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Uber, Lyft now operate legally in Miami-Dade

Taxi industry fighting new ordinance

Faced with growing public demand, Miami-Dade county commissioners have given the green light to popular ride-sharing services, despite opposition from the powerful taxicab industry. Commissioners voted 9-2 on Tuesday to legitimize two companies, Uber and Lyft. The companies operated illegally in the county since 2014. Since that time their drivers racked up $4 million in fines. Commissioners Esteban Bovo and Audrey M. Edmonson sponsored the legislation As part of an agreement, Uber and Lyft will pay off those fines.

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Giving a second chance at life

Campaign raises awareness about the importance of organ donation

Though her son died more than four years ago, Renee E. Jones got a chance to hear his heartbeat one more time. Jones is a Miami mother who advocates for justice for parents of murdered children, partly because of the pain she endured after the shooting death of her son, Trevin Reddick, in 2011. But this year, Jones dove into another cause that grew out of the pain of her own loss: organ donation. Recently, Jones and her family met the Orlando man who received her son’s heart hours after his death. The visit by Donald “Papa Don” Anacker and his wife, “Mama” Maxine, to Miami was part of a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation, and also to celebrate the lives of donors and the recipients who are given a second chance at life.

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New transit village gets a familiar name

Audrey M. Edmonson lauded for pushing through the controversial project

After enduring numerous protests, false starts and a skeptical public, Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson was set to celebrate the dedication of the long-awaited Seventh Avenue Transit Village and black box theater. But the development company responsible for the project had another surprise. “Audrey walked us through history, Liberty City’s and hers,” said Ken Naylor, president of Atlantic Pacific Companies, resulting in a “hub for transportation, arts and housing.” He then announced the multimillion-dollar project would be named after Edmonson in honor of her determination and persistence to ensure the developme

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State to Opa-locka: Where is the city's recovery plan?

Memo from Tallahassee sparks leaders' outcry

Opa-locka residents and Gov. Rick Scott’s officials have waited for the beleaguered city to submit its recovery. Now, a letter from the state inspector general demanding a response has rattled city commissioners who fear they will miss out on state assistance. Melinda Miguel, Scott’s chief inspector general, sent an email message to City Manager David Chiverton late Friday asking about the status of the city’s request. Miguel also expressed concerns about a recent Miami Herald article in which a local businessman claimed the manager, Commissioner Luis Santiago, a lobbyist and other city officials extorted thousands of dollars over a two-year period.

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Housing critical problem in Miami-Dade

The housing crisis in Miami-Dade is in need of serious attention. The county has in place tax incentives for developers but they do not go far enough to fully address an underlying problem. The problem is not everyone makes the same kind of income, and some people end up in a proverbial doughnut hole when it comes to finding somewhere affordable to live. The developer tax credits can be used toward building units for the extremely low, very-low and low-income families. People who make between $35,000 and $45,000 per year, depending on family size, find themselves falling outside the set income guidelines. Since the county provides some financial benefit to developers it should have more say in what is built.

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North Miami police chief abruptly resigns from post

Burgess’ departure catches many off guard in city

Leonard Burgess, chief of North Miami Police Department, resigned Monday, a move that surprised city leaders and residents. Burgess, who served as the city’s top cop for about two years, did not give a reason for his resignation. In conversations with council members, he stated he wanted to spend time with his family. Burgess endured criticism by one blogger, but by most accounts, he did a good job. He came to North Miami from Miami-Dade Police, where he spent 20 years as an officer and division chief. His resignation is effective May 23. Burgess submitted his resignation letter, which was addressed to City Manager Larry Spring and members of the

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54 guns leave the streets through buyback

The Miami-Dade Police Department’s Northside and South Districts sponsored a Safer Community Gun Buyback Event on Saturday, April 30. The Northside District was set up at the Walmart, located at 3200 NW 79 St., Miami. The South District’s Gun Buyback was at Goulds Park, 11350 SW 216 St. Miami.

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An open letter to Opa-locka City Manager

I could be wrong, but as I look back and analyze the foolishness that is happening in my city and the one thing that I see is that you're being used as a scapegoat. Now I say this because all the things that are happening in the city have come from previous administrations and have fallen in your lap and now pressure is being put on you to fix other administrations’ faults. In the words of Vice Mayor Timothy Holmes, “Stop playing games; we got people up here playing games.” I'm not going to be naive and think that there's no truth in a lot of the information that is coming out about the city, but being in your shoes as a respected news reporter said to me it's bigger than him and he needs to talk.

Miami-Dade officers start wearing body cams

On Monday, May 2, some Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) officers and sergeants started wearing body-worn cameras. The Midwest District will start with cameras, and expand to 350 by the end of June. Additional MDPD districts will receive cameras and training month-by-month with a deployment goal of 1,000 by Sept. 30 across all MDPD patrol districts. Additional cameras will be deployed to officers within contracted municipalities and certain specialized units by the end of the 2016 calendar year. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez supported, and the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved, the purchase of a commercially available, cloud-based body camera and video management solution to capture and store the recorded video.

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Shantel’s to get $300K facelift

Money will build new patios and buy furniture and equipment

The Miami City Commission has approved a $317,000 grant to Shantel’s Jazz Café for renovations. Last Thursday, the commission went with the Liberty City Trust Board recommendation that Shantel’s should get a Small Business Capital Investment Grant. The $317,000-grant will give the 25-year-old business a facelift. “I am honored to be selected by the trust for this grant,” said owner Edward Colebrook. Shantel’s Jazz Café has been a staple in the Liberty City community, serving soul food and Bahamian dishes. It sits on the corner of Northwest 54th Street and Seventh Avenue, across from Burger King. From the street, the green-and-beige building and a few small palms beckon.

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Corey Jones case to be sent to grand jury

After almost seven months of waiting, the State Attorney’s Office in Palm Beach County finally gave members of the Jones family and the media an answer about the Corey Jones case. Jones was shot and killed last October by a police officer in plain clothes in an unmarked car on I-95 near Palm Beach Gardens. The answer: State Attorney Dave Aronberg will send the case to a grand jury to decide whether charges should be brought against former Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja. It is expected that the jury could deliver a decision in the summer months but it could take longer. Meanwhile, Anonymous Florida – the electronic activist group -- said it will launch an email, social media and phone campaign to urge Aronberg to either direct file against Raja or step down from office.

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M-DCPS Teacher of the Year in running for Fla. top prize

As the nation celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Day, Miami-Dade County Public Schools celebrates one of its outstanding educators. Precious Symonette, the 2017 Francisco R. Walker Teacher of the Year, received the surprise of a lifetime Tuesday, May 3, when she was visited in her classroom at Miami Norland Senior High School by School Board Member Wilbert “Tee” Holloway, Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho, and Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. They announced that Symonette has been chosen as one of four finalists for the Florida Department of Education-Macy’s Teacher of the Year. As part of the recognition, Symonette was awarded a $15,000 check and the school received $1,000.

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Liberty City, Miami Gardens students get 5-star treatment

Miami business people show kids another side of life as a preventive measure

When you see a police escort motorcade it’s for a funeral and many times those funerals are for young kids whose lives are taken by gun violence. However on Saturday, April 30, 60 youth were treated like dignitaries, having a police escort motorcade that shut down traffic on Interstate-95.

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Philanthropist helps hundreds of students

Louella W. Grayson mothered many but gave birth to only one child

Louella Lillian White Grayson was born Dec. 14, 1922 and is a native Miamian who is of Bahamian descent. She lived in Miami when the residents didn’t have to have security bars on the windows and doors. The only alarms in the area were the few on businesses. All the residents within a block knew their neighbors and their neighbors’ children by their names. In the nine decades Grayson has been alive, much has taken place. But talking with individuals who know Grayson, they all say basically the same thing about her: “She is dependable, supportive, caring. She is always there to help those who are in need around her.”

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Man honored with ties to rail company

The Florida East Coast Railway posthumously honored Thomas Jefferson Frederick Jr. April 20 at its Miami yard for his 43 years of service to the company. A one-mile stretch of track between North Ojus and South Ojus was designated “Frederick’s Siding.” James Hertwig, president and CEO Of Florida East Coast Railway presented a plaque to Samuel Frederick Sr., son of Thomas Jefferson Frederick. On September 21, 1941, he began his career with the Florida East Coast Railway as a Hose Cutter. In 1943, he was called to active military duty. In the army, Frederick became a Military Policeman, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant

Parenting can cause pain

So, there I was again in a familiar position — Mama sitting on the edge of the bed, with a belt in her hand, about to beat into me the lesson I did not learn from all the previous spankings. When Mama says do something, she means it! In case you didn't know, just like the famous legend of Juneteenth, the notice that the Black slaves had been freed in Texas that came three years late, the childhood punishment of "time out" was a bit late getting to the Liberty Square Projects in the 1960s and early ‘70s. And I am sure if you ask some kids living there today, they are still waiting for it to arrive.

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Pastor Carter: ‘We keep up with the times as God directs us’

He seeks guidance from the Lord many

Victor A. Carter is the son of William and Rebecca Carter. He was born in Miami and raised in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. Victor graduated from Goodlettsville High School with honors and is an alumnus of Tennessee State University in Nashville. He also graduated with honors from the Florida Atlantic University of Fort Lauderdale with honors and in the position of Summa Cum Laude.

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Cancer survivors brought together

Miami Gardens vice mayor hosts awareness brunch along with a health fair at Betty T. Ferguson

The first time Michelle McPhee was told she had developed breast cancer she was not surprised after witnessing both her mother and grandmother's hereditary struggles. The second time McPhee was diagnosed in the opposite breast, she knew the drill and was ready to challenge the stakes a second time. But the third time? “It was devastating,” McPhee said, adding that the fear of not being able to celebrate birthdays, attend weddings and meet grandchildren gave McPhee the wake-up call to help others get informed. McPhee said it was imperative for young women especially to test themselves monthly and see their local physicians every year for a check-up.

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2016 Fantastic Voyage parties in PortMiami

eight-day cruise sails with music legends, Tom Joyner

Has anyone ever described for you what a Bon Voyage party on the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage is like? No? Well that’s probably because you don’t describe a Fantastic Voyage party, you experience it. That’s exactly what thousands of first-time and veteran cruise-goers from every corner of the map did as the 2016 Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage prepared to sail the Atlantic Ocean for an eight-day ultimate party cruise from PortMiami. High voltage energy from start to finish, the kick-off party with a purpose was the official send-off for the Caribbean excursion.

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Supa T Records latest Miami studio to launch

Already the label has signed rappers Juice and Giant and J-Shin, among other artists

Maybach Music Group, We The Best Music Group, and Slip N Slide Records are three music labels that launched in Miami. Each one of these gave birth to a Miami-based artist that blew up to national fame like Rick Ross, Trick Daddy, Ace Hood and Trina. Now, a new local label called Supa T Records recently launched and aspires to reach that level and more. “Music is life. I believe the sounds of music is core of happiness,” said Terry Elliott, CEO of Supa T Records. Supa T Records launched January 2016 though Elliot decided to commit to music in 2015. Previously, Elliot was in club promoting as he was one of the founders of the gentlemen's club, King of Diamonds.

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