Our If I Were Mayor project continues as we bring your ideas to the mayors. We spoke with Homestead's new mayor, Jeff Porter. Mayor Porter, a former councilman and vice mayor, took office last fall. He follows Steve Bateman, one of the three mayors arrested in August of 2013 for corruption charges.
The position of Homestead mayor pays $6,000. It is intended to be a part-time position.
This week's top attention-grabbing stories include: A proposal to add a Satanic statue in the Oklahoma Capitol, a Vero Beach company employing all-day surveillance of company smartphones and computers, a free trolley giving locals access to Biscayne and Everglades national parks, and more.
About a year ago, the city of Homestead was designated "The Gateway To Biscayne and Everglades National Parks." This past weekend the city launched its first free, guided trolley ride into the parks, which the city hopes will see more local visitors with the start of the new service.
Imagine this: You’re heading down the Florida Turnpike on your way to the Keys and spot this interesting-looking steel tower. It’s got an observation deck that corkscrews from the ground all the way to a height of about 560 feet.
You’re gonna stop the car, right?
That’s what Homestead officials are counting on. The city is considering building such a tower to attract tourists to its downtown.
Homestead director of community redevelopment Rick Ammirato says the city is perfectly situated to offer visitors an extraordinary view.
Miami-Dade state attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle speaks at a press conference Wednesday announcing the arrest of Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman. Investigator Robert Fielder (center) and other officials concerned with ethics enforcement stand next to him.
Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman was arrested on Wednesday morning for allegedly using his position as mayor to obtain private employment.
According to the charges, Bateman had a deal with the nonprofit Community Health of South Florida (CHI) to be paid $125 an hour for consulting services. Authorities also believe CHI set aside a total of $120,000 to pay him and hired an assistant for him.
If you follow U.S. 1 to the very end of the Florida peninsula, veer onto Card Sound Road, and make your way through the mangrove swamps, you’ll find it. A wooden shanty with a roof but no walls: an open-air bar and restaurant. It’s the very last place on the U.S. mainland. And it’s called Alabama Jack’s.
That’s according to Blair Blacker, and he should know. In this story, host Dan Grech visits a warehouse in Florida City with Blacker to have a look at a novel product– mats made from human hair. Blacker says the mats fertilize plants better than most herbicides, plus they prevent weeds and conserve water. The circular mats, made by SmartGrow, fit snugly around a plant’s base and biodegrade over time.