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Miami-Dade residents need a raise

A recent meeting of Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime’s Council for Prosperity Initiatives reiterated what everyone already knew: wages are too low in the county for many. Monestime identified through the American Community Survey that Miami-Dade ranked dead last on income relative to the cost of living. A University of Miami researcher concluded that meeting the cost of housing in the county required an hourly wage of $17.50 per hour, about $37,000 annually for a full-time worker.

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Don’t let the summer turn into a blood bath

The fear heard among community leaders is now that school is out, the temperatures rise and time stretches, children will be at risk for gun violence. Already, there are signs that the summer could be a bloody one. Last summer started with a mass shooting in Liberty City when, on June 23, two men opened fire on a crowd outside a Liberty City apartment building in the 6500 block of Northwest 12th Avenue. Two people were killed and seven people were injured in the shooting. The summer culminated in a shooting at The Spot nightclub with injured victims age 12-25. While children played a game of basketball June 3, a boy was shot in the leg. He survived his injury.

African art museum voted down by council

An international arts bazaar slated for October gets a nod

Black art in Miami Gardens was the question facing the city council in not one, but two different resolutions. Both created a stir as the council voted 4-1 against a grant match of $125,000 toward funding the African Museum of Arts and Cultural Center and voted 6-0 for the city to partner with The International Black Arts Bazaar to host an art fair Oct. 9-11. A resolution to seeking a match grant for an African Museum of Arts and Cultural was brought by City Manager Cameron Benson. The proposed museum, which would have been located at Northwest 32nd Avenue and 207th Street didn't get support by the majority of the council and it died a swift death. The defeat means that Miami Gardens will not get $500,000 toward the museum.

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Ready, Set, Work

Commissioner Xavier Suarez sponsors summer youth

Summer will be a boon for the 25 youths participating in the Miami-Dade County Commission District 7 Building Futures Summer Internship program. The nine-week program began with a three-day orientation program at the Frankie S. Rolle Neighborhood Service Center in Coconut Grove. Miami Dade

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A revolution through spoken word

Poets speak change in their lives and hopes to change others

Spoken Revolution Weekend, a faith-based spoken word and musical experience featuring some of the nation's biggest poets, will take place from June 18-20 in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Performers include: Janette...ikz, Jackie Hill-Perry, Ezekiel, Preston Perry, Joseph Solomon, Chris Webb, Annette Vivid, Will Fonch, Stephen Gaskins and Giel.

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Pastor of the Week: Local pastor reared in the way by grandmother

Benjamin H. Parrott’s heads the congregation at Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church

Benjamin H. Parrott is the senior pastor of Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. The church, located at 8100 NW 17 Ave., will begin its 48th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, June 27 at 5 p.m. The opening group will be the Brothers Quartet who are described as being “a singing sensation, out of Broward County,” by the masses who have heard them in concert. Parrott was born to the parentage of Athalie Parrott and was nurtured and raised by his devoted, maternal, grandmother, Ruby E. Parrott, who decided at his birth, to not let the statistics on young Black boys or the standards set by too many be the ones she would allow her grandson to follow.

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Free HIV testing in South Florida next week

You can get results in less than twenty minutes, even in one minute

According to Florida Health Miami-Dade County, one in 99 Miami-Dade residents is living with HIV or AIDS (one in 67 male and one in 178 female). In fact, as of Jan. 31, 2014 Miami-Dade ranks No. 1 in the state of Florida for number of new HIV cases and AIDS cases. • Blacks are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV. • The rate of new HIV infection in Blacks is eight times that of whites based on population size. • In 2010, of all new HIV infections among Blacks, 51 percent were among men-seeking-men and 38 percent were attributed to heterosexual contact. • Twenty one percent of HIV infections among Blacks are undiagnosed.

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Faith Calendar

Bethany SDA Church’s educational series for the Brownsville community continues with Part 2 – Parenting on Thursday, July 2nd, 9th and 16th at 6:30 p.m. Call 305-634-2993 or email www.bethanymiami.org. New Mt. Sinai MB Church is hosting a revival June 15-19 at 7:30 p.m. Call 305-978-5079. National Church of God is hosting a Men’s Assembly BBQ from 3-5 p.m on Saturday, June 20. Call 305-571-9555.

Vasectomies: A safe option for men

Many couples reach a point in their relationship when they decide they don’t want any more children, or that they don’t want any at all. Different birth control options are available for women and men. Deciding which one is best for you is a personal decision – one that should be made after careful consideration and research.

The importance of knowing how to swim

The statistics are frightening. Approximately 10 people drown every day in the United States. And in the African-American community, children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida loses more children under the age of 5 to drowning than any other state, with most of these happening in swimming pools. Learning to swim – and learning basic survival skills starting at a young age – is critically important.

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NSMC donates pounds of food to local food program 'Pass It On'

As part of its Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive, North Shore Medical Center collected 859 pounds of food which were donated to Pass it On Ministires, a local emergency food program. The drive kicked off on Friday, May 29 and ran through Friday, June 5. “We recognize that hunger is a prevalent issue in South Florida and our staff did anything they could to help our local community,” said Manny Linares, CEO of North Shore Medical Center. “Good health is a result of good nutrition, and we sincerely hope that this drive will make a difference to those families who struggle with hunger every day.”

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Showcasing Caribbean culture

As the summer temperatures rise, Caribbean-American Heritage Month adds more heat to the landscape with party, party and more party.The events are organized in the name of charity and children and all highlight the rich, diverse culture of the Caribbean. Caribbean-American Heritage Month marks its 10 year in 2015. The bill for the annual recognition was sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara ee, to make the significant contributions of Caribbean people to the history and culture of the United States.

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Winning for Children

Liberty City and Overtown programs named “Programs of the Year” at Children’s Trust Champions for Children Awards Ceremony

The winners of 2015 Children’s Trust Champions for Children Awards were a mix of individuals and agencies, both large and small. Yet the recipients were united by their exceptional expertise, effective service, and most, of all, extraordinary commitment to improve the lives of children in Miami-Dade County. Liberty Academy Daycare and Preschool and Touching Miami with Love Ministries’ Leaders Youth Development Program on Friday, June 12 were both named “2015 Programs of the Year.”

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Chatter that Matters

The football players at Miami Central Rockets are still cheering Coach Roland Smith, since he was named Coach of the Year after transferring from Miami Northwestern former State Championship. The past season, Central went 14-1 and earned a top national ranking in several polls. The Rockers culminated the season with two victories over Bothell (Washington) in the Burger King Brown Championship Series. Smith earned the prestigious accolade this past week in recognition for leading the Rockets Football to its third consecutive state and fifth consecutive state final appearance. He joins former St. Thomas Aquinas coach as the only South Florida coaches to win the award. He’s the state’s third, along with longtime Jacksonville Bolaes coach Charles “Corky” Rogers.

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Charles R. Drew hosts MCI summer program

At-risk youth get motivation, work experience while out of school

They gathered at Charles R. Drew K-8 Education Center for the week-long orientation period in a five-week program. A group of 32 at-risk youths are participating in an exciting and profitable learning experience in the Miami Children’s Initiative Summer Youth Employment Program. The 32 student participants are in the 14-19 years of age target group. Each lives within the Impact Zone and will benefit from the work experience that pays $8.05 per hour for a 20-hour work week.

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DJ spins weekend to benefit kids

Irie Weekend raises money for programs like the Cultural Passport Program in the community

While giving a presentation to some youth at Miami Edison Senior High, in answer to a question DJ Irie said he lived on Miami Beach. "A boy asked, “Do you ever go to the beach?”' said the disc jockey, whose real name is Ian Grocher. “It was that moment that I realized that there are kids out there that needed not just mentoring but a cultural education,” said Irie. "Edison is about 12 minutes from the beach and he had never been. I realized that he probably had never been to a Heat game or to a play at the Arsht center. I wondered how he would feel after he does well in school and gets into say, an FSU, and meets a whole new group of people. Would he feel like he fit in?

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Meet Deja Mashack, she's exceptional

Student graduates from high school and technical college in the same week

Deja Mashack at age 14 had to leave all of her friends in Austell, Ga., (a suburb of Atlanta) where she was born and reared, and moved to Fort Lauderdale, with her parents, Baron and Denise Mashack. Her father had just become the new pastor of the Fifteenth Avenue Church of God in Fort Lauderdale. Being away from the friends she grew up with and finding herself in unfamiliar surroundings, Deja threw herself into her studies. After one year at Renaissance Middle School in Miramar, she went on to spend the next four years at Everglades High School. Making friends wasn't easy for Deja. She was a homebody and a bookworm. However, in the diverse landscape at Everglades High, Deja found acceptance and new friends.

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Controversial comments cost North Miami High School principal his post

Alberto Iber defended police officer involved in McKinney, Texas incident

The principal of North Miami High School, Alberto Iber, has been removed from his post at the school following a comment he made on social media. Iber defended McKinney, Texas police officer Eric Casebolt in a Facebook post linked to a Miami Herald article. Casebolt was caught on video pinning a Black teenage girl to the ground and pulling a gun on other teenagers at a pool party on Friday. He resigned on Tuesday. McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley called Casebolt's actions “indefensible.” Iber’s post said: “He did nothing wrong. He was afraid for his life. I commend him for his actions.”

Networking and Career Summit to take place Saturday

The Miami-Dade NAACP Young Adult Committee will hold its inaugural “Pathways to Success: Networking and Career Summit” from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 13 at Miami Dade College, North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Ave., in the Conference Center (Building 3). The summit will include a seminar that will bring diverse professionals, change makers, business and community leaders together to network and invest in themselves and the community. The free event will also feature breakout sessions facilitated by leading experts and a vendor exposition that will include networking opportunities. The following workshops are scheduled to take place: "How to Brand Yourself" - Jimmy Nickerson, JNICK Management Group, LLC; "How to 'Wow em' with your Resume" - Daniella Pierre, MSHRM; "The Onboarding Process, Interviewing/Salary/Negotiations/Job Relocation" - Shawn and Lakitsia Gaines, State Farm; "The Art of Networking" - Katrina S. Louis,communications manager, and Henri LaSane, youth advocate. The Miami-Dade NAACP Young Adult Committee is seeking sponsors. For more information, email miamidadeyac@gmail.com.

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Income gap and housing costs are burning issues

Chairman’s Council seeks to improve the quality of life for county residents

When Jean Monestime became Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman in January he created the Chairman’s Council for Prosperity Initiatives to keep track of progress commissioners make “to improve the quality of life for our citizens.” Last week, Monestime hosted a meeting as part of that initiative, to review affordable housing data and discuss inclusionary zoning. The conversation is a continuation of meetings in March and April, when the council met to discuss unaffordable housing and bridging the income inequality gap.

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