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With the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) - Earlington Heights Connector, scheduled for completion by the summer of 2012, Miami-Dade County will join the ranks of major metropolitan areas around the world with rapid transit connections to their airports.

Construction is well underway on the 2.4-mile elevated extension of Metrorail from the existing Earlington Heights Station to a station at the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC), the County’s future central transportation hub located right next to the airport. When completed, both residents and visitors will have direct Metrorail access to Miami International Airport and the surrounding area which is considered one of Miami’s largest employment districts.

On Sunday May 23rd, churches from all around Florida will come together to encourage those in their communities to be counted in the 2010 Census. As the backbone of most African-American and Caribbean-American communities in Florida, churches will have a major impact on outreach efforts and participation.

Members of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators will lead the way, encouraging their pastors and other pastors in their districts to participate in this statewide event. Additionally, other local elected officials, local complete count committee members and grassroots organizations will be encouraged to attend church services and show support for the 2010 Census.

A Florida appellate court today upheld a judgment awarding over $11 million in compensation to thousands of Broward County, Florida homeowners whose healthy, uninfected citrus trees were destroyed by the Florida Department of Agriculture under the failed citrus canker eradication program.

In a unanimous opinion, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that “there is no merit” to any of the Department of Agriculture’s arguments. The Court held that there was substantial competent evidence that healthy, privately owned citrus trees are not harmful or destructive, even though found within 1900 feet of other trees having citrus canker, and that absent their destruction the homeowners’ trees would have continued to produce the fruit, juice, shade and pleasing aromas – “all the virtues for which their owners carefully planted and tended them.” The Court held that “[i]t is apparent from the history of this case that [the Department] destroyed these privately owned healthy trees not because they were “imminently dangerous” to anybody but instead to benefit the citrus industry in Florida.” The Court continued: “Cutting down and destroying healthy non-commercial trees of private citizens could hardly be more definitively a taking. Government has regulatory power for the very purpose of safeguarding the rights of citizens, not for destroying them. Under any possible meaning, if government cuts down and burns private property having value, then government has taken it. And if government has taken it, government must pay for it. . . . By requiring the State to abide by its constitutional obligation to compensate individual homeowners, we safeguard the property rights of all.”

World GTL Inc, in the largest lawsuit ever filed against a private or Government-owned company in Trinidad, and amid upcoming elections, said it had served, with the help of a court order there, the Government-owned Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin) with a complaint in the United States Federal District court for the wrongful expropriation of its assets in a joint venture company, World GTL Trinidad Limited. The Complaint requests damages of more than US $2 billion.

World GTL Trinidad Limited was constructing a gas-to-liquid plant located within the Petrotrin refinery in Point-a Pierre, Trinidad, 51% owned by the World GTL Inc subsidiary, World GTL of St. Lucia Ltd, and 49% by Petrotrin. When expropriated, the plant was in the process of being commissioned and would have been the first commercial GTL plant in the western hemisphere.

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