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North Miami commission rolls back Walmart

Opponents of a proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market in North Miami celebrated last week when the city’s planning commission unanimously voted to disapprove two items that affect the development of the project. In a packed meeting at city hall, officials voted 6-0 to disapprove a proposal by Walmart’s developer Retrosource, who wants to amend the city’s land use plan and zoning ordinances. Retrosource requested the changes so that it can build a 40,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market grocery store off Northeast 135th Street between Memorial Highway and Northeast Third Court. The project also calls for a gas station and space for a another store or business.

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A parade for a King

Event organizers use parades to educate youth about King’s life and the civil rights era

Garbage trucks. A hearse. Church buses. The vehicles, perfect for a parade and an entertaining history lesson, may turn heads again this year at the 48th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade on Monday in Liberty City. These nontraditional entries join the colorful floats to help tell a story about the civil rights era, according to event founder Preston Marshall. “I had people come up and asked me why are garbage trucks in the parade?” Marshall said in a recent interview. “The rights of sanitation workers was the last cause King took up before he was assassinated in 1968. Many young people don’t know that.” Marshall explains the other seeming oddities.

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Black-owned face recognition company sets high goals

CEO Brian Brackeen talks about his Wynwood-based company

Miami has been labeled the Gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. At the start of the year, Miami received a new label. Business news cable channel CNBC cited Miami as a tech hub. Heads of Black companies had already noticed the nascent tech industry and have relocated or are in plans to relocate their companies here. But, as with anything new, there are challenges to the new sector including finding qualified employees and garnering economic development support, since some tech companies are basically startups with big ideas and little capital. Miami’s tech sector will get more attention next week when The Big Summit arrives on Tuesday. Put on by former rocket scientist Mary Spio,

M-DCPS Magnet schools application deadline Jan. 15  

To have your child considered for a Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) Magnet Programs you need to complete and submit an application by Jan. 15. Here are the 12 most important things you need to know about the application process: 1. The fastest way to apply is online at www.dadeschools.net  via the Parent Portal by clicking on the magnet application link. Online applications are processed instantly into the application system.

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‘Put Walmart on 7th Avenue’

North Miami residents tell city leaders that the discount retailer belongs in other neighborhoods, just not theirs

Amid the shouting and protests came demands to put Walmart Neighborhood Market on Northwest Seventh Avenue with the rest of the boarded up businesses and old grocery stores. That’s what residents and even a former mayor said at a contentious town hall meeting in North Miami, where a vocal, diverse crowd of 100 residents from the Griffin Park Estates neighborhood expressed opposition to a proposed Walmart in their community. The store would be located on a vacant, grassy lot off Northeast 135 Street, between Memorial Highway and Northeast Third Court. The project also calls for a gas station and space for another store or business.

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FAMU hosts Scott at breakfast

TALLAHASSEE-- As Gov. Rick Scott's inaugural festivities got underway Tuesday with a prayer breakfast at Florida A&M University, religion and politics were hard to separate. "God has called upon you to lead us," FAMU President Elmira Mangum told the governor. "You are here today as a choice of God," added the Rev. Mathieu Jean-Baptiste, pastor of the United Haitian Baptist Church in West Palm Beach.

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Gay marriage is a civil right

It was more than time that Tallahassee stopped playing judge when it comes to how people want to live their lives. On Jan. 5, Florida administered its first gay marriage. The waste of taxpayers money on this issue was embarrassing and irresponsible. The United States Constitution allows for everyone to be treated fairly and

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Rollback views of 7th Avenue

North Miami residents made their concerns known Monday during a town hall meeting about a proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market in their neighborhood. Residents in District 3 urged their Councilman Phillipe Bien-Aime to oppose opening a new Walmart in their neighborhood. Homeowners who for years worked in building a tranquil community with their well-maintained homes had a right to question the intentions of a

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Preserving Richmond Heights’ History

Preserving Richmond Heights’ History

The future of Richmond Heights looks as bright and promising as its rich past. At least that’s what residents of the Southwest Miami-Dade area are attempting to preserve, as World War II veterans and other notable community stakeholders in Richmond Heights recently came together to discuss the importance of multicultural, community and heritage tourism in the community.

Judge slams Florida Medicaid on care for kids

After nearly a decade of legal battling, a federal judge last week found widespread problems in the way Florida's Medicaid program has provided health care to children. Judge Adalberto Jordan, in a 153-page decision, said Florida's history of low reimbursement payments to doctors led to a lack of access to care for many children in Medicaid. He also pointed to problems with issues such as children being improperly terminated from the program, inadequate efforts to sign up children for coverage and a lack of available dental care.

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Charity for change

Angela M. and Frederick Thomas creates community organizations that foster feeding and clothing those less fortunate by sealing gap

Angela M. Thomas and her husband Frederick Thomas encourage change for the better. They do this through the community organization Rise Up 4 Change and its offshoot, Giving from My Heart Inc. The Thomases will introduce the organization to the community at a ribbon-cutting event called "I Heart You" Feb. 7 at Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay, 10701 SW 211 St. Cutler Bay from 6-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, which includes dinner, networking and live entertainment.

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Visions are clear or distorted

How is your spiritual vision?

Before my sight became blurred and I was forced to wear glasses or contact lenses to read anything closer than arm’s length, “seeing” was taken for granted. Just as we take breathing for granted, I took seeing for granted until I could not do it as I had done before.

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Drag Race

Palace Bar has been friendly to Black drag queens

Had anyone told Louvina Jackman hours earlier she would be spending her birthday on South Beach with a 6-foot-plus Black man dressed in drag, she might’ve laughed in your face and called you crazy. But that’s exactly how Jackman, visiting from New York for New Year’s, spent her 23rd birthday: sitting at a table on Ocean Drive being serenaded “Happy Birthday” by Tiffany Taylor Fantasia, one of Palace Bar’s longest performing drag queens.

Jazzy season

Get ready for jazz festivals and performances, starting this weekend

South Florida’s jazz enthusiasts get ready to get your fill. Outdoor or indoor festivals, the choices are yours, and they run the gamut from purist, Speak-easy type jazz, modern, to funk and R&B strains. If you want a touch of the jazz that makes you want a cognac and cigar, then Miami Beach’s second Jazz Festival is for you. Called “Living Legends of Jazz,” brings such artists such as Monty Alexander, a Jamaican who fell in love with American jazz and has performed and recorded with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Sly

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Cop shootings start 2015

As I think about 2015 my head starts to throb because this year is starting off the way 2014 ended. It is like a new version of cops gone wild 2.0, available in a news outlet near you. It’s the first of the new year and I’m checking out the news around the country when I see the story about the two cops that shot and killed a 32-year-old man in San Francisco. According to reports the police approached the young man and he produced

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Chatter That Matters

The Historic Hampton House Community Trust Program/and Charlayne W. Thompkins, chairperson, continues to draw accolades from the community for the great job she has done on the advertisements and program on the free Handel’s Messiah and Jazz Masterpieces concert that was held during the holidays at the Church of Incarnation in Liberty City.

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The Social Whirl

The beginning of 2015 has me reminiscing about the unique traditions we've kept through generations in the communities where we lived: Overtown, Liberty City, Richmond Heights, Ojus, Browns Sub, Carvers Ranches, Medley, Bunche Park, Seminola, Perrine, Coconut Grove, Goulds, Princeton, and more. This is where we were. This is where we “be.” We are Black and our traditions not only define us, they are a part of our history and identity. And our institutions are a significant part of our identity. Where we worshipped, socialized, were

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Science is elementary

Miami Gardens 4th Annual Science & Engineering Fair awards ceremony took place Dec. 9 at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Center. About 100 elementary students participated in the fair,

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Lifestyle Happenings

Miami Northwestern Class of 1995 is celebrating its 20th year reunion July 24 - July 26, 2015.  Call (786) 873-6353, (786) 356-9263 or visit the class Facebook page. The Senior Citizens Concern Group, LLC, are calling all potential Assisted Living Facility (ALF) and AFCH Administrators to join them at their annual luncheon at North Shore Medical Center on Wednesday, January 28, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. RSVP 786-423-0429. Miami Northwestern Alumni Class of 1967 will meet January 8 at 3000 N.W. 199th St at 7 p.m. Clark Atlanta University’s South Florida Alumni Chapter will meet on Saturday, January 17 at 3 p.m. at Piccadilly Restaurant on Hollywood Blvd. Call 305 527-2325.

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Uncertain future for FL's big three college footnall teams

Randy Shannon makes his return to Florida.  Things are starting to get real interesting among the big 3 of college football in the state of Florida. Well, at least for two of the three anyway. With the Seminoles out of the national championship picture after losing to Oregon in the national semi final, and the Hurricanes season coming to a merciful end at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Duck Commander bowl, the Florida Gators were 1.) getting ready for their Birmingham Bowl matchup against

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