Erick Johnson

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Racism by design: 2nd lawsuit for Little Haiti apartments

For the second time, Design Place Apartments in Little Haiti has been sued for racial discrimination by Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence Inc. (HOPE), a housing watchdog group. The latest suit filed Tuesday alleges that Design Place again turned away Blacks seeking apartments at the complex, located at 5175 NE 2nd Court. The complaint, filed in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court, names SPV

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Tondreau taken into custody Tuesday after being convicted of five counts related to wire fraud

One minute Lucie Tondreau was smiling and chatting with friends just a few feet away from prosecutors. Two hours later, the former North Miami Mayor stood silent and stoic as the jury foreman told her she was convicted of wire fraud. A 12-member jury found Tondreau guilty Tuesday of committing one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and four separate counts of wire fraud in the U.S. Southern District Court of Florida, downtown Miami.

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Making spirits bright

Holiday parties uplift and help heal families of murdered children and community residents

Sabrina Gordon watched while her grandson Jahkari Gordon ran around the clubhouse in the Barbara Carey-Shuler Apartments in Liberty City. Jahkari, 7, jumped for joy after he opened his gift on Saturday. It was a Superman play shaving kit. The holiday party was for Families of Murdered Children. Oblivious to Jahkari, Sabrina Gordon was invited because his father and her son was killed about a year ago. Willie James Gordon, 28, was gunned down at an apartment complex in Liberty City October 2013. He died leaving his mother to grieve and Jahkari and his sister 2-year-old Samya, fatherless.

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Housing discrimination suit settled

Complex accused of denying Black applicants reach court agreement

Elite Riverview Apartments, the Miami rental complex that was sued for discrimination in May after it allegedly denied Blacks to view rental units, has settled the case out of court, according to legal documents obtained by The Miami Times. The complaint that was originally filed in the U.S. Southern District of Florida, was dismissed Nov. 17 after Elite went into mediation talks with the plaintiff, the Housing Opportunities for Project Excellence (HOPE).

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A Haitian leader’s fall from grace

Former North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau on trial for mortgage fraud

Her name is Kettley Alphonse. She bought a house in Miami Shores in 2007. She didn’t know the price of the house was $564,000 at the time of the closing. She just signed on the dotted line on numerous documents without asking any questions about the big purchase. That same day, Alphonse received a $5,000 check for her cooperation. The signature on check was that of Lucie Tondreau, the former mayor of North Miami who was also Alphonse's employer. After the purchase, Alphonse’s would eventually lose her job, the house and her credit.

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Coping with Alzheimer’s

Free lecture to help family members understand disease that afflicts Blacks more than most ethnic groups

The sacrifices are tremendous. Bathing. Feeding. Cooking. Supervising. For many, taking care of aging parents or relatives with Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming and at times unhealthy. The number of people diagnosed with the deadly disease has risen over the years, but so has the number of caregivers who experts say suffer almost as much as Alzheimer’s patients themselves.

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FIU surprises 100 students with bicycles, gifts

The holiday celebration provided children with a festive spectacle

The wait was over. It was time for the biggest gift of them all at Florida International University’s (FIU) children’s holiday celebration held on its main campus last Thursday. After receiving dozens of items ranging from toy cars to laptops, every elementary school student in attendance was given a number. The winner would receive a new mid-sized bicycle. About 800 educators, administrators and volunteers knew what was about to go down in the Graham Center ballroom on the Modesto Maidique campus. Suddenly, the number three flashed on the projection screen.

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MOCA celebrates Art Basel with hope

North Miami museum comes out of settlement talks with edgy exhibit, hundreds of works

Hundreds of prized art. An edgy exhibit. Nigerian royalty. A new book. It's life after a bitter breakup for North Miami's Museum of Contemporary of Art (MOCA). The museum on Monday kicked off Art Basel with an exclusive reception for its new exhibit, “Shifting the Paradigm” by George Edozie, a Nigerian artist whose works have been viewed around the world. The exhibit includes stunning, fiber-metal sculptures of humans doing various things.

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Policy changes to help Black firms

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho on Monday reaffirmed his commitment to resolving the economic disparity between Black and white subcontractors as work begins to upgrade and replace schools throughout the county. Carvalho met with Black leaders at a community meeting at Freedom Hall to give an update on his pledge to implement 12 policies aimed at helping more Black sub-contractors earn more contracts with the school system. The meeting was a followup to a promise Carvalho made in September to implement sweeping changes in response to a disparity study that was released by the Urban League of Greater Miami, the Florida chapter of the NAACP and the BAC Corporation.

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Community reacts to Ferguson

On Tuesday, men and women who have fought and continue to fight for Black civil rights, politicians and educators shared their reaction to the grand jury declining to charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Aug. 9.

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