Another busy news day in South Florida. Lots of interesting stories out there. Here are some of them.
A- Herald: Improvements to the 18-Mile Stretch are completed.
Drivers no longer will have to grit their teeth when they travel the 18-Mile Stretch — the two-lane road between the mainland and the Florida Keys, known for deadly head-on collisions.B- Herald: Taxes are the most important thing, not the safety of citizens. Perfect.
Wildlife is safer, too.
It took 25 years, but the controversial, $330 million road improvement project is finally done.
After a contentious meeting Wednesday night, the Hialeah City Council unanimously approved the city’s $263.4 million budget for 2011-12 — and laid off more than 100 fire rescue workers in three stages beginning Saturday, the start of the fiscal yar.C- Herald: Just a prop, similar to an iPad.
After almost 90 minutes of debate in the packed council chambers, filled mostly by fire rescue department employees, the council voted 7-0 in favor of the spending plan submitted by Mayor Carlos Hernández.
“I am very proud of the work of the council in approving this balanced budget,” Hernández said. “Most importantly, taxes are not raised for the residents of the great city of Hialeah.”
During a staff meeting last week, Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Charles Hurley pulled out his .40 Glock pistol, unloaded the magazine, and placed the bullets on a meeting room table.D- Herald: They write letters.
He says it was an impromptu demonstration to stress the dangers facing officers and students during a recent spate of shootings. Some in the room, however, say they felt it was a display meant to intimidate.
The episode happened Sept. 22 at the Miami-Dade Schools Police headquarters, 6100 NW 2nd Ave. The meeting, attended by more than a dozen command officers and civilian employees, was to discuss staff issues.
Hurley insisted that the pistol was just a prop meant to underscore the need to step up policing. About an hour earlier, a gunman had emptied a high-powered magazine in an incident near Northwestern High, rattling the neighborhood.
He said several firearms instructors were on hand, ensuring safety, and the weapon was not waved or pointed at anyone.
“This was a visual aid. It was done in a very controlled environment,” Hurley said Wednesday. “Just like if I was CEO of Apple, I would put an iPad on the desk.”
Elusive Marlins ticketsE- Sun-Sentinel: Sheriff Nick dies.
I have to sound off. I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to buy a ticket to one game in the new Marlins stadium in order to take my grandchildren. All they sell is season and 41-game tickets. Many seniors like me supported all efforts to get the stadium built, and now we find that we cannot enjoy it. The little people always get pushed aside.
Carlos Cabrera, Miami
Nick Navarro had settled into a low-profile lifestyle, a gray-haired 81-year-old. But his name for most longtime South Florida residents will always conjure memories of law enforcement flamboyance, TV-star cops before there were TV cops, and of course his infamous tangle with Miami hardcore rap group 2 Live Crew.F- Sun-Sentinel: As long as it doesn't raise my taxes. Otherwise, I'm against it.
The former Broward County Sheriff Navarro died Wednesday. Friends said he had been sick with cancer.
FORT LAUDERDALE— After a second incident this year when an armed man entered a Broward County courthouse, the chief judge and the sheriff called for county funding to increase security.G- Palm Beach Post: Their smiles gave them away.
In Hollywood on Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office says, Brown was headed to a hearing on a charge of driving with a suspended license when a courthouse security guard saw his black backpack go through a screener.
Brown told the security guard he had the handgun, and said he was a law enforcement officer but failed to provide identification, according to comments from Lamberti's press conference on Wednesday.
Investigators said there is no record of his being a sworn officer.
The Sheriff's Office said Brown's backpack held 133 bullets, a loaded, semi-automatic Smith & Wesson pistol, and a spare magazine.
Brown is unemployed and was carrying $6,149 in cash, according to investigators.
Three people were arrested Wednesday after authorities raided a Boca Raton pawnshop suspected of selling stolen dental hygiene products.H- CBS4: Video, the Marlins last game at Joe Robbie.
A precise estimate of the value of the stolen items was unavailable, but investigators said it could total more than $3 million.
Hegmann and Healy allegedly concentrated their efforts on dental hygiene products such as electric toothbrushes and whitening strips, authorities said.