Miami nabs two new Olympic-grade sporting facilities


Central suburbs have scored a multimillion-dollar injection into local sporting venues, with works complete on the $18 million Miami Aquatic Centre redevelopment and $4.6 million skate park upgrade underway in Pizzey Park. 
 
Mayor Tom Tate said locals, athletes and sporting clubs would all benefit from the world-class facilities. 
 
“I’m pleased to open our upgraded Miami Aquatic Centre and welcome new patrons to the facility, which has been a breeding ground for champion swimmers such as Giaan Rooney.
 
“With the population of the surrounding area expected to exceed 40,000 people in the next two decades, it’s vital we continue to invest in local infrastructure so we can meet the needs of our growing city.
 
“Pizzey Park continues to be one of our city’s most popular and largest parks, home to 25 sporting clubs and used by tens of thousands of people each week. 
 
“The skate park extension will be built to Olympic standards and will transform the area into Australia’s premier skateboarding destination, allowing us to attract more high performance sporting events.”
 
Miami Aquatic Centre redevelopment:
 
Original eight lane 50-metre outdoor pool has been transformed into multi-functional 10 lane pool with disability access ramp and partial shade coverage
The 50-metre pool required 420 cubic metres of concrete and will hold 2,371,000 litres of water, which took five days to fill.
The current 50-metre 10 lane pool will be upgraded within the next four years
New learn-to-swim pool and water play area
Reception & administration area with first aid and public amenities 
The project employed 700 workers 
Construction began December 2019 and has been delivered on time and on budget
 
Pizzey Park Skate Park upgrade: 
 
3,000+ square metre extension, with existing skate park bowl to remain 
Extension will include skate park, pedestrian and carpark lighting, pedestrian pathway upgrades, carpark upgrade, bus drop-off area and seating. 
Designed for high performance and will allow for major professional competitions to take place
Construction underway and set to be complete December 2021
 
Miami Aquatic Centre reopening family fun day
 
When: Saturday 15 May, 12pm – 5pm
Where: Miami Aquatic Centre, Sonia Street Miami
What: Family fun day with jumping castle, inflatable water slide, aquatic programs, prizes and more
Cost: Free 

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Miami Aquatic Centre reopening FREE family fun day


The City’s $18 million investment in the redevelopment of Miami Aquatic Centre is complete and you are invited to come help celebrate with a free family fun day.

On offer:

When:

From: 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM,
Saturday, 15 May 2021

Where:

Miami Aquatic Centre

Cost:

Free

Type:

Public

Contact:

Miami Aquatic Centre

Organisation:

Miami Aquatic Centre

Phone:

07 5655 3383

Email:

miami.manager@citypools.com.au

Web:

https://miamiaquaticcentre.com.au

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Residents choose northern Gold Coast over beachside meccas like Burleigh, Miami, Mermaid


Originally from London, Ms Wright had lived in Sydney for a decade but was seeking a better climate for her health.

“I suffer with multiple sclerosis. I was diagnosed in 2008 and the weather was starting to affect my disease in Sydney,” she said.

Ms Wright and her husband considered homes from Mermaid Waters to the Hinterland, before eventually settling on Coomera Waters.

“The sense of community, the similarities between our homeland in the UK; lush, green, the trees, the gated community were tick, tick, ticks for us,” she said.

The couple are not alone.

Other residents in their street had moved from interstate or overseas.

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Fight Breaks Out at Miami Airport After Mask Dispute



A massive brawl broke out at Miami International Airport over the last week due to a dispute over face masks, just one week after several passengers were documented on tape fighting over standby seats at the same airport.

According to a video uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, the fight began after two females got into a verbal altercation on a plane. In the video, titled, “Annoying loud mouths from Chicago start a fight with people on the airplane and end up in a fight in the airport,” a woman can be heard saying, “I’m not even in my regular seat, so I don’t give a f*ck.”

After being dismissed from the plane and entering the terminal, a blonde woman confronted another female and appeared to tell her she was “going to f*ck your ass [up].”

A man in a yellow hoodie is then seen in the video tossing a female in black sweatpants to the ground by her neck. That man then presses the woman’s face into the ground repeatedly.

After more than a minute-long scuffle, the fighting ceases and the parties continue yelling at one another.

According to one bystander in the video, the man in the yellow hoodie was “defending himself” as he overpowered the woman.

DailyMail, the first to report on the footage, stated:

In the background of of the incident posted to Reddit, someone could be heard, ‘You’re making a fool of yourself’ to the man in the yellow sweater, to which an unseen woman replies, ‘No he’s not he’s defending himself.’

DailyMail also stated that it requested comment from the airport on the matter, saying it is “unclear if anyone has been arrested over the fight, although onlookers could be heard screaming to call the police.”

Follow Kyle on Twitter @RealKyleMorris and Facebook.



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Miami Open: Ashleigh Barty retains title after Bianca Andreescu injury


Barty was playing in only her fourth tournament since the WTA resumed after coronavirus

Top seed Ashleigh Barty retained her Miami Open title after her Canadian opponent Bianca Andreescu was forced to retire with an ankle injury.

The Australian world number one was leading 6-3 4-0 in the first meeting between the pair.

The 2019 US Open champion had treatment from the trainer after she fell in the third game of the second set but was unable to complete the match.

“It’s never the way you want to finish,” said Barty.

“I feel for Bianca because she has had a lot of injuries and I hope it doesn’t hamper her season too much.

“This is the first time I have defended a title and I’m excited we could kick-start a long season in the best possible way.”

Bianca Andreescu
Andreescu missed the first few months of the 2020 season with a knee injury before the pandemic struck

Barty had broken her opponent early in both sets and controlled the match after that, moving her opponent around the court.

She held serve in the opening game of the match and immediately broke before going 3-0 up.

Although the Canadian took advantage of an erratic service game from Barty to break back and close the deficit to 3-2, it was only a temporary reprieve as the Australian broke in the next game and continued to exert her dominance again to take the set.

Andreescu was soon under pressure in the second set, suffering an early break to go 2-0 down before the injury soon brought a disappointing end to her tournament.

Doubles disappointment for Evans and Skupski

Meanwhile, Dan Evans and Neal Skupski were beaten 6-4 6-4 in the men’s doubles final by Croatian second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.

Evans and Skupski, playing together for the first time, became the third all-British duo to reach an ATP Masters 1000 final.

They fought hard against the second seeds, who had not dropped a set on their way to the final.

But their opponents, who have been the in-form pairing this year, proved too strong as they secured their fifth title of 2021.

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Base jumper dies after parachute fails during leap off Florida building


A man plunged to his death in Florida after his parachute failed to open when he jumped from a hotel balcony, authorities said.

The 31-year-old man leapt from the 23rd floor balcony of the Sunrise Beach Resort in Panama City Beach on Sunday night, local time, news station WMBB reported.

He had been attempting to base jump – an activity in which people leap from a building or antenna, among other fixed objects – but his parachute didn’t open in time.

A press release from the Panama City Beach Police Department identified the man as local resident Timothy Dale Ackerman.

“The Panama City Beach Police Department would like to remind everyone it is against the law to trespass and there is no legal place in Florida that allows base jumping,” the release said.

Panama City Beach is a popular spring break destination located on the Gulf of Mexico, more than 160km southwest of the Florida capital, Tallahassee.

The man’s death comes as spring break celebrations turn wild in Florida, with a state of emergency being declared in Miami Beach and SWAT teams forced to fire warning shots.

Videos on social media and local media showed thousands of revellers defying both the COVID-19 pandemic and Miami Beach’s curfew after it started at 8pm on Saturday.

Special weapons and tactics teams rolled in to block the streets and used piercing sound cannons to try to clear the completely packed streets while the parties continue to rage for hours, according to videos filmed at the scene.

A version of this article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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Djokovic pulls out of Miami to spend time with family



FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

March 22, 2021

(Reuters) – World number one Novak Djokovic will delay his comeback to the ATP Tour following a muscle injury after deciding to skip the Miami Open starting next week to spend more time with his family.

Djokovic sustained a muscle tear that hindered him during his successful Australian Open title defence last month and the 33-year-old planned to return at Miami before playing the Monte-Carlo Masters and the ATP 250 Serbia Open.

“Dear fans, I’m very sorry to announce that this year I won’t travel to Miami to compete,” Djokovic tweeted.

“I decided to use this precious time at home to stay with my family. With all restrictions, I need to find balance in my time on tour and at home. I look forward to coming back next year.”

Djokovic, who won his 18th Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park, eclipsed Roger Federer’s all-time record for most weeks as the men’s world number one on March 8 when he moved past the Swiss to hold the top ranking for the 311th week.

He said at the time that his focus would be on winning more majors, adding he would make necessary adjustments to his playing schedule to achieve that goal.

Rafa Nadal also decided to skip the March 22-April 4 Masters 1000 event to recover from a back injury, while Federer will not be present as he works his way back to full fitness after two knee operations in the past 12 months.

U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem will miss the event and return to the tour during the European claycourt season. World number two Daniil Medvedev is set to lead the field.

Former champion Andy Murray will also feature, having been given a wildcard by the tournament organisers.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)



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Serena Williams withdraws from Miami Open


Serena Williams has lost four Grand Slam finals since her return to the tour in 2018

Serena Williams has pulled out of this week’s Miami Open after having oral surgery.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion was knocked out of the Australian Open semi-finals by Naomi Osaka in January.

“I am disappointed to withdraw,” said 39-year-old Williams, who has won the Miami Open eight times.

“Miami is a special tournament for me because it’s my home and I am sad I won’t be able to see the incredible fans this year.”

The men’s draw has already been depleted by the withdrawals of world number one Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and world number four Dominic Thiem.

It gets under way on Monday.

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Kawhi Leonard mask, slasher film, LaMelo Ball erupts, LeBron James birthday, record, Miami Heat bounce back from record loss


The LA Clippers have made sure the 51-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks was just a blip on the radar with a 23-point lead over the Portland Trail Blazers.

After going down by a record 50-points at halftime to the Mavericks on Tuesday AEDT before a won over the Minnesota Timberwolves yesterday, the Clippers made no mistake with superstar Kawhi Leonard returning, as the Clippers lead by 18 at the break, and won every quarter.

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But while the win returns the league to the status quo, fans were taken by Leonard’s new accessory as the star returned to the floor with a face mask.

Leonard missed the last two games after needing eight stitches following an accidental elbow to the face by teammate Serge Ibaka on Christmas Day.

He was left bloodied on the floor.

Post-match, Kawhi said the mask was uncomfortable on the floor.

And while the internet had a field day, the 29-year-old also had a laugh.

“S***, it’s hard to breathe in that mask,” he said post-game. “They started calling me Leatherface and stuff. Serge (Ibaka) can’t talk too much, we got him on the trading block right now, so whoever wants him let us know because we’re trying to trade Serge.”

The mask didn’t appear to affect him on the court however as he tallied 28 points, three rebounds and seven assists alongside Paul George’s 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists controlled the game.

But the fans couldn’t help but notice the similarity in the superstar’s mask and that of fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter among other jokes.

Complex’s Keith Nelson Jr. tweeted: “What … the f*** … is Kawhi wearing?”

And fans better get used to the new look with Leonard admitting he’ll be wearing the mask until the stitches in his jaw and lip heal.

He said he wouldn’t return until he could open his mouth and move his jaw again.

LAMELO’S EIGHT-YEAR FIRST AS TEMPERS ERUPT

LaMelo Ball may not have been the number one pick in the Draft but he’s certainly playing like he was.

After his scoreless debut, Ball became the first Charlotte Hornets rookie to record 15 points, five rebounds and five assists since Kemba Walker did it in 2012 as his side defeated the Mavericks 118-99.

Ball ended up with 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists, leading the way for his side on the scoresheet in 29 minutes.

It’s a big turnaround after he started with a scoreless debut in the NBA but has quickly settled in and found his groove.

He hit four from five from outside the three-point arc and seven from 10 from the floor.

But his performance was somewhat overshadowed as two players were ejected as James Johnson and Cody Martin had to be separated following a should and headbutt.

It saw both players sent from the court.

LEBRON’S LATEST NBA RECORD

LeBron James has celebrated his 36th birthday Wednesday with another NBA milestone, scoring double-digit points for the 1000th straight game in the Lakers’ 121-107 victory over the Spurs in San Antonio.

James finished with 26 points to extend his already record streak of double-digit games in the regular season.

He sealed the milestone midway through the second quarter with a turnaround jump hook that gave the Lakers a 46-37 lead.

“I just try to live in the moment and just try to continue to get better with my game, try to get better with my teammates and try to just maximise when I’m on the floor,” James said, who is in his 18th NBA campaign after leading the Lakers to the 2020 title in the league’s quarantine bubble in Orlando.

“I’ve been blessed to play the game that I love for 18 years and hopefully I can continue to play at a high level.”

James’ double-digit scoring streak began on January 6, 2007, when he was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“It’s a tribute to his tenacity level … his commitment to excellence,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game. “He deserves a lot of credit for being the consummate professional. His mental state along with his physical state really makes him really special.” Shortly after James reached the milestone, Popovich was ejected from the contest for arguing with officials.

Assistant Becky Hammon took over on the Spurs bench, becoming the first woman to direct a team in an NBA game.

Anthony Davis scored 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Lakers, newcomer Dennis Schroder added 21 points and four assists.

AFP

HEAT BOUNCE BACK FROM BLOWOUT

The Miami Heat rebounded from an embarrassing 47-point loss to Milwaukee with a 119-108 NBA victory over the Bucks.

The Heat didn’t have to wait long for revenge as they hosted the Bucks for the second straight night.

Goran Dragic came off the bench to lead Miami with 26 points, Bam Adebayo added 22 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists and Tyler Herro scored 21 points with a career-best 15 rebounds as the Heat rallied to stave off another home defeat.

The Bucks had dominated on Tuesday with an NBA-record 29 three-pointers in their 144-97 triumph.

The Bucks, fuelled by a triple-double of 26 points 13 rebounds and 10 assists from two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, looked like making it two wins in a row when they led by 14 in the third quarter.

Donte DiVincenzo scored 15 points and Jrue Holiday added 13 for the Bucks, but the Heat rallied despite missing Jimmy Butler for the second straight game.

“You want to constantly develop some grit and toughness during the course of a long season, and our guys responded in an appropriate fashion,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who acknowledged before the game that there was “a lot of anger and frustration” after the blowout loss on Tuesday.

“As well there should have been,” he said.

AFP



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Miami schools paid $9M to 5 students raped by ex-teacher, then tried to keep it quiet


The Miami-Dade County School Board’s multimillion-dollar settlement with the rape victims of a former P.E. teacher came with an unenforceable gag order that prevented the survivors from disclosing the settlement amount and disparaging the school district to the media.

The victims are survivors of former Brownsville Middle P.E. teacher Wendell Nibbs, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence for three counts of sexual battery with a child in familial or custodial custody. In his 15 years as a teacher, Nibbs was accused of sexual misconduct by nine female students at Brownsville.

Five survivors sued School Board

Now all in their 20s, five survivors sued the School Board in federal court, claiming their Title IX rights were violated and the school district was negligent. The case was settled in March, though documents weren’t made available until later.

Three of the survivors who endured the worst of Nibbs’ abuse and were raped multiple times were each paid $2,332,750. Another survivor who was raped once received $1,167,250. A fifth survivor who was sexually harassed got $584,500.

But according to the settlement, the survivors and their attorneys are not allowed to disclose their settlement payouts — which are publicly available — or “impugn or disparage” the School Board to the media. Those stipulations and settlement dollar amounts are in all five of the settlement releases, which the school district provided to the Miami Herald in a public records request.

Their settlements say that the survivors and their siblings, heirs and attorneys, shall not disclose the settlement amount, written or oral, specifically barring interviews, press releases or letters to any third party.

Florida statute, however, says a provision like that “may not be enforced.”

“Any portion of an agreement or contract which has the purpose or effect of concealing information relating to the settlement or resolution of any claim or action against the state, its agencies, or subdivisions or against any municipality or constitutionally created body or commission is void, contrary to public policy, and may not be enforced,” the law says, adding that any person has standing to contest such an order that violates this rule.

The settlement continues: “Releasor and her attorneys further agree not to impugn or disparage any other party to this Release to any third party, to any member of the media, or to any other individual who may make inquiry about same.”

Settlement terms

The release says that the victims and their attorneys can only make comments “strictly related to the evidence adduced in the case, without any unfair characterization, inflammatory language or embellishment,” or else the School Board will cease settlement payments.

The attorneys for the survivors say their clients have been paid in full.

Wendell Alfredo Nibbs, a former physical education teacher at Brownsville Middle School, is pictured here in a mugshot from his first arrest in 2017. He pleaded guilty Jan. 23, 2020 to three counts of sexual activity with a child in familial or custodial authority.

One of the attorneys, Pedro Echarte, said he’s seen such confidentiality language in settlements with private companies, but never with a government body.

“It’s in there but everyone already knows the numbers because it’s public record,” he said.

Attorney Aaron Karger, who worked on the case with Echarte, said his clients can still talk about the facts and evidence.

“They’re aware that they’re not barred (from talking about) what gave rise to the case, talking about what happened in the case,” Karger said. “I think that they’re fine on that provision.”

The Miami Herald asked the school district for comment. A spokeswoman provided this statement from Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A., the law firm hired by the School Board to deal with the lawsuits.

“These cases are resolved and we wish the plaintiffs and their families all the best,” the statement said. “It is our practice not to discuss the reasons, the language or any provisions in a proposed or finalized settlement agreement. A settlement agreement lends finality to litigation and further discussion by a party to a settlement may impinge on such finality or cause a conflict with the settlement itself.”

Gag order likely unenforceable: attorneys

Lance Block, a Tallahassee-based attorney who has brought sexual assault cases against school districts and has worked on claims bills against the Miami-Dade County School Board, said he had never heard of a confidentiality agreement that was upheld to the benefit of a governmental entity.

Further, he said he thinks such an agreement would be unenforceable.

“We’re not dealing with General Motors or some insurance company or private business,” Block said. “We’re dealing with a government agency that the taxpayers fund. And the taxpayers have a right to know how the government is paying claims and if there’s wrongdoing going on that justifies a $10 million payment.”

Marie Mattox is another Tallahassee-based lawyer who has sued School Boards on federal grounds. She said she’s seen governments use language like this periodically, but not routinely.

“You can put anything you want to put in an agreement,” she said. “The question is whether it’s enforceable.”

Mattox said the School Board’s stipulation could become a freedom of speech issue.

“I’ve agreed to things like that knowing it’s not legitimate,” she said. “To restrict someone’s speech about an agreement that we know is in violation of (the statute) but there’s never been an enforcement of it.”

John Dellagloria has represented several municipalities in Miami-Dade County. He currently is the attorney for the Village of Palmetto Bay.

“I don’t think a lot of government attorneys know about this prohibition,” he said.

The Florida statute, 69.081(8), also appears in Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Manual. The Florida Bar ethics counsel also issued an opinion in October 2019 that said disparagement clauses “seem to limit an attorney’s ability to frankly discuss with future clients the character of the defendant, its litigation tactics, the character of its negotiation and strategy, the value of its offers, the experts and litigation tactics it uses, the timeliness of its negotiations, etc.”

“Such information is critical to a client’s decision on how to proceed with offers on cases,” the opinion stated.

Echarte, one of the survivors’ attorneys, says the women are relieved.

“They’re all trying to move forward and put this past them,” he said. “We’re hoping that through this result, through the monies recovered they’re able to get the treatment, get the therapy they need as well as stabilize themselves.”

Karger said the case established an important precedent. The Florida Department of Education changed state rules that require school districts to notify the state of employees’ bad acts within 24 hours instead of 30 days.

“We hope the school board learned this lesson,” he said.



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