New majority on Hallandale commission wants to know: Where did CRA millions go?

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
The new majority on the Hallandale Beach City Commission will seek the first-ever forensic audit of all expenditures by its troubled Community Redevelopment Agency for the past five years, including finding out why $7.4 million had to be cut to balance the agency’s budget this fiscal year.

A curious search for justice amid Miami-Dade judges’ desire for new civil courthouse

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
The effort to build a new civil court building to replace the historic, but crumbling, Dade County Courthouse in downtown Miami recently took a bizarre turn that prompted a local judge to remove herself from a high-profile case involving prominent developer Russell Galbut and another local landmark, the Shelborne Hotel in Miami Beach.

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No discipline for FBI agent accused of writing 9/11 report FBI now calls bogus

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The FBI agent who wrote a powerful investigative report about 9/11 that the bureau later publicly repudiated faced no apparent discipline even though the FBI subsequently deemed his report to be “poorly written” and “wholly unsubstantiated.”

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Miami-Dade union leaders fear more outsourcing of members’ work at district schools

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
The Miami-Dade School Board has agreed to spend up to $1.8 million to outsource lawn service maintenance long done by unionized workers, and union leaders now say they fear Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is eyeing more privatization that could lead to additional work cuts for its members.

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Critics: Miami-Dade wants to make it harder for land owners to fight assessment hikes

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Miami-Dade property owners will find it much more difficult to contest their annual property assessments under a new guideline being considered by the Value Adjustment Board, a semi-governmental agency that mediates disputes between landowners and Property Appraiser Pedro J. Garcia, critics of the proposal claim.

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Miami federal judge denies FBI motion to postpone trial on secret 9-11 records

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
A Miami federal judge Thursday denied the FBI’s request to delay for 90 days a trial to decide whether certain secret records about 9/11 should be made public.

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New FBI document shows active probe of support network for 9/11 hijackers in 2012

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
As late as October 2012, federal prosecutors and FBI agents in New York City were actively exploring filing charges against a suspect for providing material support to the 9/11 hijackers and other crimes.

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New Miami-Dade School board member: Let’s focus on fixing failing schools

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
Newly elected Miami-Dade School Board member Steve Gallon is proposing to focus the district’s attention on improving failing schools in some of the county’s poorest locations, often in predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

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FBI scrubs contracts to hide how much it paid 9/11 Review Commission members

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The three men who served as members of the 9/11 Review Commission were on the FBI’s payroll, but the bureau is refusing to say how much they were paid.

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Lawsuit: Rescind variance for ex-U.S. Rep.’s Hollywood charter school

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
The Broward lawsuit says Hollywood broke the law when it approved a request by the controversial Ben Gamla middle-high school to stop maintaining a rooftop vegetation area that was a key consideration for a zoning exception allowing the school in a residential neighborhood.

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Bulldog Extra

By Brian Joseph, FairWarningillustration_2

Gwen Caplan’s nightmare began with a Yelp search.

It was the summer of 2012 and the middle-aged mother of two was looking for someone to move her and her kids from San Rafael, Calif., to Glendale, Ariz. Money was tight, so Caplan scoured the web for an affordable but reputable moving company.

Her search unearthed several moving companies. One was called America’s Best Movers. It had terrible reviews online. “I said to myself, ‘It’s a good thing I used Yelp. I’m not going to use these people,’ ” Caplan would later tell a criminal grand jury. Full Story »

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