Man Who Fell From Cruise Ship Mast Just Wanted to See Sunrise, Was Pushed by Radar

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When news broke yesterday that a man died after climbing and then falling from the forward mast of a cruise ship at PortMiami, many might have assumed he was intoxicated when he pulled the stunt. Witnesses say that wasn't the case.

The man has now been identified as Kendall Wernet, a student at Clemson University, who was on the cruise as a reward for high achievement at his part-time job as a house painter at a company called Student Painters.

Steve Acorn, the owner of Student Painters, tells South Carolina news station WYFF that Wernet wasn't drunk and had climbed up the mast with other people to view the Miami sunrise.

See also: Man Dies After Climbing Cruise Ship's Mast at PortMiami

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Miami Commission Unanimously Passes Six-Month Puppy Sales Ban

Categories: News

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Photo by Raven Underwood's Flickr | CC2.0
The dog sales day could soon be over in Miami. The city commission unanimously voted this morning to pass a six-month moratorium on any new stores selling dogs and cats in the city. The temporary ban will serve as a test run for a possible permanent ordinance. No existing pet stores will be affected by the ban, though.

See also: Miami-Dade Adopting New, Tougher Dog Sale Regulations

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Man Dies After Climbing Cruise Ship's Mast at PortMiami

Categories: News

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Photo by Herkie's Flickr | CC 2.0
A 20-year-old man died this morning in an apparent accident after he climbed the mast of the Carnival Ecstasy while it was docked at PortMiami.

The incident happened shortly after 7 a.m., and the as yet unidentified man visiting from North Carolina broke into a restricted area of the ship and climbed the mast. He somehow lost control and plummeted 20 feet to the deck.

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Miami-Dade Adopting New, Tougher Dog Sale Regulations

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Photo by Daniel Stockman's Flickr | CC2.0
Fido may live in your home now, but do you have any idea where your dog was born and spent her first few months of life? A new ordinance passed by the Miami-Dade County Commission aims to educate prospective owners about where their dog came from, and to place tougher regulations on dog and cat sellers and breeders within county limits.

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Shaq Flouts Doral's Smoking Ban, Gets Cop Job Despite Hookah Habit

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Photo by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
The last time Shaq signed up to be South Florida cop, his application was a memorable catastrophe. In addition to claiming one of the greatest skill sets in law enforcement -- "Laptop computer, binnochulars [sic], master of surveillance" -- Shaq papered over his involvement in a violent Disney World altercation and his history of lawsuits. He was hired anyway.

Well, Shaq is at it again, this time with Doral PD, and New Times has obtained his latest application, filed two weeks ago. This time, Shaq is flouting Doral's strict rule against hiring anyone who smokes tobacco. It seems Shaq Fu enjoys a hookah now and again -- and the city says it will let him join the force anyway.

See also: Shaquille O'Neal's Miami Beach Police Application Is Full of Hilarity, Lies

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Medical Examiner: Ultra Festival-Goer Died From Bath Salts, Second Such Death in Two Years

Categories: News

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via Facebook
Adonis Peña Escoto died during Ultra this year.
Twenty-one-year-old Ultra-goer Adonis Peña Escoto died March 30 after attending the second night of the three-day EDM fest, but the cause of his death had been a mystery until now. A Miami-Dade Medical Examiner report obtained Thursday by New Times at last sheds some light on what killed him.

The report shows that the young mechanic passed away due to "acute alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP) toxicity." Alpha-PVP is a type of synthetic bath salt sometimes sold as "gravel." Escoto's death marks the second straight year that an Ultra attendee has died due to such synthetic stimulants.

See also: 2013 Ultra Music Festival Death Caused by Bath Salts Overdose, Medical Examiner Says

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Who Killed JFK? UM Professors Get To the Bottom of Conspiracy Theories in New Book

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via Amazon.com
The cover of a new book by UM professors Joe Uscinski and Joe Parent
The CIA created lesbianism. The Walt Disney Company was secretly in league with spies. A Batman movie predicted multiple mass shootings. Spend five minutes on the Internet and you can find a conspiracy theory to fit any warped frame of reference on the planet. But the more interesting question is why we're all so inclined to believe that aliens are behind JFK's assassination.

That's exactly what University of Miami political science professor Joe Uscinski has been trying to solve for the past four years, and in a new book out this month, he offers his not-so-conspiratorial theory on the psychology behind the tin foil hat crowd.

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Miami Preservation Group Appeals Lincoln Road Church's Plans To Sell Courtyard

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Courtesy of Touzet Studios
An artists rendition of how the Miami Beach Community Church's courtyard would look with a retail development.
The day before a Miami Beach city board voted on whether to let one of the city's most historic churches sell its courtyard to a retail developer, New Times threw a wrench in the proceedings with a new allegation: The developer "donated" $500,000 to the church's leadership just before the congregation elected to support the deal.

That news wasn't enough to sway the city board, but now the Miami Design Preservation League has filed a new appeal to the plan citing the payment and the historic nature of the Lincoln Road structure.

See also: Miami Beach Community Church Controversy: Developer Donated $500,000 Before Key Vote

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Miami Beach Cops, Parking, and Code Officials Will Wear Body Cameras

Categories: News

via YouTube
A personal police camera made by Taser
Miami Beach is no stranger to contentious claims of police abuse, from the case of an allegedly drunken officer joyriding on an ATV to multiple fatal shootings. Now, Beach officers -- for better and for worse -- will catch all those incidents on film. Thanks to a 6-1 vote at the city commission last night, Beach cops, parking officials and code compliance officers will all be wired with mobile video cameras.

Sgt. Alex Bello, president of MBPD's union, says officers will push back against the plan for 24-7 video coverage. "There is value in that camera as long as it's a tool for the officer and they have the ability to turn it on and off when they deem necessary," he tells Riptide. "But if it's a monitoring device ... there's a problem."

See also: Miami-Dade Police May Start Wearing Body Cameras

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Parking Authority Announces New Plan for Wynwood

Categories: News

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Photo by Rich Robinson
After weeks of complaints from Wynwood business owners and employees over ongoing changes in parking fees throughout Miami's hippest neighborhood, the Miami Parking Authority announced yesterday a new, more comprehensive plan that includes provisions for local employees.

"In an area that has experienced fast-paced growth in a short span of time, we believe that the new parking program will improve accessibility, safety, and mobility in the Wynwood BID," Rolando Tapanes, director of planning and development for the authority, said in a news release.

See also: Wynwood Parking Is the "Wild, Wild West"

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