#UseMeInstead: Lutheran Clergy Offers Pictures as Police Practice Targets

Categories: News

The revelation earlier this month that the North Miami Beach Police Department was using mug shots of African-American men as practice targets sent shock waves across the nation. After initially trying to downplay the controversy, the department apologized, and the city council voted to ban the practice.

However, the outrage hasn't died down, and the hashtag #UseMeInstead is gaining steam, with people posting their own pictures as targets to protest racial profiling. The somewhat-surprising instigators of the hashtag: members of the Lutheran clergy.

See also: North Miami Beach Bans Offensive Mug Shot Targets but Stops Short of Firing Police Chief

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Republican State Senator Files Medical Marijuana Bill

Categories: Drugs

Photo by Laurie Avacado via Wikimedia Commons | CC2.0
Medical marijuana supporters in Florida tried their hand at the ballot last year and fell just short, but perhaps they might find success in the Florida Legislature.

St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes, a Republican (!), has filed a bill that would legalize marijuana in Florida as a treatment option for those with serious ailments and others who have exhausted more traditional treatments.

See also: Medical Marijuana Supporters Take First Step to Getting Amendment Back on Ballot in 2016

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305 Photo of the Day: Wow! Much Leaves!

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

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Two Former UM Organ Bank Employees Claim They Were "Karate Chopped" by Med School Vice Chair

via Google Street View
The midtown offices of the Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency.
Professional arguments over the proper way to run an organ bank allegedly turned to amateur displays of karate at the University of Miami.

Two former employees of the Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency, an organ bank run by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, are suing after they claim they were struck by Rafic Warwar, the vice chair of administration for the surgery department, in front of 50 people at a staff meeting in 2013.

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Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Could Be Released in Keys This Spring

Categories: Environmental

Courtesy of Oxitec
Scientists hope to wipe out dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (left) using genetically modified bugs with green-and-red glowing larvae.
In the lab, the genetically modified mosquito larvae glow green and red to help researchers track them. The bugs' DNA has been tweaked with a killer gene that will wipe out the next generation of blood-suckers before they can latch onto humans. Millions of the scientifically created bugs are released into the wild, in theory putting a stop to wretched diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya.

That may sound like the premise of a Michael Crichton plot, but in fact the GMO mosquitoes have already been released en masse in Brazil and the Cayman Islands. Now, researchers hope to do the same in the Florida Keys as early as this spring.

See also: Can Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Keep Dengue Fever Away From Key West?

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Residents Livid as Developer Demolishes Historic Hotel After Promises to Renovate

Categories: Unreal Estate

The list of architects who worked on North Beach's Biltmore Terrace Hotel reads like a dean's list of Miami greats: Albert Anis, Melvin Grossman -- and the biggest name of all, Morris Lapidus, the man behind the Fontainebleau and the Eden Roc. The rectangular beachfront space at 87th Street and Collins Avenue, built in 1951, once advertised itself as "the hotel with the wholesome family atmosphere"; today it still wins over fans as an iconic example of MiMo architecture.

"That's what North Beach is all about," says Kirk Paskal, who lives nearby and founded the North Shore Historic District Neighborhood Association.

But now community members are livid after a developer that promised to restore the building abruptly began demolishing it instead.

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Hassan Whiteside's Astounding Triple-Double Forced NBA2K to Raise His Rating

Categories: Sports

via @AIR305
Hassan Whiteside made the Chicago Bulls pay the price for his low NBA2K ratings, and now they are all dead. There are no longer any Chicago Bulls; sorry 'bout it, PETA. Chicago has also vanished. Tough break, Obama.

After taking five business days to get his sprained ankle right, Whiteside rose on the Sabbath to give the entire Chicago Bulls team the business end of a 14-point, 13-rebound, NBA-season-high-Heat-franchise-record-12-block 96-84 win. After the game, Whiteside had quite an answer as to why he Ctrl-Alt-Deleted the entire city of Chicago.

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Marco Rubio May Decide on Presidential Run This Weekend While at the Delano

Categories: Politicks

Marco Rubio and around 300 of his biggest supporters and confidants entered the swanky Delano Hotel on South Beach today. By the time they leave tomorrow, they may have a better idea of whether Rubio will run for president.

In fact, according to the Miami Herald, Rubio has already told aides to "prepare for a presidential campaign."

One thing is for sure, Rubio definitely wants people to know that he's thinking about running for president.

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Here Are the Roads That Will Be Closed For Sunday's Miami Marathon

Categories: Road Rage

Photo by George Martinez
Granted, we don't need to give Miamians much of an excuse to stay out late on Saturday and sleep in on Sunday morning. But if you're not running the Miami Marathon and live around the affected area, it might be the best to stay in.

The annual marathon will close some of Miami and Miami Beach's busiest roadways for hours from Sunday morning until early afternoon.

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305 Photo of the Day: Night Light

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

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Marlins Trying to Woo Ichiro Suzuki With One-Year Deal

Categories: Sports

Photo by Keith Allison | Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0
Is Ichiro Suzuki coming to Miami?
The Miami Marlins are apparently keen on pairing its young talents with some future Hall of Famers. The team is reportedly trying to sign former ten-time All-Star and 2001 AL MVP Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year deal.

However, the Japanese slugger is now 41 and in his last season with the New York Yankees he saw a career low in playing time.

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WTF Florida: Radio Station's Porn Star Foursome Contest Prize

Categories: WTF Florida

Illustration by Alvaro Diaz-Rubio
A lot of weird things happen in Florida. We're here every Friday morning to give you the week's weirdest.

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New Photos Allegedly Show Filthy Conditions at Miami Palmetto Senior High School

Categories: Education

In the wake of this week's controversy involving free speech, social media, and allegations of filth at one Miami-Dade high school, students at another are reportedly sending out their own pictures of unhygienic conditions. The new photos were taken by students at Miami Palmetto Senior High School, according to Lisa Merkin, who runs the community page Around Pinecrest and received the photos.

"This is what is going on at our public schools," Merkin wrote to New Times. "It is not right. There is not one school that stands out."

Update: After this post was published, several Palmetto students have come forward defending their school. See below for more details.

See also: Sunset High Principal Lucia Cox Out Amid Filth Allegations, Free Speech Criticism

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Bill Filed in Tallahassee to Toughen Penalties for Drivers Hitting Bikers

Categories: Politicks

Thumbnail image for ghost_bike_credit_c_stiles.jpg
Photo by C. Stiles
A "ghost bike" left in memory of Christophe LeCanne, another cyclist killed on the Rickenbacker.
The last time a hit-and-run driver killed a cyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway, it sparked a new law in Tallahassee: the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, which toughened penalties against drivers who flee fatal accident scenes.

This week, yet another cyclist is dead and another is seriously injured after an allegedly drunk driver plowed into them on the Rickenbacker. And coincidentally, a legislator has just filed another bill in the Florida House that would add new protections for cyclists.

See also: Another Cyclist Killed in Rickenbacker Causeway Hit-and-Run

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Two Cabinet Members Want an Independent Investigation of Rick Scott's FDLE Ouster

Categories: Politicks

Rick Scott knows a thing or two about emergency damage control. This is the same executive, after all, who survived his company getting hit with the biggest Medicare fraud fine in history, escaping with a golden parachute and a path into politics.

Last night, Scott showed his finest scandal-ducking form again as pressure boiled over about his ouster of ex-FDLE chief Gerald Bailey. With two of his own cabinet members now calling for an independent investigation into Bailey's claims that Scott tried to pressure him into politically motivated moves, the governor snuck out a back door rather than face reporters -- then sent out a carefully worded, two-page response to the media.

See also: Rick Scott Lied About Ousting Florida's Top Cop Over Political Fights

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Miami Wants to Add 1,600 New Acres to Its City Limits

Categories: News

Photo by Phillip Pessar | Flickr CC 2.0
Julia Tuttle, the mother of Miami.
By population and size, Miami is actually one of the smallest U.S. cities that anchors a major metro area. Well, local leaders want to make the city a bit bigger.

The plan is to try to annex 1,600 acres around the Miami River and near the airport. Though that's not a huge amount of land, it could lead to a huge increase in tax revenues.

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305 Photo of the Day: In The Weeds

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

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Miami Expected to Be Florida's Slowest Growing Area Over Next 15 Years

Categories: News

via Urban Institute
Florida just overtook New York to become the third most populous state, and our population growth isn't expected to slow down anytime soon. According to a new interactive analysis from the Urban Institute, Florida should add 4.1 million new citizens between the official 2010 census tallies and 2030. That's a change of 21.69 percent.

However, not all areas in the state are expected to benefit. In fact, the Miami and Fort Lauderdale metro area is only expected to see its population increase by 6.94 percent by 2030. That's the lowest of any area in Florida by far, and only represents a population growth of 303,101 people between Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties.

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Miami Herald Political Writer Marc Caputo Leaving for Politico

Categories: Media Watch

via YouTube
David Rivera didn't want to talk. The embattled ex-congressman had walked into a Miami clerk's office to file paperwork for a comeback bid expecting a quick photo op and a few softball questions from a Spanish-language TV crew. Instead, he found Marc Caputo and his handheld camera.

The beautifully awkward six-minute clip that resulted -- with Caputo hounding Rivera about the ongoing federal probe he'd broken and Rivera repeatedly muttering, "Email me" -- is a perfect example of the tenacity, humor, and shoe-leather reporting the political writer has brought to the Miami Herald for the past 12 years.

Caputo announced this morning he's moving on. Luckily for Florida voters, he's staying put in the Magic City and joining the growing staff of Politico.

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Witnesses Raise New Questions About Fatal Police Shooting of South Florida Teenager

Categories: Longreads

Devin Jolicoeur
photo courtesy Sunjee Louissaint
It was December 13, 2012, when 40-year-old Sunjee Louissaint, a soft-spoken woman with gentle eyes, looked across the front yard of her West Palm Beach home and saw two green-and-gold-striped Palm Beach County Sheriff's cruisers.Two deputies had pinned her 17-year-old son, Devin, to the ground. She heard a bang and, suddenly, his body shook violently.

Louissaint thought he had been hit with a Taser. Then she saw the blood. He's been shot, she thought.

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