What You Need To Know About This Story:
-An 18 year old student at Miami Krop Senior High School is in jail after his father turned over the teen’s phones to police.
-Sean Mesa was arrested on charges of possessing child pornography and a charge of improper display of a firearm after police were given his phones to look at concerns his father had regarding his gun use.
–The Miami Herald reports that federal and local investigators knew about Mesa before his father turned over the electronic devices because of various social media posts he has made in the past.
-Mesa’s father was apparently motivated to turn over the phones after the Parkland shooting.
-From the Herald:
“Mesa came to the attention of U.S Homeland Security Investigations’ Violent Gang Task Force, which forwarded his Instagram and Snapchat photos “recklessly displaying firearms and pointing them at the camera,” according to an arrest warrant.
Miami-Dade Schools Detective John Messenger went to Krop High on Tuesday to try to “engage in a friendly conversation to understand what Sean Mesa’s fascination with firearms was.”
Mesa, however, bristled — telling him ‘he likes guns and it was his right to post on social media whatever he wished.'”
This story is from The Miami Monster, a new brand focused on telling the true stories of what life is like for a young person living in South Florida. Be sure to also follow our founder Joel Franco on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest breaking news in the area. You can send news tips to email@example.com.
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–A group of Florida young people are suing the Governor and other state wide officials over what they say is government inaction over climate change.
-The suit, which was filed in a Tallahassee court on Monday, seeks to require the state to “adhere to its legal and moral obligation to protect current and future generations from the intensifying impacts of climate change…”
-Florida Governor Rick Scott does not believe in man-made climate change.
-The eight young people are between the ages of 10 to 20 and they come from various parts of the state.
-There is a nine member legal team that is backing up the suit on behalf of the kids and “Our Children’s Trust”, a group that has helped young people sue their state governments around the country.
-Fort Lauderdale attorney Mitchell Chester is part of the legal team.
-“We can’t delay anymore because climate change is a huge problem,” Levi Draheim, a 10-year-old plaintiff in the suit said. “We must deal with it right now and start reducing the emissions that are causing it.”
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Three weeks out from the first votes of the 2016 presidential election, Republican front-runner Donald Trump is better-positioned than ever to win his party’s nomination.
Dismissed as little more than a sideshow just a few months ago, the long-predicted Trump collapse has failed to materialize, and political professionals increasingly view Trump as a possible, perhaps even likely, general election candidate.
The magnate attributes his success to support from a “silent majority,” but Trump backers are neither.
Earlier this week, fed up with Trump’s hateful rhetoric, I traveled to Lowell, MA to protest at a Trump rally.
What I saw horrified me. The crowd packed into the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell resembled nothing so much as a physical manifestation of blinding rage.
Generally speaking, people waiting to enter a political rally are happy and excited, eager to see their favorite candidate. But from the moment I encountered them, Trump supporters seemed to wear a permanent scowl, trading dim-witted barbs about “libtards” and other enemies.
Countless numbers wore shirts attacking Hillary Clinton, often reading “Hillary for Prison 2016.”
Once inside, as we waited for the rally to begin, an announcement played over the PA asking rally attendees to refrain from attacking people who disagreed with Trump. Folks around me laughed menacingly, and remarked that the Trump campaign was asking too much.
But I had no idea what I was in for when a few minutes into Trump’s rambling speech, I held up a sign reading “America’s Already Great.”
It didn’t take long for the glowering people around me to take issue with my sign. A nasal voice behind me told me to put down my sign or else.
I turned to ask the voice’s source, a balding, fat man older than my father, if he disagreed with my sign—which again, contended that America is already a great country.
“You think America’s not great?” I asked. “You think I should hurt you?” he responded.
WATCH: Trump supporters rip up sign of Kiernan Majerus-Collins and friend at Lowell, MA rally.
Things went downhill from there.
Another man, who could have been the goatee-clad brother of my first critic, told me “You’re at a Trump rally? Ditch those,” referring to my sign. “Do you disagree with this?” I shot back. “Yeah. Ditch ’em,” he responded, and at that moment, both of the men grabbed for my sign and tore it up.
The crowd around me began to loudly call for my removal, which was shortly accomplished (although not before the first man hit me on the head and tried to grab me).
The next day, a video of the encounter shot by a friend of mine who’d accompanied me, went viral, and in the days since I’ve become even more familiar with the special brand of thuggery and intimidation Trump’s supporters practice.
My family and I received death threats, and messages poured in calling me every name in the book (although typically, the names were misspelled).
If this was an isolated incident, it would be awful, but it wouldn’t have any greater meaning.
But I’m sad to say my experience is part of a pattern.
Trump is running a campaign fueled by the anger of poorly educated, racist white people, the kind of people who love to criticize “PC culture,” but became offended to the point of violence when I held a sign asserting that ours is a great country.
And as Trump soars in the polls, these people are becoming emboldened. The billionaire blowhard has convinced millions of Americans that not only is their bigoted hatred of Mexicans, Muslims, African-Americans and others justified, but that it is the key to making America “great again,” as if it wasn’t great already.
It’s possible that Trump’s fall, so long awaited, will finally come. I certainly hope so. But Trump’s political demise will not undo the damage he has done to our politics, or to America’s reputation in the world.
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-Large numbers of North Miami residents are sick of Waste Pro, the private company that has served as the city’s garbage collector for over six years.
-Some residents are willing to pay more in taxes in order for the trash pickup to go back to city management. Trash pickup services were privatized in 2011.
-North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin organized an event in early September for residents to vent their frustrations with the company. The regional VP for Waste Pro, Russell Mackie showed up to the event as well.
-Mackie said that Waste Pro has contracts with 21 South Florida municipalities and that the company has never lost a contract due to poor service. Instead he blames the problems on a poorly designed contract that North Miami has been slow to amend.
In North Miami, residents say that the garbage trucks are still rolling on the streets as late at 10:30 PM some nights.
Trash pickup can be spotty according to others and a lack of quality service has put a bad taste in the mouths of many.
The situation has become so bad that there are residents willing to do something truly drastic- pay more in taxes to fix the problem.
Judy Brown, the president of the Sunkist Grove Homeowners Association said that she would be willing to do just that.
She has lived in North Miami for 38 years and has seen the quality of trash pickup over the decades first hand.
“As soon as it became privatized, I noticed a difference and I started getting complaints,” Brown said. “Because, I’m the homeowner president, they would call me and complain about the trash not being collected.”
Brown said that the real problems started around 2013 when the bulk pickup stopped getting picked up.
She said things were better when the city was in charge of trash pickup.
“They took pride in what they were doing,” Brown said of the city workers who used to operate the service.
She said they would be done by 7 AM. With Waste Pro, she’s heard of trucks still picking up trash at 10:30 PM.
Michael McDearmaid has lived in NoMi for 50 years.
“When it was a city service, there was much more service,” McDearmaid said. “A lot of that had to do with the fact that they were employees of the city. A lot of them lived in the city.”
He said that the workers would look out for residents, even calling the police if they felt that certain things were amiss.
“Ultimately in a city of this size, service is everything,” McDearmaid said.
He said that if Waste Pro came up with the best offer, then they should be given another chance and that privatization efforts around the country have been a “mixed bag”.
According to city manager Larry Spring, it would cost roughly $20 to $25 million to restart a city trash program.
City Councilman Scott Galvin said that he doesn’t think its likely for the city to do trash service in house again but he might be willing to support such an effort.
So why are things not working out with Waste Pro?
It all comes down to the contract that was signed in 2011.
“What they need to understand is it’s not an unhappiness with Waste Pro,” Russell Mackie the Regional Vice President for Waste Pro Florida said. “Waste Pro sort of by default gets blamed for that. But there’s a deficiency in the contract.”
Under the original contract, Waste Pro was only supposed to collect bulk pick up once per month.
But after residents complained, the company agreed to do it once per week according to Mackie.
But Mackie said that the company wasn’t paid extra for the additional service.
In addition to that, the amount of trash picked up at the curb has increased 30% and the landfill has raised its prices 15%.
The contract officially ended in May but service was continued under an overtime provision until August.
Waste Pro continues to service North Miami basically without a contract in a bonus time arrangement.
An opening biding process for a new contract will be sent out to all interested companies.
Waste Pro intends to apply again.
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