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Erick Johnson



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North Miami Beach city manager apologizes over musghots

North Miami Beach officials are asking for forgiveness after mugshots of Black men were used during target practice at a shooting range in Medley

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Cultural coming out

Acceptance helps Haitian filmmaker find success, second chapter in life

When she was young, Miami filmmaker Rachelle Salnave wasn’t proud of being a Haitian American. A native of Harlem, N.Y., Rachelle said her parents told her that her great-great-great grandfather is Sylvain Salnave, a former president of Haiti who ruled Haiti from 1867 to 1869. Not even her heritage was enough for Salnave to be proud of her ethnic identity. Whenever someone asked her about her last name or ethnic background, Salnave fudged the truth.

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Liberty Square resident wins chance of a lifetime

Liberty Square resident wins chance of a lifetime

Three years ago, Denise Daniels was sitting in her home in the Liberty Square housing projects when someone slipped a paper in her door. It was a flier for a contest seeking the best idea for a business. The winner would receive a grant that would help turn their idea into a reality. Daniels tore up the flier. “I figure that I didn’t have a chance because I had bad credit,” she recalled.

North Miami commission rolls back Walmart

Opponents of a proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market in North Miami celebrated last week when the city’s planning commission unanimously voted to disapprove two items that affect the development of the project. In a packed meeting at city hall, officials voted 6-0 to disapprove a proposal by Walmart’s developer Retrosource, who wants to amend the city’s land use plan and zoning ordinances. Retrosource requested the changes so that it can build a 40,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market grocery store off Northeast 135th Street between Memorial Highway and Northeast Third Court. The project also calls for a gas station and space for a another store or business.

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A parade for a King

Event organizers use parades to educate youth about King’s life and the civil rights era

Garbage trucks. A hearse. Church buses. The vehicles, perfect for a parade and an entertaining history lesson, may turn heads again this year at the 48th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade on Monday in Liberty City. These nontraditional entries join the colorful floats to help tell a story about the civil rights era, according to event founder Preston Marshall. “I had people come up and asked me why are garbage trucks in the parade?” Marshall said in a recent interview. “The rights of sanitation workers was the last cause King took up before he was assassinated in 1968. Many young people don’t know that.” Marshall explains the other seeming oddities.

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‘Put Walmart on 7th Avenue’

North Miami residents tell city leaders that the discount retailer belongs in other neighborhoods, just not theirs

Amid the shouting and protests came demands to put Walmart Neighborhood Market on Northwest Seventh Avenue with the rest of the boarded up businesses and old grocery stores. That’s what residents and even a former mayor said at a contentious town hall meeting in North Miami, where a vocal, diverse crowd of 100 residents from the Griffin Park Estates neighborhood expressed opposition to a proposed Walmart in their community. The store would be located on a vacant, grassy lot off Northeast 135 Street, between Memorial Highway and Northeast Third Court. The project also calls for a gas station and space for another store or business.

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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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Community Emergency

Residents and clergy pulled together to find solutions to rising crime

A call for new social programs to stop the dramatic rise in drive-by mass shootings in Miami’s Black neighborhoods came at an emergency meeting Monday. It was standing room only as 300 people packed the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City. They came seeking answers to some 19 shootings that have plagued Liberty City and Overtown in just 15 days. The meeting was organized by County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, whose district is hit by the shootings.

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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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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