Leonard Pitts gets converted. That and more in this morning's Cooler.
A- Herald: Leonard Pitts issues a mea culpa on the importance of social networking media.
Many of us -- your humble correspondent prominent among them -- have been less than impressed with the ubiquity of social-networking websites. Spurred by reports of congresspersons who tweet banalities during a presidential speech, of cyber-bullying and flash mobs, we have regarded them as an engine of vanity and inanity, a mirror reflecting the utter vapidity of much of American life and culture.B- Herald: America is the land of opportunity for many.
In this judgment, we have been exactly right. And also exactly wrong.
There is something . . . electrifying in watching Neda Agha-Soltan, blood-streaked and prostrate on the sidewalk, dying on camera and knowing this moment has not been framed and contextualized for you by a blow-dried network news reporter but is, rather, the grief cry of some unknown person with a cellphone camera who is desperate for you to see what is happening, desperate for you to know. It is a raw, person-to-person connection, and one is hard-pressed to imagine its equal in any other medium.
No, this is not the first time people have used social networks for this purpose, but it is certainly among the more dramatic and compelling.
As such, it presents a stark argument that the way we receive and process information is changing and even more fundamentally than it did 18 years ago when cable network news came of age in its coverage of the Gulf War. That moment represented the ascension of a new medium.
Federal agents have dismantled a Miami-based ring they said schemed to defraud Medicare of $100 million by filing false claims for obsolete HIV therapy across five states -- although two of the suspects who posed as clinic owners have fled to Cuba.C- Herald: Too bad he wasn't a football player who got drunk and ran over someone.
In the Miami-Dade indictment, Michel De Jesus Huarte, 38, is charged with operating six Miami-Dade clinics that submitted $50.2 million in bogus claims for infusion therapy to treat patients with cancer, HIV, AIDS, chronic pain and varicose veins.
But the infusion treatments, administered intravenously, were neither prescribed by doctors nor provided to patients, according to the indictment. And the infusion therapy for HIV/AIDS patients was obsolete, replaced by more effective antiretroviral drugs more than a decade ago.
Medicare paid Huarte's six companies $19.2 million, according to the indictment.
Huarte recruited Cuban immigrants to pose as the owners of his businesses, 'with the understanding that the `straw' owners would flee to Cuba to avoid law enforcement detection or capture,'' according to the indictment filed by prosecutor Ryan Stumphauzer.
Juan Rene Caro -- described by supporters in Miami federal court as a self-made millionaire, family man and devout Christian -- will spend 18 years in prison as the convicted mastermind of a $132.7 million conspiracy led by his check-cashing store.D- Herald: Morin.
Caro, 42, one-time president of the now-defunct La Bamba chain of check-cashing stores in Miami-Dade, sobbed Tuesday as he begged a federal judge for mercy so that he would not be separated from his wife and five children.
E- Sun-Sentinel: Real estate rebound?
Broward's median price plummeted 42 percent to $80,400 while sales rose 25 percent. Palm Beach County's median fell 33 percent to $107,500, and sales rose 3 percent. Real estate agents across the region say they're busier lately than they have been in recent years.F- Sun-Sentinel: Try looking under the car, Herb.
MARGATE - An 89-year-old woman survived being run over and pinned by her husband's car after he tried backing up to their condo complex to avoid the rain, WFOR-Ch. 4 reports.G- Palm Beach Post: Sort like being up the creek without a...
The couple was leaving their Applewood Village condo Tuesday morning when the husband backed the car up to their condo so that his wife, Roselyn Roose, wouldn't have to walk in the rain.
Police said that he struck the woman, but didn't notice, and left her pinned underneath as he went to look for her inside.
A Florida Atlantic University student got a new respect for the ocean today after an afternoon fishing trip on his kayak turned into an overnight battle with the sea for survival.H- CBS4: Video, Miami Beach floods again.
"All night long I'm just going like a roller coaster, and it is just crazy waves and lightning everywhere," said 21-year-old Carl Simonson, a junior studying ocean engineering. "If I would have had to go through one more storm, I'm not sure if I would have made it."
Simonson, who grew up in Denver, said for months he's been using his 12-foot inflatable West Marine kayak to fish in the ocean. On Monday afternoon, he paddled out of the Boca Raton Inlet and was about a mile offshore when he hooked a live one.
"I was fighting it for like 20 minutes. It was bending my fishing pole all the way down into the river," Simonson said.
He said that after he lost the fish, he discovered he had lost something much more important - his paddle.
He tried to paddle to shore by hand, but the current was too strong.