Beckham Celebrates As Miami Voters Approve Path To Stadium

David Beckham (file)

 

David Beckham was celebrating in South Florida on Tuesday after his dream of building a team in Major League Soccer took a notable step forward.

The former England captain’s push to bring a franchise to Miami has been hamstrung for close to five years with a suitable venue for a new stadium extremely difficult to find.

But voters in Miami on Tuesday came out in favour of a change in regulations that will allow his ownership group — Miami Freedom Park Group LLC — to negotiate a 99-year lease for the latest target: city-owned land at the Melreese Country Club, the city’s only municipal golf course, near Miami airport.

The measure voted on Tuesday, which allows for a no-bid process in negotiations, had a 60 per cent lead with 88 per cent of precincts reporting.

The 73-acre site is the fifth location put forward by Beckham, whose investment group consists of Jorge Mas and his brother Jose, owners of local infrastructure company MasTec, as well as Sprint chairman Marcelo Claure and SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son.

The saga has stretched on since February 2014, when Beckham first announced his intentions to own a franchise.

There’s much more work to do, yet the 43-year-old Londoner was delighted to have cleared the latest hurdle in what has been a torturous process so far.

“I need to say a big thanks to the fans who have stuck by us,” the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star told AFP after speaking emotionally in front of an excitable crowd in Coral Gables, many of whom were decked out in Inter Miami FC colours.

“Today is an exciting day,” Beckham said. “We have had a dream of bringing a team to this great city. We want to create a legacy, something our children will aspire to.

“But we also want to win. I am not coming here just to have a pretty team. Winning championships are important to me.”

Hurdles remain 

The next step, however, is far from straightforward.

Beckham’s group must now earn approval from four of the five city commissioners. Two of them — Manolo Reyes, a staunch critic of the plans, and Willy Gort, whose district includes Melreese — opposed the referendum earlier this year.

Furthermore, with the Melreese site built on a toxic waste dump which could cost upwards of $35 million to clean up, doubters have suggested the plans will encounter many more roadblocks before building permits are granted, something which must happen by November 2019 according to the previously agreed MLS expansion agreement.

Critics fear the clean-up costs could spiral and leave the taxpayers footing the bill — a daunting prospect after the uproar caused after baseball’s Miami Marlins Stadium fiasco left locals with a tab which has almost reached $3 billion.

Beckham’s lavish $1 billion, privately financed project will include a stadium complex as well as a huge shopping mall, a 750 room hotel, office space and a 58-acre public park.

Locals were encouraged to vote ‘yes’ to ensure jobs and other benefits for Miami including $20 million to help reinvigorate other public parks in the area.

MLS stress the team will begin playing in 2020 although it will have to be at a temporary venue, potentially at the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, or the Marlins baseball stadium.

“We will look at all options,” Jorge Mas said.

AFP

Del Potro Advances At Miami With Gritty Win Over Raonic

Del Potro Advances At Miami With Gritty Win Over Raonic
Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina returns a shot against Milos Raonic of Canada during their quarterfinal match on Day 10 of the Miami Open Presented by Itau at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 28, 2018, in Key Biscayne, Florida. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

 

Juan Martin del Potro raised the roof as he came from behind to beat Milos Raonic 5-7, 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/3) and power into a Miami Open semi-final clash with American John Isner.

Roared on by a partisan crowd, del Potro rallied after losing the first set to finally wear down the Canadian in two hours and 53 minutes of relentless drama.

There was little difference between these two big hitters, but it was the Argentine who held his nerve when it counted to book a last-four encounter with Isner on Friday.

“I love to play in matches like this,” a visibly weary del Potro said after his 15th straight match win.

“We both played well, the difference was perhaps that I just played better in the tie-breaks.

“I am tired now, but at least I have a day off to prepare for Friday. It’s going to be important that I recover physically and mentally because that was a real battle.”

Del Potro came into the match owning the hottest streak on the ATP tour with 20 match wins this year.

The Argentine’s return to form has delighted his fans in Miami, where they packed the main stadium once again to cheer their hero ever closer to winning the “Sunshine Double” of Indian Wells and Miami on the heels of his triumph in Acapulco.

Raonic, the big-serving Canadian, had other ideas.

The pair met in the Californian desert just three weeks ago with 2009 US Open champion del Potro winning 6-2, 6-3, but 25th-ranked Raonic was on his game from the off.

The first set went with serve until del Potro double-faulted on set point to silence the crowd.

Their fears worsened as sixth-ranked del Potro called for the trainer, although after a lengthy discussion with officials no treatment was given and the second set began.

It was similarly neck and neck with both players hitting powerfully from the baseline.

Del Potro badly needed to break a player who arrived at this last eight encounter having held in all 28 service games as well as saving five break points in his three straight-sets triumphs.

Attempting to stay alive in the match, del Potro almost suffered a freak injury when racing to reach a Raonic passing shot, he leaped over a hoarding and into the photographer’s pit at the side of the court.

He needed time to recuperate but emerged unscathed and was able to send the second set into a tie-break.

Del Potro raced to a 5-0 lead and sent his fans wild by sending the match into a decider.

The first four games all went against serve as Raonic was broken for the first time in the tournament.

Del Potro finally held for 3-2 and Raonic was left to serve at 5-6 to keep his hopes alive and so it went into a final tie-break.

– Isner dominates Chung –

Del Potro carved out a 5-2 lead, a position of strength from which he was finally able to see the match out.

Isner will, however, be a difficult nut to crack with the American recovering from an early-season slump to play some of the best tennis of his career.

His destruction of South Korean Chung Hyeon 6-1, 6-4 was impressive considering the 14th seed arrived in South Florida having won just two matches all year.

The big-serving 32-year-old American fired 13 aces to dispatch 19th-seeded Chung in only 68 minutes.

“I played extremely well and every match I have gotten better and stronger,” Isner said.

“The conditions were perfect for me. The way the ball bounces, the court isn’t too fast, so it’s great for me. I have played well here before but I am delighted to get this far.”

AFP

Death Toll In Miami Bridge Collapse Rises To Six

Authorities survey the scene of a pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami, Florida on March 15, 2018, crushing a number of cars below and reportedly leaving several people dead. Gaston De Cardenas / AFP

 

The death toll in the collapse of a newly installed pedestrian bridge over a major road in Miami on Thursday, has risen to six.

The walkway, which connected Florida International University to a student housing area, went up less than a week ago but was not yet operational.

“We have located up to four victims. Four deceased,” Miami-Dade Fire Chief Dave Downey told a news conference.

Crews worked into the night at the scene of the disaster. Maurice Kemp, the area’s deputy mayor, said the search for survivors had not been abandoned.

“Miami-Dade county and our partner agencies… have been working feverishly in the search and rescue mode to ascertain how many victims there are and rescue as many as we can,” Kemp told journalists.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan said at least eight cars were trapped when the 950-ton (tonne) concrete bridge suddenly gave way.

Police detective Juan Carlos Llera said, “it sounded like an explosion. A huge bang.”

“It looks like a disaster area. It looks literally like a bomb went off,” Llera told AFP.

The bridge was suspended from cables that were determined to have loosened. While they were being tightened, the span collapsed, Florida Senator Marco Rubio wrote on Twitter.

The bridge had only been installed on Saturday, ahead if its planned opening in 2019.

Isabella Carrasco, who said she arrived on the scene just after the collapse, told CNN that some cars were completely crushed, and there was “just a lot of debris everywhere.”

She said she saw one woman get out of a car that was “just nicked” and rescue personnel performing life-saving CPR on another person in the street.

Another shaken driver, Lynnell Collins, told CNN he was about to make a right turn when “the whole thing really just came down.”

‘Whole thing broke’

“After the whole thing broke, I was freaking out. I got out of my car and me and a few other people were sprinting over there. We started helping people whose cars were at least half crushed and whoever was easily saved.”

He said he saw two trucks that were “completely crushed.”

“We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge,” Florida International University said in a statement.

“At this time we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information.”

FIU had only recently been celebrating the installation of the bridge, which crossed a dangerous, heavily traveled section of highway that students said had been the scene of accidents.

It had been erected using an accelerated modular building method that enabled it to go up in the space of a day.
“We are stunned by today’s tragic collapse of a pedestrian bridge,” said FIGG Engineering Group, one of the partners involved in the walkway’s construction.

“We will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why,” the firm said in a statement.

“In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before.”

“Continuing to monitor the heartbreaking bridge collapse at FIU – so tragic,” President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.

“Many brave First Responders rushed in to save lives. Thank you for your courage. Praying this evening for all who are affected,” he said.

Bridge collapses in the United States are infrequent despite rising risks associated with aging infrastructure.

The deadliest this century was the 2007 collapse of an eight-lane bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which killed 13 people.

Several Feared Killed As Pedestrian Bridge Collapses On Miami Highway

 

Vehicles are seen trapped under the collapsed pedestrian bridge. Photo: JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

A newly installed pedestrian bridge over a six-lane highway in Miami on a college campus collapsed Thursday, crushing a number of cars below and reportedly leaving several people dead.

The Miami Herald reported that an unknown number of people were trapped underneath the collapsed walkway, which connected Florida International University to a student housing area and was erected less than a week ago.

The Florida Highway Patrol said several people were killed, according to US networks. Emergency vehicles and police cars swarmed the area.

“The cars were completely crushed,” Isabella Carrasco, who said she arrived on the scene just after the collapse, told CNN.

“You could see some of the car and just a lot of debris everywhere.”

She said she saw one woman get out of a car that was “just nicked” and rescue personnel performing CPR on another person in the street.

“Other than that, I didn’t see anybody else.,” Carrasco said.

Television imagery from the scene showed a crane being moved into position where the bridge lay in sections across Southwest Eighth Street.

The bridge was not yet in use; it was expected to open next year.

‘Whole thing broke’

A shaken Lynnell Collins told CNN he was driving and was about to make a right turn when “the whole thing really just came down.”

“After the whole thing broke, I was freaking out. I got out of my car and me and a few other people were sprinting over there. We started helping people whose cars were at least half crushed and whoever was easily saved.”

He said he saw two trucks that were “completely crushed” and other vehicles on the other side of the bridge that he could not reach.

“We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge,” Florida International University said in a statement.

“At this time we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information.”

A team of experts from the National Transportation Safety Board was en route to the scene to investigate.

FIU had only recently been celebrating the installation of the bridge, which crossed a dangerous, heavily traveled section of highway that students said had been the scene of accidents.

It had been erected using an accelerated modular building method that enabled it to go up in the space of a day.

At the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump was aware of the accident and will offer “whatever support is needed.”

Bridge collapses in the United States are infrequent despite rising risks associated with aging infrastructure.

The deadliest this century was the 2007 collapse of an eight-lane bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which killed 13 people.

AFP

Florida Court Convicts Derek Medina Over Facebook Photo Murder 

Florida facebook murdererA United States (US) court has ruled that a Florida man, who killed his wife and posted a photo of the body on Facebook, is guilty of murder.

Derek Medina admitted taking the picture on his phone and uploading it onto the social media site.

He failed to convince the jury that he had shot Jennifer Alfonso eight times in self-defense, after years of abuse.

Medina said that his wife was threatening him with a knife when he shot her in their home in Miami, but prosecutors said she was cowering on the floor.

When he posted the picture, he wrote on Facebook that he expected to go to prison or be sentenced to death for the killing.

The 33-year-old wife killer could face a life imprisonment over the murder.

Nigeria, Africa Collaborations To Come Before Others – Vector

VectorNigerian rapper, Vector has said he has no plans to have collaborations with artistes outside Africa for now as he plans to tidy up first.

In a recent chat with Entertainment News on Channels Television, Vector commented on the recent increase in America/Nigeria music collaborations and said “I’ve had my moments with international collaborations in Jamaica, Miami, ATL and parts of New York. I’ve had that buzz and mention over there.

“However, Nigeria is big enough.

“At this point, I think I should tidy my house first,” he said and added that Nigeria and Africa come first.

Vector’s track, ‘King Kong’ has also been gaining a lot of traction with a remix featuring artistes including Reminisce, Sarkodie, Phyno on the way.

Also, Vector disclosed that his ‘Lafiaji’ album is on the way.

“The art with this album is pretty much going back to the place of birth. I was born on Lagos Island and I grew up around Lafiaji.

“It’s high time I made a track or album dedicated to the place I grew up, so it will have plenty Lafiaji kind of lifestyle.”

Asked about his relationship with music label YSG, Vector said: “The new movement is GRAP”, adding that “YSG is still very good” and “we would still work together”.

However, the Shiga rapper made it clear he was operating solo at the moment and that fans should expect Nigerian music that would compete internationally from him.

“This year, it’s just basically me bringing the world and Nigeria together with music,” he said, noting that Nigerian music can compete anywhere in the world whilst still being Nigerian.

Edo PDP Accuse Edo Govt Of Spending 428 Million On Foreign Trips

Edo PDPThe People’s Democratic Party in Edo State has alleged that the State Government spent 428 Million Naira for trips to Miami and Chicago in the United States of America.

The Edo PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih, who presented documents to support his claim, accused the state of spending so much money on trips while critical infrastructure is lacking in the state.

Orbih, who gave a breakdown of the money spent, said that he had decided against exposing the document until he was forced to, following the insistence of the Commissioner for Information that he lied.

He further said that the State Government should channel the state funds towards infrastructural development.

The Edo State Commissioner for Information, Louis Odion, in a swift reaction, said that the documents presented by the Edo PDP were fake as the state government transacts its business online.

He further clarified that the trip in question was a meeting of all Edo people in diaspora organised with the Edo people in diaspora in conjunction with government and not a picnic as alleged.

Beyoncé & Jay Z Kick Off “On The Run” Tour

beyyyMusic’s power couple, Beyoncé and Jay Z, yesterday Wednesday June 25, 2014, kicked off their record-setting North American stadium tour, aka “On the Run”, in Miami.

Thousands of fans were at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens to witness the superstar couple performing their individual hits and collaborations during the two-and-a-half-hour show.

The husband and wife stars opened the sold out show at the Stadium, performing 42-song sets, featuring songs from just about every era of their respective careers.

Among these songs are: Beyoncé filling in for Justin Timberlake on “Holy Grail”; Jay’s new remix of Beyoncé’s “Partition”, and a tribute to Michael Jackson during “Love On Top”. Jay also performed several tracks from Watch the Throne, including “Niggas in Paris”, “No Church in the Wild”, and “Lift Off”.

The duo also projected an intimate video of their April 2008 wedding day onto huge screens on stage as they closed the show with Young Forever.

beyonce+jay

beyonce+jay3beyonce+jay2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The clip showed the pair saying their vows and Jay finally putting a ring on it and another video showing their adorable daughter Blue Ivy projected onto the big screen.

From Miami, they will play shows in states including Pensylvania, Ohio, Texas and Louisiana, rounding the tour off with a huge show at the AT&T Park in San Francisco, California.

Watch some footage from the concert.