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About the Author
Rich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.

Broward County Just Decriminalized Small Amounts Of Marijuana

Change is coming to the drug laws in one of Florida’s biggest counties.

The Broward County Commission just voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

Police officers now have the option to give out a ticket instead of arresting people that are stopped with a marijuana possession charge. First offense would carry a $100 fine, second offense would carry a $250 fine and a third offense would mean a $500 fine and a mandatory assessment of the lifestyle of the offender. There is a three citation max.

More to come. Stay with Rise News. 

Cover Photo Credit: Martin Alonso/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

DOGG: Snoop Dogg Launches Own Line Of Marijuana Based Products

Snoop Dogg, the well known rapper and lover of marijuana has launched his own line of weed called Leafs By Snoop.

The line is available for purchase at 10 Colorado marijuana stores and has a flashy website.

Snoop Dogg launched the line at a party last night at what Rolling Stone Magazine described as a “surreal suburban house party” in Denver.

“It’s a true blessing that I can share the products I love so much with y’all today,” Snoop Dogg said in a statement obtained by CNN. “From the flower, to the concentrates, and edibles – it’s all hand-picked by yours truly so you know it’s the hottest product out there. It’s the real deal and you gotta get out to Colorado to try it first!”

The line includes 8 types of flowers and multiple edible choices from peanut butter gems, fruit chews and gummies.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

Cover Photo Credit: Leafs By Snoop/ Youtube (Screenshot)

Three White Supremacists Arrested In Virginia After Wanting To Start Race War

Three Virginia men have been arrested after allegedly plotting to commit a string of violent crimes meant to start a “race war” in the United States according to WTVR.

The plot which included plans to bomb black churches and synagogues, fill a local jewelry store owner, rob an armored car and kill a gun store owner in Oklahoma was foiled by federal agents.

According to federal court documents obtained by WTVR, the men were plotting to cause havoc in order to start a “race war.”

The three men arrested Robert Doyle, Ronald Beasley Chaney and Charles Halderman are all white.

Federal agents arrested the men early on Sunday morning in a Chesterfield County, VA home.

“I walked to the end of the cul-de-sac, and saw 15 police cars, marked and unmarked, and K-9’s searching,” a witness of the arrest told WTVR. “There were people wearing camo and carrying big weapons.”

Fears about a race war in America have been around since before the founding of the republic. But in recent months, the term has come up more an more in media reports after the killing of 9 African-American parishioners of a well known black church in Charleston, SC.

The head of a local Baptist Church was alarmed by the plot.

“It’s a shame you can’t worship your god in peace,”  Rodney Clarke told the television station. “You try to have your focus on him, but you have to worry about what’s coming through the door.”

Cover Photo Credit: WTVR/ Screenshot

Man Who Asked To See Star Wars Film Early Has Died At 32

Daniel Fleetwood, the terminally ill man who asked to see the upcoming film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” early has died at the age of 32.

Fleetwood’s wife Ashley made the announcement on Facebook:

Daniel put up an amazing fight to the very end. He is now one with God and with the force. He passed in his sleep and in peace. He will always be my idol and my hero. Please hug uncle Marc for me and give Lucy lots of kisses. Rest in peace my love. This was the last selfie we ever took together.”

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Photo Credit: Ashley Fleetwood/ Facebook

Fleetwood, a major Star Wars fan since childhood according to Entertainment Weekly, “had been diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, a connective tissue cancer, and did not expect to live until The Force Awakens’ Dec. 18 release date.”

After a few news articles were published about Fleetwood, a social media campaign under the banner of #ForceForDaniel went viral and eventually reached director JJ Abrams who allowed for Fleetwood to see an unfinished cut of the film.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

Cover Photo Credit: Ashley Fleetwood/ Facebook

Bomb Squad Called To Miami Area K-8 School After “Explosives Alert” Reported

A Miami-area school has called in the bomb squad after an “explosives alert” was reported.

According to NBC 6 in Miami: 

“Multiple police crews are responding to a school in Homestead due to an explosives alert.

The incident occurred at the Gateway Environmental School, a Kindergarten through eighth grade school, located at 955 Southeast 18th Avenue in Homestead.

Miami-Dade School Police are the lead in the investigation. Homestead Police are also responding. A bomb squad is at the scene.”

Rise News will update this story as more information becomes available.

 

MOB RULES: Missouri Protestors Turn Against Student Journalists, As Communications Professor Turns On First Amendment

Some protestors at the University of Missouri rallying under the banner of the #ConcernedStudent1950 movement harassed, and obstructed a student journalist from taking photos on campus yesterday.

The university, also known as “Mizzou” is a public college and the protestors were gathering on public grounds to celebrate the resignation of university system president Tim Wolfe. 

In a video published on Youtube by Mark Schierbecker, shows a mob of people try to stop the first amendment rights of student reporters.

It is pretty shocking. Even more shocking is that one of the leaders of the mob, a white woman with red hair is a communications professor named Melissa Click.

Perhaps the folks in the video should pick up a copy of the Constitution to refresh their memories of what the foundation of the First Amendment is.

WATCH:

 

Cover Photo Credit: Mark Schierbecker/ Youtube (Screenshot)

Videos Surface From Rough Arrest, Tasering Of Alabama Students After LSU Victory

Updated: 3:00 PM EST, November 10, 2015

Tuscaloosa, AL police conducted a rough arrest of three University of Alabama students early Sunday morning and one student was tasered.

The police action was caught on a series of brutal cell phone videos obtained and published by the student newspaper, the Crimson White.

The videos show multiple Tuscaloosa police officer grab three students from an off campus apartment and throw them onto the concrete hallway where they are arrested and one is tased.

On Tuesday, Police Chief Steve Anderson released the names of the three officers who have been placed on paid leave as an investigation is conducted into the incident.

According to AL.com, Anderson named the officers “to ensure transparency and accountability.” The officers are named James Kent, Phillip Champion and Gregory Pimm.

The three out of state UA students were charged with varying offenses ranging from  arrested on charges of obstructing governmental operations and resisting arrest to harassment.

Rise News has also obtained video of the incident from the floor above. (Video sent in from witness on scene.

The officers also curse at the students and enter the apartment numerous times after the arrest, even though it is not clear that they had cause to do so.

Read more and watch the full videos on the Crimson White website.

Cover Photo Credit: Crimson White/ Screenshot

PEOPLE POWER: Mizzou System President Resigns After 7 Day Campus Hunger Strike, Football Team Strike

UPDATED: 11:29 AM EST

Tim Wolfe, the president of the University of Missouri system has resigned after a 7 day hunger strike led by graduate student Jonathan L. Butler.

The mass protest, organized by the #ConcernedStudent1950 movement was given support by a large number of football players and coaches who refused to practice or play until Wolfe resigned.

Original story:

A day after over 30 African-American football players at the University of Missouri announced their intention to strike until university system Tim Wolfe resigned, the rest of the team and coaching staff has joined the effort.

Head Coach Gary Pinkel announced the solidarity of the team via Twitter in a message that quickly went viral:

By using the #ConcernedStudent1950, Pinkel and his team linked themselves to a growing campus movement that is demanding change.

A graduate student and campus activist named Jonathan L. Butler has been on a hunger strike for the past 5 days. He is a leader of the #ConcernedStudent1950 movement.

Butler has demanded that Missouri system president Tim Wolfe resign or Butler will starve himself to death.

Wolfe has been the target of a large protest over the past week due to perceptions among some students that he does not care about recent racially charged incidents that were reported on the campus.

“There is no reforming him,” Butler told Rise News of Wolfe. “With him as a leader, he has not taken a firm stance on these issues or tried to make it a more inclusive campus.

Read this: University Of Missouri Student Starts Hunger Strike To Oust System President From Office

Last night, over thirty black players on the Mizzou football team announced that they would not participate in any further football related activities until Wolfe left office.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

Cover Photo Credit: Gary Pinkel/ Twitter

Authorities Investigating Potential Criminal Wrongdoing In Miami Shores Charter School Scandal

Rise News has learned that there is an ongoing investigation into allegations that members of the supervisory board of a Miami area charter school may have criminally violated Florida Sunshine Laws.

One of the members of the board at the time of the alleged law violations was the current Mayor of Miami Shores, Alice Burch.

At least two members of the Doctors Charter School (DCS) Board of Directors and a high-ranking school official have been subpoenaed and interviewed by an Assistant State Attorney and an investigator with the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission.

Sources close to the investigation indicate that the inquiry is focused around the events of the controversial non-renewal of contract of DCS Executive Director Nick Dorn.

DCS is a highly rated charter school with 600 students nestled in the sleepy neighborhood of Miami Shores.

Rise Miami News, the predecessor website to Rise News first broke the story of the scandal in June of 2015 and showed that Burch had improperly coordinated with a few other members of the unpaid DCS board to remove Dorn in a secret meeting.

From our original report on the matter:

“Rise Miami News has learned that Burch supplied DCS board members meeting in the ‘shade’ a dossier of information that she had been collecting for over eight months, meant to act as justification for the non-renewal of the school director’s contract.

Burch has also admitted to violating state Sunshine Laws by continuing to volunteer as the de-facto secretary of the DCS board of directors while serving as the acting mayor of the Village.

Burch apologized to the Miami Shores community at a Village Council meeting on June 2 but did not discuss her level of involvement in the dismissal of Nick Dorn, the director of DCS.”

Due to the public outrage, Dorn was eventually offered a contract and a raise. Dorn accepted the contract extension but did not agree to a raise. He is currently leading the school.

DCS board meeting in June.

DCS board meeting in June. Photo Credit: Rise News

Read More: Miami Shores Mayor Actively Advocated For Removal Of Charter School Head In Closed Door Letter

While Burch did not vote in the secret meeting, she openly discussed the idea of not renewing Dorn’s contract with members of the board both before and immediately after the “shade” meeting.

Additional public records including text messages show the extent of communications between Burch and other board members. It also showed how important Burch was to the lifeblood of the board and therefore potentially to the Sunshine Law violations she later admitted to.

Read More: Text Messages, Emails Bring Into Focus Influential Role Miami Shores Mayor Played In DCS Scandal

According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter, the inquiry is being headed up by Assistant State Attorney Luis Perez-Medina and Miami-Dade Ethics Commission investigator Larry Lebowitz.

Perez-Medina works out of the Public Corruption Unit under Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle while Lebowitz, a former Miami Herald reporter works under Joseph Centorino, the longtime former head of the Public Corruption Unit and current director of the county Ethics Commission.

Neither the State Attorney’s office or Ethics Commission would confirm or deny that there is an ongoing investigation.

Paul Calli, an attorney and current member of the DCS board first blew the whistle on the “shade” meeting in a series of Facebook posts last spring.

In June, Calli filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission alleging that there had been violations of Section 286.011 of Florida Statutes, also known as the Sunshine Laws.

The Commission referred the complaint to the State Attorney as it said that it does not have jurisdiction over Sunshine Laws.

Miami Shores Mayor Alice Burch. Photo Credit: Alice Burch/Facebook

Miami Shores Mayor Alice Burch. Photo Credit: Alice Burch/Facebook

“The rules should not and cannot be different for elected officials and Village administrators in Miami Shores,” Calli said in an interview with Rise News. “The residents of Miami Shores do not deserve to be excluded from the political process and government administration by elected or appointed officials who hold the trust of residents and voters.  The Shores is not a fiefdom, with its residents vassals.”

 

Mayor Burch did not respond to a request for comment.

Vice Mayor Steven Zelkowitz said that he was not aware of any investigation ongoing in Miami Shores but said that public officials should be careful of Sunshine Law violations.

“I live and breathe the Sunshine Law,” Zelkowitz, a lawyer who deals with many local municipalities in his practice said in a phone interview. “I’m very cognizant and I’m very careful with it. Maybe elected officials should read the laws and understand them before acting.”

Another member of the Village council had a similar view.

“What is important is what[ever] the investigation reveals, it will help bring closure and restore confidence in our leaders,” Councilwoman Ivonne Ledesma said in an email statement.

READ: The 14 page dossier of information Miami Shores Mayor Alice Burch presented to DCS board members before secret, “shade” meeting

Miami Shores Mayor Alice Burch’s “Shade” Letter by Rich

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

Cover Photo Credit: Rise News/ Rich Robinson

Autistic Boy Saves Classmate From Choking After Learning Heimlich Maneuver From Spongebob Squarepants

This is a nice story to round off your week.

The Staten Island Advance reports that a 13-year-old Autistic boy saved the life of a classmate after he performed the Heimlich maneuver on the girl who was choking on an apple piece.

The boy, Brandon Williams said that he learned the life saving technique from watching  Spongebob Squarepants.

“He picks up on things that most of us would miss, and files it all away in his head, and he can recall it all in an instant,” Williams’ dad told the Staten Island Advance“That’s how he knew instantly what to do. And we’re glad he did. We’re proud of him.”

Believe it or not, this is not the first time that Spongebob has saved the life of a 7th grader.

Back in 2010, a 12 year old named Miriam Starobin saved the life of her best friend in a seventh-grade choir class. Starobin’s friend Allyson Golden, had been choking on a piece of bubblegum before the Spongebob inspired action saved the day.

WATCH: Hero Brandon Williams (Via Staten Island Advance)

Cover Photo Credit: Ben W/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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