Here are some snippets from this morning's mainstream media...
A- Herald: A little too late.
Forty-one people have been charged with taking part in a $40 million mortgage-fraud scheme, federal authorities said Tuesday in Miami.Check out the link to the U.S. Attorney's press release that details how the fraud was committed.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sloman said the fraud involved a network of fake purchasers, crooked mortgage brokers and cooperative bank employees who arranged for inflated mortgages.
In mortgage-fraud scams typical during the boom, a team of mortgage professionals -- often including attorneys, mortgage brokers and appraisers -- would pay stand-in buyers to use their identities to get mortgages for the purchase of inflated properties. They would often never make payments on the loans and the homes would soon enter foreclosure.
B- Herald: The perfect size for robbing banks?
On Valentine's Day 2008, as his children greeted him with hugs and his wife videotaped, ex-Hialeah cop Rolando Bolaños Jr. opened a red gift bag and pulled out a gray jacket with distinctive black sleeve patches.
``It's very nice,'' he said, trying on the jacket.
That tender glimpse of family life might come back to haunt Bolaños when he goes to trial on bank-robbery charges.
Miami-Dade prosecutors have entered into evidence a home video they say shows Bolaños, the son of Hialeah's former longtime police chief, wearing the same jacket that he later wore while robbing a Hialeah bank in February.
The home video is included in the story.
C- Herald: Protected form of expression?
An artist who makes his living selling sketches of people on public sidewalks is suing Fort Lauderdale, arguing the city won't allow him to express himself with his ``visual art.''D- Herald: Editorial, ban texting while driving.
Wang sets up on sidewalks at the beach or downtown, with two chairs and an easel, sketching tourists or residents who stroll over. He has continued to do so despite city officials and police officers telling him over the past year that he could not.
``Visual art is a protected form of speech,'' said Wang's attorney, David Vinikoor of Fort Lauderdale, who is volunteering for the ACLU in this case.
City attorney Harry Stewart said the city sidewalks at the beach are off limits to street vendors and artists like Wang.
If Wang were giving his work out for free, he wouldn't run afoul of the city's laws, Stewart said.
Safe driving practices should not be optional. Too many Florida drivers have had the frightening experience of going down a busy freeway and seeing the driver in the next lane passing them while looking down at the cellphone screen and tapping out a text message.E- Sun-Sentinel: No Vick.
This practice should be discouraged by state lawmakers. They've been reluctant to restrict drivers talking on cellphones, but texting is worse -- a clear and present danger that should be prohibited by law.
In an unusual move for a typically secretive organization, the Dolphins released a statement on Tuesday disavowing any interest in adding the controversial Vick to their stash of quarterbacks.F- Sun-Sentinel: Bad cop, no donut.
The statement falls in line with those from several other teams, including the Redskins and Bengals, that they won't be signing the recently paroled Vick.
"We don't have an interest," Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland said in a statement. "We like the players we have on our current roster."
HOLLYWOOD - After a Hollywood police officer rear-ended a car in February and then arrested the driver on drunken driving charges, he and other officers talked about doctoring the report--it said a jumpy cat created a distraction--to cover up the crash.G- Sun-Sentinel: Snake magnet.
The exchange was recorded by a dashboard camera in one of the patrol cars. The officers apparently didn't realize it was on.
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE - Miami-Dade Fire Rescue workers removed a 6-foot python from the backyard of a home this morning, the third snake the family has found on its property in the past two months, WPLG-Ch. 10 reports.H- Sun-Sentinel: News that makes you want to shake your head.
The snake was found on the 21000 block of Southwest 213 Avenue Road in Southwest Miami-Dade, near Everglades National Park.
FPL Group reports today that its net profit shot up 77 percent in the second quarter to $370 million from $209 million the year before.I- Sun-Sentinel: Chan Lowe.
Next month, state regulators will start weighing the utility’s request for a $1.3 billion increase in base electric rates that includes a 12.5 percent return on equity -- the utility's profit margin, based on what shareholders invest.