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Central makes history with win

BOCA RATON — Bothell High School’s head football coach Tom Bainter knew the challenge that lay ahead when he led his Cougars into the inaugural Burger King State Champions Bowl Series on Saturday. “We knew what we were getting ourselves into,” said Bainter of Washington’s Bothell High, ranked No. 16 in the nation. “We knew Miami Central High School is a powerhouse. And hats off to them. Their size, strength and speed is unlike anything we’ve ever faced back home. They have grit and heart. They were unbelievable.”

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Activism part of Kwanzaa celebration

After the drumbeats and ancestral dedications came the protests against events that have threatened the future of Black youth in the past year: police shootings and education reforms. Those issues were addressed on the second day of Kwanzaa, when about 275 people at the African Heritage Cultural Center in Liberty City celebrated the day’s principle of self-determination. The holiday honors Black culture and heritage from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. The event was one of two Kwanzaa celebrations that were held in the Black community last weekend. On Sunday, another Kwanzaa celebration was held at the Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center.

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Crime problem needs solutions

Gun violence has plagued Miami’s Black community all year. But in the past month, senseless shootings have erupted in Liberty City and Overtown at alarming levels. Some 19 people have been injured in drive-by shootings since Dec. 14. Parents and relatives have shed many tears as their way of coping with a problem that continues to plague their community. In addition to funerals, there have been marches, speeches and campaigns to stop the violence. But crime is still spiraling out of control. Solutions are needed

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Mass shootings, scandals dominate 2014

Former North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau’s was convicted of five counts of wire fraud-related charges for running an $11 million mortgage scheme with three others. Prosecutors said the scam took place before Tondreau was elected mayor of North Miami in 2013. A jury Dec. 16 unanimously found the city’s first Haitian-American female mayor guilty of

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Police killings of Blacks, Ebola scare nation in 2014

The police killings of unarmed blacks in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere — and the investigations and tumultuous protests they inspired — was among the top news story of 2014. The devastating outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, and the brutal actions of Islamic State militants and Boko Haram and disappearing aircraft scared the national and international communities.

Courts convict killer; Gov. Scott reelected

Retrial serves justice to family of shot-down teen: In October, a white man was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing Jordan Davis, an unarmed, Black teenager, at a Jacksonville, Fla. gas station. Michael Dunn, 47, was previously convicted for shooting at three of Davis’ friends who lived. But Dunn was not convicted for the fatally shooting Davis after a jury deadlocked. Some critics said the jury’s decision was an ironic injustice that failed to punish Dunn for the actual death

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God has plans for you in 2015

Resolutions may not work, but trust in God always leads to success

God has a plan for our lives. Those who do not take the time to invest in his “soul bank” will not be able to reap the many rewards, bonuses, and accolades he has stored up for redemption. In Jeremiah 29:11-12, it is written: “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.”

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Pastor of the Week

Apostle designate, Dr. Iris J. Troy, has been saved for more than 30 years. She is a woman who is “thankful” and relishes in the fact that she is “called by God from nursing sick bodies, to ministering to sin-sick souls.” Troy is a graduate of Miami Northwestern High School. She matriculated at the University of Miami, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She also has a Doctorate Degree in Theology, from Christ is Thee Answer University. Dr. Iris J. Troy retired from Jackson Memorial Hospital in 1994, after being employed there for 21 years. There she held the positions of registered nurse, associate head nurse, clinical educator, quality assurance coordinator for West Wing six, certified CPR instructor and a certified life support instructor.

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NSMC’s director gets president’s Award

Chief Executive Officer Manny Linares of North Shore Medical Center recognizes Carmen Gomez, the hospital’s director of human resources, as the 2014 recipient of the hospital’s annual President’s Award for her outstanding work and accomplishments throughout the year. In her leadership role at North Shore Medical Center as director of human resources, Gomez is responsible for Employee Labor Relations and Employee Health departments. She directs all of the hospital’s human resources activities by implementing and adhering to personnel policies and procedures while supporting the mission of the hospital.

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Faith Calendar

A New Year’s Day Prayer Service will be held at 12 p.m. with Guest Speaker Apostle Thelma Knowles and hosted by Evangelist Velma Arnold and Elder Mae Whatley. All are welcome. Call 305-6254291 or 786-318-9535. The Unspoken Dance, an Inspirational Dance Company geared to the youth and young adults of the community, will launch an extravaganza on Saturday, January 3 at the New 79th Street Word Church International. Call 786-307-9191 St. Mary First Missionary Baptist Church will host the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. worship service at 3 p.m. Sunday Jan. 18. Call 305-443-8166.

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March on Selma

Movie backs story behind the march for voting rights

LOS ANGELES — To feel and connect to the movie “Selma,” you have to really know the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You have to take a moment to peel away the layers of how you project King in your mind, as if he were a demigod. But really, “Selma” reintroduces you to King, the man, the husband, the preacher, the leader, who was comfortable in the face of presidents but unsure of himself with his wife Coretta (played by Carmen Ejogo), who he calls “Corey” in the movie.

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Cooking is Cutthroat

So. FL chef cooks in bed during reality TV show

In a trailer for Food Network reality show “Cutthroat Kitchen,” South Florida Chef Jouvens Jean is seen in a bunk bed in the kitchen. Yes, on “Cutthroat Kitchen” anything can happen and it usually does. While Jean won’t say if he won the Season 6, Episode 8 show, he said “I think I did quite well compared to the other contestants.” The episode is set to air 10 p.m. Jan. 4 on Food Network.

Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth

Author Joel Christian Gill pulls the trigger with drama, history

Everybody needs a hero or someone to look up to in life. A friend or classmate might be your hero, or maybe someone you don’t know. In the book “Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth” by Joel Christian Gill, the hero is a lawman. His name is George Reeves. Reeves is the slave owner of a young Black boy name Bass Reeves, who had taken his slave owner’s surname. Bass wanted to learn how to read, but Reeves “couldn’t have that”. So Reeves teaches Bass sharp shooting.

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I’ve Been Thinking What About You?

Make 2015 best year ever

Some of you may find it hard to believe but I was actually thinking we could end 2014 on a high note with something good happening. I guess you know I was wrong again. Some Black dude in New York City goes out and guns down two police officers for no reason at all. Perhaps in his deranged mind he thought he was getting even for the recent killings of young Black men by police. You can only get even in games like tennis, football or basketball for example. Living or dying is not a game so there is no score card, and there are no winners, because we all lose. In case you didn’t know it, the guy that killed the cops in NYC also shot his former girlfriend the same

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Chatter That Matters

Octavia Elizabeth Noble shed several tears as she walked across the stage at the Al Lawson Center at Florida A & M University (FAMU). During the school’s recent commencement ceremony, Noble graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. Cheers came from her entourage, which included her grandmother, aunts, cousins and sisters. Noble will continue to work on her M.S. degree at FAMU. Noble thanked her grandmother, Jean Perry for her family upbringing while a student at Booker T. Washington High School, where she graduated with honors. After receiving her degree, she proudly recited the BTW motto: “It’s not the biggest, but the best.” There may be a huge party from the family, so stay tuned to “Chatter” and save your gifts just in case more festivities are held.

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The Social Whirl

The holiday season doesn’t have to end. Keeping the spirit of peace, love, joy and happiness is a daily way to be gratified, grateful and inspired. Let’s keep it at all times. And for some, the whirl of celebrations are endless. Weddings are joyful celebrations of a marriage and the marriage of Ebony Nicole Edmonson and Ja Marv Dunn was no exception. Held at the Miami Downtown Hilton on last Saturday evening, it was punctuated with the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; “Nothing is worth more than this day.” Blending the traditional with the ceremonial “ jumping the broom,” The Reverend Jimmie

Rising economy, development top business stories of 2014

The U.S. economy in 2014 continued its rebound from the Great Recession. Employers were on pace to add a total of nearly 3 million jobs in 2014, the most in 15 years. With construction booming once again, Florida was among three states that had the biggest employment gains with 42,000 jobs added to the state’s economy. More Americans traveled as declining oil prices cut

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Lifestyle Happenings

Big Orange "Ball Drop" and Fireworks, today, 8 p.m. at Bayfront Park. Countdown one minute to midnight and fireworks at midnight. Free. www.bayfrontparkmiami.com. Miami Beach Ocean Drive New Year's Eve Celebration and fireworks, 9 p.m.-2 a.m at Lummus Park. Fireworks at midnight. Free. www.miamiandbeaches.com. New Year's Eve Street Festival, today, 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m. at Southwest Second Street and Southwest Fifth Avenue. Free activities for kids and dults. Entry is free. 954-828-5363. New Year's Eve Party, today, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. Features laser light show. Free. 954-454-7000. 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.

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Booker T. wins BK Champions Bowl

BOCA RATON — Tranise Harris was more than a little nervous when it appeared the Tornadoes high school football team at Booker T. Washington was about to have their first loss in more than two years at the inaugural Burger King State Champions Bowl Series on Saturday. With 28 seconds left in the game and trailing behind 28-21 against Utah’s Bingham High School, it looked like Booker T.’s 40-game winning streak was about to come to an end. “I was a little concerned there for a minute, said Harris, whose son, running back Trawone Johnson played special teams at the Burger King-sponsored event.

The good, bad, ugly in 2014 sports

2014 was quite the news-breaking year in the world of sports entertainment. Basketball superstar Lebron James shocked Miami Heat fans when he opted to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Michael Sam and Jason Collins became the first openly gay athletes to play in professional sports. And Donald Sterling and Ray Rice both found themselves in enough hot water to get themselves banned and expelled from the NBA and NFL, respectively. Mo'ne Davis lit up the summer as the first girl pitcher to win the Little League World Series. Here is the rundown of the major sports highlights of 2014:

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