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Miami Times staff report

Stories by Miami Times

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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.

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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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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

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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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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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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Joseph Kelley hosts mock trial for elementary students

Vice Mayor, Joseph L. Kelley recently hosted a mock trial, sponsored by the City of Opa-locka Mayor and Commission, for children from Robert B. Ingram and Nathan B. Young Elementary schools. The event was designed to help the students understand the functions of government, specifically at the local level.

Aretha Franklin headlines TV One for Black Music Month

In recognition of Black Music Month, TV One will roll out a special programming slate of new specials, original factual series, original reality series, movies and performance specials this June. The programming will be anchored by the premiere of the biographical special Aretha: Frankly Speaking and HelloBeautiful Interludes Live: Trey Songz on Saturday, June 21. Additionally, other new episodes of HelloBeautiful Interludes Live will air

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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.

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lifestyle happenings

The Parkway Junior/Middle Alumni Association will have a luncheon 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., June 7 at Parkway Middle Community School. Call 305-624-9613 Ext 2207. 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.

Girlfriend charged with killing veteran Miami police officer

She told police her boyfriend accidentally shot himself before he died. But Pembroke Pines police accuse Tinikio Thompson of murdering veteran Miami police officer Carl Patrick, who was found dead in his Pembroke Pines home last month. At her mother’s home in Opa-locka last Wednesday, one day after what would have been Patrick’s 53rd birthday, Thompson, 46, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Authorities escorted her to the Broward County jail where she is being held without bond.

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Nigerian girls found but cannot be rescued yet

The 276 Nigerian girls who were abducted over a month ago during a violent raid have been found, according to the Nigerian military officials. The claims, though unconfirmed, have brought some measure of comfort and relief to local Nigerian and South Florida residents who have joined worldwide protests demanding their safe return.

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Lifestyle Happenings

Miami Jackson’s Class of 1974 will celebrate their 40th class reunion May 19-25. Call 305-688-6806 or 305-992-4986. Miami Northwestern’s Class of 6T6 will host a dance on May 31. Call 305-333-8539. The Parkway Junior/Middle Alumni Association will have a luncheon 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., June 7 at Parkway Middle Community School. Call 305-624-9613 Ext 2207.

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N. Miami to hold special election for new mayor

A special election will be held in August to replace suspended City of North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau, officials said. Acting Mayor Philippe Bien-Amie said the election has been scheduled for late August. Tondreau was suspended last week by Gov. Rick Scott after surrendering to FBI authorities to face charges of running an $8 million mortgage fraud scheme with three other conspirators.

Bullard breaks ties with State. Rep. Daphne Campbell, endorses challenger

State Senator Dwight Bullard has endorsed Michael A. Hepburn, Democratic candidate for State Representative - District 108. “Michael Hepburn has demonstrated a clear commitment towards making his community better,” said State Senator Bullard. “He is energetic and hard-working. He has the skills to effectively represent our constituents and he has what it takes to become a leader in the Florida House.”

14-year-old kills brother, himself over clothes

A 14-year-old boy shot and killed his older brother, then himself during a fight over clothes outside their apartment complex between Little Haiti and Little River. The shooting occurred around 11 p.m. Sunday at the New Haven Gardens apartment complex, on the 7100 block of Northeast Second Avenue, between the Little Haiti and Little River neighborhoods.

Universal Truth Center to hold “Evening of Dance”

The Creative Expressions Ministry and youth department at Universal Truth Center for Better Living in Miami Gardens are planning a dance showcase that will delight dance enthusiasts, lovers of the arts and the general public.

Miami Beach prepares for Urban Beach Week

The swaying palm trees flanking Ocean Drive will once again lure hundreds of thousands to Miami Beach to celebrate this Memorial Day Weekend. Every year, an estimated 250,000 visitors, including Blacks, flood the city's beaches, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs as part of Urban Beach Week.

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Transit celebrates Metrorail’s 30th birthday

Metrorail, Miami-Dade Transit’s elevated rapid transit system, is turning 30. To commemorate the milestone, transit officials held a two-hour celebration Tuesday on the second level of the Government Center Metrorail station, with music provided by HOT 105 FM’s Chico the Virgo, a guest appearance by the Miami Marlins’ mascot, Billy the Marlin, giveaways, a raffle of transit passes, and more. 

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Farmworkers, CIW and FCWA push for better pay and work

Farmworkers and members of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, and the internationally-recognized Coalition of Immokalee Workers banded together outside a Publix store in Coral Gables to urge the supermarket to join the Fair Food Program (FFP) – a social responsibility program that ensures a humane work environment and increased pay for Florida tomato workers.

'Black in Time' encourages a discourse on race

Miami Coalition Christians and Jews still seeks an inclusive community

In 1935, the National Conference of Christians and Jews established a branch in Miami. NCCJ’s signature program became the Intergroup Youth Council, designed for students attending the racially segregated Booker T. Washington Junior-Senior and other Miami High schools. Under the laws of the time, people could get arrested for being in the same room as a person of another race.

Shamis Abdi named FAMU's chief of staff

TALLAHASSEE — Shamis Abdi has been named chief of staff by Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D. She began her post on May 1. Abdi comes to FAMU with more than 16 years of experience in management, operations and consulting. She most recently served as the director of operations at the Girls Preparatory Charter School of New York, an “A”-ranked school by the New York City Department of Education.

Bayside Foundation to award college scholarships

The Miami Bayside Foundation will award 26 scholarships to minority students on Thursday, May 22 at 9 a.m., in the City of Miami. The Miami Bayside Foundation will recognize this year’s college scholarship recipients from City of Miami Public High Schools. Miami Bayside Foundation scholarship programs have given students the opportunity to access resources that were not previously available to them. This is the inaugural year of a multi-year scholarship program commitment made by Miami Bayside Foundation to the Miami-Dade Public School System.

M-D County and owners decide future of stadiums

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has abandoned plans to privately fund renovations to Sun Life stadium in exchange for $4 million in annual tax relief from Miami-Dade County. The deal would have cost Miami Gardens $1 million in annual tax revenues. Ross wanted the upgrades to lure another Super Bowl and other events. Miami Gardens Mayor reportedly confirmed that the plan has been dropped.

Southern Baptists seek softer tone to gay marriage

Some Christian denominations around the U.S. have been slowly warming to the idea of gay marriage. A few have even made an about-face. Not so with the country's largest protestant group, Southern Baptists. The Southern Baptist Convention still preaches that marriage can only be between one man and one woman. But some pastors are softening their message.

Atlanta draws music lovers for jazz festival

Blacks in South Florida are heading out Memorial Day Weekend during the busiest travel period of the year to experience the spectacular ending of Atlanta’s Jazz Festival. "This year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival is going to be one of our best,” said Camille Russell Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “We will present a diverse lineup of artists from around

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Tunnel opens, giving cargo trucks direct route to PortMiami

Amid fanfare and speeches, dignitaries from the state, county and city governments joined hundreds of workers and residents Monday to open the new $1 billion PortMiami Tunnel downtown.

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Feds to charge North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau with mortgage fraud

Monday morning federal agents were searching for North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau to charge her with mortgage fraud.

$100M requested for JMH renovations

County commissioners and finance committee members Tuesday requested $101 million in from Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s to pay for Jackson Memorial Hospital’s aging facilities.

New CEO of Black Chamber named

Gordon Knowles selected to head Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce

Gordon “Eric” Knowles, a seasoned senior executive with extensive experience creating strategic alliances in both the public and private sectors, has been named the new president and chief executive officer of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce (MDCOC). “I am excited to take on this new leadership role at the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce,” said Knowles. “I look forward to working vigorously to strengthen bonds and increase leverage and exposure for the Chamber and our members.”

MOCA to hold conference

'Girl Summit' to empower young women

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s acclaimed Women on the Rise! program, an award-winning program that addresses the needs of underserved teenage girls through the study of contemporary female artists as positive role models, will hold their annual Girls Summit, a two-day conference on innovative approaches to girls education and empowerment for young women. 

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Faith Calendar

The Bread of Life Community Church presents: Wings of Virtue: Transformed by Grace 2014 Women’s Outreach Conference May 15-18 hosted by first lady Chanel Moore. For more info visit www.thebreadoflifecc.com. Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church of South Miami is sponsoring a First lady’s High Tea Table Competition featuring all months of the year on May 17 at 3 p.m.  The cost is $10. There will be lots of door prizes and refreshments. Call 305-772-7001 

City of Opa-locka Assistant police chief leaving force

Opa-locka Assistant Police Chief Louis Vega is stepping down from the police force after a year on the job. Vega, 70, submitted his resignation letter and will officially leave the department May 16. Assistant City Manager David Chiverton described the departure as a “retirement.” Vega said he did not feel challenged by the job and will search for other positions before he leaves the force.

Hall of Fame baseball player Andre Dawson to launch swim program

Hall of Fame baseball player Andre Dawson, who graduated from Southwest High School in Miami, will be on hand to launch the city of Miami’s swim program at Gibson Park in Overtown. The event will be a part of an officials a ribbon-cutting ceremony where District 5 Commissioner Keon Hardemon is expected to attend.

FMU welcomes SEED School of Miami to campus

Major public boarding school will take up residence at college in August

The SEED School of Miami and Florida Memorial University (FMU) announced a partnership on May 6 that will bring SEED’s proven 24-hour, college-preparatory education model to South Florida sixth graders in a unique college setting. This August, 60 students will live and learn on the FMU campus, with close supervision from SEED teachers, counselors, and other faculty.

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Mystery surrounds Miami officer found dead in Pembroke Pines

Friends and family throughout Miami are mourning the loss of Carl Patrick, a veteran Miami police officer who was found dead in his Pembroke Pines home on Friday. Patrick's girlfriend, Tiniko Thompson, a public service aide said Patrick accidentally shot himself during a struggle for a gun in the bedroom in the home where they shared.

First Black editor appointed to head New York Times

History was made after a big shakeup at the nation's leading newspaper

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5000 Role Models host conference at Sun Life Stadium

As high school seniors prepare to march down the aisle in their caps and gowns, many are still undecided on what to do after graduation.

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Young film director debuts his film

This is a story about a 16-year-old teenager who dared to dream. What he found was a true gift. On Mother’s Day, he will make his mom proud as his short film “The Gift” debuts at the Historic Lyric Theater at 6 p.m. Elijah Wells was born on June 30, 1997 in Miami, Florida to parents Willie Wells Jr and Martha Whisby Wells. He is a local actor, writer, promoter, and film director in the Miami area. Elijah started at an early age beating drums for his church. He then enrolled in The Florene Nichols Inner City tap dancing class at Charles Hadley Park.

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Lifestyle Happenings

George Washington Carver’s Class 1966 will meet 3 p.m. Sat., May 10 at Virrick Park. Elijah Wells Films LLC presents: The Gift, a stageplay featuring guest star Commissioner Keon Hardemon, 6 p.m. May 11 at Overtown’s Historic Lyric Theater. Call 786-314-1630. Miami Jazz and Film Society presents free film screenings 6:15-8 p.m. Tue. May 13 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Call 305-684-4564.

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Faith Calendar

Tree of Life Deliverance will have a Mother/Daughter’s Day Brunch 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. Sat. May 10. The event is $10 per person. Call 305-751-3777 or 786-316-2762. Power Evangelism Apostolic Ministry invites the public to free miracle meeting at the FIU North Campus, May 10 at 7 p.m. The Miami Children’s Chorus invites you to its concert titled “Cantare” 5 p.m. Sun. May 11 at the New World Center in Miami Beach. General admission tickets are $25 and $10 for seniors, students and children. Call 305-673-3331. The Bread of Life Community Church presents: Wings of Virtue: Transformed by Grace 2014 Women’s Outreach Conference May 15-18 hosted by first lady Chanel Moore. For more info visit www.thebreadoflifecc.com.

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WHCA finally recognizes Harry McAlpin

The White House Correspondents' Association Saturday finally honored Harry McAlpin, decades after denying membership to the first African-American to cover a White House press conference.