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Miami Times staff report

Stories by Miami Times

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Historic West Grove awaits trolley settlement

Residents in Miami’s oldest Black neighborhood are working on a settlement after a lawsuit was filed against a developer for illegally building a trolley garage in the Coconut Grove.

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Lifestyle Happenings

Fortress Women Foundation will give away 200 book bags at its inaugural book bag giveaway, 12 p.m. Aug 15 at Fulford Park. YoungFi, Zoeydollazzz and Jay Buck will be performing live. State Rep. Cynthia A. Stafford partners with Farm Share for a free food distribution 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Miami-Dade North Campus Gymnasium. Call 305-953-3086.

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Lawmakers ordered to redraw map for August special election

Legislature must submit a revised plan before August 15, judge rules

The Florida Legislature has until Aug. 15 to submit a revised map of its flawed congressional map and must propose a special election for congressional districts that were affected by changes made by political operatives. That's the ruling by Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis, who gave the order last Friday and drew applause from a coalition of voters groups, led by the League of Women Voters. The groups filed the lawsuit accusing conservative lawmakers of violating the Fair Districts rules when they redrew the congressional map.

Lifestyle Happenings

Smaart America Charities Inc. will hold reading readiness classes for children entering kindergarten, first and second grade and Algebra 1 for 8th graders every Sat. through August 8. Call 1-888-620-5464. The Booker T. Washington High School Alumni Class of 1966 will host a “Night of Fun and Games,” Fri. Aug. 8 at El Portal Village Hall. Call 305-754-6141. Destiny school of etiquette will hold a fashion, dance and academics camp for girls entering third through eighth grade through Aug. 8. Call 305-527-6052.

North Miami official runs against Frederica Wilson

A 31-year old Haitian-American from North Miami seeks to unseat Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, one of South Florida’s most formidable politicians. Michael Etienne, who is running in the Aug. 26 primary against Wilson, will rely on the support of predominate Haitian-American population in North Miami, one of several municipalities that lies within District 24, which also includes Opa-locka, Miami Shores and Little Haiti and Brickell . The district also extends north to Miramar.

Florida ACLU alleges Immigration violations by ACLU, other groups

A coalition of civil rights, immigrants’ rights, religious and legal groups has sent letters to officials in 62 Florida counties calling for an end to local law enforcement agencies detaining people for alleged civil immigration violations at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Broward schools adding an hour to school day

32 elementary schools will make change next year

What could only be considered a nightmare for some students has come to reality in Broward County — spending an extra hour in school. A total of 32 Broward elementary schools will be adding the hour of the school day due to low FCAT performance scores. Whether the hour will be added to the school day’s morning or afternoon is still in question. It was announced on Thursday, July 24, that all but two run by the district are on Florida’s list of the 300 lowest-performing elementaries.

‘My Brothers Keeper’ initiative receives $100M

My Brother’s Keeper, a five-year, $200 million effort focused on improving opportunities for Black and Hispanic youth, recently received a $100 million from the private sector. Equally important is the decision by 60 of the nation’s largest school districts to join the effort by implementing evidence-based strategies to improve outcomes.

Jackson Hospital gains $12M from annual budget

The Public Health Trust Board of Trustees, Jackson’s governing board, unanimously approved the health system’s $1.6 billion budget Monday, July 28, during a public hearing. The budget, which now moves to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners for consideration in September, includes leaves a surplus of approximately $12 million next year.

FAMU president seeks FCC waiver

Deal will help ensure news for underserved areas

Washington, D.C. – Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D. traveled to the Capitol this week to help seek a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the new Black Television News Channel, which will be housed in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC).

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Mourning family foundation receives $1 million donation

The Miguel B. Fernandez Foundation has donated $1 million to the Mourning Family Foundation. This donation will be used to support the Overtown Youth Center (OYC) and its programs, Tracy Mourning’s mentoring program for girls, Honey Shine and the OYC endowment. The Mourning Family Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Alonzo and Tracy Mourning, provides a multitude of opportunities to enhance the lives of children and families in the South Florida community through advocacy, education and enrichment services. 

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Ceremony held to open Carver Apartments

Community and city leaders will be on hand Wednesday to open the mixed-use development complex with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The development will offer a affordable housing, including lofts for artists, along with attractive ground floor shops and businesses.

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lifestyle happenings

The Miami Jackson Class of 1969 will have a meeting to plan its 45th reunion, 10 a.m. on Sat., August 2, at Piccadilly’s restaurant in Hialeah. Call 305-620-4827. Smaart America Charities Inc. will hold reading readiness classes for children entering kindergarten, first and second grade and Algebra 1 for 8th graders every Sat. through August 8. Call 1-888-620-5464. The Booker T. Washington High School Alumni Class of 1966 will host a “Night of Fun and Games,” Fri. Aug. 8 at El Portal Village Hall. Call 305-754-6141.

Marla Wilson appointed executive director of mentoring program

Tracy Wilson-Mourning’s Honey Shine Mentoring Program welcomes Marla Wilson as its new Executive Director. Wilson, the past Senior Director of the Go Red for Women campaign for the American Heart Association and Executive Director for the Miami March of Dimes, will oversee Honey Shine’s programs and services as well as development structure for all operations.

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Caribbean Marketplace in Little Haiti set to reopen

Located in the heart of Little Haiti, the long awaited reopening of the Caribbean Market Place (CMP) will take place on July 18, 2014, at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 – 260 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, FL. The commemorative event starts at 4:30pm. Special guests are scheduled to be in attendance. The re-establishment of this Marketplace is a collaborative effort of the City of Miami in partnership with the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs, the Little Haiti Cultural Complex (LHCC), the Northeast Second Avenue Partnership (NE2P) and District 5 Commissioner Keon Hardemon. 

Predatory lending lawsuit dismissed

Ruling may affect Miami Gardens’ similar suit against big banks

Miami Gardens’ lawsuit accusing major banks of predatory lending was dealt a potential blow last week when a federal judge dismissed similar complaints by the City of Miami, which accused Bank of America and Citigroup of causing the city’s tax base to plummet by creating a foreclosure crisis in minority communities.

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Programs, services in danger of being cut

Blacks impacted by county budget proposal

The first of several hearings on Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s proposed budget took place Tuesday as commissioners debated whether to raise property taxes to prevent cuts in libraries, programs and other critical services that impact the Black community.

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Hampton Village Apartments opens with ribbon cutting

Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson helped to welcome the new Hampton Village Apartments complex in Brownsville to District 3 on June 26, 2014. The units took the place of old and dilapidated apartments located at 2800 N.W. 43 Terrace, Miami, directly adjacent to the Historic Hampton House, currently under reconstruction.  The Hampton Village Apartment Complex is composed of 100 affordable units.

District 2 Comm. Monestime to unveil plans for community park

Residents in Miami-Dade’s Twin Lakes area are invited to join the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at the intersection of NW 99 Street and NW 12 Avenue, as they unveil a proposed general plan for the  future Twin Lakes Park. 

Entertainment Complex underway for City of Miramar

The City of Miramar, one of the fastest growing cities in America, is in the midst of exciting changes with new ventures that are about to get underway. In October 2014, the City will break ground on its new Entertainment Complex to be located at Miramar Regional Park. The complex will feature a 5,000-seat Amphitheater, Grande Promenade and Corporate Pavilion. The park, situated on 172 acres, has long been a major destination in Broward County. With the addition of the Entertainment Complex, the goal is to make the City of Miramar a global destination.

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Lifestyle Happenings

Booker T. Washington’s Class of 1965 Inc. will meet 3:30 p.m. Sat. July 19 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Call 305-213-0188. You are invited to attend the ninth annual summer luncheon 11:30 a.m. July 26 at the Joseph Caleb Center’s event hall. The luncheon will feature candidates in upcoming state and local elections. Call 305-758-5966. Smaart America Charities Inc. will hold reading readiness classes for children entering kindergarten, first and second grade and Algebra 1 for 8th graders every Sat. through August 8. Call 1-888-620-5464.

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Lifestyle Happenings

Booker T. Washington’s Class of 1965 will have throwback night 8 p.m. July 11 at the Shantel Lounge. Call 305-213-0188. Booker T. Washington’s Class of 1965 Inc. will meet 3:30 p.m. Sat. July 19 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Call 305-213-0188. The Liberty Square Project Friends and Family Reunion Inc. will have its annual picnic at Arcola Park on July 12. Call 305-696-1819 or 305-333-8539. You are invited to attend the ninth annual summer luncheon 11:30 a.m. July 26 at the Joseph Caleb Center’s event hall. The luncheon will feature candidates in upcoming state and local elections. Call 305-758-5966. Smaart America Charities Inc. will hold reading readiness classes for children entering kindergarten, first and second grade and Algebra 1 for 8th graders every Sat. through August 8. Call 1-888-620-5464.

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Faith Calendar

Church of Christ at Coconut Grove will have Vacation Bible School July 9-11 from 7-9 p.m. Call 786-208-1572. Church of Christ at Coconut Grove will have a picnic, walk and health fair 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Sat July 12. Call 786-208-1572.

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Are Blacks to blame for their lack of progress?

Poll: 63 percent of Americans believe Blacks are responsible for their own social and economic conditions

A new report by the prestigious Pew Research Center reveals that the majority of Americans say that, if Black people are struggling to advance in society, then it is primarily their fault and not because of discrimination. That's the majority view for some types of liberals but is far, far more common among conservatives. Over 80 percent of conservatives say they agree that "Blacks who can't get ahead are mostly responsible for their own

Rapid Bus Transit proposed for NW 27th Ave.

A proposal to bring a rapid bus transit (RBT) service to NW 27th Avenue is picking up speed among members of the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Board of Governors, who last week supported the plan to relived traffic congestion on the road.

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Raheem Devaughn headlines Overtown Music Festival

Grammy-nominated Raheem Devaughn will headline the fourth annual Overtown Music and Arts Festival (formerly named Overtown Rhythm and Arts Festival), which will take place in the heart of the Overtown Business District, NW 3rd Ave between 9th and 11th Streets on Saturday, July 19. The event starts at 11 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

Two killed, one injured in shooting in Liberty City

The long Fourth of July weekend ended Sunday night with two people dead and two injured during a shooting in Liberty City.

Man charged in drive-by shooting in Miami Gardens

Miami Gardens police have charged Antwone Jackson, 20, with two counts of first-degree murder suspect in the shooting death of Qualecia James, who was shot and killed in late March in a drive-by shooting. James, 21, was seven months pregnant and had a 3-year-old daughter. She was shot while sitting in the backseat of a car March 30, at the intersection of Northwest 182nd Street and 32nd Avenue.

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Events for a fabulous Fourth of July

With the Fourth of July on a Friday this year, fireworks will spark a weekend of celebrations and picnics for thousands in South Florida who will celebrate America’s 238th birthday. Residents all over will host back yard barbecues before bringing out their lawn chairs to view colorful explosives light up the evening skies. Resident can buy fireworks at various street stands in neighborhoods, but for a safer evening of celebrations, police officials across the county are urging residents to attend free firework displays at several municipalities.

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Trayvon Foundation opens office at FMU

The Trayvon Martin Foundation opened its new headquarters at Florida Memorial University last Thursday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local and state politicians.

Getting to know Lisa Frison

Expert in Black marketing and strategies insight

For many, it’s a dream to have your profession align with your personal passions and values. For Lisa Frison, vice president, Black segment manager at Wells Fargo, it’s a reality she truly appreciates and does not take for granted.  When it comes to understanding the segment, Lisa is keenly informed regarding what motivates and challenges Blacks as it relates to financial management. She is a zealous student of the segment, immersing herself in research, data and other literature to deepen her awareness and sharpen her acumen – making her a sought after subject matter expert on engaging Black consumers in impactful ways. 

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Commisioner breaks ground for Liberty City's Transit Village

The housing project almost fell through

The groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed Transit Village in Liberty City, was held last Monday with community and business leaders vowing to end longstanding urban blight in the Martin Luther King economic business district.

Lifestyle Happenings

Booker T. Washington’s Class of 1965 will have throwback night 8 p.m. July 11 at the Shantel Lounge. Call 305-213-0188. Booker T. Washington’s Class of 1965 Inc. will meet 3:30 p.m. Sat. July 19 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Call 305-213-0188. Destiny school of etiquette will hold a fashion, dance and academics camp for girls entering third through eighth grade from July 7 to Aug. 8. 2014. Call 305-527-6052.

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Liberty City to benefit from Bayside renovation with annual funding

Miami commissioners signed off Thursday on a 99 year deal with the operators of Bayside Marketplace and the developer of SkyRise Miami to refurbish the retail and entertainment center and build a 1,000-foot observation tower on the bay. The unanimous approval came after heavy debate from Bayside officials and project organizers who urged the city to approve the deal for the sake of the aging mall on Miami’s prime downtown lakefront property.

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Faith Calendar

Church of Christ at Coconut Grove will have Vacation Bible School July 9-11 from 7-9 p.m. Call 786-208-1572. Church of Christ at Coconut Grove will have a picnic, walk and health fair 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Sat Jul 12. Call 786-208-1572. God’s word, God’s Way Church will have its Southern Echoes Program July 25 at 7:30 p.m. Call 305-609-7513. Holy Cross M.B. Church will have its Southern Echoes Program July 27 at 3 p.m. 305-609-7513

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Faith Calendar

New Christ Tabernacle MBC invites you to its annual prayer breakfast 8:30 a.m. Sat. June 28 at the Piccadilly’s restaurant in Hialeah. Call 305-621-8126. New Christ Tabernacle MBC will host the Calvary Travelers Legents of Miami celebration June 29 at 3:30. Call 305-621-8126.

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Lifestyle Happenings

The Scandalous Divas presents: The one year anniversary of Scandalous Sundays 7 p.m. Sun. June 29 at the Miramar Cultural Center. Call 954-400-8948. North Shore Medical Center presents a lecture on emergency preparedness June 25 at 5:30 p.m. Call 1-800-984-3434. Miami Jackson’s Class of 1979 is celebrating their 35th class reunion in June. Call 305-610-9868.

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Miami Gardens sues big banks for predatory mortgage loans

Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup accused of violating the Fair Housing Act

Miami Gardens is suing four of America’s biggest banks, alleging they engaged in a pattern and practice of issuing predatory mortgage loans to minority residents that resulted in foreclosures in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. The city filed four separate lawsuits June 13 accusing JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo unlawfully imposed different terms or conditions to minority students on a continuous basis since at least 2004.

Frederica S. Wilson launches campaign for return of girls

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) is urging the U.S. and the international community to create a twitter storm, of millions of followers, in support of the kidnapped Nigerian school girls, their rescue and the arrest of terrorist group Boko Haram.  The extremist group abducted more than two hundred girls in April. Congresswoman Wilson called for the international twitter campaign today at a press conference held with Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee (TX-18), Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-22),

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News Briefs

Ojus educator dies before his final year Alumni and colleagues gathered at Ojus Elementary School in Northeast Miami-Dade Sunday to say goodbye to beloved Coach Gregory Blatch, a FAMU graduate who taught P.E. for more than three decades. Blatch died last Thursday at age 61 from a heart attack just before his retirement next year at the school, located at 18600 W. Dixie Hwy near Aventura Mall. A petition is being

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Lifestyle Happenings

Pillars of Strength No. 2 Masonic Lodge will host its 4th annual Father’s Day party boat fishing trip on June 14. Call 305-254-6610. The South Florida Alumni Chapter of North Carolina Central University will host Region III Conference and 8th Annual Golf Tournament, June 12-14 in Coral Springs, FL. Visit www.nccusouthflorida.org or nccuaasfc@bellsouth.net

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100 Black Men hold annual conference

He was introduced to the 100 Black Men of America at the age of 12-year-old Dario Stephen tells a local newspaper that without he would be, “selling drugs, somewhere in jail or six feet below.” A Liberty City native, Stephens was glad to be a part of the unveiling of the 100 Black Men of America community empowerment project that took place outside of Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale.

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Fighting crime or invasion of privacy?

Cameras, monitoring systems coming to Black communities

In the next few months Miami police expect to have technology in place to zoom in, identify, follow and watch residents in Overtown, Little Haiti and Liberty City. The city police department is moving forward with a complicated plan to allow them to watch up to 200 closed-circuit television screens at once in a new high-tech command center. There will be 25 high-definition, 55-inch television sets fed by up to 400 cameras placed around town.

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Coming to a funeral home near you: Dancing pallbearers

Amid sobs and tears, they march and even dance before they carry the casket of the deceased to their final resting place. As part of the service, they would break out in snazzy, choreographed dance routines to help lighten the mood among mourners. They are professional pallbearers, stylish men who help give a grand sendoff to loved ones during funerals. It's a growing trend in the funeral industry as consumers seek more creative and less traditional ways to celebrate their relative‘s life and legacy.

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Miss. Bee-Ette, Mr. Senord crowned at annual banquet

Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Gamma Chapter and SHAD Club Number 25 presented its 36th Annual Bee-Ettes and Senords Presentation and Banquet. The affair was held at The Hamilton Inn and Suites, Miramar. The Bee-Ettes presented were Ari G. Adkins, Tyra Janae Gilchrist, Raven Jacques, Mykima McKenzie, Anayise Rosario and Senord Zion Moss.

North Miami appoints new police chief

Leonard Burgess has been appointed as police chief of North Miami, ending a five-month search that included stiff competition within the city’s police force.

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The final chapter

JET magazine releases its final print issue

After 63 years of gracing the coffee tables of American homes and barber shops, the iconic JET magazine bid farewell to millions of Black readers with its last issue that hit the stands last Monday.

Gov. Scott signs record $77B budget for new school year

Gov. Rick Scott signed the largest budget in Florida history, approving $77 billion Monday that would boost spending on schools and the environment while sparing hundreds of millions in local projects from his veto pen.

Raymond Boone Sr., newspaper publisher, honored at his funeral

Community leaders and colleagues remembered Richmond (VA) Free Press editor and publisher Raymond H. Boone Sr. at his funeral on Tuesday at New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Chesterfield, Va. Boone, the colorful, principled and feisty founder of the Black weekly paper, died Tuesday, June 3 at his Richmond home after battling pancreatic cancer, his wife, Jean Boone said. He was 76.

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Young author striving for greatness with latest book

Zachary Cross planning to release more stories

With his latest book, 22-year-old Zachary O. Cross seeks to stimulate the hearts and minds of readers by introducing them to the exclusive way of seeing themselves and everything else around them. Welcome to the Exclusive Zone: Equip your mind and all else falls into place. Covers nearly all the bases in the foundation of an individual’s daily walk, from identity, giving, positivity, finances, plus more.