New bill helps Black communities battle Alzheimer's 

Legislation that promises to improve the health outcomes of Blacks and other ethnic groups disproportionately impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia went into effect this Monday.

HB 1045, sponsored by Florida Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) and Rep. Kamia Brown (D-Orlando),  unanimously passed both chambers of the legislature, and was recently signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The bill adds funding under the “Closing the Gap” grant program to include these illness.

The Closing the Gap grant program provides funding to decrease ethnic disparities in a variety of diseases and illnesses, such as certain forms of cancer, infant mortality, cardio vascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, sickle cell disease and other ailments highly affecting people of color.

“Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent among African-Americans than among whites, with estimates ranging from 14% to almost 100% higher. Data studies suggest that high cholesterol and high blood pressure may be significant risk factors. These two factors also have high occurrence in African-Americans and people of color," Gibson said.

 North Miami celebrates Independence Day

North Miami is ready for its annual Independence Day Celebration By The Bay this Thursday featuring an evening of fireworks, music, food and  fun under the stars, starting at 6 p.m.

The rain-or-shine event will takes place behind Florida International University’s Roz and Cal Kovens Conference Center, located at 3000 NE 151 St. The event is free. Free on-site parking is available on a first come, first served basis.

Personal fireworks, weapons, large bags, coolers and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

The July 4 festivities also mark the official launch of the city of North Miami’s Census 2020 awareness campaign. 

 Miami Beach has  new top cop

On Monday, Miami Beach Police Department swore in new Police Chief Richard Clements, a 29-year veteran, along with new Deputy Chief Wayne Jones. Clements has been deputy chief for the past three years and served on the department's SWAT team for more than a decade. The city commission approved Clements appointment on June 26. 

Jones has worked with the department since 1996. He recently oversaw police investigations as head of the Criminal Investigations Division. 

 Delucca Rolle, teen at center of beating complaint, arrested again

Delucca Rolle, the 15-year-old who is seen on video being roughed up by two Broward Sheriff's deputies during an arrest in Tamarac, was arrested again Friday night in Lauderhill. 

The teen is accused of being in a stolen car and resisting an officer without violence, police said. The charges are both misdemeanor offenses.

Rolle was first arrested on April 18 outside a Tamarac McDonald's after a confrontation with two deputies, Sgt. Greg LaCerra and Deputy Christopher Krickovich. Bystanders' cellphone videos show deputies slamming Rolle's head to ground and pepper-spraying the teen in an attempt to subdue him. 

Following the viral video, civil rights advocates were outraged and called on Rolle to press charges against the deputies. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump set a July 4 deadline for Broward prosecutors to bring criminal charges against the deputies. 

 State revokes Sheriff's Offices accreditation

The Broward Sheriff's Office has lost its accreditation after bungling two mass shootings. 

A state panel revoked the Sheriff's Office's law enforcement accreditation last week, citing the handling of the Parkland shooting last February and the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting in 2017.

Statewide, 166 police agencies have accreditation, meaning they comply with over 250 professional standards. The Broward Sheriff's Office is the largest police agency in the state. 

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, who was appointed in January after his predecessor Scott Israel was removed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, placed the blame on the previous administration. 

A recent financial disclosure filed with the state last week shows Tony has a negative net worth. Student loan debts put the new sheriff's personal net worth at -$73, 194. 

His annual salary as sheriff is listed at $188,262. 

 South Florida schools improve on test scores

South Florida schools made improvements on test scores according to results from the Florida Standards Assessment. The test results, released Friday, are used to calculate the  school grades that come out every year, which are expected to be released in a few weeks. 

Students in Miami-Dade County, Broward and Palm Beach counties showed proficiency in English and Math. All three counties showed improvement in the two subject areas. The students are required to pass the Florida Standards Assessment to graduate high school. 

One school, however, that saw a slip in academic performance was Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, following a year after the massacre that left 17 dead and 17 injured. 

Scores show there was a large drop on the Algebra 1 end-of-course exams with a passing rate falling from 74% in 2017 to 59% this year. Last year, students were excused from taking the state-required exams,  so this year's results provide the first glimpse into the how the February tragedy may have affected student performance.

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