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Florida's "Recovery" Left Many Behind: State Near Last in Affordable Housing and Insurance Coverage

Categories: Recessionomics

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Rick Scott was ostensibly reelected this year based on Florida's economic recovery, but a new report from the Center for American Progress reminds us that that "recovery" has left many in Florida behind. That state lags behind in many poverty indicators, and Scott's own decision not to expand Medicaid in the state as well as clamping down on unemployment insurance is a big reason why.


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Jeb Bush to "Actively Explore" Presidential Run

Categories: Politicks

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Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
Jeb Bush has spent the better part of the last eight years denying that he was going to run for president. Now he's finally confirmed what everyone has long suspected. He's thinking about making a run.

In a Facebook message posted today Bush announced that he will "actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States."

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Skyrise Returns to Commission Today For Vote On $9 Million In Taxpayer Support

Categories: News

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Up until October, developer Jeff Berkowitz's audacious plan for a 1,000-foot tall tower on the bay front had sailed through with scant opposition from politicians or residents. The city commission quickly signed off on the Skyrise plan, and voters gave it a green light in August. But then came news that contrary to Mayor Tomas Regalado's very public promises, Skyrise would be asking for millions in taxpayer support.

That revelation has lead to huge headaches for County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and a big speedbump for Skyrise when the county commission stalled out on a vote last month on $9 million in funding.

Today, Skyrise is back in County Hall, and it's anyone's guess if it will garner enough votes to stay alive.

Update: The County Commission has passed the $9 million in funding.

See also: Miami Taxpayers Could Pay Millions for SkyRise Tower After All

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Sports Agents Take Advantage of African-American Football Players

Categories: Luke's Gospel

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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. Today, Luke breaks down the courtship between sports agents and college football players.

Shark season has begun in college football. As teams prepare for the many bowls, sports agents are circling the players whom the NFL plans to draft. Unfortunately, many African-American players and their families are not equipped to negotiate. They are not business-savvy like some of the families of white football players.


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Miami-Based Muslim Pilot Says Spirit Airlines Fired Him Over His Religion

Categories: News

photo by Andre Du-pont via Wikimedia Commons
Spirit Airlines is no stranger to complaints. From its tiny seats and crippling pilot strike to advertising campaigns that have used devastating oil spills, MILFs, and prostitution scandals to hawk tickets, no airline draws groans from consumers quite so regularly than the South Florida-based budget carrier.

But even for Spirit, Ilyes Yakoub's beef is an eye-opening allegation. The Miami-based pilot says he was run out of the company and even subjected to FBI interrogation for his religious beliefs.

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Jury Finds Alan Levan, Former Head of BankAtlantic, Lied to Investors During Housing Bubble

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via BBX

Alan Levan, the former chairman of Florida-based BankAtlantic Bancorp, has been found responsible by a federal jury for intentionally defrauding investors in 2007 right before the bottom fell out of Florida's housing market.

Levan will not face criminal charges, as the judgment came as the result of a civil suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Instead, the SEC will seek to slap Levan with a civil fine and ban him from being an executive at any public company.


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305 Photo of the Day: Bubbling Up

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Today's photo comes from Daniel Bonchea's Flickr.

Michele Traverso, Driver Who Killed Cyclist on Rickenbacker, Headed Back to Prison on Probation Violation

Categories: Crime

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via NBC Miami

Michele Traverso will spend at least the next two years in prison for violating probation after having already previously served 22 months for the 2012 hit-and-run death of cyclist Aaron Cohen.

Last Saturday, Traverso was supposed to be in his parent's Key Biscayne condo when a probation officer came to check in on him at 5 a.m. Traverso was actually on the beach behind the building. He said he was there because his parents wouldn't let his girlfriend stay in the condo.


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Rodolfo "Rudy" Llanes Reportedly Chosen as Miami's Next Police Chief

Categories: The Badge

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via Miami PD

Rodolfo "Rudy" Llanes has been chosen as the next chief of the Miami Police Department, according to the Miami Herald. Currently a deputy chief, Llanes, a department lifer, will take the helm following current chief Manuel Orosa's scheduled retirement next month.

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Jeb Bush Will Release Emails and eBook, Hinting That Presidential Bid Is Imminent

Categories: Politicks

screencap via YouTube
There are a few unmistakable signs that a candidate is about to declare his run for the White House. His travel schedule is suddenly peppered with appointments in small-town Iowa and New Hampshire. He's on Sunday morning talk shows every week trashing the opposition or talking up his narrative.

Or maybe he suddenly decides to release all 250,000 emails from his tenure as governor, as well as an eBook about his policy plans.

That's exactly what Jeb Bush promised to do yesterday, fueling headlines that the Coral Gables resident has all but punched a ticket to the GOP primaries.

See also: Jeb Bush Sure Is Acting Like a Guy About to Run For President

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Hialeah Cop Pulls Over Harvard Grad For Playing N.W.A. Song "F*ck Tha Police"

Categories: News

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Illustration by Kevin Cannon
Thanksgiving morning began sweetly for Cesar Baldelomar. No work. Beautiful weather. And good tunes thumping from his car stereo. As the 26-year-old cruised through Hialeah toward his parents' house, he could practically smell his mother's cooking wafting down 24th Avenue.

But when Baldelomar pulled up to the stoplight at West 60th Street, Hialeah Police Officer Harold Garzon was standing nearby, filling out some paperwork from a traffic accident. At that moment, another song came on Baldelomar's stereo. "Fuck tha police/Comin' straight from the underground," N.W.A. rapped. "A young n**** got it bad cause I'm brown / And not the other color so police think / they have the authority to kill a minority."

Then came the song's eponymous refrain -- "Fuck tha police!" -- four times in a row.

"Really?" Garzon said to Baldelomar through his open car window. "You're really playing that song? Pull over."

See also: Graffiti Artist Demz Dies From Injuries After Police Car Hit Him in Wynwood

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Joe Philbin's Time Is Up After Patriots Destroy Dolphins

Categories: Sports

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@Brendan_Tobin

The Miami Dolphins' 41-13 humiliating blowout loss to the New England Patriots Sunday wasn't just the last nail in the Dolphins season, it was the six-feet of dirt on Joe Philbin's tenure as head coach. With the team's playoff hopes on the line, the Dolphins found every way, from start-to-finish, to make sure there would be no question as to whether this season could be saved; it's over, and so is Joe Philbin's time in Miami.

Joe Philbin is now 22-24 in three seasons with Miami, and has no playoff appearances, much less a playoff win, to show for it.


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Police Warn Protesters May Block Traffic on the MacArthur Causeway This Afternoon

Categories: Road Rage

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Photo by Anthony Spinello
Last weekend's protest in Wynwood.
Miami Beach police are warning motorists to expect more protests on a major causeway connecting the mainland to the beach this afternoon. Though, this time police expect the protests may go down on the MacArthur Causeway as opposed to the Julia Tuttle.

However, Facebook event pages affiliated with the planned protest make no mention of trekking to the MacArthur.

See also: Police Brutality Protesters Shut Down 195, March Through Wynwood

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305 Photo of the Day: Road Ways

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

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Florida Has the Lowest Child Smoking Rate in the Country (Except for Utah)

Categories: Politicks

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Photo by U.S. Air Force
Finally, some Floridian behavior to celebrate.

A new report concludes that Florida has the second lowest smoking rate amongst high school students of every state in the union. In fact, Florida's efforts to curb youth smoking has been so successful that researchers are actually issuing a "Florida Challenge" to other states.

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Man Arrested For Putting Another Man in a Coma Over Grocery Store Checkout Argument

Categories: Crime

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Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
Roger Perry does not seem like a nice man. The 53-year-old tried to check out with full basket of groceries in the express lane, and then when another man pointed out he was in the wrong lane, Perry allegedly hit him so hard he ended up in a coma.

Perry then ran away, but police finally caught up with him yesterday.

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Miami Cops, Public Service Aides Suspended Over Tow Truck Scheme

Categories: Crime

Photo by Melkom via Wikimedia Commons
A complaint that began with towing companies grumbling at a city commission meeting about "pirate" drivers stealing their city-approved jobs has reportedly blossomed into a mass FBI probe of Miami cops. Now three Miami officers and two public service aides have been suspended under allegations that they called unapproved tow trucks to accident scenes in return for a kickback.

"We haven't been given any official notice, just word that there's a federal investigation involved," Sgt. Javier Ortiz, president of Miami's police union, tells Riptide.

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Billy Corben on The U Part 2: "It's About How the University of Miami Got Their Swagger Back"

Categories: Sports

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Photo by Stian Roenning
The U Part 2 director Billy Corben.
This Saturday, Miami-based film director and University of Miami graduate Billy Corben will debut the sequel to his 2009 hit ESPN 30 for 30 film, The U. Airing just after the Heisman Trophy presentation, The U Part 2 picks up where the original ended, taking viewers from the unstoppable 2001 Butch Davis-led squad all the way to the the Hurricanes' loss to Pittsburgh last month. The U Part 2 promises to run the gamut of Canes fans' emotions.

Riptide caught up with Corben this week as he sat in an editing room putting the finishing touches on his film. He told us more about this new Canes documentary, his take on Nevin Shapiro, and the time the 2001 Hurricanes got inspiration from Rocky Balboa.

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Nevin Shapiro's Betting Connection, Adam Meyer, Indicted for Bilking Millions With Threats

Categories: Crime

screencap via YouTube
Adam Meyer on Darren Rovell's CNBC show.
For years, Adam Meyer has occupied a unique space on the local sports scene. A "sports handicapper," he boasted he could predict which team would win 60 percent of the time, and through his Real Money Sports Inc., he offered that edge to gamblers for annual fees up to $250,000.

According to federal prosecutors, though, Meyer also had a side business in extortion and fraud. He was indicted this week in Wisconsin for allegedly concocting an elaborate scheme to threaten a former customer to give him more than $25 million.

Meyer's name is likely familiar to any serious fan of the University of Miami, because he also played a role in the Nevin Shapiro scandal. The Ponzi schemer sent millions to Meyer for sports bets, with the handicapper later agreeing to repay investors nearly $1 million.

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Mega Skyscraper, World Trade Center, Proposed for Downtown Miami

Categories: Unreal Estate

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via The Next Miami
A 935-foot skyscraper has been proposed for downtown Miami. It's dubbed "The World Trade Center of the Americas" (which isn't a sensitive and awkward choice of names at all), though there will more than trade going on there. The plan calls for a mixed bag of residential units, hotel rooms, and office space.

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