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9 best lawn rollers

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 23:56
9 best lawn rollers

When it comes to your home, appearance is everything, and your yard has a major effect on appearance. Even the most beautifully sculpted home can be overlooked if it has an unkempt yard. But yard care isn’t as simple as mowing from time to time. You need a dozen-plus tools to tackle every challenge.

One of these is a lawn roller. Using one before mowing can make mowing easier.  They also can even out your yard or help newly planted seeds and sod take root faster.

What to know before you buy a lawn roller Rolling style

Lawn rollers are rolled using one of two methods.

Most rollers are either/or in rolling style, but a few are designed to work both ways.


Lawn rollers are typically made of plastic or steel.


A lawn roller’s size is chiefly focused on the drum, which has two measurements: width and diameter. The width is usually 20 to 48 inches. The diameter is usually 13 to 24 inches.

The length of the handle or frame is usually 45 inches.

Weight and capacity

Lawn rollers only work when they’re heavy enough to push down on the yard with sufficient force. However, if they’re too heavy, they can’t be easily put in and brought out of storage.

The solution: lawn rollers are hollow, so their weight can be adjusted. Without filling — which is usually water or sand — they can weigh between 20-100 pounds. With filling, they can weigh 1,000-plus pounds.

Drain plug

Drain plugs have a few aspects to consider.

Scrapper bar

Grass, dirt and mud have a habit of clumping up and sticking to lawn rollers’ drums. If these clumps are left on, they can become compressed and hard enough to start kneading holes into your yard, the opposite of what a roller aims to do. So the best rollers have a scrapper bar just above the drum that eliminates clumps before they can form.

Baffle bar and support disc

Baffle bars run inside the drum from end to end and provide more structure and stability. Support discs have the same benefits but focus on the center of the drum.

How much you can expect to spend on a lawn roller

Most lawn rollers for non-commercial use cost roughly $100-$250. Commercial-grade rollers usually cost $300-$500.

What are the best lawn rollers to buy?

Arnot Lawn Roller ]

This tow-behind lawn roller is perfect for heavy-duty jobs and large yards. It’s 16 by 20 inches with a 16-gallon capacity.

Agri-Fab 45-0216C Lawn Roller ]

If you have a massive yard, you need a massive lawn roller. This one is 24 by 48 inches and weighs a staggering 900 pounds when filled with water.

Agri-Fab 45-0268 Lawn Roller ]

This is a more affordable, smaller version of the 45-0216C at 18 by 36 inches with a weight of 400 pounds when filled with water.

Brinly-Hardy PRT-482SBHC-A Lawn Roller ]

This towed roller is the big beast you need to handle large yards. The easy-turn plug makes filling and emptying it simpler and faster. It’s 18 by 48 inches with a 54-gallon capacity.

Brinly-Hardy PRT-36SBH Lawn Roller ]

This is still a towed roller, but its slightly smaller size makes it better for, well, slightly smaller yards. It’s 18 by 36 inches with a 42-gallon capacity.

Brinly-Hardy PRC-241BH-A Lawn Roller ]

This is an excellent starter roller for those with a brand-new yard to maintain. The roller is 18 by 24 inches with a 28-gallon capacity.

Goplus Lawn Roller For Yards ]

This is big enough to tackle large yards quickly but light enough to hang up when empty. It comes in two sizes: 12 by 36 inches with a 17-gallon capacity and 13 by 24 inches with a 13-gallon capacity. It comes in black or green.

Goplus Lawn Roller for Gardens ]

This narrow roller is perfect for gardens or small strips of yard and can be pushed or towed behind. It’s 16 by 20 inches and weighs 155 pounds when filled with water.

S Afstar Lawn Roller ]

A scrapper bar stops clumps from forming and rounded edges prevent damage to your lawn while turning. It comes in two sizes: 12 by 36 inches with a 17-gallon capacity and 13 by 24 inches with a 13-gallon capacity.

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5 brands that consistently make great speakers

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 23:54

Buying a speaker is like buying any other electronic device. You want to ensure you get a high-quality product that produces excellent sound and delivers on the latest premium features. With so many speaker brands, it can be challenging to choose the right one. Five terrific brands consistently make excellent speakers, and each one is worth your consideration.


Sonos doesn’t manufacture as many speakers as the other brands on this list, but the ones they offer have an elegant look and a high-quality build. Sonos speakers have a sleek design and are designed to sync with other Sonos speakers and automatically connect to your wireless devices. Sonos speakers offer several connectivity streaming options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect.


Bose is an industry-leading audio electronics brand and makes some of the best speakers. If you’re looking for a home speaker, Bose offers several soundbars and multimedia speakers that can give your home music-listening and movie-watching experience a significant sound boost. Bose speakers are pricey, but many users find them worth the money because of their durability and broad soundstage.


JBL is practically synonymous with party speakers. You won’t find any worthwhile home speakers as you would with Sonos and Bose, but few speakers offer as many high-quality portable Bluetooth speakers. JBL speakers deliver impressive sound quality and deep bass and have a robust design that makes them ideal for outdoor use.


Like Bose, Sony is an industry-leading electronics brand with several years of experience manufacturing high-end speakers. You can rest assured that if you buy a Sony speaker, you’re getting something built to last. Sony speakers typically offer excellent clarity and pronounced bass, making them great for listening to music genres like hip-hop, reggae, jazz and funk.

Ultimate Ears

Ultimate Ears doesn’t offer as many speakers as the other brands on this list, but it offers a handful of excellent products that are both affordable and deliver impressive sound. Ultimate Ears speakers are like JBL speakers, as they are durable, offer excellent sound quality for their size and have a design that makes them ideal for traveling and outdoor parties.

What to look for in a quality speaker

A speaker should produce punchy bass and clear mids and highs, but many have an equalizer setting that can be adjusted through a smartphone app. In addition to sound quality, here are a few features to look out for:

Best Sonos speakers

Sonos Move

This speaker lets you seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi streaming at home and Bluetooth streaming while you’re on the go. It has a handle for carrying it around and a broad soundstage that delivers deep bass and clear highs.

Sonos Roam

The Sonos Roam sounds excellent for its size and offers several connectivity options, including AirPlay 2, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Precision-engineered acoustics reproduce impressive clarity, and the battery lasts 10 hours on a full charge.

Best Bose speakers

Bose Smart Sound Bar 900

This soundbar can spruce up your TV and movie-watching experience, but it also works great for listening to music at home. It supports wireless Bluetooth streaming and uses Dolby Atmos and Bose TrueSpace spatial processing to deliver outstanding sound quality.

Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers

These multimedia speakers are an affordable way to upgrade your computer speaker system. They are compact, work great with any computer running macOS or Windows and have a 30-foot Bluetooth wireless transmission range.

Bose Home Smart Speaker 500

This smart speaker has a built-in Alexa and Google Assistant function for hands-free voice control, and it lets you stream music via Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2 or Spotify Connect. Plus, Bose SimpleSync technology can be used to sync with other speakers.

Best JBL speakers

JBL Boombox 2

The JBL Boombox 2 is pricey, but it offers thumping bass and exceptional sound, making it perfect for outdoor use and indoor parties of up to 50 people. It lasts up to 24 hours on a full charge and has a grip handle for portability.

JBL Charge 5

This portable speaker offers fantastic sound for its size and has an IP67 protection rating. The PartyBoost feature lets you pair multiple JBL speakers together for increased volume output, and JBL Pro Sound delivers excellent bass.

JBL Clip 4

The JBL Clip 4 is a cheap speaker, but it offers excellent sound quality. It has a clip-on design, so you can attach it to a backpack or hang it on a hook. It has an IP67 rating and an integrated carabiner for improved protection and comes in seven colors.

Best Sony speakers

Sony SSCS5 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System

You’ll love these speakers if you’re looking for high-quality home music listening sound. They deliver high-resolution audio and work great as a part of a home theater 5.2.1-channel setup with other Sony SSC speakers and subwoofers.

Sony SRS-XB33 Extra Bass Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker

This Bluetooth speaker has a compact design and a robust build with an IP67 protection rating. It has two lights that can be tweaked through the Fiestable phone app and can sync with other Sony speakers for increased volume.

Best Ultimate Ears speakers

Ultimate Ears Boom 3 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

This speaker has a tough two-tone fabric for superior durability, offers 360-degree listening and has one button for controlling music playback. PartyBoom lets users connect several Boom and MegaBoom speakers, and the battery lasts up to 15 hours.

Ultimate Ears Hyperboom Portable & Home Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

This speaker offers deep bass and excellent clarity, and it is perfect for home and backyard use. It has an IPX4 protection rating and an adaptive equalizer feature that automatically optimizes sound based on the environment.

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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Best recliner covers for pet hair

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 23:53

If you have an animal with plenty of fur to shed, chances are you spend hours every week trying to clean it all up. It coats the floors, proliferates in the air and gets in your food and drinks.

But your furniture is the worst, as it seems to magnetically hold the fur against it, no matter how long or hard you vacuum. You can avoid this infinite struggle by investing in a recliner cover. These often have extra features that improve your comfort too.


Size isn’t complicated. You just need to pick a cover that matches your recliner’s measurements. You can also choose one that’s a few inches larger if you want to have an easier time putting it on and taking it off. Don’t go too much larger, or the cover can awkwardly slide around while you sit on it.


Recliner covers typically cover all or parts of the recliner.


Since your cover is going to change the look of your recliner, you’d better like what you see. Covers come in all manner of designs, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something good.

That said, consider how the protector will look against the uncovered portions of your recliner. Use one that matches or is the exact opposite for a clean look (you don’t have to worry about this if you get a slipcover).


Covers, whether slipcovers or protectors, come in one piece or up to four.


Recliner covers have a range of extra features that can be included.


Basic recliner covers typically cost $15-$30, while better-quality and more feature-rich ones can cost up to $50. The highest-quality and specialized covers typically cost $50-$100.

Best recliner covers

Ameritex Recliner Cover ]

This one-piece protector is water-resistant, thanks to a five-layer design, and it has anti-skid silicone printing for comfort and safety. It comes in two sizes and nine colors.

Conruser Recliner Cover ]

This cover comes in four pieces but covers every inch of your recliner. It has a lever opening and a large pocket. It comes in 27 colors, including turquoise and orange.

Easy-Going Recliner Cover ]

This reversible cover is water-resistant enough to give you time to clean spills when they happen. It comes in 33 colors, three recliner sizes and sizes for other furniture, such as love seats and futons.

Eco-Ancheng Recliner Cover ]

This four-piece cover protects all areas of your recliner, is machine-washable and includes a roomy side pocket. However, it doesn’t have a lever opening. It comes in 43 designs, from florals to fractals.

Granbest Recliner Cover ]

This cover resists pet hair to the point that you can wipe it up with relative ease. It is also machine-washable but must be washed alone. It comes in 11 colors, including two shades of gray.

Great Bay Home Modern Velvet Plush Recliner Cover ]

This cover uses an elastic bottom to stay in place instead of ungainly straps. It comes in 18 designs, including solid colors and patterns, and there are options that fit seven types of furniture.

Maxijin Recliner Cover ]

This cover is extra-stretchy to make getting it on and off easier and help it conform to your furniture. It comes sized to three types of furniture and in 20 colors.

H. Versailtex Stretch One-piece Recliner Cover ]

This one-piece extra-stretchy cover has a lever opening and a pocket on the right side. The velvet exterior is soft but durable. It is machine-washable and comes in 11 colors.

PureFit Stretch Recliner Slipcover ]

This cover has a lever opening on the right and a pocket on the left. It’s stretchy to make putting it on and taking it off simple. It comes in 18 colors with some costing more than others.

Stonecrest Classic Home Decor, Inc. Recliner Cover ]

This cover has two pockets on the right side: one for remotes or magazines and one for your phone. The back straps use buttons for simple security. It comes in multiple sizes and in nine colors.

Turquoize Recliner Cover ]

This cover has a slide-resistant layer and three pockets on its right side. The straps are easy to adjust, and it comes in two sizes and eight colors.

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Marlins rally for lead in ninth inning vs. Mets, but downpour forces suspension before game’s end

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 22:17

NEW YORK — Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Yuri Gurriel had consecutive run-scoring hits in the ninth inning as Miami rallied to take a 2-1 lead over the New York Mets, but the game was suspended by rain at 12:58 p.m. after a 3-hour, 17-minute delay Thursday night.

Miami moved into the third and final NL wild card spot when the Chicago Cubs lost at Atlanta.

Miami (82-76) is a half-game ahead of the Cubs (82-77), who finish with three games at NL Central champion Milwaukee. The Marlins close with three games at Pittsburgh and would have to return to New York on Monday to complete the game against the Mets if the Marlins are only a half-game in front of or behind of a team in the top four of the NL wild-card standings.

If the Marlins, after Sunday’s play, are in the second or third wild-card spot by 1.5 games over the closest pursuer, or outside the top three by 1.5 games, then a trip back to Queens would not be required.

Miami holds the tiebreaker against the Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks, 1.5 games ahead of Miami, after winning the season series 4-2 over each team.

The game would be resumed at the point of suspension if needed to determine a playoff berth. If the game isn’t needed to decide a postseason spot, the score would revert to a 1-0 Mets victory under 7.02 (b) (4) (A).

San Diego (79-80) avoided elimination for another night because Miami couldn’t finalize a win.

Rafael Ortega’s one-out RBI single in the eighth off Andrew Nardi put the Mets ahead.

Bryan De La Cruz singled leading off the ninth against Grant Hartwig and Garrett Hampson struck out. Chisholm Jr. greeted Anthony Kay with a double and scored on Gurriel’s pinch-hit single. The game went into a rain delay with runners on first and second, and two outs in the top of the ninth.

The Marlins ran themselves out of potential go-ahead rallies in the third, when Jon Berti was picked off in a 1-3-4-2-6 rundown, and the fifth, when a lengthy video review determined De La Cruz did not cross home plate before Xavier Edwards was tagged out after over-sliding second base on a potential inning-ending forceout.

Marlins starter Jesús Luzardo allowed four hits, struck out 10 and walked one in 7 1/3 innings. His 208 strikeouts are the most for a Miami left-hander.

David Peterson struck out eight in seven innings for the Mets, lowering his ERA to 5.03. He was demoted to Triple-A on May 16 with an 8.08 ERA but recorded a 3.38 ERA in his final 19 appearances following his recall June 26.


Mets announcers Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez wore suits honoring the trio of Ralph Kiner, Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson, who were the team’s radio and TV broadcasters for the franchise’s first 17 seasons. Cohen, Darling and Hernandez are concluding their 18th season in the SNY booth.

Cohen wore a checkerboard suit similar that evoked memories of the striped suit worn by Murphy. Hernandez wore a plaid suit, a la Nelson, while Darling sported a beige suit similar to the single-colored jacket worn by Kiner.


Marlins: RHP Tanner Scott returned from paternity leave, one day after his wife gave birth to a son. RHP Emmanuel De Jesus was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. … INF Luis Arraez (left ankle), who leads the NL with a .353 average, took batting practice but didn’t play. … OF/DH Jorge Soler returned to the lineup as the DH after sitting out Wednesday’s second game with a sore side.


Marlins: Have yet to announce their pitching plans in Pittsburgh.

Four South Floridians await sentencing in fake nursing diploma scheme, feds say

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 18:44

Eight South Florida residents have either pleaded guilty or been convicted for their participation in a scheme where thousands of fake nursing diplomas and transcripts were sold out of three accredited schools in Broward and Palm Beach counties to aspiring nurses, allowing them to sit for national board exams and to land nursing jobs across the country.

Seven of the eight pleaded guilty, including two nursing school owners, while one defendant was convicted Thursday. Four of them are awaiting sentencing.

A total of 20 defendants who federal prosecutors announced charges against in the Southern District of Florida in January have been convicted or have pleaded guilty.

Siena College in Lauderhill, Sacred Heart International Institute in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach School of Nursing in Palm Beach County distributed over 7,600 fraudulent diplomas, and all three schools have closed, federal prosecutors said.

Aspiring nurses could buy the diplomas for, on average, $15,000. About 2,400 of those who bought the diplomas eventually passed the national exams, affording them registered nurse licenses, practical and vocational nurse licenses and nursing jobs across the country, without their employers knowing that they had not completed the minimum requirements for those jobs.

Among the South Floridians who have been sentenced:

  • Eunide Sanon, of Fort Lauderdale, managed Siena College. She pled guilty in March to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She is currently held in the federal prison in Jackson County and will be released in April 2025.
  • Johanah Napoleon, owner of Palm Beach School of Nursing, pled guilty in November to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced in July to 21 months in prison. Napoleon does not appear in Federal Bureau of Prisons’ online inmate records.
  • Geralda Adrien, of Fort Lauderdale, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and was sentenced in August 2022. She is currently held in the federal prison in Miami and will be released in March 2024.
  • Woosevelt Predestin, of Fort Lauderdale, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and was sentenced in August 2022 to 27 months in prison. Predestin does not appear in Federal Bureau of Prisons’ online inmate records.

Among the South Floridians who are awaiting sentencing:

  • Nadege Auguste, of Coral Springs, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud Thursday and is scheduled to be sentenced in January.
  • Krystal Lopez, a Palm Beach School of Nursing employee, pled guilty in May to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
  • Damian Lopez, of Palm Beach County, pled guilty in May to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
  • Charles Etienne, owner of Sacred Heart International Institute, pled guilty in April to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

Court records say Auguste, who worked with Etienne and was a business partner with an out-of-state defendant in the scheme, assisted with the buying and distributing of nearly 100 fraudulent Sacred Heart International Institute diplomas and transcripts.

Auguste had a past conviction in New York for persuading low-income immigrants to enroll in an unapproved nursing program she operated, falsely telling them they’d get the education they needed to become licensed nurses. She had stolen $2 million in tuition and was sentenced to one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years in prison.

She waived her right to a jury trial Tuesday, and the judge sentenced her Thursday.

Twelve defendants in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Texas have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Information from the Associated Press and the South Florida Sun Sentinel archives was used in this report. 

DeSantis says he would sign a 15-week abortion ban as president

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 17:39

LOS ANGELES — In the chaos of Wednesday night’s noisy Republican presidential debate, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott interrupted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to pose a question on abortion that DeSantis had dodged directly answering for months.

Would the Florida governor sign a “15-week limit” on abortion as president, Scott asked, talking over both DeSantis and Dana Perino, one of the moderators, in a way that made his full remarks difficult to hear.

“Yes, I will,” DeSantis replied.

The moment — which largely escaped attention in real time but was noted by The Daily Signal, a news website published by the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank — clarifies DeSantis’ position on abortion, an issue that has split the Republican primary field. DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban in Florida this year, but had not clearly committed to supporting federal legislation restricting the termination of pregnancies.

DeSantis is using abortion to attack former President Donald Trump, particularly in socially conservative states like Iowa, where he is making his biggest push to dethrone Trump as the race’s front-runner.

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Despite appointing the Supreme Court justices who proved critical in overturning Roe v. Wade, Trump has ducked questions about whether he would support a 15-week ban, the baseline position of many anti-abortion activists in the Republican Party. And, with a clear eye on the general election — where a hard-line position on abortion could turn off moderate and independent voters and galvanize Democrats — Trump has criticized DeSantis for signing the six-week ban, calling it a “terrible mistake.”

DeSantis used those comments to open a line of attack against the former president, telling “pro-lifers” that Trump was “preparing to sell you out.” Other conservatives, including Kim Reynolds, the popular Republican governor of Iowa who signed a similar abortion ban, have also joined in criticizing Trump. (Few women know they are pregnant by six weeks.)

Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump, said that the former president had “championed the life of the unborn.”

Previously, DeSantis had generally said he would support anti-abortion legislation but had not committed to signing such a federal ban. At the first debate in Milwaukee last month, DeSantis seemed to hedge when asked if he would support a six-week ban as president. “I’m going to stand on the side of life,” he said, adding that conservative and liberal states would want to handle abortion restrictions differently.

On Thursday, DeSantis’ campaign disputed the idea that his comments were a change from his past position, pointing to an interview he gave to Radio Iowa this month. Asked if he would sign a 15-week ban, DeSantis said, “You put pro-life legislation on my desk, I’m going to look favorably and support the legislation.”

Other candidates running for the Republican nomination have been more clear. Former Vice President Mike Pence has said he supports at least a 15-week ban. Scott has also suggested he would, at a minimum, sign a 15-week ban. At the same time, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who calls herself “unapologetically pro-life,” has knocked her rivals for what she has said are empty promises, given that Republicans would find it nearly impossible to force such restrictions through a polarized Congress.

Abortion barely featured at Wednesday’s matchup, after playing a far more prominent role at the previous debate. Only DeSantis and former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey were asked to comment. The question that prompted Scott’s interruption was a challenge to DeSantis asking how he would win over abortion rights supporters in Arizona, a key swing state.

DeSantis responded that he had won a resounding reelection in Florida last year. And he took the opportunity to criticize Trump, who skipped the debate.

“The former president, you know, he is missing in action tonight,” DeSantis said. “He’s had a lot to say about that. He should be here explaining his comments to try to say that pro-life protections are somehow a terrible thing.”

The next day, Democrats seized on DeSantis’ pledge to sign a 15-week ban — a reminder of how potent both parties see the issue in November’s election. On Twitter, the Democratic National Committee’s rapid response “War Room” account said that DeSantis had “an extreme anti-abortion record” and wanted to “rip away reproductive freedoms from women across the country.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

General Daily Insight for September 29, 2023

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 17:00
General Daily Insight for September 29, 2023

Rich energy and emotions are simmering right now. Today is centered around a fiery Full Moon in Aries at 5:58 am EDT, bringing us closer to our desires and ambitions, although we will need to be wary of becoming too selfish in our search for satisfaction. Meanwhile, a vigorous square between Venus and Uranus could make it almost impossible to know what we actually want, so we’d all be wise to remain flexible. Whatever results from this might surprise all of us in turn.


March 21 – April 19

It’s your time to shine! There is a beautiful Full Moon illuminating your 1st House of Action, filling you up with major waves of vitality and possibility. An important passion project may be ready for its big debut, or perhaps you’ll decide it’s time to go after your dreams and stop dealing with small fries that are just a waste of energy. You can go further than ever before, so don’t let something big daunt you — you can handle it without breaking a sweat.


April 20 – May 20

An important cycle is ending. Your 12th House of Finality is hosting a brilliant Full Moon, which is like reaching the last few sentences in a major chapter of your life. Fortunately, this completion will be to your benefit! There is a fresh chapter on the very next page, but you need to finish this one before you can begin that one. Consider what is no longer serving you in your life, then remove it so it doesn’t follow you into the future.


May 21 – June 20

This moment is all about who you know. There is a major emphasis on your social networks as your 11th House of Collective Endeavors glows with a Full Moon, reminding you that your network often impacts your net worth. If you’ve been taking life on by yourself, try to open up a bit more and allow other people to lend a hand. Someone you’ve never taken very seriously or expected much of could turn out to be wildly useful to your future success.


June 21 – July 22

This is no time for you to take things easy. In fact, you should put in all the effort you’ve got as the skies are lit up by the Full Moon in your 10th House of Goals, giving you the chance to manifest success with unusual ease. A supervisor or other VIP could emerge from the wings to help push you forward, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a game plan of your own. A little strategy and hard work should have big results.


July 23 – August 22

You’re coming in like a wrecking ball, Leo! Today’s Full Moon lands in your 9th House of Growth, encouraging you to take a sledgehammer to any boundaries or limitations that are holding you back from exploring more of the world. Whether literally or metaphorically, it’s time for you to discover new horizons and what’s beyond them. Don’t ignore the call of the wild. You deserve to discover whatever’s waiting for you — when you find it, you may feel like a whole new you.


August 23 – September 22

You may currently find yourself walking a metaphorical tightrope. Complex dynamics are tangling your connections with others as the potent Full Moon culminates in your 8th House of Shared Resources. It commands that you stand up for what is yours, but also honor your relationships with others — and remember what technically belongs to you both. Ensuring that everyone is treated with complete fairness can be somewhat difficult to handle, but don’t let it daunt you. You’re much more capable than you know.


September 23 – October 22

Two is a magic number under today’s stars. Your 7th House of Partnerships is the center of the Aries Full Moon, bringing certain relationships under the microscope. This applies to all sorts of delightful duos, be they platonic, romantic, or professional, so you could make an official commitment in numerous unique ways. If you decide that you should part ways with a particular person, know that it will be for the best. The universe won’t remove anyone truly meant for you.


October 23 – November 21

There’s never been a better time to get your life in order. A Full Moon is glowing in your 6th House of Wellness, helping you kick-start your life into a higher and more productive gear. Use this as an incentive to implement healthier habits wherever you can, but don’t think you need to make huge changes overnight. This sector deals with the finer details, so focus on making smaller changes that you can easily implement — they will quickly begin to add up.


November 22 – December 21

Your desires are one of the most important things in the world, at least for a moment. There is a fantastic Full Moon in your 5th House of Pleasure, inviting some of the most enjoyable hours of your whole year. This is a green light from the universe to go do as you please, leaving non-vital responsibilities for another time. Plus, with this creative power invigorating your soul, even if you don’t consider yourself much of an artist, you could produce something quite lovely.


December 22 – January 19

Something intoxicating is brewing on your stovetop. Today’s Full Moon is focused on your foundational 4th house, inviting change and stirring up your plans for the day. A family member or roommate may be the catalyst for something that totally shifts your focus, but you could just as easily be responsible for this — especially if you’ve decided to make any changes to your space. You can do some redecorating or small renovations, but you could even make plans to move somewhere totally new.


January 20 – February 18

Some very important information is winging its way to you. There is a big focus on communication as your 3rd House of Ideas hosts the influential Full Moon, inspiring you to both talk and listen in equal turns. Conversations carry extra weight, and you may engage with new and fascinating ideas that impact your perception of the world around you. This is not the time to fly solo — instead, act as a part of your community. Sometimes small talk can be remarkably productive.


February 19 – March 20

Time to make it rain! Your finances take center stage as your 2nd House of Income is illuminated with a powerful Full Moon, making this one of the most potentially lucrative times of the entire year for you. Whether you’re hoping for a nice pay raise or a wholly new gig altogether, this lunation wants to help you find just the thing to make you feel that much more financially stable. Make strides toward what you want, and the cosmos will boost you even higher.

Chris Perkins: Five things to watch for in Miami Dolphins-Buffalo Bills matchup

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 03:25

MIAMI GARDENS — You try to keep perspective about October games in the NFL. They rarely matter come December and January.

But throw that rule out the window for this one … this is Dolphins at Bills.

This is big.

OK, the winner isn’t definitely winning the AFC East or certainly even securing a playoff berth.

Still, it’s a juicy matchup.

This is the undefeated, high-scoring, title-hopeful first-place Miami Dolphins (3-0) squaring off against rugged and proven Buffalo (2-1), the three-time defending AFC East champions who have owned the Dolphins at Highmark Stadium. Owned them.

It’s a rematch of last season’s playoff game that the Bills won — in Buffalo.

Again it’s only October, but this is a big one.

Here are a few things to look for in this game: 

Dolphins offense

They scored 70 points last Sunday — 70! They rushed for 350 yards. They scored 10 touchdowns. Yeah, you’ve got to keep an eye on this offense, apparently whether or not wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is on the field. The architect, coach Mike McDaniel, has shown impressive growth as a play-caller. The triggerman, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is first in the NFL in passer rating (121.9) and second in passing yards (1,024) and touchdowns (eight), has been excellent. The offensive line has been equally excellent, only allowing one sack and clearing holes in the run game.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill (412 yards receiving) is on pace for an NFL-record 2,329 yards. Running backs Raheem Mostert (240 yards rushing) and De’Von Achane (208) are ranked sixth and 10th, respectively, in the league. The Dolphins are ranked No. 1 in the league in total offense (550.3 yards per game), passing offense (362.0 ypg), rushing offense (188.3 ypg), and scoring offense (43.3 points per game). We could go on and on, but you get the idea. This offense is good.

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This is a big matchup because if the Dolphins defense can slow Buffalo’s offense even a little bit, it could be enough to provide a winning margin. The Bills averaged 33 points per game at home while beating the Dolphins twice last season. Both of those victories were by three-point margins (32-29 and 34-31).

Fangio, whose defense ranks 10th in the league overall (361.3 yards allowed per game), 20th against the pass (231.3 ypg), and 24th against the run (130.0 ypg),  just has to slow the charge. Interestingly, Buffalo is second in scoring offense (30.3 points per game) while Miami is 21st in scoring defense (21.3 ppg allowed). 

And considering Buffalo is at home, where it has dominated the Dolphins, as you’ll see below, advantage Dorsey.

Winning at Buffalo

Highmark Stadium has been a chamber of horrors for the Dolphins for the past 11 years. They’ve lost six consecutive and nine of the past 10 in Orchard Park, NY. Miami hasn’t won at Buffalo since Dec. 24, 2016. Prior to that it was Nov. 20, 2011.

During this span, Buffalo has hosted and chewed up Dolphins quarterbacks from Ryan Tannehill through Skylar Thompson, including Tua Tagovailoa, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jay Cutler. The Bills have hosted and defeated Dolphins coaches such as Mike McDaniel, Joe Philbin, Adam Gase and Brian Flores. Bills quarterback Josh Allen was a freshman at Firebaugh (Calif.) High School when this stretch began in 2011. 

Yeah, this Bills home dominance over the Dolphins has covered lots of time and eras.

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You’ve got to account for Allen (five touchdowns, four interceptions, 90.3 passer rating). Always. Yes, he keeps both teams in the game at the same time, as the saying goes. But he’s the reason the Bulls beat the Dolphins, 32-29, in December. He threw four touchdown passes and led scoring drives on the Bills’ final two possessions. His leap at the goal line on a two-point conversion tied the game at 29 before they won on a 25-yard field goal as time expired.

Of course, Allen also lost a fumble after being sacked in the fourth quarter, leading to a field goal that gave the Dolphins a 29-21 lead. Still, the guy is a baller and does way more good than bad. Miami must keep him under control. That goes for wide receiver Stefon Diggs (25 receptions, 279 yards, one touchdown), too.

Dolphins special teams

This is the type of game where the special teams errors the Dolphins have displayed in the first three games — missed extra point, missed field goal attempt, blocked field goal attempt, 99-yard kickoff return touchdown allowed — could make the difference between winning and losing. Before we get too carried away with special teams blunders, let’s remember kicker Jason Sanders is the most accurate kicker in franchise history, hitting 82.3 percent of his field goal attempts.

Of course, what many remember right now is he’s 3 of 14 from 50 or more yards since the start of the 2021 season. But also recall the most notable in that group was the 50-yarder he hit with 18 seconds left against the New York Jets last season to send the Dolphins to the playoffs. Still, there’s a cloud of suspicion hovering over special teams right now and they must play well to lift the doubts. 

Who has the edge? Dolphins at Bills, for early AFC East supremacy

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 03:25

Here’s a look at how the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos match up in six key areas ahead of Sunday’s Week 3 game at Hard Rock Stadium (1 p.m., CBS):

When the Dolphins run: After having the No. 25-ranked rushing offense in 2022, largely from not running the ball enough, Miami has the league’s top ground game through three weeks in 2023. Three-hundred fifty yards in one game will do that for you.

The Dolphins discovered something new in rookie running back De’Von Achane in Sunday’s 70-20 win over the Broncos, two weeks after he was a healthy scratch in the season opener against the Chargers. He had a team rookie rushing record of 203 yards on 18 carries and scored four touchdowns — two rushing. Raheem Mostert went for 82 yards, three rushing touchdowns and another receiving score. The return of Terron Armstead at left tackle was instrumental in the team’s run-blocking for an offensive line that’s already been a plus.

The Bills have the league’s No. 14 run defense, but it’s largely because of the 172 yards surrendered to the Jets in the opening-week loss despite quarterback Aaron Rodgers going down four plays in. They’ve been better since with Ed Oliver and DaQuan Jones on the interior of the defensive line. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is no longer in Buffalo, though, but second-year player Terrel Bernard has a team-leading 24 tackles, along with two interceptions, two sacks and a fumble recovery. Edge: Dolphins

When the Bills run: Former Miami Central High standout James Cook is averaging a whopping 6.1 yards per carry, going for 267 yards on 44 attempts through three games. The Bills’ rushing attack overall ranks seventh in the league after outings of 183 and 168 yards in their wins the past two weeks. As always against the Bills, the Dolphins will also have to be weary of quarterback Josh Allen scrambling. He has 89 rushing yards on 12 carries this season.

The Dolphins are back on track in run defense since the Week 1 outlier of 233 yards allowed against the Chargers. They surrendered 88 and 69 rushing yards against the Patriots and Broncos, respectively. Linebacker David Long Jr. has been a plus in that department after he didn’t play much in the opener. The front of Christian Wilkins, Zach Sieler and Raekwon Davis is normally strong against traditional runs. Edge: Even

When the Dolphins pass: Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is playing extremely efficient football, completing his first 17 passes in Sunday’s win over Denver. He finished 23 of 26 for 309 yards and four touchdowns. His 155.8 passer rating in the 70-20 victory was the highest of his career. The completion percentage of 88.5 was a personal best in any start.

Tagovailoa’s on fire. He has Tyreek Hill, who is on a torrid pace with 412 receiving yards through three games. And he could be getting Jaylen Waddle back from concussion protocol this week. When he was out against Denver, it was the running backs that got more involved in the passing game as Mostert and Achane combined for 11 receptions, 90 yards and three receiving touchdowns. Cornerback Taron Johnson is a key piece for Buffalo that allows the Bills to stay in a base nickel. He, fellow cornerback Tre’Davious White, safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde and even the Bills linebackers will have their hands full at every level.

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Buffalo will remain without edge rusher Von Miller. Former University of Miami standout Greg Rousseau and Leonard Floyd lead the pass rush. Tagovailoa has only been sacked once in three games. The offensive line, which now has Armstead back on the left side, and his quick release can be credited on that front. But he also knows when he has time in the pocket to let a play develop, like on his opening-drive 54-yard touchdown to Hill where the quarterback watched a safety bite on an underneath route deep into his progression. Edge: Dolphins

When the Bills pass: In 10 regular-season meetings against the Dolphins, Allen has 27 touchdowns to five interceptions for 2,684 yards on 63.8 percent passing. He also has had success against new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio in two meetings when Fangio was head coach of Denver: Four touchdowns, one interception, 544 passing yards on 66 percent passing in a pair of wins. That said, when these teams last met in the past postseason, Allen looked very human with three turnovers. He’s been prone to be loose with the ball.

The Dolphins will try to bend but not break in the secondary. Cornerback Xavien Howard will see a familiar foe in Stefon Diggs as he still won’t have his new defensive backfield mate in Jalen Ramsey. Last Sunday, Eli Apple was out of the nickel package, supplanted by Justin Bethel, who played the slot and left Kader Kohou to remain on the boundary. It was Parry Nickerson when Miami went to the dime. Safety Jevon Holland can look to build off his ball-punching exhibited against the Broncos for two forced fumbles.

Although the Dolphins pass rush only had one Emmanuel Ogbah sack vs. the Broncos — the defensive end also got an interception — they hit Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson 12 times. Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins had three of them, so he’ll be eager to get a lick on noted rival Allen. Allen is similarly mobile, so pass rushers will have to make sure not to over-pursue and leave openings to run behind them. Edge: Bills

Special teams: Every week, the Dolphins still seem to be coming off a special teams blunder. Even in a near-perfect blowout win, Miami allowed Denver to return a kickoff for a touchdown. The week before in New England, it was a blocked field goal and a missed 55-yarder that would’ve sealed it. The week before that, kicker Jason Sanders missed a late extra point against the Chargers.

Sanders made all 10 of his point-after attempts against the Broncos, but didn’t get the chance to kick for the NFL team record for points in a game. While Sanders struggles from 50-plus on field goals — 4 of 13 since 2021 — Buffalo’s Tyler Bass thrives from distance, having converted 10 of 15 career attempts, including two this season. Edge: Bills

Intangibles: Both teams come in hot, the Dolphins a little hotter. Although Buffalo has won seven consecutive home meetings in the rivalry, including last season’s wild-card playoff game, this early-season pairing bodes well for Miami to avoid potential frigid weather late in the season. The Dolphins have only gotten better since last season, and even as the Bills were AFC front-runners in 2022, Miami gave them all they could handle in the December regular-season snow game and the postseason game with third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson starting. The Dolphins are much better-equipped this time around. Edge: Dolphins

PREDICTION: Dolphins 31, Bills 30

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ASK IRA: Egg on the Heat’s face, or never a fair crack at landing Lillard?

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 03:05

Q: I have some crow to serve you while you lick the egg off your face. You and the Heat blew it big time. When you have a superstar that wants to play for you and everyone agrees he’s the missing piece, you have to close the deal. – Brian, San Marcos, Calif.

A: Fortunately, I keep Acme Egg Remover available ahead of Halloween for when the neighborhood kids decide on tricks instead of treats, and I have a killer recipe for Crow Fricassée. Unfortunately, and this might come as news to some, I rarely receive calls from Pat Riley and Andy Elisburg soliciting advice on how I would handle a trade (as in I never receive calls, because . . . I . . . do . . . not . . . work . . . for . . . the . . . team.). But there is a greater point to all of this. If a team that is in control of a player’s rights does not want to talk trade with you, then there can be no negotiations. As stated previously in this space, it’s almost  as if Trail Blazers General Manager Joe Cronin was in a state of self-preservation, knowing what it would look like if it was perceived that he capitulated to the Heat. At the moment, it is too early to grade Portland’s return on Damian Lillard until we see what happens with the Jrue Holiday portion of the equation. But to dismiss the quality of Heat draft picks and then get a sole, single first-rounder from the Bucks seems light. Plus, the upside of landing Deandre Ayton could be nothing more than the empty stats that at one point attracted the Blazers to Hassan Whiteside. Beyond all of that, if Lillard’s Heat-or-nowhere ultimatum is what blew up the process from a Miami perspective, it wasn’t as if the Heat worked with him on that ultimatum (because if they did, there would have been way more than that July warning from Adam Silver).

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Q: Hopefully Miami won’t give up too much for Jrue Holiday. I, for one, would hope Tyler Herro at 23 is not used to acquire 33-year-old Holiday, even if Jrue Holiday is a defensive asset. – Rodney.

A: For all the debate about whether the Heat held a line or not when it came to the play for Damian Lillard, I would think there assuredly would be limitations with what might be offered for Jrue Holiday. I would start with Kyle Lowry (for salary-matching purposes) and then a developmental asset (perhaps a pick, or Nikola Jovic or Jaime Jaquez Jr.). If the Blazers want to talk, then you do what you didn’t get the opportunity to truly do with Lillard, you negotiate. But I would hold the line at Tyler Herro. Scoring matters, and the Heat missed Herro’s scoring in the NBA Finals.

Q: So now we’re woefully behind Milwaukee and Boston in the East. What now? – Taylor.

A: Well, first finish high enough in the regular-season standings so that you don’t have to face either in the first round of the playoffs. I would think the last thing the Heat would want would be a first-round rematch with the Bucks. As for the Celtics, the Heat have planted ample seeds of doubt there. But based on the Heat’s recent playoff success (save for 2021), the postseason typically is a whole new game. So let’s see what the Heat (and the Bucks and the Celtics) look like when we get to the close of play on April 14.

Why so few police on I-95? | Letters to the editor

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 03:00

Thank you to Sun Sentinel reporter Lois Solomon for providing ticket statistics for Interstate 95. It’s just what I suspected.

Why is the Florida Highway Patrol writing fewer tickets in Broward than in Palm Beach County, when Broward has more traffic, more accidents and more fatalities?

FHP needs to move some troopers south or get them to write more tickets. I realize law enforcement has challenges, as you reported, but the situation on I-95 in Broward is a complete free-for-all, and as new lanes are added, it’s getting worse. I’m middle aged and grew up in Palm Beach and now live in Broward, and I drive back and forth several times weekly.

I never thought I would say I want more state troopers to write more tickets, but I rarely see troopers on I-95. I usually drive 74 mph, and people fly past me at 85 or 90 mph.

It’s mind boggling that this is allowed to happen.

Mike Allison, Fort Lauderdale

Dumped from Citizens

I want to thank Sun Sentinel reporter Ron Hurtibise for the informative article about Citizens’ efforts to get rid of insurance policies. I hope many people read about this “depopulation.” It certainly helped us understand our rights.

We received a letter from Citizens dated Aug. 28, asking us to consider switching to Slide Property Insurance Corp. This is the second such “offer” we received after we declined the first one.

This time the letter listed two offers: Citizens, whose price hike for next year was above this year’s premium by more than $1,000, at $5,033, and Slide’s offer of $9,146.

The letter indicated that if we did not register a choice by Oct. 5, Citizens would select an offer for us.

When I went to Citizens’ website, as instructed, to decline Slide’s “offer,” I got a message that “a policyholder choice selection had already been submitted for [our] policy.”

Is the decline automatic if the offer is more than 20% above Citizens’ offer?

This is all very confusing.

I’ll be calling my insurance agent to see if he can verify any of this. What a waste of time and resources on everyone’s behalf. I don’t know how older citizens and people on fixed incomes will manage. Please keep up the good work, Sun Sentinel. It’s nice to know that someone is looking out for us.

Christel Callahan, Boca Raton

Do your job, Congress

We need a federal budget that lifts up families, not a government shutdown. We are days away from the federal government shutting down because extremist House Republicans are choosing partisan antics over funding programs that lift up our families, communities and economy.

House Republicans want to shut down the government, collapse our economy, and jam their right-wing agenda through Congress, slashing funding for everything from WIC (women, infants and children) food assistance for postpartum moms and babies to K-12 education, while passing anti-immigrant policies.

We will not stand for this. Our elected leaders need to do their job, avoid a shutdown, and pass a budget that lifts up children, families and our economy, including fully funding WIC and childcare.

Cindy Araya, Miami 

Who’s the real lunatic?

Donald Trump continues to rail against federal prosecutor Jack Smith as a “deranged lunatic.”

This assertion should be considered in light of the fact that the former president is reported to have once thrown a plate of spaghetti against a wall in the White House in a fit of rage; that he believes that General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should be executed for treason; and that he stated in a gaffe-filled speech in a recent rally that he defeated Barack Obama in 2016 and thereby avoided “World War II.”

A sense of irony is clearly not part of the former president’s DNA.

Jerry Barkan, Pompano Beach



Philippe drifts northwest as odds remain high for new system to form

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 03:00

Tropical Storm Philippe is expected to drift for the next few days as it nears the Caribbean, though it may curve and skirt that boundary. Following to the east, a second system is highly likely to strengthen into a tropical depression, or possibly Tropical Storm Rina.

The National Hurricane Center expects some slight fluctuations in intensity as Philippe moves west-northwest or west. It’s unclear at this point if the storm will maintain its tropical cyclone status if it reaches the northern Leeward Islands, or if it will weaken by that point. In general, forecasters anticipate an overall slow weakening trend later this weekend and weekend as the storm continues to encounter storm-shredding wind shear and dry air.

Tropical-storm-force winds from Philippe, which extend outward up to 175 miles from its center, could begin arriving in northern Caribbean islands as early as Friday, including Anguilla and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center.

From Friday to Monday, Philippe could produce 2 to 4 inches of rain across the islands of the northeastern Caribbean, the Virgin Islands and eastern Puerto Rico. Western Puerto Rico could see 1 to 2 inches of rain. Areas hardest hit by rainfall could see isolated urban and small stream flooding.

As of 5 a.m. Thursday, Philippe was located about 560 miles east of the far eastern Caribbean, moving west-northwest at 5 mph. Its maximum sustained winds are holding steady at 50 mph.

The system that could soon become a tropical depression or tropical storm was located about halfway between the Cabo Verde Islands off Africa and the far eastern Caribbean and had a 90% chance of developing within two to seven days, the hurricane center said as of 2 a.m. Thursday.

Activity in the Atlantic includes a system with a 90% chance of developing. (NHC)

Its showers and thunderstorms had become more concentrated, and forecasters said conditions are favorable for it to develop if it stays far enough away from Philippe to its west. The hurricane center said it is expected to become a tropical depression or storm in about a day or so and will move northwest across the Atlantic.

So far this season in the Atlantic, there have been 16 named storms, six of which were hurricanes. Of those, three were major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 or above.

Those were Hurricane Lee, a rare Category 5; Hurricane Franklin, a Category 4; and Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall on Florida’s Big Bend region at Category 3 strength on Aug. 30.

Hurricane season officially runs through Nov. 30.

Weekend things to do: Drake and Eric Church, beer worship in Flagler Village, Taco Mania in Lake Worth Beach

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 00:41

You can tell the season has changed, with October nigh, as the chill in the air (meaning South Florida’s trademark mode of laid-back idling) starts to warm up with more interesting and invigorating ideas. This weekend’s music menu includes a dynamic range of songwriters, including Drake, Eric Church, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Bacilos and the duo of Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin. Elsewhere, the local custodians of cool stuff are starting to break out their best ideas, from Taco Mania at Lilo’s Streetfood and Bar to Swamptoberfest at Invasive Species Brewing and, soon, Oyster Fest at Coconuts. Here’s what’s ahead … 

THURSDAY Shown performing at Lollapalooza Chile 2023 in March, Drake has two shows at the Kaseya Center in Miami Thursday-Friday. (Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)

Drake times two: Arguably the biggest performer on tour this year not named Beyonce or Taylor, Drake brings his It’s All a Blur Tour to Miami’s Kaseya Center for 8 p.m. shows on Thursday and Friday. Both are sold out, with Ticketmaster Verified Resale tickets starting at $400+. 21 Savage opens. Visit Ticketmaster.com

Mayer of Hard Rock: John Mayer is at  Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood at 8 p.m. Thursday for the second of two performances on his acclaimed solo acoustic tour. A sprinkling of tickets were still available last time we checked, starting at $305+. Visit MyHRL.com

Weekend pizza: Artisanal pie pop-up Good Days Pizza in West Palm Beach, source of more insistent buzz around Palm Beach County through the summer, has a collaboration Thursday night at Ravish Off Ocean in Lantana (worth checking for many reasons). You’ll find top-shelf pizza (see for yourself at GoodDaysPizza.com), small plates, cocktail pairings and a DJ from 5 to 9 p.m. You’ll need a reservation. Visit Instagram.com/ravishoffocean. On Friday night, you’ll find GDP at Fort Lauderdale nano-brewery LauderAle. Visit LauderAle.co.

Fall dinner: Bay 13 Brewery & Kitchen, the hospitable Australian brewpub in Coral Gables, will rekindle its Beer Paired Dinner series at 7 p.m. Thursday, with a five-course collaboration by brewer Greg Berbusse and chef Diego Armendaris. The fall-themed menu will highlight hearty flavors of the season in dishes including Wagyu and smoked duck. There’s an opportunity to substitute a wine-pairing option as well. Tickets cost $82.83 (includes tax and tip). Visit Instagram.com/bay13brewery.

Happy New Weir: In case you missed it, Grateful Dead icon Bob Weir and band will close out the year with a three-night New Year’s Eve residency at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets for performances by Bobby Weir  & Wolf Bros featuring The Wolfpack Dec. 29 to Dec. 31 will first be available in a series of artist and venue presales at 10 a.m. Thursday, followed by the general ticket sales at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 29 at BrowardCenter.org. For more information, visit BobWeir.net.

Future laughs: Comedian John Mulaney is bringing his new show to Hard Rock Live on Dec. 15. Tickets, starting at $108, will be available at 10 a.m. Thursday in a venue presale via the Hard Rock Facebook, Twitter/X and Instagram pages.  The general on-sale begins at 10 a.m. Friday at MyHRL.com.

Holiday show: Manchester Orchestra will perform at Revolution Live in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Thanksgiving Weekend. Tickets for the concert, on Saturday, Nov. 25, just went on sale (starting at $36+) at JoinTheRevolution.net. Doors open at 7 p.m., with Get Up Kids opening.

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere: Throw Social in Delray Beach will honor Jimmy Buffett with a luau at 7 p.m. Thursday featuring the Beach Bumz tribute band, specials on margaritas, fishbowls and other drinks, limbo, cornhole and more. Suggested attire: Tropical shirts. Visit Facebook.com/throwsocialdelray.


Outsiders unite: One of country music’s best songwriters and performers, Eric Church plays iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on Friday at 7:30 p.m. with openers Whiskey Myers. Doors open at 6 p.m. Seats, of course, are scarce. Lawn tickets start at $64.75 at LiveNation.com

Night lights: Noches de Neon, the poolside party series in the glow of the Guitar Hotel at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, features a performance by Latin Grammy winners Bacilos on Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30+ or $75+ with VIP open bar. Visit MyHRL.com

Songs and stories: Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin bring captivating songwriting and warm interplay to the Broward Center’s Amaturo Theater at 8 p.m. Friday. Scattered tickets remain, starting at $54.50+ at BrowardCenter.org.

Weekend laughs: James Murray, the writer-producer and comedian better known as Murr on “Impractical Jokers” (truTV) and “The Misery Index” (TBS), brings his interactive (you’ve been warned) live show to the Dania Improv in Dania Beach for multiple shows Friday through Sunday. Murr will dip into his personal stash of never-before-seen videos from “Impractical Jokers” and reenact the show’s pranks live with the audience (you’ve been warned). Tickets cost $40+, or $140+ for VIP seats and a meet-and-greet. Visit DaniaImprov.com.


Take me to your liter: Events at Invasive Species Brewing always feel a little out of control (in a good, invigorating way), but there’s no way they are not the result of careful, thoughtful planning. For their Oktoberfest throwdown on Saturday, proper name Swamptoberfest, they have scored three quality German beers you won’t find on tap just anywhere: Krombacher Pils, Stiegl Hell and Ayinger Jahrhundert Bier, which will be served in liter steins. The party, beginning at 2 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village, will include the expected (food by Billy’s Curbside Grill, the live reptile show at 4 p.m.) and the inspired — a set of bluegrass music from Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band (7-9 p.m.). Visit Instagram.com/invasivespeciesbrewing.

Knight fever: Because you can never have enough beer and turkey legs, LauderAle’s Renaissance Festival will take over the Fort Lauderdale brewery on Saturday for a day of good-natured mayhem beginning at noon. Highlights include combat by knights in shining armor (courtesy local club the Fort Lauderdale Storm), live music, renaissance-inspired vendors, fire spinning, tomato throwing, beer specials, food trucks (yes, turkey legs), new merch releases and steins for sale. Show your Uber receipt at the bar for a discount. Visit Facebook.com/lauderale.

Weekend tacos: Lilo’s Streetfood and Bar in downtown Lake Worth Beach will host its inaugural taco festival, a monthlong celebration called Taco Mania, promising an evolving menu of inventive and exotic tacos each day beginning on Saturday and continuing through Oct. 31. Visit LilosStreetfoodAndBar.com.


Classic rock: Thirty years after their hit anthem “Matador,” Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, adventurous ska-rock party starters and pride of Buenos Aires, will perform at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood at 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available, starting at $52.99+ at MyHRL.com.

Boozy Brunch: The energetic ladies of Sunny Side Up Market will set up at the cozy Wine Garden in Fort Lauderdale’s North Beach Village on Sunday for their monthly Boozy Brunch Market, with local vendors, live music, yoga and more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit Facebook.com/sunnysideupmarketBGN. To ensure you’ll have a seat, reservations are highly recommended. Visit WineAndGarden.com.

Take the kids: FUNDarte and The Rhythm Foundation present “Actívate” by Latin Grammy-winning, husband-and-wife duo 123 Andrés at the Miami Beach Bandshell at 7 p.m. Sunday. Part of ZunZún Children’s Fest 2023, this is an upbeat, interactive performance set to a Latin beat, in Spanish but accessible for all-language speakers. Seats are free with RSVP. Donations ($5) also accepted. Doors open at 6 p.m. Visit MiamiBeachBandshell.com.


Oysters and more oysters! Just a reminder that Coconuts and G&B Oyster Bar on Fort Lauderdale beach will host the tented waterside gathering known as Oyster Fest on Oct. 6. The 5-10 p.m. party will include unlimited sampling of a variety of oysters (Rappahannock a specialty), along with dishes from other Be Nice restaurants (Foxy Brown, Top Hat Deli and Lunchroom Sandwiches). There will be liquid refreshments, including the savory splendor of Funky Buddha Brewery‘s signature Pearl Diver Oyster Saison (brewed with, yes, oysters), live music, slurping contests, speciality vendors and more. Tickets cost $75+ at Facebook.com/coconutsbenice.

Surf vibe: The third annual Surf Swap Festival & Flea is back on Oct. 7 at Grandview Public Market in West Palm Beach, with surfer-owned small businesses, a board swap, local shapers and live music from Brett Staska & the Souvenirs, Matt Walden, Barefoot Mailmen and others. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m., with an after party at Steam Horse Brewing.  Visit Instagram.com/delray.surf.club.

Staff writer Ben Crandell can be reached at bcrandell@sunsentinel.com. Follow on Instagram @BenCrandell and Twitter @BenCrandell.


What services and benefits are at risk if Congress fails to fund the government? Here’s what you should know

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 00:40

If there are any silver linings for South Floridians in the face of a potential U.S. Government shutdown, they are in the form of Social Security payments and other federal benefits that would keep flowing, a commercial aviation system that would still operate, and law enforcement and military service members who will remain at their posts.

But as of Wednesday, members of Congress remained sharply divided over how to prevent a federal shutdown by a Saturday midnight deadline, raising the likelihood of millions of furloughs of federal employees, and no pay for those defending the country and providing other critical services such as security at the airports and air traffic control.

The Senate has voted to continue government funding at current levels through Nov. 17 to buy time for a consensus on a bill for a full year of spending. It includes $6 billion for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster aid, an extension of Federal Aviation Administration authorization that will expire Saturday, and money for 7 million people benefitting from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., ruled out the Senate measure, saying the House would “probably” have its own version by Friday, according to reports.

For the thousands of tri-county area retirees who rely on monthly Social Security checks, word that money will continue during a shutdown came last month in a letter from a high-ranking official of the Social Security Administration to the Office of Management and Budget.

“We will continue activities critical to our direct-service operations and those needed to ensure accurate and timely payment of benefits,” wrote Chad Poist, deputy commissioner for Budget, Finance and Management for the Social Security Administration.

Other government benefits that would continue uninterrupted include Medicare and Medicaid, as well as veterans’ benefits distributed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Still, Social Security will furlough several thousand people whose duties are not related to “essential” services, Poist said. “We will cease activities not directly related to the accurate and timely payment of benefits or not critical to our direct-service operations.”

Such is the template for many federal agencies that only this week are updating plans to either continue to serve the public because they do not require funding authorizations from Congress, or cease operations because they are not considered as critical.

FEMA Holdbacks

As the deadline approached, the Biden administration started to delay about $2.8 billion in grants to allow FEMA to buttress a thinned-out budget to help victims of hurricanes, fires and other disasters, according to the Washington Post.

But the action reportedly disrupted recovery efforts in Florida and other areas struck by natural catastrophes.  The Senate bill that includes money for FEMA would head off a shortfall.


Spokesmen for two of South Florida’s international airports Wednesday said that so far, they expect flights will be operating as usual.

“We have not been advised to anticipate any disruption to air operations at this time,” said Joe Harrington at Palm Beach International Airport.

“Currently, we do not anticipate any disruption to operations at MIA,” said spokesman Greg Chin at Miami International Airport. “If MIA were to experience any delays attributed to the federal shutdown, we would notify travelers to give themselves additional time.”

The National Travel Association noted that during the 35-day government shutdown in 2018-19, lines at airport security checkpoints grew as workers at the Transportation Security Administration called in sick or resigned because they weren’t getting paid.

As if the memories were fresh, the association said a survey it conducted with the assistance of Ipsos found six out of 10 American travelers are canceling their plans in favor of later dates.

It estimates a federal government shutdown is estimated to cost the U.S. travel economy as much as $140 million daily if Congress fails to pass a short-term funding extension by Sunday.

Alan Diaz / APTravelers stand in line as they prepare to be screened at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. TSA workers would be expected to work during a government shutdown, but would not be immediately paid. (Alan Diaz/AP file)

“Each day that passes will cost the travel economy $140 million, an unacceptable prospect that Congress must avoid before the clock runs out and the damages mount,”  Geoff  Freeman, the association’s CEO and president, said in a statement.. “The federal government is already failing the traveler—a shutdown would be further proof of Washington’s inability to find reasonable solutions to problems that affect Americans nationwide.”

Travelers looking to head overseas still will be able to have their passports renewed, so long as the local State Department office that processes them is not located in a U.S. Government building that is ordered to close.

Back home, Amtrak, the national passenger rail service that operates daily trains in and out of South Florida, said it is “closely monitoring” the situation and plans “to continue normal operations.”

“Passengers planning to travel on Amtrak trains in the Northeast Corridor and across the country in the coming days and weeks can be assured that Amtrak will remain open for business,” the railroad said in a statement.

The popular national parks system has yet to disclose a current contingency plan.

“We are hopeful that a lapse in congressional appropriations will not occur, but as of right now we don’t have any updates on our contingency plan at this time,” Everglades & Dry Tortugas National Parks said in an unsigned email to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

A National Parks Service spokeswoman in Washington did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

At least through Oct. 13, the federal court system would have enough money to continue criminal prosecutions, including the one under way against former President Donald Trump at the federal courthouse in Fort Pierce. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) Justice and Law Enforcement

A two-year-old Justice Department contingency plan calls for law enforcement agencies to continue operating, which will require agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies to stay on the job. Guards who work for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons also would remain at their posts.

The federal court system would remain operational for at least two weeks, according the Judicial Conference, the courts’ administrative arm.

Although the website of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida is silent on the issue, U.S. Circuit Judge Lavenski Smith, chair of the executive committee of the judiciary’s policymaking body, told reporters in Washington that the court system can use fees and other funds that are not sourced by Congressional appropriations. The money will allow the courts to avoid furloughing some 33,000 workers, according to Reuters.

It would also mean that as with past shutdowns, criminal prosecutions in the Southern District of Florida, which stretches from Key West to Fort Pierce, would continue. That includes the government’s classified documents case against former President Donald Trump.

Ask a real estate pro: Is it legit to require rent be paid in cash?

South Florida Local News - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 00:38

Q: We had to move out of our rental, and after looking for several weeks, we found a house we like at a rent we can afford. The new landlord uses a different lease form that requires rent payments to be made in cash. We are worried we will be unable to prove we paid if something comes up. Is this legit? — Cindy 

A: A lease is a contract, and a landlord and tenant can agree to the form of payment. Some leases ban cash payments, while others require them. I have even seen some that require the tenant to deposit the rent directly into the landlord’s bank account.

Keeping good records is always important, but it is a must when paying rent in cash. Ensure you get a dated and signed receipt for every payment, including your first, last, and security payments. While you are at it, carefully review the entire lease to ensure you are good with its requirements.

While rental fraud is uncommon, it does exist. Check the property records online to make sure you are dealing with the actual owner of the property.

While it may be uncomfortable, there is nothing wrong with asking the landlord to see ID to make sure they are who they say they are. If something seems off, investigate further.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. If your gut tells you something is wrong, you may be better off walking away.

You should also review the law regarding rentals. The statute can be found by searching “landlord-tenant statute” online. These laws are designed to be user-friendly and relatively easy to understand. Read through it so you know your rights and responsibilities, bearing in mind that your written lease agreement can modify some of these rules and create additional responsibilities for you and your landlord.

Board-certified real estate lawyer Gary Singer writes about industry legal matters and the housing market. To ask him a question, email him at gary@garysingerlaw.com, or go to SunSentinel.com/askpro. 

Which portable vacuum is best for compact spaces?

South Florida Local News - Wed, 09/27/2023 - 23:04
Choosing the best compact portable vacuum

Whether you have limited space or need to tackle small areas, a compact portable vacuum is perfect for keeping your home clean. These machines are lightweight and small enough to tackle hard-to-reach places, such as underneath the furniture, in corners or even inside a car. This makes them a great alternative to traditional vacuum cleaners, especially for small cleaning tasks.

This article was reviewed and approved by Ketia Daniel, the BestReviews Cleaning Expert.

What to know before you buy a portable vacuum for a compact space Uses

Portable vacuums are designed to keep your home or vehicle clean. Unlike regular vacuum cleaners, which tend to perform well in larger spaces, they’re more efficient at getting into nooks and crannies. These compact devices are also great at:


There are many types of portable vacuum cleaners, but the main ones are:


Corded vacuum cleaners usually have more powerful suction than cordless options. However, both can be used to effectively clean up spills and remove debris. The best portable vacuums have 10 volts or more of power.

Bin capacity

The larger the dustbin, the more it can hold before needing to be cleaned out. Most compact vacuums have small dustbins that require frequent emptying. If you’re tackling a heavily trafficked area or a larger spill, prepare to empty the bin after every use. But if you’re doing touchup work or are cleaning small areas, such as behind a table or sofa, plan to empty it after every couple of uses.


Portable vacuum cleaners usually come with filters that collect and trap dander, pet hair, dirt and other allergens. For homes with pets, choose a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Regardless of filter type, replace it every few months to keep down on allergens in the home.

Corded or cordless

Both corded and cordless vacuums have their advantages.


Depending on the type of portable vacuum you get, there are a few helpful accessories that can make it more effective without taking up much space:

Best portable vacuums for compact spaces

iRobot Roomba s9+ ]

This powerful compact device can effectively cover up to 1,500 square feet, making it ideal for both single-family homes and apartments. It has an internal navigation system that keeps it from bumping into objects. It’s also self-emptying and low maintenance.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Stick Vacuum ]

Slim and compact, this stick vacuum is versatile, easy to maneuver into tight spaces and powerful. The battery lasts up to 60 minutes with constant use, and there’s no cord to deal with. It can also be converted into a handheld device.

Samsung Jet 75 Complete Cordless Stick Vacuum ]

Compact and lightweight, this cordless vacuum cleaner comes with several accessories, including a combo brush, soft action brush, crevice tool and flex tool. It’s highly versatile and is powerful enough to collect everything from pet hair to crumbs to dust.

Shark WV201 Wandvac Handheld Vacuum ]

Designed for tight spaces, this portable apparatus is cordless, lightweight and versatile. It’s especially effective at getting into the crevices, corners and around furniture.

Shark UltraCyclone Pro Cordless Vacuum ]

Convenient for small spaces, this portable vacuum can hold a lot of dust, dirt and pet hair before emptying. It’s powerful enough for light messes.

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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