North Miami Residents Ready to Choose a New Mayor After City's Corrupt Past

Categories: News

via Wiki Commons
In the past five years, North Miami has seen the mayor's seat filled by two politicians who have faced allegations of criminal and unethical behavior. It began with Andre Pierre using taxpayer money to order fake police badges for his staff's use. Then Pierre was replaced by Lucie Tondreau, who lasted less than a year in office before being suspended for her alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

But finally, three months after Tondreau's arrest and multiple corruption allegations, North Miami residents will get to elect a new mayor for the city tomorrow. Residents will choose from three candidates -- former mayor Kevin Burns, former councilman Jean Marcellus, and ex-mayoral candidate Smith Joseph.

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Racists Hijack Miami Police Union's "Support Darren Wilson" Facebook Page

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The Miami chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police has come out in support of Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, the cop who fatally shot Michael Brown and sparked the monthlong conflict in Missouri. There's nothing wrong, of course, with local police supporting their fellow officer.

Unfortunately, like so many other efforts connected to the case, the page that FOP President Javier Ortiz directed supporters to "like" on Facebook has turned into a mass of racist garbage and inaccurate stories about Brown.

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Miami's Smallest Police Forces Got M16s, Armored Cars, and Grenade Launchers From Military

Categories: News

Illustration by Kevin Cannon
Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, have raised questions about the militarization of American police departments. When angry protesters took to the streets to demand justice, Ferguson police responded with force. Cops in riot gear fired tear gas and stun grenades at marchers. At least one officer pointed his loaded assault rifle at demonstrators and threatened to kill them if they didn't obey orders.

Ferguson police, it was reported, had obtained their weaponry under something called the Law Enforcement Support Office Program. LESO, as it is known, supplies local police departments with leftover U.S. military equipment.

What hasn't been reported, however, is that a dozen police departments in South Florida have also received military equipment ranging from helicopters to grenade launchers.

Find out what your local police force is packing thanks to LESO.

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A-Rod Did the Ice Water Bucket Challenge And It Was Pretty Awkward

Categories: News

via Facebook
Alex Rodriguez has spent most of his year-long steroid banishment hidden from public view. Aside from a few celebrity golf tournaments, he's stayed far away from the press during the ongoing Biogenesis drama that derailed his career and has lately led to a slew of indictments in South Florida, including against his cousin Yuri Sucart.

But not even A-Rod, it seems, is immune to the primal call of pouring a bucket of ice water over his head on video. The suspended star did the viral ALS challenge yesterday and -- in addition to being a classic awkward A-Rod moment -- it also managed to raise some disturbing questions for the University of Miami.

Namely: Should a guy serving a record steroid ban really still have full access to the clubhouse of a college baseball program that's uncomfortably close to the whole scandal?

See also: Steroids' Long History at the University of Miami

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Animal Rights Group Smash HLS Can Keep Protesting Miami Monkey Importer, Judge Rules

Categories: News

Courtesy of Open the Cages Tour
Smash HLS protestors last summer
The activists in Smash HLS have never been shy about pushing the boundaries when it comes protesting Miami-based Worldwide Primates, a firm that sells monkeys sometimes used in scientific experiments. When a New Times writer hung out with the group last summer, they were marching outside the home of one primate dealer's 93-year-old mom.

Tactics like that led Worldwide Primates to file a lawsuit requesting a restraining order against the group, whose actions it compared to "the Tet offensive in Vietnam." A Miami judge disagreed, though, and has ruled the group can keep being a nuisance to the monkey importers -- for now.

See also: Smash HLS: Post-PETA Gorilla Tactics

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Miami-Dade's New High School Steroid Testing Plan Is a Joke

Categories: News

Tony Bosch has admitted to selling steroids to at least 18 high school athletes in Miami.
Two weeks ago, Biogenesis clinic founder Tony Bosch and six others were indicted and charged with, among other things, selling steroids to at least 18 local high school athletes. The very next day, Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced with a flourish a new pilot program to drug test for local high school athletes.

Too bad the new rules are a farce unlikely to cause any kind of change. The reason: The county has allocated a comically tiny $73,000 for the program. Even the best-funded high school -testing of performance-enhancing drugs is counterproductive, some advocates say, because the easy-to-beat screenings obscure the number of kids actually using.

See also: Tony Bosch and Biogenesis: MLB Steroid Scandal

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Deep Dredge Silt Is Killing Our Coral After All, Admit State Inspectors

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DEP divers examine coral crushed by improperly placed dredge waste.
For years, Deep Dredge proponents have promised that the $220 million project wouldn't kill off Biscayne Bay wildlife. Coral would be removed from harm's way, they claimed, and water quality would be closely monitored.

Like the massive dredge barges themselves, however, those promises appear to be full of crap.

State inspectors released a study Monday showing that silt from the dredge has already killed many corals and had "profound" and "long-lasting" ecological effects on Biscayne Bay.

See also: Deep Dredge Critics Use Drones, Planes, and Satellites to Show Damage to Biscayne Bay

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Transformer Explosion Rocks South Beach, Shuts Down EspaƱola Way

Categories: News

Photo by Michael E. Miller
Police shut down Pennsylvania Avenue after the blast.
A transformer has apparently exploded in the heart of South Beach, rattlings windows, shutting off power for blocks and partially closing nearby EspaƱola Way. Details are still sparse but the explosion happened around 6:30 p.m. and police have since surrounded the scene and shut down pedestrian access to the area.

"It felt like it was about to blow my bedroom window out," said a shirtless man in shorts and flip flops who lives in the building next door and who declined to give his name.

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ISIS Beheads Journalist, Threatens to Kill Miami Reporter if Obama Continues Attacks

Categories: News

Steven Sotloff, a UCF graduate, appears to have been taken hostage by the terrorist group ISIS.
Terrorists have just released a video that appears to show them beheading missing American journalist James Foley.

The video, apparently released by insurgent group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also shows a man described as local freelance reporter Steven Sotloff.

Sotloff is a University of Central Florida alumnus who grew up in Miami. In the video, his hands are cuffed behind his back and he's dressed in a bright-orange jumpsuit. A man with a knife threatens to kill him unless President Barack Obama calls off American airstrikes against ISIS.

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Mayor Philip Levine Invites Residents to Visit Israel's Missile Defense Manufacturers

Categories: News, Politicks

Photo uploaded by Matanya via Wikimedia Commons
An upcoming Miami Beach business trip will include a visit to the manufacturer of the Iron Dome missile defense system, above.
A month and a half after Israel launched "Operation Protective Edge" in response to Hamas rockets -- a military conflict that has now resulted in more than 2,000 Palestinian deaths and 67 Israeli casualties -- Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine announced plans for a fall business trip. To Israel. And he'd like you to tag along.

"I would like to invite you to join me... on the trip of a lifetime to Israel to learn about Israeli economic successes and interesting business opportunities," the mayor wrote in an email sent to Beach residents yesterday.

Levine isn't exactly shying away from the conflict, either. The itinerary includes a trip to the business that built Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense system.

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