FIU upgrades to Teslas for student transportation (includes video story) Miami's Community News
Florida International University upgraded student transportation by teaming up with Freebee, which provided six Tesla Model X’s to drop students off at nearby locations in Sweetwater. The electric Teslas aid in one of the university’s goals: to reduce its carbon footprint. “I think it’s pretty cool we can be picked up in a Tesla,,” said FIU student Donaldson Beauford. Haliyah Smith Haliyah Smith majors in Digital Broadcasting. At the end of her senior year, she looks forward to working her way up reporting news on the scene and starting her own YouTube channel.communitynewspapers.com
FIU 50th anniversary exhibition: a look back
Vicki Silvera, the exhibition curator and university archivist for the past 35 years, aimed to tell the story of FIU, which started on an abandoned airfield in the heart of Sweetwater. “There is no sign on campus today, with the exception of the “ivory tower,” that campus was once an airport,” said Silvera. “More than anything else, I wanted to acknowledge the people who started the whole idea of a university that is dedicated to the concept of international and how we continue it that way.”Luria Costa, a senior studying digital media and communication, was surprised when she learned about FIU’s origins from the exhibit. “It is so interesting to me how our campus was built on an airport field,” said Costa. “I think you have to know the history of your campus so you can tell other people who may not know what FIU is.”communitynewspapers.com
Rattlesnake roundups take 2 paths, drawing praise and scorn
An annual rattlesnake roundup in south Georgia recently changed the format of this month’s event to celebrate living snakes without skinning and butchering them, earning plaudits from animal rights activists. “A few rattlesnake roundups still persist,” the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement full of scorn for the Texas festival, which is "notorious for openly killing and skinning western diamondback rattlesnakes by the hundreds in front of crowds.” Plans for the “World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup” this weekend in the Texas town of Sweetwater are full-scale ahead, with snakes set to be skinned and others “milked” of their venom.news.yahoo.com
Sunrises, ocean breezes — and now a cool $485,000 for beachfront RV owner as city tows away ‘eyesore’
After a two-year dispute, a beachfront RV that annoyed nearby condo owners was hauled away by Deerfield Beach officials. Landowner Kristina Clothier agreed to sell up to the city for $485,000. She lived on the inherited land with two dogs while the two sides tried to resolve their differences.sun-sentinel.com
Ex-ASA College students face charges in FIU student’s 2016 murder in Miami-Dade
Two men, including the brother of an NFL player, were both booked at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Wednesday and appeared in front of a Miami-Dade County judge on Thursday to face charges for a murder that happened more than four years ago in Sweetwater.
Officials warn Florida parents against leaving children in hot parked cars
A child dies from being left in a hot car every ten seconds in the United States.With the summer months already upon us, the Department of Children and Families is taking the time to remind all parents to be cautious and vigilant to make sure their children don’t become a statistic.
2 new FEMA COVID-19 vaccine sites open Thursday in South Florida
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Two new FEMA-supported satellite COVID-19 vaccine locations opened Thursday in Miami-Dade County. AdThe satellite sites are intended to move around to allow different parts of the community to have access to vaccines. The Miami Dade College North Campus site (11380 NW 27th Ave.) will remain open as the main FEMA-supported hub in South Florida. The FEMA sites are among the locations that are vaccinating Floridians under 65 who are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. AdMore CVS vaccine locations comingIn other vaccine news, Gov.
Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the new federal COVID-19 vaccine site in Miami-Dade
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Federal and state officials said a new vaccination site is ready to open at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, just after Gov. “It just shows the strength of America.”U.S. Army soldiers fill syringes with COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday at a new government vaccination center in Miami-Dade County. Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Vincent Carey receives his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine on Tuesday at the new vaccination center at Miami Dade College. The state agencies involved include the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County. For more information about how to pre-register for a vaccine in Florida, visit the state’s page or call any of these three Miami-Dade County lines: 1-888-499-0840, 1-888-256-8918, or 1-833-540-2065.
Caught on camera: Man jumps into store’s giant fish tank at Dolphin Mall
Caught on camera, a man is seen climbing up along the side of the giant fish tank at Bass Pro Shops before jumping in and making a big splash. Bass Pro Shops told Local 10 that the stunt was to draw attention saying that “we are deeply concerned about attempts to promote and sensationalize incidents of this nature. This incident is illegal, dangerous and highly discouraged. We work with law enforcement to investigate all individuals who personally attempt or are involved with such activities. Bass Pro Shops referred our questions to local law enforcement.
Police search for man who burglarized Sweetwater police vehicle in Miami
Surveillance image shows man who police say burglarized a Sweetwater police vehicle that was parked in Miami. MIAMI – Miami police detectives are searching for a man who they said was captured on surveillance video running away after breaking into a Sweetwater police vehicle. The incident occurred around 1:45 a.m. Friday in the area of Northwest 35th Avenue and 36th Street. According to authorities, the officer parked his marked patrol vehicle at his home around 11 p.m. Thursday and discovered that it had been broken into around 11 a.m. the next morning. Anyone with information about the thief’s identity is asked to call the Miami Police Department at 305- 603-6030.
Some South Florida Republican Trump supporters say they want to form new party
“At this moment, I don’t know what’s going to happen with the unity,” Saavebra said referring to the Republican party. Trump supporters like Evelio Medina, the next 100 days he says will be important. They feel like the Republican Party didn’t have Trump’s back and they are ripping up their registration cards. They say they want to leave the Republican Party and start their own. In all the discussions and conversations around South Florida with those who identified themselves as Trump supporters and loyalists, the question was “where do we go from here?” Where does the Republican party go from here?
Driver dies after pickup truck plunges into canal near Dolphin Mall in Miami-Dade
SWEETWATER, Fla. – A pickup truck plunged into a canal on Wednesday night just outside of Dolphin Mall in Miami-Dade County. Police officers responded to the area of Northwest 12th Street at the Florida Turnpike, according to Detective Lee Cowart, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department. Police officers were searching for survivors after a car plunged into a canal on Wednesday near Dolphin Mall. Officers closed Northwest 12th Street near Dolphin Mall on Tuesday in Sweetwater. Officers blocked Northwest 12th Street after a car plunged into a canal on Wednesday night near Dolphin Mall.
Prosecutors: Former Sweetwater commissioner pleads guilty to perjury after lying about where she lives
SWEETWATER, Fla. – Former Sweetwater Commissioner Sophia Lacayo has pleaded guilty to perjury following accusations that she lied about where she lived on an official document. According to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, Lacayo did not actually live within the city limits of Sweetwater when she filed an Affidavit of Residency while running for office. She was elected to the city commission in May 2019. Prosecutors said the landlord at the property off Southwest Seventh Street where Lacayo claimed to live confirmed that she did not actually live there. As a part of her plea, she resigned from the City of Sweetwater Commission and is prohibited from running for public office during the term of her probation.
Sweetwater food store owner accused of trying to bribe code enforcement officer
SWEETWATER, Fla. – A food store owner in Sweetwater has been charged with bribery after allegedly offering to pay off a code enforcement officer in order to have his business license returned, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced on Monday. “The Code Enforcement Officer recognized this and thwarted an alleged effort to corrupt the daily business of Sweetwater. The business license had been revoked due to ordinance violations, including having gambling machines in the back of the store, authorities said. Prosecutors said the code enforcement officer had four face-to-face meetings and several phone conversations with Gazawi from April 29 to May 14, during which the store owner provided $5,000 in cash to the code enforcement officer with the promise for more. “We continue to maintain a professional law enforcement agency with representatives that uphold the law and say no to corruption.”
Dolphin Mall reopens, but don’t expect it to look the same
SWEETWATER, Fla. – When you walk through the doors at Dolphin Mall, things will look a little different. And for those inside, social distancing signs serve as a reminder to avoid getting shoulder to shoulder with somebody else. Mall officials say cleaning will be done around the clock, focusing on high-touch, high-traffic surfaces. But managers say it’s for your safety as they work on getting Dolphin Mall back up and running. Miami-Dade shoppers can note that Aventura Mall is set to reopen Thursday at 11 a.m.
Drivers started to line up for Monday morning’s food distribution on Sunday night
More than 1,000 drivers picked up free Farm Share groceries on Monday morning at Dolphin Mall in Miami-Dade County. Florida House Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez, of Doral, was among the dozens of volunteers at the drive-through food distribution event at the city of Sweetwater. Sweetwater Police Department Chief Placido Diaz said many of the drivers started to line up on Monday night. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz has been volunteering at food distribution events for weeks. For more information about how to help sponsor a Farm Share food load, view this page.
Hundreds of cars line up nearly 2 hours before food giveaway in Sweetwater
SWEETWATER, Fla. – More than 600 cars lined up Monday morning nearly two hours before a food distribution kicked off in Sweetwater. The food giveaway at Vann Academy got started 45 minutes early due to the large crowd. The giveaway is the result of a partnership between Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez, Florida State Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez, Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Farm Share. “We’re doing this to be able to alleviate some of the burdens that everyone has in their house right now,” Lopez said. It’s our way to make sure that we give back.”The food distribution ended around 10:40 a.m. when they ran out of food.
‘It’s very heartbreaking’: Need for meals increasing during pandemic
Later Monday afternoon, a steady stream of cars flowed into Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School for a student meal distribution. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to loom, the number of people who need food is rising. If the numbers tell the story of need in Miami-Dade County, they’re perhaps most striking at the schools. The week of March 16-20, Miami-Dade County Public Schools distributed 222,518 meals across all its district schools. WHERE TO GO: Miami-Dade County Public Schools student meal distribution sites
Police identify man killed during music video shoot in Sweetwater
SWEETWATER, Fla. – Police have identified a man who was fatally shot over the weekend during a music video shoot in Sweetwater as 50-year-old Barbaro Lara. According to authorities, the music video shoot involved reggaeton artist Y Len. Police said a fight broke out between two men during the shoot and police were called. They said bystanders disarmed Lara, who then went into a nearby home and retrieved a machete. Lara, who relatives said was a husband and father, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.
Apparent argument during music video shoot in Sweetwater turns deadly
SWEETWATER, Fla. – A man was shot and killed after an apparent argument during a music video shoot in Sweetwater, police said. Custom cars were surrounded with crime scene tape after Sweetwater police said that what was scheduled to be the making of a rap video turned to gunfire. When police arrived, they discovered one man shot. “I notice these customized cars and it was really nice, and then you got these rugged looking men that you see in a rap video,” Avila said. Get out of the car.’”Police placed the suspected shooter in the back of a Sweetwater police cruiser.
Critics Say Sweetwater Cop's Firing Was Politically Motivated
That is, except in Sweetwater, where an officer was immediately fired for allegedly badmouthing his department and turning off his body camera. After addressing the volume, Boada is seen on his partner's body cam conversing with former Sweetwater Commissioner Idania Llanio at the party. He tells New Times Boada's statements were false and harmful to the city. "What was done to him was an unfair labor practice and a violation of his First Amendment right," Villanueva tells New Times. "Per the facts of the case, Lt. Boada's termination was unjust as it was/is excessive...miaminewtimes.com
Multiple people arrested by officers at Dolphin Mall on Black Friday
SWEETWATER, Fla. – It’s the busiest shopping day of the year, and at Dolphin Mall, that means Sweetwater police have been busy, too. Officers confirmed they arrested four people on Black Friday -- three for shoplifting and one person for inappropriate touching. Body camera footage shows officers approaching a man in the mall. “The subject took off on officers, actually pushing one of our officers out of the way so that he can flee,” Officer Jonathan Arche said. After trying unsuccessfully to find parking at Sawgrass Mills on Friday morning, they regrouped and came to Dolphin Mall, hoping crowds would be minimal after so many got an early start on Thanksgiving.
Police use drones to keep watch at Dolphin Mall
SWEETWATER, Fla. – Sweetwater police officers are using drones to keep a watchful eye on shoppers at the Dolphin Mall this Thanksgiving weekend. “It’s a major advantage," Officer Jonathan Arche said. "I mean, we’re using it to the full capacity that we can to ensure the safety (of shoppers).”The main purpose of the drones is to look for people waiting in the parking lots for an unsuspecting target as carefree shoppers drop off their hauls. “What they don’t know is that a lot of the times they’re being watched,” Arche said. Police will also have uniformed and undercover officers inside the mall, looking for potential shoplifters.
Off-duty Sweetwater police officer injured in fatal 3-vehicle crash
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A Sweetwater police officer was injured in a three-vehicle crash Tuesday night. Two other people, including the officer, were injured. The crash took place at Southwest 200th Street and Southwest 134th Avenue. According to police, the officer was in an unmarked cruiser and off duty. The officer and another man suffered minor injuries, police said.
Man sentenced to 13 years in prison for killing teen, setting her body on fire
According to authorities, Fernandez's body was found Oct. 11, 2014, after Sweetwater police officers and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews were called to reports of a fire in the area of Flagler Street and 114th Avenue. Police said Fernandez's body was discovered inside a dumpster once the fire in the rear alley of a strip mall was extinguished. According to an arrest report, Fernandez's body was burned beyond recognition and she was identified through dental records. Police said cellular tower records showed that Botell's and Fernandez's cellphones were pinging from the same tower the day she was reported missing. Police said Botell's statements contradicted witness testimony and the cellular tower records that placed him at the scene.
Former Sweetwater Mayor Accused of Sexually Harassing City Employee
Later this month, Sweetwater commissioners will vote on whether to pay over $66,000 in back wages and compensatory damages to a city employee who has accused former Interim Mayor Jose M. Diaz of sexual harassment. Yaima Vega, a current mayoral assistant, worked for the city in 2013 when Diaz was serving as interim mayor after the expulsion of former Mayor Manuel Maroo. Vega accused Diaz of inappropriate sexual comments and brought her concerns before the city in November 2013. "How do you have an employee that files a sexual harassment complaint on you, and you fire her a month later?" Details of the alleged sexual harassment have not yet been made public.miaminewtimes.com