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Miami-Dade youth basketball players win Mayor’s Cup

Athletic event sponsored by Carlos Gimenz

The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department hosted the Miami-Dade Youth Basketball League Championships on April 8-9 at the Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Miami. The annual event is a new addition to the Youth Sports Championship Series, which is an initiative of County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez aimed at involving as many young people as possible in athletics.

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Opa-locka Hurricanes win big

Fraser wins triple gold in 100-, 200- and 400 meters

The Opa-locka Hurricanes track team performed well at the Tacolcy Invitational on April 11 at Curtis Park, 1901 NW 24th Ave. “Baby Lamborghini” Gregorianna Fraser won triple gold in the 100-meters, 200-meters and 400-meters for the Girls Ages 7-8 category. Ivory “Quick” Aikens took gold in the Boys Ages 9-10 category for the 100-meters with a time of 13.4 seconds.

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One Miramar

Wayne Messam, the city’s first Black mayor, says he wants to unify his city

The March 10 election saw a change in the leadership in the City of Miramar with a new mayor, Wayne Messam, who is the first Black to hold that seat in the city’s 60-year history. Messam, a small business owner and the son of Jamaican immigrants, also won the race over long-term incumbent Lori Moseley and former vice mayor Alexandra Davis. Joining Messam on the dais as new commissioners are Darline Bernot Riggs and Maxwell Chambers. Moseley had served as mayor of Miramar since 1999. Miramar joins the City of Lauderdale Lakes as a community with an all-Black commission. Commissioners Winston Barnes and Yvette Colbourne were retained. At the April 15 meeting Riggs, was selected vice mayor.

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Child slavery active in Haiti

Some Haitian children work for their keep but sometimes are abused, a panel revealed

In Haiti, a 9-year-old girl leaves her poor village to work as a domestic worker for a family in Port-au-Prince, the island’s capital. She will not earn money, but the family will pay for her to go to school. She cooks, cleans and performs whatever domestic responsibilities are required in exchange for a promise of safety and and a better quality of life. What happens sometimes though is that metal broom sticks become weapons, guardians become rapists and child workers become child slaves.

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Cameras and cops now at Liberty Square

Some of the security upgrades at the public housing development are already operational

Liberty Square residents can't help but notice the missing sound of gunfire in their neighborhood. "We notice we are not under heavy gunfire like we are used to," said Sara Smith, president of the Liberty Square Resident Council. "I hear one or two but it's somewhere in Liberty City not here. I say that now and then things might change . . . but thank God." Smith attributes the calm to newly installed and upgraded surveillance cameras done by the Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development (PHCD). The upgrades are $500,000 worth of security enhancements as part of the county's Liberty City Rising Initiative. Residents of Liberty Square and the community, were concerned that rebuilding the public housing without addressing the crime in the area was not enough.

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Construction on Hadley Park Youth Center almost complete

Supporters wish to name the facility after the late Coach Samuel Johnson

Coach Samuel Johnson always envisioned a youth center to be built at Charles Hadley Park. Now that the center is nearly finished, Luther Campbell and other supporters want to name the building after the late coach who mentored so many youth in Liberty City. A proposal has been made to name the new Hadley Park Youth Center located at Northwest 50th Street and 14th Avenue after Johnson, who died in December 2011 of a heart attack. Johnson and Campbell founded the Liberty City Optimist Club in 1990. "It would be a fitting tribute to name this building after Coach Sam, who dedicated his life to the youth of this community," Campbell said. "There wasn't a day you didn't see him at the park. He was that devoted."

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Road, pathway to citizenship bumpy

Fear of denial, rejection or lack of funds can slow the journey to the American dream

Immigrants pursuing U.S. citizenship have, in some cases, a daunting task. There is a matter of meeting the five-year residency requirement, with at least half of that time spent in America. Then there is, with a few exceptions, paying the required $680 application fee; speaking English; completing an application with answers to no-less-than 50 critical questions; and passing a 100-question civics/American History exam.

FDLE to investigate Miami Gardens’ Police Department

Miami Gardens City Council goes into its second meeting of the month of April with not nearly the agenda items of interest as those that punctuated the first meeting this month. Mayor Oliver Gilbert will not preside over the April 22 meeting because he will be a speaker at the Black Public Administrators in Tampa. Gilbert was ecstatic about several items passed at the last meeting on April 8, while expressing frustration with how he has been repeatedly targeted in mainstream media to answer questions about violence and police shootings in Miami Gardens. At the last meeting, a resolution passed to allow the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate Miami Garden’s alleged use of excessive force and the two police involved in the shooting death of Laval Hall.

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Tallahassee, leave police body cam video alone

It can be a perilously slippery slope when lawmakers try to limit public information. Sen. Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) may have had good intentions when he crafted the Senate Bill 248 but creating loopholes for police departments who choose to adopt body worn cameras could undermine the intent of the use of the cameras. In essence, the bill limits what type of footage captured by the body cameras can be released. The bill, as written, would limit police cam videos captured inside

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No importing of racism from Cuba

Now that President Barack Obama plans to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the U.S. is another step closer to normalized relations with the island nation, just 330 miles from Miami’s shores. The announcement came last week after Obama met with Cuban President , Raúl Castro during a summit in Panama. Before that, in December, both leaders agreed to some normalizing of relations.

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Not all guilty Black men deserve to be gunned down

have been trying to figure out for the life of me what it is about Black men that law enforcement doesn’t like. Why are there so many excuses being made for their every hardship? Currently, there’s an African American male being gunned down by a police officer at the rate of at least once per month. Every time this occurs, there seems to be an overwhelming sentiment of, “Oh well, he must’ve been doing something to deserve it!”

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Concealed weapons bill is dangerous, consequential

I rise in opposition to the bill, Carrying a concealed weapon or concealed fire arm (CS/CS/SB 290).  When I think about emergency evacuations, chaos, stress and anxiety are words that come to mind, and now we want to introduce guns into that equation, especially by people who may not be licensed to carry a gun. That not only concerns me, but it also frightens me. During difficult, nerve-wrecking times, people make mistakes and assumptions, and with guns readily available and accessible, this is a recipe for disaster.

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FBI and GSA dedicate the New Benjamin P. Grogan and Jerry L. Dove Federal Building

Miramar is home to South Florida’s U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operations. President Barack Obama signed legislation April 7 designating “the Federal building at 2030 Southwest 145th Avenue in Miramar, Florida, as the Benjamin P. Grogan and Jerry L. Dove Federal Building,” two special agents killed during a shootout in South Miami-Dade. The FBI Miami Field Office and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) dedicated the new federal office building in Miramar during a special ceremony April 10.

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New CRA Director named for Opa-locka

Ed Brown has worked for the city in various positions

Less than a month after the search begun for a director for the city of Opa-locka’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), its executive board hired Ed Brown for the slot. He was selected during a meeting on Wednesday, April 15, held in the Sherbondy Village Auditorium, in Opa-locka. 

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Ethics complaint against Dunn is now closed

Report finds no evidence the former Miami city commissioner violated conflict of interest or code of conduct in his 2013 campaign

An ethics complaint against Reverend Richard P. Dunn II that claimed his 2013 campaign finance reports showed several discrepancies was closed last Wednesday. Dunn, a former Miami city commissioner and pastor at Faith Community Baptist Church, ran unsuccessfully for the District 5 seat in 2013. Allegations that his campaign finance reports weren’t in order were reported in The Miami Herald, prompting an investigation by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust in October 2013. Dunn's campaign finance reports showed a high number of visits to restaurants, cash payments for services and expense reports submitted several weeks late.

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Frederica Wilson’s War

Kidnapping of Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram remembered at anniversary event

Representatives Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Lois Frankel (FL-22) and others Wednesday recognized the anniversary of the abduction of more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. At the House Triangle, located on the Eastern front of the U.S. Capitol Building, dozens of supporters and the members of Congress were dressed in red, the official color of the #BringBackOurGirls effort for the event. The girls were taken April 14, 2014.

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Family the focus at FACT festival

The Children’s Trust and North Miami Police Athletic League partner during the annual event

The field right outside of North Miami Senior High, known as Cagni Park, was teaming with people last Saturday for the annual FACT Festival. But this year, the usual anti-crime focus broadened to unite the community around family because of a new partnership. “We wanted to do more to connect people in North Miami, and particularly the Haitian community in this city and surrounding areas, to programs and services for their children,” said Emily Cardenas, senior communications manager at The Children’s Trust. “So when we were searching for the best way to do this, the city manager introduced us to the police chief and the partnership took off.”

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Young men bring back quartet singing with a heavenly kick

Brothers group sings to God’s glory

One of the most talked about quartet groups in the Fort Lauderdale area today is the new, young and aspiring group called Brothers. Over the last two years, the well-dressed, soul-stirring gentlemen have brought quartet singing back to the forefront. The hit single, “What a Friend,” is the most requested song at their events.

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Pastor Keith Moore: Lives what he preaches

Bread of Life Community Church founder wanted to be a detective

Keith Moore was in the prime of his life, playing college football in California, when God stepped in and began to change the course of his life. One night at Pac Jam, a teenage nightclub in Miami, Moore says, the Lord spoke to his heart and said to him, “Don’t forget me and what I’ve done for you.” It was at that time he decided to develop a personal relationship with the Lord. That week, he went to church and surrendered his life to the Lord, and was born again at 18 years of age.

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Ricky Dillard to appear at gospel music concert

Gospel musician headlines event in Miami Gardens on Saturday

Stellar Gospel Music Awards winner Ricky Dillard and the New G (Generation) Choir will headline a gospel music concert at Upper Room Ministries in Gardens, on April 25. Dillard, a three-time Grammy Awards nominee, recently won four Stellar Gospel Music Awards, claiming the honors of Choir of the Year, Traditional CD of the Year, Traditional Choir of the Year and Song of the Year.

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