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

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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

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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

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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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Possible Ebola Case Being Treated in Miami Hospital UPDATED

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A potential case of ebola is being treated at a Miami-area hospital. NBC Miami has confirmed that news with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but little else is known at this time.

The patient's name and background and the specific hospital where he or she is being treated have not yet been released.

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Donna Shalala Announces Plans to Retire From University of Miami

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University of Miami President Donna Shalala announced today that she'll be stepping down at the end of this academic year after 14 years.

She assumed the job after serving for eight years as the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration, and oversaw the school's rise in academic reputation, the athletic program's move to the ACC, and managed to win a Presidential Medal of Freedom in her free time.

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Medical Marijuana Backer John Morgan Slammed For Appealing To Potheads

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Super trial lawyer John Morgan is on the road this month talking up Amendment 2, the move to legalize medical marijuana in Florida that he's pumped millions of his own dollars into supporting. That's when Morgan made two deadly errors, at least in the minds of Amendment 2's opponents: He appealed to potheads and sounded a little drunk while doing so. This morning, the tape makes its debut in the newest attack ads against the proposal.

"If you motherfuckers don't get up and vote," Morgan tells the raucous crowd, "Fuck it all, we can't win."

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Shaq Wants to Be a South Florida Cop Again, and Someone Must Stop Him

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photo by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
Shaq is doing it again! The seven-foot-one former Heat center strolled into a Doral City Council meeting yesterday to glad-hand and take photos with the staffers and then revealed his real reason for coming: He's applying to be a reserve officer with the town's police force, which is run by his old buddy, former Miami Beach Police chief Don De Lucca.

As always, the media has treated it as a lark. Officer Shaq! How quickly we forget how his last stint as a part-time Miami cop worked out -- namely with an ugly, ongoing civil lawsuit by his former IT guy accusing him of abusing his power as an officer to try to frame him in a child porn case.

See also: Shaquille O'Neal Wages War Against a Miami Computer Geek

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