Sun Life Stadium to Bid For 2018, 2020 College Football Championship Game

Categories: Sports

Thumbnail image for dolphinsdrivingupto.jpg
Courtesy Miami Dolphins
Renderings of an Updated Sun Life Stadium

Sun Life Stadium is currently undergoing a major facelift with the goal of remaining of the country's goto spots for hosting major sporting events. Before the Dolphins organization gets to officially bid for another Super Bowl, the stadium's first major test will be bidding for the 2018 and 2020 editions of the College Football Playoff national championship game.

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Drones, Slingshots, and Terrible Movies: 2015's Weirdest and Worst Bills in Tallahassee

Categories: Politics

photo by Jenn Grieving via Wikimedia Commons
Many strange and terrible things will happen in this building.
Today marks the beginning of Florida's most turbulent 60 days of the year, a bizarre two-month stretch when 160 oddballs convene in a remote North Florida town and -- between bites from gigantic plates of paella -- find new ways to make our state even more dysfunctional.

Yes, it's time for another session of the Florida Legislature. To prep you for the insanity to come, New Times combed through the 1,495 bills filed so far to highlight the worst and strangest proposals that your elected officials have decided to waste time on in 2015.

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A National Gang of ID Thieves Started Right Here in South Florida

Categories: Longreads

Illustration by Joseph Laney
The light-colored SUV was already parked when Keri Street wheeled into a neighboring spot at the KinderCare in a Seattle suburb. As Street gathered up her two kids, she ran a suspicious eye over the vehicle. The guy behind the wheel was cocooned in a baggy gray hoodie. A young girl sat shotgun. Their car windows dripped inside with condensation, a sign they'd been sitting there for a while. Why were these two killing time in a daycare center's parking lot before 9 a.m. on a weekday? Street wondered. Then she noticed the back seat. Who goes to a daycare and doesn't have car seats?

But Street was in a rush that morning in September 2013. She collected her kids, grabbed her keys and phone, and scurried into the mint-shingled building. She was inside for five minutes, then headed to her nearby office. While at work as a service department manager for a security company, Street realized she didn't have her purse. Probably left it home, she figured. But when she got home, she couldn't find it. Street pulled up her banking activity online. There was a $2,400 withdrawal pending on her Chase savings account. She rewound a play-by-play of her busy morning.

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Netanyahu's Speech Disses Black and Jewish Civil Rights Activists

Categories: Columns

Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke opines on the Israeli prime minister selling out for politics.

By going through with his speech to the U.S. Congress about Iran's nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not just insulting President Barack Obama. He's also dissing generations of African-Americans and Jewish Americans who have always worked together for equality and justice.

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Lavall Hall's Family Sues Miami Gardens Over Police Killing of Schizophrenic Man

Categories: Police

via Dream Defenders
An image protesting Hall's death.
The family of Lavall Hall, the mentally ill man who was shot dead by Miami Gardens police after brandishing a broom handle, has filed suit against the city.

The suit specifically names the city, Peter Ehrlich, and Eddo Trimino, the two police officers who were involved in the incident, and former Miami Gardens police chief Stephen Johnson. Johnson, of course, was fired this weekend after being arrested for trying to pay for the services of two prostitutes up in Broward County.

See also: Internet Won't Let Lavall Hall, Mentally Ill Man Shot by Miami Gardens Police, Be Forgotten

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Bills Would Allow Destination Casinos in Miami, Concentrate Gambling in South Florida

Categories: Politics

Photo by Wikicommons
Hit me.
Advocates of bringing resort-style casinos to Miami-Dade and Broward counties are preparing to roll the dice once again this legislative session. Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, introduced an ambitious package of gaming bills today that would pave the way for two destination casinos in the counties.

The bills would also allow racinos, or greyhound tracks with other gambling activities, to drop greyhound racing and basically operate as stand-alone slots casinos. The package also seeks to lessen gaming in North Florida and concentrate gambling in the southern part of the state.

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Marco Rubio May Announce Presidential Campaign in April

Categories: Politics

Photo by Gage Skidmore's Flickr | CC2.0
President Marco Rubio?
Jeb Bush may be getting all the major scrutiny right now, but he's not the only guy from Miami who is running a not-quite presidential campaign. Senator Marco Rubio has been busy the past few months fundraising, touring early primary states on a book tour and considering his future.

Sure all that money could be used for his reelection to senate, but reports indicate that he may officially announce a presidential run as soon as early April.

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Miami's Congressional Delegation Really Excited To Get Banned From Venezuela

Categories: News

Photo by AgĂȘncia Brasil via Wikimedia Commons
President Nicolas Maduro had harsh words for Miami's political establishment.
Down in Venezuela, things are not going great. Condoms are retailing for hundreds of dollars, inflation has leapt to 60 percent and there's such an acute shortage of toilet paper that Caracas is considering a deal to trade crude oil for Charmin.

So in the finest tradition of his mentor Hugo Chavez, President Nicolas Maduro has responded by thundering about an American assassination plot, arresting opposition leaders and -- this weekend -- calling Miami's congressional delegation "terrorists" and banning them from ever visiting Venezuela.

Miami's political leaders weren't exactly crushed by the move.

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Millions of Gallons of Wastewater Poured Into Oleta River State Park During Weekend Floods

Categories: Environmental

Photo by Ebyabe | Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0
Miami-Dade County has placed swimming advisories all around Oleta.
The rains of God came down Saturday. The result was flooded streets, stranded cars, and bone-soaked tourists.

All in all as much as eight inches dropped on parts of Miami-Dade, along with strong winds. If you were caught in Saturday afternoon's downpour, you already know it sucked. Especially if your car got stuck. Or your dog drifted away.

But the rains also claimed another victim: Oleta River State Park, which happened to be inundated by millions of gallons of wastewater.

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Feds Used Miami's "Merchant of Death" to Catch Ex-CIA Smugglers, Secret Docs Show

Categories: Crime, News

Sarkis Soghanalian once sold weapons to warring countries across the globe from his Hibiscus Island mansion, earning the nickname the "Merchant of Death" while becoming one of the biggest arms dealers on earth during the Cold War.

Soghanalian's larger-than-life exploits partly inspired Nicolas Cage's character in the 2005 movie, Lord of War, but much of his life has remained shrouded in secrecy and lies. Until last week, that is, when the FBI released thousands of pages of classified files on the arms dealer.

Among the most amazing stories the new documents illuminate is how Soghanalian wriggled out of a potential two-decade prison sentence in Miami federal court by snitching on two ex-CIA fugitives.

See also: Newt Gingrich Once Probed by FBI Over Ties to Miami Arms Dealer Sarkis Soghanalian

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305 Photo of the Day: Not a Cracker

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

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Here's What Miami Beach's New Lifeguard Stands Will Look Like

Categories: Real Estate

Courtesy of William Lane
A selection of Miami Beach's new lifeguard stands
Miami Beach is famous for its iconic, colorful lifeguard stands, but they're ultimately utilitarian structures that aren't meant to last forever. In fact, many of the city's historic stands were leveled during Hurricane Andrew back in 1992. Architect William Lane stepped in and designed some psychedelic, sci-fi replacements, and they've stood ever since. However, not all of the 29 stands on the beach are designed by Lane.

Recently the city's design review board decided that some of the stands just weren't "South Beach" enough, and some stands were considered of "dubious style, and although still photographed by tourists, were generally considered decorated in questionable taste."
Well, for Miami Beach's 100th birthday celebration, the city asked Lane to design some new stands to replace the "dubious" ones. Here, from the architect's website, is what they'll look like. They should be installed by next month.

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WTF Florida: Robbery Ruined When Men Butt Dial Boss

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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Protestors To "Shame" UM Over Walmart Development on Endangered Rocklands

Categories: Environmental

Save the South Florida Pine Rocklands' Facebook
The latest Pine Rocklands rally will be today at 3 p.m., at the University of Miami main entrance
More than seven months after it was announced that the University of Miami had sold an 88-acre parcel of endangered pine rocklands habitat to a developer set on building a Walmart, the project remains stalled pending environmental certification -- and the blowback continues.

Today at 3 p.m. supporters will gather at the University of Miami's main entrance, on Stanford Drive, to protest UM's sale of the land, to developer Ram Realty Services, for $22 million.

"We speak for the trees and we speak on behalf of all the 200 endangered animals who call this endangered [Pine Rocklands] home," Leslye Jacobs, the rally's organizer, wrote on Save the South Florida Pine Rocklands' Facebook page. "We are their voice and we ask you to join us."

See also: Developer to Submit Habitat Conservation Plan for Controversial Walmart Project

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Photos From Inside the Dozier School for Boys, Florida's Most Haunted House

Categories: WTF Florida

Photo by Bullet
The cemetery at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida
"I don't believe in ghosts," Bullet says. "But that is one of the creepiest places you could find."

Bullet is an urban explorer: a twenty-something Miamian who sneaks into abandoned buildings and photographs their bones. This time around, however, he came a little too close to the real thing. He's talking about the Arthur G. Dozier School: officially known as the Florida School for Boys. Unofficially known as Florida's most haunted place, thanks to scores of recently disinterred kids' graves. But Bullet didn't know any of that when he and a buddy crept into the school three years ago.

"When we went, all we knew is that it was an old school," he says. "At the time I didn't think much of it. Then a year later it was in the news. All these accusations come up and I was like: Wow, I know that place."

See also: Dozier School Dig Unearths Bodies of at Least 55 Boys

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Ten Reasons Miami Still Loves Chris Bosh

Categories: Sports

Chris Bosh Instagram
Real recognize real.
Normally, being told that Chris Bosh would miss the rest of a season would be tough enough for Heat fans to stomach but when we all heard earlier this week exactly why he would be done playing, it completely broke our hearts. What at first seemed like a precautionary trip to the hospital to check out some soreness, turned into a frightening diagnosis nobody expected. This was no cracked-rib or pulled abdomen muscle -- Bosh had developed blood clots in his lungs.

Luckily, one of the perks of being an NBA player is that you're constantly surrounded by people looking after your health. Bosh's issue was caught quickly, and after clutch-treatment, reports are he is to be close to being released from the hospital. What has been a tough time for Bosh, his family, and his fans, could have been a lot worse. Now that it seems like everything is under control health-wise with Chris Bosh, we can all breath a sigh of relief knowing that one of Miami's favorite sports personalities people ever, should be OK.

Consider this our get-well card, Bosh.

See also: Chris Bosh Hospitalized, Lungs Tested for Pulmonary Embolism

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Rush Limbaugh Claims Jeb Bush Wants to Turn All of America Into Miami

Categories: Politics

screen cap via YouTube
Rush Limbaugh
Jeb Bush's fledgling not-quite-campaign has a lot of problems, not the least of which is that conservative radio talk show hosts don't particularly like the guy. That includes the king blowhard himself, Rush Limbaugh.

The grandaddy of conservative talk took to the airwaves on Wednesday to claim, in great horror, that a Jeb Bush presidency would result in all of America being turned into Miami. If you're suspecting that's a stealth argument to stir up anti-Hispanic fears amongst his listeners, well, you're probably right.

See also: Jeb Bush Has 99 Problems: No Really, Here They Are

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Miami Beach Man Arrested on Child Porn Charges After Terrorizing Ex Online

Categories: Crime

via State Attorney's Office
Antonio Giansante
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced the arrest of Miami Beach man Antonio Giansante on multiple felony charges involving child porn, video voyeurism, and cyber stalking. The charges come after Giansante went on a campaign to embarrass his ex-girlfriend. The 37-year-old began dating the woman when she was just 16 in their native Puerto Rico, and the two moved to Miami together in 2009 but had broken up in 2012.

Giansante then attempted to spread nude and explicit images of the woman, who is now in her twenties, from when she was underage in order to embarrass her.

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305 Photo of the Day: Capturing the Moment

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

On Third Anniversary of Trayvon Martin's Death, Mother Says Zimmerman Got Away With Murder

Categories: News

Courtesy of Trayvon Martin's family
Today marks the third anniversary of Martin's death.
Today marks exactly three years since George Zimmerman fired the shots that killed Miami Garden teenager Trayvon Martin up in Sanford, Florida. It's already been a tense week in regarded to the remembrance of the case. The U.S. Justice Department announced on Tuesday that it had closed its investigation and will not charge Zimmerman with any wrongdoing.

In an interview with the Associated Press last night, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, says that she now believes that Zimmerman got away with murder.

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