A look back at 2018's top stories

Thursday, January 3, 2019 0 Comments


The year 2018 was a memorable and remarkable year for the Town of Miami Lakes, where the town hired a new town manager, three new council members joined the Town Council, a blasting committee was created to recommend changes to resolve residents’ damaged properties and a local high school baseball team won its seventh state title in baseball.
The Miami Laker staff reflects on last year as we list the events that helped shape the town and its residents, and recognized new businesses, students and local teams for their academic and athletic accomplishments.
Council members tap Ed Pidermann as Miami Lakes’ new town manager
The Town Council unanimously picked resident Ed Pidermann, an assistant chief of management service for Broward County’s fire department, as the new town manager.
Council members picked Pidermann over front runner, Ana Garcia, a city manager for North Miami Beach, following residents’ pleas that a town resident should be given the job.
The town and Pidermann agreed to a four-year agreement which includes a $178,000 annual salary, which commences on Monday, February 4.
Three new faces join the Miami Lakes Town Council
Local voters picked two novices, Jeffrey Rodriguez and Carlos O. Alvarez, to serve the Town Council during the November 6 midterm elections.
Rodriguez and Alvarez defeated Xiomara Pazos and Esther Colon, respectively, both who previously ran for political office, while new Council member Josh Dieguez and incumbent Council woman Marilyn Ruano both ran unopposed.
The council members took their oath of office during a ceremony at Miami Lakes Town Hall, and the new council members each promised to keep the city on track like their predecessors, term-limited Tim Daubert and Ceasar Mestre, and Frank Mingo who vacated his seat to run for state representative.
The new council members join Ruano, Mayor Manny Cid, new Vice Mayor Nelson Rodriguez and Councilmember Luis Collazo, whose first biggest task was picking a new town manager to run the day-to-day operations.
Local resident named new top administrator for Bay Harbor Islands
Three weeks before Miami Lakes hired a new town manager, a candidate for the position withdrew from the running after he was appointed the new manager of Bay Harbor Islands.
Bay Harbor’s town council voted last month to appoint JC Jimenez as the new manager to replace Ron Watson, who resigned to become the city manager in Aventura.
Jimenez, who was the assistant town manager for 13 years, began his new job on November 14. The Miami Lakes resident said he was overwhelmed by the town council’s support when it immediately voted to appoint him.
As for the town manager’s position in Miami Lakes, Jimenez said he’s exactly where he needed to be following the support from Bay Harbor Islands. “I know Bay Harbor is the place for me,” he said.
But Miami Lakes will always be his home, he said. “I plan on living in Miami Lakes. “I’m perfectly happy in Miami Lakes and my wife and I are staying to raise our son. I love Miami Lakes.”
Miami Lakes creates blasting committee to push for changes in Tallahassee
Discontent over a study which indicated the rock mining industry is blasting within Florida’s regulations though allegedly causing damages to homes, Miami Lakes has created a committee to push for changes.
Though the state’s Fire Marshall Office regulates blasting, the committee would work with the Miramar Blasting Advisory Committee and other anti-blasting groups to monitor the explosions and residents’ complaints and subsequently recommend changes to state lawmakers in hopes of preventing further damages to residents’ homes, driveways and swimming pools.
Residents in Northwest Miami-Dade said they spent thousands of dollars to repair their homes only for the blasting to cause more problems.
At a Town Council meeting, Councilmember Marilyn Ruano proposed the committee to get local residents active and recommend solutions since they disagreed with the blasting study. The blasting has been an uphill battle for residents in Miami Lakes, Palm Springs North and Miramar for years since the explosions make materials to build roads and building for federal, state and local governments.
Inaugural Jingle Bell Jog 5k attracts 1,500 participants
About 1,5000 runners took part in the first-ever Miami Lakes Jingle Bell Jog on December 1, which honored and showed appreciation for military soldiers and veterans.
Miami Lakes Veterans Committee chairman Nayib Hassan proposed the idea after he ran in the Boston Marathon this year. The five-hour run and walk featured adults and kids ages 3-10, who participated in a distance ranging from 25 meters to 400 meters.
Kids took pictures with Santa Claus and wrote letters to soldiers aboard expressing their appreciation and gratitude for their services to this country.
Though Hassan has never served in the U.S. military, he said America can do more to honor soldiers and veterans for putting their lives on the line for their country.
The event raised more than $30,000, which will also benefit veterans who are suffering from PTSD and MPS Superkids, a foundation for children with Hunters disease. Split Second Timing agreed to host the event for the next three years.
Seven Eleven arrives in Miami Lakes
The long-awaited 7-Eleven store finally opened its doors on August 17 at the corner of Miami Lakes Drive and Fairway Drive. New customers were greeted by tents from the Florida Lottery and the radio station Hits 97.3. Free Slurpees as well as complimentary Monster Energy drinks or Coca-Cola products were also given to event-goers.
Mayor Manny Cid was also in attendance at the grand opening along with his two sons, who were also enjoying the Slurpees to beat the summer heat.
“It was the largest grand opening that I’ve experienced, and actually I think it was the largest that we’ve had in Miami,” said district manager and field consultant for Miami-Dade 7-Eleven stores, Edison Ingram. “We had one of the largest crowds, we had over 1,000 customers come in our store and make a purchase.”
Inaugural Mayor’s Casino Night raises money for a good cause
The Casino Night charity gala, which took place in September at the Roberto Alonso Community Center at Royal Oaks Park, raised more than $18,044 for the town’s Special Needs Advisory Board to provide needed programs and assistance for kids and people with special needs
The “exciting and elegant” evening was filled with music, food, and entertainment to benefit and support the Advisory Board’s mission to create a model town for inclusion of individuals with special needs and connect these individuals with existing programs, services, and events.
Pace baseball wins seventh state title
Pace High School’s baseball team defeated Jacksonville Bolles, 10-4, to win the state championship, as the players and head coach Tom Duffin celebrated their victory in the middle of the field.
The Spartans was seeking revenge for their state title game loss to Bolles in 2016.
It’s the Spartans’ seventh state title and Duffin’s second championship as head coach with Pace.
The Spartans was loaded with a talented roster for the 2018 season.
Senior pitcher Yordani Carmona was named Pitcher of the Year for Class 6A-2A and The Miami Herald All-Dade First Team.
Pace junior infielder Luis Tuero, Robert Moya, senior outfielder Kenny Gonzalez, and senior outfielder Michael Montes also made the All-Dade.
The Spartans finished the regular season strong by winning 15 consecutive games.
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