Long lines for Miami’s grocery gift card giveaway shows need — but why only Publix?

Miami’s city government has spent about $2.3 million of federal COVID-19 relief funds on grocery gift cards to give to residents, part of a series of financial assistance programs meant to help those hurting in the pandemic — but some commissioners are questioning the administration’s decision to only purchase from Publix.

Long lines seen at distribution locations across each of the city of Miami’s five districts this week show a great need among residents. At an event this week, Mayor Francis Suarez noted the difficulty with serving a limited number of people with available funds.

“We were able to help 500 people in our community get much needed support and help for their groceries during this difficult time,” Suarez said on Wednesday. “It’s very sad to see how many people came and the fact that we had to limit people.”

The limitations created by only distributing Publix gift cards are also resonating in some districts where people shop at stores that are more affordable and closer to their homes, such as Sedano’s Supermarket, Presidente Supermarket, Fresco y Más and Milam’s Market.

“For most of the elderly we have, Publix is just too far and more expensive,” said Commissioner Joe Carollo, who represents Little Havana, the Roads and part of Shenandoah.

The city chose Publix as the sole vendor for the first bulk purchase, which came with a 5% discount on each card, according to administrators. On 10,000 cards worth $250 each, Publix discounted $12.50 per card. John Heffernan, the city’s deputy director of communications, said the city initially bought the first batch of cards from Publix “because of their ability to meet the tight time constraints required to quickly implement the programs.”

The money for the gift cards came after Miami-Dade County disbursed federal CARES Act relief funds in November. The city has until Dec. 31 to spend the money, under federal rules. With about $1.2 million out of $3.55 million left to purchase cards, the city might make some changes.

Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla is sponsoring a resolution on the Dec. 10 commission agenda that would give the city flexibility to purchase VISA cash cards of different amounts that would allow people to go to their preferred market, or perhaps to purchase medicine.

By providing cards of $100 to $125, Díaz de la Portilla said the money could be stretched farther to reach more households.

“The residents are the ones that should have the choice of where to shop and what they need to buy. Not government,” Díaz de la Portilla told the Miami Herald. “This should only be about what’s best for our residents.”

The commissioner said residents in his district, which includes Allapattah and Grapeland Heights, would be better served if they could take gift cards to their local preferred markets — especially those without cars who walk to the nearest market.

“Maybe it’s easier to go to one vendor and buy everything, but why not go to local vendors in our community?” Díaz

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New MIT COVID Model Shows How Long People May Really Be Safe Indoors

An interactive model created by researchers at MIT aims to create a more complex understanding of how safe people are from coronavirus while indoors that takes into account factors beyond how far apart people are.

a large green field in front of a building: People stand on the lawn outside Building 10 on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 20, 2020. College financial aid offices are bracing for a spike in appeals from students finding that the aid packages they were offered for next year are no longer enough after the coronavirus pandemic cost their parents jobs or income. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

© Bloomberg via Getty Images

People stand on the lawn outside Building 10 on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 20, 2020. College financial aid offices are bracing for a spike in appeals from students finding that the aid packages they were offered for next year are no longer enough after the coronavirus pandemic cost their parents jobs or income. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The researchers, Kasim Khan, John W. M. Bush and Martin Z. Bazant, say that evidence suggests staying at least six feet apart in social settings may not be completely effective in protecting against airborne transmission of coronavirus, especially as time goes by.


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Their model calculates “safe exposure times and occupancy levels for indoor spaces” based on a series of other factors, like time, room size, humidity and the behavior of those inside it.

For example, in a restaurant, the model projects that 50 occupants would be safe for two hours, while 100 people would be safe for only 64 minutes. Current general social distancing guidelines suggest 138 people would be safe in the same size of space for an indefinite amount of time, the research notes.

Similarly, the model suggests that two people would be safe for eight days in a church, 25 occupants would be protected for four hours, and 100 people would be safe for only two hours. However, guidelines for merely staying six feet apart indicate 52 people would be safe in that setting for an unlimited period of time.

The model cites a July article in the journal Nature that governments’ advice for the coronavirus hadn’t adapted to new understanding that the virus is airborne.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have since confirmed that the virus can be spread through aerosols, which “can linger in the air for minutes to hours” and travel farther than six feet.

CDC guidance now notes that the virus can “spread through exposure to those virus-containing respiratory droplets comprised of smaller droplets and particles that can remain suspended in the air over long distances (usually greater than 6 feet) and time (typically hours).”

Asher Klein contributed to this report.

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Michigan model shows a different side of romance scams

DETROIT – Tom Ernsting radiates the kind of handsome silver-fox good looks of a character right off the Hallmark Channel, just the sort of guy that plenty of women would love to meet.

a man standing in front of a building: Tom Ernsting has built up a following of more than 150,000 on Instagram but his image has been used repeatedly by romance scammers to rip off women who are looking for love.

© Tom Ernsting
Tom Ernsting has built up a following of more than 150,000 on Instagram but his image has been used repeatedly by romance scammers to rip off women who are looking for love.

Unfortunately, Ernsting has heard from way too many scorned women.


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“They scream at me and they yell at me for ruining their lives,” said Ernsting, 60, who has a summer home in South Haven, Michigan, and spends the winter in Naples, Florida.

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“The stories I’ve heard are insane.” 

One woman claims she handed over her credit card information to him and then he racked up $30,000 in charges.

Election 2020: Kamala Harris may finally change how corporate America sees and treats Black women

Coming soon: Chipotle Mexican Grill to open its first digital-only location

Others were upset that they sent him $500 to help him get across the border into the United States so that he could travel to see them but he never showed up. Some claim they lost money after they put cash on Apple iTunes gift cards to send to him. 

“It’s just crazy,” Ernsting said. “It definitely took off during COVID because I think people were even more desperate and more lonely. 

“It’s sad because they fall in love with me.” 

Ernsting, who has worked as a professional model, says he did not reach out to these women via social media or dating apps and he doesn’t have their money.

Ernsting does have a significant social media presence that scammers have impersonated in order to steal money from women who are desperately looking for love.

Sometimes, he’s heard from a dozen upset women in a day who say they’ve been scammed by crooks using his pictures. 

Some sexy shots online only make some copycat accounts more intriguing. 

TMZ online highlighted Ernsting’s shirtless look doing yardwork in August under the headline “Hot Dad Alert.” TMZ said it “teamed up with smokeshows from around the world to create some eye-popping photo galleries with a DIY flare.” 

The TMZ report noted: “When Tom Ernsting isn’t sharing these dirty photos for you to plant yourself in front of, he loves to explore the world, focus on his fitness regime and spend quality time with his son.” 

Sorry to be blunt, but is a guy whose buff photos are highlighted on TMZ going to be looking for love on Facebook? Really? 

Ernsting, who grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan, retired early from a job as a sales executive in the hotel industry but then went to work as a model and freelance event manager. The pandemic hurt the event business, he says, but modeling is picking up some. 

He has built

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Patrick Mahomes Shows Off 1 of His Very Colorful New Accessories With a Jaw-Dropping Price Tag

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has arguably had the best 2020 of anyone on planet Earth. After leading his team to a Super Bowl victory in February, Mahomes signed the biggest contract in sports history. He’s also made some major announcements about his personal life with his girlfriend, Brittany Matthews. Life is so good for Mahomes that he treated himself to a new accessory that has a jaw-dropping price tag.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs star QB Patrick Mahomes | Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Patrick Mahomes signed a $503 million contract

After leading the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl victory in 50 years, Mahomes signed a 10-year contract extension worth $503 million. According to NFL.com, the deal included $477 million of guarantees plus another $25 million in potential bonuses.

Mahomes is the first athlete in history to sign a half-billion dollar contract. He is also the first NFL player to be the highest-paid athlete in the sports world.

“I’ve had the privilege of coaching a lot of incredible athletes and special people in my career, and Patrick is without question on that list of players.” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “The best part is he’s still early in his career. He’s a natural leader and always grinding, whether that’s on the field, in the weight room or watching film, he wants to be the best.”

The long-term contract comes on the heels of Mahomes and Matthews purchasing their first home in Kansas City. It appears the Texas natives and high school sweethearts are setting down roots in the midwest.

A wedding and a baby are coming soon

On the same day that Mahomes received his Super Bowl ring from the Kansas City Chiefs, the 25-year-old offered up another piece of jewelry to Matthews. Mahomes proposed to Matthews in a luxury suite at Arrowhead Stadium, and the couple documented the event on Instagram.

Matthews posted pics that featured the luxury suit decorated in white roses and a lighted sign that read, “Will you marry me?” The fitness trainer and former soccer player also showed off her diamond engagement ring.

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes and Brittany Matthews Are Engaged! From Prom to the Super Bowl — a Look Back at Their Fairytale Romance

A few weeks later, the couple had more news to share. Mahomes and Matthews revealed that they were expecting their first child. They both shared the news on their Instagram pages by showing off a sonogram pic.

Later, the couple revealed that they are expecting a baby girl. Both Mahomes and Matthews posted pics and videos of their gender reveal that featured their two dogs, Steel and Silver.

Patrick Mahomes loves high-priced accessories

After signing a half-billion dollar contract, Mahomes purchased a share of the Kansas City Royals, and he also tricked out his new $2 million home with a special room for his massive 180-pair shoe collection.

Mahomes also dropped some serious cash for a special Rolex watch. According to GQ magazine, cameras recently spotted the

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Sharon Stone shows off legs in black lingerie, says she’s ‘astounded’ to model at 62

At 62, Sharon Stone’s modeling career is flourishing and she’s grateful for every minute of it.

Sharon Stone posing for the camera: Sharon Stone, 62, is a working model. (Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

© Provided by Yahoo Entertainment US
Sharon Stone, 62, is a working model. (Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

On Friday, the Basic Instinct star shared a photo of herself wearing a black bodysuit that showed off her long legs and décolletage while perched on a couch under a portrait of Marilyn Monroe.

“My friend and brilliant stylist @paris_libby sent me this today,” she captioned the photo. “I am not only astounded but grateful that I am still modeling at 62, La Dolce Vita.Thx to everyone who hired me this year.”

In addition to starring in hit films like Casino and Sliver, Stone has graced many magazine covers and earlier in her career, fronted hair and beauty campaigns.

But the star, who recently called BS on the cliché “Looks don’t matter” calling it “a big, fat, stupid lie” in an interview with the Guardian, is more concerned with public health. In November, Stone and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the Institutes for Allergies and Infectious Disease, were honored at the virtual Research in Action Awards. There, Stone was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in AIDS Advocacy — one of the actress’s numerous accolades for her philanthropy work.

This year, after Stone’s little sister Kelly Stone Singer and her husband tested positive for COVID-19, the star wrote a social media post lashing out at those who don’t wear face masks, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deem critical to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The couple later tested negative for the virus.

However, one subject that doesn’t earn Stone’s attention is love. In December, the mother-of-three revealed that her Bumble dating profile had been suspended when users reported it for being fake. However, the issue was quickly revolved and as the app later tweeted, “Looks like our users thought you were too good to be true.” 

The actress, who was married twice (first to producer Michael Greenburg whom she separated in 1987, then to journalist Phil Bronstein, whom she divorced in 2004) recently threw in the towel. “I’m done dating. I’ve had it with dating,” she told Drew Barrymore in Oct. on the actress’s daytime talk show. “I don’t want any insincerity and baloney and game-playing.”

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U.S. women’s national soccer team shows support for Black Lives Matter

The U.S. women’s national soccer team faced off against the Netherlands Friday in its first game in almost nine months  — and did so while protesting racial injustice and demanding “that the liberties and freedoms that our country was founded on extend to everyone.”

a person standing in front of a crowd: Netherlands USA Soccer

© Dean Mouhtaropoulos / AP
Netherlands USA Soccer

In a 50-second video posted on Twitter, the team showed off their jackets, which had “Black Lives Matter” spread across the front over lines of red and blue. 

“As a team we work towards a society where the American ideals are upheld, and Black lives are no longer systemically targeted,” team members narrated throughout the video. “We collectively acknowledge injustice, as that is the first step in working towards correcting it.” 

The team concluded their video message with a tribute to former congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, who died in July. They reiterated Lewis’ quote that urges “good trouble” as a way to stand up to unjust issues.

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, say something. Do something. Get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble.” 

USWNT defender Crystal Dunn posted a separate message of support on Friday, saying, “it is our duty to demand that the liberties and freedoms that our country was founded on extend to everyone.” 

“We protest against racial injustice and police brutality against Black people,” Dunn wrote. “We protest against the racist infrastructures that do not provide equal opportunity for Black and Brown people to fulfill their dreams, including playing on this team.”

Prior to the start of Friday’s game, several players — while donning their Black Lives Matter jackets — kneeled during the national anthem. 

Friday’s game was the U.S. team’s first match abroad since they defeated the Netherlands 2-0 to claim their fourth World Cup title in 2019. The U.S. defeated the Netherlands again on Friday with the same score. 

The U.S. women’s soccer team has not shied away from taking a stand on social justice issues in the past. One of the team’s most famous fights is the one for equal pay and an end to gender discrimination within U.S. Soccer. 

After U.S. Soccer responded to a lawsuit in March by saying the women’s team had less responsibility than the men’s and that men’s soccer requires more skill, the women’s team responded by wearing their warm-up jerseys inside out, hiding the U.S. Soccer crest, at the SheBelieves Cup.

A judge dismissed the claims for equal pay, but the team’s allegations of gender discrimination are still being tried. 

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Watch On the Rocks | SAINt JHN Shows Off His Insane Jewelry Collection | GQ Video | CNE | Gq.com

I promised my account

I wasn’t gonna take my rap money and buy jewelry.

I don’t know if I lied to her

or she lied to me, but I’m doing a lot now.

[upbeat music]

What’s up GQ, this is SAINt John,

you’re finally watching on the rocks.

A lot of leather pants.

[upbeat music]

In my neighborhood, all the rappers

and drug dealers had jewelry.

I didn’t see it growing up.

It’s not like I saw like my uncle,

all of my uncles with them.

What’s the statue of limitation

or some of these[beep] I’m talking about.

[upbeat music] [chains jingling]

This I like, this is my favorite.

I don’t wanna have favorites,

I don’t want to be one of those parents

that chooses one of their kids as a favorite.

But this is my favorite I don’t care

What y’all [beep] talk.

You see all the detailing, the hand engraving,

you see the scholes that repetition is just sic.

The oxidization, I don’t even know

if that’s exactly what it is

but I like saying words that people aren’t familiar with.

It was oxidized, Google it.

We got this from Thailand.

We have to import it.

I found it online and I was like, this is special.

This was before I even knew what Chrome I really was.

[upbeat music] [chains jingling]

This is one of my favorites.

Although you just heard me say

that’s my favorite it’s favorite for different reasons.

That’s my favorite for aggression

and this is my favorite for all of my childhood dreams.

You see, my adult dreams, my childhood dreams,

my adult dreams, my childhood dreams.

My childhood dreams were platinum,

my adult dreams are silver.

[chains jingling]

This is the Rockefeller chain.

This is the Rockefeller pennant, the last original one.

At least that’s what Bigs told me.

He ain’t be lying to me so.

One of my very first earliest moments of making music

I was listening to volume three, Jay Z.

I remember watching religiously him

on the steps wearing the Rockefeller pennant

and that culture being from Brooklyn, that’s everything.

If you got one of these around your neck

you’re somebody that somebody should know.

Bigs gave me this the night I was leaving

to go to Guyana to go see my mom.

The government, everything was shut down.

And he said he ain’t wanna wait no longer

’cause life ain’t promised and time is short.

He left the room and I cried I ain’t gonna lie,

I cried for like 15 whole minutes straight.

Quote me on it.

I feel like I didn’t spend enough time telling you

what this really means to me.

This needs its own 45 minute segment.

Don’t expect me to give you some sort of fanciful quotation.

that’s gonna help you understand what this means.

This is the whole culture.

These are all the hustlers that made it out,

kept their word and had integrity.

This 12 year old me.

You did

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Now streaming: Amy Adams in ‘Hillbilly Elegy,’ a new ‘Black Beauty,’ holiday shows and more

Here’s what’s new on Video on Demand, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other services.

Top streams of the week

Hillbilly Elegy” (2020, R), based on the bestselling memoir by J.D. Vance, stars Gabriel Basso as a Yale law student drawn back to Northern Kentucky to deal with his meth-addict mother (Amy Adams) and confront the dead-end life he escaped. Haley Bennett, Freida Pinto and Glenn Close co-star and Ron Howard directs. (Netflix)

Paul Bettany is “Uncle Frank” (2020, R) in Alan Ball’s road movie about a closeted gay literature professor in 1969 New York who reluctantly returns to his South Carolina home with his niece (Sophia Lillis) for a family funeral. (Amazon Prime)

Charlize Theron plays Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman is Gretchen Carlson in “Bombshell“ (2019, R), based on the true story of a scandal at Fox News. Margot Robbie and John Lithgow co-star in the film that won an Oscar for makeup and hairstyling. (Amazon Video and Hulu)

Also based on a true story, contemporary war thriller “Mosul” (2019, not rated, with subtitles) follows an Iraqi SWAT team that breaks all the rules to drive ISIS out of their city. (Netflix)

Mackenzie Foy is the spirited teenage girl who bonds with a wild horse (voiced by Kate Winslet) in the new adaptation of “Black Beauty” (2020, TV-PG). (Disney+)

Kaley Cuoco is “The Flight Attendant” (TV-MA) in the eight-episode comic murder mystery. Three episodes are available; new episodes arrive each Thursday. (HBO Max)

Saved by the Bell: Season 1” (TV-14) updates the 1990s high school sitcom with original stars Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as adults with their own kids. Three episodes are available; new episodes each Tuesday. (Peacock)

Holiday trimmings

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” (2020, not rated) is a holiday musical with Christine Baranski as a Scrooge-like cynic and Parton (who also produced and wrote 14 original songs) as an angel named Angel. (Netflix)

The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two” (2020, TV-PG), a sequel to the 2018 adventure directed by Chris Columbus, features Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus joining a pair of kids to (what else?) save Christmas. (Netflix)

The romantic comedy “Happiest Season” (2020, PG-13) stars Kristen Stewart as a woman at her girlfriend’s (Mackenzie Davis) family Christmas dinner who discovers she hasn’t come out to her parents. (Hulu)

Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand

Diane Lane and Kevin Costner play grandparents who, after the death of their son, go on a mission to rescue their grandson from a criminal family in “Let Him Go” (2020, R).

Stardust” (2020, not rated) stars Johnny Flynn as young David Bowie at the beginning of his career.


True stories: “Shawn Mendes: In Wonder” (2020, not rated) profiles the top-selling singer-songwriter on his world tour and “Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” (2020) goes behind

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Model Halima Aden quits fashion shows over religious beliefs | Fashion

The model Halima Aden has said she is quitting runway shows because working in fashion has forced her to compromise her religious beliefs.

Aden, who was hailed as a trailblazer for being one of the first models to wear a hijab and walk for major fashion labels including Kanye West’s Yeezy, posted a series of images on social media that illustrated the times she had lost touch with who she is (from missing prayer times to being draped with pairs of jeans for a head covering).

“I can only blame myself for caring more about opportunity than what was actually at stake,” she wrote on Instagram Stories.

The model shared a post of herself in a campaign for Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, writing: “(Rihanna) let me wear the hijab I brought to set. This is the girl I’m returning to, the real Halima.”

In another post, Aden spoke about the feeling that comes from being “a minority within a minority”, adding: “What I do blame the industry for is the lack of Muslim women stylists.” She said this had led to very little understanding of the hijab within the fashion industry.

Last year, she told the Observer that her hijab was a non-negotiable in her contract with the modelling agency IMG. “It’s not because I don’t think people are going to listen – it’s more so they know what to expect,” she said. In other social media posts, Aden wrote about feeling the weight of being the most high-profile modest fashion model.

“Fellow Muslim sisters would send me DMs and even publicly tag me at the start of my career to say ‘stop dressing like an old woman’… which made me feel like I was doing something wrong … I remember wanting to be the ‘hot hijabi’ as if that didn’t just defeat the whole purpose,” she wrote. “A hot mess is what it was truthfully.”

Aden shot to fame in 2016 following her turn in the Miss USA beauty pageant, when she caught the eye of the fashion editor Carine Roitfeld. She soon signed to the global modelling agency IMG and made her runway debut at New York fashion week where she walked for Kanye West’s Yeezy and Maxmara.

Eighteen months ago, Halima set conversations about modesty and fashion alight with both critics and supporters when she became the first headscarf-wearing model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

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Canucks player kicks bride in the face at wedding reception during sultry dance, viral TikTok video shows

This newlywed really kicked up his heels at the reception.

Professional hockey player Adam Gaudette showed off his (failed) dance moves in a TikTok video taken at his wedding that has gone viral. In it, Gaudette accidentally kicks his bride, Micaela, in the face during their reception.

In the short clip, which has been viewed nearly 100,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks center is seen shirtless sauntering up to his bride, who is sitting in a chair. He begins what appears to be a sultry dance of sorts.

After the short lap dance, the groom begins to show off by kicking his leg over the bride’s head – only to fall short and accidentally kick her in the face.


In an extended version of the incident, the groom immediately stops and begins kissing his bride before ushering her off of the dance floor.

“I seem fine but my head was throbbing and I went into the bathroom and cried for a little,” the bride wrote in text over the video, along with a happy face emoji.

Adam Gaudette might want to retire his dancing career. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Adam Gaudette might want to retire his dancing career. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)


“He felt insanely bad but it was fine because we ended up partying until 8 am with our best friends,” a caption for the video read. The shorter clip’s caption read, “How my husband ruined our wedding part 1.”

The video was posted last week. According to Micaela’s Instagram, the pair got married on June 20. It is unclear where the wedding took place or what coronavirus regulations were enforced.


Those who watched the hilariously botched burlesque on TikTok sympathized with the bride, commenting “I would’ve cried from the embarrassment and pain. Oh my god.”

Another gushed, “I love how concerned he was immediately for you though like goals.”

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