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Florida Legislative Measure Seeks To Make Street Takeovers, Vehicular Stunts Illegal




MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Street takeovers to perform car stunts like doughnuts, drifting and burnouts would be illegal in Florida under a bill unanimously approved by a Senate committee Wednesday.

Street takeovers have become an almost nightly event in Miami and other Florida cities and have caused numerous injuries and deaths, said Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo, the bill’s sponsor.

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Pizzo showed members of the state Senate Transportation Committee videos of cars doing doughnuts during a street takeover — tires screeching and smoking as drivers went in circles with passengers hanging out the windows and spectators trying to touch the cars.

The last scene showed a woman’s head lying in the street.

“That’s a mother of four who was decapitated,” Pizzo said as one of the committee members gasped. “They were leaning outside the car, and these cars go astray.”

Street takeovers often involve hundreds of spectators. Cars block access to an intersection, stopping traffic in all directions and making it harder for police to respond. It’s become a widespread problem around the country, including cities in Texas and California.

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Pizzo’s bill would make it a first degree misdemeanor to participate in a street takeover as a driver, passenger or spectator if the spectator deliberately attended the event. Violators would face fines of between $500 and $1,000 and up to a year in jail.

With most misdemeanors, a law enforcement office has to witness the infraction to make an arrest without a warrant, but the bill would allow arrests based on video or other evidence even if an officer doesn’t see it firsthand, Pizzo said.

Takeovers are often planned on social media, with videos of the events later posted on websites like YouTube.

“It is something that in my district that is a huge problem,” said Democratic Sen. Shevrin Jones, who represents Miami-Gardens. “If you ride down the street, you’ll see at the intersection there are tire marks in the middle of the street where kids play and also where neighbors walk. It’s extremely dangerous.”

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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Team

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After Democrats walk out of Ladapo confirmation hearing, Republicans unanimously support him




Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at the Orlando Sentinel.

TALLAHASSEE — Democrats walked out of a confirmation hearing for Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, saying he didn’t adequately answer questions on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans then unanimously voted for the polarizing public health chief’s confirmation.

His nomination still requires a vote from the full Senate.

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book pressed Ladapo repeatedly to give a yes or no answer on whether vaccines are effective against COVID-19 at a meeting of the Health Policy Committee on Wednesday,

“Yes or no questions are not that easy to find in science,” he said. “… The most commonly used vaccines in the United States … have been shown to have relatively high effectiveness for the prevention of hospitalization and death and over time relatively low protection for infection.”

Book responded, “We get two buttons to push here, Dr. Ladapo. Yes or no. Do vaccines work in preventing COVID-19? Yes or no.”

Ladapo, who serves as Florida’s public health chief, said he is “married to data” and reiterated his answer that the vaccines have “reasonable effectiveness” against hospitalization and death.

Ladapo also declined to endorse masks, saying they hadn’t been shown to have a significant effect on the spread of COVID-19. That’s at odds with the advice of most public health officials who say masks, particularly N95 masks, are an effective way to slow transmission.

He wouldn’t explain why Dr. Raul Pino, Orange County’s health chief, was put on administrative leave, saying there was an active inquiry. Pino was put on leave after he sent an email to staff highlighting the department’s low COVID-19 vaccination rate and urging them to get vaccinated.

“I want to clarify that particular position was absolutely not placed on administrative leave for any reasons that were potentially political or related to anything other than the policies we have in the Department of Health,” Ladapo said.

Senators asked whether Ladapo regretted not agreeing to state Sen. Tina Polsky’s request to wear a mask during a meeting, a dispute that made national headlines. The Boca Raton Democrat had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Ladapo wouldn’t say whether he had regrets, instead stressing that he thought it was important to “respect people’s preferences.”

“We don’t feel we are getting any answers,” Book, D-Plantation, said after about an hour of questioning. “We know there is a long agenda today with a lot of bills. The Florida Senate Democrats in this committee are now going to abstain, walk out and come back when we have more business.”

After the walkout, Ladapo told reporters he thought he had accurately answered the questions.

“I wish them well,” he said. “I have no ill will toward them. I hope we can work together on issues of public health.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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What’s happening in Miami this spring?




As another semester arrives, we are all excited to explore the experiences that come with living in Miami. Between music, food and fashion, the entertainment scene this spring is full of exciting events. Public health and safety are still among our top priorities, so choose your outings wisely and make sure to follow all COVID-19 precautions like mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing.

South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Hosted by the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival is an annual event that showcases the world’s top wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities.

From Feb. 24-27, the festival will hold wine tastings and seminars, high-class brunches and dinners, fitness sessions, family events and late-night parties. Some of this year’s talent includes culinary celebrity Guy Fieri, TV personality Rachel Ray and even singer Adam Levine hosting a high-class dinner.

Miami Open

Taking place from March 21 through April 3, the Miami Open returns to South Florida for another year! Featuring the world’s 96 top male and female tennis players, the international tennis tournament will take place at Hard Rock Stadium, which is home to both the Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes football teams.

While it hasn’t yet been confirmed who will appear at the annual event, current tennis rankings hint that favorites like Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic will both compete. Past winners include Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Roger Federer. Tennis enthusiasts can secure tickets online for groups and single sessions, as well as partial and full tournament packages.

Carnaval Miami

Taking place in March, Carnaval is a celebration of all things Miami, with a diverse lineup of events that cover art, music, fashion, food and sports. Carnaval on the Mile, happening the weekend of March 5 and 6, will feature art vendors, local cuisine and three concert stages boasting a cultural explosion of jazz, funk and rock music.

Other events, like the crowning of Miss Carnaval Miami in February, the annual golf and domino tournaments in Little Havana and the 5v5 soccer challenge in April all come together to round out the anticipated, high-energy Miami event.

Calle Ocho Music Festival

Located in the heart of Little Havana, the nation’s largest Latin music event highlights the vibrant Latin and Caribbean cultures here in South Florida. After Calle Ocho was canceled the last two years, the 2022 festival is set for March 13 and is free to attend.

Though the lineup has yet to be announced, the 20 blocks of Little Havana will feature 10 stages and a plethora of musical and dance performances, as well as international food and fun for all age demographics.

Ultra 2019
Ultra 2019 Photo credit: Hunter Crenian

Ultra Music Festival

After being canceled in both 2020 and 2021, Ultra Music Festival will return to Miami this March! Held at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami, the three-day outdoor event will take place from March 25-27.

With a focus on electronic dance music, Ultra features a star-studded lineup of renowned DJ s —among them are David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Tiesto, KYGO and DJ Snake. Though they’re selling out quickly, three-day tickets can be purchased on the Ultra Music Festival website.

Concerts galore

Is live music finally making a comeback? Artists from every genre are coming to the Miami area this spring.

If you’re into pop or R&B, make sure to grab a ticket and see Dua Lipa on her Future Nostalgia Tour or Justin Bieber on his Justice World Tour. Those who enjoy rap will be thrilled to hear that Amine, Tyler the Creator and Brockhampton are also playing venues in Miami. Is reggaeton more your style? Then you won’t want to miss J Balvin’s concert in May or Bad Bunny’s show at the FTX Arena this April.

For a full list of artists performing in the next few months, check out Ticketmaster for more information.

Senior Mirza Tanis walks the runway in a matching three-piece, Ankara outfit in 2019.
Senior Mirza Tanis walks the runway in a matching three-piece, Ankara outfit in 2019. Photo credit: Nathalie Moreau

ASU Fashion Show & A Taste of Africa

The African Students Union did not come to play this spring. Join the organization as their two most beloved events return to campus! Both events are a celebration of the various African cultures, and there is always an abundance of cultural food and performances.

A Taste of Africa will be held on Wednesday, March 23rd, with more details like location to be determined. Dates for the fashion show are also TBD, so make sure to follow @asu_miami on Instagram and join the ASU Engage page to stay updated!

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Music by Michael Dellaira

Libretto by J. D. McClatchy


South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

10950 SW 211 St. Cutler Bay, FL 33189

786-573-5300/ SMDCAC.ORG

Showtime:  3:00 PM

Based On Il Gattopardo, One Of The Greatest Literary Works Of The 20th Century Later Adapted To A Feature Film Considered One Of The Top Films Ever Made Starring

Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon, and Winner of the Prestigious 

Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival

  • MET OPERA Baritone Kim Josephson joins star colleagues Robynne Redmon, Frank Ragsdale, and Kevin Short, with the rising students of the Frost Opera Theater 
  • World Renowned Maestro Gerard Schwarz Conducts the Frost Symphony Orchestra
  • Alan Johnson, Music Director
  • Jeffrey Buchman, Stage Director
  • Award-winning film The Leopard- special single engagement at Coral Gables Art Cinema Feb. 27 

With South Florida establishing itself as one of the premiere performing arts destinations in the world, it is befitting that an important work is having its world premiere in the Magic City.  An opera adapted from one of the great novels of the 20th century has awarded its debut to the world-renowned artist faculty and gifted students of the Frost Opera Theater and Frost Symphony Orchestra of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. With members of its faculty led by Metropolitan Opera baritone Kim Josephson in the title role and 9-time Emmy Winning  internationally renowned Maestro Gerard Schwarz conducting the Frost Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of the opera, THE LEOPARD will take place March 5 and 6, 2022  at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center;  10950 SW 211 St. Cutler Bay, FL 33189.  Showtime for both shows is 3:00 PM.  For tickets call 786-573-5300 or visit SMDCAC.ORG.

Set in Sicily in the year 1860, the opera is told through the eyes of Don Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina (also known as the Leopard). Known for his commanding personality, he is a member of an impoverished Sicilian aristocracy soon to be obsolete. Now facing a society in upheaval, he is forced to choose between decay and progress, and between the downfall of the nobility and the future of his family.

This highly anticipated opera, THE LEOPARD is the third and last collaboration between Michael Dellaira and American poet, librettist, and literary critic  J. D. McClatchy.  Dellaira completed the score in February 2018, just two months before McClatchy’s death.   He is also the first composer granted operatic rights to The Leopard in over 50 years. The opera was commissioned by American Opera Projects, with funds provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and the Paul Underwood Charitable Trust.  

For further information, visit: Follow us at @FrostSchool.

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