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Miami's youngest commissioner making moves for District 5

The speakers that boomed happy music in the middle of Overtown beckoned residents to attend First Friday. Miami City Commissioner Keon Hardemon catches a beat and starts to move to “Good Kisser” by Usher. In between dance steps, he plants a few kisses on the ladies and shakes hands with gentlemen in the plaza near the Lyric Theater. “See all of this, we are going to repave this,” said Hardemon of the uneven bricks. “It’s still not finished,” he added about the recent renovation and reopening of the Lyric.

Bright Futures scholarship program under scrutiny

State is examining concerns raised by newer and tougher standards

Florida’s Board of Governors, the group that oversees all of the state’s universities, is set to review concerns created by tougher new academic requirements that left hundreds of Black high school students in Miami-Dade and other counties without Bright Futures scholarships. On Nov. 5, the group will hear arguments on how the new standards have dramatically reduced the amount of eligible minority students, whose socioeconomic backgrounds have placed them at a disadvantage as opposed to white, affluent students.

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Resident one of few to celebrate Halloween on grand scale in the Black community

It’s the bewitching hour. A death train with a corpse chugs along the driveway. Body parts fill a makeshift cemetery in the front lawn. It's an unusual scene at Victoria Washington’s house in West Little River where hundreds flock to the elaborately-decorated home filled with witches, ghosts, spiders, goblins and skeletons.

New Miami Times pop culture columnist introduces himself to the community

I always wanted to give a voice to the disenfranchised. However, in that pursuit I’ve found demons amid even the down-trodden and angels among those most-often labeled the oppressor.

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A message in the sky: Breast cancer survivor gains new purpose

Patricia Johnson shares journey in fight for a cure

A seasoned flight attendant, Patricia Johnson was rocked by the turbulence of a breast cancer diagnosis that later turned her into a flying foot soldier who took her message 30,000 feet into the air.

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Major redevelopment setback for SEOPW

A local redevelopment agency is trying to get disengaged residents on board with plans to renovate and beautify their dilapidated homes. Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (SEOPW CRA) Director Clarence Woods said he is practically begging half of Town Park Plaza North to sign documents so that the $15 million repairs to their 169 units can begin. CRA needs to receive completed financial disclosures; approval to relocate residents while the repairs take place; and a formal applications for all the units before phase one of the revamp can begin.

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UPDATE: Treon Harris' lawyer says accuser withdrew sexual assault claim

Athletic status update expected for suspended quarterback

The lawyer for suspended Florida Gators quarterback Treon Harris said on Friday that his accuser has withdrawn her sexual assault claim.

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New officers of Caribbean Bar Association installed

The 18th Annual Scholarship Banquet of the Caribbean Bar Association (CBA) was held at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel on Saturday, Oct. 4. Founded in 1994 and based in Miami, The CBA is a voluntary bar organization that has grown from about 25 lawyers at its inception, to more than 200 attorneys from the Caribbean-American community in South and Central Florida.

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Recovered people can still spread Ebola to sex partners

The virus poses threat through semen months after recovery

Ebola can survive in semen for months after a man recovers from the infection, posing an ongoing threat to sexual partners long after he is well.

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Denzel Washington plays ‘Equalizer’ with signature quiet intensity

Denzel Washington reteams with his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua in the action thriller, The Equalizer.

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Al Golden must fix this mess

After another humiliating defeat in which the Miami Hurricanes defense surrendered over 300 yards on the ground to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Al Golden stood defiantly and quite adamantly that his defensive scheme is not the problem. Al Golden stands at the podium with his impressive oratory skills and circumvents all questioning about his defense by reiterating that it can be fixed. Golden’s defense fails to win football games that matter year after year. The Yellow Jackets are just the latest team in a long line of schools that have rushed for over 200 yards on a Golden defense. Not to mention the second team in three weeks to rush for over 300 yards and the fourth time in the past 16 games. The defense should not be getting rocked like a Hurricane on the ground by opposing teams. Does Al Golden still think he can fix this defense?

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Making the cut

On the brink of closure, Boot Camp program graduates transformed young offenders

One month after it faced being shut down because of budget cuts, Miami-Dade’s Boot Camp program held its graduation ceremonies Oct. 1. In a packed courtroom at the Richard E. Gersten Justice building, 34 cadets assembled in the same place they once stood for crimes that would have sent them to jail. It was a dramatic ceremony, where male cadets with troubled backgrounds sat in crisp white shirts and ties with fresh haircuts after rehabilitating for committing serious, but nonviolent crimes.

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The Social Whirl

The first weekend in October brought the feel of fall along with a whirlwind of activities both social and inspirational. When Florida Memorial University held their President’s Inaugural Scholarship Gala on Saturday, Oct. 4, they were supported by hundreds in attendance. The theme “Lifting Ev’ry Voice and Keeping Our Promise for a Brighter Future” highlighted the dedication of four dynamic Black women as the university paid tribute to honorees Congresswoman Frederica S.

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Chatter That Matters

Recently, an email went out to the Hampton House Board updating the importance of surveying the Hampton House Building. President Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson zeroed in on the answer to who is the owner of the building. According to her response it belongs to the Hampton House Board until further clarification including the Dade County Board, in short. These who attended the builder’s surveys beamed with pride.

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Lil Boosie loves Blacks enough

Does Lil Boosie hate Black people? It's the question now raging across #BlackTwitter,  ignited by my recent conversation with the Louisiana rap legend whose recent return from prison fueled national headlines. His impassioned rhymes of redemption from street life have become doctrine for many in the impoverished South. So, in my usual search for answers to the scourge of Black-on-Black crime, I  asked why does it seem we as Blacks hate each other?

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Spirit of Togetherness told in a divided world

Sounds and dancing are moving the journey of South African experience

The uplifting voices of the African continent tell harrowing stories of human suffering and spirituality during the Apartheid era in South Africa, where Blacks lived in harsh and segregated conditions under white rule. Then there is the fury of the Traditional Zulu tribal dance with performers in colorful African garb expressing their pain and emotions in a ritual dance that has endured for centuries. In the Venda Snake Dance, artists band together to slither like an outsider seeking to do something evil in an African village.

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Faith Calendar

The Golden Bells cordially invites the community to a musical program 4 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Freewill Christian Center Church in Miami Gardens. Call 786-251-2878. True Divine Worship Ministries will have its 2014 women’s conference Oct. 13 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Call 305-790-3407. The Bible Baptist Healthcare Ministry is hosting a free program on breast health and breast cancer awareness Tue. Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. Call 305-836-7644. 93rd CDC is hosting author of “12 Steps to Bridge the Gap”, Sindy Eugene, at their Youth and Parent Empowerment Meeting on October 17 at 7 p.m. Call 305-836-0942 or email 93cdc@bellsouth.net.

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Road to renovation marked by mixed responses in Overtown

Town Park Plaza North condos to receive $15 million, some tenants unmoved

A slumped Overtown condominium building will undergo renovations next year thanks to a $15 million grant from the Southeast Overtown and Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (SEOPW CRA). The funds for the renovations to Town Park Plaza North were approved in by the SEOPW CRA board in a meeting Sept. 30. The construction of Town Park Plaza North is expected to roll out in three phases, starting early 2015.

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Pastor of the Week

Minister Henton: A young man fully dedicated to do and fulfill all of God’s will

As a young child, Minister Harrell L. Henton was taught to sing praises and worship to the Lord by his grandfather. “I have been working for the Lord for as long as I can remember,” Henton said. Under the guidance of his grandfather, Robert Holt Sr. and still a youngster, Henton made the grand decision to dedicate his full life to the work of the Lord and his church.

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The church is of God not man

The church’s purpose and needs are clearly identified and addressed in the New Testament. A wide-range of topics are also covered in God’s Word. The subject is introduced in the words of Jesus, “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18)

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