Essi Puhakka Came From Finland on a Work Visa and Wound Up Dead in Biscayne Bay

Categories: News

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Essi Puhakka
Last Friday, Miami Beach police responded to a call about a young woman's unresponsive body floating in Biscayne Bay by the seawall behind Mount Sinai Hospital. A boater who spotted the body tried to perform CPR to no avail. The woman was taken to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Originally reported as a teenage body, the woman has now been identified as 27-year-old Essi Puhakka, a resident of Finland who had been in Miami for a few months on a work visa. Police still aren't sure how she wound up in Biscayne Bay.

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Plane Crashes in West Miami-Dade, Leaving 4 Dead, 500 Homes Without Power

Categories: News

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screencap via WSVN
Video showed black smoke billowing from the plane's wreckage.
A small plane with a capacity to hold up to 20 people crashed into trees this afternoon after engine problems near the intersection of Krome Avenue and SW 144th Street.

Authorities have now confirmed that four people died in the plane crash. The identities of the victims have not been released.

Florida Power and Lights reports that the crash cut off power to about 500 surrounding homes after the plane brought down a power line. Update: Power has now been restored to most homes in the area.

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Rick Scott: Floridians Still Unhappy With Governor They Just Reelected, According to Poll

Categories: News, Politics

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Gov. Rick Scott's first term honeymoon period was legendarily short before his approval ratings begin slipping to some of the worst in the nation, and it appears there'll be no second honeymoon this time around.

Despite reelecting him, a new poll finds that more Florida voters still disapprove of Scott's job handling than approve of his work just over a month into his second go-around in the governor's mansion.

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Florida Supreme Court to Decide Whether Gay Sex Counts as Sex

Categories: LGBT, News

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Photo by Jastrow | WikiCommons, CC2.0
Not an accurate depiction of gay sex.
Under Florida law, sex is technically considered sex only when it involves a consenting p in a consenting v. The only legal definition the state has for "sexual intercourse" goes on to specify that "emission of semen is not required" -- in case you were wondering. Oral and anal sex, regardless of the genders involved, is referred to as "deviate sexual intercourse," because Florida law is prudish like that.

Well, this year the Florida Supreme Court will seek to clarify whether sex between two men is legally considered sex.

See also: I Have HIV. But I'm not telling you, babe.

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Overtown Anger Bursts Into Flames as Construction Site Is Targeted by Arsonist

Categories: News

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YouTube
An excavator was torched in Overtown Saturday. Residents had recently been evicted.
For months, tempers in Overtown have been simmering. Residents complain they've been cut out of the nearby Miami Worldcenter mega-construction project. Meanwhile, developers have begun to swoop in, evict tenants, and demolish apartment buildings in anticipation of the neighborhood's gentrification.

This past weekend, that anger seems to have ignited. Construction equipment outside a recently demolished apartment building was set on fire. Cops, and at least one community activist, think it was arson.

"People just can't take it anymore," says Edduard Prince, who posted a video of the charred excavator on YouTube. "The community is completely frustrated, and the frustration is growing."

See also: Activist Fights Overtown Development Project, Wants More Benefits for Local Residents

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Marlins Ready to Fight County Over Millions in Stadium Expenses

Categories: News

Photo by Roberto Coquis via Wikimedia Commons
Three full seasons after moving into a ballpark financed by a deal many experts still consider the worst ever for local taxpayers, the Marlins are still haggling with Miami-Dade County over the final bill for their Little Havana boondoggle.

The latest report from county auditors says the Fish submitted millions of dollars in improper expenses for everything from legal fees to "tufted floor mats" and janitors' costs. The team is pushing back and plans to take the county to arbitration.

See also: Six Lies About the Marlins Stadium

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Violence-Plagued Pork 'n' Bean Projects to Be Razed, but Will It Help Residents?

Categories: News

via Google Street View
Liberty Square, just off NW 67th Street and 12th Avenue, has been a troubled, violent scene for decades.
Christmas Eve was a night like too many others for 24-year-old Phillip Arthur and his family in their Liberty Square apartment: maddeningly noisy and cramped. When Arthur confronted his next-door neighbor about his loud music, though, he found another constant of life in the projects: deadly violence. Arthur's neighbor stabbed him in the heart, leaving him to die surrounded by his sobbing family.

That 2012 crime was brutal even by Liberty Square's tragic standards, but there's no question violence has plagued the notorious housing project for decades. That's a main reason why county leaders announced plans last night to raze the projects and build new housing on the spot.

But will it actually help residents? Past experiments with housing project improvement in Dade County suggest Liberty Square's residents shouldn't hold their breath for quick improvements in their lives.

See also: Liberty Square Christmas Eve murder

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#UseMeInstead: Lutheran Clergy Offers Pictures as Police Practice Targets

Categories: News

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The revelation earlier this month that the North Miami Beach Police Department was using mug shots of African-American men as practice targets sent shock waves across the nation. After initially trying to downplay the controversy, the department apologized, and the city council voted to ban the practice.

However, the outrage hasn't died down, and the hashtag #UseMeInstead is gaining steam, with people posting their own pictures as targets to protest racial profiling. The somewhat-surprising instigators of the hashtag: members of the Lutheran clergy.

See also: North Miami Beach Bans Offensive Mug Shot Targets but Stops Short of Firing Police Chief

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Two Former UM Organ Bank Employees Claim They Were "Karate Chopped" by Med School Vice Chair

Categories: News

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via Google Street View
The midtown offices of the Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency.
Professional arguments over the proper way to run an organ bank allegedly turned to amateur displays of karate at the University of Miami.

Two former employees of the Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency, an organ bank run by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, are suing after they claim they were struck by Rafic Warwar, the vice chair of administration for the surgery department, in front of 50 people at a staff meeting in 2013.

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Miami Wants to Add 1,600 New Acres to Its City Limits

Categories: News

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Photo by Phillip Pessar | Flickr CC 2.0
Julia Tuttle, the mother of Miami.
By population and size, Miami is actually one of the smallest U.S. cities that anchors a major metro area. Well, local leaders want to make the city a bit bigger.

The plan is to try to annex 1,600 acres around the Miami River and near the airport. Though that's not a huge amount of land, it could lead to a huge increase in tax revenues.

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