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Miami Times staff report

Stories by Miami Times

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Jehovah's Witnesses 2015 summer conventions begin

More than 14,000 went to the first event at the BB&T Center in Sunrise

A three-day seminar June 19-21 discussed, by means of videos, interviews and re-enactments, how the Bible and the example and teachings of Jesus give parents and children the tools to build stronger and more united families. The program opened each day at 9:30 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. The theme of this year’s program is “Imitate Jesus!” Mario Beltrami, a Jehovah's Witness convention spokesman, states: “Jesus, the founder of Christianity, is widely considered as one of the most influential and significant men who ever lived. As Christians, a core belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that Jesus lived his life as a model for us to follow. The “Imitate Jesus!” conventions examine Jesus’ life, as outlined in the Bible, and emphasize how all—regardless of their background, lifestyle or religion—can benefit in practical ways from his example and teachings. A highlight of the program was the keynote address on Friday morning, entitled “Concealed in Him Are All the Treasures of Wisdom.” Hans Simon Foster, who has been attending conventions since he was a toddler, was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. He was baptized in in 1996 and attends the West Miramar English for more than 11 years.

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Celebrating the fourth of July

Fourth of July falls on a Saturday this year, so you have Sunday to recuperate from the holiday grilling and partying. Looking for somewhere to go to watch the fireworks? Check out these recommendations: Discover the Native American way of life with the Miccosukee Indians. From July 3, 4 and 5, buy three adult tickets, get one free for admission to the Indian Village and airboat rides. Meet them 18 miles west of Krome Avenue and the Tamiami Trail intersection. The city of Opa-locka will holds its 4th of July celebrations from 5 - 10 p.m. at Ingram Park, 2100 Burlington St. Join D.J. Frogie and Brisco at an event filled with music, food, fireworks and fun for the whole family. The city of Miami Gardens plans to celebrate the Fourth with fireworks, food trucks, sporting events, starting at noon at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Complex, 3000 NW 199th St. North Miami Independence Day Celebration by the Bay starts at 7 p.m. on the Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151 St., in North Miami.

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Artists converge Sunday in Opa-locka

Alexis Caputo will perform from the AFRO Diaries

The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation in conjunction with curator Ludlow Bailey and CADA Conversations will present “Islas: Contemporary Caribbean Visions” from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 28, at The ARC, 675 Ali Baba Ave., in Opa-locka. Bahamian American artist Alexis Caputo will do a special performance of poetry and spoken word from the AFRO Diaries project. The AFRO Diaries are comprised of excerpts by Caputo, which are centered, compelling and offer a window into the miscarriages women endure. The series addresses several critical issues, including race, class, gender, identity, cultural, human rights, social issues and other concerns creating conflict and inequality in society.

Juvenile curfew ordinance back in effect

The City of Miami Police Department will begin enforcing the Juvenile Curfew Ordinance on Monday, June 29. The curfew makes it illegal for minors to linger or congregate in public areas, whether in a vehicle or on foot, Sunday through Thursday from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from midnight to 6 a.m. Any teen found in violation of the curfew will be given a citation and taken home or to a holding facility. On the third offense, police can fine the parents of the minor up to $500.

Teen stole SUV with sleeping baby inside

Miami Police responded to 8450 NE Miami Ct. at approximately 4:25 p.m. Monday after a 911 call revealed a woman had her SUV, a 2014 black Jeep, stolen with her six-month old baby inside. According to the on-scene investigation, the mother of the child was standing just a few feet away from her car as she escorted her two eldest children to their awaiting grandmother. The child’s mother left the engine running with the vehicle’s air conditioning on as the baby sat asleep in his car seat in the rear of the vehicle. Police found the offender, a 13-year-old male, in the area of Northeast Second Avenue and 78th Street. He was charged with one count of grand theft auto and transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center. The baby was unharmed and reunited with his family.

State Representative hosts town hall meeting on Thursday

State Representative Cynthia A. Stafford of District 109 will hold a town hall meeting with the Florida Dept. of Transportation District 6 secretary Gus Pego at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25, at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave. The event is open to the public. For more information, call 305-953-3086.

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Scholarships given to tech colleges

The Miami Bayside Foundation awarded $70,000 to City of Miami students attending Miami-Dade technical colleges. The presentation was made at a Miami-Dade County School Board meeting on Wednesday, June 17. Baptist Health South Florida partnered with the Bayside Foundation for $20,000 out of the $70,000 awarded.

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Lifestyle Happenings

Inner City Children’s Touring Dance will have free Introductory Classical Ballet Workshops for girls ages 6-8 and 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Call 305-758-1577 or visit www.childrendance.net. Northwestern’s Class of 61 meets at YET Center every second Tuesday 12 p.m.-1 p.m. Call 305-696-1154. Miami Northwestern Alumni Association is inviting clergy who are Northwestern alumni to participate in the 60th anniversary memorial service. Call 305-733-6299.

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Homeownership now a reality for immigrant family

Bank of America and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami partner to help family acquire new home

Rudy and Gina Louis received the keys to their new home early this month in part due to a partnership between Bank of America and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami.

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'Deuce' is a young track star on the horizon

Correyon Thomas, 12, to compete in USATF Youth Nationals in Illinois

Correyon "Deuce" Thomas, 12, has qualified to compete in the USATF Youth Nationals in Lisle, Ill. from June 30 to July 5. Correyon placed first in every track meet locally and out of state in the 2015 track season. He has been running track for three years with the Miami Northwest Express Track Club under the leadership of Coach Jesse Holt.

Workshops to empower young men start Monday at FMU

The Victorious Boys Symposium (VBS) Coalition will present a three-night empowerment workshop for boys ages 11-19 from 6-9 p.m. June 22-24 at Florida Memorial University, Lou Rawls Auditorium, 15800 NW 42nd Ave., in Miami Gardens. The aim of the summit, featuring breakout sessions and guest speakers, is to impact the way young men think, contribute and interact with their community and the world in which they live. Workshop topics include "Fatherlessness," "Complications & Contradictions of the Criminal Justice System" and "Violence and the Impact on Home and School." Guest speakers are: Eugene Schneeberg, director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Justice; Edward Keyton, minister emeritus at Church of Christ at Bouldercrest in Atlanta; Bill Diggs, president of the Mourning Family Foundation; Morris Copeland, director of the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Services Dept.; Sean Horne, detective for the City of Miami Gardens Police Dept.; and Torri Stuckey, author, publisher and public speaker. For more information, call 786-305-8160 or visit www.vbsmiami.com.

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Faith Calendar

Bethany SDA Church’s educational series for the Brownsville community continues with Part 2 – Parenting on Thursday, July 2nd, 9th and 16th at 6:30 p.m. Call 305-634-2993 or email www.bethanymiami.org. New Mt. Sinai MB Church is hosting a revival June 15-19 at 7:30 p.m. Call 305-978-5079. National Church of God is hosting a Men’s Assembly BBQ from 3-5 p.m on Saturday, June 20. Call 305-571-9555.

Section 8 renters were harassed, complaint says

HUD settles alleged discrimination complaint with Aqua Vista Townhomes

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced June 3 an agreement with a North Miami Beach condominium association settling allegations its board president harassed and made discriminatory remarks about Black and Hispanic residents and attempted to evict them. Aqua Vista Townhomes Condominium Association Inc. will establish a $109,000 compensation fund to pay damages to more than 20 residents and others harmed by condominium association’s board of directors, Daniella Adams’ alleged

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Dancing their way to $10K

Holy Cross Lutheran School created best video to show safety

North Miami’s Holy Cross Lutheran School celebrated winning the KidSmartz Safety Dance Video Contest on May 29. Holy Cross won $10,000 for its creative video from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Honeywell Hometown Solutions.

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Taste of the Islands returns

Chef teams from 10 different islands to compete for bragging rights during three-day event

Taste of the Caribbean returns for a fourth year in Miami after being held in various Caribbean countries since its inception in 1997. Each year the Caribbean’s top chefs and culinary teams unite to learn and compete, providing an exhibition of eclectic dishes and drinks from the islands and participants enjoy some of the best Caribbean cuisine and libations the region has to offer.

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Senior housing soon ready in Richmond Heights community

Under the leadership of Reverend Alphonso Jackson Sr., SBC Community Development Corp., a faith-based, non-profit affiliate of Second Baptist Church and Cornerstone hosted a meet-and-greet informational seminar on Tuesday, May 26 in anticipation of the grand opening of the John and Anita Ferguson Senior Residences.

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Party be-Cause you should support the cause

Gallery closes exhibit with benefit for breast cancer, organ donation benefit

In celebration on the season closing of its Black Freedom exhibit and the birthdays of artist Jerome Soimaud, Nicole “DJ Lady Terra” Letren and gallery patron Marlon Hill, Yeelen Gallery hosted an all-inclusive benefit party on Saturday, May 30 at 294 NW 54th St. in support of breast cancer and organ donation awareness.

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Chapter awards scholarships to seniors

The Brothers of the Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. held their annual Golden Affair cocktail event, a fundraiser for the chapter's education foundation. The event took place

Grace In The Park Ministries set to host first 1,000 Man March

Rally aims to stop violence, provide positive resources in the Overtown community

Grace In The Park Ministries Inc. has partnered with the Starks Charitable Foundation to host a 1,000 Man March-Stop The Violence, Saturday, May 30. The day will kick off with a motivational rally from 10-11 a.m. followed by the Overtown Peace-Walk at Gibson Park, 401 NW 12th St., Miami and continue throughout the Overtown community.

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Faith Calendar

Sistah to Sistah Connection, Inc. Outreach Women’s Ministry invites evangelists, ministers and teachers to register for Ministerial Training Academy. Call 786-246-7578. New Day N Christ Deliverance Ministry invites the community to free Mind, Body and Soul Enhancements self-improvement class and Zumba Fitness. Call 305-691-0018.

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Marching on!

The Alliance for Musical Arts needs your “gently used” drums to launch a program in Hallandale.

Alliance for Musical Arts (AFMA) and the City of Hallandale Beach Parks & Recreations is launching a “Youth Drum Line.”  The program will take place at the newly renovated Foster Park Community Center, 609 NW Sixth Ave., Hallandale Beach.  “This is a grassroots project, which is why we need your ‘gently used’ drums of any shape or size,” said Jo Ann Harris, executive director and Music Theory instructor. 

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FIU's track teams shine at meet

Athletes performed well at Conference USA Championships

Florida International University performed well at the Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in El Paso, Texas on May 14-17. The four-day event saw several FIU athletes score high in different categories. On day one, Bejai Fray finished third in her flight for the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.67 seconds. She also posted a score of 1.52 meters in the high jump, placed third in the shot put (11.14 meters) and clocked in at 26.38 seconds in the 200-meter dash.

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Obama: My Brother’s Keeper a mission for the ‘rest of my life’

Advisory board appointed made up of government, CEOs and celebrities

In a personal and impassioned speech May 4 at Lehman College in New York City, President Barack Obama unveiled a new private sector-funded expansion of his My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which seeks to provide incentives and opportunities for young men of color in high-risk areas to improve their lives. The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which arrives on the heels of protests and violent clashes with police in Baltimore in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death, is a “big deal” to the president.

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Faith Calendar

Sistah to Sistah Connection, Inc. Outreach Women’s Ministry invites evangelists, ministers and teachers to register for Ministerial Training Academy. Call 786-246-7578. New Day N Christ Deliverance Ministry invites the community to free Mind, Body and Soul Enhancements self-improvement class and Zumba Fitness. Call 305-691-0018.

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Faith Calendar

Sistah to Sistah Connection, Inc. Outreach Women’s Ministry invites evangelists, ministers and teachers to register for Ministerial Training Academy. Call 786-246-7578. New Day N Christ Deliverance Ministry invites the community to free Mind, Body and Soul Enhancements self-improvement class and Zumba Fitness. Call 305-691-0018. Florida Independent Restoration Ministries (FIRM) offers help with family problems, drugs and alcohol. Call 800-208-2924 ext. 102 or prayer line, ext 104.

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Let's meet our new Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch

Loretta Lynch became Attorney General of the United States in April of 2015. She is the first Black woman ever to hold the position. Loretta Elizabeth Lynch was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her father was a Baptist minister and her mother was a school librarian. She told a remarkable story about her ancestors in a 2012 speech at the Federal Bar Council Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon: "My father tells the story of my great great grandfather, the first generation of preachers we can identify in the family, who was a free Black man in antebellum North Carolina. While it is unclear how he came to have his freedom, it certainly gave him a life those enslaved did not have.

Help fight childhood obesity

“Walk a Mile with a Child” in Historic Overtown on Saturday, May 2

Families are encouraged to join the annual “Dr. Nelson L. Adams Walk a Mile with a Child” event in historic Overtown on Saturday, May 2, from 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.. The event will involve both children and adults in a one-mile walk followed by a health fair. Put on by James Wilson Bridges, M.D. Medical Society, the walk begins at Gibson Park, located at 401 NW 12th St. The health fair, also held in Gibson Park, consists of numerous activities for all ages as well as free gifts and refreshments. Performing at this year’s event will be Booker T. Washington Marching Band, The Miami Gardens’ Steppers and others.

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Second Black woman in space speaks

NASA Astronaut Stephanie D. Wilson interview to air on MDC-TV May 4

NASA Astronaut/Engineer Stephanie Wilson explained in details her role in her three spaceflights, in 2006, 2007 and 2010, during which she has logged more than 42 days in space. In a one-on-one interview for MDC-TV with Haitian American journalist James Pierre, Wilson talked about her responsibility to control the robotic arm and transfer more than 28,000 pounds of supplies and equipment to the space station during her 2006 flight. During her second flight, Wilson assisted in the successful repair of the solar array panels and during her most recent trip, she was in charge of the robotics that control and manage spacewalking.

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Hundreds walk against cancer at Betty T. Ferguson complex

Miami Gardens/Opa-locka Relay for Life lasted more than 12 hours and raised more than $12,000 in funds

Cancer survivors in Northwest Miami-Dade County celebrated life during the recent Miami Gardens/Opa-locka Relay for Life event at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex. More than 1,000 people last Friday walked to honor loved ones who have succumbed to the disease and to support family and friends currently battling the illness. After more than 13 hours the American Cancer Society collected more than $12,600 to continue its efforts against cancer, according to relay organizer Damien Morgan.

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Hampton House through the years

Get ready for the grand unveiling of the restored Historic Hampton House,  May 8 at 11 a.m. at 4240 N W 27th Ave. Liberty City.  

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Frederica Wilson’s War

Kidnapping of Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram remembered at anniversary event

Representatives Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Lois Frankel (FL-22) and others Wednesday recognized the anniversary of the abduction of more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. At the House Triangle, located on the Eastern front of the U.S. Capitol Building, dozens of supporters and the members of Congress were dressed in red, the official color of the #BringBackOurGirls effort for the event. The girls were taken April 14, 2014.

Mourning tackles low income housing

Phase I financing closes on 84-unit housing development

AM Affordable Housing (AM) and Housing Trust Group (HTG) has closed on financing for Courtside Family Apartments, a new 84-unit affordable housing development in Miami’s historic Overtown neighborhood. Courtside is the first of a three-phased master-planned community.

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Black lawyers name Pollard as president

Jonathan Pollard, a trial lawyer and business litigation attorney based in Fort Lauderdale, has been appointed as president of the National Black Lawyers Top 40 under 40. The appointment was based on peer nominations and third-party research and endorsed by the National Black Leaders Top 100 executive committee, led by president and Judge William “Billy” Murphy. Membership in the National Black Lawyers Top 40 under 40 is limited to the top 40 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers.

SBA competition to award $4 million to startups

The U.S Small Business Association (SBA ) is launching an Accelerator Growth Fund competition in which startups can compete for prizes of $50,000 each, totaling $4 million. The application period is from April 10-June 1 and information about the application process can be found at: www.sba.gov.

Business Expo celebrates 30th anniversary at Broward Expo

The Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (SFMSDC) will partner with Enterprise Florida (EFI) during the 30th Annual Business Expo, April 13-15 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. The Business Expo brings together a cross-section of minority entrepreneurs, large corporations and government agencies in a series of workshops and networking events to create business opportunities and discuss industry trends.

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Nurses host leadership convention, gala

 The Haitian American Nurses Association (HANA) Fourth Annual Leadership Convention in partnership with the Miami Dade College’s BSN Program Honor Society will be April 9-10. The goal of the convention is to empower nurses and allied health professionals to become transformative leaders and advocates to improve population health and global healthcare outcomes. The keynote speaker for the convention is Deidre Walton, president and CEO of the National Black Nurses Association.

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Miami Blacks come out for the art fund

Artists new works announced at PAMM reception

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) announced the acquisition of three new works by African American artists Terry Adkins, Ed Clark and Leslie Hewitt at the Second Annual Reception for the PAMM Fund for African American Art. The reception was held at PAMM on April 1. Members of the PAMM Ambassadors for African American Art and invited guests as well as Pérez Art Museum Miami Ambassador Co-Chairs Marilyn Holifield and Barron Channer, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen, PAMM donor Jorge M. Pérez, Miami-Dade County

Pinder back in feds good graces

EPA said commissioner can vote on matters involving federal funds

Elected to office in November 2014, Commissioner Terence K. Pinder has been anticipating the day when he would be able to fully return to representing the City of Opa-locka without restriction over his head. That day finally arrived on March 30, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed a debarment which had prevented Commissioner Pinder from voting on matters involving federal funds. After recognizing Pinder’s community service, his record of achievement and his success as a commissioner, the EPA took the extraordinary steps to reinstate Pinder only 48 hours after he and his legal team visited the EPA in Washington, D.C., according to

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Northwestern girls break GMAC track record

Miami Northwestern High School senior La’Kayla Harris broke a GMAC championship meet record, leading the girls’ track team to a seventh consecutive county team title at the GMAC Track and Field Championships at Southridge Park on March 17.

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Employ Miami-Dade offers job skills training to workers

On March 24, Miami-dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez met with members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to debrief them on Employ Miami-Dade, an initiative to come up with ways to bridge the divide between industry and job seekers. Pastor Gary Johnson and others asked questions about the program and the desired outcomes.

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The Vailon Group to recruit workers

All Aboard Florida hires business team to give employment opportunities

All Aboard Florida has hired The Vailon Group to implement the company’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program in Miami-Dade County. The Miami-based consulting firm, well known for its advocacy on behalf of small businesses, will work with Suffolk Construction, the passenger-rail company’s general contractor that is building its MiamiCentral train station, to ensure that local subcontractors and area workers are included in the project’s construction. “The Vailon Group has a proven track record of advocacy supporting local workers and

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Comm. Jordan takes flight with Captain Irving

Pilot encourages students to pursue STEM careers

Capt. Barrington Irving gave Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan a first-hand look of his business, Irving Ventures. He took her on a flight March 18. As a business located in Jordan's District 1, Ivring Ventures qualified for a Small Business Mom & Pop grant funded through several county agencies. The company received $5,000 total in two funding cycles through the Mom & Pop grant program, administered by Neighbors And Neighbors Association Inc. (NANA). As a District 1 business, Irving Ventures cannot apply in the next funding cycle.

NFL players to help raise money for CHI

Fundraiser will assist 40-year medical facility

When celebrities like NFL professional athletes Robert Bailey and Adewale Ogunleye hit the links on March 27, they will be swinging with a greater good in mind. The annual Robert Bailey/Glen Rice/Adewale Ogunleye Celebrity Golf Tournament raises funds for a variety of programs at Community Health of South Florida Inc. (CHI).

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Lifestyle Happenings

Inner City Children’s Touring Dance will have free Introductory Classical Ballet Workshops for girls ages 6-8 and 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Call 305-758-1577 or visit www.childrendance.net. Sisters Empowerment Circle nvites ladies 45 and over with an interest in laughter, learning, developing new friendships, social networking, traveling, and sharing life’s experiences in a comfortable atmosphere. Call 305-9345122/.

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Public spaces challenge seeks ideas by April 1

The Miami Foundation's is seeking creative minds to submit ideas for its 2015 Public Space Challenge — just respond by April 1, no fooling. The foundation has a budget of $305,000 to fund your ideas about what you would do to create, improve and activate public gathering places like parks, libraries, plazas and playgrounds in Miami-Dade.  Anyone — individuals, groups, agencies, nonprofits or companies — can submit ideas at ourmiami.org/challenge.  

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Several new housing projects coming to Overtown

Construction of a new affordable housing project is underway in Historic Overtown. On Wednesday, March 18, 2014, the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, joined officials and representatives from Atlantic Pacific Communities and Palmetto Homes of Miami to break ground ceremonially on Island Living Apartments. CRA Board Chairman and District 5 Commissioner Keon Hardemon, CRA Vice-Chair Commissioner Wifredo Gort and Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson were in attendance.

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Mindingall honored in City of North Miami

Miami-Dade School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall (D-2) was honored for her public service at the City of North Miami’s Celebration of Women event held March 19, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami. The annual event is held in honor of National Women’s History Month, which recognizes and celebrates the contributions of women in our

Opa-locka Commission selects new city attorney

Vincent T. Brown to replace longtime lawyer Joseph S. Geller

Attorney Vincent T. Brown recently was sworn in as the new Opa-locka City attorney, replacing longtime City Attorney Joseph S. Geller of the Greenspoon Marder Law Firm. "I am truly honored to have been chosen and look forward to a productive relationship with the city,” Brown said.

Black-owned firm to build catering site near station

D. Stephenson chosen for All Aboard Florida new restaurant project catering company

Fort Lauderdale-based D. Stephenson Construction Inc. has been selected to construct All Aboard Florida's Argentelle Catering & Special Events building near its future Fort Lauderdale passenger-train station. The facility will be located on land just west of the Florida East Coast Railway. The development is part of a greater master-planning initiative to spur opportunities downtown. Construction activities are expected to begin by the end of March.

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Faith Calendar

St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church, Coconut Grove will celebrate the Pastor’s 25th anniversary March 22 at 11 a.m. Call 305-4438166. Warriors for Christ Bible Band will have dedication March 18-20 at 7:30 p.m.; March 22 at 3 p.m. 14626 N.W. 7th Ave. Call 786-419-5818. New Life Ministry invites you to the “Women’s Lets Talk” Fellowship on Saturday, March 21 at 1:15 p.m. Call 305- 308-5064.

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