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Carla St.Louis

Stories by Carla

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Stylish new senior facility with pool opening at Arcola Lakes Park

A swank, new recreation facility in the West Little River neighborhood is turning heads among senior residents as park officials are set to unveil their latest addition to the sprawling Arcola Lakes Park.

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Overtown Plaza: Groundbreaking celebration

Comm. Hardemon and SEOPW CRA aligning dreams with reality

Community and city leaders were on hand Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony to usher in a new era for the decades-old Overtown Plaza. The plaza, located at 1490 NW 3rd Avenue, will receive a new look and a new name as part of a million dollar makeover to spruce up the area and meet the needs of residents.

FAMU appoints new athletic director

College & Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow

College and pro-football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow was named Florida A&M University's (FAMU) new athletic director in an announcement by President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D on April 9. Winslow will start his new role May 15.

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Jazz spurs teen's musical career

Classical music and jazz mix for a funky combo

It's rare that a young girl born in this generation would enjoy jazz music more than pop music, but that's the case when it comes to 18 year old Ft. Lauderdale native Carla Robinson.

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No clemency hearing for Giles or Alexander

Two Black Florida residents who are in separate self-defense trials will have to wait longer to have their clemency cases reviewed by state officials. Despite Senator Dwight Bullard's (D-39) ongoing efforts to obtain pardons for Michael Giles and Marissa Alexander, neither parties are mentioned as topics on the agenda for the Executive Board of Clemency's June 18 meeting.

Separate but equal? FAMU-FSU engineering program to split

School divided on new amendment

The chairman of the Board of Trustees for Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) sent a stern letter expressing his disapproval to an amendment that would split the university's shared college of engineering with Florida State University (FSU) into a separate facility. 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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'Fatal Assistance' sheds light on Haiti’s slow relief efforts

Throughout director Raoul Peck's vexing documentary, Fatal Assistance, viewers are bombarded with images depicting the complexity of rebuilding Haiti.

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. If approved, it will add 822 acres of land, increasing the city's boundaries to 5.9 square miles from 4.5. The expansion would begin from Northwest 107th Street to Northwest 127th Street and from 27th Avenue to 37th Avenue to the West.

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'Hey that's my seat! Get your own!'

Lyric adds donors to its history

When spectators enter the historic halls of the Lyric Theater on Friday, they may take a second look at their ticket after noticing a name on their seat. It's all part of the Take a Seat sponsorship program, an ongoing capital campaign to raise funds for the historic venue located at 819 Northwest Second Avenue. Philanthropists get to see their names immortalized in stone, through the “Take Your Seat(s)!” campaign, a fundraiser that doubles as a communal memory space.

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Haitian director accuses U.S. government of corruption

While in town, filmmaker Raoul Peck discussed the politics of representation through visual media to a group of students at Florida International University (FIU). Peck answered questions about his controversial documentary, Fatal Assistance, that alleges the majority of donated funds to Haiti are being used to pay United States officials. He referred to the entire charade as a “form of misrepresentation.”

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Leon County invests in education

Sells facility and prime real estate land to FAMU

Leon County, the region that boasts the highest level of education average among Florida's 67 counties, is re-investing into academia. Last week Leon Country Research and Development Authority (LCRDA), chaired by Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier, signed an agreement that names Florida A&M University (FAMU) as the new owner of the Centennial Building. This unprecedented move falls in line with the county's high education goals, cementing a research facility and 26.8 gross acres of developed and undeveloped land within Innovation Park for residents.

TV One's series features Cooley High

Unsung Hollywood sheds light on residents of Chicago's Cabrini-Green Homes project

Quarter parties that lead to fights and leave your mother's prized china cabinet in ruins. Gambling friends, smooth talkers and teachers who cared. Slow dancing and kissing in the dark. They are memorable scenes from the classic film, Cooley High, directed by Michael Schultz. One network wants to take you down memory lane.

A scandalous affair comes to Miami

Author Judy Smith talks Shonda Rhimes, career and more

Acclaimed author and crisis management expert Judy Smith, who is best known for being co-executive producer and the inspiration behind the popular ABC television series Scandal, was in town for an annual book and author luncheon, on March 29th.

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From riches to rags

Brownsville’s historic Georgette’s Tea House crumbling

The once elegant rooms are now decorated with pigeon droppings. Termites infest the closets that held designer coats and shoes of the rich and famous. The kitchen, once a hub for sophisticated dinner parties is rotting away from a leaky roof. The porch, where legendary singer Billie Holiday once stood, is now the makeshift bed of a homeless person.

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Walker cutting into Black market

New shaving line curbs razor bumps

Black men look no further. A new razor company claims to be a cut above the rest when it comes to those pesky ingrown hairs that Black men have been trying to rid themselves of for years as they seek a clean cut. Bevel, from Walker & Company Brands, is the first and only shaving system designed specifically to resolve skin care issues for men with coarse, curly hair, done at the click of button.

SEED plants outreach efforts in Black enclaves

Boarding school taps into community to boost enrollment

By 7 p.m. at least 30 seats remained empty in the community room, where an open house for the new SEED School of Miami, the first and only boarding school in Kendall. At least 20 people including parents, children and SEED staffers mingled with Head of School Kara Locke, who spoke with each individual, answering their questions about South Florida’s alternative boarding school for at-risk youth located in the Miami Gardens Community Service Center on March 10.

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Residents demand transparency before voting deadline

Miami Gardens shares details on $60 million bond

“Speak the truth, and shame the Devil,” goes the popular Christian saying, and the policy makers of the City of Miami Gardens are following cue. Officials told residents, both Black and white, as much as they could when it came to their proposed general obligation bond for large scale renovations to the City on March 20th.

Little Red stands up to peer pressure

Local authors write book based on growing up in Opa-locka

A metropolitan spin on the classic childhood tale "Little Red Riding Hood," "Little Red in the Hood" takes readers on a journey in the city of Southhood with Little Red, an adorable, mahogany-colored little girl who has two massive Afro puffs and large, brown almond-shaped eyes who effortlessly dodges peer pressure from neighborhood teens on her way to dance practice. Her actual name is Rene, but her love for the color red, seen in the red bows that adorn her head, ushered in a name change. Written by Myron L. and Kristina R. Johnson, the book was inspired by their childhood in Opa-locka in Miami-Dade County were they faced similar challenges like Little Red. "Little Red" primes children on how to overcome peer pressure while expressing God's love to everyone.

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Key Clubhouse offers holistic mental health services

Program targets individuals with substance abuse

Twenty-five. That’s the amount of individuals it took daily to push the small Key Clubhouse, that included five 1,200 feet oblong tables designated for employment, orientations and other tasks to its capacity. Once the Clubhouse expanded its membership, it needed to relocate to bigger and better headquarters. On the ground floor of Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Manor located at 1400 NW 54th Street, at least 50 individuals packed the Clubhouse’s new facility to celebrate its relocation on March 14.

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Disney Dreamers Academy panelists share message of entrepreneurship

When you wish upon a radio show like KiAundra Kilpatrick your dreams come true. Ask 17-year-old Kilpatrick, a Miami Gardens residents who was among dozens of students all over the country who shared an intimate and fun learning environment at Walt Disney World during an all expense paid trip for four days to the popular theme park with figures like TV host Steve Harvey, gospel singer Yolanda Adams and more acting as “educators.”

Miami students driven to success

Three local students on the path to college

Vroom, vroom, vroom. What’s that sound? Two driven Miami high school students found themselves on the path to success after they were chosen from more than 1,000 applicants for Ford’s “What Drives Your Dream” essay contest.

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Tour Black history through tapestry of Black artwork

Philanthropists link art and history in Kinsey collection

Florida natives Bernard Kinsey and his wife, Shirley, want Blacks and whites to remember Black history. So much in fact that the couple personally curated, The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Where Art and History Intersect, a book with images on the state of Black life spanning from Africa, Europe and the Americas.

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Jazz in the Gardens draws thousands from South Florida, country

Hotel industry capitalizes on out of towners

Thousands of music lovers from South Florida and the country packed the grounds of Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens this past weekend to dance and sway to the soulful, relaxing sounds of top recording artists while feasting on various foods during the 9th annual Jazz in the Gardens.

Firms fight over $1.6B contract

The Miami-Dade County Inspector General has opened an investigation into one of the largest contract bids in the County’s history, valued at $1.6 billion. The bids are between the firms, AECOM and CH2M Hill, over a proposal to overhaul the County’s water and sewer system.

Miami Gardens schedules next bond meeting

Miami Gardens' policy makers will hold a second town hall meeting for the city's proposed $60 million general obligation bond referendum this week. The meeting will be held on March 20th at 7 pm at the Pentecostal Tabernacle International Church located at 18415 NW 7th Avenue. City officials will hear residents’ input on the bond, which city leaders say is needed to renovate and construct the parks. They say the funds will also be used to purchase new technological equipment to fight crime in the second largest city in Miami-Dade.

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Senator Bullard seeks prayers from community

Amid two pleas for clemency for Giles, Alexander

One lawmaker fiercely continues to battle the outcome of two Floridians involving the use of firearms for self-defense amid the nation's outcry over Florida's controversial law, Stand Your Ground. Senator Dwight Bullard (D-39) continued his quest to gain clemency for Marissa Alexander and Michael Giles, appealing to lawmakers to help overturn their convictions.

Latest U.S. job report shows economy growing rapidly

The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs  last month, according to the latest jobs report report released last Friday. Despite the cold weather, employers beefed up their staff, an encouraging sign to market analysts who feared the economy was weakening after last month’s report that showed disappointing job gains that fell below expectations.

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'Mountaintop' shows Dr. King as everyday man

Play separates the man from the legend

The play, "Mountaintop" portrays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not as the prominent Civil Rights activist but as an everyday man whose susceptible to imperfections and vulnerability. "Unlike other plays about MLK that generally focus on chronicling Dr. King’s life and accomplishments through a lot of narratives and speeches, this play is pure drama with interactive dialogue between people," said

NAACP issues letter after Republicans block Asst. Attorney General nominee

The National Association of the Advancement of Colored People criticized the U.S. Senate’s failure to support the civil rights organization’s choice of Debo Adegbile as the next Assistant Attorney General, calling the decision a “disgrace” and “a loss for all Americans.”

Why is Black cohabitation stigmatized in our community?

Whites lead in trend and Blacks feel pressure

While white couples are forgoing marriage for cohabitation focusing on child-rearing, their Black counterparts continue to feel the brunt of it from an unlikely source — their own community. Only 10.6 percent of Black couples with at least one child chose to cohabit. The figure decreases to 8.6 percent when children are not present.

White House honors local woman for STEM efforts

Entrepreneur Felicia Hatcher named as “Champion of Change”

The White House honored ten local heroes, including Felecia Hatcher of Miami, who are “Champions of Change” for their innovation in creating diversity and access in STEM fields on February 26th.  The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses and organizations doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. 

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Miami Gardens residents engage in bond discussion

Town hall draws questions on how $60 million will be spent

Bad weather did not prevent over 200 residents of Miami Gardens from packing a town hall meeting last Thursday to drill City leaders on a proposed $60 million dollar bond to fund renovations and new projects. Held at the Betty Ferguson Complex’s outdoor amphitheater, Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert and the City Council’s proposal was met with general confusion from locals who admitted it was their first time hearing anything about it.

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Florida International University student wins $10,000 scholarship

Derrick Deal is celebrating the opportunity of a lifetime thanks to Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. The senior at Florida International University’s (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management was declared the winner of Red Robin’s Golden Robin Contest on February 5. Deal’s winning recipe earned him a $10,000 scholarship. It also earned him the chance for his Bubblin’ Brown Sugar Bar-B-Que Burger to be featured as a limited-time menu offering at participating Red Robin® restaurants nationwide.

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Stephanie Sylvestre joins The Children’s Trust

Stephanie Sylvestre has joined the Children's Trust. Sylvestre will serve as Chief Operations and Programs Officer, a position that will strive to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County by making strategic investments in their future.

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City of Miami Gardens eyes $60M bond

City to host town hall Thursday

If Mayor Oliver Gilbert has his way, 2014 will be the year of redemption for the City of Miami Gardens. While last year was marked with youth violence which received a great deal of media attention, Gilbert and the City Council are focusing on the community’s potential.

Celebrate Haiti's rich culture at Big Night

Series brings Alan Cavé, arts and more

The Little Haiti Cultural Center wants you to celebrate Haiti with music, art and delicious food at its Big Night in Little Haiti series. The event--held every third Friday--will feature Haiti’s most popular amour singer, Alan Cave whose known for crooning romantic ballads in French and Creole and DJ Mack of Mizikpam.com between sets.

Tenants sue complex after roof collapse

North Miami residents target Gold King apartments

Displaced tenants in North Miami filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against Gold King Apartments after the roof of their apartment building collapsed during a rain storm. On December 26 of last year, 11 tenants and their families were forced from their homes when the building's roof caved in the middle of the night.

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Knight Foundation renews community through arts

Seeking projects that benefit South Florida

According to Tatiana Hernandez, South Florida is experiencing an arts revival. “Right now, South Florida is undergoing a creative renaissance,” said Hernandez, arts program officer of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “Culturally, Miami is very young. [Prior to current funding] museums and other art institutions were last funded in the late 1980s based on the small size of those communities. Now, those same communities have expanded tremendously, and they’re receiving funding that’s reflective of it.”

Hadley Park gets $6.5 million for renovations

Comm. Hardemon & City approve funding

Charles Hadley Park Youth Center will be receiving a makeover courtesy of Commissioner Keon Hardemon. "The community had been demanding park improvements and expansion for years," said Hardemon.

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Forum spurs talk on racism

Collegiates share stories on racism

“What is it about white folks that makes them feel in danger,” asked Reverend Dr. Jeffery Swain, director of Florida Memorial University's (FMU) Centers for Academic Support and Retention.

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Why are Black women so angry?

Problematic question draws many responses

Unlike women of other races, Black women are regularly viewed as angry by society. The Urban League of Greater Miami addressed this disparity by hosting a forum that asked the women of Liberty City, “Why are Black women so angry?”

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PAMM kicks off Black art show

Venus Williams and more attend unveiling

The host committee for the Perez Art Museum Miami Fund (PAMM) for African American Art sure knows how to throw a star-studded party. Tennis champion Venus Williams, award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and artists Faith Ringgold and Rashid Johnson were in attendance to support PAMM's long-standing commitment to Black art.

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Planting the SEED

Are we ready to send our at-risk children to boarding school?

When you think of boarding school, a few things come to mind — affluent white children, pristine uniforms and pedigree. What does not come to mind are inner city Black youth — until now. One institution’s solution in overcoming barriers to educational success is unheard of within the Black community--i.e., send students to boarding school.

Miami’s homeless greatly in need of a helping hand

The typical face of a homeless person in Miami-Dade County looks more familiar than you think. According to Benjamin Waxman, he’s “single, middle-aged, Black male between 40-55 years old and most likely born and/or raised in South Florida.” Waxman, an attorney with the law firm Robbins, Tunkey, Ross, Amsel, Raben & Waxman, P.A. should know as he’s the lead counsel in the Pottinger rights case involving the homeless community and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida that was recently mediated.

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Brownsville job seekers express optimism

Commissioner Monestime hosts needed job fair

For the past two years, Brownsville resident Kenneth Rozier has remained financially afloat by working odd jobs in tiling and carpentry for friends & family members. A 29-year old with a criminal background for possession of firearm, Rozier views his conviction as a barrier to him obtaining employment.

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The Jewel of Overtown: Lyric Theater to reopen

Highly anticipated debut in the works

When it comes to the Lyric Theater, Timothy Barber can spend hours on end discussing it’s glory days as Little Broadway, the Black community’s only source for entertainment and arts. “In its original heyday, it was a source of revenue for Overtown,” said Barber, the executive director of the Black Archives History & Foundation of South Florida Inc. “It stands to inspire the community of Overtown because its a standing example of the zeal of a Black community built from the ground up by a Black business man. If it once was, it could be again.”

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College hosts STEM Expo, attracts Black students

More than 1,000 local public school students participated in the annual Miami-Dade County Public Schools Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Expo. The expo, held on January 25 at North Campus, exposed students to practicing engineers in an effort to expand their understanding of mathematics and science in a global economy.

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Is the U.S. post-racial?

According to professor David Ikard, the notion of a post-racial America — a theoretical environment where the U.S. is devoid of racial preference, discrimination and prejudice — doesn’t exist. While others assert the existence of an America beyond race, using President Barak Obama’s presidency as a shining beacon of colorblindness, the University of Miami professor argued against it.

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Incarcerate or education

Are our children being pushed into prison?

In 1993, Debra Mayes Pane witnessed a phenomenon that changed the course of her professional career. While teaching at Teaching and Rehabilitating Our Youth (TROY), she first experienced the “revolving door,” a trend in which Black students were continually cycled in and out of school and court because teachers constantly “kicked [Black] kids out of class.” Pane never experienced this trend with her white students.

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Haitians aim for more philanthropy from within

At an intimate meet-and-greet for the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, Blacks from differing ethnicities took advantage of the evening’s tagline, “let’s connect” to share ideas,