Gary Morse, Florida's Most Powerful Developer, Creator of the Villages, Dead at 77

Categories: Politicks

H. Gary Morse, Florida's most powerful developer, died Wednesday night at the age of 77.

Morse didn't upend existing cities and build shiny new luxury towers along their coasts. Instead he created and kept careful control over his own make-shift city, populated mostly by people over the age of 55. The result, the Villages, sprawls out of over 5.6 square miles in the middle of nowhere in central Florida.

In turn, he spent much of his windfall fueling the campaigns of both state and national Republicans, and the Villages became a go-to stop for every prominent GOP politician.

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305 Photo of the Day: A Different View

Today's photo comes from Tommy's Flickr. If you'd like to see your photo here join our Flickr group.

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Hialeah Man Arrested for Lighting Eight Cars on Fire

Categories: Crime

Between October 11 and October 29, several cars in a Hialeah neighborhood went up in flames. Two of which just happened to belong to the same woman.

Police have now arrested Armando Hernandez, 51, the woman's boyfriend, and charged him for the car-charring spree.

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Florida's Six Scariest Clown-Related Crimes

Categories: Crime

via YouTube
There are a plenty of terrifying real-life Florida stories for Halloween, but let's be honest: Ain't nothing scarier than clown crimes. And the Sunshine State has had more than its share of felonious clowns terrorizing the population.

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A Piece of Metal From Miami May Have Just Solved the Amelia Earhart Mystery

Categories: News

via U.S. Library of Congress
On June 1, 1937, Amelia Earhart lifted off from an airfield in Hialeah, bound on the ambitious round-the-world flight from which she would never return. Scholars and enthusiasts have spent the past seven decades arguing about what happened to the aviation pioneer, and this week one prominent Earhart searcher declared a breakthrough.

The key piece of evidence: a small sheet of metal bolted to Earhart's plane right before she left Miami -- and, the researcher claims, now positively identified on a tiny island in the Pacific.

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Charlie Crist Is Finally Edging Ahead of Rick Scott Thanks to Independents, Poll Says

Categories: Politicks

via YouTube
So many recent polls have shown Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott in a dead heat that state election officials actually went on record this week worrying about what might happen if a recount was needed to break a statistical tie. This race is damned close.

But a new poll out this morning from Quinnipiac suggests Crist may be finally opening up some daylight. Crist's new lead is still within the margin of error, but it's bolstered by remarkably strong support among independent voters -- a hint that he may in fact be pulling ahead.

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Miami Cop Jose Maldonado-Dick Arrested for Offering Protection to Drug Traffickers

Categories: The Badge

City of Miami Police officer Jose Maldonado-Dick might have misunderstood the "protect and serve" part of his job description, because he's been arrested for offering to protect and serve drug traffickers.

A seven-year veteran of the force, Maldonado-Dick approached a drug dealer back in July and offered his protection.

He now faces charges of two counts of armed cocaine trafficking, two counts of unlawful compensation, and two counts of unlawful use of a communication device. He was arrested and is being held without bond.

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Ralph Nader Comes Out Hard Against Rick Scott, Doesn't Say a Word About Charlie Crist

Categories: Politicks

Usually a high-profile politician coming out against your opponent is a good thing. Unless you're Democrat Charlie Crist, and the guy attacking your opponent is Ralph Nader.

Because, as we found out here in Florida back in 2000, left-leaning people who listen to Ralph Nader don't necessarily vote for Democrats.

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305 Photo of the Day: Blurred Palms

Today's photo comes from Roberto Bowyer's Flickr. If you'd like to see your photo here join our Flickr group.

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Florida's Biggest Newspapers Have Come Out Against Medical Marijuana for Incredibly Stupid Reasons

Categories: Media Watch

Photo by Laurie Avacado via Wikimedia Commons | CC 2.0
A somewhat surprising number of Florida's biggest and most influential newspapers have come out against medical marijuana. The Orlando Sentinel, the Tampa Bay Times, and the Florida Times-Union are just a few.

None of those editorials actually bashes the idea of medical marijuana. They're cool with it, in theory. They just think that it should be an issue decided on by the Florida Legislature and that the amendment is too vague and will cause some sort of abuse. What kind of abuse? No one knows -- the editorials are being very vague about it.

This of course ignores two key points:
1. There is no way the Florida Legislature in its current Republican-controlled form will legalize medical marijuana (and this amendment failing will give it more reasons not to do so).
2. Floridians already smoke tons and tons and tons of marijuana.

See also: Medical Marijuana in Florida: What Amendment 2 Means to You

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Motorcyclist Loses Control During Wheelie Spree, Falls From I-95 to His Death

Categories: Road Rage

photo by Xemenendura via Wikimedia Commons
A man performs a stunt on his motorcycle.Motorcyclists performing death-defying stunts at high speeds while weaving through traffic on I-95 are not, unfortunately, an unusual sight in Miami, but last night those tricks proved deadly for one man.

Police say the man, either 25 or 26 years old, lost control of his bike while driving at high speeds and popping wheelies. He crashed into a light pole, the bike caught fire, and the driver was ejected over the side of the elevated interstate.

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Commissioner Sarnoff: Toxic Soil at Merrie Christmas Park Will Be Removed Soon

Categories: Environmental

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for mchristmaspark2.jpg
Courtesy of Ken Russell
After weeks of wrangling, a park protest, and the recent involvement of an attorney, the infamous Merrie Christmas Park toxic soil pile is finally on its way out thanks to funding promised by an anonymous donor.

"I'm pretty sure it'll happen in the next day or two," Commissioner Marc Sarnoff told Riptide Tuesday evening. "If not by the end of the week, then by the middle of next week."

Ken Russell, the resident who has been leading the effort to remove the soil, yelped in excitement when told by Riptide of the plans. "Yes! Wow!" he exclaimed. "If that's really going to be removed ... that is such a victory for what we're trying to accomplish."

See also: Residents Would Have to Pay to Remove Toxic Soil at Merrie Christmas Park, Commissioner Says

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New Times Is Looking For an Arts and Culture Editor

Categories: News

Photo by Ian Witlen/
Miami New Times is looking for a writer and editor to oversee coverage of all things related to art, theater, and other cultural happenings in America's hottest city. The job entails working closely with a pool of freelancers to produce Night+Day, our weekly print guide to the city, while editing, writing, and helping promote content for our Cultist culture blog. Among the events to be covered are the Miami International Film Festival, the Miami Book Fair and Art Basel Miami Beach.

This is a full-time position that requires some previous journalism experience, a strong voice and diverse cultural interests. Only applicants who live in, or have lived in, the Miami metro area will be considered. Full benefits included. Send a cover letter, resume and your three best clips to:

Miami Official Who Investigated Secret Service Prostitution Scandal Was Caught With a Hooker

Categories: Sex in Miami

When it comes to sleaze, all scandals lead to South Florida. Want to fix a South American election? This is the place. Want to fix an American election, for that matter? We've got that as well. In fact, according to a new book, South Florida practically invented sleaze.

So it's no surprise that a prostitution scandal involving the U.S. Secret Service has somehow come to our neck of the woods.

According to media reports, a Miami investigator tasked with investigating the Secret Service incident recently resigned after -- what else? -- visiting a hooker.

See also: Secret Service Agent Arrested After Passing Out Drunk on Brickell Avenue

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Here's Video of a Miami Beach Cop on a Profanity-Laced Rant After Ticketing a Motorist

Categories: Crime

via YouTube
Officer Kenneth MacLeod (right) confronts a driver on video.
The video begins with a motorcyclist waving a ticket he's just gotten from veteran Miami Beach Police Officer Kenneth MacLeod. "God bless you," the man says. Is there sarcasm in that remark? MacLeod certainly thinks so.

"You want to be a sarcastic bitch?" the cop asks, wheeling back around and getting in the man's face. "I'll be fucking a bigger bitch."

MacLeod is now under investigation over the profanity-laced tirade caught on video, Det. Vivian Thayer, a department spokeswoman, tells Riptide.

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New Times Un-Endorsements: Vote for Anyone Next Week but These Six Fools

Categories: Politicks

Photo by Gretel Sharpee via Wikimedia Commons
In daily newspaper conference rooms across the state, editorial writers in shirts and ties or conservative dresses have been meeting every candidate for public office and carefully scrutinizing their records, all so they can offer readers a sober, reasoned recommendation about who deserves their vote November 4.

That seems like a whole lot of work. And frankly, we really couldn't care less who gets your vote. But even for a midterm election, there is such a stunning number of soul-crushingly terrible candidates on the ballot that we couldn't help but give you a short guide on who to avoid at all costs.

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Miami Police Investigating Officer Over Alleged Arrest Quotas

Categories: News

Kaldari via Wikimedia Commons
Miami Police during the FTAA protests in 2003.
Across the nation, confidence in law enforcement is at a nadir. Secret and intrusive NSA surveillance has eroded America's trust in its officials. Meanwhile, recent cop killings of unarmed civilians such as Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have shaken popular support for the police.

The last thing Americans want to hear right now is they could be thrown in jail just so local cops could meet arbitrary arrest quotas.

Sadly, that's exactly the news out of the Miami Police Department, which is investigating an officer for apparently ordering arrest quotas in Little Haiti.

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Suspected Cat Killings in Palmetto Bay Turns Out to be Probably Just More Dogs

Categories: Crime

via Pixabay
In a bit of a twist on the old saying, dog bites cat isn't news... unless everyone thought it was a case of man using cat as a bow-and-arrow practice target.

Police in Palmetto Bay say that a string of cats found dead in the city last week were probably killed by one or more loose dogs, and not, as the owner of one victim surmised in interviews with local news stations, a man with a bow and arrow.

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Miami Ranked One of the Worst Cities to Survive a Zombie Attack

Categories: Survey Says

Courtesy of AMC
The Walking Dead or South Beach at 6 a.m.?
Zombies don't exist. The closest thing we've seen in real life is that guy on bath salts who ate a guy's face. Which, of course, happened here in Miami. Yet, that man survived.

Somehow, though, Miami has ranked in the bottom ten cities in which it would be best to survive a zombie attack.

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305 Photo of the Day: Under

Today's photo comes from Roberto Bowyer's Flickr. If you'd like to see your photo here join our Flickr group.

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