Ultra Music Festival Hires Miami Beach Police Chief As Its New Security Director

Categories: News

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Photo by George Martinez
Ultra is hoping hiring Miami Beach police chief Ray Martinez fixes its security problems.
Ultra Music Festival has announced that its new security director will be none other than current Miami Beach police chief Ray Martinez.

The move makes sense. Martinez already announced that he's stepping down at the end of this month. Meanwhile, Ultra is seeking to assuage the City of Miami after a security disaster in which gatecrashers trampled a private guard.

But that doesn't mean the marriage is made in heaven. Under Martinez, Miami Beach police fatally Tasered a teenage graffiti artist, roughed up a model, and beat-up a good samaritan for coming to her aid. How will he handle Ultra?

See also: Teenager Israel Hernandez Dies After Miami Beach Cops Catch Him Tagging, Taser Him

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Miami Beach Mayor's Former Bodyguard Accused of Carrying Gun in Police Center

Categories: News

Photo by Coolceasar via Wikimedia Commons
Before he was tapped to serve as a bodyguard for then Miami Beach mayoral candidate Philip Levine in 2013, Eric Kolbinsky was a longtime police detective and special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration. He was based in Atlanta, according to an online bio, and led a team "that traveled around the Southeastern part of the U.S., targeting violent drug organizations for federal prosecution."

So Kolbinsky probably knows his way around a gun. But now the former agent and bodyguard has a new job, as emergency management specialist for Miami Beach, and because he's not an active-duty law enforcement officer, he's not supposed to carry a gun into a police station.

It appears he recently did anyway.

See also: Miami Beach Police Salaries Some of the Highest in the City

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Ex-Librarian Blames Miami-Dade Public Library Director for Budget Woes

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Photo by C.A.Mendieta / Wikimedia Commons
Like most librarians in Miami-Dade County, Julio Granda Jr. was worried about the financial future of his institution. Under County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the system had lost $30 million in funding over several years and, in the summer of 2013, was staring down an additional $20 million cut.

But when Granda confronted the man he held partly responsible for the library's woes -- longtime library director Raymond Santiago -- at a meeting, Granda says the director "went into a tirade" and remarked, as part of a heated monologue, that if he left "this organization is fucked."

See also: Why Libraries in Miami Are More Important Than Ever

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City of Miami To Spend Thousands Upgrading Trolleys That Don't Serve the Visually Impaired

Categories: News

City of Miami trolley
via miamigov.com
When the City of Miami unveiled its highly anticipated trolley system two years ago this month, city officials were clearly satisfied with themselves. Mayor Tomás Regalado -- who had championed the idea for years -- grinned as he snipped the ribbon from the sleek orange-and-green machines in Mary Brickell Village. The rubber-tired trolleys were supposed to be a sign that Miami had traded smog and sprawl for smart urban planning. The Huffington Post gushed that Miami was the next San Francisco. The trolley system's motto: "Ditch the car and hitch a ride."

For many visually impaired Miamians, however, the new trolleys turned out to be a harrowing ride to the wrong part of town.

This week, city commissioners are expected to finally order upgrades to the trolleys 24 months after their much-publicized debut. The fixes are part of a legal agreement with Andres Gomez, a 26-year-old who claimed the trolleys violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

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DJ Raw, Wynwood's Hip-Hop Forefather and Cocaine Kingpin, Now Sells Hemp Cakes

Categories: Business, News

photo by C. Stiles
DJ Raw
Raul Medina Jr. walks into a Starbucks in Hollywood's Young Circle and asks for a cup of black coffee with light hazelnut syrup and exactly two ice cubes. Better-known as DJ Raw, Medina brought hip-hop to Miami from his native South Bronx and founded Hoodstock, a free, big-name festival in Wynwood in the '90s. He's also a former cocaine kingpin who did a ten-year prison stint for trafficking. Today he's a 50-year-old vegan father of five who prefers the quiet life up in Broward to the neighborhood he helped transform into a graffiti artist's mecca.

"When I got out, people were like 'Let's go take over 40th Street again,'  Medina says. "I was like, 'You can keep 40th Street; I'm going to Broward.' 

See also: Raw Returns: Just released from prison, Miami hip-hop icon DJ Raw is ready for the takeover

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Miami Beach City Attorney Jose Smith Resigns to Take Job in North Miami Beach

Categories: News

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Continuing the parade of high-ranking Miami Beach officials who have left City Hall since November's incumbent-bouncing election, City Attorney Jose Smith announced to that he's resigning. He's leaving to take over the same job in North Miami Beach.

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Miami To Ban Ugly Metal Security Shutters and Screens in Downtown

Categories: News

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Anyone walking in downtown after business hours is greeted with the unwelcoming sight of several storefronts closed off with shutters or metal-barred screens. It's not perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing sight. Well, a new ordinance would ban such screens in an attempt to make downtown more visually pleasing and welcoming.

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Dade County Wants to Relocate Downtown's Seniors for New Development

Categories: News

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A Google street view image of the Harry Cain Towers.
David Kennedy, a 74-year-old retired property manager who moved to Miami 38 years ago from Cuba, has lived in the same downtown public housing building for decades. So have many other residents of the Harry Cain Towers, at 490 NE Second Ave., and they weren't asking to leave.

But Miami-Dade County, desperate to raise public housing funds, has offered the seniors a proposition: If a majority agrees to leave, they'll be relocated to a new building in Allapattah. The downtown building will, in part, be turned into privately rented apartments. Kennedy, for one, isn't buying the county's promises.

"I'll believe it only when I see the paper," Kennedy told Riptide in Spanish, "the paper that says the same thing they're telling us."

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TerRio's Dance Blew Up the Internet, But What's It Doing to the Kid?

Categories: News

via Vine
TerRio doing his "Ooh Kill 'Em"
TerRio is exhausted. The 6-year-old internet star is slumped over on the hood of a limousine outside downtown Miami's Grand Central nightclub. It's only 9:47 p.m. on a Saturday, but filming on TerRio's first professional music video is scheduled to continue through 7 a.m. the next day. Suddenly, the somnolent kid born TerRio Harshaw snaps awake and lifts his arms like a referee calling a touchdown. He then utters one of his only complete sentences of the night: "I'm hungry!"

TerRio's name may not sound familiar, but just about anyone who's used Vine -- the ubiquitous six-second looping video app -- has probably seen his "Oooh Kill 'Em" dance, a goofy freestyle that involves snapping his fingers and pawing at the ground. The original video has been seen millions of times since a neighbor posted the portly child dancing on Vine last July. After being discovered by Miami manager Herbert "Dooney" Battle, TerRio has now accumulated 1.1. million online followers, posed with dozens of celebrities, and begun charging thousands for personal appearances.

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Woman Claims Visual Sexual Assault by Customs Agent at Miami Airport

Categories: News

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Korine Teamer says a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent at Miami International Airport left her feeling humiliated after demanding to see compromising pictures of her.

Teamer, a Jacksonville resident, traveled to the Dominican Republic to get cheaper cosmetic procedures. Her flight included a connection in Miami, and Teamer went through customs at MIA upon her return home.

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