In South Florida, Donald Trump tries to start up luxury condos and hotels — but will he put his name on them?

MIAMI — The new Doral real estate venture launched by former president Donald Trump includes the traditional trappings of his promotional playbook: luxury amenities, access to high-end golf and a swaggering statement from Trump himself touting it as “perhaps the most exciting development in the Country.” But as described in an application to the city’s planning department, the proposed “Doral International Towers” complex lacks one mainstay of the celebrity mogul’s real estate ventures: use of “Trump” in the name. The four towers, which would rise 42 stories on the footprint of the existing Tr...

A Florida woman thought she was divorced. She didn’t know her attorney was a forger

A former Jasper, Florida, attorney has 22 counts of criminal charges over her head, two names by which she’s known and had 11 Florida Bar discipline cases open against her. And one of the criminal cases involves a woman who, charging document say, found out she wasn’t divorced right as she prepared to get married again. That’s “former attorney” because Brittany Loper, who was arrested as Brittany Cooper, applied for disciplinary revocation to make the Bar discipline cases disappear. The state Supreme Court accepted Loper’s application. So, the Bar cases go away but she’s essentially disbarred ...

While US probe of Moise murder advances, judge running Haiti investigation faces firing

Haiti’s investigative judge overseeing the inquiry into President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination is being removed from the case after failing to meet a legal deadline on bringing formal charges, signaling a significant delay in the prosecution of dozens of suspects being held but not formally charged. Judge Garry Orelien had three months to summon witnesses and investigate the facts in the July 7, 2021, attack that left Moïse, 53, dead and his wife, Martine, seriously wounded. After failing to do either, Orelien earlier this month asked for an extension until Dec. 30. Bernard Saint-Vil, the dea...

Fired police chief sues Miami, claims commissioners tried to ‘weaponize’ cops against enemies

MIAMI — If Miami commissioners hoped they had heard the last from former police chief Art Acevedo when they fired him in October, they were wrong. On Wednesday, Acevedo filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city of Miami, City Manager Art Noriega and Commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex Díaz de la Portilla and Manolo Reyes. In the court filing, Acevedo claims that the city, manager and three commissioners violated his First Amendment rights and illegally retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on what he describes as a toxic stew of corruption and wrongdoing at City Hall. Acevedo says...

A second suspect in Haiti president’s assassination extradited to the US

MIAMI — A key suspect in the murder investigation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was arrested Wednesday by federal agents in Miami after being extradited to the United States. Rodolphe Jaar, a Haitian businessman who had been convicted of U.S. cocaine-trafficking charges a decade ago, was detained by Dominican authorities earlier this month after crossing into the country following months of hiding in neighboring Haiti. The arrest of Jaar, known as “Dodof,” in the Dominican Republic came six months to the day after a hit squad allegedly made up of Colombian commandos, Haitian police office...

State requests 15 years in prison for South Florida priest who raped parishioner

MIAMI — Prosecutors are asking that a Homestead, Florida, priest convicted of raping a parishioner on church grounds be sentenced to the max: 15 years in prison. Father Jean Claude Philippe, 66, was convicted at trial of raping a woman in the rectory of Homestead’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Philippe, who had been jailed since his October conviction, faces between 7.8 and 15 years in prison under Florida’s sentencing guidelines. He had been scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday afternoon. But the hearing was re-scheduled to Feb. 17 after jailers told the judge that Philippe’s cell block wa...

Crackdown against July 11 protesters and their families continues in Cuba despite outcry

The mass trials against July 11 protesters continue this week in Cuba despite the outcry of family members, local activists and international organizations, as the communist government has signaled it won’t budge on its intention to snuff other attempts at a popular rebellion. At least 45 protesters will be tried this week in Havana and nearby Mayabeque province, according to information verified by the activist group Justicia 11J. They have been charged with several crimes, including causing “public disorder,” resisting the police, assault and disrespecting the flag. Some, including nine youn...

Florida sergeant under investigation after video shows him grabbing officer’s throat

MIAMI — A sergeant from the Sunrise, Florida, Police Department has been relieved of his supervisory responsibilities and is the subject of an internal investigation after body cam footage from November released last week shows him grabbing an officer by her throat. Citing the investigation, police released two body cam videos but not after turning off the sound and blurring the faces of all the officers that appear on camera with the exception of the sergeant. In a news release sent Monday to the Herald, Sunrise Police Chief Anthony Rosa did not say the name of the sergeant or the officer he ...

15-year-old in critical condition after police shooting: Miami-Dade police

MIAMI — An overnight Miami-Dade police chase and shooting near the Joseph Caleb Center ended with a 15-year-old boy in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital Sunday morning, the agency said. Miami-Dade police say the boy was armed when he was shot around 12:45 a.m. at Northwest 56th Street and 22nd Avenue, near the Caleb Center and Annie Coleman 15 Apartments. Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the shooting, as is standard. According to police, detectives tried to make a traffic stop of a black Dodge Challenger with the 15-year-old at the wheel. After the boy crash...

Panama, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic join efforts to tackle migration, defend democracy

A dramatic rise in migrants, the crisis in Haiti, the pandemic’s effect and democracy backsliding have united three countries in the Caribbean and Central America in the search for quick solutions. An alliance among Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic to coordinate their foreign policy hopes to promote economic recovery, find multilateral solutions to the migration crisis and strengthen democratic institutions to counteract the decline of basic freedoms in the region, the Foreign Minister of Panama, Erika Mouynes, said in an interview with el Nuevo Herald and The Miami Herald. The Al...

Jamaica apprehends former Haitian senator in Moise’s assassination

A former Haitian politician described by police as driven by his “fierce will to kill” President Jovenel Moise has been apprehended. John Joel Joseph, a former Haitian senator and one of several assassination suspects who remained at large, is being detained in Jamaica. The Jamaican Constabulary Force Saturday confirmed the arrest to the Miami Herald, but details on where it was made and when remained unclear. Joseph’s entry into Jamaica was itself a possible immigration violation. This is the second weekend in a row that a wanted suspect in the brazen assassination of Moise has been apprehend...

Bones of whale extinct for 300 years that were once stored in North Carolina couple’s garage are headed for Smithsonian

A couple walking on a North Carolina beach made a rare discovery that could help researchers solve mysteries from long ago. Rita and Tom McCabe were used to finding shells during their walks on West Onslow Beach in the 1970s — but then they started stumbling upon large bones. After years of keeping the remains in their garage, the couple gave them to the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. It turns out, the bones belonged to a whale species extinct for about 300 years. “We grew very excited because there was very little scientific information on the North Atlantic gray whale population b...

‘One of the darkest days’: Haiti’s massive 2010 earthquake remembered

Haitians in Haiti and their supporters across the U.S. commemorated the Caribbean nation’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake Wednesday, marking the 12th anniversary of the devastation with sadness and reflection. “In the immediate aftermath, an outpouring of support flowed to Haiti from across the U.S. and around the globe to aid survivors and rebuild the nation,” said U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., who represents one of the largest Haitian American communities in the United States. “Still, 12 years later, much more needs to be done if Haiti is to ever rebuild and become self-sufficient.” The ...

Florida Senate readies new maps with plan that pits some Democrats against each other

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — As many as four South Florida Democrats and no Republicans would be drawn into districts with another state senator under a redistricting map a key Florida Senate committee is scheduled to approve on Thursday. On the first day of the legislative session, Senate Reapportionment Committee Chair Ray Rodrigues quietly selected two redistricting maps — one for Congress and the other for the state Senate — from dozens of submitted maps, and they will serve as the baseline for any amendments going forward. The congressional proposal, C8040, and the Senate map, S8046, were each one...

Passenger melts down before takeoff, invades the cockpit and grounds flight to Miami

MIAMI — An American Airlines flight to Miami from Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in Honduras was grounded Tuesday night after chaos erupted in the cockpit. According to a statement from the airline, the problems occurred during the boarding phase of AA Flight 488 with service from the airport in San Pedro Sula to Miami International Airport. The armored door to the cockpit was open at the time, though, as with all flights since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it’s locked before takeoff. “A customer entered the open flight deck and caused damage to the aircraft,” said the American A...