Posts tagged with "Commissioner"

Samantha Miduri illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

Building Collapse in South Florida

At least eleven people are dead after a building collapse in Surfside, FL. Rescue operations continue.

A condominium partially collapsed in South Florida on June 24, at 1:20 AM. At least half of the 135 units in the 13-story building have collapsed, according to the Miami-Dade mayor Danielle Levine Cava. The Champlain Towers South building was originally shaped like an “L,” but the lower half of that shape was completely sheared off, including the building’s pool and garage. 

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is leading the rescue efforts along with multiple other agencies. The White House and FEMA are also monitoring the situation and will provide assistance to the local officials if needed. 

A woman who resides on the ninth floor recalled her experience to Local 10, “The whole building shook like an earthquake. I opened my sliding glass and I saw a plume of dust and then I opened the door and I saw that the building had pancaked in the back.”

Another resident commented that he and his wife fled to the garage, only to find that the pipes had burst and it was flooded. 

Rescue teams are recovering victims from the rubble, while all tenants in unaffected apartments are being evacuated. Firefighters continue to sift through the wreckage for victims, which includes using dogs and microphones.

“Debris is falling on them as they do their work. We have structural engineers on site to ensure that they will not be injured, but they are proceeding because they are so motivated and they are taking extraordinary risk on the site every day,” says Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, describing the “extreme risk” of the firefighters  dangerous duty.

Over 400 workers are involved in the rescue effort, with up to 200 rescuers searching through debris at all times, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky.

Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett cannot think of a reason for this collapse to have happened, other than an unexpected sinkhole or human interference. While he confirmed that roof work was being done on this building, this is a regular occurrence that he doesn’t believe could have caused the collapse. However, former Surfside Vice Mayor Barry Cohen, a resident of the collapsed building, believes that the roof work actually may have compromised the integrity of the building.

Unfortunately, a thunderstorm has paused all rescue efforts for the time being, according to Commissioner Sally Heyman.

On Saturday, June 26, at least 159 people remained missing. On Monday, two more victims were found. As of Tuesday, June 29, the number of missing persons has decreased to 150.

The Champlain Towers South condominium community have continued to mourn the victims of the tragedy in the days following the harrowing accident.

A third lawsuit has now been filed against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association on behalf of ninth floor resident, Raysa Rodriguez. Rodriguez is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial. The compliant alleges: ““Despite the obvious duties required by Florida law, and this admitted duty of care by the Association’s Declaration and other governing documents, Defendant, through their own reckless and negligent conduct, caused a catastrophic deadly collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside.”

Rodriguez additionally alleged that in 2018, “major structural damages” were outlined in a structural field survey report submitted to the defendant by Morabito Consultants. The compliant is seeking a class action status lawsuit to represent all of the condominium’s victims of the tragic accident.

Rodriguez’ attorney, Adam Schwartzbaum, argued that the building has been aware of these “critical” structural issues for some time, and that warning signs of collapse have been apparent for the last decade. Schwartzbaum says, “Certainly for at least three years, there was a major red flag…sirens flashing, alerting the condo association of this of this danger.” He elaborated in another comment that, “based on our investigation there were many warnings signs more than 10 years ago, maybe even longer. These are not things that were just a few years ago.”

A letter sent from the building’s condo association president reveals that damage to the basement garage of the building had become “significantly worse” since its prior inspection, three years ago. The letter also reveals that the estimated repair costs had risen from $9 million to $15 million, reveals USA Today.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said that President Joe Biden thinks an investigation into the Champlain Towers South collapse should be set in motion.

The harrowing search-and-rescue operation is still currently underway, stretching into day six of the rescue effort.

A family reunification center has been set up for anyone looking for unaccounted or missing relatives at a community center at 9301 Collins Ave. Those searching for their loved ones or to report that they have been located are asked to call 305-614-1819. An emergency information hotline has also been created at 305-993-1071.

Get Loud! illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Get Loud!

GET LOUD! SUMMER CONCERT SERIES TO BRING LIVE MUSIC EVENTS BACK TO W.C. HANDY PARK ON WORLD FAMOUS BEALE STREET IN MEMPHIS

PJ Morton to Headline FREE Concert Series Kickoff on Saturday, June 5


Get Loud! Get Live! Get Here! Marketing Campaign to Feature Summer Anthem from Memphis Artists & GRAMMY-Winning Producer Boo Mitchell

Memphis Tourism, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist DevelopmentDowntown Memphis Commission and Beale Street, will launch a 10-week outdoor music series “Get Loud!” on Beale Street’s biggest stage in downtown Memphis. The LIVE music series kicks off Saturday, June 5 with GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter PJ Morton at the newly renovated W.C. Handy Park outdoor performance space. GET LOUD! will follow with 10 Thursday night concerts starting June 10th and culminating August 12th, 2021. Additional headliners include St. Paul & The Broken BonesDavid Ryan HarrisRebirth Brass BandPaul ThornSon Little and Marc Broussard. The performances will be free and open to the public, pairing a touring headline act with a Memphis based band as opening act.

The GET LOUD! initiative helps ensure the Memphis destination delivers on the brand promise of live and local music for visitors. It also allows Memphis artists, musicians and event production personnel to get back to work all over our city. Memphis Tourism is partnering with existing live music events to designate them as additional Get Loud! activations throughout the year.

“Our goal is to create a unique opportunity to showcase Memphis music by putting silenced artists and musicians back to work and delivering the core motivator that drives visitors to the Memphis destination, and that is music,” said Kevin Kane, President & CEO of Memphis Tourism. “This activation of the Beale Street entertainment district will not only create activity on the street, but in turn, increase overall hotel occupancy, fill our restaurants and venues and extend the length of stay.”

Made possible by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development funding, Memphis Tourism and the State worked together to develop strategic initiatives that will motivate travel and bring visitors back to a state known around the world for multiple genres of music.

“The Soundtrack of America is made in Tennessee, and we’re excited to see our stages and venues filled with fans again and artists back to doing what they love,” said Commissioner Mark Ezell, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “Tourism is vital to our state’s economy. Bringing music back to historic Beale Street every day is an important step in restoring our industry, as well as celebrating the identity and culture that make Memphis so special. We’re grateful to Memphis Tourism and all who helped bring the ‘Get Loud!’ summer concert series to life.”

The lineup for the GET LOUD! concert series features a variety of headline acts, many with connections to Memphis, along with local bands serving as opening acts in the concert series set for Beale Street’s W.C. Handy Park. The thoughtful approach to booking acts has produced a soulful lineup sure to entertain both visitors and locals who visit Beale Street for the concert series. Additional headline, and a full slate of opening acts, will be announced in the coming days. For the most up to date schedule as acts are announced, visit Memphis Travel.

GET LOUD! CONCERT SERIES CALENDAR

Saturday, June 5th

PJ Morton
Marcella & Her Lovers

Thursday, June 10th

St. Paul & The Broken Bones

The MD’s

Thursday, June 17th

David Ryan Harris

Thursday, June 24th

Rebirth Brass Band
Chinese Connection Dub Embassy

Thursday, July 1st

Victor Wooten

Joseph Wooten

Roy “Futureman” Wooten

Regi Wooten

The Wooten Brothers

Dottie

Thursday, July 8th

Paul Thorn

Amy LaVere & Will Sexton

Thursday, July 22nd

Son Little

Thursday, August 12th

Marc Broussard
Turnstyles

“EVERY STORY IS A SONG” MARKETING CAMPAIGN: GET LOUD. GET LIVE. GET HERE

The live music showcase on Beale Street will work in tandem with and be promoted via Memphis Tourism’s planned “Every Story is a Song” digital media campaign, targeting visitors in key drive markets within a 600-mile radius of the Home of the Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll.  The soundtrack to the advertising campaign is a summer anthem penned and performed by Memphis artists at world famous Royal Studios, with Grammy award winning producer Boo

Mitchell as producer on the track. The GET LOUD! campaign anthem will be released via digital platforms in early Summer 2021.

“Our community is rooted in music, and the pandemic has made it hard for many of Memphis’ most creative voices to be heard over the last year, whether performing in venues or even creating new music in the studio,” said Boo Mitchell, a Grammy award winning record producer, musician, songwriter, audio engineer, and owner of the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis. “I have a tremendous amount of civic pride in Memphis. When I was approached about getting involved with this project to produce a song that was a musical invitation to visit our amazing city, I didn’t just say yes, I asked, when can we get started.”

Storytelling within the marketing campaign will be inclusive of all audiences through a variety of channels, emphasizing the current Memphis sound, while giving a nod to the legacy sound that made Memphis a world-famous music city.

“Through this music series and marketing campaign, Memphis Tourism is inviting all visitors, the uninitiated and the indoctrinated, to come be a part of our extended family, to share in our city’s stories and our songs,” said Regena Bearden, Chief Marketing Officer for Memphis Tourism. “We’ve all relished anecdotes from visitors who describe feeling a deep connection to the Memphis sound. It touches your soul, creating a familial feeling, echoing who we are as a city and a destination. When you visit, you become a part of our extended musical family, and you may want to dance too.”

The multi-channel digital campaign will focus on the 600-mile radius key drive markets that, driven by data and research, have demonstrated a solid return by generating hotel room night sales, attraction tickets, restaurant and retail sales. In 2019 Memphis & Shelby County welcomed 12.4 million visitors, accounting for a $3.65 billion economic impact in spending from domestic visitors alone. This spend generated $179.5 million in state tax receipts and $101 million in local tax receipts. The leisure and hospitality industry in Shelby County includes over 2-thousand businesses and supports 49-thousand jobs.

Anywhere you go in Memphis, there’s a story waiting to be told, a song that connects to your heart and stays with your soul. Visitors can make a long weekend of it and celebrate that spirit with live music citywide every day this summer, kicking off with the GET LOUD free concert series in Handy Park. With live music, legendary attractions and Beale Street – plus food that’ll feed your soul – planning a visit to Memphis for an unforgettable music experience is effortless with resources available at Memphis Travel, log on today and feel the Memphis beat.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Football Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Gale Sayers

By Justin Lyons

Hall of Fame running back and Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers died Wednesday at the age of 77.

Sayers played seven seasons, all as a Chicago Bear, racking up 4,956 rushing yards and 39 rushing touchdowns. He played his final regular season game in 1971, retired in 1972 and became the youngest Hall of Fame inductee in NFL history in 1977 at the age of 34.

The news comes via a statement from David Baker, the president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“All those who love the game of football mourn the loss of one of the greatest to ever play this game with the passing of Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers. He was the very essence of a team player – quiet, unassuming and always ready to compliment a teammate for a key block,” Baker said. “Gale was an extraordinary man who overcame a great deal of adversity during his NFL career and life.”

Nicknamed the “Kansas Comet,” Sayers was an easy selection for the Hall of Fame despite injuries shortening his career.

Current NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement saying Sayers will be remembered for his inspiration and kindness.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Ardie and their family. Our thoughts are with his teammates, the Bears organization, the many fans who remember him as a football player and the many more people who were touched by Gale’s spirit and generosity,” Goodell said.

The story of Sayers’ friendship with teammate Brian Piccolo was told in the 1971 film “Brian’s Song,” which starred James Caan and Billy Dee Williams.

Williams, who played Sayers in the film, tweeted, “My heart is broken over the loss of my dear friend, Gale Sayers. Portraying Gale in ‘Brian’s Song’ was a true honor and one of the nightlights of my career. He was an extraordinary human being with the the kindest heart. My sincerest condolences to his family.”

Caan, who played Piccolo, tweeted that he was proud to have known Sayers and also offered his love and condolences to the family.

The New York Times reported in 2017 that Sayers had been battling dementia, but that didn’t stop him from attending the 100th year anniversary celebration of the Chicago Bears in June 2019.

Teammate Dick Butkus, who joined Sayers on stage at that celebration, said,”[I] will miss a great friend who helped me become the player I became because after practicing and scrimmaging against Gale I knew I could play against anybody. We lost one of the best Bears ever, and more importantly, we lost a great person.”

The Bears have added a banner with a photo of Sayers to their website and have changed their Twitter profile picture to Sayers’ famous number 40.