recording and distributing their own positive songs.

Jessie Trice to host several events for National Health Center Week

In recognition of National Health Center Week, which takes place from August 10 – 16, the Jessie Trice Community Health Center (JTCHC) will officially launch their “We Know” brand campaign that will include a series of special community events and activities.

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Rematch set for District 2 seat

Rolle seeking to reclaim spot from Monestime as new challenger emerges

It’s a rematch of two political heavyweights. In one corner is former District 2 Commissioner Dorrin Rolle, who is seeking redemption after a financial scandal that stained his political career. In the other corner is District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime who is riding on a string of victories in his community.

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Candidates mobilize for early voting

They were fired up and ready to vote. That was the slogan candidates and community leaders used Monday to mobilize voters to the polls as early voting began for various offices throughout the county, state and federal government. Monday was the first of 14 days of early voting, the result of a new effort by state lawmakers to allow election officials more flexibility in hours and operations. The early voting period culminates with the election day primaries on Aug. 26.

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Faith Calendar

Living Word Christian Center Intl. will be in their 11th Church Anniversary starting Wed., August 13 through Friday, August 15 at 7:30 pm and ending Sunday, August 17 at 3 p.m.  Call 305 624-0044. The Golden Bells will celebrate their 36th singing anniversary 7 p.m. Aug. 15 at Freewill Christian Center in Miami Gardens. Call 786-251-2678.

Fla. tech job market booming

State ranks second in growth

Florida has created nearly as many technology-related jobs in the past six months as it did for all of last year. The creation of these 4,100 tech jobs and the 90 percent growth they represent ranks the state as number two on a list of states with positive job inclines in the technology industry. Florida is second only to Texas, which according to a report from tech recruitment website Dice.com, produced 8,100 new jobs.

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Facing re-election, Pam Bondi launches new mobile app

Candidates question her political motives

Several weeks before Florida voters take to the polls to select her opponent in primary elections, attorney general Pam Bondi launched a mobile application intended to make her office more accessible. The app, which was released Aug. 1, is free and available to Apple users. Major features include press releases and personal statements from Bondi every week. Users can file a Medicaid fraud complaint form directly on the app, but will be redirected to the web if they try to fill the form for a citizen services complaint.

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MOCA programs in jeopardy, former board members leave for new museum

Aug. 9 was the last day for the creative summer arts camp for seven to ten year olds at North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). It was time to say good bye after the participants put the finishing touches on six fun-filled weeks of art lessons, activities and memorable relationships. They gathered together for a group photo near the museum’s reflection pool. The students shouted “MOCA” before a little girl snapped the picture. It may be the last time they will attend this camp again.

Out with the old, in with the new

iTECH High hits its target goal for upcoming 2014-2015 school year

Miami Edison Middle School has slowly but successfully transitioned into iTECH @ Thomas A. Edison Educational Center in a matter of months. As the 2014-2015 school year approaches, the district-wide magnet high school is finalizing its plans to introduce its first year of ninth-graders.  Curiosity within the community has grown exponentially Please turn to ITECH A

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Breast milk like 'liquid gold,' can decrease Black baby deaths

Breasts, though arguably one of the most sexually objectified parts of the female anatomy, are the subject of national debate over their functional purpose — providing nourishment to an infant. With August being National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, several incidents that occurred

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Chatter That Matters

Congratulations to Alice Day founder of the Sunshine Jazz Club, for presenting the fifth annual Hall of Fame inductees, along with Keith Valles, president, and  “The Real” Tracy Fields, WLRN FM 91.3 (Mon – Fri. at 7 p.m.). Valles had the honor of presenting inductees:  Pete Minger, trumpet/flugelhorn, Nestor Torres, flute, Jimmy Crawford, piano/vocals, Panama Francis, drums, Dave Nuby, (Francis started out playing the saxophone until the drummer failed to show and he kicked off with drums in 1968, ) and Paquito D’Rivera, Alto Saxophone.

College graduates need to know about savings

Survey shows millennials need better financial education

When going into anything it is best to have a well thought out plan beforehand — well, that was so for generation Baby Boomers. The new-aged millennials (ages 18-34) have been doing things a bit differently and by differently that means not-so-well-thought-out. Nearly 70 percent of millennials have never received formal financial education, according to a recent TD Bank Financial Education survey.

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Charity for the 'sole': Kids get new 'kicks'

Students receive free shoes, uniforms as they prepare for back to school

It wasn’t your typical back-to-school giveaway. Backpacks, pens and notebooks were out. This back to school was all about the shoes. It was a charity for the “soles.” About 25 elementary school students in Miami Gardens received help Wednesday as they were given new footwear and free vouchers to purchase two new school uniforms as they head back to school next week.

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A letter to millennials: You must be the change

The execution of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager gunned down by Missouri police, is not the first example of deaths at the hands of those whose so-called mission is to “protect and serve.” Aggressors keep turning to a perceived threat as justification for the robbery of Black life, even though those

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Ward House gets $50,000 annual fund

Overtown’s historic Ward Rooming House gallery received a $50,000 annual commitment from the Southeast Overtown /Park West Redevelopment Agency. The agency voted last week to give the amount on a yearly basis to the building, located across from the Dorsey House at 249 NW Ninth Street in the Historic Overtown Folklife Village.

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Lifestyle Happenings

Fortress Women Foundation will give away 200 book bags at its inaugural book bag giveaway, 12 p.m. Aug 15 at Fulford Park. YoungFi, Zoeydollazzz and Jay Buck will be performing live. State Rep. Cynthia A. Stafford partners with Farm Share for a free food distribution 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Miami-Dade North Campus Gymnasium. Call 305-953-3086.

Miami to host anti-hunger forum

September is Hunger Action Month. In response, Miami will host a summit to end hunger in South Florida, where 900,000 people go hungry. The event, “What Will it Take to End Hunger” will bring together business leaders, students, government officials, nonprofit organizations, and other

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Teachers attend rally to kick off school year

Over 600 teachers, education support professionals, and local and national business partners Monday converged on the Bank United Center at the University of Miami to hear from Union President Fedrick C. Ingram. 

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Dr. Timothy Stewart elected First VP of Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc.

The Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc’s (PNBC) 53rd Annual Session was recently held in Fort Lauderdale, FL at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Visitors and Convention Center. The event attracted thousands of delegates. Dr. Timothy Stewart, Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, Nassau led a Bahamas Delegation of 120 persons. Reverend Stewart who was elected to First Vice

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Bishop Burley and Pastor Linda Knowles: United, spiritual team

Couple express purpose in their ministry with the word of truth

The Breakthrough International Christian Center (BICC), 3790 NW 167th. is under the spiritual leadership of Bishop Burley and Pastor Linda Knowles. They said, “Our responsibilities are to first, “rightly divide the word of truth, and secondly, to help others tap into their purpose for being on this earth.”

Educator returning home with innovative program

Donna Grant brings Red Bear to her community after retirement

Donna Grant was born in Tampa and came to Miami with her parents when she was 3 years old. A graduate of Overtown’s historic Booker T. Washington Senior High School in 1966, Grant obtained a Master’s Degree in Education from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) in 1970. “I knew as a teenager that I wanted to be fully prepared to be the best I could be in the field of education. I went on to earn a Ph.D in Educational Leadership from Union Institute & University in 1998.”

Author is a young adult “hooked on Jesus”

Niger Alford was born in Miami to the late Ella Mae Tyler and Carlton Dixon. She was raised in Brownsville and attended Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Brownsville. After graduating from Miami Central Senior High School in 2001 she enrolled at Bethune Cookman College (now university) in Daytona Beach. After a year her pursuit of a degree in business administration was interrupted when Alford’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live. She came back to Miami to be with her mother and enrolled at Florida Memorial University. Alford started

Thursday, August 7

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Liberty City cleanup

City Commissioner Keon Hardemon led a cleanup of the Liberty City Housing Projects, known as Pork and Beans last Thursday

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Judge Rodney Smith pleads his case to voters

Candidate appeals for support in re-election bid

In a few weeks, the verdict will be out on the future of Judge Rodney Smith. A seasoned Black judge with six years of experience, Smith is well-respected among many top lawyers and legal organizations. But he is embroiled in an intense re-election bid to the 11th Circuit of Appeals, a position Smith has held since 2012. His opponent is Christian Carrazana, a tenacious personal trial attorney.

Overtown mentor sticks with group through senior year

Program began in 2004 with first graders

Eric Lewis, program director for a Miami mentoring program, is nostalgic. He recounts the moment he took on the role in 2004 for the I Have A Dream Foundation. “I remember the first day I received the list of 50 kids. They were six and seven years old and I looked around the room and asked myself ‘What have I got myself into?’”

Statewide voter participation organization empowering Blacks

Freedom Fellows work hard to engage community members

Fifty years later, Black organizations are still following the blueprint that over 700 student volunteers set out on in order to increase Black voter registration in post-segregated Mississippi. For 10 weeks, white students from the North would join activists to embed themselves within the community who later went on to open Freedom Schools for children where Black history and culture were taught — subjects that were shunned by regular public schools at the time.

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CRA passes $43.5M bond

Hopes to jumpstart the redevelopment projects in historic community

Following pleas from Overtown residents, Miami commissioners on Wednesday unanimously voted to release $43.5 million in bonds to jumpstart redevelopment projects in the historic Black neighborhood. The bond will fund various affordable housing complexes and mixed-use development projects at St. John’s Plaza, the Historic Lyric Theater and The Culmer Center Housing Development.

Americans in debt

Shocking report declares 77 million U.S. citizens in debt

It is no secret that Americans have some serious issues when it comes to debt. A recent report released by the Urban Institute titled, “Delinquent Debt in America,” examined non-mortgage debt with help from the Consumer Credit Research Institute. What is that you may ask? “It is any debt in collections that involves a non-mortgage bill — such as a credit card balance, medical or utility bill, child support payments and even parking tickets — that are more than 180 days past due and have been placed in collections,” according to the report.

Lifestyle Happenings

Smaart America Charities Inc. will hold reading readiness classes for children entering kindergarten, first and second grade and Algebra 1 for 8th graders every Sat. through August 8. Call 1-888-620-5464. The Booker T. Washington High School Alumni Class of 1966 will host a “Night of Fun and Games,” Fri. Aug. 8 at El Portal Village Hall. Call 305-754-6141. Destiny school of etiquette will hold a fashion, dance and academics camp for girls entering third through eighth grade through Aug. 8. Call 305-527-6052.

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ESPN hypocritical for suspension

I hope that Stephen A Smith and every other analyst that works for sports giant ESPN today realizes what a hypocritical company they work for. Surely the nice paychecks make up for some of the inadequacies of said employer and Smith could be chilling on the beautiful beaches of St. Thomas right now, but I am disgusted by his suspension last week.

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Hope grows out of Charles R. Drew Middle

Located in the heart of Liberty City, Charles R. Drew Middle School has been a pillar in the community since 1969. For over 40 years, this educational institution has produced some of the most effective educational curriculums that have molded some of the brightest minds known, both at the local and national level. These role models have spearheaded major developments that have provided valuable stepping stones for others to follow into positions of leadership.

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Promising progress for Overtown’s future

I am extremely encouraged by Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA’s (CRA) bold move of approving a minimum $43.5 million bond issuance. This approval ensures that some of the long-awaited projects will begin to move in Overtown. I would like to see that all of the approved projects begin and are completed. That is what I have been fighting for all along.

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Lawmakers ordered to redraw map for August special election

Legislature must submit a revised plan before August 15, judge rules

The Florida Legislature has until Aug. 15 to submit a revised map of its flawed congressional map and must propose a special election for congressional districts that were affected by changes made by political operatives. That's the ruling by Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis, who gave the order last Friday and drew applause from a coalition of voters groups, led by the League of Women Voters. The groups filed the lawsuit accusing conservative lawmakers of violating the Fair Districts rules when they redrew the congressional map.

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Faith Calendar

St. Mary’s Wesleyan Methodist Church Trustee Board is sponsoring a “Lobsterfest” bus trip to Key West on Sat Aug. 9. Call 954-258-8383. COGASOC, Tenth Tabernacle will have their second annual Back-to-School Bonanza 2 p.m. Sunday, August 10. Call 786-477-7723 or visit http://miami.cogasoc.org. The Golden Bells will celebrate their 36th singing anniversary 7 p.m. Aug. 15 at Freewill Christian Center in Miami Gardens. Call 786-251-2678.

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Chatter That Matters

Jumbo’s restaurant closed its doors and according to Bobby Flam, owner, Ray Kovler, consultant, Greg Sparks, and Tisdale Rolle, manager they and may look for another locale. Flam’s family bought the diner in 1955.  He took over ownership from his father in 1967.  At that time, Jumbo’s was an all white establishment that only served Blacks from the kitchen.

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Jackson Hospital offers five-star treatment

Jackson Memorial stepped up efforts to boost revenue with the birth of its new maternity suites, part of a posh, luxurious center that aims to improve the reputation of the 94-year-old public institution. The suites are part of a $6 million renovation project to modernize Jackson’s aging facilities, which are losing paying patients to newer hospitals that offer better services and rooms. Jackson hopes the upgrades will make the hospital more competitive in the growing healthcare market.

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Miami setting the standard for educating minorities

Increasing student diversity requires new approach

When Black students around the nation return to school this fall, they may find their experience different from that of their parents or even older siblings because what they will likely see is more of kids who look like them. According to projections from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), this school year may represent the first time minority students will outnumber their white counterparts in classrooms across the country.

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Attorney general candidate looks to beat out Bondi, make Florida history

Voters could elect state’s first Black man to hold the office

On August 26, as part of Florida’s primary elections, voters will determine which of the two Democratic candidates they prefer to run against incumbent state attorney general, Republican Pam Bondi. The attorney general serves as the head legal advisor to Florida lawmakers and is elected to act in the interest of the public. When Bondi was elected in 2011, she became the first woman to hold the position in the state.

North Miami official runs against Frederica Wilson

A 31-year old Haitian-American from North Miami seeks to unseat Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, one of South Florida’s most formidable politicians. Michael Etienne, who is running in the Aug. 26 primary against Wilson, will rely on the support of predominate Haitian-American population in North Miami, one of several municipalities that lies within District 24, which also includes Opa-locka, Miami Shores and Little Haiti and Brickell . The district also extends north to Miramar.

Role Models receive full ride to B-CU

Program administrator, Dr. Theron Clark talks importance of HBCU’s

With the dwindling number of enrolled students and the rising cost of higher education, Historically Black Colleges Universities (HBCU’s) have been taking a substantial hit as of late. The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project and Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) announced that they will be awarding full scholarships totaling to $500,000 to deserving students from inner-city high schools.

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The work of angels: Angela Meadows

Event pushes young girls to develop their self-confidence

On Wednesday, August 6, stylist to the stars and salon owner, Angela Meadows is helping nine young girls develop their self-confidence and self-esteem as they embark on a new school year. The students from the summer program at Grace Christian Preparatory located in Goulds, an underserved community in Miami, are in for an entire day of pampering!  The young ladies will enjoy a beauty makeover along with new school supplies and uniforms.