Judge: Hollywood Violated State Law With Red Light Camera Ticket

Categories: Road Rage

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Photo by Derek Jensen via Wikimedia Commons
Yesterday Eric Arem, a Hollywood resident, won a court ruling: His red light camera citation was thrown out.

At issue was that Arem hadn't actually received the ticket from the City of Hollywood. Instead, it was issued by a Tempe, Arizona-based company, American Traffic Solutions (ATS). ATS operates the majority of Florida's hugely unpopular red light cameras, and the City of Hollywood had allowed the company to issue tickets when it caught cars speeding through the lights.

"Such outsourcing to a third-party for-profit vendor... to issue uniform traffic citations for red light camera violations is contrary to the plain wording of the Florida Statutes," wrote Judge Mark Klingensmith.

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The Cities of Florida, Ranked

Categories: Survey Says

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After ranking all 34 cities within Miami-Dade County, we couldn't help but wonder where the major cities of Florida would stack up. So we decided to answer that question ourselves, naturally. Because what fun is the internet without arbitrary rankings?

So we assembled a list of Florida's most notable cities, choosing one per county based on population, but somehow that seemed a little lacking. So we invoked the Key West Rule to include a few cities that are technically small but still loom large in the state's identity.

Then we had to figure out how to rank them. First, we decided this list would not necessarily be based on the best places to live (so please know we are not attacking your choice of living arrangement). We instead decided to think of a few questions: Which cities are most important to Florida's identity? Which ones drag us down and contribute to our reputation as the craziest state in America? Which have their own notable identities, and which are basically interchangeable?

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Tony Bosch Will Plead Guilty to Steroid Charges in Federal Court This Morning

Categories: Crime

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via Miami-Dade Police Department
Just two years ago, Tony Bosch was the go-to source for customized steroid cocktails for some of the biggest names in professional baseball. Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and Nelson Cruz all paid the unlicensed doctor thousands to cook up testosterone creams and lozenges that could beat Major League Baseball's drug testers.

Today, Bosch will make the short trip from downtown's Federal Detention Center to the federal courthouse. He'll plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute testosterone, a crime that could land him up to a decade in prison.

See also: Tony Bosch and Biogenesis: MLB Steroid Scandal

Update: Bosch pleaded guilty this morning, and Judge Darrin P. Gayles set a December 18 date for sentencing. In the meantime, he released Bosch on a new bond with the stipulation that he head straight to a locked-down treatment facility for his drug addictions.

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A Group of Cops Who Terrorized Miami's Streets Might Just Get Away With It

Categories: Crime

via FreeRaulIgelasias.com
Raul Iglesias is serving five-and-a-half years in prison for ripping off drug dealers.
Detective Suberto Hernandez, a heavyset undercover cop with a scraggly beard and long greasy hair, pulled to a stop in an unmarked car just south of Calle Ocho on a quiet Little Havana corner across from a vacant grass lot. Wearing clothes that made him look like a grungy construction worker, Hernandez approached Benigno Cardoso, an olive-skinned 55-year-old Cuban with a short buzzcut and shiny gold teeth.

"Gimme $60," Hernandez said in Spanish. Cardoso glanced around, popped the top on an aspirin bottle, and dropped six crack rocks into the narcotics officer's palm. As soon as he got back to his car, Hernandez radioed his comrades nearby: "It's a go. It's a done deal."

Minutes later, cops pulled Cardoso over and hauled him off to jail.


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Rick Scott Almost Bailed on Televised Debate Because Charlie Crist Got a Fan Onstage

Categories: Politicks

via @RandomPixels
Where's the governor?
Long before they could tackle issues like Florida's economy, education funding or crime rates during tonight's televised debate, Gov. Rick Scott took a proud stand on a far more important issue: Charlie Crist's fan.

Crist, for the uninitiated, has always insisted on having a fan blowing his direction during live appearances. He got one under his podium for tonight's debate at Broward College. Scott -- the governor of our fine state -- retaliated by refusing to come out for tonight's debate. Really!

See also: Rick Scott-Charlie Crist Debate Live Blog


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A Miami Airport Tram Broke Down and One Man Vined It All

Categories: News

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Photo: Patriarca12 | WikiCommons | CC 3.0
The Skytrain at MIA is supposed to make airport travel less hectic for Miamians and visitors alike. Of course, if something goes wrong, they can go very wrong.

One of the system's trams broke down today, leaving passengers inside for over two hours. Luckily author, singer, and life coach Carlos Whittaker was there to document the entire experience on Vine and Twitter to his 31,900-plus followers.

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Coach Suspended for Using Coffin Parade as Intimidation Technique During Youth Football Game

Categories: Sports

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The Miami Gardens Ravens were gearing up to take on the Carol City Chiefs at Miami Carol City Park. Both teams plays in the Flo Rida-sponsored Florida Youth Football League, which includes children as young as five. The park was packed with families.

Then something odd appeared. Young girls in pink shirts and socks began pushing a white coffin decorated with balloons around the field. It was an eerie display for a youth-oriented event taking place in a neighborhood that has long battled gang violence and crime.

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305 Photo of the Day: Obey Yo Mama

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

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Every ZIP Code in Miami Ranked From Best to Worst by a Real Estate Blog

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Rankings-happy real estate site Movoto pulled out all the stops this week. It ranked nearly every ZIP code in the nation from best to worst. Of course, it's a real estate site, so the criteria for "best" really means something more like "nicest to live in." It also means the rankings tend to favor richer areas.

What's interesting, though, are the wild fluctuations in the rankings of Miami ZIP codes, reminding us once again of the inequalities that plague Miami-Dade. While one Miami ZIP made the top 50 (out of 28,061), several others landed near the bottom. In fact, ZIPs in Miami's top ten border ZIPs that landed in the bottom ten.

See also: All 34 Cities in Miami-Dade County, Ranked From Worst to Best

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Libertarian Adrian Wyllie Barred From Tonight's Crist-Scott Debate by Federal Judge

Categories: Politicks

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Courtesy of Adrian Wyllie
Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie
Tonight, Gov. Rick Scott and ex-Gov. Charlie Crist will take a break from sliming each other in TV ads to share a stage at Broward College, where instead they'll slime each other in a statewide televised debate. Voters will continue reviling both men, whose unfavorable ratings have each trended toward an unseemly 50 percent.

Those looking for another option, however, won't find their most likely choice on stage. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie, whose polling has steadily risen all summer, has been barred from the debate and last night a federal judge denied his emergency motion to get in.

See also: Libertarian Adrian Wyllie Could Sink Charlie Crist's Campaign Hopes, Poll Finds

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Five Ways the Panthers Could Get Florida To Care About Hockey Again

Categories: Sports

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@Local10Sports
The Florida Panthers' new management has decided there will be no more freebies. You're cut off, South Florida. No more free tickets with the purchase of a Publix sub.

The Panthers want you to pay to watch them play, and as you can see from the above photo of their game on Monday, you have replied to this demand with "LOLOLOLOLOL, NOPE." The team announced Monday's home game drew 7,000 fans, which is more likely to be referring to the fact that the 100 people pictured above literally drew 7,000 people, than that those many asses actually touched a seat.

Why is no one going to Panthers games?

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Venetian Causeway Now Set To Close Next Spring For Nine-Month Construction Project

Categories: Road Rage

Photo by Marc Averette via Wikimedia Commons
The news hit Miami Beach residents back in April like an early season tropical depression: the decaying Venetian Causeway would have to close for the better part of a year for a rebuilding project. For residents who've lived through more than a year of Alton Road traffic-pocalypse, losing the causeway would be a nightmare.

That construction was originally projected to start this fall, but SoBe drivers can hold off on the extra therapy sessions for another few months. City officials now tell Riptide work won't start until next spring.

See also: Venetian Causeway Will Close for Months, Then Beach Residents Won't Get Toll Passes

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Miami Police May Start Testing for Steroid Abuse After New Times Report

Categories: The Badge

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Our cover story this week is Tim Elfrink's latest dip into the apparently never-ending pool of scandal surrounding the Coral Gables "anti-aging" clinic turned one-stop steroids shop Biogenesis. Amongst the latest scoops: Miami Police Department officers turned up on the client lists of Tony Bosch's clinic, and steroids connected to the case disappeared from the Miami PD's evidence room.

Well, what do you know, today Miami PD says that they're adding several anabolic performance enhancing drugs to their banned substances list, and that officers may be subject to screening tests.

See also: Florida Investigator: I Warned Major League Baseball Not To Buy Stolen Records

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305 Photo of the Day: Spread Your Wings

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

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Medical Marijuana Amendment May Be in Danger of Failing, According to Recent Polls

Categories: Drugs, Survey Says

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Photo by Laurie Avacado via Wikimedia Commons | CC 2.0
Support for Florida's medical marijuana amendment has been riding high in polls for so long that it almost seemed like its passage would be a foregone conclusion. But a funny thing seems to have happened on the way to the ballot box.

Two new polls show that the amendment is now well below the 60 percent approval it needs to meet in order to be adopted into the state constitution.

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Miami Ranked as Having Most Attractive, Second Snobbiest Residents in America

Categories: Survey Says

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Photo by George Martinez/gmartnx.com
Apparently to outsiders, Miamians are intimidating. We're those hotties you see at the bar and work up your confidence all night to go talk to, only to be instantly shut down. At least that's the impression we get from Travel + Leisure's 2014 version of America's Favorite Cities survey.

The magazine's globetrotting readers ranked Miami as having America's most attractive residents, but also its second snobbiest. We also took first place for having the best nightclubs and singles scene in America, but were also ranked the third most rude.

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Miami Is a Cheaper Place to Live Than Detroit, Feds Say

Categories: Unreal Estate

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In Miami, construction cranes are multiplying like late-summer swarms of mosquitoes, and every week it seems a new luxury high-rise hits the marketplace. Only New York has more million-dollar listings than the Magic City. And residents without the wallets to drop a few mil on a condo with a Ferrari garage are beginning to feel the pinch of skyrocketing rents.

So try not to do a spit-take with your coffee when you read the latest news from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The feds say Miami is actually a cheaper place to live, on the whole, than 16 other big cities, including unlikely candidates Phoenix, Philly, and, yes, Detroit.

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City Backs Off Plans to Bury Toxic Soil at Merrie Christmas Park After Public Outcy

Categories: News

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Courtesy of Mark Russell
Last September, county officials discovered that soil in Coconut Grove's Merrie Christmas Park was holding toxic waste leftover from a long-gone incinerator, including harmful toxins such as arsenic, barium, cadmium, and lead.

The contaminated section of the park was closed, but just a couple of weeks ago the city revealed it had a clean-up plan so the park could be reopened: Instead of removing the toxic soil, the city would redistribute it throughout the park and cover it with a couple of feet of new soil.

Neighbors, unaware of the plan until a bulldozer showed up at the site, were outraged. "We all just flipped out," Ken Russell, who lives across the street from Merrie Christmas, tells Riptide.

See also: City Quietly Labels Toxic Parks "Brownfield Sites," Limiting Neighborhood Input In Cleanup

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Florida Investigator: I Warned Major League Baseball Not To Buy Stolen Records

Categories: Longreads

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Inside a conference room at Major League Baseball's modernist Manhattan headquarters, Rob Manfred stared down Alex Rodriguez. The fate of both men -- the future commissioner of baseball and the era's greatest slugger -- hung in the balance. Rodriguez was furiously fighting a record suspension for buying steroids from a Miami clinic called Biogenesis. It was October 17, 2013, and Manfred was being grilled about how MLB had obtained its evidence.

The gap-toothed, razor-sharp lawyer had directed baseball's probe of the Yankees' third baseman. He told the phalanx of attorneys gathered around the table that baseball's investigative team -- a crew of former cops, mostly from the NYPD -- had purchased clinic records from a South Florida felon named Gary Jones. Ears perked up when Manfred admitted to signing off on $125,000 in payouts to Jones, who went by the pseudonym "Bobby from Boca."

But there was a bigger question: Where had Jones gotten the files they hoped would prove Rodriguez had illegally juiced?

See also: Tony Bosch and Biogenesis: MLB Steroid Scandal

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New Miami Beach Police Policy: Get Out of the Way of Moving Cars and Don't Shoot

Categories: The Badge

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Photo by Andre Gustavo Stumpf via Flickr | CC 2.0
More than three years after police on Miami Beach shot more than a 100 rounds into a car driven by Raymond Herisse during a busy Memorial Day weekend because they felt he was trying to run an officer over, the Miami Beach Police Department has enacted a new policy under Chief Dan Oates.

The policy is pretty simple:

1. If a car is driving at an officer, the officer must get out of the way.
2. Under most circumstances, officers are now forbidden from shooting at moving cars.


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