Miami Times staff report

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Liberty City, Miami Gardens students get 5-star treatment

Miami business people show kids another side of life as a preventive measure

When you see a police escort motorcade it’s for a funeral and many times those funerals are for young kids whose lives are taken by gun violence. However on Saturday, April 30, 60 youth were treated like dignitaries, having a police escort motorcade that shut down traffic on Interstate-95.

Miami-Dade officers start wearing body cams

On Monday, May 2, some Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) officers and sergeants started wearing body-worn cameras. The Midwest District will start with cameras, and expand to 350 by the end of June. Additional MDPD districts will receive cameras and training month-by-month with a deployment goal of 1,000 by Sept. 30 across all MDPD patrol districts. Additional cameras will be deployed to officers within contracted municipalities and certain specialized units by the end of the 2016 calendar year. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez supported, and the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved, the purchase of a commercially available, cloud-based body camera and video management solution to capture and store the recorded video.

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Peace in the Gardens event unites police and residents

Carol City High School Alumni event draws hundreds promoting non-violence

The theme this weekend in Miami Gardens was peace, love and unity through two events that garnered thousands of attendees. On Saturday, Miami Gardens Police sponsored Peace in the Gardens, a first time event where police officers – all dressed casually and out of uniform -- fellowshipped with the residents and businesses they protect and serve. Held at Rolling Oaks on April 16, residents came out for free food, music, games and activities for kids and a live performance R&B singer Ronnie VOP – a Miami Gardens native who recently performed at Jazz in the Gardens. The singer performed his news song title “Set me Free”, with a message of hope and anti-violence. Police Chief Antonio

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HandsOn volunteers clean up Ludlam Trail

On Saturday, April 16, Miami’s youth gathered at the north side of the Ludlam Trail to participate in its largest cleanup project to date for Global Youth Service Day. HandsOn Miami, an organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes the community to take action in local volunteer efforts, chose the Trail as the official on-site event for this internationally recognized day. 

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Lifestyle Happenings

Progressive Officers Club offers academic scholarships to 2016 high school graduates residing in Dade or Broward County. Request an application by mail no later than April 23 to Progressive Officers Club, P.O. Box 680398, Miami, FL, 33168. Attention: Education Assistance Award Program. BTW Class of 61 will meet Saturday, April 23rd at 2p.m. at Our Saviour Lutheran Church to plan their 55th reunion. Call 305 606 0882.

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South Carolina artists to invade South Florida

Visual, performing arts showcase Gullah Geechee

The First Mende International Film & Cultural Arts Festival is coming to South Florida. A unique combination of on-screen and on-stage formats will showcase local, regional, national, international performing and visual artists, musicians and storytellers. Movies submitted by independent filmmakers from across the world and from right here in Florida also will be featured. South Carolina is home to African descendants known as “Gull-ah (seagull) Gee-chee” (geek). The weekend festival will be April 30, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22d Ave., Miami.

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HBCU scholarships awarded

Carol City High School student Victoria Allen had a huge smile on her face when she was formally presented with a scholarship for $1,000 and a jumbo check from organizers of the HBCU/Greek Walk and Run. Allen, who will attend Florida Memorial University in the fall, was one of three students awarded. Sierra Perry and Allergia Vanreil, both seniors at Norland Senior High School, each received $500 scholarships. Perry will attend Bethune-Cookman University. Vanreil will attend Florida A&M University.

OneUnited Bank closes two California locations

Launches "Bank For The Future" technology strategy at branches

OneUnited Bank is reconfiguring its branch network including closing two Los Angeles branches — Ladera and Pasadena — and seeking a Boston, Mass. headquarters location. The bank says it is a move toward expansion of its online presence and usage of cutting-edge technology. OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in America, says it is now at the forefront of community banking by building the "Bank For The Future" or #BFF.

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Senior housing building in Richmond Heights opens

Hundreds come out to support ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 6

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss; Pastor Alphonso Jackson Sr., Second Baptist Church and President of SBC Community Development Corp.; and Cornerstone Group on Wednesday, April 6, joined to host the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Reverend John & Anita Ferguson Residence Apartments. "We broke ground on February 7, 2015 and here we are approximately a year and two months later," said Mark Valentine, executive director of SBC Community Development Corp. (SBC CDC).

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Miami Foundation's annual Public Space Challenge launches

The Miami Foundation is launching the Public Space Challenge, a contest for ideas that create, improve or activate local gathering places like parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, basketball courts and plazas in Greater Miami. The Foundation invests $305,000 to make the top ideas a reality. Health Foundation of South Florida will support winning ideas increasing access to fresh food and healthy lifestyles; the Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Juan C. Zapata will support ideas in West End. Anyone can submit an idea – individuals, groups, public agencies, nonprofits, private companies – at ideas.ourmiami.org through April 21. To help Challenge participants with the planning, writing, and execution of their projects, The Miami Foundation will host a series of public workshops with Urban Impact Lab and Design Thinking Miami. A training schedule, which includes webinars and workshops held throughout April, is available at ourmiami.org/challenge.

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