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Local News

Commissioner Barbara ShariefBroward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief will bring together elected city officials for a District 8 Forum on Thursday, June 9, at 3 p.m. at the Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 430, in Fort Lauderdale. The purpose of the forum is to discuss current issues important to cities within the district and to all of Broward County.

"There's a lot going on and I want to make sure that elected officials within District 8 have a clear understanding of County issues that will impact their cities and vice versa," said Commissioner Sharief. "By meeting face to face and discussing issues and ideas, we can collaborate on ways to best serve our residents."

Senator Allen ChastanetSenator Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia's Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, will salute Saint Lucian nationals in New York on Friday, June 10, 2011.

Senator Chastanet travels to Washington and New York for meetings with international organizations and to participate in Caribbean Week in New York, produced by the Caribbean Tourism Organization from June 5 to 11.

This Friday, he takes a break from business meetings to address a "Soufrière Soiree" in Brooklyn, the New York borough known as "The Caribbean Capital of America".

Roseland Jean JosephMs. Jean Joseph teaches her children that education is the key to success.
Miami-Dade County Community Action Agency (CAA) proudly announces the 2011 Parent of the Year Roseland Jean Joseph, from Catholic Charities’ Notre Dame Child Care Center.  She is the proud parent of two sets of twins; one set is currently enrolled at the center. 

Ms. Jean Joseph volunteers at the center, dedicating at least an hour every day.  She is a strong advocate of reading to the children and encourages other parents to read to their children at home.  Through her committed volunteerism she has motivated others to become involved in various activities at the center.


This summer will mark the court sentencing of at least three high profile Jamaican nationals in the U.S.

Popular Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton is set to be sentenced on June 23rd. Banton, born Mark Anthony Myrie, will be officially sentenced some five months after he was found guilty on conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine. He has been behind bars ever since the jury delivered a guilty plea.

His sentencing date approaches as his defense team of David Markus continues to petition the court to have other the gun charges against him dropped.
Banton, 37, will appear before Judge James S. Moody Jr. at a 30 minute hearing in Tampa. He faces a maximum of life in prison.

On July 22, newspaper owner, Karl B. Rodney, will know his fate in a Washington, D.C. Court for lying to congress. He will face Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. The offense of making a false statement carries a penalty fine of $250,000, a maximum of five years in jail and three years of supervised release.

Rodney, 73, admitted in a plea deal before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan that as founder of the related, Carib News Foundation, he misled several congressional staff about who paid for the travel expenses on the Private Sponsor Travel Certification Form submitted to the Ethics Committee in connection with the 12th Annual Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference held in Antigua and Barbuda from November 8-11, 2007. The plea deal with federal prosecutors spares his wife, Faye Rodney, from any prosecution.

Rodney is the only person to have been charged in the scandal, which prompted an ethics inquiry of several lawmakers including Congressman Charles Rangel. In March 2010, Rangel stepped aside as Ways and Means Chair. In November 2010, the Ethics Committee found Rangel guilty of 11 counts of violating House ethics rules, and on December 2nd, the full House approved a sanction of censure against Rangel.

And on August 11th, the once rich and powerful Olint founder, David A. Smith, is set to be sentenced. Smith is slated to appear before Judge Mary S. Scriven, U.S. District Court in Orlando, Florida. Smith had been set to be sentenced also in June but the date was rescheduled.

Smith copped a plea deal in Orlando, FL by admitting to four counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and 18 counts of money laundering. According to the plea agreement, for more than three years, Smith executed a Ponzi scheme to defraud over 6,000 investors located in the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere out of over $220 million.

The wire fraud counts carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not more than three years. In addition, for each count of wire fraud, the fine may be assessed at twice the amount of gross gain or loss. The money laundering counts each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater, and a term of supervised release of not more than three years.

Meanwhile, accused Ponzi schemer, the once flamboyant Antigua-based businessman, R. Allen Stanford, is set to now face a September trial.