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Ashley Montgomery

Stories by Ashley

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Never too late: 47-year-old has triplets

Not one, not two, but three. What a pleasant surprise it was for Sharon Lewis, 47, when she found out that she was pregnant — with triplets. Already a mother, she has a 25-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. Lewis says she is blessed to have bought three healthy babies into this world.

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Housewives of Atlanta star heats up Miami Fashion Week

Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey aims to dazzle Miami Fashion Week this year. As CEO of the Bailey Agency School of Fashion, Bailey is on a quest to add a new model to her agency. On April 25, the agency in partnership with Jambalaya Group hosted a private cocktail reception at the Bath House in Miami Beach. The five hopeful models chosen from the cocktail reception will now compete for a contract at Miami Fashion Week’s Faces of Fashion.

Wage increase on hold

Locals weigh in on underpaid workers

President Barack Obama is continuing his efforts to persuade Congress to pass laws for higher minimum wage despite the Senate Republicans blocking a vote on the issue. Last Wednesday, the Democratic-supported bill was met with a host of Republican opposition in the Senate where it failed to get the 60 votes needed to move forward. If passed, The bill would have raised the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour over the next 30 months. It failed by a margin of 54-42.

Help wanted: apply within

Three leagues, 92 teams, One Black majority owner

Recently, an precedented move occurred in the National Basketball Association when the Commissioner, Adam Silver cracked down on Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Silver banned 80-year-old Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million after his girlfriend, V. Stiviano allegedly leaked an audio recording of him making racist comments. In the audio recording Stiviano can be heard asking Sterling, “Do you know that you have a whole team — that’s Black — that plays for you?” Sterling’s reply was shocking and downright offensive.  

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Miami Edison High students receive pre-prom safety measures

Seniors and juniors impacted by mock DUI crash event

With a glamorous and entertaining night that many high school students dream of promptly approaching, local organizations and political figures want to ensure the night stays that way. A very dramatic and scary visual of what takes place seconds after a driver under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs collides with another vehicle was meant to deter students from placing themselves in harms way.

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First residential development in decades launches in West Grove community

Community leaders and politicians on Monday celebrated the groundbreaking of a multi-million dollar residential tower in the historic West Grove neighborhood, Miami's oldest Black community which was founded by Bahamian settlers.

Sybrina Fulton launches Empowered to Know My Rights


Nearly two years after the killing of her son, Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton has since dedicated her life to traveling the nation and speaking on behalf of the “voiceless.” Last Thursday, Fulton and the Trayvon Martin Foundation visited North Miami Senior High School students as part of an effort to educate and empower South Florida’s young people about their civic rights and responsibilities.

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Sonia Chess: reaching young girls in the community

Mentor prepares young women for a successful future

Sonia Chess has an unique way to mentor hundreds of young girls around South Florida. As author of “Princess Bria: The Great I Am! A Bedtime Story," Chess uses wisdom from her troubled past to help younger generations achieve a better future.  “There are a few girls that I mentor daily,” Chess said. “I help them with homework, social skills, issues dealing with relationships, questions that they may have about themselves.” 

Fewer Florida students to receive 'Bright Futures'

What does this mean for our inner-city youth?

Tougher requirements in the state’s Bright Futures program have dramatically reduced the amount of students who qualify for scholarships. Only half of Bright Futures scholarships will be awarded this fall compared to last year. About 21,340 students are expected to be eligible for the merit-based scholarship this fall, much fewer than the 41,107 who qualified last year.

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5000 Role Models get informed

Event targets young men who are seeking post-high school alternatives

Helping young men achieve their dreams after high school is imperative to the entire community. Many have an idea of what they want to be when they “grow-up” but few have the resources. Enter the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, whose focus is to to mentor boys ages nine through 19.

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Continuing MLK's Legacy: Florida's working class speaks out against minimum wage

Restaurant and labor workers across South Florida are joining Democratic leaders in urging state lawmakers to close the widening gap between the poor and affluent by raising the minimum wage.

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College Bound: Miami's high school seniors prepare for future endeavors

High school seniors prepare for their future endeavors

With the end of the school year fast approaching, many high school seniors around Miami-Dade County are preparing to enter the next phase of their lives. Cheers to the many cycles that will be broken in our inner-city communities this upcoming graduation season. Miami-Dade County Public Schools currently has 347,997 students enrolled, making it the fourth-largest school district in the country.

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Local businesses celebrate Women’s History Month

A City Soiree pampers Miami's hard-working ladies for a day

Two women, one vision. Around the U.S., March is dedicated to Women’s History Month, a celebration of the many contributions that women and young girls have made to this country since the Women Suffrage Parade in 1913.

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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.

A tuition-free school opening in Liberty City

Beacon College Prep enrolling students for next school year

By 2020, an estimated 123 million American jobs will require a college education, but only 50 million Americans are projected to have college degrees. Beacon College Prep (BCP) is preparing to put college on the forefront for the youth in Miami-Dade County. The tuition-free, not-for-profit public charter school will be opening in the Liberty City community in August. “We believe that preparation for college must begin in elementary school, and hold all of our students to exceptionally high behavioral and academic standards,” their mission states.

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MDPD fighting more than crime

FL law enforcement leaders say it starts in the classroom

Police, law enforcement leaders and school officials are banding together to fight crime on a whole new level as they announce a new initiative to improve the lives of Black youths by keeping classrooms safe for hundreds of thousands students in Miami-Dade's public schools. At a press conference downtown attended by officials from Miami-Dade Police Department and county's public school system leaders announced new efforts to reduce crime among Black youth. The groups have made a commitment to show greater support to youth within the classroom and their curriculum.

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Dr. John Nelson: The meaning of young, successful 

Local Black dentist opens Midtown Dental in Miami

At just 32 years old, Dr. John A. Nelson opened his own dental practice, Midtown Dental. Located in one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in South Florida, Midtown Dental has been a lifelong dream for Nelson.  A graduate from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Nelson earned his degree in Chemistry from the University of South Florida and then attended Howard University's College of Dentistry. 

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Street Talk

“Yeah, my son calls home every week for assistance. It’s more pressure on them to have to work. Education is first. It’s a plus and a minus. A lot of those kids don’t have support. So yes, they should get paid.”

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BMe: Funding everyday Black men

Did you know that there are more brothers in college than in prison?

There are 1.4 million Black men in college and there are about 840,000 Black men in prison, according to Ivory Toldson, an associate professor at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education.” 

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BTW students boosted by The Education Effect

FIU and local high school team up for a big transformation

The Education Effect has taken off since it began at Miami Northwestern Senior High School campus three years ago. Now, The Education Effect in partnership with Florida International University has plans to serve one of the most historic high schools in the county — Booker T. Washington Senior High. 

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FAMU awards scholarships to future Rattlers

Top South Florida high school students receive an extra incentive

The Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex housed the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) 2014 President’s Spring Tour. Dozens of FAMU students, administrators and recruitment representatives made their way to sunny South Florida. Nearly a hundred bright-eyed future Rattlers and their parents were in attendance.

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Professional football player finds far-fetched passion for education

Ray Shipman transitions his ChampionShips to succeed off the field

When it comes to the classroom, the football field or a basketball court, Ray Shipman goes for the gold. Excelling in the classroom while being a student-athlete is something that Shipman is going above-and-beyond to teach youth in Miami-Dade County to do.

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Ronda Vangates appointed as asst. city manager of Doral

First Black woman to hold this local government position

The City of Doral has appointed a new Assistant City Manager, Ronda Vangates, Esq. “I was appointed by the City Manager — Joe Carolla on March 10, 2014,” Vangates said. Joe Carolla, former City of Miami mayor says that Vangates will have direct report responsibility for: Human Resources, Public Works, Information Technology, Police and the Division of Public Affairs.

Commissioner Hardemon looks at the MFLC through his own lens

Hardemon says funding for the organization is still under review

Last week, The Miami Times issued an article about the Miami Film Life Center located in the historic Chapman House next to Booker T. Washington High School possibly losing funding. On Jan. 27th, McKoy says that the MFLC was removed without notice from the agenda during a monthly Southeast Overtown/ Park West Community Redevelopment Agency meeting. It was reported that Michelle McKoy project manager for the MFLC reached out to Commissioner Keon Hardemon to set a meeting about funding issues. Contrary to last

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Small woman equipped with big dreams

Florida Memorial University junior named Air Force RPA pilot

Shanisse Lanoue, petite in stature — standing at just five feet — is a testament that you can do anything when you put your all in to it. Unlike her classmates, the 20-year-old student has been a licensed pilot since 2012. Lanoue, a junior majoring in Aeronautical Science at Florida Memorial University (FMU). Lanoue is the eldest child of four and a native of Fort Lauderdale. A first generation American — her mother, South African and father, Haitian-Dominican, Lanoue wanted to become a traditional pilot however, she does not meet the Air Force’s height requirements.

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Florida Memorial University celebrates its 135th birthday

Florida Memorial University, South Florida’s only Historically Black University is anticipating blowing out the candles on their 135th birthday cake. As tradition stands, on Thursday, March 13th at 10:00 a.m. in the Susie C. Holley Religious Center, FMU will be flooded with blue and orange paraphernalia. “Founder’s Day is a time to not only reflect on our rich 135 year history and our many historical accomplishments, but a time to look towards the future and embrace all that God his in store for us,” Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president of FMU said.

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Art by the Sea

Big Blue and You gearing up for fun-filled day at the beach

It’s that time of the year again, when The Big Blue and You wants you to roll-up those sleeves, throw on your bathing suit and get hands-on at the Fourth Annual ‘Art by the Sea’ event. On Saturday, March 8th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m, the Big Blue and You organization wants you to join them at the historic Virginia Key Beach.

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Miami Northwestern Senior High students showcase blender bikes

South Beach Food and Wine Festival features ‘Plant it Forward’ initiative

As South Beach transformed into the home of Food Network’s biggest stars for the weekend, some local talent got some exposure of their own. Students from Miami Northwestern Senior High showcased their blender bikes — pedal-powered stationary bicycles fitted with blenders — at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s “Fun and Fit as a Family” event.

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Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida helps beautify and paint homes

For the past nine years, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida [NHSSF] has hosted its Community Paint and Beautification Day. This spring is no different than the rest, and NHSSF has all hands on deck once again. 

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OYC ensures no child goes to bed hungry

Richard Yulman, Alonzo Mourning fund new dinner program 

The Overtown Youth Center [OYC] has become a guarded sanctuary for hundreds of children in its community. With its large, colorful and extra-personable staff, its no wonder that such an amazing initiative has conjured up to ensure that no child goes home hungry.  Richard Yulman and former Miami Heat basketball star, Alonzo Mourning, launched OYC’s new Dinner Program to benefit students at the center. Yulman is the retired co-chair and owner of Serta International.  “It’s a very disturbing thought to think that children go to bed without a meal; we have so much here in abundance to make sure they don’t go without,” Mourning said. 

Williams continuing to grow small businesses

Office of Economic Opportunity still facilitating jobs for Blacks

Could the old saying, “good things come to those who wait” be needing a revision? Those at the Office of Economic Opportunity [OEO] would say yes. More like, “good things come to those who go out and take opportunities.”

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Street Talk

What’s your opinion of a couple cohabiting before marriage?

Myers of FMU named 2014 HBCU All-Star 

President Obama’s initiative creates opportunity for scholars 

Jonte Myers, 31, has made significant strides while attending Florida Memorial University [FMU]. So much so he has been recognized by the White House, among 75 students from 62 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Last week, the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities [WHIHBCU] announced its first class of HBCU All-Stars. Myers, a graduate student, learned of the program from a faculty member.  “Dr. Riley brought it to my attention and she had already done her part, of filling out the faculty recommendation that was required for the application,” Myers said. 

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Miami Gardens Heritage Bowl features City's best and brightest

City of Miami Gardens tests groups of students on Black History facts

The City of Miami Gardens alongside Mayor Oliver Gilbert held its 10th Annual Heritage Bowl at Florida Memorial University. The competition kicked off in the Lou Rawls Center for Performing Arts.  Both middle and senior high school divisions of the competition began that morning at 10 a.m. and finals later that afternoon at 2 p.m. 

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MCI shows appreciation in Liberty City

Miami Children's Initiative hosts Early Care and Education Luncheon

The Miami Children’s Initiative [MCI] and Miami-Dade County Public Schools [MDCPS] hosted a luncheon that brought together a collection of heavy-hitters in the early child care industry. MCI is a nonprofit organization focused on transforming Liberty City into a prosperous community. The pair invited Liberty City’s early childcare education owners/directors and MCDPS principals to come out

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V74 Boutique ‘gives back with a heart’

Local boutique raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital

With the growing use of social media marketing, V74 Boutique has been able to make its mark in Miami’s fashion market. Vanessa Floyd, a Miami native who graduated from American High School, found triumph in the midst of a horrible tragedy — losing her mother.  “Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated with the act of shopping. . . it has always been something that I love to do,” Floyd said. 

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Attorney Powell follows her passion  — opens hair salon 

Hair salon caters to women of color 

“Love what you do, and do what you love” is a mantra attorney turned entrepreneur of one of the hottest and most affordable salons in Miami, Weaves, Etc. is all too familiar with.  Jamila Powell, who was once litigating in criminal court took her future into her own hands and made the decision to break into the hair care industry.  

What’s going on in Overtown?

Clarence Woods, SEOPW CRA executive director tells his side

After enduring hurdle after hurdle, the Overtown community will finally begin to see the fruits of the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency [SEOPW CRA], the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County’s labor.  On Monday, Jan. 27 the board of co

Soul Centric provides a home to “Miami’s new culture”

TRU Soul and local business make joint effort to bring back soul

South Beach is home of the glitz and glamour; where the socialites mingle and the celebrities from all over the world reside in their million-dollar mansions. On the other side of town, Tru Soul Entertainment wants to make a name for some of the less-known celebs in town. 

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Tracy Mourning’s Honey Bugs get the “Shine” they deserve

College scholarships and more provided to underserved girls

The name of this supportive mentoring program, Honey Shine Inc., derived from a term of endearment that many Black women can share and relate to . . . when greeting one another: “Hey, honey child!” or even the scandalous-yet-loving-filled, “Oooo, honey child, let me tell you!” Honey Shine, Inc. is a loving environment that makes all parties involved feel proud to be a part of such a passionate circle. 

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Jackson Soul Food: Serving Overtown since 1946

Local owner Shirlene Ingraham talks business

The Florida restaurant industry is expected to show significant growth in 2014. According to the National Restaurant Association’s [NRA] 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast, more than 899,000 jobs will be created this year, and an additional 134,600 jobs in the next decade.

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Children of Liberty City learning a different tune

Inauguration for first phase of the new Children’s Orchestra

Students of the inner-city are now playing a new kind of tune thanks to the efforts from the Miami Music Project; Miami Children’s Initiative [MCI] and the The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  El Sistema Miami [ESMIA] Liberty City Chapter’s children’s orchestra held an inauguration program at Charles R. Drew K-8 Center where nearly hundreds of guests arrived to show their gracious support.

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Owner of Overnight Success awarded substantial grant

Samuel Gilmore focusing on company’s future

Chase and Google recently presented 12 small businesses with $3 million in grants along with a trip to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.  Among those 12 recipients is a man of great wisdom that goes by the name, Samuel Gilmore, Jr. Twenty-one years ago, a former Air Force pilot who was born and raised in Miami started the company Overnight Success, a construction and supply company. Gilmore’s primary reason was to create jobs for

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Leading independent school grants opportunity to scholars

Breakthrough Miami gives one male one female a scholarship

Miami Country Day School, known as one of the leading college preparatory learning communities in the County, is looking to offer one male and one female that meets their eligibility requirements a “good-through-graduation” scholarship. Breakthrough Miami’s Trustee Scholarship helps promote socioeconomic diversity at the school and is an opportunity for qualified and deserving students to reach their

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Initiative buoys up for Miami’s booming technology scene

Ten entrepreneurs sponsored with LAB Miami memberships

Miami is most known for its palm trees, sizzling weather and sunny beaches —but as of late it has become home of something least suspecting — technology. Those at the Young Professionals Network [YPN] and the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust [MDEAT] are ensuring that the Black community is getting involved while the field is on the come-up.

Free workshop for small businesses

Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and The Beacon Council partner up

In a county where there are thousands of small businesses flourishing — The Beacon Council and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson want to make sure that they are staying afloat and prospering as they should. 

Staggering report says many women on the verge of poverty

Estimated 42M women face financial hardships

Amidst the growing number of Americans who have made advancements within the economy, there is still an unbelievable number of women in the United States that are will treading the poverty line. 

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Wholistic Growth seeks cure for childhood obesity

Founder/CEO, Kraig Mchardy, creates internship opportunities for students

Seventeen percent of all children in the U.S. are currently obese — tripling the percentage from one generation ago. Well, obesity, Founder/CEO Kraig McHardy, says that you have met your match. Bringing the South Florida area the unique

FL college students receiving Pell grants more

An indication that Floridians needed help, change comes

Approximately 36 percent — that’s 17,117 of Florida International University students depend on the federal Pell grant to help pay for their studies during 2013. This accounts for a total of $77,143,267.60 in aid. According to reports, the number of state-university students receiving Pell grants has soared in recent years — an indication that more Floridians are having trouble affording rising education costs.

Blacks face many challenges to overcome credit card debt

“Plastic safety net” may not be best option

In general, Americans face a plethora of financial challenges but a recent study shows how Blacks in particular are moving a step closer to financial freedom despite their past. New research conducted by the public policy organization, Demos, reveals the exact trends for low-to-middle income households with credit card debt.