Trayvon Martin's Mom to Michael Brown's Parents: "We Will No Longer Be Ignored"

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photo via @RayDown's Twitter
Protesters clash with police yesterday in Ferguson.
After another night of chaos in Ferguson, Missouri -- with 31 arrests and reports this morning of multiple shootings -- the nation seems no closer to coming to terms with the latest police killing of an unarmed black teenager. It wasn't that long ago that the national media had converged on Florida for the same reason, when an unarmed Miami teen named Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a wannabe neighborhood watchman.

This morning, Martin's mom, Miami resident Sybrina Fulton, has penned a wrenching letter in Time to the parents of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old whose death has sparked the Ferguson unrest. Fulton has a simple message for the Browns about their sons: "Neither of their lives shall be in vain."

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Miami International Airport Was an Epic Catastrophe Last Night

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photo via @cherlybolen's Twitter
Crowds wait at MIA last night.
Considering that lightning-filled monsoons sweep across Dade County every afternoon this time of year, waiting out weather delays at Miami International Airport is par for the course. The morass travelers encountered last night at MIA, though, was anything but typical.

A double-whammy of busted computers and broken runway lights left thousands trapped at the airport and fuming on Twitter about the delays.

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Eight Protesters Arrested at Miami Federal Courthouse During Michael Brown Demonstration UPDATE

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Photo by Sabrina Rodriguez
Protesters show their support for Michael Brown in downtown Miami.
Eight protesters were arrested at the James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building in downtown Miami Thursday afternoon.

Hundreds of demonstrators met in downtown Miami across from the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus to peacefully demand an end to police brutality in response to the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

See also: More photos from the Michael Brown demonstration in downtown Miami

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Rob Manfred, MLB's New Commissioner, Led Biogenesis Investigation in South Florida

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via YouTube
Rob Manfred, MLB's new commissioner
On February 4, 2013, an effusive man with short-cropped hair and a prominent gap between his front teeth strolled into Miami New Times' newsroom. He shook hands with staffers, admired our wall of fading award plaques and old cover illustrations, and then got down to business. Just a week earlier, New Times had turned MLB on its head with an investigation exposing a Coral Gables clinic called Biogenesis as a shadowy source for PEDs for a host of stars, including Alex Rodriguez.

And Rob Manfred had come to Miami to ask for the hundreds of pages of clinic records that a whistleblower had given the paper.

Today, Manfred was unanimously elected the 10th Commissioner of MLB. That meeting in an alt weekly's conference room marked the start of one of Manfred's defining moments: the Biogenesis investigation, which ended with 15 ballplayers suspended but also a host of questions about MLB's methods in gathering evidence in South Florida. Manfred, for better and worse, was the man pulling the strings.

See also: Tony Bosch and Biogenesis: MLB Steroid Scandal

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Miami-Dade Democrats' New Chairman Wants Recreational Pot Legalized in Florida

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The Miami-Dade Democrats have a new chairman and on one hot-button issue, he's got one of the strongest positions in the state: Sen. Dwight Bullard thinks marijuana should be legal not just for medical purposes but for recreational use.

"Marijuana, whether medical or recreational, could be another way of generating revenue in Florida," Bullard tells Riptide. "It has a potential for real positive economic impact with real small business growth."

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South Pointe Park Pier Reopens This Week After a Decade of Neglect, $4.8 Million Renovation

Categories: News

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Photo by Sabrina Rodriguez
A full decade after it closed to the public, Miami Beach's South Pointe Park Pier is finally set to reopen later this week. The 100-year-old pier has been totally rebuilt after a yearlong, $4.8 million project and offers views of South Beach, Government Cut, and the downtown skyline.

The renovations -- which include new viewing stations, shade structures, turtle-safe lighting, entry gates, and pedestrian plazas -- also mean a new chapter for a place legendary to decades of Miami teenagers as a spot to hang out and illegally dive into the water.

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Coconut Grove's Drum Circle May Need To Find a New Home Because of Noise Complaints

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Photo by Elvert Barnes via Wikimedia Commons
For Karen Deilke, Coconut Grove's monthly drum circle isn't just a key piece of the neighborhood's tight-knit artistic community and a vestige of its fading bohemian roots. The acclaimed Texas-born painter sees it as a way to give back and unite the area -- especially the past two years, when the circle has gathered in a parking lot on the corner of Grand Avenue and Commodore Plaza. "We finally found this perfect spot," Deilke says. "It's just been an absolutely amazing thing."

But now the circle could be out of a home, thanks to a sudden -- and mysterious -- complaint from a neighboring business. Deilke isn't sure whether the circle will have a spot when their usual date rolls around later this month.

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Miami Beach Community Church Controversy: City Approves Plan to Destroy Courtyard, Build Clothing Store

Categories: News

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Touzet Studios
An architectural rendering of the clothing store that will replace the Miami Beach Community Church courtyard
A divided Miami Beach Historical Preservation Board voted this morning to approve a controversial plan to convert a local church courtyard into a glitzy clothing store.

In a 4-3 vote, the board reaffirmed its May 13 decision to allow the Miami Beach Community Church to lease its historic, 94-year-old courtyard on Lincoln Road to a prominent South Beach hotel developer.

The request to reconsider the plan was filed by the Miami Design Preservation League. After this morning's defeat, MDPL said it planned to continue fighting against the decision.

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


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Miami's Public Teachers Scramble To Learn To Use New Digital Blackboards

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via Wiki Commons
For Ada Nuñez, getting ready to go back to school is one word: overwhelming. Between the bumper-to-bumper traffic to get to school and creating lesson plans for a class full of incoming high school freshman, the first day of school is the beginning of another hectic year as a teacher.

This year, Nuñez, a history teacher at Hialeah Senior High, will have to worry about more than just finding parking and showing PowerPoint presentations. Like thousands of other Dade County teachers, she's spending her final weeks of summer scrambling to learn how to use the new digital blackboards the school district has bought for the new semester.

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

Categories: News

MBCC1_Touzet_Studios.jpg
Touzet Studios
A rendition of what the clothing store will look like when the courtyard is gone
A miracle. A blessing. A prayer answered by god. That is what Miami Beach Community Church leaders call a plan to replace the congregation's historic courtyard with a clothing store. The $100 million deal will save the struggling church, they say, and help ensure it's longterm future.

But preservationists and even some parishioners say newly appointed church leaders have misled their flock, lied to the city, and sold their souls for silver. Most damning of all: allegations that a developer donated $500,000 to the church the day before the congregation voted on the deal.

"The whole thing just stinks," says Neal Deputy, a former MBCC board member who is among those now pressing the city to nix the deal. "The new leadership has taken the church constitution and thrown it in the garbage."

See also: Miami Beach Community Church Is Considering Leasing Its Courtyard For as Much as $100 Million

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