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Miami-Dade And Broward Finish Election Recounts, Local Black Newspaper Expands Amid Pandemic, Making Music In Quarantine

Garth C. Reeves Publisher Emeritus and his daughter Rachel Reeves surrounded by copies of The Miami Times.
Garth C. Reeves Publisher Emeritus and his daughter Rachel Reeves the publisher of The Miami Times, the Times is celebrating its 75th Birthday with a week of events.

Election recounts in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Florida's largest Black-owned newspaper is thriving. And how students are making music in quarantine.

On this Monday, Nov. 16, episode of Sundial:

Miami-Dade And Broward Finish Election Recounts

Florida’s elections went very smoothly — for the state’s standards.

There weren’t any major issues with early voting or counting mail-in ballots throughout the state. But, there were several local races that came to razor-thin margins and required recounts.

You turn to WLRN for reporting you can trust and stories that move our South Florida community forward. Your support makes it possible. Please donate now. Thank you.

In Miami-Dade County, Latinas for Trump co-founder Ileana Garcia won the seat for Senate District 37 by just 34 votes, after a manual recount, unseating Democratic incumbent José Javier Rodríguez.

A third-party candidate for this seat, Alex Rodriguez, who did not actively campaign, received 6,300 votes — likely influencing the outcome of the race. He is part of a group of unknown candidates with no party affiliation that were linked to political mail ads aimed at confusing voters.

An investigation by WPLG Local 10, and reports from the Miami Herald and Orlando Sentinel, found evidence that he and other third-party candidates were backed by dark money.

“There’s some pretty strong suggestions that there was some behind-the-scenes things going on to try to take some votes away from a Democratic candidate in this race,” said WLRN’s Danny Rivero on Sundial. “What they did is not illegal. It’s definitely ethically questionable but not illegal.

In Broward, nearly 177,000 ballots were reviewed by hand at the county's voting equipment center in Lauderhill. The count finished Friday afternoon, determining a few local races.

“They were not looking at every single ballot in this race, they were looking at the ballots that when a machine reads them they’re considered undervotes because the machine reads them as blank, so a human has to review those, then the overvotes, and that happens when people make strange markings or appear to vote more than one candidate in a race,” said WLRN’s Caitie Switalski Muñoz on WLRN Sundial.

Miami-Dade & Broward Finish Election Recounts
Chair of the Miami-Dade Democrats and layer Steve Simeonidis looks a ballot with a magnifier during manual recount for Senate District 37 between Republican Ileana Garcia and Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez at Miami-Dade Elections Department on Thursday, November 12, 2020, in Miami, Florida.

Local Black Newspaper Expands Amid Pandemic

One of the country’s largest Black newspapers was founded in Miami by a Bahamian immigrant in 1923.

The Miami Times weekly paper was initially printed one page at a time on a small hand press from Henry E. S. Reeves’ modest Miami home. It has survived for decades, publishing the first drafts of South Florida and U.S. history — protests, social change, economic downturns, elections and the list goes on.

The paper has been passed down through the family and today it’s run by Reeves' great-grandson Garth Reeves III.

Earlier this year, he purchased the Biscayne Times and signed off on a $1.5 million renovation project for the Miami Times building. All of this, at a time when most newspapers are cutting corners and dealing with financial setbacks.

"I'm just further realizing my family's mission and remaining steadfast to tell the stories of the community, be the voice of our readers, get the news out to the people," said Reeves. “We focus on the issues, ideas, themes that matter most and impact [the Black community] the greatest, we're their voice often times to get their feelings, their perspectives, out to the rest of the world.”

We spoke with him about being the publisher of this historic newspaper and his plans to continue to build his family’s legacy.

Local Black Newspaper Expands Amid Pandemic
Garth Reeves III’s mother, Rachel, and grandfather, Garth Sr., groomed him to be the publisher of The Miami Times. By purchasing the Biscayne Times, he’s showing why.

Making Music In Quarantine

The University of Miami’s Frost School of Music is putting the cameras on their teachers and students to show the world how young musicians continue to create music during a pandemic.

“When you’re an audience member, you see a concert and you think 'Man that was great.’ But now this gives the viewer and the listener the story of how did we get to those moments? How did these songs get written?,” said Daniel Strange, the director of contemporary keyboard studies at the school.

He had the idea for students to document their practice, songwriting and performance over the past several months.

“I did not perform a lot this summer, which is how I typically spend my summers, so having the opportunity to do that, I was going to take that 100 percent,” said Jillian Hobaica, who is a student at the Frost School of Music and is in the American Music Ensemble program.

The students' rock documentary airs next Monday.

Making Music In Quarantine
Johnny Linton, a music student, performs at the Gateways Music Festival's Youth Showcase Concert

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.