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July 16, 2010


I-Team: Police Commander Steps Down Reporting Jim DeFede MIAMI (CBS4 I-TEAM) — Frank Vecin, the Miami-Dade p o l i c e commander who has allegedly been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by developers to expedite their request for permits and provide access to top county administrators, has agreed to retire. The announcement followed a CBS4 News investigation last week into Vecin’s role as a consultant for some of the county’s biggest developers. His ties to those developers are also the focus of an ongoing criminal investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney and the county’s Inspector General. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez called Vecin’s actions on behalf of developers “troubling and disappointing” and said he agreed with Vecin’s decision to step

down. “He realized he had become a distraction for the Miami-Dade Police Department, a place he called home for 20 years, and that it was the right thing to do,” Alvarez told CBS4 News. “He wasn’t kicked out the door, he made that decision.”

At the same time Vecin was assisting various developers as CEO and President of Oak Tree Development he was also in charge of the police department’s Intergovernmental Bureau, which is responsible for investigating illegal contractors and criminal violations of the county’s building code.

Following the CBS4 News reports last week, Vecin met with Police Director Jim Loftus Tuesday morning. Vecin then spoke at length with Alvarez, who has been friends with Vecin for nearly two decades.

In other words, he was being paid by the very same developers and builders his police unit might be called upon to investigate. Instead it was the developers who found themselves with a valuable friend in the police department.

“He was again very forthright,” Alvarez said of his conversation with Vecin. “He said, `You know I realize it’s time to go.’ He was relieved that he had made the decision and that he was going to get on with his life.”

Alvarez said he had no idea Vecin was working as a consultant for local developers and lobbying county employees on their behalf.

While it is not uncommon for developers to hire consultants to assist them in navigating the maze of county permitting procedures, it is highly unusual for that person to be a current county employee.

“He made a mistake then there are consequences to pay,” Alvarez said. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

Miami-Dade Budget Plan Includes Layoffs Reporting M i c h a e l Williams Programs For The Elderly And Police Services Are Untouched B u d g e t Proposals Will Have To Be Approved By The Commission By Oct. 1 MIAMI (CBS4) — Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez released his budget proposal Wednesday and the debate over what counts as a tax increase got underway almost immediately. Alvarez told CBS4’s Michael Williams, “We are proposing a no tax increase budget.” He’s right, sort of, at least according to state law and complex state budget

formulas involving everything from property values, the market value of your home, homestead exemptions and more. Alvarez notes that the county would collect almost $55 million less in property taxes than last year. Indeed, George Burgess, the county manager said, “I want to say the vast majority, certainly the majority of people should not be seeing (tax) increases at all.” He’s referring, of course, to the county portion of your annual property tax bill. But at least one commissioner is skeptical. Commissioner Carlos Gimenez said that to tread water, budget wise, county planners do include a millage/tax rate hike of 14-percent. Gimenez said, “When you look at the bottom line and your taxes are going up 14-percent, that is not something I am willing to do.” The mayor’s budget blueprint includes a

$4.7 billion operating budget. Closing a $440 million dollar budget gap, the result of falling property tax values would include axing 1,200 county administrative positions. That number would include 900 layoffs of people currently on the payroll. Police and fire department manpower would be unaffected, Alvarez said. Elderly services would not be touched, but other community based organizations could feel a big budget bite next spring. Everything from library hours to park maintenance would take a hit. The pain is spread all around. Mayor Alvarez said, “We have to be realistic. We have to deal with reality. We know how the community feels. We know the challenges out there.” Now county commissioners must meet to set a preliminary tax/millage rate ahead of budget hearings in September. A final budget must be adopted before October 1st. The mayor cautions that anything less

than his proposal could cut directly into police and fire service. The debate in Miami-Dade, and for every other city and county, will be intense in the face of economic problems. That is a reality every elected leader and resident will confront. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

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Deadline Nears For Haitians To Apply For TPS Reporting Lisa Cilli


MIAMI (CBS4) — Time is running out for H a i t i a n nationals living in South Florida want to legally stay here and

work in the U.S. The deadline to apply for temporary protected status is July 20. Only Haitians who were already living in the U.S. illegally when the earthquake struck Jan. 12 are eligible. Temporary protected status, or TPS, allows immigrants from countries experiencing armed conflict or environmental disasters to stay and work in the U.S. for 18 months. As of June, 51,881 applications have been processed, more than half of them in Florida, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. About 11 percent have been rejected for being incomplete or lacking the proper fee. Federal officials initially said they expected about 100,000 to 200,000 Haitians to apply for temporary protected status. The government now says that’s actually the number of applications they can handle. They expect about 70,000 applications by mid-July. Immigration advocates say some Haitians who are eligible won’t apply because they don’t have $470 for application fees, or because they fear stepping forward will only lead to trouble and deportation to Haiti. “We understand this community is going through incredible hardship,” CIS spokeswoman Ana Santiago said. “We’re urging people to please register, because this is something that will help you deal with the situation.” The Haitian community center Sant La in Miami offers small loans to some applicants. Others have been trying to save up the money before the deadline, instead of asking immigration officials for a fee waiver.

Executive Director Gepsie Metellus said some Haitians regard the offer of temporary protected status warily, believing the documentation just makes it easier to deport them later. They don’t see it leading to better paying jobs that can support their families in the U.S. and in Haiti. “All we can do is debunk the myths that are out there,” Metellus said. “We encourage people to apply and point out that the government knows where you are now, and they’ve got bigger fish to fry.” Manouse Jean of Miami said temporary protected status will be a relief from years of frequent relocations to elude immigration authorities after her appeal for asylum was denied. She fled Haiti’s political instability in 1999. “I used to be afraid to work, to go walking in the streets. To catch the bus, my heart would be beating so fast,” the 33-year-old said Thursday after dropping off documents for her TPS application at the Archdiocese of Miami’s Catholic Legal Services. She joined hundreds of people who packed a Haitian neighborhood church in January for information about temporary protected status. She hopes TPS also will allow her to pursue training for licensed practical nurses so she can find work caring for earthquake survivors if she eventually is deported to Haiti. “If I can be an LPN, and if immigration sends me back, I will have something to survive with,” Jean said. “With TPS, I am happy. I’m not scared anymore.” Haitians who miss the July deadline will not be able to apply again if the U.S. renews temporary protected status for Haiti, as it has for more than a decade for Central American countries that had to rebuild after a 1998 hurricane. “If they don’t get in this time, they’re going to be sorry because the doors to this TPS will be closed to them forever,” Metellus said. Haiti’s government and Haitian advocates in the U.S. for years pleaded for TPS after hurricanes, massive floods, food riots and political turmoil in the Caribbean country.

Their pleas were denied, until the catastrophic earthquake five months ago. Since then, the U.S. also temporarily stopped deporting Haitians, even those in detention. About 31,000 Haitians have orders to leave, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Haitian migrants interdicted at sea by the U.S. Coast Guard continue to be returned to their homeland; nearly 600 since October. Need more information on TPS: The Citizenship and Immigration Services web site has information in English, French and Creole. The agency can also be reached at 1-800-375-5283; staffers who speak Creole are available to help. Help with the application process is also available at the CLS office, located at 150 SE 2nd Avenue, Suite 200, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CBS4 partners Neighbors 4 Neighbors is collaborating with relief and recovery organizations to facilitate donations of money and resources in Haiti. Make a donation directly at any Bank Atlantic location. (© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


July 16, 2010


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July 16, 2010


Commissioner Charges Demonstrate Ongoing Issues Reporting Joan Murray

general who oversees conflict of interest issues, says Castillo and he says there needs to be a separation of legislative and executive power. “They could vote on budget oversight and spending, but voting on contracts is inherently difficult when you are also the legislator,” Castillo said.

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) — Less than 24 hours after being charged with corruption, former Broward County Commission Diana Wasserman-Rubin was released from the county’s jail on bond. On Tuesday Wasserman-Rubin resigned from the commission. Within hours of her resignation, she was charged with 7 counts of illegal compensation. The charge stems from an investigation by the Broward State Attorney’s Office, which focused on favorable votes from Wasserman-Rubin to applications for grant money from Southwest Ranches that had been written by her husband. Wasserman-Rubin made history as Broward County’s first Hispanic mayor. But now she is fighting for her reputation as she battles public corruption charges.

That may solve ethical dilemmas but it won’t prevent what happened to disgraced school board member Beverly Gallagher, former Broward Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion or ex-Miramar Commissioner Fitzroy Sales, all accused of taking bribes for favors. “I think, for too long, there was a belief in Broward County that there were no penalties,” says Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler. Seiler is also a former state lawmaker who is now a part of a committee revamping the Broward School Board’s ethics rules. “There has to be greater transparency, disclosure on campaign contributions, gifts, that’s where the law needs to go,” Seiler said. “I think this will lead to a better place in how government is structure,” Castillo said.

Three years ago, Wasserman-Rubin, 63, was fined $15 thousand for violating a state ethics when she voted on a grant that her husband had written. At the time she denied any wrong doing based on information she received from the county attorney’s office. Last April Wasserman-Rubin, who at one time was the county’s first Hispanic mayor, announced that she would not seek another term so she can deal with her Parkinson’s disease. County Commissioner John Rodstrom spoke to CBS4’s Carey Codd Tuesday after the arrest became public. He said Governor Charlie Crist does not plan to appoint an interim commissioner for Wasserman-Rubin, leaving the commission with only 8 members. He said that could cause major problems in the event of a 4-4 vote. “You might have trouble passing a budget,” Rodstrom said. “You just don’t know what big issues might be coming up where you need a 5th vote to break a tie.” Rodstrom also said the arrest of Wasserman-Rubin, which comes on the heels of the arrest of former Commisioner Josephus Eggelletion is difficult for the county.

She resigned her position. CBS4 spoke to her briefly at her home on Wednesday after she bonded out of jail. She said she couldn’t comment on the allegations because she hadn’t read them. In the past she has denied any conflict of interest and in 2007, she paid a fine to settle state ethics charges. “I’ve known Diana 15 years and she’s devastated,” said Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo. Castillo is running to take WassermanRubin’s seat on the county commission. Castillo who is a long advocate of ethics changes says the whole structure of government needs to be overhauled in South Florida. In other states, there is an inspector

For a public weary of public corruption it can’t happen soon enough. Wasserman-Rubin turned herself in at the Broward County Jail Tuesday night. Flanked by her husband and attorney, Bruce Udolf, Wasserman-Rubin entered the jail without responding to reporters’ questions. Her attorney declined to comment until he sees the charging documents. Under Florida law, elected officials are not allowed to vote on matters that could benefit them or their spouse. During her time in office as a commissioner Wasserman-Rubin voted a number of times on park or open space projects in her district which her husband had written grant applications for and would be compensated for it the projects were approved.

“It’s a sad time because it would give one the impression that things are really out of control and yet there are a lot of fine men and women who work for Broward County,” Rodstrom said. Last month, Tamarac Commissioner Patricia Atkins-Grad was arrested on charges of taking money from developers in exchange for her vote. Nova Southeastern Law Professor Bob Jarvis said the arrests show that Broward County has tolerated cronyism for too long. “I think it says to the community that Broward County for a long time has been a place where there’s been a lot of influence, buying influence, selling and we’re starting to see the dominoes fall,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis added that he believes the arrests will clean up Broward politics for a time but not for long. “I think it will have some effect for a short time, but I think within a year, two years, it will be back to business as usual,” he said, adding, “unless the public demands real reform.” CBS4’s Carey Codd contributed to this report. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

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July 16, 2010


DeFede: Losing Patients a Problem at Jackson Reporting Jim DeFede

frustration. My clumsiness would allow me the opportunity to see this for myself.

MIAMI (CBS4) — Waking up at 4 in the morning this past Thursday, I could tell that my right leg, just below the knee, had swollen to the size of a volleyball. Eleven hours earlier I was trying to make my way around some crime scene tape on Miami Beach when I slipped and fell, slamming my shin into a concrete ledge.

But as I called for a cab the pain in my leg continued to grow. And suddenly something else came to mind -- it’s that billboard on I-95 and another Biscayne Boulevard -- touting the short wait time for the ER at Aventura Hospital. Usually when I drive past it it says “3 minutes” or “5 minutes.”

As I picked myself up off the ground, and feeling pretty stupid, I could see there were a few scrapes but nothing serious. When I got home an hour later I iced it, knowing I would have a pretty nasty black and blue mark on my leg in the morning, but I wasn’t expecting this. Searing pain shot through my leg when I tried to bend my knee and get out of bed.

I had no idea how long it might take me at Jackson -- which is where, all things being equal -- I would have preferred to go. So when the cab pulled up I surprised myself when I said, “We’re going to the Aventura Hospital ER.”

The time for ice had passed. I had trouble standing or shifting any weight on it, so I decided I should go to the hospital and get it checked out. And here is where our story begins. Because in that moment I was confronted with the same choices nearly everyone is faced with at one time or another in our community: Where should I go? My first thought was Jackson Memorial Hospital. Jackson has some of the finest -if not the finest -- doctors and nurses in South Florida. I have been covering the financial problems at Jackson for months. Just a few days earlier I was at their governing board meeting where they voted to close the obstetrics unit at Jackson South. As a reporter, I thought, going to Jackson’s ER would give me an opportunity to see, first-hand, the difficulties and problems the ER is facing amid cutbacks and layoffs. Hospital administrators have admitted that patients going to the ER could face longer wait times and that some patients are likely to eventually give up and leave the ER in

Waiting for the cab in front of my Miami Shores house I called the hospital to see what the current wait would be and was told it was four minutes.

The entire drive I felt guilty. At one stop light I even thought about telling the cabbie to turn around and head to Jackson. I arrived around 4:30 and was tended to immediately. During my stay I had X-rays taken (no fracture), had a sonogram done on my leg to check for blood clots (there were none), had blood work done to check for an infection (white blood cell count was fine), saw the ER physician, the attending physician, had my leg bandaged, and was given a tetanus shot, as well as prescriptions for antibiotics and pain killers. They then called me a cab. I was home by 7:30. Now I don’t know how long it would have taken me at Jackson but therein lies one of the biggest problems facing JMH. If Jackson is to survive they have to convince people like me that Jackson is the place to go. Now I already know that if I get shot or am in a terrible car accident, I want to be taken to the Ryder Trauma Center. But at 4 am with my leg banged up and just wanting someone to check on it, I decided to go somewhere else. And I know that every time a decision like that

is made, then Jackson’s financial problems grow. Because they need paying patients like me to come in for “routine” emergencies. I don’t know how much Aventura Hospital will make off of my visit, but I have no doubt it will be profitable for them thanks to my insurance. But when you are hurt and you’re in pain you want to go where you know you will be treated quickly. Jackson has to find a way to convince people that you can go there. If there was a number for me to call to see what the wait time was at Jackson, I would have checked there as well. But I didn’t know how to check. And right or wrong, my impression is that by the time I got home from Aventura, I would have still been sitting in the ER waiting to be seen at Jackson. Now I will tell you there was one moment that made me stop and regret my decision to go to Aventura. When I was being wheeled for the ultra sound, I had this terrible feeling, “Okay, what if they find a blood clot? Those can be serious.” That’s when I started looking around. And it suddenly hit me, “Other than a short ER time, what do I actually know about Aventura Hospital? Maybe there is a reason no one is in their ER. I wonder if it’s too late to head over to Jackson?” Luckily everything was fine. But the same is not true for Jackson. Fewer paying patients are going to the hospital and officials believe all of the negative stories about their financial problems are playing a role in those decisions. Well, I can tell you that in my case that is certainly true. I told my story to Martha Baker, the president of the union representing Jackson’s nurses and doctors. The entire time I was telling her I felt guilty. I have been treated at Jackson in the past and believe the staff to be amazing. But I was afraid this time I was going to get lost in Jackson’s problems. “Well, I understand your thought process,” Baker says, slowly, but with a hint of admonishment. “Wait time have

actually gotten better in the ER, but I don’t know that we would have gotten you treated and released as fast as Aventura did.” She also noted that HCA, the company that owns Aventura, as well as Kendall Regional Medical Center, has been spending a lot of money promoting their hospitals and are trying to challenge Jackson across the county. Baker said making Jackson easier to “navigate” is one of the areas the hospital needs to improve. “That is a common perception in the community -- that Jackson is difficult to navigate,” Baker said. The consultant the union recently hired has been focused on improving things in the ER. One of the problems often encountered at Jackson’s ER is that indigent and uninsured patients come into the ER for routine medical care. “What we are trying to do is get those people to start going to Jackson’s clinics, where they can see primary care physicians and not have to crowd into the ER,” she said. “It’s really a broken system.” Baker said there can sometimes be a 12 hour wait time for an ER patients to get admitted into the hospital. “We are trying to make the flow of patients better,” she said. “We need to fix these problems and build public confidence again,” she said. “There’s a lot of room for improvement.” Jackson President and CEO Eneida Roldan often chides reporters that it is our job to offer more positive stories about Jackson. The press, however, is not a part of the hospital’s public relations team. I don’t know what the answer is but they might want to think about a few billboards of their own. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

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Leaders Block Jackson South Obstetrics Closure Reporting M i c h a e l Williams S. MIAMIDADE (CBS4) — Angry Miami-Dade commissioners blocked the closure of the obstetrics unit at Jackson South Hospital Thursday reversing the plan the hospital had previously announced. When news originally spread that Jackson South Hospital’s obstetrics unit would be closed to fill a multi-million shortfall, community leaders and residents balked. Katie Essig said she chose to give birth there because, she said, the care she received was excellent. “Please insure other mothers will receive the type of care we did,” Essig told Miami-Dade commissioners. Commissioners agreed and acted on it by blocking the decision to close the unit. “It just seems to me OB is so essential to the mission of a public health hospital particularly in South Dade,” said MiamiDade Commissioner Katy Sorenson. Martha Baker, president of Jackson Nurse’s Union, echoed Sorenson’s sentiments. “It would have denied mother in the safety net hospital delivery system access and it would have been some of the most underprivileged mothers. It would have denied access,” Baker said. The Public Health Trust tried to argue otherwise, but commissioners weren’t receptive to their arguments. Directors insisted that the obstetrics unit at Jackson South was underused and that replacing it with a surgical suite would

make it more profitable. “The decision takes us from losing 2.5 million to making two million, a 4.5 million dollars with the worst impact being inconvenience to a few,” said Angel Medina of the Public Health Trust. But angry commissioners who felt they had been kept out of the loop weren’t having it. “People are tired of feeling they are getting screwed in this process. Everytime you look around, Jackson South is on the firing line in reference to some sort of closure or something else going on. And you haven’t had a discussion with none of us. Not with me and I have a problem with that. ,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss. Now, the debate centers on plans to wrest control away from the Jackson Health System and place it in the hands of County Commissioners. It’s the latest political dilemma that’s expected to fuel the friction between the two powerful agencies. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

July 16, 2010


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July 16, 2010


Hollywood, Ft. Lauderdale Okay Red Light Cameras

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) — Big brother will be watching for drivers who run red lights in two more South Florida cities by the end of the year. Wednesday evening Ft. Lauderdale commissioners gave American Traffic Solutions the green light to install cameras at 11 intersections in the city.

• Sunrise Boulevard at Northwest 15th Avenue • Commercial Boulevard at Northwest 21st Avenue • Commercial Boulevard at Northwest Ninth Avenue • Northwest 62nd Street at Ninth Avenue • State Road 84 at Southwest Ninth Avenue • Northwest 62nd Street at 31st Avenue • Federal Highway at Northeast Eighth Street • South Federal Highway at State Road 84 Installation will begin next week and the city plans to start handing out the $158 tickets by August 8th. City officials say the cameras should generate about $3 million in revenue for them and nearly four and half million for the state, according to The Sun-Sentinel.

Those intersections include: • Northeast 15th Avenue at Sunrise Boulevard

Also Wednesday evening Hollywood commissioners unanimously approved and ordinance for a red light camera

program of their own which would comply with state standards. Previously city officials had held off on installing the cameras fearing that they would violate a state law. Ten intersections have been chosen for initial installation: Those intersections include: • Sheridan Street at North Park Road • Sheridan Street at I-95 • Sheridan Street at U.S. 441 • Hollywood Boulevard at U.S. 441 • Hollywood Boulevard at I-95 Hollywood hopes to have their cameras up and running by December 1st. Source: The Sun-Sentinel (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

M I A M I (CBS4) — More than 150 KIMBERLEY CHAPIN children now have a safe place to play, thanks to some special volunteers – including CBS4 anchor Shannon Hori. A large group of volunteers helped build a new playground at The Debbie School on Saturday. Volunteers replaced the old, outdated playground equipment with some brandnew toys. Managers there say the change was needed not only for the children’s safety, but to help their imaginations grow.

Organizer Kara Hoffman said, “This is a really innovative playground that is made of a series of blocks, balls, noodles – all kinds of loose parts – that add imagination and unstructured play to your traditional playground structure.” Children designed the layout of the playground themselves. For 30 years, The Debbie School, which is part of University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, has been a place for children with disabilities to learn and play alongside children who do not have any disabilities. Their old playground did not make it easy; the dated equipment was broken and slowly being taken apart. Now thanks to the Knight Foundation and KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization which creates ‘play spaces for kids’, the children of The Debbie School have the

playground of their dreams. Skye Anico, contributed to this story.


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The Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in North Bay Village has become the adoptive home of dozens of brown pelican chicks endangered by the oil spill in the Gulf. These chicks are the first to arrive at a facility that’s been getting ready to take in avian refugees. The 45 pelican chicks had been treated at the Fort Jackson Bird Rehabilitation Center in Buras, La., but they could not stay because more birds were expected. This weekend, they were transferred to Pelican Harbor, which has been training staff and making preparations to help in the bird rescue effort.


CBS4’s Shannon Hori Helps Build New Playground Reporting Kimberley Chapin

Gulf Pelican Chicks Arrive At Pelican Harbor

“When you see it happening in front of you words can’t even describe it; you have a plan in place, you are trained for it, but then the reality starts to set in,” said Wendy Fox, executive director of the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in North Bay Village, as her staff waited to be called on to help. Now, the time has come. The birds range in age from 5 weeks to 10 weeks old. Officials said Sunday that the pelicans will remain at the Miami center until they can fly and be released into the wild. Other rescued birds have also been relocated, including some pelicans who were moved to Texas. The hope is the birds will adapt to their new surrounds and remain, instead of returning to their old, endangered territories in the Gulf. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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July 16, 2010


FDLE Arrests 10 More In Mortgage Fraud Scheme Reporting Dave Game M I A M I (CBS4) — A scheme to ripoff banks and steal people’s identities so alleged crooks could get mortgages and buy properties has resulted in the arrest of 10 more South Florida residents, said the FDLE Friday morning. These are the latest indicted in a mortgage fraud scheme that has cost banks more than $8 million. The announcement was made by FDLE commissioner Gerard Bailey and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, the results of a 4 year investigation by the FDLE Miami office.

Investigators say the people whose arrests were announced Friday were involved in a scheme to steal the identities of people in New Jersey and Florida, and then give their drivers licenses to phony property buyers. Those people would use the stolen identities to get credit, obtain a mortgage, and buy properties.

individuals, in this case other members of the conspiracy.

After the property was purchased, it was sold, a practice called ‘flipping’, usually without mortgage payments being made to the banks. In some cases, investigators say, the property was flipped a number of times, with the alleged crooks pocketing the profits and the banks left holding the bag.

Investigators say the latest people charged in the fraud scheme face charges including racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, grand theft, and title insurance fraud.

Investigators say in some cases, different people in the alleged conspiracy would use a “Quit Claim Deed”, a simple transfer of a property between

14 different properties in Miami-Dade and Broward were given mortgages under this scheme, and investigators say most of them are now in foreclosure because the bank holding the mortgage was not paid.

Arrests announced Friday include: Michelle Minikus, 40, of Hollywood Donald Lee, 55, of Deerfield Beach Stephnine Jean, 28, of Hialeah Judith Clemow, 48, of Miami Lise Bessette, 57, of Deerfield Beach Brandi Brown, 26, of Miramar

Wesley Grant, 46, of Miramar Wonder Ragin Knowles, 52, of Coconut Creek Magaly Rosa, 43, of Miami Ofelia Torres, 51, Hialeah Gardens Investigators say 5 people have already been arrested in the scheme, one in 2006. Two have already pleaded guilty to racketeering charges, and two others are awaiting trial. Investigators say they expect other arrests as the wide-ranging investigation continues. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

Citizens Property Insurance Address Hijacked Citizens is warning roughly a million policy holders and new applicants that any letters or payments they sent to Citizen’s corporate address in Jacksonville between June 14th and June 28th was probably not received because someone hijacked their address.

JACKSONVILLE (CBS4) — If you made a payment to Citizens Property Insurance to cover your homeowners or business insurance bill sometime last month, you might want to check and see if they have your money. It seems someone found a way to hijack Citizens’ mailing address, and for the last 2 weeks in June, mail from the state’s insurer of last resort was sent to an address in Hialeah. Apparently, it was as simple as filing a change of address form with the Postal Service.

The state’s largest insurer said mail sent to their Jacksonville headquarters was wrongly diverted and it didn’t learn about the fraud until early last week, after receiving a change-of-address confirmation from the Postal Service. The change of address request listed an apartment in Hialeah as the new address. The insurer caught the fraud before a second request to change its P.O. box, where most payments are sent, was processed. Policyholders who sent payments during the two week period are asked to call Citizens’ hot line, toll-free 1-888-6851555, to confirm that their payment has been received.

The insurer said anyone who sent a payment that was not received should verify with their bank that the check was cashed. If it was, the insured should contact Citizens for instructions. If the payment was mailed and the check was not cashed, Citizens is asking clients to contact it’s customer insurance line to discuss payment options. Residential customers can make online payments, while business customers must pay by check. If a stop payment is necessary, Citizens said it will pay the fee once proof is provided. It’s not yet known who managed to convince the US Postal service to transfer mail from one of the state’s largest insurers to a Hialeah apartment, but it appears the Postal Service does not verify all change of address requests before placing them in effect. In the case of Citizens, the insurer was notified by

mail after the change had already been implemented. Citizens said the diversion of it’s mail could mean personal information from customers could have been misdirected as well, and is suggesting customers concerned about identity theft, “contact your financial institutions, credit card issuers, credit bureaus and other similar entities to advise them of this incident and verify that your account information, status, and transactions are correct.” (© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) NEWS POWERED BY

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Feds Paid “Dead” People’s Electric Bills their paperwork rubber-stamped by gullible government officials,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the ranking GOP member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which requested the investigation. The investigation found HHS paid thousands of dollars to people who were obviously ineligible for the program.

WASHINGTON DC (CBS4) — It was designed to help poor families heat and cool their homes, but an audit of the federal program that provided the found that more than $100 million went to pay electric bills of thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spent $5 billion through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The problem is that some of those states which received money never verified the applicants’ identities or income. For example, the program helped pay the electric bill of a woman who lives in a $2 million home in a wealthy Chicago suburb and drives a Mercedes. The Government Accountability Office launched an investigation into the program after an investigation by Pennsylvania’s state auditor found 429 applicants who received more than $162 thousand had used the Social Security numbers of people who were dead.

* HHS paid $3.9 million to 11,000 applicants who used the identities of dead people. * HHS paid $370,000 to 725 applicants who were in prison. * HHS paid $671,000 to about 1,100 people who made more than the maximum income to qualify for the program. New Jersey paid $3,200 to a nursing home on behalf of eight patients after the home’s director applied for assistance. The patients’ nursing home care was already paid by Medicaid. HHS now encourages states to require applicants to provide Social Security numbers to verify identities and check them against state databases that would show whether someone is dead, in prison or a nursing home. The agency also required all states to submit a detailed fraud prevention plan along with their funding requests. (© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) NEWS POWERED BY

The GAO also found that Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Virginia, which received about a third of the program’s funding, found improper payments in about 9 percent of households totaling $116 million. The report comes after a dramatic increase in the size of the assistance checks as fuel oil costs soared in 2008 and 2009. “LIHEAP is supposed to be for poor people, not for cheats who pose as something or someone they’re not and get

July 16, 2010


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In The Community: Soles For Haiti Reporting N i c o l e Maristany M I A M I (CBS4) — Since the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year, CBS4 viewers have made generous donations to Neighbors 4 Neighbors for relief efforts. While the aid and reconstruction news has dropped out of the headlines, relief efforts are still in full swing across the country. “Rubble all over place, the city is completely destroyed. It still looks like a war zone and really the condition people are living outside, there’s no progress,” explained Otoniel Tabares, the donations coordinator at America’s Relief Team, a non-profit organization and Neighbors 4 Neighbors community partner that specializes in the organizing the logistics behind sending relief aide to Caribbean countries in need. Amidst the rubble and aftermath, Tabares said Haiti is still in need of the simple things like food, water, shelter and shoes. “There are people right now who are using water bottles as their shoes, water bottles that they tie together with pieces of string so that they can walk around,”

said Tabares. America’s Relief Team (ART) reached out to community partners to get the Soles for Haiti project up and running. “A lot of time people want to help, people want to reach out, they feel the need, they feel the pain of other people but they don’t know how exactly to get involved” said Tabares. The project created a simple, inexpensive way for people to make a major impact on a big problem - by donating flip flops. “Flip flops are very easy to buy, a couple dollars, people bring them to the meetings, they are colorful people and something fun,” said David Nunes, the Community Relations Director of GMSHRM, a professional organization for Human Resources Professionals. “It’s going exceptionally well. We have companies like the Dade County Federal Credit Union and Burger King, these companies are taking this on and doing something substantial with it,” said Nunes. And although the amount of shoes keep stacking up, the participants say it’s only the beginning, as Nunes explains, “We’re hoping to raise 2010 for the year 2010 we want to raise more, but that’s our initial goal and maybe next year up the ante.”

To join the Soles for Haiti Project, contact Neighbors 4 Neighbors at (305) 597-4404 or visit America’s Relief Team at

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Can’t Beat The Heat? Beat High Power Bills Instead Reporting Cynthia Demos

wasting energy and make suggestions for changes that could cut your bill.

Most homes could be more e n e r g y efficient, but m a n y homeowners don’t know how to make it happen. Energy consultants may be the answer.

The survey takes about 15 minutes to finish, and while it can make suggestions, they tend to be a bit general, and you have to follow through to see any benefit. The good news is the survey is free.

SOUTH MIAMI (CBS4) — For most of the country, summertime is when homeowners can see a big break in their energy costs. In South Florida, it’s exactly the opposite. Between air conditioning costs and the power to run the pool pump, summertime electric bills can get out of hand. You can’t stop the heat, but there are ways to make your home more energy efficient so you can beat the heat’s effects and pay less. The first place to start is with the people you pay for your power. FPL offers customers the chance to do an energy survey online, which can help homeowners analyze ways they may be

For consumers who need a bit more help, entrepreneurs are finding that there is money to be made helping people to save, and one South Florida business has found it’s own niche in the power-billtaming profession. Pro Energy Consultants takes the online survey one better. The company sends a team into your home and, by using special equipment, checks the places where energy-hogs hang out to see if your air conditioning is flowing outside, taking your money with it. “We look for places where your home is wasting energy that would go undetected with other people,” said Chris Block, of Pro Energy Consultants.

They checked out Rosie Medina’s 3 thousand square foot home in South Miami. When the sun beats down in July, she’s beaten down by an electric bill that can hit $600 a month. “Please, help, please, “ she said. “There’s a lot more you could do with 5 or 600 dollars than write a check to FPL.” If you have leaks, the team finds them by putting a vacuum pump on the door to suck air from the house. That causes heat from the outside to come in through problem areas. An infrared tester spots the heat, and identifies it as a potential energy waster. The testers found a heat signature around Rosie’s recessed ceiling lights, meaning they should be replaced with more energy efficient models that offer insulation. Testers also use smoke to follow air currents, to find where hot air is entering the depressurized home. They found a leaking AC duct, and an attic scuttle cover that wasn’t properly sealed.

Every home has a different savings potential. The consultants write up a report showing all of the hot spots, and how much the homeowner can potentially save if the problems are fixed. They even suggest businesses that can do the work. In Rosie’s case, the report claimed that based on the leaks found, she could save 40% of her monthly electric bill, which would turn $600 into $360 per month. The testing is similar to in-home energy audits that FPL once conducted, but discontinued due to costs. Currently FPL offers in home cooling and heating duct inspections for a nominal fee. The price for the private audit from Pro Energy Consultants start at $300, but in Rosie’s case, she was happy to pay. “It’s definitely worthwhile,” she said, “I’m awaiting my next bill and will recommend them to everyone I know.” (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

“Staycation” Bargain Deals On Local Luxury Hotels tourists and locals alike. The Breakers Palm Beach is a AAA five diamond award-winning hotel featuring a golf range, tennis courts, luxury spa, private beach bungalows and many restaurants. Now until September 30, room rates start at $249 per night. Weekday savings include complimentary breakfasts, free meals and camps for children and free valet parking. Skye Anico, Intern SOUTH FLORIDA (CBS4) — Need a quick vacation? The Fontainebleau of Miami Beach, The Breakers of Palm Beach, and many more of South Florida’s luxury hotels are now offering low cost specials this summer for

W Fort Lauderdale is both trendy and elegant. Families can spend time together by the pool or at the beach across the street while others can visit the popular Whiskey Blue bar. This summer, W is offering their “Wow of W Fort Lauderdale” special, which has

rates starting at $299 per night. The special includes daily breakfast for two at the STEAK 954 restaurant, two free drinks at Whiskey Blue, 20 percent off spa services and free overnight parking.

dock their boats and try their jet skis or kayaks. Their “Come Out and Play” package has rates starting at $149 and includes two free cocktails and priority access to restaurants and bars.

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a chic hotel on the beach where restaurants and nightclubs abound. The hotel is offering their “Bleau Summer” deal, with rates starting at $199 per night. The special also offers one free night if you book for three nights. Children also eat for free 3 meals a day.

The Sonesta Bayfront Coconut Grove is a boutique style hotel that is just steps away from CocoWalk. The hotel is has a “Live it as a Local” program that offers rates starting at $129.

The Mondrian South Beach is a hotel with a unique sense of style, but still keeps with Miami’s tropical theme by offering a marina that invites guests to

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Soldier ‘Hactivist’ Charged Over Leaked Army Data In a series of online chats in late May with a fellow computer geek, Manning claimed he had leaked a staggering 260,000 classified diplomatic reports, along with secret video of U.S. service members killing civilians, to the whistleblower website

Army Intelligence Analysts Bradley Manning Claims To Have Shared Thousands Of Classified Diplomatic Documents With Whistle-Blower Website WASHINGTON (CBS) — With his custom-made “humanist” dog tags and distrust of authority, Bradley Manning was no conventional soldier. Ostracized by peers in Baghdad, busted for assaulting a fellow soldier and disdainful of the military’s inattention to computer security, the 22-year-old intelligence analyst styled himself a “hactivist.”

Whether or not Manning was the source, Wikileaks in April posted a video clips shot from a cockpit in 2007, of excited, laughing U.S. troops gunning down a group of men that included a Reuters news photographer and his driver. An internal military investigation concluded the troops acted appropriately, despite having mistaken camera equipment for weapons. The case has drawn comparisons to Daniel Ellsberg’s leak 40 years ago of the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret history of the Vietnam War. And it has bolstered perceptions that the Obama administration, despite a stated policy of open government, is as determined as its predecessors with keeping secrets. A Facebook page and website have been launched in support of Manning.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Army charged him with multiple counts of mishandling and leaking classified data and putting national security at risk.

Manning’s online confidant, former outlaw computer hacker R. Adrian Lamo, reported their chats to U.S. authorities in late May, partly out of concern, he says, that national security was at stake.

Manning is suspected of leaking a classified video that shows a group of men walking down the street in Iraq before being repeatedly shot by Apache helicopters.

Manning’s military defense attorney, Capt. Paul R. Bouchard, didn’t return calls and e-mails. The Army said Tuesday in a statement that a military version of a

grand jury hearing will determine if Manning should face a trial by courtmartial. Manning is a slight, boyish-looking son of divorced parents from Crescent, Okla., population 1,400. His Facebook page shows him smiling, with stylish, upswept hair and a stated affinity for gay-rights groups including Repeal the Ban, which seeks to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuals serving in the U.S. military. Growing up in a house he shared with his parents and older sister, Manning had a sharp intellect and an interest in science, history and computers, said Jordan Davis, a boyhood pal. He said Manning also was determined at a young age to join the Army. “It always seemed to me that Bradley was actually was more patriotic than probably even your average person,” he said. Chera Moore, another childhood friend, described Manning as highly intelligent and helpful. But she said he had “anger issues” and could get furious when people disagreed with him. When Manning’s parents split up in middle school, he left Oklahoma to live with his mother in Wales, Davis said. After Manning graduated from high school and returned to Oklahoma, he quit or lost jobs in food service and retail in Tulsa, Davis said. Settling briefly in

Chicago, Manning moved in with an aunt in Potomac, a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., and took community college courses before joining the Army in 2007. Davis said Manning trained in Arizona, probably at Fort Huachuca, where he trained in compiling intelligence reports. Such reports help the military determine changes in enemy capabilities, vulnerabilities and probable courses of action. In recent months, Davis said, Manning seemed to have grown more aware of social issues, including the gay-rights movement. Manning’s family members declined interview requests from The Associated Press. According to partial chat logs Lamo shared first with, Manning started communicating with Lamo on May 21, a couple weeks after he was reduced in rank from specialist to private first class for assaulting another soldier. In one of many personal asides, Manning told Lamo he had been the only nonreligious person in a town that had “more pews than people,” and that he had custom-made dogtags reading “humanist.” continued NEWS POWERED BY

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Soldier ‘Hactivist’ Charged Over Leaked Army Data continued

Manning said he was pending discharge for an “adjustment disorder,” according to the chat logs, but Army spokesman Lt. Col. Eric Bloom said Manning wasn’t facing discharge when he was detained May 29. The chats reveal Manning’s frustration at being “regularly ignored” at work. “I’ve been isolated so long,” he wrote. “I just wanted to be nice, and live a normal life ... but events kept forcing me to figure out ways to survive ... smart enough to know what’s going on, but helpless to do anything.” According to the chat logs, Manning’s turning point came when he watched Iraqi police detain 15 people for printing antiIraqi literature that turned out to be a scholarly critique of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. “After that ... I saw things differently,” he wrote. “I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.” Manning wrote he had copied onto compact discs “possibly the largest data spillage in American history” while listening and lip-synching to Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” He wrote that he exploited “a perfect storm” of military computer vulnerability: “weak servers, weak

logging, weak physical security, weak counterintelligence, inattentive signal analysis.” His motive, according to the chat logs: “I want people to see the truth ... because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” Manning wrote that he hoped to provoke worldwide discussion, debates and reform, according to the chat logs. Lamo told the AP he grew concerned “when it became apparent that he was leaking classified information to a foreign national” — Wikileaks’ Australian founder Julian Assange. Early in their online conversations, Manning told Lamo that he had sent 260,000 State Department diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. Lamo said he turned the chat logs over to Army criminal investigators after consulting with a friend who had worked in Army counterintelligence. “It was a combination of an conscience and an act spurred understanding of the law,” Lamo did this because I thought what doing was very dangerous.”

act of by my said. “I he was

Ellsberg said he considers Manning and Assange heroes for publicizing information the government wanted

suppressed. He said Manning’s alleged leak was possibly more significant than his own, which exposed the secret expansion of the Vietnam War. “He is the first person in 39 years to do something comparable to what I did — and really better than what I did, because it’s current,” Ellsberg said. Both Ellsberg and Gabriel Schoenfeld, an author who supports cracking down on leakers, said that the Obama administration has gone further than the Bush White House in pursuing alleged whistleblowers. According to the charging document, Manning was charged with putting a classified video of a military operation recorded July 12, 2007, in Baghdad on his personal computer. That is the date and the location of the U.S. helicopter shooting. He was also accused of accessing more than 150,000 classified State Department cables. While the charging document didn’t mention Wikileaks, Manning was accused of giving the video and at least one cable “to a person not entitled to receive” them. That cable was titled “Reykjavik 13.” Wikileaks has posted a Jan. 13 cable about a meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, summarizing U.S. Embassy discussions with Icelandic officials about the

country’s financial troubles. The charges against Manning follow April’s indictment of former National Security Agency worker Thomas Drake for allegedly lying and obstructing justice in an investigation of classified information leaks to The Baltimore Sun. The Army’s decision to charge Manning also followed a federal grand jury’s reissuance in April of a subpoena seeking the names of some sources for journalist James Risen’s book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.” Schoenfeld, author of “Necessary Secrets” and a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, said leaks of military information during wartime run counter to America’s interests. “We’re serious about trying to win, and it’s extremely damaging to the morale of our troops,” he said. “It inflames the local opinion, where we have a real battle for hearts and minds.” (© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) NEWS POWERED BY

HURRICANE SECTION 2010 Everything You Need To Know To Be Prepared This Hurricane Season.

• Tracking Map • Emergency Phone Numbers • Safety Information • Important Articles

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Keeping Your Water Supply From Being Tapped Out One thing to remember about storing water bottles is to make sure they’re clean. An item you may consider are collapsible water bags, which you can pick up from a camping supply store. If you need to clean one of the collapsible bags, fill it about half way and add a teaspoon of non-chlorinated bleach. Then, swish the mixture around in the bag, and then rinse thoroughly.

(CBS4) Water is the one hurricane supply you can’t live without. Before a storm approaches, or makes landfall, you should have a plan set in place so you won’t run dry after the storm. The main thing to remember is to know how much drinking water you will need if the water supply is tainted. You need 5 gallons for each person in your home. You will also need another 2 to 3 gallons for each pet/animal you own.

The bags can be stored in a freezer where they will conform to the size of your freezer. They will also keep frozen foods colder for a longer period of time. But, remember this: water expands as it is frozen. Therefore, only fill items headed for the freezer about 90 percent full. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

Special Needs For Hurricane Condo Preps whatever you do can affect your neighbor next door. Any items left in your balcony can become a projectile that can cause serious damage to your condo and your neighbors’.

MIAMI (CBS4) — You might know the drill to prepare for hurricanes if you live in a house, but with thousands living in high-rise condos in South Florida, your needs to prepare for a hurricane might be a bit different. Remember, the higher you live, the higher the winds will be. Shutters are essential to protecting property, and

Also, when it comes to electricity, remember that not all buildings are equipped with power generators, so if you are disabled and can’t up and down multiple flights of stairs, you need to find another place to ride out the hurricane. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


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Preparing Your Pets For A Storm

Your pets are members of your family. Don’t leave them out of your hurricane plans.

IMPORTANT: Shelters and evacuation centers DO NOT allow pets. There are exceptions in Miami-Dade & Broward. Seeing eye dogs are permitted in special needs facilities. Make sure your dogs and cats have collars and tags with updated information so that you can be contacted if they get loose in the confusion of a hurricane. All vaccinations should be up to date before a hurricane threatens.

that space is very limited. Make sure you know the policy regarding how long the kennel or vet will keep your pet, what vaccinations your pet will need, and if they will provide any of your pet’s medications. Allow yourself enough time in your hurricane plan to take your pets to be boarded.

during the storm. Afterwards, they may need time to adjust to changes in their daily routines.

If you must evacuate and you can’t take your pet or board it, you can leave it alone in a secured room, such as a bathroom. Leave sufficient food and water for two weeks. Put plastic covered with newspapers on the floor. DO NOT tranquilize your pet. Animals need to be alert to survive a hurricane. But animals have strong natural survival instincts. DO NOT risk your own life to stay behind with your pet.

In Miami-Dade, people and pets -- dogs, cats, birds, and other small animals -living in an evacuation zone can ride out the storm there, so long as they’ve preregistered. You should pre-register by calling (786) 331-5354 for the necessary forms. All animals must have current vaccination, and medical records.

If you are staying at your home, bring all outside pets inside for the storm. Don’t let them out again until you hear the “all clear.” Check your yard for hazards, such as broken glass, debris with sharp edges, or downed wires, before you let your pets out.

If you live in an evacuation zone, make plans NOW to stay with a friend or relative who will let you bring your pets. Have food, medication, and other items for your pet ready to go.

Make sure that you have sufficient food and medications for each pet as part of your hurricane kit. Don’t forget the needs of your pets when you are planning for your family’s water supply. Each animal needs a half-gallon of water per day.

You can make arrangements NOW with your veterinarian or a kennel to board your pets during a storm. But remember

Don’t forget that a hurricane can be just as traumatic for animals as it is for people. You will need to keep your pets calm

Note about pets: Miami-Dade & Broward Counties each have 1 shelter where hurricane evacuees can be safe during a storm -- and be with their pets!

In Broward, you must also pre-register. Space is extremely limited.

your veterinarian. A current photo of the pets you are planning to bring to the shelter. These photos will be attached to your registration. They will not be returned. Call (954) 989-3977 or go to for more information. For additional information on helping your pets through a hurricane, you can call the Humane Society of Greater Miami at (305) 696-0800, or the Humane Society of Broward County at (954) 9893977. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


To pre-register, you must bring the following with you in person to the Humane Society, 2070 Griffin Road, (one block west of I-95) Fort Lauderdale, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday:

Valid proof of residence in an evacuation area (including mobile home residents) such as an electric, water, or cable bill. A driver’s license is not sufficient proof.

Valid proof of rabies vaccination and county animal license tag for your pets. The name, address, and phone number of

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Foreclosure Crisis Still Gripping South Florida Reporting Joan Murray

Broward County was $123,270. The report further stated that buyers in the county paid 22 percent less for a home if it was in foreclosure, according to Realty Trac. The national average of home sales of foreclosed properties was 31 percent. Broward and Miami-Dade were both above that amount.

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) — While some regions of the country have started to see a rebound in the housing market; South Florida continues to suffer through the after-effects of the housing market collapse. The raw numbers in Broward County currently show 42,017 homes in foreclosure with 2,521 for sale. In MiamiDade County, the number of foreclosures was lower, 39, 203, but more homes were for sale, a total of 3,443. During the first three months of 2010, 44 percent of all houses that sold in Broward were in a stage of foreclosure. The numbers in Miami-Dade were even worse where 59.6 percent of all homes sold in the first quarter of this year were distressed properties. The Sun-Sentinel reported the average sale price of a foreclosed home in

“Lenders aren’t lending and cash is king,” said Dennis Hearing of Keller Williams Realty. While the news is music to the ears of buyers, the banks are still trying to figure out what to do with the foreclosed properties. “There has to be more understanding,” said home buyer Bryan Carpenter. “I don’t think brokers know what the value is now.” Realty Trac told the Sun-Sentinel that lenders continue to repossess houses in record numbers, but they must take great caution in managing the inventory to prevent further price drops due to a depressed housing market. Statewide, the Sun-Sentinel said foreclosures made up 39 percent of all transactions across Florida during the first fiscal quarter of 2010. According to Moody’s, home prices in Broward County

won’t begin to rebound until at least the third quarter of 2011. Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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S. Fla. Looks For Answers As Home Values Plummet Reporting M i c h a e l Williams HOMESTEAD (CBS4) — L o c a l governments will be forced to make do with less as property values continue to go down and foreclosures climb. Thursday, MiamiDade, Broward and Monroe Counties’ Property Appraiser delivered the bad news. Homestead is the hardest hit community in Miami-Dade, where property taxable values plummeted over 30 percent over the past year. Other communities in Miami-Dade that saw drops in taxable values of more than 20 percent included: North Miami, North Miami Beach, N. Bay Village, and Cutler Bay among others. It is a similar picture everywhere. Miami-

Dade property appraiser Pedro Garcia is stunned. “I have never seen,” he said, “a drop in value like what we have had in the last three years in Miami-Dade.” Overall, Miami-Dade county property values have fallen by 13.4 percent over last year’s numbers. North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre said the city workforce has taken pay cuts but he vows to protect residents. Pierre said, “I will not vote to cut services, I will not vote to increase the utility bill, I will not vote to increase taxes for the city of North Miami.” City and county leaders will face an enormous task to make good on such promises. Miami-Dade alone—its cities and the unincorporated area combined— shed $29 billion in taxable property value. That is money that pays for your police, fire service, libraries, parks and social services. City officials in Homestead have already had to make painful budget choices

including eliminating two dozen city jobs over the past year. Officials also added that the next budget may delay capital expenses, but they hasten to add that police manpower on the streets will not be affected.

In Broward taxable property values are down nearly 12 percent countywide. North Lauderdale plunged nearly 24 percent, Hollywood taxable property values are down 11 percent year over year and Weston saw a 10 percent hit.

Don’t even mention the possibility of a tax hike, though. The mayor said, “No tax increase. We will make it.”

Other communities in Broward that saw drops of more than 20 percent included: West Park, Lauderdale Lakes, and Lauderhill.

“It’s a sad time,” Garcia said at a Thursday meeting with the media. “I don’t envy the Board of Commissioners or any city with regard to the decisions they will have to make.” Miami commission chairman Marc Sarnoff braces for battles over pay and pension with city unions and tough fights on everything else. He said, “Now that you have inadequate amounts of money you’ve got to make hard decisions and those decisions will affect people’s very lives. It looks like what is appearing is a double dip recession and I think we need to prepare ourselves for the double dip.”

Spending cuts and at least the discussion of tax hikes will dominate budget discussions across South Florida in the months to come. For residents, it may mean cutbacks in park hours, libraries, transit and social services. (© MMX CBS Television Stations. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report) NEWS POWERED BY

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July 16, 2010


New Heartburn Surgery Makes Life A Lot Cooler Reporting Cynthia Demos MIAMI LAKES (CBS4) — Millions of Americans suffer from heartburn. It costs U.S. employers up to $75 billion a year in lost productivity. But now, there is a simple surgery that can cure heartburn. “I started having trouble with heartburn when I was about 16 years old,” said Eduardo Bustillo. The Miami Lakes resident said it was a family condition that got worse over time. “A few years ago, I was unable to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night taking, antacids all the time. The medication wasn’t working and I tried them all.”

Hospital performs what he calls a simple surgery to help eliminate gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD. “So the acid continuously comes up and burns the esophagus. What we do is using the stomach we make a new valve around the esophagus. It’s called a fundoplication and that now acts like a new valve,” explained Sosa. Heartburn is created by the failure of that valve. But certain foods and drinks can exacerbate the problem, including tomato and citrus products, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate.

life, you can’t socialize; you can’t have even an occasional drink,;you can’t sleep next to your spouse because you have to sleep on a couch sitting up or your head elevated six inches. It’s affecting you every single day; surgery provides a cure,” Sosa added. Bustillo had the surgery six months ago and can’t believe how his life has changed. “I’m able to eat everything. I don’t feel any heartburn at all. I do not have any reflux and the most important thing that I have noticed is I am able to sleep the whole night without waking up.”

Prilosec, Aciphex and Nexium are among the medications for heartburn. They can be costly and may not work for everyone.

Dr. Sosa said most patients are home the same day and are back to work within a week. The procedure is covered by insurance and studies show costs less than medication over time.

So if you’ve been suffering from the condition for years with no relief, Dr. Sosa recommends having this minimally invasive procedure.

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Dr. Jorge Sosa with Palmetto General

“When heartburn interferes with your daily

Study: Stem Cells Used To Revitalize Hands fat fillers which can be used to plump up hands and rejuvenate the skin. “When we put volume in, whether it’s the face or the hands, it just gives a youthful appearance,” Miller told CBS4’s Cynthia Demos. “That combined with the stem cells makes the skin rejuvenate and repair. It’s beyond plastic surgery, it’s actually regenerative medicine.”

Reporting Skye Anico, CBS4 Intern MIAMI (CBS4) —For some, looking young might entail cosmetic surgery to enhance or even replace certain parts of your natural body. But unless you want to end up like Frankenstein, some things just can’t be swapped out—like your hands. But a Miami plastic surgeon believes that stem cells may be the key to rejuvenate the body, rather than replace it. Board-certified Plastic Surgeon Randy Miller with the Miami Institute for Age Management & Intervention in Downtown Miami has started a study which uses stem cells from a patient’s own body fat to act as

This is good news for Miami Beach local Mindy Diamond, who has spent decades worshipping the sun and whose hands have paid the price. “Even in my 30s I started to get sun spots and peel,” Diamond said. “Who knew to put lotion on my hands, back them I remember putting zinc on my nose.” Diamond has had skin cancers removed from her hands over the years, creating a look that she calls “like a permanent burn.” Ultimately, Diamond could end up developing skin cancers over her entire hand, including deadly cancers like melanoma. But taking on this procedure could change that.

During the procedure, the patient undergoes liposuction to harvest the stem cells stored in the body. The stem cells are then separated from the blood and reintroduced into the hand. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia, so patients are awake the whole time. For some, the results are immediate. After performing the procedure on Diamond, Miller said she was already getting the benefits of the rejuvenation from the filler part. But it will take 6 months to a year before the skin rejuvenates and age spots disappear.

“It is my prediction that there will be more collagen and the skin will be thicker,” said Miller. The study at the Miami Institute is just getting underway and will be open to the public. Dr. Miller said this type of procedure will likely cost under $5,000. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

For information call: 305-477-1699

July 16, 2010

The Adtimes Newspaper - HEALTH


Listening To Music Too Loudly Is Killing People And in Middle River, Anna Stickel was listening to music when an Amtrak train struck her from behind, killing her instantly. Stickel’s friends still can’t believe she’s really gone. “It’s just crazy, to lose one of your best friends that fast,” said Brandon Yeager. The night before the 14-year-old’s death, Yeager, her boyfriend and childhood friend, made her a new music mix to listen to. BALTIMORE, Md. (CBS4) — New evidence shows that pumping up the volume on your headphones for your daily jog or bike ride could put your life at risk. CBS investigated recent deaths with one thing in common; the victims were wearing headphones. In March, a Washington, D.C. runner wearing earphones was hit and killed by a tractor trailer. On a South Carolina beach, a plane making an emergency landing crushed a jogger wearing his iPod.

“If I could rewind back to before it happened, I would have never given her iPod back,” Yeager said. Stickel was taking a shortcut across the train tracks to Kenwood High School with her friend Sarah Harden. They’d missed the bus that morning. Stickel was wearing headphones, but Harden wasn’t. With her music turned up, Stickel never heard the train coming. “We were laughing and joking and we

didn’t hear it, and I heard it a split second before she did and turned and ran,” said Harden.

along as Forrester demonstrated how unaware people wearing headphones really are.

Freshman Sarah Horner was Stickel’s best friend.

“She’s walking. She is totally oblivious to what’s going on behind her,” said Forrester.

“We all listen to iPods. I didn’t believe it at first. It still hasn’t really hit me yet that she’s gone,” said Horner. A spike in fatal accidents involving people listening to digital music players has public safety experts urging people to turn down the volume and tune in to their surroundings. Under Maryland law, it’s illegal to drive or ride a bike with earphones. It is legal to walk and listen to an iPod or your headphones. But should you do it? Police say absolutely not. “Not following traffic signals, when it’s safe to cross. Distracted while they’re walking,” said Maryland State Police Sergeant Douglass Forrester. WJZ rode

As for Stickel, who died on the train tracks in Middle River, her boyfriend can’t get over how listening to headphones contributed to her death. “If it wasn’t loud, she would have heard Sarah say ‘move’ and should have been able to move in time,” said Yeager. Now that the weather is nice, police warn you to be extra vigilant because more cyclists and joggers are on the roads. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

The Adtimes Newspaper - HEALTH

For information call: 305-477-1699

July 16, 2010


How Healthy Are Frozen Diet Meals? Reporting Cynthia Demos

controlled portions. OCCASIONAL MEALS

(CBS4) For convenience and health reasons many people eat those frozen diet meals you can buy at the grocery store. But how do you know if those frozen diet meals really work and just how healthy are they? Jenna Swan-Gross has tried a lot of different ones, but settled on The Smart Ones from Weight Watchers, mostly because her employer started a Weight Watchers program for its employees. “You can just heat it up and eat it, and it’s delicious,” she says.

But Registered Dietitian Suzanne Rostler says you shouldn’t eat them all the time. “They can really help if done right. And what I mean by that is, use them occasionally,” says Rostler. “I would recommend eating a meal like this for lunch no more than three times a week,” she cautions. There are a lot of health reasons for following the “everything in moderation” rule here. “What’s not so good is that these foods tend to be really high in sodium,” warns Rostler. That means salt.

And for Jenna it worked. WHAT’S IN THEM “I lost 37 pounds,” she says. There are plenty of frozen diet foods to choose from and they’re all low-cal, and

You may be surprised by what you find on the labels.

One randomly selected product had 880 milligrams of sodium. That’s 37-percent of what an average person should have in a day. Then there are the additives and preservatives. “Half the stuff is really hard to pronounce, and so I wonder, if you can’t say it, do you really want to be putting it in your body?” asks Rostler. And since the portions are so small, you run the risk of being hungry, which means you might be tempted to snack on other, higher calorie foods. “No one can be happy and just eat these,” says Swan-Gross.

It creates a more well-rounded diet that is sustainable. “My goal is just to be healthier,” she says. You also want to be able to broaden your healthy diet choices. “People also need to learn how to prepare fresh food, and eat it in the appropriate portions to lose weight,” says dietitian Suzanne Rostler. That’s because you can’t get all the nutrition you need from these diet meals alone, because no matter how healthy they look on the package, they’re still processed food and never as good as fresh.

WHAT ELSE TO DO That’s why she has a stash of veggies, fruit and for a treat, popcorn, to supplement the frozen meals, and she eats a variety of foods while using the diet products a handful of times each week.

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And that’s good.

South Florida Doctor Creates ‘Medical Facebook’ allows it users to chat with doctors or nurses, refill prescriptions and catalog their medical records. It can be accessed by phone or computer and, best of all, lets you skip out on doctor visits. “You don’t have to wait an hour, pay a copay or pay for valet downstairs,” said creator Dr. Steven Schnur at Mouth Sinai told CBS4’s Cynthia Demos. Reporting Skye Anico, Intern MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) — Busy schedules, healthcare unrest and crowded waiting rooms have many people roaming from doctor to doctor and fumbling with medical paperwork. Now a South Florida doctor has created an online medical database he likes to call a ‘medical Facebook,’ which allows patients and their doctors to access medical files with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Dr. Schnur said his patients who are signed up for the program have their questions answered online 80 percent of the time. “This is pretty cool,” said subscriber Tom Mooney, who is a city planner for Miami Beach, trains for triathlons and has a 2year-old son. “It’s on my iPhone so I can access it 24 hours a day, anywhere in the world. If it’s something you use a lot it’s worth its weight in gold.”

Currently about two thousand people and three hundred doctors are signed up on the site. When new members sign up, their doctors are invited to join. If the doctor declines they will still have access their patient’s x-rays and medical information which is posted on their page. Another important factor that Dr. Schnur stresses is the social aspects of the website. Dr. Schnur said getting to know your patient and having them know you personally makes for better medical care. Accessibility is another key, according to Dr. Schnur. “If I happen to see an article or if I had a question about a food supplement, I can pop out the iPhone send him a message or look it up on the online data base,” Mooney said. The first month of service is free of

charge, but after that it’s $14.95 per month. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

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The Adtimes Newspaper - HEALTH

July 16, 2010


Driving For The Blind? Researchers Hope So theory that blindness ends the capacity of human beings to make contributions to society.” The Baltimore-based organization was announcing its plans for the vehicle demonstration at a news conference Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla.

WASHINGTON (CBS News) —Could a blind person drive a car? Researchers are trying to make that far-flung notion a reality. The National Federation of the Blind and Virginia Tech plan to debut a prototype vehicle next year equipped with technology that helps a blind person drive a car independently. The vehicle, a modified Ford Escape, is scheduled to be demonstrated to the public as part of the pre-race activities at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 29, 2011. A blind driver will navigate part of the famed Daytona International Speedway course. The technology, called “nonvisual interfaces,” uses sensors to let a blind driver maneuver a car based on information transmitted to him about his surroundings: whether another car or object is nearby, in front of him or in a neighboring lane. The NFB posted a collection of videos of how “blind driving” would work. Advocates for the blind consider it a “moon shot,” a goal similar to President John F. Kennedy’s pledge to land a man on the moon. For many blind people, driving a car has long been considered impossible. But researchers hope the project could revolutionize mobility and challenge long-held assumptions about limitations. “We’re exploring areas that have previously been regarded as unexplorable,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind. “We’re moving away from the

Maurer first talked about building an automobile that the blind could drive about a decade ago when he launched the organization’s research institute. “Some people thought I was crazy and they thought, ‘Why do you want us to raise money for something that can’t be done?’ Others thought it was a great idea,” Maurer said. “Some people were incredulous. Others thought the idea was incredible.” The vehicle has its roots in Virginia Tech’s 2007 entry into the DARPA Grand Challenge, a competition for driverless vehicles funded by the Defense Department’s research arm. The university’s team won third place for a self-driving vehicle that used sensors to perceive traffic, avoid crashing into other cars and objects and run like any other vehicle. Following their success, Virginia Tech’s team responded to a challenge from the National Federation of the Blind to help build a car that could be driven by a blind person. Virginia Tech first created a dune buggy as part of a feasibility study that used sensor lasers and cameras to act as the eyes of the vehicle. A vibrating vest was used to direct the driver to speed up, slow down or make turns. The blind organization was impressed by the results and urged the researchers to keep pushing. The results will be demonstrated next January on a modified Ford Escape sport utility vehicle at the Daytona International Speedway before the Rolex 24 race. The latest vehicle will use nonvisual interfaces to help a blind driver operate the car. One interface, called DriveGrip, uses gloves with vibrating motors on areas that cover the knuckles. The

vibrations signal to the driver when and where to turn. Another interface, called AirPix, is a tablet about half the size of a sheet of paper with multiple air holes, almost like those found on an air hockey game. Compressed air coming out of the device helps inform the driver of his or her surroundings, essentially creating a map of the objects around a vehicle. It would show whether there’s another vehicle in a nearby lane or an obstruction in the road. A blind person, who has not yet been chosen, will drive the vehicle on a course near the famed Daytona race track and attempt to simulate a typical driving experience. Dr. Dennis Hong, a mechanical engineering professor at Virginia Tech who leads the research, said the technology could someday help a blind driver operate a vehicle but could also be used on conventional vehicles to make them safer or on other applications. Advocates for the blind say it will take time before society accepts the potential of blind drivers and that the safety of the technology will need to be proven through years of testing. But more than anything, they say it’s part of a broader mission to change the way people perceive the blind. Mark Riccobono, executive director of the NFB’s Jernigan Institute, said when he walks down the street with his 3-year-

old son, many people might think he, as a blind person, is being guided by his son. “The idea that a 3-year-old takes care of me stems from what they think about blindness,” Riccobono said. “That will change when people see that we can do something that they thought was impossible.” (© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) NEWS POWERED BY

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The Adtimes Newspaper - ENTERTAINMENT / DINING

July 16, 2010


Lady Gaga Creates Eye-Catching New Trend increasingly concerned. Teenagers are now trying to imitate the huge, cartoonish eyes from Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance music video with overthe-counter cosmetic contact lenses. These unprescribed contacts, reminiscent of Japanese ‘anime eyes,’ are illegal and could lead to severe vision impairment.

Reporting Skye Anico, Intern

DORAL (CBS4) — Lady Gaga is known for making a scene with her outlandish style. Her fan base will do just about anything to keep up with her fashion, but a new nationwide trend has parents and eye doctors growing

Dr. Lori Espinoza, an Optometrist at The Doral Eye Center, said these improperly sized contacts can cause infection, scratches in the cornea of the eye, corneal ulcers, and even blindness. “It’s not just the fitting; teenagers can be haphazard about cleanliness,” said Dr. Espinoza told CBS4’s Christina Loren. “They may not really think about the

consequences of putting a dirty finger in the eye or even sleeping with the contacts in.”

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

These decorative contacts can be bought online for about $20 and, although illegal, can be found in costume shops in South Florida. Luckily, some young people aren’t too crazy about the look. Emilio Espinoza of Doral thought the look might come in handy “if you want to look like a puppy maybe. Or alien like.” If you still want to try Lady Gaga’s giant doll eyes, your safest bet is using a computer program to alter a picture of yourself. After all, the look for Gaga herself in the video was created with a computer, not dangerous cosmetics.

Nintendo Launches Wii Games: Summer 2010 Reporting Kimberley Chapin

from Wii Fit™ Plus, New Super Mario Bros.™ Wii and racing thrills in Mario Kart™ Wii.

M I A M I (CBS4) — Nintendo wants KIMBERLEY CHAPIN players of all ages to get up, get moving, and have a blast! Nintendo of America is kicking off a tournament traveling across the county, the Wii Games: Summer 2010!

Between mid-July and mid-August, tournaments will be held Six Flags theme parks in California, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Other events will be held at 16 shopping malls across the country.

Beginning July 16 with a large-scale kick-off event in Liberty State Park in New Jersey and culminating in a national championship event in Los Angeles Sept. 3-5, the Wii Games: Summer 2010 competition will include tournament events in 24 locations across the nation. People will battle for top scores with Nintendo’s games. Open to kids, teens, adults, seniors and families, the Wii Games: Summer 2010 events will be focused on five activities: Basketball and Bowling in Wii Sports Resort™, the Hula Hoop® challenge

Participants can compete for prizes or just show up to have fun. The Wii Games: Summer 2010 competition will be open to two- and four-player teams organized by age group. Categories include Teen, Adult and Super Adult, and categories in which adults and younger players can compete together. Participants’ best scores in all five featured activities will be combined to determine their total scores. “The Wii Games: Summer 2010 events are a celebration of the fun, active, inclusive spirit of Wii,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “I’m sure players will have

fun interacting with friends and family members while they train for each event. Even better, they’ll get to demonstrate their skills in front of enthusiastic audiences everywhere.” Qualifying winners will travel to Los Angeles for the Wii Games: Summer 2010 national championships, where they’ll be eligible to win great prizes like Nintendo systems and games, home entertainment packages, a cruise, trophies and the national exposure that comes with victory. Olympic gold medal-winning gymanst Shawn Johnson will be the Wii Games: Summer 2010 Ambassador. Johnson will appear at select Wii Games: Summer 2010 events. “I play Wii games with my friends and family all the time,” said Shawn Johnson. “I’m looking forward to watching people from all over the country coming together to have fun and compete.” An online sweepstakes will also be held to allow additional consumers to

participate in the Wii Games: Summer 2010 national championships. For a list of event locations, a list of prizes and the complete rules for Wii Games: Summer 2010, visit (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


For information call: 305-477-1699

The Adtimes Newspaper - ENTERTAINMENT / DINING

A New South Florida Hot Spot: The Ice Lounge Reporting Lisa Petrillo MIAMI (CBS4) — “It’s freezing in here, Dean!” CBS4’s Lisa P e t r i l l o shouted, suited up as though she’s headed into the arctic, despite it being a sweltering South Florida summer. Why? To visit the “So Cool E Venue” Ice Lounge. “We’re at 24 degrees here in the Ice Lounge,” said creator Dean Holderman, “and you’re surrounded by 50 thousand pounds of ice from Canada. It took five of us about five days to configure it into walls and furniture for the ice bar.” Dean and Meg Holderman purchased an empty warehouse space in Miami to

create custom-styled events and parties for customers. Any theme can be created from scratch. Then they decided to install a vacuumpacked 25x30 foot ice lounge, so guests can flow from the warm party to the cool vibe in the ice bar. “So what guests will do is they’ll come and go into the ice bar; they’ll have a drink, they’ll take a picture, go back to the party and dance and then go back into ice bar,” Dean explained. Everything in the lounge is made of ice. From the cocktail glasses to the tables, even the paintings are frozen with food coloring. “We have everything here,” Meg said. “Parties that don’t start until midnight and end at 4 a.m. We have quinceneras, bar and bat mitzvahs, 21st birthday parties…” and the list goes on. Parties are

booking up quickly. The ice bar boasts one of the largest inventories of LED lights. The look of the room can change at any time. And when you think you need a breath of warm air, all you have to do is step outside. “We always have our greeter say, ‘welcome to Florida!’ as they come out of the Ice Lounge; they are back into our beautiful weather,” Dean said. And now, South Florida isn’t the only home to an Ice Bar – Meg and Dean just completed one for Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Epic ship. (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

July 16, 2010


The Adtimes Newspaper - SPORTS

For information call: 305-477-1699

Feds Approve Seminole Tribe’s Table Games Legislature’s approval. The cards continued to be dealt because the compact did have the U.S. Department of Interior’s approval. State officials had no legal standing to shut down the games. During the recent legislative session, the tribe reached an agreement with lawmakers and the governor to guarantee the state $1 billion. MIAMI (CBS4) — It’s a hand the Seminole Indian tribe has officially won. After years of uncertainty, the federal government has allowed the Seminole Indian tribe to deal blackjack and operate table games. Since signing the 2008 compact with Gov. Charlie Crist, the tribe has been operating table games. But the Florida Supreme Court had thrown out that compact because it did not have the State

Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs approval was made official after its publication in the Federal Registry on Tuesday. (© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) NEWS POWERED BY

July 16, 2010


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The Adtimes Newspaper - SPORTS

July 16, 2010


New Lineup Makes Miami Heat And Business Sizzle Reporting M i c h a e l Williams Wade-County Name Was Extended For A Week M I A M I (CBS4) — Fans flocking to the American Airlines Arena to see the “Dream Team” Friday night was only a small sign of the Miami Heat frenzy going on throughout South Florida. Business and civic leaders are taking note of this, and are positive that LeBron, Wade and Bosh will make this summer sizzle in Miami. Miami Heat officials announced Friday afternoon that they were giving away tickets on Ticketmaster. Hours later, the tickets had already “sold out.” Season tickets had already sold out on Thursday, the day of LeBron’s announcement that he was joining the Heat. Lebronamania swept huge swaths of South Florida Friday. Office workers grabbed cell phone cameras and dashed over to a medical complex where the former Cleveland Cavalier-turnednewest-Heat-superstar underwent part of his screening physical before officially joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat roster. The fans waited in sweltering heat and rain. They were rewarded with silence, no smile and a perfunctory wave when James emerged with his entourage and drove off to the next destination. Meanwhile, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado entertained visions of fresh buzz and business for downtown Miami once the NBA season gets underway. “It is going to be great for the economics of downtown,” said Regalado. “They are saying they love South Beach but they are going to play in Downtown Miami. They are sold out and we are going to

have a full season of people going around downtown.” Mayor Regalado is not losing sleep over his deflated counterparts in Akron and Cleveland, Ohio. They called, but the mayor told CBS4’s Michael Williams, “I did not speak to them. I did not know what to say other than, I’m sorry.” He didn’t look too sorry. In fact, Regalado looked like someone who just won the lottery. Now all the Heat’s fabulous new trio has to do is win all those NBA championships so many assume are already in the bank. South Florida is known for great parties and this upcoming weekend residents are turning up the Heat in honor of the three players. From Miami International Airport to the American Airlines Arena to The W Hotel on Miami Beach, fans are everywhere hoping to catch a glimpse of the Miami Heat’s new “Dream Team.” Hours after announcing that he was leaving Cleveland to play for the Heat, James arrived at Miami International Airport around 3 a.m. where he was met by team president Pat Riley and about two dozen excited fans. He was then whisked to the posh W hotel on Miami Beach where the second member of “Dream Team,” Chris Bosh, is staying. Fans packed the entrance to the hotel as James arrived, the two-time Most Valuable Player seemingly unfazed by all the hubbub surrounding him. “It was an incredible moment when he decided to go with the Miami Heat, we were recording it and it was an amazing experience,” said Mario Valdes. “What a moment to see him in person,” said one excited fan outside the W. James was ushered into the hotel after he spent a few minutes sitting in a limo updating his fans on Twitter.

“He’s in a room that he chose that he likes,” said David Edelstein, owner of the W Poolside where James has reserved a number of cabanas. “He’s free to come and go like all our guests, there’s no special security contingent. This is a place where he can feel very comfortable and very relaxed.” Just after 10 a.m. James stepped into the limelight once more as he left the hotel for a medical clinic in southwest MiamiDade where he underwent testing. At the American Airlines Arena, residents and tourists showed up at the Miami Heat store looking for jerseys with James, Wade, or Bosh’s name on them. One shopper said wasted no time in getting to the store after he heard about LeBron’s decision. “I bought a Dwyane Wade jersey that I had already planned on getting but I figured I’d better come down here early in the morning because of the LeBron business. I love LeBron the same way I love Wade so I’ll be back on Monday.” The store only received about a dozen Lebron James #6 jerseys on Friday that sold out in minutes. Even some city and county officials have gotten caught up in the excitement of the Heat’s Dream Team. Miami-Dade commissioners extended “Miami-Wade County” week at Thursday’s meeting in order for Dwyane Wade to sign his contract while the county is still named after him. Originally sponsored by Commissioner Joe Martinez the legislation temporarily changing Miami-Dade County to “Miami-Wade County” from July 1-7, when Wade would officially become a free agent. “Miami has really been energized not only by Wade’s decision to stay, but also the addition of Chris Bosh and LeBron James to the HEAT’s roster,” said

Commissioner Martinez. “I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we are looking at a new sports dynasty in the making that will excite fans and also generate more business in the region.” (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) NEWS POWERED BY

The Adtimes Newspaper July 16, 2010 Edition

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The Adtimes Newspaper - AUTOMOTIVE

July 16, 2010


Two Auto Dealers Saved From GM, Chrysler Closures

MIAMI (CBS4) — A pair of longtime South Florida auto dealerships put on the chopping block last year after the financial meltdown at Chrysler and General Motors are being given a second chance. Last summer GM, in an effort to avoid bankruptcy, announced it would close nearly two thousand of its six thousand dealerships nationwide. It was similar story over at Chrysler which announced that it planned to close nearly 800 of their 32 hundred dealerships.

On the list of dealers scheduled for closure were William Lehman Buick Pontiac GMC on the Miami-Dade/ Broward border and Phil Smith Chevrolet in Lauderhill.

Last month GM announced that 900 dealers off their closure list; one of those is Pines Pontiac GMC Buick on Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines which is waiting to hear if it will survive.

Now both have received word that they will remain open for business, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald, and many other dealerships slated for closure are hoping for the same fate.

One of the reasons why the Lehman dealership succeeded in remaining open may have been their long history in South Florida’s business community. A number of influential community and business leaders, including Miami Gardens’ Mayor Shirley Gibson argued on their behalf.

William Lehman Buick won their reprieve through arbitration which was required by Congress last December for all dealerships who wished to fight the closure orders. Slated for shutdown in October, the William Lehman dealership now plans to open a new Buick and GMC showroom and hire as many as 30 new employees. Monarch Dodge in Lauderdale Lakes wasn’t so lucky. It appealed its closing in arbitration after it shut its doors. It lost.

Being a strong influence in the city and the city’s tax revenue also helped the Phil Smith dealership in arbitration. Another factor that played into their survival is the jump this year in car sales, especially in South Florida. While sales of Chevrolets are up about 16 percent nationwide wide over last year, in South Florida sales are up 35 percent. Sales of Chrylers sales were also up 35 percent in June compared to last year.

(© MMX CBS Television Stations. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report) NEWS POWERED BY

The Adtimes Newspaper July 16, 2010 Edition

The Adtimes Newspaper

July 16, 2010


Horoscopes provided by


DIRECTOR OF SALES Cesar Rodriguez ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES Ines Collado Ayla Sedlacek INSIDE SALES Sarah White OFFICE MANAGER Montserrat Surroca FRANCHISING Tony Gambirazio

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(Aug. 24-Sept. 22)

(Oct. 24-Nov. 22)

(Nov. 23-Dec. 21)

A little overtime may help you reduce the workload. Your greatest enjoyment will come through social activities and pleasure trips. You should be setting up interviews or sending out your resume this month. Ask others to help, or you may feel that a burden is weighing you down. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday.

Look into alternate means of sup porting your financial burdens. Talk to the party involved and make sure that they are informed as to what actually happened. Things are looking good for you, so open your eyes and get to it. Finish projects that have been hanging over your head. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Friday.




(Mar. 21-Apr. 20)

(Jan. 21-Feb. 18)

(Feb. 19-Mar. 20)

Talk to your mate about a vacation and discuss the expectations of your relationship. Your reputation will be affected. You may be overreacting to personal problems. Stretch the truth, and you may get blamed for something you didn’t do. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday.

If you put your mind to it, you could entertain or host a multitude of social events. Don’t let peers distract you or push their work your way. People who try to persuade you to do things their way will annoy you. Your charm will attract someone special. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Monday.




(Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

(May 22-June 21)

Social events will lead to a strong and stable relationship. Try to bend but by no means should you give in completely. You will find that friends or relatives may not understand your needs. You can accomplish a lot if you deal with other people’s money or possessions this month. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday.

(Apr. 21-May 21)

However, be careful with luggage; it may be rerouted. You need to concentrate on the areas where you can make a difference. Minor accidents may occur if you don’t concentrate on what you’re doing. You may want to take a look at the personal papers of elders in your family. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday.

Don’t be shy to promote your own interests. New romantic relationships will develop through group activity related to sports events. Children might be on your mind. Don’t hesitate to make special plans just for two. Mingle with individuals who are established and can give you some serious insight into business and future trends. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

Complete the grid so each row, column and 3x3 box Iin black borders) contains every digit 1 to 9.

July 2nd Solution

5 7 8 6 4 9 1 2 3

Check your personal papers and make sure everything is in order. Emotionally you won’t see things accurately. Don’t hesitate to visit someone who hasn’t been well. Try to keep an open mind. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.


Your generous nature could be taken advantage of. Romance will be on your mind, and chances for ideal connections are in the works. Be sure not to burn any bridges. You can meet potential new mates if you socialize with friends. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Monday.

9 4 3 5 1 2 6 8 7

(Sept. 23-Oct. 23)

Don’t let emotional upset force you into the poorhouse. You need more time to think this whole situation through. You could meet an interesting individual you’ll want to get to know better. Try to curb your habits, or you could find yourself in an awkward financial position. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Monday.

Overindulgent people will cause disruptions in your life. Matters pertaining to your home environment will be favorable if you are direct. Do not confront situations unless you are sure you have a good understanding of the dilemma.You must make them stand on their own two feet regardless of how much you want to make things better for them.Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

• DISTRIBUTION The AdTimes Newspaper powered by CBS4.COM is distributed in high foot traffic locations in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county areas such as Publix, Winn Dixie, Sedano’s, CVS, Navarro Discount Pharmacy, Blockbuster, 7-Eleven, Bally’s Fitness, Sears, Big Lots, K-Mart, Regal Cinemas & Sawgrass Mills Mall.

(July 23-Aug. 23)

You may find that female colleagues will be more help than you anticipated. Enjoy taking courses or lecturing others. Secret affairs will come back to haunt you. Situations could easily get blown out of proportion if you have made unreasonable promises. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

PUBLISHER Tony Gambirazio ART DIRECTOR Tammy Kukic


(June 22-July 22)

2 6 1 3 7 8 4 5 9

3 1 9 7 8 4 2 6 5

6 2 7 1 3 5 9 4 8

4 8 5 2 9 6 7 3 1

8 9 6 4 5 7 3 1 2

7 3 4 8 2 1 5 9 6

1 5 2 9 6 3 8 7 4

6 5 7 2


9 6 5


6 7 5 3 2 9 7 4 8 4 1 5 3 1 7 4

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