High-ranking Miami-Dade cops are dropping like flies. That and more in today's Cooler.
A- Herald: Because a $200K salary just doesn't pay the bills.
Former mayoral chief of staff Denis Morales and several high-ranking Miami-Dade police officers regularly flouted county rules involving outside employment and abused their positions of power while earning more than $400,000 moonlighting as police consultants in Panama, according to a Miami-Dade Inspector General draft report obtained by The Miami Herald.B- Herald: And another one.
Morales moonlighted while working as Mayor Carlos Alvarez's chief aide, making more than $200,000 annually in his county job. He and the officers worked as consultants for the Panamanian National Police. The work was done through Protection Strategies Inc., an Arlington, Va. firm.
Morales, Gonzalez and Maj. Ariel Artime obtained at least 10 first-class ticket upgrades to travel to the Central American country from 2007 to 2009, the report found. In one case, they demanded an upgrade from an American Airlines ticket agent even though a Miami-Dade police directive a month earlier banned such solicitations.
Embattled county police division chief Frank Vecin, a longtime ally of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, is stepping down amid a widening inquiry into Vecin's handling of an environmental trust fund and his alleged mixing of private consulting and county business.C- Herald: They write letters.
``He submitted his retirement papers,'' said Miami-Dade Police spokeswoman Nancy Perez. ``He's on leave at the present time.''
Vecin was handed control over a $5 million police fund meant to crack down on environmental crimes. Yet a Miami Herald review detailed how much of that money was spent on items that have little to do with environmental crimes, ranging from flat-screen TVs and semi-automatic assault rifles to SUVs used by command staff and, for a time, the county mayor -- who gave it back.
Offensive adD- Sun-Sentinel: Because being one of the first is so important.
Am I the only one who feels offended when I drive down Biscayne Boulevard, with my 8-year-old, and read the word ``bullsh*t'' every two blocks? The large ads on the Metro-Dade bus shelters may be for a good cause -- they tout free HIV testing -- but is the community sinking to new depths by allowing this abrasive, rude and uncivil mode of expression?
What are tourists and children going to take away from this type of language? Who within the Metro-Dade government bureaucracy permitted this? Am I the only one who cares about this affront to our sensibilities?
JAVIER BEREZDIVIN, Miami
In South Florida, hundreds of hopefuls lined up outside the entrance Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale to snap up their new iPhones.E- Sun-Sentinel: They write letters.
Mark Salazar and son Cory, of Tamarac, went to the mall at 3:15 a.m. to wait for the 32 GB model he pre-ordered online. There were still 160 people already lined up when he arrived.
"I counted them," he said. "The alarm went off at 2 a.m. and here I am."
By 6:45, security guards were directing hopefuls into a snaking line around the garage. A cheer went up through the garage at 7 a.m. when customers with reservations were led into the Apple store, where cheering Apple employees rushed out to greet the crowd.
Jovani Montero, 25, of Fort Lauderdale and his friend Eddie Gonzalez, 25, of Fort Lauderdale got to the mall at 3 p.m. yesterday to be the first people in line.
"We came to be numero uno.," Montero said. "We wanted to get here so we could secure our spot in line to get our iPhones."
Whenever I hear complaints about too much government and that Obama didn't take over the oil spill fast enough, I'm reminded of the expression: "Not only is the food terrible, but the portions are so small."F- CBS4: Your WTF? Moment of the Day.
Arthur B. Welsher, Boynton Beach
Former Miramar Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman is getting no sympathy from the judge who denied his request to be temporarily released from jail for some last minute tasks.G- WPLG: Terminal D gets a train.
Salesman, 53, has been in the Broward County jail since April, when he was convicted of public corruption for accepting bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as contractors.
The former commissioner asked to be temporarily released before his July 8 sentencing because he wants to try renting out his Miramar home and help his 76-year-old father find a place in an assisted living home. According to the Miami Herald, Salesman's attorney said that he is the only one in his family willing to help his father.
Terminal D, Miami International's new north terminal, includes 50 gates and is 1.3 miles long end to end. The terminal is long and narrow by design in order to move more planes and more passengers than the former gates, which were configured like spokes to form a hub.H- WSVN: Video, Grove resident uses home video to help catch bike thief.
After several setbacks, a train system to shuttle passengers in the terminal is set to open on Sept. 15.