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Serena Williams: French Open Champion?

Tennis superstar and South Florida resident Serena Williams started her campaign Tuesday, May 24 in Paris at the French Open. The defending Rolland Garros Champion is not only in search of her fourth French Title (2002, 2013, 2015) but she is hoping to make history and tie German tennis hall of famer Steffi Graff with 22 grand slam titles, the most in the Open era.

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R. Kelly: The King of R&B?

The crooner brings concert to the AAA

R&B music reigned supreme during the 1990s and many children under the age of 25 have that music to thank for helping mom and dad “set the mood.” Among groups like Jodeci and Silk and the sultry stylings of Babyface, one man who reigned supreme as the undisputed king of R&B is R. Kelly. “The Buffet Tour” stops by South Florida at the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami, Saturday, May 29 and Kelly promises this to be his most-exciting and entertaining tour yet.

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Crash takes Pinder

The Miami-Dade Traffic Homicide Unit has not ruled out suicide in the death of commissioner

Terence Pinder, the Opa-locka commissioner who escaped felony corruption charges and successfully regained a seat on the dais, died Tuesday when his auto hit a tree. Pinder’s accident is being investigated as a possible suicide. His death comes one day before he was to surrender to the Miami-Dade State Attorneys Office on new bribery and other corruption charges. The case is separate from a federal public corruption investigation that has plagued the city since March.

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From Firefighter to ‘Masterchef’

Emanuel Washington Jr. competes on the reality series June 1

As a paramedic, Emanuel Washington Jr. saves lives. He also loves dramatic arts. But in the kitchen, as Chef Manny FD, he finds his nirvana. A firefighter and chef with the Orlando Fire Department, Washington will compete during the season opening episode of reality series “Masterchef,” 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 1. He is one of 40 persons from around the country who appear on the first episode vying for the top prize and bragging rights of top chef. Also cheering on Washington will be scores of friends and relatives in South Florida, where he was born and raised. His parents are tuning in and hope he survives the first round so they can throw a watch party.

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GablesStage presents “The Royale”

Only 100 years ago, African-Americans were still legally segregated in schools, churches, libraries and all other public places in a time notoriously called the “Jim Crow Era.” But one boxer would change history by becoming the first Black man to hold the title of World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. This year, inspired by John Arthur “Jack” Johnson's (March 31, 1878 – June 10, 1946) courageous journey through racial obstacles, scandal and animosity, comes the story of a young and upcoming boxer faced with the challenge of becoming something great in a world set up against him. Playwright, Marco Ramirez, director Joseph Adler and GablesStage at the Biltmore, present: “The Royale,” an innovative new tale that puts a musical spin on an icon in boxing history.

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Drowning in water bills

Opa-locka residents cry foul over high fees

Opa-locka residents were expecting a slight increase in water bills because of austerity measures enacted by the cash-strapped city. But Adriene Alexander says her bill has spiked to more than $500 in April and May. Now she’s outraged. “Somebody is going to pay this bill. It’s not going to be me,” Alexander said. Alexander and other residents are wondering if the city’s corruption investigations and financial problems are the cause of the increases. “They’re so focused on the investigations that they’re not listening to the citizens,” said Alexander.

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A clash of cultures headed to Miami Commission Thursday

Formal designation of Little Haiti may come this week

Miami Commissioners on Thursday will consider a resolution that defines the boundaries of Little Haiti. But the legislation sponsored by Chairman Keon Hardemon is shaping up to be a clash of Haitian culture with the history of Miami’s first settlers. Proponents of the plan say it will brand a neighborhood that welcomed Haitian refugees when they arrived in the 1980s. They say they hope the designation will provide a buffer against further encroachment by developers.

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Jerk festival heats up West Palm Beach on May 30

A staple for things to do on Memorial Day weekend in South Florida is The Palm Beach Jerk Festival. Several vendors from across South Florida travel to West Palm Beach to serve great Jamaican cuisine to thousands of attendees. Not only does the festival offer an array of food, it also provides entertainment from popular Jamaican artists. Several Jamaican artists have performed at the Palm Beach Jerk Festival. Beenie Man, Maxi Priest and Morgan Heritage are examples of artists the show has brought. This year's featured artists are Luciano, Dexta Daps, Elephant Man and Freddie McGregor. and more. This year marks the 13th year of the festival and patrons are in for a day designed for family friendly fun.

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Graduates of Urgent Inc. programs learn life skills

Urgent Inc., in collaboration with Delou’s Africa Dance Ensemble & Delou’s Youth Arts initiative, hosted a community celebration and recognition ceremony Saturday for the graduating class of the Rites of Passage and F.A.C.E. (Film, Arts, Coding, and Entrepreneurship) programs. 

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Progress the theme of state of the city speech

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert delivers his fourth address just months before election

The state of Miami Gardens is strong and getting stronger, said Mayor Oliver Gilbert III at his state of the city address, and progress is the city's main focus. "We're financially solid and continuing to fill in the gaps to evolve the city into a community," said Gilbert. The theme of Gilbert's speech at the Miami Gardens' 13th annual state of the city on May 17 was progress. In front of a crowd of nearly 500 people on the plaza at city hall, Gilbert described a plan of steady improvement for his city.

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Graduates, don’t cut and run

For the last four years or so you attended a Florida institution of higher learning. You applied discipline to your life and committed to accepting an education. Now you have your college degree in hand. But the reality is that of the thousands who graduate very few will find suitable positions. Many have no job prospects at all. In six months or so grace periods start expiring on student loans. What is a graduate to do?

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Carlos Beruff owes the president an apology

Last week a Republican who is seeking U.S Sen. Marco Rubio’s post called President Obama an “animal” during a speech. Republicans and Democrats have called on Carlos Beruff to apologize for calling the Commander in Chief such a derogatory term. He refuses. He defends his vitriolic diatribe by saying it was taken out of context. It is hard to say how his comments, said on tape, could be taken out of context. He discounts the president’s military policies, saying that they have hurt the nation. The White House has not commented on Beruff’s inexcusably bad choice of words.

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Black pastors to NAACP: Drop out of school choice suit

A petition drew signatures from 101 pastors, some from Broward and Dade counties

A hundred of the Florida’s leading African-American pastors are calling on the Florida NAACP to drop out of a lawsuit that threatens to remove 78,000 underprivileged schoolchildren from private schools that are helping them succeed. The African American Ministers Alliance for Parental Choice announced the petition at a May 10 press conference in Tallahassee. It comes in response to a lawsuit, filed by the Florida Teachers Union in 2014, that seeks to abolish the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, now the nation’s largest private school choice program. The NAACP joined the union as a plaintiff in the case, along with two other groups, representing elected school boards and school principals, who have since withdrawn.

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The Social Whirl

Tis the season for commencements activities, scholarship announcements, class reunions, academic days and just so much good news. And it continues to be a forever season in supporting HBCU’s. Let’s blend some of them this week.

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Who is really running Opa-locka?

When Opa-locka City Manager David Chiverton named Yvette Harrell as the assistant city manager about a month ago, the rumblings and grumblings around city hall was that some other folk thought that they had the opportunity to be named to position. Now Harrell, 42, a lawyer who was working with City Attorney Vincent Brown before she was hired last month as Chiverton’s assistant, has served in the position for just a few short weeks. Now the city has two qualified females in key positions — Harrell as the assistant city manager and Sharon Gallimore as the assistant police chief. Now what the city ought to do is rally around both women to keep them from being undermined while trying to move the city

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Chatter That Matters

In this week’s edition of Chatter, we begin with Publix Super Market Charities’ 100 Outstanding Women of Broward County, presented by Erica Stowers of Florida Luxurious Properties. The event was held at the Signature Grand in Davie, FL. The 100 Outstanding Women of Broward County dinner brought the community together to celebrate how far women have come in leadership roles in the business, community and philanthropic fields. Among the honorees was our very own Kendra Bulluck-Major. We are extremely proud of Kendra and all that she has done and will continue to do for our community.

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Former Haitian president reveals other side of self

Michel Joseph Martelly signs books at MDC, performs music

Former president of Haiti, Michel Joseph Martelly, showed South Florida a slice of the two lives he leads. He attended his book signing organized by the Miami Book Fair and he performed at two venues as Kompa king, Sweet Micky. Martelly’s first appearance in the United States after serving as Haiti’s president coincided with celebrations of Haitian Heritage Month.

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Red Hat Day party draws hundreds of supporters

Red Hat Day 2016, organized by the South Florida Red Hat Nubian Queens Council, was celebrated with more than 300 people in attendance in Fort Lauderdale. The Airport Embassy Suites Hotel opened its doors to a sea of red hats. In fact, more than 20 African America Red Hat Society groups participated from Miami-Dade and Broward County on April 29 and April 30.

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‘Trombone Shorty’ a tale of a musician

“Just wait til you’re older!” Oh, how you hate hearing that! Wait til you’re grown. You need to get bigger. You can’t do that now, you’re too little. But why not? Why can’t you start dreaming of someday right now, while you’re still a kid? As you’ll see in the new book “Trombone Shorty” by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier, dreams can come true at any age.

Do you have the courage to preach on a street corner?

"Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." Several years ago, I saw something very interesting when walking down the strip in Las Vegas. I know! I know! "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." But it's okay, this story I can share with you. (It's the other stuff I did that I can't talk about!)

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