South Florida Times Publisher Robert G. Beatty, Esq. has announced the newspaper’s Prayerful Living Church Outreach Service. The program is based on the heritage of America’s black churches serving as the hubs of the communities they serve. The newspaper’s program gives the community access to critically important information through the church, and allows churches to inform those communities about their events and programs through our platforms. For more information, call 954-356-9360.

Neil Rogers, the 66-year radio talk show host who spread his razor’s-edge commentary and raunchy humor over the South Florida airwaves for more than three decades, has retired.  On Monday, June 22, he reached an agreement with WQAM -AM 560 that ended his 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. program which aired weekdays. While Rogers’ program was top rated, he often crossed the line with his offbeat and vulgar rants. He has had numerous run-ins with station managers over his show’s content, and the relations seemed to deteriorate even more over the past several years. Rogers joined WQAM in 1997 after working at several other stations in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami market.

In addition to the hundreds of locations throughout Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties, including Winn-Dixie and Publix Supermarkets; the South Florida Times is now also available in Cumberland Farms Stores. This is part of the newspaper’s continuing expansion, so keep watch for more big news that is coming very soon.

Palm Beach County

Amefika D. Geuka is the co-founder and current chairman of the board of the Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba Charter School in West Palm Beach. This past January, the school, noted for its African-centered education initiatives, celebrated its tenth anniversary. To raise money that will go toward the funding gap the school is enduring, and to mark the 10-year milestone, Geuka plans to walk more than 1,000 miles from West Palm Beach to Washington, D.C. School officials have termed this the “Trek for African-Centered Education.” His excursion will begin on July 15 and end on Aug. 15 in the nation’s capital. He will be joined by surrogate walkers. They plan to travel more than 30 miles each day. Upon arriving in the District of Columbia, they will meet with U.S. Department of Education officials and visit the Whitehouse. The journey will depart from the school, 5829 Corporate Way in West Palm Beach, at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15. For more information, please call 561-689-1536 or 614-855-4428.

Miami-Dade County

An incendiary video posted on YouTube that depicts scenes suggesting that Homestead City Councilwoman Judy Waldman is committing suicide with a handgun or being killed by a car, is under criminal investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. Officials there would not comment, but sources familiar with the matter say records have been subpoenaed, and that prosecutors have identified the person who made it. The video contains numerous photos of Waldman at official city functions along with the depictions of her supposed death. It also has a chalk outline of a corpse drawn in the roadway as the music to ‘N Sync’s hit song “Bye, bye, bye’’ plays in the background.

The United Teachers of Dade union represents more than 38,000 teachers and support personnel in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system. Union President Karen Aronowitz will lead the team that will begin negotiations with school officials on Friday, June 26 for a new contract. The union and the administration of School Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho have been at odds over raises that were canceled due to budget shortfalls. The negotiations are expected to last throughout the summer.

Homestead Mayor Lynda Bell has rejected the ultimatums issued to the city by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) over the display of the Confederate battle flag. The civil rights group met this week, and says it will wait until the 30-day deadline is up. Then, NAACP officials say, they plan to begin an economic boycott and other actions. Miami-Dade County NAACP President Bishop Victor T. Curry says Bell refuses to join mediation discussions between the parties and the U.S. Justice Department, all because she objects to meeting with Rosemary Fuller and Pat Mellerson, two members of the former Homestead/Florida City Human Relations Board that initiated opposition to the flag at city-sanctioned events.

Broward County

Broward School Board members voted unanimously on Tuesday, June 23 to lay off 394 teachers due to budget shortfalls. Broward School Superintendent James Notter said he hopes that he can rehire about one third of those teachers, if the district gets federal stimulus money. Board members said the firings are necessary because of state cuts in education for the third consecutive year, and declining student enrollment.

North Lauderdale city officials voted to fire City Manager Richard Sala during a special meeting that was called on Saturday, June 20. The vote ends Sala’s five-year tenure. He will get six months salary, plus $8,400 for outplacement services. He earned an annual salary of $163,517. He fell out of favor with commissioners after the city’s unions became vocal about his management style.

The trial of Ralston “Jay” Davis Jr., 24, of Sunrise, began on Monday, June 22 in his triple-murder case.  The case unfolded on Dec. 2, 2005 when Davis went to Myosha Proby’s Lauderhill apartment in a rage, investigators say.  Davis allegedly ordered Proby, a woman he once dated, onto her knees.  He then fired 20 shots from an assault rifle into her body, investigators say.   He then traveled to an Exxon gas station about five miles away at the intersection of Northwest 31st Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard in Lauderhill, according to investigators. There, he allegedly tapped on the window of 29-year-old Ravindra Basdeo, who was sitting in his own car. After Basdeo rolled down his window, Davis stuck the rifle into Basdeo’s mouth and killed him, investigators say. Then Davis went into the store part of the gas station to buy snacks, investigators say. Upon exiting, he encountered Carlos Jones, 26, ordered him onto the ground, and fired several shots into his head, according to investigators. Prosecutors told jurors Davis was in a rage brought on by crack cocaine. Davis’ lawyers said their client was having a psychotic episode, and that he heard voices telling him to rid the world of evil. Book’em, Dano!

The Florida Elections Commission is investigating the financial activities of the 2008 reelection campaign of Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter, who ran unopposed. The commission is acting in response to a complaint filed by Brenda Chalifour, a Dania Beach community activist who opposes expansion of the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. The complaint alleges numerous campaign finance reporting violations, including one that the campaign maintained a separate account that was never made public. Chalifour also filed a criminal complaint with the Broward State Attorney’s Office, which is also investigating the allegations.

Broward County commissioners voted on Tuesday, June 23 to begin a review that could lead to local jails being run by the county, or even being privatized, instead of continuing to be run by the sheriff. The vote came amid increasing tensions between Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti and county commissioners over the department’s budget. Lamberti proposes a $722 million budget after cutting programs, laying off 177 workers, and closing one jail. County commissioners want him to cut another $50 million, but the sheriff says that’s impossible if he is to keep residents safe.