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General Daily Insight for August 29, 2023

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 17:00
General Daily Insight for August 29, 2023

An indulgent and fun atmosphere reigns today. The social Aquarius Moon calls out to friendly Venus at 6:56 am EDT, encouraging us to connect with others — whether in person or online. We may blow off our responsibilities as Luna squares extravagant Jupiter. However, technical difficulties could surface as the Moon trips over logical Mercury. When Luna squares innovative Uranus, unexpected solutions might emerge. Not every idea that emerges under this influence will be fully baked, but we won’t know until we test them out!


March 21 – April 19

A sudden opportunity to socialize may beckon to you today. As the curious Moon in your 11th House of Networking clashes against detail-oriented Mercury in your dutiful 6th house, you might think you have too many responsibilities to accept the invite. Wait! First, look at the big picture. If going to the event will give you a chance to meet someone who can help you financially, it could be more important to your long-term well-being than whatever is on your to-do list.


April 20 – May 20

Publicly revealing a change in your personal life is possible at any moment. As the spontaneous Moon in your 10th House of Recognition squares disruptive Uranus in your sign, people may not expect this of you. If you seem basically secure about the new development, though, they’ll probably handle it well. Unfortunately, you might not get a chance to present every detail of your story exactly the way you want. A flowing conversation can take on a life of its own. Know what’s worth correcting.


May 21 – June 20

You might be longing for an adventure now. As the spontaneous Moon in your 9th House of Travel provokes fun-loving Venus in your communication zone, describing your desires to others could bring you better ideas than you’d come up with on your own. Whether you travel solo or with companions, be realistic about what you expect to achieve. A getaway can give you a brief break from an uncomfortable situation at home, but it’s extremely unlikely to solve all of your problems.


June 21 – July 22

Generosity could get out of hand at the moment. Even if you only intend to discreetly help one person, they may spread the word that you’re an easy mark as the nurturing Moon in your sharing sector agitates loudmouth Mercury in your communication zone. This might result in all kinds of unwanted requests coming your way! Try to think forward a few steps before you set anything in motion. Completely controlling the outcome of your actions isn’t always possible, but avoid the most obvious pitfalls.


July 23 – August 22

You may currently be excited to connect with someone who has the potential to increase your status. Still, they’re only human. They have emotional needs too, and perhaps they expect more from you than you thought you’d have to deliver. If you find this mismatch especially shocking, you might want to look at the signals you’re putting out. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing progress toward your goals, but make sure you’re doing it in a way that aligns with your values.


August 23 – September 22

Learning a new way to do a task could be frustrating for you at present. As the devoted Moon in your skillful 6th house opposes aesthetic Venus in your private 12th house, you’re insistent on producing beautiful results, even if no one else sees or appreciates them. Unfortunately, achieving perfection on the first try isn’t a realistic aim. You may have your identity wrapped up in being someone who is good at things, but that can block you from getting better. Be patient with yourself.


September 23 – October 22

You may have to keep some of your thoughts private during a social situation today. As the intimate Moon in your expressive 5th house opposes charming Venus in your networking zone, you have an opportunity to shape your reputation for the better by revealing just the right amount of engaging personal detail. However, you’ll have to keep hold of yourself if the group discussion wanders into edgier territory than usual. Don’t say something outrageous just to keep people focused on you.


October 23 – November 21

You’re likely in a cozy mood at the moment. That said, as the low-key Moon in your domestic sector jabs at restless Uranus in your partnership zone, someone you’re involved with might want to do something more exciting! Even if you’re not totally into it at first, following your companion to a social gathering could have its rewarding points. Perhaps you’ll be recognized in a positive way. Call it a night when you need to, though — there’s room to balance competing longings.


November 22 – December 21

Sounding cultured and intelligent could currently be a high priority for you. Unfortunately, if you have underlying attitudes that are childish or demanding, they’re likely to come out anyway. Maybe the truth is that you wish you had more control over some situation that affects you. Consider the benefits of simply saying your issues out loud, rather than trying to dress up your desires in fancy verbiage. People might find honesty a relief — give them a fair chance to work with you.


December 22 – January 19

Feeling vulnerable about your finances is possible now. As the needy Moon in your resource sector opposes abundant Venus in your 8th House of Other People’s Money, you’re potentially jealous of someone else who appears to have more than you do. You could be attracted to a speculative investment that promises to help you catch up to your rival quickly. Although the opportunity you’re considering isn’t necessarily wrong, don’t let your emotions do all the driving. Do some tedious research before you take the plunge.


January 20 – February 18

Opening up to someone who can help you might be worth the trouble at the moment. While the vulnerable Moon in your sign engages with benevolent Venus in your partnership sector, being candid about your struggles is likely to inspire sympathy in others. There’s no incentive to exaggerate your claims for dramatic effect — any details that don’t add up could draw attention, calling your whole story into question. Sharing only the facts should get you precisely the assistance you need.


February 19 – March 20

Solitude may currently be more appealing to you than connecting with others. It’s possible that the equation isn’t truly that simple! For a conversation that’s interesting enough, you could likely be coaxed out of hiding — you just don’t want to be bored with shallow small talk. Your own internal conflict about what’s appropriate to share might be setting the tone for the people around you. Take the risk of saying something stimulating, and give them an opportunity to surprise you!

The Jacksonville shooter killed a devoted dad, a beloved mom and a teen helping support his family

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 16:47

By RUSS BYNUM (Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A.J. Laguerre worked at a Dollar General store after finishing high school to help support the grandmother who raised him. Angela Michelle Carr was an Uber driver beloved by her children. Jerrald Gallion relished weekends with his 4-year-old daughter.

All three were slain Saturday when a gunman with swastikas painted on his rifle opened fire at the Dollar General where Laguerre worked in Jacksonville. The sheriff said writings left by the killer, a 21-year-old white man, made clear that he was motivated by racism. Each victim was Black.

“I never thought I’d have to bury my baby brother,” Quan Laguerre said Monday outside the family’s house not far from the store.

“They say don’t question God,” he said. “But I just want to know why.”

A.J. Laguerre, 19, was the youngest of five siblings, all raised by their grandmother after their mother died in 2009, his brother said. The family celebrated in 2022 when A.J., like his older siblings before him, graduated from high school. As he looked into going to college to study cybersecurity, he got a job at the Dollar General store several months ago to help their grandmother pay the bills.

When he was off the clock, A.J. played Fortnite and other videogames on the live-streaming platform Twitch, his brother said, using the gamer tag galaxysoul. His goal was to build a large online following.

“He had dreams and aspirations of being a professional streamer,” Quan Laguerre said. “So after he would get off work, he’d just stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning just grinding, you know, trying to get that stance and have followers.”

A.J. Laguerre was shot inside the store trying to flee the gunman, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters told reporters.

Carr, 52, was killed in the parking lot when the shooter fired multiple bullets into her car.

“My mother, she was a good woman,” son Chayvaughn Payne told The Associated Press in a brief phone call Monday.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Carr family, said at news conference later Monday that Carr had just dropped off a customer and was waiting for the person to get back in the car.

Carr joined St. Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jacksonville when she was 3 years old and still attended services there. The pastor said the church community has rallied behind her family.

“She was just a loving, caring mother,” the Rev. David Green said.

Gallion, 29, was shot while entering the store’s front door with his girlfriend, who escaped.

“My brother shouldn’t have lost his life,” his sister, Latiffany Gallion, said. “A simple day of going to the store, and he’s taken away from us forever.”

Family members recalled Gallion’s sense of humor and work ethic. He worked two to three jobs — including as a restaurant manager — to provide for his daughter, Je Asia Gallion.

Je Asia’s fifth birthday is approaching, and the family had planned a big party, said Sabrina Rozier, the child’s maternal grandmother. Gallion was looking forward to a father-daughter dance in February.

“He was so excited about it, talking about the colors they would wear,” Rozier said, as Je Asia played with the microphones during Monday’s news conference. “Now she’s asking, ‘Who shot my daddy?’ ”

Although Gallion’s relationship with the child’s mother didn’t last, they worked together to raise Je Asia. That earned him lasting affection from Rozier.

“He never missed a beat,” Rozier said. “He got her every weekend. As a matter of fact, he was supposed to have her (Saturday).”

Gallion never made it to pick up his daughter. Now the pastor of the church he attended is preparing to bury him.

“In two weeks I have to preach a funeral of a man who should still be alive,” the Rev. John Guns of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church said during the vigil. “He was not a gangster, he was not a thug — he was a father who gave his life to Jesus and was trying to get it together.”

State attorney won’t investigate administrators for sharing data breach details

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 15:59

Broward prosecutors have declined to launch a formal investigation into former Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and two other former administrators’ use of closely guarded details about a district ransomware attack for a private business venture.

The district had asked the Broward State Attorney’s Office to review the moves by Runcie, former Safety Chief Brian Katz and former Chief Information Officer Phil Dunn to share potentially privileged district information.

“Prosecutors reviewed the information that was provided and determined … that there was ‘nothing actionable in regard to any criminality,” Paula McMahon, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“They followed up with school officials to see if any additional information was available and were told none was at this time. If that changes, they would review anything that is provided,” McMahon said. “No formal investigation was opened.”

The district does not plan to conduct its own internal investigation, spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said.

“No additional actions are being taken,” she said.

The district requested a review after a series of Sun Sentinel investigations revealed the extraordinary efforts the district took to hide the massive ransomware attack from the public in March 2021, including potentially 50,000 victims.

However, many key details were released in a September 2021 “case study” for Safer School Solutions, a Fort Lauderdale company owned by Katz and Dunn. The company got a $1 million contract with Chiefs for Change, a nonprofit group now led by Runcie.

Runcie could not be reached for comment. A statement Monday from Safer School Solutions reiterated a statement from December maintaining the company did nothing wrong.

“Safer School Solutions remains committed to helping schools and districts become more resilient organizations to better protect their students and staff,” Monday’s statement said. “We believe that understanding history and using lessons learned can help districts avoid and better respond to disruptions so that they can focus their attention on their primary mission of educating students.”

The district learned of the attack on March 7, 2021, but refused to acknowledge for three weeks that it happened, confirming it only after hackers posted a transcript of negotiations.

On March 31, 2021, the district sent a message to employees encouraging them to stay vigilant by reviewing their account statements and credit reports for any unauthorized activity, while saying there was no evidence anyone’s personal information had been accessed.

The district determined in June 2021 that personal data was accessed but waited until November 2021 to alert 50,000 potential victims that their personal data may have been breached, three months longer than the 60 days allowed by federal law for such notifications. The district used an outside public relations firm to help dodge questions and refused to put an internal investigation in writing.

Runcie was superintendent at the time of the March 2021 attack, while Katz was the chief safety and security officer and Dunn was the chief information officer. All three left later in the year, with Runcie joining Chiefs for Change and Katz and Dunn creating Safer School Solutions.

Many never-before-released details were included the Safer School Solutions case study co-authored by Runcie, Katz and Dunn. The report detailed how the ransomware attack left 2,000 servers inoperable; how the district put a greater priority on keeping schools open than containing the breach; and how law enforcement encouraged the district to offer, but not pay, ransom to the hackers.

The report irked Board member Nora Rupert, who called for an investigation.

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“I would hope that we would keep our information to ourselves,” Rupert said at a Dec. 3 School Board meeting. “When another person that used to work here decides to write about something and that becomes a monetary issue, I have to say, not cool. It does not look good or pass the smell test.”

Reached Monday, Rupert said she believes the former employees should have been held accountable.

“The holding back of information of this breach from employees and the public was absolutely astounding to me, and I disagree with it being deemed ‘non-actionable,'” she said.

In a statement in December, Safer School Solutions said the case study document “was created for and shared with school district leaders to help them develop strategies to hopefully avoid, but if not, better respond to such incidents and tragedies in the future. The document was not published or shared with the general public until the Sun Sentinel did so.”

The report contained no “material information” that had not already been released, the December statement said, adding that the authors waited six months after the attack to write about it.

“Information that could not be shared while the District was actively working with law enforcement in an open investigation may be able to be shared once those investigations are no longer active,” the December statement said.

Runcie was not paid, according to officials from the company and Chiefs for Change, the education nonprofit that Runcie is overseeing.

Runcie had the title of “chief in residence” with Chiefs for Change at the time the case study was prepared. He was named interim leader of the organization in April 2021 and permanent CEO earlier this month.

Florida prays Idalia won’t join long list of destructive storms with names starting with ‘I’

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 14:55

Floridians pray that when Idalia hits the Gulf Coast it won’t join the long list of destructive Atlantic Ocean storms whose names started with “I.”

Since 1955, 13 Atlantic storm names beginning with “I” have been retired, according to the National Weather Service. That happens when a storm’s death toll or destruction is so severe that using its name again would be insensitive, according to the World Meteorological Organization, which oversees storm naming.

Some letter has to be No. 1, and hurricane season often reaches its peak around the time that the pre-determined alphabetical storm-name list gets to the “I.”

After “I” storms, 10 names that begin with “F” have been retired, as have nine storms beginning with “C,” University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said.

In addition to the 13 retired “I” names from Atlantic Ocean hurricanes, a handful of Pacific Ocean storms beginning with “I” have been retired since 1982.

The U.S. began using female names for storms in 1953 partly to avoid confusion and make warnings more efficient by using easy-to-remember names, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Before then, radio stations used to broadcast warnings with numbers and names that confused people. By the late 1970s, male names were also being used for storms in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, according to NOAA.

Notorious I-storms in recent memory have included:

The 2003 storm reached Category 5 strength over the Atlantic. Though it weakened before making landfall on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, its winds caused extensive damage. More than 8 feet (2.4 meters) of seawater flooded rivers across the Chesapeake Bay region, according to accounts from the National Weather Service. The hurricane was blamed for 17 deaths.

Ivan tore through Grand Cayman island in 2004, damaging or destroying an estimated 95 percent of the buildings there, the National Weather Service said. Then, it slammed into the United States near Gulf Shores, Alabama, spawning more than 100 tornadoes as it moved inland. More than 92 people were killed.

Ike “left a long trail of death and destruction” in Haiti, Cuba and the United States in 2008, the weather service said. An estimated 74 people in Haiti were killed by flooding and mudslides, the agency said. Later, it struck the U.S. as a Category 2 hurricane at Galveston Island in Texas.

Irma was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic Ocean when it took aim at several Caribbean islands in 2017, according to the National Weather Service. The Category 5 storm had sustained winds of up to 185 mph (295 kph). As it approached Antigua, officials announced the closing of the airport with an ominous message: “May God protect us all.” Irma destroyed an estimated 90 percent of the structures on Barbuda, one of the hardest-hit islands. But several other islands, including Anguilla; the U.S. and British Virgin Islands; the French territory of St. Martin and the neighboring Dutch territory of St. Maarten all reported deaths and widespread damage.

Ida slammed into the Louisiana coast with winds of up to 150 mph in 2021, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people across New Orleans and nearby parishes. The deaths included at least five nursing home residents who were among about 800 elderly residents sent to a warehouse to try and survive the storm.

Ian struck Cuba as a major hurricane in 2022, bringing down the nation’s electric grid and causing blackouts across large parts of the island nation. Later, as a Category 4 hurricane, it slammed into Florida’s Gulf Coast, flooding houses on both coasts of the state, destroying reefs and bringing “red tide” algae to Gulf waters. Ian was blamed for more than 100 deaths, most of them in Florida.

Nearly ‘entire team’ healthy for Miami Hurricanes’ season opener

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 14:19

CORAL GABLES — The Miami Hurricanes enter Week 1 of the season with some uncommon luck. Coach Mario Cristobal said the team is nearly completely healthy following fall camp.

“Right now, we feel our entire team — minus the guys that had surgery — are going to be able to play,” Cristobal said.

There was a report that starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke could miss the first game with a hand injury, but Cristobal dispelled that notion Monday afternoon.

“He’s 100 percent and has been practicing with our team,” Cristobal said.

Redshirt freshman running back TreVonte’ Citizen, who has been out since training camp last year after tearing his ACL, was one of the players Cristobal said would remain sidelined. Freshman offensive lineman Antonio Tripp Jr. will also miss a few weeks due to a shoulder injury.

Cristobal said fourth-year redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Jonathan Denis, who suffered a season-ending injury at the end of the 2022 season, would miss Game 1 but was “really close” to returning.

“He may not play in this game, but he may be ready for Game 2 or 3,” Cristobal said.

Fourth-year junior Zion Nelson will also be held out of Friday’s game. He had knee surgery prior to the 2022 season but played only two games last year.

“We expect him back, just not yet,” Cristobal said. “We’ve taken this long to get it right. We want to get it right completely.”

Miami also had positive injury news. Cristobal said redshirt sophomore linebacker Chase Smith, who played in just two games last season, had been cleared to play and had returned to practice.

“He’s been repping with all the groups on special teams and on defense,” Cristobal said.

Williams moving positions on week-by-week basis

Hurricanes safety James Williams will spend time at both safety and outside linebacker this season, defensive coordinator Lance Guidry said.

“We’ll probably pick and choose what games he’ll play an outside linebacker and which ones he’ll be dedicated to just playing back there at the safety position,” Guidry said.

Guidry said Williams’ positioning will be decided on a game-by-game basis depending on how Miami’s opponents match up with their defense.

“Whether it’s a tight end we need to cover with an outside linebacker or do we want to blitz a bigger guy,” Guidry said, “because he’s bigger than all the Sam backers.”

Guidry facing former team

Guidry’s first taste of FBS football was in Miami — the one in Ohio.

The defensive coordinator, who had previously coached high school football and FCS school McNeese State, started coaching defensive backs at Miami (Ohio) in 2009 and spent two years at the school. Now he will face his former team in his first game as the Hurricanes’ defensive coordinator.

“Being a Louisiana boy, I didn’t know that much about Miami of Ohio,” Guidry said. “I remember watching Ben Roethlisberger in a bowl game one time. And when I got the call to go there with Mike Haywood, I found out a lot about it. It’s the cradle of coaches.”

Guidry got his first win as a head coach with the team, serving as interim coach for the 2010 GoDaddy.com Bowl and beating Middle Tennessee State 35-21.

“I enjoyed my stay there,” Guidry said. “I liked Cincinnati. Cincinnati was close by, so it was good to me.”

Broward Republican Party chairman Tom Powers resigns as he battles cancer

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 14:09

Tom Powers, whose leadership of the Broward Republican Party since 2020 culminated in a strong performance in last year’s midterm elections, has resigned eight months into his second term as party chair.

“As many of you know, I have been battling cancer since early 2021. I have fought as hard as I can fight, but in recent months my health has deteriorated quicker than I expected. I would prefer to spend the moments I have left with my family,” he said in a weekend email to party members.

Powers is passionate about politics — as a candidate, elected official and Republican Party activist. “I want to thank my family for allowing me to spend the last years of my life fully immersed in politics,” he said in the email.

Powers, 66, said in December he planned to lead the party through the 2024 elections. But in a July interview, he said his health has gotten worse. He said mobility was a challenge and he had started using a wheelchair.

He said he announced his resignation via email because, “Unfortunately I no longer have the strength to tender this to you in person.”

Powers said his resignation was effective immediately.

Vice Chair Chris Marino, immediately became acting chair of the county party. He is responsible for picking a date for a special election at which Republican precinct committeewomen and committeemen from around the county will select someone to serve the remainder of Powers’ term, which runs through the 2024 elections.

He said he has not yet decided on an election timetable.

Marino, a retired firefighter who was elected vice chair in December, said he would run for the job.

Also running is party Treasurer Abby Stafford. She is a certified public accountant and chief financial officer of Tiresoles of Broward, her family’s commercial tire business, and was an unsuccessful 2022 candidate for Lighthouse Point City Commission.

Powers endorsed Stafford as his successor in his resignation letter.

“Our party deserves dedicated leadership. I have given it my all, and now it’s time to pass the baton to the next generation of leadership. In anticipation of this day, I have spent this year mentoring others to make sure the organization is successful because of the team in place, and can carry on without me.”

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In some ways, Powers was a throwback to an approach that has become less common in today’s political environment. He routinely answered questions from reporters — but wasn’t inclined toward making incendiary statements for the sake of garnering attention.

“He focused on the message and driving the message home. If you say something to get a reaction that’s exactly what you’re going to get — a reaction, not results,” said state Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Lighthouse Point, who served as party chair from 2007 to 2010.

Under Powers’ leadership, the ranks of precinct committeemen and committeewoman expanded substantially, said Kevin Tynan, who was party chair from 2001 through 2003.

Anthony Man / Sun SentinelTom Powers, left, speaks with Carlos Beruff, then a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate on April 25, 2016. Powers, a former Coral Springs commissioner has stepped down as chair of the Broward Republican Party, citing health concerns. (Anthony Man/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

“He was an excellent chairman because he talked the talk and walked the walk. If he said, ‘you’ve got to walk precincts,’ he was out there walking precincts with you. He did a wonderful job of raising money. He’s done a wonderful job of increasing membership to levels we haven’t seen in a long time,” Tynan said.

LaMarca and Tynan said Powers worked to bring together different factions of the party.

When @BrowardGOP Chair @flpowers said 10 months ago his goal was for Republicans to get 40% of vote in overwhelmingly Democratic county, it sounded impossible.
@RonDeSantisFL received 42% of vote in Broward.

— Anthony Man (@browardpolitics) December 6, 2022

“He did a lot to bring the party together. He’s a selfless person,” LaMarca said. Tynan said Powers “tries to bring people up rather than bring them down. In politics you have a lot of opportunity to be negative, and he was much more positive.”

Powers had had a 21-year career in law enforcement with the Arizona State Police, most of it working as a narcotics agent on the Mexican border.

In South Florida, he turned to politics.

Powers spent six years on the Coral Springs City Commission, and in 2014 was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor. He also served as county Republican Party vice chair and president of the Coral Springs-Parkland Republican Club.

Powers is something of a rarity, someone who had a successful enough experience and enjoyed the job enough to run for and win reelection as party chair. When he first got the job in 2020, he was the 10th Broward Republican leader in 14 years.

Powers was challenged by Jenna Hague, who was an unsuccessful candidate for state Legislature last year. (Powers had hosted a fundraiser for Hague’s state representative campaign at his home, the first time he’d ever hosted a candidate fundraising event at his house.)

“Dictatorships are great for politicians. They’re not good for citizens,” @BrowardGOP Chair @flpowers says at Hialeah Gardens Republican event supporting Cubans protesting regime.
Demands Biden act. “You need to step up. You need to do what’s right, and it needs to be done now.”

— Anthony Man (@browardpolitics) July 21, 2021

Hague’s state legislative loss notwithstanding, Republicans did well in Broward in 2022.

With DeSantis at the top of the statewide ticket and Democratic voters demoralized and not showing up to vote, Republicans capitalized on the political environment.

  • Republicans made up just 21% of the registered voters — 26 percentage points behind Democrats. But DeSantis received 42% of the vote in Broward, 15 points behind Democratic candidate Charlie Crist. That’s an unusually high percentage of the vote for a Republican candidate in Broward; early last year when Powers said his goal was at least 40%, some were skeptical.
  • Brenda Fam, a Republican, defeated a Democrat in a School Board race. And Powers was the one who administered the oath of office to Fam.
  • LaMarca easily defeated his challenger in his northeast Broward district that had about the same number of registered Democrats and Republicans, and a large share of no party affiliation/independent voters.
  • Even as U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, the longest-serving Democratic member of Congress in the state, won reelection with 55% of the vote, it was a lower percentage than she’s ever received before in Broward. She’s averaged 63% in Broward in previous elections.

LaMarca said he hopes before the contest to succeed Powers gets too intense, “I would just hope that the members of the party take a minute to realize what (Powers) did for the party.”

Anthony Man can be reached at aman@sunsentinel.com, on Twitter @browardpolitics and on Post.news/@browardpolitics

Mouse in hallway, ‘pork thawing in standing water bucket’: 4 South Florida restaurants ordered shut

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 13:55

Two out of four South Florida restaurants temporarily ordered shut last week by state inspectors had rodent activity, including a “live mouse in hallway” and wall damage caused by one gnawing “through wall insulation.”

Separate issues included flies landing on onions, a bag of bread and dining-room tables, as well as temperature-spoiled food and “pork thawing in standing water bucket.”

The South Florida Sun Sentinel typically highlights restaurant inspections conducted by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Broward and Palm Beach counties. We cull through inspections that happen weekly and spotlight places ordered shut for “high-priority violations,” such as improper food temperatures or dead cockroaches.

Any restaurant that fails a state inspection must stay closed until it passes a follow-up. If you spotted a possible violation and wish to file a complaint, contact Florida DBPR. (But please don’t contact us: The Sun Sentinel doesn’t inspect restaurants.)

Pollo Tropical, Cooper City

4713 S. Flamingo Road

Ordered shut: Aug. 25; reopened Aug. 26

Why: Four violations (two high-priority), including at least 82 live flies “landing on rice on the floor” in the men’s restroom, “landing on wall” of the women’s restroom, “landing on walls” in the dining-room hallway, “landing on dining tables and windows” and “on wall at three-compartment sink” in the kitchen.

One employee was seen “placing raw chicken inside meat processor” then walking over to a dish area and grabbing a clean container and opening “door to ice machine to retrieve ice,” without washing their hands or changing gloves between tasks. Finally, the state noted vent and ceiling tiles soiled with “dust and food debris” in the “main kitchen dish and prep area at stove.”

The state spotted zero issues during its next-day visit and let the fast-food chain reopen.

Palm Beach Diner, Lantana

610 S. Dixie Highway

Ordered shut: Aug. 24; reopened Aug. 25

Why: 10 violations (two high-priority), including at least 65 rodent droppings “on top of dish machine in dish area,” “in pre-cleaning sink to the left of dish machine,” and “on the floor under dish machine and sink,” with no doors separating the cook line from the dishwashing area.

Next to the droppings were other telltale signs of a rodent: “particles on the floor” from “gnawed through wall insulation” between the triple sink and dishwashing machine.

The state also red-flagged the inside of the dishwashing machine for being “soiled with food debris, mold-like substance or slime,” and found it was “not sanitizing properly.” The operator said the “machine will be removed.”

The state cleared the restaurant to reopen the next day after finding zero new issues during a second inspection. The diner was previously ordered shut twice last fall.

Le Berger Restaurant, Lake Worth Beach

1216 S. Dixie Highway

Ordered shut: Aug. 23; reopened Aug. 24

Why: 17 violations (six high-priority), including at least 82 rodent droppings “in storage room in hallway,” “on floor in front of freezer unit in kitchen,” “on floor in front of three-door cooler in kitchen,” “on shelf above hand sink in kitchen” and “on shelf … with to-go containers.”

The state also cited “one live mouse in hallway,” which “went in storage room in hallway in dining room” before disappearing. (The report said: “Unable to find.”)

The inspection also spotted three cockroaches in the kitchen, crawling “on wall above clean equipment,” “under shelf above prep table” and “on floor under prep table.”

The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and trash its goat, chicken, akra, cooked sauce and cut cabbage “due to temperature abuse.”

Sanitation and disrepair issues included “wall soiled with accumulated grease, food debris and/or dust throughout kitchen,” “cracks in flooring of kitchen,” pork stored “on floor in kitchen,” and “pork thawing in standing water bucket.”

Despite finding two high-priority violations and six basic ones during a reinspection the next day, the restaurant was allowed to reopen. It previously was ordered shut in April for dead roaches and rodent dropping woes.

Burger King, Davie

14820 Griffin Road

Ordered shut: Aug. 22; reopened Aug. 23

Why: Two violations (one high-priority), including about 49 flies flying “around register” near the front counter and “around ice machine” in the kitchen, and landing “on bag of ready-to-eat bread” and “on onions inside plastic bin on food storage shelf.” Other flies landed “on prep table” in the kitchen and on tables and “soda beverage dispenser machine” in the dining area.

State inspectors greenlit the fast-food restaurant’s reopening after a second inspection yielded zero issues.


Tampa airport will close ahead of Idalia, and it could affect South Florida flights, too

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 13:52

There were few storm-related flight delays and cancellations at South Florida airports on Monday, but officials expected the number of affected flights to rise as Idalia moved closer toward the Gulf Coast this week, potentially as a Category 3 hurricane.

The Tampa International Airport will close at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday ahead of Idalia’s landfall in Florida, the airport posted on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.

And what happens in Tampa, and anywhere else in the state, “will have an impact on us” at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, said Celina Saucedo, the airport’s Chief Administrative Officer in Fort Lauderdale. “It’s a domino effect.”

As of Monday afternoon, there were 12 delayed arrivals, 11 delayed departures and 1 cancellation, possibly because of the storm. Saucedo said these numbers are “very, very minimal” to Fort Lauderdale’s overall traffic. Still, “it’s a changing situation with the storm coming to Florida.”

At Miami International Airport, the numbers showed less inconvenience: Just two arrivals and two departures to and from Cuba were canceled early Monday because of Idalia, according to a spokesman. As of Monday, there were no flight cancellations at Palm Beach International Airport, according to tracking site FlightAware.

Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at lhuriash@sunsentinel.com. Follow on Twitter @LisaHuriash

Heat’s Nikola Jovic a leading man? For a night that’s the case at World Cup

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 13:37

The expectation for the Miami Heat, at least at the moment, is not for Nikola Jovic to play as a leading man, with the No. 27 pick in the 2022 NBA draft having just turned 20 in June.

But for at least one night at the World Cup that was the case for the 6-foot-11 forward, leading Serbia to a 94-77 victory Monday over Puerto Rico in the Philippines with 17 points.

On a night teammate Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Atlanta Hawks guard, struggled on 5-of-16 shooting, Jovic compensated by closing 6 of 9 from the field, including 3 of 5 on 3-pointers.

That had Jovic as Serbia’s representative on the postgame media podium in Quezon.

“I just got my shot,” Jovic said. “My teammates found me. I hit some open shots. That’s it.”

Bogdanovic was appreciative of the support, saying that Jovic is in a good place in the Heat’s developmental program.

“He’s an amazing player,” Bogdanovic said. “I mean, Miami drafted him for a reason. He’s a hard-working guy. He’s always in the gym. He always likes to work. He always improves his game.”

Jovic has been needed to step up, with Nikola Jovic, the Denver Nuggets’ All-Star center, bypassing the World Cup after leading the Denver Nuggets past the Heat in the NBA Finals.

Serbia (2-0) completes opening-round pool play at the World Cup with a Wednesday game against South Sudan.

Having won its first two games by a combined 59 points, Serbia is all but assured a berth in second-round pool play ahead of the elimination rounds.

After a solid summer-league, with 22-, 22- and 14-point efforts for the Heat before leaving for training with his national team, Jovic has scored at least 11 points against quality international competition in four of Serbia’s five exhibitions and World Cup games.

Jovic is among Heat players who have been linked to a possible trade for Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, who has requested a trade to the Heat.

Is there anything he cannot do?

Strengthening Idalia forecast as Category 2 hurricane for Florida landfall this week; DeSantis urges caution

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 20:48

Tropical Storm Idalia formed Sunday morning and then saw its maximum sustained winds jump up from 45 mph to 60 mph in the 11 p.m. Sunday advisory, with the National Hurricane Center’s forecast having it make landfall this week along Florida’s Gulf Coast as a hurricane. The forecast prompted Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency for 33 counties.

Idalia (pronounced ee-DAHL-ya) is expected to be Hurricane Idalia by Monday night ahead of a projected Florida landfall, forecasters said.

At a briefing Sunday afternoon, DeSantis warned that though the mostly likely path at this point seems to be headed to the Big Bend region of Florida. “This stuff can change. We’ve had storms hit outside the cone. If you’re in Tampa Bay you could have major impacts … People from Tampa to Bay County you should be vigilant.”

He said the storm could be a Category 2 storm by the time it makes landfall. The forecast path has the storm curling north toward Florida’s Gulf Coast Tuesday into Wednesday.

“If you are in the path of this storm, you should expect power outages, so please prepare for that,” DeSantis said.

Kevin Guthrie, director of Florida Division of Emergency Management, added that Floridians who are medically-dependent or have special needs should be particularly aware of the likelihood of power outages, and can receive help at Floridadisaster.org/snr.

Floridians can also get supply-kit info at Floridadisaster.org/kit.

Guthrie reiterated that Hurricane Ian last year proved that storm surge kills, and that evacuating a small distance inland or away from an impact zone can make a difference.

On Sunday afternoon, the storm turned north toward the Gulf. There will be a “window” while the system is in the Gulf that may be conducive to it strengthening, said Nick Carr, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service Miami, but it remains unclear how strong it could become.

The most current National Hurricane Center forecast discussion predicts top winds could reach 100 mph, making it potentially a Category 2 hurricane at landfall. Major hurricanes are classified as Category 3 and above.

MORE: Will Hurricane Idalia hit Tampa and St. Petersburg? Here’s the latest forecast track

The NHC forecast for the season predicted two to five major hurricanes for the 2023 Atlantic season. Hurricane Franklin, now a high-end Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph maximum sustained winds, was located less than 530 miles southwest of Bermuda as of 11 p.m. Sunday, and forecast to become a major hurricane on Monday. It would be the season’s first major hurricane.

The state of emergency for Tropical Storm Idalia does not currently include Broward, Palm Beach or Miami-Dade counties.

But South Florida could start seeing gusty winds, heavy rainfall and hazardous marine conditions beginning Monday and continuing through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service Miami.

The Tampa area could see tropical force winds as early as Tuesday morning. The storm could also coincide with South Florida’s king tides next week, adding to already elevated tides and making flooding more likely, Carr said.

As of 11 p.m. Sunday, Idalia was stationary, located about 145 miles south of the western tip of Cuba. Little movement had been expected through Sunday, before a slow northward motion is anticipated to begin Monday.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center.

The NHC has issued these watches and warnings for Florida:

  • A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the Gulf coast of Florida from Chokoloskee to Indian Pass, including Tampa Bay.
  • A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Gulf coast of Florida from Englewood to Indian Pass, including Tampa Bay.
  • A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Gulf coast of Florida south of Englewood to Chokoloskee, and for the Dry Tortugas and the lower Florida Keys west of the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dry Tortugas.

The storm “is forecast to strengthen during the next few days and could become a hurricane over the eastern Gulf of Mexico,” forecasters wrote, “bringing a potential of dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall, and strong winds to portions of the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the middle of next week.”

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Sections of Florida’s west coast could experience flooding. The 33 counties included in the state of emergency are Alachua, Bay, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla Counties.

At the press conference Sunday afternoon, DeSantis said that the state was mobilizing 1,100 National Guardsman with 2,400 high-water vehicles and 12 aircraft at their disposal for rescue and recovery efforts.

Guthrie also address a fuel contamination issue at the Port of Tampa resulting in fuel contaminated with diesel fuel being shipped to gas stations in the Tampa area.

“I’d like to assure Floridians that we are coordinating here at the EOC with everyone from petroleum retailers to the ports themselves to ensure that the disruption will not be widespread or prolonged and that residents can have seamless access to fuel.”

There is concern over the contamination occurring as residents fuel up their cars and generators in anticipation of the storm.

” Any fuel purchased after 10:00 a.m. on Saturday August 27, at stations supplied by Citgo from the Port of Tampa has a strong likelihood of being contaminated with diesel fuel,” said a release from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The Governor’s reminders to be prepared come just as the state opens its second “sales tax holiday” of the year for hurricane-related supplies. Florida’s “disaster preparedness” tax holiday continues through Sept. 8.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Tulum to Rio Lagartos, including Cozumel, while a tropical storm watch is in effect for extreme western Cuba, including the provinces of Pinar Del Rio and the Isle of Youth.

Heavy rains are likely over western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, forecasters said. Parts of the eastern Yucatan could receive 2 to 6 inches of rain, while Western Cuba could receive 3 to 6 inches, with isolated areas getting soaked with up to 10 inches.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Franklin, now a Category 2 storm, is forecast to “rapidly intensify into a major hurricane,” meaning Category 3 or above, by Sunday night, according to the latest outlook. The storm is expected to move to the west of Bermuda on Monday and Tuesday.

A disturbance located about 1,000 miles from Bermuda was no longer expected to develop, forecasters said early Sunday. They are monitoring a tropical wave that is forecast to move off the west coast of Africa and over the Atlantic.

The National Hurricane Center has been predicting an “above-normal” 2023 hurricane season as a result of ongoing record-breaking sea surface temperatures that continue to fight off the tempering effects of El Niño.

While sea surface temperatures have remained hot for longer than anticipated, El Niño’s effects, which typically reduce hurricane chances, have emerged more slowly.

The NHC, which operates under the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, has forecast 14-21 named storms, including 6-11 hurricanes, and two to five major hurricanes.

The next storm to form would be Jose.

Hurricane Franklin forecast to become a major hurricane on Monday; Tropical Storm Idalia approaches Gulf

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 20:45

As Tropical Storm Idalia moved toward the Gulf of Mexico Sunday, forecasters were monitoring other systems, including a Category 2 Hurricane Franklin — which is now forecast to become a major hurricane on Monday, meaning Category 3 or above.

Hurricane Franklin, located less than 530 miles southwest of Bermuda as of 11 p.m. Sunday, was moving north-northwest at about 8 mph, with maximum sustained wind speeds at 105 mph.

Bermuda is currently just outside the southern edge of the cone representing the possible track of the eye of the storm. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

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If Franklin strengthens as predicted, it would be the season’s first major hurricane. Franklin, the second hurricane of the Atlantic season, is forecast to move along the Atlantic near Bermuda and curve away from the U.S.

Hurricane Don formed in late July but was no threat to land.

Franklin is expected to move west of Bermuda on Monday and Tuesday. Swells from the storm could affect Bermuda by tonight will impact the east coast of the U.S. later this week with life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Hurricane Franklin’s forecast cone as on 11 p.m. Sunday. (Courtesy National Hurricane Center) Tropical wave off coast of Africa

Forecasters are also monitoring a tropical wave forecast to move off the west coast of Africa early next week. As of 2 a.m. Monday, it had a 40% chance of forming in the next seven days.

The National Hurricane Center has been predicting an “above-normal” 2023 hurricane season as a result of ongoing record-breaking sea surface temperatures that continue to fight off the tempering effects of El Niño.

While sea surface temperatures have remained hot for longer than anticipated, El Niño’s effects, which typically reduce hurricane chances, have emerged more slowly.

The NHC, which operates under the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, has forecast 14-21 named storms, including 6-11 hurricanes, and two to five major hurricanes.

Florida Gov. Ron Desantis booed at vigil as hundreds mourn more racist killings

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 19:55

By RUSS BYNUM and AARON MORRISON (Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered Sunday at prayer vigils and in church, in frustration and exhaustion, to mourn yet another racist attack in America: this one the killing of three Black people in Florida at the hands of a white, 21-year-old man who authorities say left behind white supremacist ramblings that read like “the diary of a madman.”

Following services earlier in the day, about 200 people showed up at a Sunday evening vigil a block from the Dollar General store in Jacksonville where officials said Ryan Palmeter opened fire Saturday using guns he bought legally despite a past involuntary commitment for a mental health exam.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis — who is running for the GOP nomination for president, who has loosened gun laws in Florida and who has antagonized civil rights leaders by deriding “wokeness ” — was loudly booed as he addressed the vigil.

Ju’Coby Pittman, a Jacksonville city councilwoman who represents the neighborhood where the shooting happened, stepped in to ask the crowd to listen.

“It ain’t about parties today,” she said. “A bullet don’t know a party.”

DeSantis said that on Monday the state would be announcing financial support for security at Edward Waters University, the historically black college near where the shooting occurred, and to help the affected families. He called the gunman a “major league scumbag.”

“What he did is totally unacceptable in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “We are not going to let people be targeted based on their race.”

Sheriff T.K. Waters identified those killed as Angela Michelle Carr, 52, who was shot in her car; store employee A.J. Laguerre, 19, who was shot as he tried to flee; and customer Jerrald Gallion, 29, who was shot as he entered the store in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

Gallion attended St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Bishop John Guns told the crowd. He was the 33rd murder victim in the 27 years Guns has been there, he said.

“In two weeks I have to preach a funeral of a man who should still be alive,” Guns said. “He was not a gangster, he was not a thug — he was a father who gave his life to Jesus and was trying to get it together.

“I wept in church today like a baby because my heart is tired. We are exhausted.”

The latest in a long history of American racist killings unfolded early Saturday afternoon after Palmeter first parked at Edward Waters University.

The sheriff said a video posted on TikTok with no timestamp showed Palmeter donning a bullet-resistant vest. A university security guard spotted Palmeter and parked near him. Palmeter drove off and the security guard flagged down a Jacksonville sheriff’s officer who was about to send out an alert to other officers when the shooting began at the store.

Palmeter used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a Glock handgun in the shooting, Waters said. He had legally purchased the guns in recent months even though he had been involuntarily committed for a mental health examination in 2017. Because Palmeter was released after the examination, that would have not shown up on his background checks.

Palmeter killed himself as police arrived, about 11 minutes after the shooting began.

Palmeter lived with his parents in neighboring Clay County. He texted his father during the shooting and told him to break into his room, Waters said. The father then found a suicide note, a will and the racist writings Waters described as “quite frankly, the diary of a madman.”

“He was just completely irrational,” Waters said. “But with irrational thoughts, he knew what he was doing. He was 100% lucid.”

The sheriff said Palmeter, wearing his vest covered by a shirt, gloves and a mask, first stopped in front of Carr’s vehicle and fired 11 shots with his rifle through her windshield, killing her.

He entered the store and turned to his right, shooting Laguerre, video shows. Numerous people fled through the back door, the sheriff said. He chased after them and fired, but missed. He went back inside the store and found Gallion entering the front door with his girlfriend. He fatally shot Gallion.

He then chased a woman through the store and fired, but missed.

“We must say clearly and forcefully that white supremacy has no place in America,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Sunday. “We must refuse to live in a country where Black families going to the store or Black students going to school live in fear of being gunned down because of the color of their skin.”

Biden spoke to Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan in the wake of Saturday’s horrific shooting. The president also spoke with Sheriff Waters. In both calls, he offered his full support to the people of Jacksonville, according to a statement Sunday evening from the White House.

Earlier Sunday, the pastor of St. Paul AME Church near the site of the shooting told congregants to follow Jesus Christ’s example and keep their sadness from turning to rage.

Mayor Deegan wept during the service. “Our hearts are broken,” the Rev. Willie Barnes told about 100 congregants. “If any of you are like me, I’m fighting trying to not be angry.”

Elected officials said racist attacks like Saturday’s have been encouraged by political rhetoric targeting “wokeness” and policies from the Republican-led state government headed by DeSantis, including one taking aim at the teaching of Black history in Florida.

“We must be clear, it was not just racially motivated, it was racist violence that has been perpetuated by rhetoric and policies designed to attack Black people, period,” said state Rep. Angie Nixon, a Jacksonville Democrat.

“We cannot sit idly by as our history is being erased, as our lives are being devalued, as wokeness is being attacked,” Nixon said. “Because let’s be clear — that is red meat to a base of voters.”

Rudolph McKissick, a national board member of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Baptist bishop, and senior pastor of the Bethel Church in Jacksonville, was in the city on Saturday when the shooting occurred in the historically Black New Town neighborhood.

“Nobody is having honest, candid conversations about the presence of racism,” McKissick said.

Past shootings targeting Black Americans include one at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket in 2022 and a historic African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

The Buffalo shooting, which killed 10 people, stands apart as one of the deadliest targeted attacks on Black people by a lone white gunman in U.S. history. The shooter was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


Associated Press writers John Raoux in Jacksonville, Terry Spencer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Trisha Ahmed in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Mike Balsamo in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

General Daily Insight for August 28, 2023

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 17:00
General Daily Insight for August 28, 2023

Releasing our present desires for control could help us find what flows smoothly. While the structured Capricorn Moon grasps intense Pluto, we may fear being alone and try to hold others too close. After Luna enters free-spirited Aquarius, however, she aligns with assertive Mars. Everything should run more smoothly once people have room to breathe! Finding the best balance might take some trial and error as rebellious Uranus turns retrograde at 10:39 pm EDT. We need each other, but we also need our space.


March 21 – April 19

Seeking an outside perspective on a perplexing power dynamic may be helpful today. Hearing that what you’re dealing with isn’t normal could at least be validating. Of course, that won’t necessarily give you a path to escape from it. As independent Uranus spins retrograde in your 2nd House of Resources, consider the idea that some of your assumptions about what you can afford to do on your own aren’t wholly accurate. Digging deeper than usual to clarify the facts might expand your options.


April 20 – May 20

Having a rigid belief system could give you some comfort at this time. That said, observing that you can’t successfully force it on others will provide a useful reality check. You might as well take a moment to inventory how this worldview has shaped you over time. If you don’t like what you see, revolutionary Uranus turning retrograde in your 1st House of Identity gives you an excellent opportunity to make adjustments. There’s no shame in admitting that you’re learning to do things better!


May 21 – June 20

Taking anyone else at their word in a money or property matter is risky at the moment. As the impressionable Moon meets manipulative Pluto in your 8th House of Shared Resources, getting sucked into a sorrowful story is likely to end badly. If something doesn’t sound right, look at any rules that are supposed to govern what you’re doing. The situation can be shifted in your favor, but you’ll need to show some initiative — change probably won’t happen on its own.


June 21 – July 22

The intensity of a close relationship could be overwhelming for you at present. Amid the constant rush to put out one emotional fire or another, you might realize you don’t even know what the other person actually wants. Perhaps you’ll have to ask them to tell you specifically instead of just dropping hints. Although you may be used to seeking advice from friends, hold off on that for now — try to work it out between the two of you this time.


July 23 – August 22

You’re currently capable of working obsessively to get perfect results on a task. As the hungry Moon meets complicated Pluto in your productive 6th house, your effort is probably motivated by a story much bigger than the task itself. Who are you trying to impress? You might need to talk to them directly to be certain that they’re receiving the message you’re broadcasting. Once you’re dealing with reality, you have a better chance of discovering what really serves your major goals.


August 23 – September 22

You may worry that your recent struggle to get stuff done makes you childish and immature. The root of this concern is potentially the fear that you won’t accomplish a complicated task perfectly — in that case, why start doing it at all? Remind yourself that you must start somewhere. As inquisitive Uranus shifts retrograde in your 9th House of Research, you might recognize what you need to learn more about once you’re moving forward. Studying could even be fun, so don’t delay!


September 23 – October 22

Finding a harmonious equilibrium with your family members and other loved ones could be challenging today. As individualistic Uranus turns retrograde in your intimate 8th house, you may need to adjust your boundaries regarding these close relationships. Sometimes, this means claiming your personal space and defending the amount of freedom you need to make your own decisions. However, an imbalance can happen in either direction. If the truth is that a closer connection would satisfy you better, feel free to ask for that!


October 23 – November 21

You currently should think carefully about the prospective results of using particular venues to communicate certain types of messages. Posting a vague but obviously pointed statement on social media may be tempting, but it’ll probably just inflame whatever drama you’re dealing with. Talking one-on-one with the person who’s upset you could be scary — you might feel like your ability to control the situation is limited. Perhaps you’re not ready for that yet, but attempt to avoid making things worse in the meantime.


November 22 – December 21

Your anxiety about money matters could lead you in an unhelpful direction today. Talking to friends may be reassuring — plus, you’ll possibly get practical advice along with any sympathy you receive. If a tip you hear sounds promising, you might as well try it out. While clever Uranus spins retrograde in your 6th House of Daily Routines, you’re ideally positioned to look critically at your habits and change those that aren’t working for you. Even a small shift can make an important difference!


December 22 – January 19

Managing how people see you could seem like the day’s highest priority. There’s only so much you can do on that front, though. Even as the perceptive Moon unites with controlling Pluto in your 1st House of Identity, it’s not possible to fully guarantee that others will share your refreshed view of yourself. The best you can do is make an effort to live out your values — that should, at minimum, give your audience something genuinely tangible to look at!


January 20 – February 18

Confronting your fears honestly may be necessary at any moment. As the vulnerable Moon in your sign harmonizes with courageous Mars in your 9th House of Higher Education, intentionally learning about whatever scares you could help you put it in perspective. The thought of being tied down by some commitment might be an especially big trigger. Consider researching how others have handled similar situations. Needing to balance competing priorities is probably more common than you think — you can’t be the first!


February 19 – March 20

The opinions of your social network could presently be overpowering for you. After the sensitive Moon shifts into your contemplative 12th house, you may need to go off on your own to figure out what you really think. Confiding in a loved one or particularly close peer might help you work a few things out, but don’t feel obligated to talk to anyone before you feel ready. It’ll probably take a while to formulate your position, and that can be easier without an audience.

Marlins’ trade for Jake Burger has been a win, but can it help carry them into October?

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 13:56

MIAMI – Jake Burger still has two paper Burger King hats on top of his locker.

After slapping a walk-off single two Sundays ago against the New York Yankees, the third baseman was surprised the next day with a tower of Burger King Whoppers waiting for him at his stall. It was an obvious play on his last name, a grasp at the low-hanging fruit.

“It’s a good nickname, Burger King,” Burger said before Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals.

Every King needs his Burger.

Soler drills 35th home run, Marlins bullpen shines as Miami avoids home sweep against Nationals

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 13:30

MIAMI — Jorge Soler hit a two-run drive for his 35th homer, and the Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Sunday to avoid a series sweep.

Luis Arraez reached on a leadoff single in the third inning before Soler connected against Trevor Williams, giving Miami a 2-1 lead. It was Soler’s 19th go-ahead homer of the season, extending his major league lead.

“Soli has been winning game after game for us and he won another game for us today,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said.

Jacob Stallings had two hits for the Marlins, who had dropped six of seven to fall back to .500.

“A good win for us that we needed badly,” Arraez said. “It’s been a tough second half for us. Everybody wants to win. We just need to continue playing hard.”

Washington wasted a strong performance by Williams (6-8), who allowed five hits and walked two in a season-high seven innings. The Nationals had won five of six and 11 of 14.

“The offense just couldn’t score any runs,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We had a couple of opportunities and couldn’t capitalize on them. That’s how it goes.”

Washington threatened in the ninth against Tanner Scott. Keibert Ruiz and Ildemaro Vargas hit one-out singles, but Scott retired Jacob Young on a double-play grounder for his third save in five opportunities.

Scott replaced David Robertson as Miami’s closer after Robertson squandered a 2-1 lead Saturday. It was Robertson’s third blown save since the Marlins acquired the veteran reliever from the New York Mets on July 29.

“We still have a lot of confidence in him,” Schumaker said. “We acquired him for a reason — to get us out of high-leverage situations and that’s still going to happen. So I don’t want you to think because of what happened last night you won’t see him again.”

Miami reliever Bryan Hoeing (2-2) pitched four-plus innings of one-run ball for the win. Steven Okert, A.J. Puk and Andrew Nardi each pitched a hitless inning before Scott closed it out.

Hoeing departed after he was struck by Joey Meneses’ leadoff comebacker in the sixth. Hoeing limped noticeably after Meneses’ single but said later he was fine.

“He was my last batter no matter what,” Hoeing said. “When Skip came out, he said you’re coming out either way. I didn’t like to go out with a base hit.”

Washington jumped in front on Dominic Smith’s groundout in the third. CJ Abrams hit a leadoff single and advanced on Lane Thomas’ double. Smith hit a one-out dribbler to first that scored Abrams.

JT Chargois opened for Miami and got three outs before Hoeing took over.


Arraez went 1 for 4 in his return to the leadoff spot after hitting second or third in the previous 16 games. His batting average dropped 23 points to .351 during the span.

“I’m happy wherever I am in the lineup,” Arraez said. “Things haven’t gone as I expected. I got on base and scored a run. I hope to continue doing the little things to help the team win.”


Marlins: LHP Trevor Rogers (left biceps strain) started playing catch at the club’s spring training complex in Jupiter.


Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (6-11, 4.16 ERA) starts the opener of a two-game home set against Tampa Bay on Tuesday. The Rays have not named a starter.

Breaking down the Miami Hurricanes’ position groups after fall camp

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 12:37

The Miami Hurricanes’ training camp is complete and preparations for the season-opener against Miami (Ohio) on Friday have begun.

UM coach Mario Cristobal has not released a depth chart for the first game, but through partial practice observations and interviews with coaches and players, we can infer where each position group stands as the season approaches.

Here is a look at each group following fall camp:


No earth-shattering surprise here, Tyler Van Dyke will be Miami’s starting quarterback on Friday. A shoulder injury derailed the fourth-year junior’s 2022 season, but he is healthy now and will try to execute new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson’s offense. Behind him are sophomore Jacurri Brown and freshman Emory Williams. Brown showed flashes of his ability when he took over the starting role late in the season, but he also struggled against tougher defenses. Williams has looked impressive since arriving on campus, but Brown’s game experience will likely have him second on the depth chart.

Running backs

The Hurricanes have several running backs who are expected to contribute this season. The halfback corps starts with returning starter Henry Parrish Jr., who was arguably Miami’s best and most consistent offensive player last season. But he won’t have to carry the unit this year. Behind him is a talented group that includes newcomers Ajay Allen (who transferred from Nebraska) and freshman Mark Fletcher Jr. Expect those two to see significant playing time this year. Fourth-year redshirt sophomore Don Chaney Jr., whose career has been hampered by injuries, will also see the field this year. Redshirt freshman TreVonte’ Citizen, who suffered a severe knee injury during training camp last year, will also try to make his way back this season.

Wide receiver

UM will likely line up returning receivers Colbie Young and Jacolby George on the outside with Xavier Restrepo at the slot position. But Dawson said the Hurricanes are going to rotate many of their wide receivers onto the field throughout the season. Freshman Nathaniel “Ray Ray” Joseph has made a name for himself since arriving in the spring, and he will likely see time at slot receiver, along with junior Brashard Smith. Transfer Tyler Harrell, JUCO arrival Shemar Kirk and returnees like Michael Redding III, Isaiah Horton and Frank Ladson Jr. provide more depth.

Tight end

Health could determine the projection for this group. Elijah Arroyo is returning from an injury that kept him out most of last season. If he is healthy, he will line up as the starting tight end. Sophomore Jaleel Skinner will look to take the next step in his progression and become a threat in the passing game after making nine catches for 129 yards and a score last year. Veteran transfer Cam McCormick will see plenty of reps, and freshmen Jackson Carver and Riley Williams could see some time, too.

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Miami’s refreshed offensive line will feature three new starters: transfers Javion Cohen and Matt Lee at center and left guard, respectively, and freshman Francis Mauigoa at right tackle. The three new Hurricanes join left tackle Jalen Rivers, who moves from left guard to left tackle, and right guard Anez Cooper. That group of five has been working together since the spring and have the potential to be a strong point on this year’s team. Behind them, Samson Okunlola, Tommy Kinsler, Matthew McCoy, Ryan Rodriguez, Luis Cristobal Jr., Jonathan Denis, Logan Sagapolu and Chris Washington could all fill in on the second team as needed.

Defensive line

Similar to the offensive line, the defensive line will likely feature a mix of returning veterans and newcomers. Purdue transfer Branson Deen has established himself as a key player at defensive tackle, and he will be joined by talented junior Leonard Taylor III in the middle of the line. On the edges, Rueben Bain has earned effusive praise since he arrived on campus and will receive playing time early. Akheem Mesidor, who excelled in his first year with UM after transferring from West Virginia, will also be a key player on the edge. Sophomore Nyjalik Kelly, who flashed his pass-rushing abilities last year, will also likely start on the edge. But the Hurricanes have several linemen who will rotate in frequently, including Jahfari Harvey, Chantz Williams and Jayden Wayne on the edges and Ahmad Moten, Jared Harrison-Hunte, Anthony Campbell and Thomas Gore in the center.


Like the defensive line, expect more than just two starting linebackers to get a lot of playing time in defensive coordinator Lance Guidry’s defense. Transfer Francisco Mauigoa, the older brother of freshman Francis, transferred from Washington State and appears poised to take over at middle linebacker. Corey Flagg Jr., who has recovered from a foot injury, will likely rotate in at that position. At weakside linebacker, sophomore Wesley Bissainthe or Louisville transfer K.J. Cloyd could take over as the technical starter at the position. Veteran Keontra Smith will also be a large factor, regardless of who starts.


Cornerback is perhaps the most hotly contested position on the team after starters Tyrique Stevenson and D.J. Ivey left for the NFL. UCF transfer Davonte Brown will likely start at outside cornerback. His younger brother, freshman Damari Brown, had a strong training camp and could move into a starting role, too. Daryl Porter Jr. and Te’Cory Couch are also in the mix for outside cornerback. At the “Star” role, which will serve as a nickelback, Oklahoma transfer Jaden Davis and Couch will likely see time there. Vanderbilt transfer Jadais Richard can also play at either outside corner or nickelback.


All-American Kamren Kinchens and junior James Williams have their two safety spots locked up. However, Williams will see his role change a little in Guidry’s defense. Guidry said Williams will sometimes move up into the box in some running downs. But the two safeties are entrenched in their roles. Behind them, Markeith Williams, Brian Balom and Jaden Harris will compete for playing time.

Chris Perkins: Here’s what we learned about the Miami Dolphins during training camp and preseason games

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 09:40

Training camp is over, the preseason is over, and now we await the start of the regular season in three weeks when the Miami Dolphins visit the Los Angeles Chargers.

It was an interesting training camp and preseason from the standpoint the Dolphins are coming off a playoff appearance and have big expectations for 2023. Some think the Dolphins have a two-year window to get to a Super Bowl, making this an extra important season.

Coach Mike McDaniel enters his second season full of knowledge from a year ago and full of promise for the year ahead.

With those thoughts in mind, here’s what we learned during training camp and the exhibition season: 

Tyreek Hill and Christian Wilkins are grown men

These two guys had the best training camps, by far. It’s not even close. The problem is they didn’t shine together for long. Wilkins was dominant early, but then staged a hold-in due to a contract dispute. Hill was slow early, possibly due to static from a lawsuit, but was dominant late in camp. Both seemed poised for big seasons.

The defense looks good

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has presided over a unit that has had at least three days of nine or more sacks against the Dolphins offense, and had a few days of multiple interceptions. In other words, this defense has been a play-making unit, and that’s without cornerback Jalen Ramsey (knee) and Wilkins only there for half of training camp. Edge rushers Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb have been good, so have cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Kader Kohou, safety Jevon Holland, and defensive lineman Zach Sieler.

Tua seems ready

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, with his added bulk, appears ready to take the hits he’ll receive during the season without being concussed or seriously injured. No, he didn’t take many hits during training camp or preseason, but the ones he did take (or make in the case of his tackle after throwing an interception) went well. 

Dolphins interested in a RB upgrade

The Dolphins have been reportedly interested in running backs Dalvin Cook, Jonathan Taylor, Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley and DeAndre Swift. Nothing has been confirmed by the team, but that’s so much smoke you have to believe there’s a small fire out there somewhere.

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Coach Mike McDaniel seems to like running backs Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., and rookie De’Von Achane, but also seems to want more. 

Draftees are what you figured

Among cornerback Cam Smith, the second-round pick from South Carolina, Achane, the third-round pick from Texas A&M, tight end Elijah Higgins, the sixth-round pick from Stanford, and tackle-guard Ryan Hayes, the seventh-round pick from Michigan, the Dolphins might have done well.

Smith is battling for a role as the boundary cornerback opposite Howard in the nickel package, when Kohou plays in the slot.

Achane is fighting for a role as the No. 3 running back and starting kickoff returner.

Smith and Achane have battled shoulder injuries, and Achane is still dealing with it.

Higgins and Hayes seem to be practice squad candidates.

Run game might be emphasized … seriously

McDaniel said he wants to run more this year (they were 31st in rushing attempts last season) and indications are he might be committed to following through on that statement. 

The Dolphins had 38 carries for 205 yards against Houston in their second preseason game, which followed a 26-carry, 168 yards performance against Atlanta in the preseason opener, and a 24-carry, 124-yard performance against Jacksonville in the preseason finale.

We’ll see what happens beginning with the Sept. 10 season opener at the Chargers.

OL might be OK, however …

The offensive line remains a wait-and-see proposition.

It’s tough to make any offensive line predictions because left tackle Terron Armstead, the Dolphins’ best offensive lineman, missed most of training camp while recovering from offseason right knee surgery and a right leg injury sustained in joint practice with Houston.

But it seems right tackle Austin Jackson, a question mark before training camp, might be solid.

It also appears Isaiah Wynn will start at left guard over Liam Eichenberg. Either way that position figures to be the weak link.

Still, among Armstead, center Connor Williams and right guard Robert Hunt, the Dolphins should have a good foundation. 

If Jackson and Wynn are decent, and if backup left tackle Kendall Lamm is solid when he fills in for Armstead (who has missed an average of five games per year the past seven years), the offensive line has a chance to be productive.

Of course, that’s a lot of ‘ifs’.

New coaches must make instant impact

Among Fangio, Renaldo Hill, the passing-game coordinator/secondary coach, and Butch Barry, the offensive line coach, and safety coach Joe Kasper there are big expectations to correct some of the things that slowed the Dolphins last season.

Fangio’s defense seems to be coming along nicely even with the injury to Ramsey and Wilkins’ hold-in preventing a look at its full potential. 

Barry’s offensive line is somewhat of a mystery.

Kasper’s group has been slowed by injury with Brandon Jones (knee) apparently suffering a setback and unable to rotate in much with Holland and fellow starter DeShon Elliott during practice.

The new coaches seemed to do good work with their units during training camp, but questions remain.

Russia says it confirmed Wagner leader Prigozhin died in a plane crash

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 09:08

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities on Sunday confirmed the death of Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, putting to rest any doubts about whether the wily mercenary leader turned mutineer was on a plane that crashed Wednesday, killing everyone on board.

Genetic testing on the 10 bodies recovered at the crash site “conform to the manifest ” for the flight, Russian Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said in a statement. Russia’s civil aviation authority had said Prigozhin and some of his top lieutenants were on the list of seven passengers and three crew members.

The Investigative Committee did not indicate what might have caused the business jet to plummet from the sky halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Prigozhin’s hometown.

But the crash’s timing raised suspicions of a possible Kremlin-orchestrated hit, while Prigozhin’s chameleon-like background allowed for speculation that he wasn’t on the plane or had somehow escaped death.

Two months ago, Prigozhin, 62, mounted a daylong mutiny against Russia’s military, leading his mercenaries from Ukraine toward Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin decried the act as “treason” and vowed punishment for those involved.

Instead, the Kremlin quickly cut a deal with Prigozhin to end the armed revolt, saying he would be allowed to walk free without facing any charges and to resettle in Belarus. Questions remained about whether the former ally of Russia’s leader would face a comeuppance for the brief uprising that posed the biggest challenge to Putin’s authority of his 23-year rule.

A preliminary U.S. intelligence assessment concluded that an intentional explosion caused the plane to go down. As suspicions grew that the Russian president was the architect of an assassination, the Kremlin rejected them as a “complete lie.”

One of the Western officials who described the initial assessment said it determined that Prigozhin was “very likely” targeted and that an explosion would be in line with Putin’s “long history of trying to silence his critics.”

Prigozhin’s second-in-command, Dmitry Utkin, as well as Wagner logistics mastermind Valery Chekalov, also were killed in the crash. Utkin was long believed to have founded Wagner and baptized the group with his nom de guerre.

The fate of Wagner, which until recently played a prominent role in Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine and was involved in a number of African and Middle Eastern countries, is uncertain.

After the mutiny, the Kremlin said Prigozhin would be exiled in Belarus, and his fighters were offered three options: to follow him there, retire or enlist in Russia’s regular army and return to Ukraine, where Wagner mercenaries had fought alongside Russian troops.

Several thousand Wagner mercenaries opted to move to Belarus, where a camp was erected for them southeast of the capital, Minsk.

Map: Will Hurricane Idalia hit Florida? Here’s the latest forecast

Sun, 08/27/2023 - 08:49

Tropical Storm Idalia (pronounced ee-DAHL-ya) formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and the Florida panhandle is in the forecast path, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane and storm surge watches are in effect for the west coast from Apalachicola south toward Naples. Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Hillsborough County and 32 others. The storm is forecast to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane ahead of landfall toward the middle of the week.

Click here for an updated interactive hurricane and tropical storm forecast map.

California powerhouse St. John Bosco ends St. Thomas Aquinas’ 27-game win streak

Sat, 08/26/2023 - 19:47

FORT LAUDERDALE — Defending national champion St. John Bosco (Calif.) methodically ended host St. Thomas Aquinas’ 27-game winning streak with a 20-7 victory on Saturday afternoon.

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Braves senior quarterback Caleb Sanchez completed 36 of 48 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns to hand the host Raiders their first defeat since a 24-21 loss at Tampa Jesuit on Sept. 3, 2021. Further, it was the Raiders’ first home setback since a 17-10 setback to Cardinal Gibbons on Oct. 23, 2020.

St. John Bosco, who also won the California state championship last season and is ranked No.1 in the nation, according to MaxPreps, amassed 461 yards and limited the Raiders to 160 total.

“They capitalized on our mistakes and statistically it is hard to win games against good teams when you lose the turnover battle,” said St. Thomas Aquinas coach Roger Harriott, whose team lost a fumble and an interception. “They had a number of penalties that we could have advanced on, but we have to make sure we take care of the ball and execute with precision when those opportunities  present themselves.”

“We are not so much disappointed,” he added. “We’re frustrated. There were some opportunities there where the score could have flipped the other way. They did a great job moving the ball offensively and our defense was on the field too long.”

The loss also marked just the third setback to an out-of-state team in 18 games, the last one coming against Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman, 25-24 in 2016 in triple overtime.

St. John Bosco (2-0) took the early lead in the ESPN nationally televised game as it drove 87 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead in the game that was part of the second annual Broward National High School Football Showcase.

Sanchez found sophomore Daniel Odom in front of the Raiders’ bench where he outwrestled Raiders’ senior defensive back Romanas Frederique for the ball and took it to the end zone from 45 yards out with 2:35 remaining in the first quarter.

St. John Bosco held the potent Raiders offense in check for the first half as they stifled the four-time defending Florida state champion (0-1) by allowing just 44 total yards, with 13 yards rushing. The Braves finished the first half with 191 total yards. Ohio State commit Jordan Lyle ran for just 17 yards on 9 attempts for the Raiders.

Sanchez was efficient in the first half as he completed 17 of 23 passes for 172 yards and a score. He completed passes to eight different receivers in the opening half against the No. 6-ranked team in the nation.

The Braves put together a 17-play, 78-yard drive at the end of the first half and threatened to extend their lead. Sanchez hit sophomore Madden Williams for a 3-yard gain to the Raiders’ 2, but they couldn’t punch it in. Twice the Braves lined up for a short field goal attempt from 19 yards away but called timeout twice before deciding to go for the touchdown.

St. John Bosco senior running back Cameron Jones was stopped for a 1-yard gain by St. Thomas Aquinas senior linebacker Nick Rodriguez to end the half.

The Raiders forced a third-quarter punt and senior Allen Bryant returned the kick 45 yards to the Braves’ 23. Two plays later senior James Madison II hauled in a 20-yard scoring pass from junior Andrew Indorf to knot the game at 7-7 with 9:52 remaining in the period.

“They had a really good team and played a really good game,” said Madison, a Missouri commit who finished with a team-high 7 catches, 57 yards, and one score. “We just couldn’t get the ball rolling, but at the end of the day, I think we’ll come back and play a thousand times better than we did today.

“I think this was a good game for (Indorf) to play because he can only get better,” Madison continued. “I think he will be more than ready down the road, and I think we will bounce back from this definitely.”

St. John Bosco took the ensuing kickoff and marched 67 yards to set up a 30-yard field goal by senior kicker Marcus Lee to give the Braves the lead for good at 10-7 with 4:25 left in the third.

Sanchez capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Williams to extend the lead to 17-7 with 10:19 left in the game. Lee connected on a 31-yard field goal to close out the scoring with 3:10 left. Williams finished with a team-leading nine catches for 79 yards and a score.

St. Thomas couldn’t generate much in Indorf’s first career start. Indorf, who saw action in just one game last year off the bench, finished 14 of 23 for 117 yards, a TD and an interception.

“We have a lot of good football ahead of us,” Harriott said. “This was a great game for some of our more inexperienced players. Our quarterback did a good job managing the game, but when the time comes he’ll make better decisions.

“(Andrew) just has to make sure that he capitalizes on the reads and the schemes that the defenses give you,” he added. “He just has to use his eyes a little better and execute and move the chains.”

The only other time the two had faced each other was a 9-3 win for the Raiders in 2017.


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