South Florida Times Circulation Coordinator Robert Beatty II has done it again! The newspaper is once again expanding its distribution. Beginning in March, the newspaper will begin sales inside select Dollar General Stores. Dollar General joins Walgreens, Sunoco, Winn Dixie, CVS, Publix, Cumberland Farms and Walmart stores as locations where the South Florida Times can be purchased. The newspaper is also available in hundreds of news racks and other locations throughout Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties.
LIST YOUR EVENTS
Let me introduce you to Kaila Heard, who coordinates the South Florida Times’ Community Calendar of events. The listing details church functions, community events, concerts and other functions throughout the tri-county area. This is a free service offered by the newspaper, and there is no charge to submit and list your events in our calendar. For additional information, contact Kaila at: Kaila.Heard@Gmail.com
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
Just days after the resignation of Miami City Manager Pete Hernandez, Mayor Tomas Regalado has hired a replacement. He is Carlos Migoya, who will work for free, at least for the time being. Migoya is a former executive at AutoNation and Wachovia bank. Miami is once again facing bankruptcy, and Hernandez came under fire for failing to implement cuts approved by city commissioners last year. Those cuts included layoffs and decreased services, which will surely now be implemented.
Cathy Jackson is the director of Miami-Dade County’s Audit and Management Services Department. Her agency has just completed a scathing audit of the city of Homestead’s Community Redevelopment Agency’s (CRA) operations, which found all sorts of problems. These include mismanagement, incomplete projects and worse. The audit also alleges that a company owned by former City Manager Mohammad “Mike” Shehadeh’s brother received countless contracts via “stacking,” or piggybacking them on other approved contracts, without going through the competitive bidding process. Homestead officials are disputing some of the audit’s findings, but there is also an ongoing FBI investigation into the CRA. FBI agents visited the CRA office on a weekend in November 2008, and quietly seized files. They made thousands of copies of even more records. That investigation continues, and it doesn’t look good.
1000 FACING LAYOFFS
Jackson Memorial Hospital President and CEO Eneida Roldan told the Board of Trustees on Monday, Feb. 22 that the organization is facing at least a $230 million budget shortfall. She also said she has been in communication with several unions about 1,000 positions that will likely face cuts. Other cutbacks, such as closing emergency rooms at some of the company’s other hospitals, are being considered, and the impact will be immediately felt.
On Thursday, Feb 28, a city civil service board voted to reject Acting Deerfield Beach City Manager Burgess Hanson’s termination of Clifton Coach, an equipment operator in the Parks Department who was injured on the job. The next day, on Friday, Feb. 29, that same board rejected another of his firings. This time it was Michael Hunter, an equipment operator in the Streets Department who was also injured on the job. The recommendations represent back-to-back strikes for Hanson, and will now go to city commissioners for a final decision. One board member speculated that the men might file lawsuits, and voted against them, which is ridiculous. This board member appears indifferent to the rights of Americans to take legal action when they have been harmed. If he is indifferent to those rights, then he is unsuitable to serve on any city advisory board. In the end, a majority of the board determined that both men’s injuries were no fault of their own, and that they had been callously fired.
RITTER’S NEW HIRE
Broward County District 3 Commissioner Stacy Ritter has hired a new chief of staff. Ken Pauli is an experienced broadcaster and radio station manager. He has worked for CNN, Turner Broadcasting and a host of radio stations around the country. Most recently, Pauli was the Director of Operations and News at WFTL 850 AM in Fort Lauderdale.
For years, Broward School District employees such as Dennis Brown have complained about rampant corruption in the district’s operations, including the Transportation and Maintenance departments. Now, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has taken over the district’s investigation into alleged kickbacks and theft in the Transportation Department. Sources say the probe involves widespread corruption.
Palm Beach County
Two Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies were arrested Monday, Feb. 22 in separate incidents. Dep. Sarah Ann Thompson, 33, was charged with possession with intent to purchase Roxycodone, a prescription pain killer. She allegedly paid an informant to purchase the drug for her, claiming it was part of an undercover drug operation. The informant became suspicious and contacted the FBI, which set up a sting with the informant several times, and video recorded some of the drug buys. In an unrelated incident, Dep. Carlos Luis Lisboa, 32, was charged with fleeing police and resisting an officer after a Dec. 8 incident. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper allegedly spotted Lisboa speeding in an unmarked PBSO car on Florida’s Turnpike, and chased him for 18 miles before he stopped at the Boynton Beach toll plaza. Lisboa told the trooper he was working an undercover operation, which turned out not to be true.
Some people just don’t know what to do with chickens. Instead of preparing them for a hot pan of lard, six people were arrested in unincorporated Palm Beach County for making them fight against each other on Friday, Feb. 29. Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies went to a home in the 13000 block of 40th Lane North in The Acreage area to serve a felony warrant on an unrelated issue, and stumbled upon the cock fighting. Arrested and charged with animal cruelty were Adonis Alverez, 22; Rodolfo Alverez, 47; Fransisco Lorenzo, 45; Odelto Alverez, 22, Jose Antonio Jimenez Sori, 31, all of Palm Beach County, and Jose Cancio, 41, of Pompano Beach. Pots of marijuana plants were also found in the home, and more charges could be pending. Book’em, Dano!