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Young Professionals Network ‘Take a L.E.A.P’ toward success

Miami’s young Black professionals making huge strides around town

More than 50 young professionals from around the city made their way to Cafeina Lounge last Thursday to join the Young Professionals Network (YPN) for their Member Reception social. YPN is a fledging addition of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce (M-DCC). YPN aims to address an ever so present problem in Miami — the retention of young Black professionals.

Urban League: Employment rate lowest for Blacks in U.S.

Recent report details major racial disparity

A recent report from the National Urban League says underemployment is a bigger obstacle for Blacks than it is for whites and Hispanics. While unemployment has been a major obstacle to Blacks’ economic progress, the underemployment rate is even higher. The annual State of Black America report says the underemployment rate for Black workers was 20.5 percent, compared with 18.4 percent for Hispanics workers and 11.8 percent for whites.

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The Sports Brothers

What a crazy past few weeks it has been in the NFL and this is the offseason. The Philadelphia Eagles released arguably the game's most explosive wide receiver in DeSean Jackson. The Eagles cited various concerns about Jackson including conduct detrimental to the team, skipping or being late to meetings — painting a picture of a player that was all about himself. Then there were the concerns of alleged gang ties that dominated the headlines. League video shows Jackson flashed gang signs during a game against the Washington Redskins

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Black leaders blast Gov. Scott

While hundreds of thousands Haitians were stripped of their citizenship and ordered out of the Dominican Republic, Florida Gov. Rick Scott stood silent, but he has recently attended numerous rallies protesting the Venezuelan government crackdown on protesters petitioning the White House to impose sanctions against President Nicolás Maduro.

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The ABC's of Carvalho

School Superintendent opens up about life and success as top man

The room for this interview was an immaculate office overlooking midtown. There was a large desk, and several tall bookshelves covered with many framed pictures of family, friends and the colleagues of Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. Here, the leader of the nation’s fourth largest public school system would offer a rare glimpse of his humanity, one easily hidden behind the glare of television cameras and press conferences.

Separate but equal? FAMU-FSU engineering program to split

School divided on new amendment

The chairman of the Board of Trustees for Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) sent a stern letter expressing his opposition to an amendment that would create a second college of engineering at Florida State University (FSU). The the amendment to the budget has become a popular topic of conversation among the Black community, shedding light on the racial inequality between historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) such as FAMU and their state counterparts.

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Governor Scott losing ground in the Black community

It’s election year in the race for governor. Incumbent Rick Scott is hot on the campaign trail as recent polls show he’s trailing his likely opponent and Democrat candidate Charlie Crist, who will be a tough politician to beat in November if Scott doesn’t do something about it. He has. The trouble is, Scott may have made things worse for his political ambitions. Desperate for votes, the governor in recent months has made critical mistakes that have insulted the Black community. For one, Scott sidestepped an issue concerning hundreds of thousands of Haitians who have been stripped of their citizens on the Dominican Republican and ordered out of the country without nowhere to go. The governor instead joined South Florida’s large Venezuelan community of registered voters and protest President Nicolas Madura’s crackdown on demonstrators protesting food shortages, inflation, and high crime in their native country. They are fed up.

Is Miami-Dade College moving to Opa-locka?

In new annexation plans, North Campus may become part of city

Tucked in Westview, Miami-Dade College North Campus, is moving to Opa-locka without having to move at all, due to an annexation plan that features a 1.4 square mile increase to the city limit. The third largest predominantly Black city in Miami-Dade County behind Miami Gardens, Opa-locka may be extended by officials from from Northwest 107th Street to Northwest 127th Street, and from 27th Avenue to 37th Avenue to the West. Officials say the plan would generate about $2.7 million in property tax revenues, based on the city’s current tax rate.

Veteran gets shortchanged on education benefits

For the last two semesters Army Veteran Billy Leonard, 54, has been working towards his Associate of Science degree in Funeral Service Education at Miami Dade College [MDC] to become a funeral director. The problem is his Veterans Retraining Assistance Program [VRAP] only pays for one year of educational benefits, but they specify that his curriculum must lead to an Associate Degree.

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KingdomWaters: A new faith-based channel

KingdomWaters is a newly established radio channel, which endeavors to present topics out of the ordinary in its efforts to reach people in such a way that faith is renewed, re-enforced, and seeded. Listeners will, hopefully, build and re-enforce strong relationships with God. Kingdom Waters’ aim is to remind and inform its listeners of the importance of knowing that a relationship with God supersedes being planted in or connected with religion.

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Opening held for DaVita Dialysis Clinic

Last Tuesday, the first known joint venture dialysis clinic opened in Miami Gardens at 15800 NW 15 Ave., Ste. D. Clinic principals are: Drs. Anne Marie Miles, Michael Lemont, and Alexander Velar. They are three of the five partners of Kidney and Hypertension Specialists of Miami PA and practice in the North Miami area serving Aventura, Jackson North, North Shore, Mount Sinai and University of Miami Hospitals.

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Lyric Live crowns new champion of the stage

“Diamonds in a Ruff” wows the audience with high notes

It was the end of the road for Mailyn Cuadra. The defending champion of Lyric Live was no match for “Diamonds in a Ruff”, a young, all-male group that took away the crown on a tough night for performers at the talent show in Overtown on Friday. The quartet drew a thunderous standing ovation from the crowd after signing a heartfelt rendition of Boyz II Men’s "End of the Road."

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Miami Gardens hires new police chief

North Miami’s City Manager Stephen Johnson has been hired to lead the police force in Miami Gardens as residents pressure city leaders to address recent incidents of gun violence that have claimed innocent lives. Johnson has served for 30 years in North Miami, a city also beset with crime, but dramatically less than Miami Gardens, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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Vanzell Dupont, Jackson High student, wins $5K

Public selects winner of the “What Drives Your Dream?” contest

Miami Jackson Senior High School senior, Vanzell Dupont was awarded a $5,000 scholarship as part of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour. His efforts also granted the schools football team with $4,000 to help with academic programming. Nearly 3,000 people casted their vote and Dupont was selected along with two other Miami-Dade County Public School students out of 1,000 entires.

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Lifestyle Happenings

The Miami Children’s Chorus Presents “All Together Now,” a series of free community sing-alongs 11:30 a.m. Sat. April 12 at the North Shore Park and Youth Center. Call 305-662-7494. Booker T. Washington Alumni Association, Inc. presents the 2014 living legends Gala Ball Sat. April 12 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel. Tickets are $60. Call 305-213-0188.

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Staff Chow Choice: Bar-B-Que Ribs, Chicken and Jerk Shack

“Taste so good make you wanna slap your momma.”

“Taste so good make you wanna slap your momma.” Eight years ago, Bar-B-Que Ribs, Chicken and Jerk Shack began under a tent in the parking lot of the famous (or some may say infamous) Club Lexx. Thanks to such high demand owners, Kenneth and Skebo were forced to take their talents to a bigger venue.

Top Stories This Week

Top stories creating all the buzz in South Florida's Black communities this week.

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Seven million enrolled

Miami played key role in Obamacare ‘success’

Thousands of residents in Miami and across South Florida flooded call centers and health clinics Monday in a last-minute surge that dramatically helped President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Plan reach its goal of seven million enrollments after a sluggish start marred by technical glitches and heavy criticism.

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No Boos is Good Boos

Audience dares contestants to meet expectations

It’s Friday night in Overtown. In the hallowed halls of historic Lyric Theatre, everyone is eagerly awaiting the next act. Enter Corenzo Matthews on the stage, wearing a short sleeve, turquoise-colored shirt and white pants. He’s lean and has a very short haircut. So far, his good looks have earned points with the ladies in the crowd. But then he starts to sing “All of Me” from R&B singer John Legend. It did not go well.

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Firm working to ensure Black involvement

“No group of leaders will do more than you will today with your decision to decide the fate of the planning, construction and frankly economic future of this county . . . I also believe that it makes a statement as to whether you intend to grab this once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the cultural, socioeconomic and diversity aspirations of this city and this region. I would like everyone in this room to take a look at this team. Not only do we talk about diversity, we live it. We are it.”

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