Eighty-one graduates signed several scholarships to colleges, universities
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson celebrated the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project’s “Academic Signing Day” for the 2016 class on May 9 at Jungle Island. Eighty-one graduating seniors, newly christened Wilson Scholars, put pen to paper and signed scholarships to the colleges or universities of their choice. Graduates were neatly dressed in custom-made suits and an updated, slimmer version of the 5000 Role Models signature tie donated by the Sean John Collection at Macy’s. Graduates also received brand new, red laptops, signifying the signature color of the Role Model program, to help with their future studies, as well a copy of the book, “Letters to a Young Brother,” by actor/author Hill Harper.
Some things you should know before you go
What do you need to know and do to get ready to enjoy the 2016 Annual Essence Music Festival, known affectionately as Essence Fest, a.k.a. "the party with a purpose?" Keep reading as we tell you the what, who, when, where, how and why of this year's 24th Annual Essence Fest. In other words, everything you need to know to maximize your experience. WHAT: Essence Fest started in 1994 as a one-time celebration of the 25th anniversary of the publication of Essence Magazine, a publication aimed primarily toward women of color. This one time party has blossomed into the largest single event celebrating African-American
It is the softball team's third straight title in the athletic conference
The FAMU women's softball team captured their third straight MEAC title on Saturday, May 14, eliminating arch rival Bethune-Cookman, 8-1 in the second and deciding game of the tournament. FAMU (27-28) dropped the opening game, 8-3 to the Wildcats (22-31), but unleashed a 12-hit attack in game two sparked by Kieifi Myrick, who had two hits, including a second inning solo homer and two RBI. Jessica Nathan, Tashayla Irvis, Toni Anderson and Whitney Farris also had two hits apiece for FAMU, with Farris, Anderson, Miesha McBride and Alexis Day each driving in a run. Leading 1-0 after Myrick's second inning shot, the Lady Rattlers scored six runs in the third to build a 7-0 lead.
It is eighth straight championship, 13th overall under Coach Carmen Jackson
They journeyed to IMG Academy in Bradenton on Mother’s Day weekend with a high-powered mission in view. That mission was accomplished when the Miami Northwestern High School Lady Bulls delivered Coach Carmen Jackson a “baker’s dozen” for a Mother’s Day present. The Lady Bulls track and field team won a record eighth consecutive Florida State High Schools Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 4A State Championship. It is the 13th win overall since Jackson has been coach. “I think the biggest impact of this championship is that it shows Coach Jackson is committed to excellence that goes beyond the track and field program,” said Miami Northwestern Principal Wallace Aristide, a former football coach.
The Princess and Pearls organization held its annual recognition luncheon last Saturday and honored 14 African American young ladies. Sonia Chess, a Princess & Pearls CEO, and mentor of the group of girls honored at the luncheon said, “We teach the girls etiquette and manners; we tackle issues like self-esteem, inner-beauty, self-discipline, anti-bullying, empowerment, hygiene and fashion, to name a few.” Chess is a graduate of the Princess & Pearls Program and has been involved with the program for 12 years.
$13 million illegally taken, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer says
Opa-locka Hialeah Flea Market, a mainstay for bargain shoppers in South Florida, has nearly two dozen fewer vendors after federal agents on May 11 shut down several businesses who are accused of illegally trading food stamps for cash. U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer announced that 22 businesses were targeted during a raid at the flea market. The indictments allege the retailers or store operators received more than $13 million in federal payments for transactions in which they did not provide any food. Prosecutors say the practice is commonly known as “food stamp trafficking.” In addition to the federal indictments, state prosecutors charged six individuals for allegedly receiving additional illegal payments involving food stamps. Law enforcement officers say this is the largest scheme involving food stamp fraud in U.S. history. “When individuals defraud governmental programs, they steal taxpayer funded benefits that are intended to feed the families and children in our communities who are most in need,” Ferrer said in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal law enforcement partners are committed to working with our state and local allies to investigate and prosecute individuals that commit fraudulent schemes for illicit personal financial gain.”
Florida International University players sign NFL free-agent contracts
Four Florida International University football players have joined the professional ranks, signing free-agent contracts with NFL teams. Defensive lineman Denzell Perine signed with the Minnesota Vikings; Cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon signed with the Dallas Cowboys; Defensive lineman Lars Koht signed with the Seattle Seahawks; and Cornerback Richard Leonard signed with the Houston Texans. Perine finished his Panther career with 119 total tackles (66 solo) with 22 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks (tied for fourth all-time at FIU). During the 2015 season, Perine appeared and
Celebrity chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggio join Miami restaurateurs to create vibrant food marketplace
MiamiCentral, the new 11-acre mixed-use development in the heart of Downtown Miami and future home of the Brightline train service, on Monday introduced Central Fare, a dynamic, urban marketplace. Central Fare will offer culinary experiences – featuring chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, Richard Hales of Blackbrick Chinese; and Andres Barrientos and James Bowers of Miami Smokers, among others.
Brings stakeholders together, employs up to 1,300 students
A historic collaboration between Miami-Dade County government, The Children’s Trust and Miami-Dade County Public Schools will result in 1,300 paid internships for students this summer, designed to keep youth safe and motivated. Roughly 100 teenagers and young adults will be recruited within each of the county’s commission districts to take part in the initiative, which is directed toward at-risk youth ages 15-18 as well as those with disabilities and youth transitioning out of foster care through age 22. Participants will be provided with five 30-hour work weeks, a stipend of $1,208, high school course credits and the opportunity to earn college credits.
Visitors from New York make a $2 billion impact on South Florida areas
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) announced May 6 record-breaking travel and tourism numbers with a more than 6 percent increase in overnight visitors to Miami and the Beaches in 2015. During that time, the destination welcomed 1 million more visitors for a total of nearly 16 million overnight visitors with a record 8 million visitors from domestic markets and 7.5 million international visitors. New York became the destination’s first $2 billion market reaching a record economic impact of $2.3 billion. The total economic impact of overnight visitors to Greater Miami and The Beaches reached a record $24 billion last year. These numbers contributed to the job market, with a record 136,100 Leisure and Hospitality
Performances mark the culmination of the sixth annual competition
In the dressing rooms of the Miracle Theatre – a rabbit-like warren of small spaces, dead-ended corridors and tight corners – the nervous yet determined chatter of 41 young performers preparing to take the stage steadily hummed. In one corner, a spoken word poet ran through her lines as she faced a blank wall, imagining, perhaps, the audience she’d soon stand before. Through a nearby doorway, a vocalist with a shy smile sat quietly next to her father, whose whispered words of encouragement soothed her flip-flopping stomach. In yet another room huddled a group of step dancers, giddy with pride
Could it happen again?
Don L. Horn listened keenly as the verdict was announced for the officers accused of killing Arthur McDuffie and tampering with evidence. Not guilty on all charges. “Nooooooooooooooo,” said Horn, then a first-year law student at the University of Miami. “Not even tampering with evidence? They admitted to falsifying the police report. How could they not find them guilty of falsifying the report?” Horn, who lived in Overtown, said he got word that “stuff had already” started in Liberty City and someone was already dead.
Holloway ramps up efforts; Bush says he’s on schedule for the race
The race for the District 1 school board seat in Miami-Dade is about to ramp up, with opponent Steve Gallon outpacing the incumbent and another opponent in fundraising. Incumbent School Board member Wilbert “Tee” Holloway recently announced he is bringing in Sherwood Dubose as campaign manager, in an effort to bring energy and funds. Meanwhile, James Bush III, the third candidate, said his campaign is on schedule. Campaign finance reports show that while the race may appear quiet outwardly, fundraising is a different story. Gallon far outpaces his rivals in reports filed through March 31, the latest filing date available.
Gallon defends his record for board seat
Steve Gallon was a rising star during his tenure as a Miami-Dade schools educator and administrator. But his tenure as a superintendent in Plainfield, NJ, was rocky, and someone wants to make it an issue. Gallon is one of two opponents challenging longtime School Board member Wilbert “Tee” Holloway for the District 1 seat. Holloway has held that seat since 2007. James Bush III, a retired schoolteacher and former state House representative, also is in the race. This is Gallon’s first attempt at elected office, but he has the backing of local activists and veteran educators. Conversely, both Holloway and Bush have run campaigns before.
Chiverton’s job will be on the line at meeting
The city of Opa-locka is considering whether to remove its city manager, even as it struggles to write a recovery plan to submit to Gov. Rick Scott. City Commissioner Joseph Kelley is sponsoring resolutions that, if approved, would remove City Manager David Chiverton from office — placing him on unpaid leave of absence, and appointing a new replacement in a temporary role. Kelley also wants Scott to appoint a financial oversight committee that could oversee the city’s financial procedures as it digs out of millions of dollars in debt and deals with a budget deficit in the current fiscal year.
Opa-locka officials knew late last year that they needed a recovery plan in order to request help from Gov. Rick Scott. So it’s no surprise, that residents are angry by the memo from Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel demanding that City Manager David Chiverton submit the necessary paperwork.
Police investigation continues into untimely death
Friends of former Miami-Dade Commissioner James C. Burke are coming to grips with his untimely death. While they don’t have many details about what happened at his Waycross, Ga., home, they say he didn’t deserve to die this way. “He was a fine person. He was always pleasant, always ready to cooperate with you, and do the best for the community,” said former commission chairwoman Barbara Carey- Shuler. “He could get along with anybody. I don’t remember him having an argument or disagreeing with folks.” Carey-Shuler, who lives in Palm Beach County, said she received several phone calls Sunday while at Mother’s Day dinner. “I was shocked, totally shocked. You don’t expect people to go to their maker that way.”
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle and Public Defender Carlos Martinez joined 18 judges who won automatic re-election Friday when no challengers came forward to run against the officials. The candidate filing deadline was noon Friday. There will be elections for 10 judicial positions in August. Fernández Rundle’s re-election marks her seventh term in office. First appointed in 1993, she has won four contested elections — the last in 2012 — when she defeated defense lawyer Rod Vereen in the Democratic primary.
Five hundred of South Florida’s youth between the ages of 13 and 17 were encouraged to make the right choice at the fourth annual Choice Challenge, a free youth-only event aimed to equip middle and high school students with the knowledge and tools to make conscious decisions about their future.
The event on May 21 is presented by the Trayvon Martin Foundation
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton will keynote the third annual Circle of Mothers Weekend and Conference presented by the Trayvon Martin Foundation. The former secretary of state, U.S. senator, and first lady of the United States will speak at 7 p.m. May 21 at the Embassy Suites, located at 1100 SE 17th St. Sybrina Fulton founded the Circle of Mothers as a means of offering healing, motivational and