An ostentation of peacocks have been arrested in Coconut Grove for orchestrating a fraud ring that has scammed local residents out of millions.

According to he City of Miami Police Sergeant Emanuel Goodman, the gang of peacocks, known locally as “The Cock Ring”, would jump in front of drivers texting from luxury vehicles on Old Cutler Road, feign injuries, and agree to “settle” out of court for amounts upwards of $7,000. “The peacocks have been running the scam for several years, and would successfully target dozens of vehicles every day.”

The scheme was orchestrated by 4-year-old peacock and life-long Grove resident George Abromowitz, who issued the following statement, over and over, at the top of his bird lungs, at his arraignment this morning:

“QUEEEH QUEEEH QUEEEH QUEEEEH QUEEEH QUEEEH!”

Trial is set for May.

After failing to raise the private funds needed to complete the partially-built Frost Science Museum, the museum’s board has voted to liquidate the project’s existing assets.

The majority of the site has been purchased by and will be converted into a Panther Coffee. “While we were looking forward to bringing a world-class science museum to Miami, we simply could not raise the funds needed to complete the project and have been forced to liquidate the museum’s assets,” said an irritated Phillip Frost. “Apparently Panther Coffee is the only local institution anyone has any interest in supporting,” the disgruntled billionaire added.

The announcement that the museum site will become the local coffee-shop’s fourth location has been met with near universal celebration from the community. “Panther Coffee is like a Miami institution, so a downtown location is super great news,” said self-described “cultural curator” Emilio Zemora. “Fuck science,” he added.

Groups of cigarette-smoking, tattooed locals in high-waisted leggings and fedoras have already begun to line up near the former museum site in anticipation of the coffee-shop’s grand opening.

In a separate transaction, actress and Neutrogena spokesperson Hayden Pannettiere has purchased the domed building adjacent to the science center that was slated to be the site of a world-class planetarium. The actress plans to convert the planetarium into the “Hayden Pannettierium”, a movie house that will feature Pannettiere-centric content such as old Heroes and Nashville re-runs and weekly-showings of “I Love You, Beth Cooper”.

“The Hayden Panettierium will be the only planetarium named after Hayden Panettiere,” the actress told reporters three-times-fast.

UPDATE: The Plantain has been informed that Neil Degrasse Tyson, director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, has filed suit against Hayden Panettiere for trademark infringement, alleging that “the Hayden Panettierium is too similar to the Hayden Planetarium and that Hayden Panettiere needs to de-Panettierium her planetarium if she wants to operate in this millennium.”

A video of Lake Worth resident Cara Jennings berating Governor Rick Scott at a Gainesville Starbuck for being the biggest asshole in the whole goddamn state has gone viral and caused the world to cheer. “I wish it were me who called him an asshole”, said literally every person in the entire state of Florida. But the Plantain’s investigatory team has discovered that Ms. Jenning’s impromptu tirade against Florida’s serpentine governor may have ultimately been to Governor Scott’s benefit.

“I saw him walk in, and I was like ‘oh, I hate that guy…I should totally shit in his coffee'”, said 19-year-old Starbucks barista Jason Ireland. “When he walked up to the register and ordered a mocha latte, for Christ’s sake, I just knew I had to do it. It was like my civic doody“, giggled the blood-shot-eyed teenager.

But Mr. Ireland’s dastardly plan was derailed when Ms. Jennings started screaming at Governor Scott. “At first I was pretty thrilled about it, because it gave me cover to duck behind the counter and start shitting in that jerk’s cup, but the lady just kept calling him an asshole over and over and over again. He eventually just left without even taking his drink. I was pretty bummed.”

When asked why he was so intent on defecating in the Governor’s drink, Mr. Ireland explained that Governor Scott has been one of the biggest disasters the State of Florida has ever seen. “He has purposefully made it harder for women and the poor to get the healthcare coverage they need and has supported policies that have done irreparable harm to our environment,” said the part-time coffee maker.

“I just wanted to give him something to justify that shit-eating grin he always has on,” the barista added.

Baseball is back in Miami. As the Boys of Summer prepare to take the publicly-financed fields for what will undoubtedly be another non-competitive season, they will be joined by never-Hall-of-Famer Barry Bonds, the controversial all-time home run champion whose playing career was plagued by allegations of rampant steroid use.

“I’m very excited to work with the team and to be back on the field,” said Mr. Bonds, whose head is surprisingly large. “I think I can have a real impact on Giancarlo Stanton’s game. He reminds me a lot of myself during the 1989 season, right before I put on 80 pounds of muscle through hard work and a healthy lifestyle”, Mr. Bonds said with a wink.

“Barry is a legend and the whole team is so grateful to be able to work with him. He has already taught us all so much” said Mr. Stanton, as he pulled down his pants, bent over a chair, and had a Marlins trainer inject him with what he assured us was “just a B-12 shot.”

“We’re going to be more competitive than people think,” said new head coach Don Mattingly. “We’re ready for the season. We have put in thousands of vials worth of hard work. We’re ready for this.”

Speaking from a podium outside of the Trump Doral National Golf Course, presidential hopeful Donald Trump fielded questions from reporters on a wide array of issues including immigration, national security, and the economy. “It’s time for us to come together as a nation so we can work to create a more inclusive and just society,” the leading Republican candidate told a jubilant and hopeful crowd of supporters.

Mr. Trump acknowledged during his speech that the country was divided, but warned his supporters not to fall into the trap of targeting disadvantaged groups as scapegoats for the nation’s many problems:

“It would be disingenuous for me to argue that our economy has not improved under President Obama’s leadership. But nevertheless, there are steps that we need to take as a nation to continue to build upon President Obama’s successes. This necessarily includes taking a look at how we deal with immigrants moving to the country, our trade deals with foreign nations, and the impact that terrorism has or may have on our ever-changing global economy,” said an inspiring Mr. Trump. “I do not claim to have all the answers, and you shouldn’t believe anyone who tells you that they do. But I promise that, if elected, I will work diligently to find the best solutions to these nuanced and difficult questions.”

When asked by a Plantain reporter whether he was concerned that he would lose supporters by taking such a mature and nuanced approach to solving the many complex domestic and foreign policy issues facing the country, Mr. Trump said he was not concerned. “Who would criticize me for taking serious issues seriously?,” asked Mr. Trump rhetorically. “Not even Lyin’ Ted Cruz or his ugly wife would stoop so low,” remarked Mr. Trump, who then spent the next 15 minutes assuring the reporters that his dick was “quite large.”

Joining the ranks of San Francisco County’s quail and Westchester County’s blue jay, Miami-Dade County has announced the Construction Crane as the official bird of Miami-Dade County.

The Miami Latin Builder’s Association worked with District 5 Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro to sponsor the bill that gave the Construction Crane — Latin name brickellium structurous enormii — its new title.

“The Construction Crane just seems to be, to me, a better representative bird for our city,” he told The Plantain. “I mean, just look at our downtown skyline! Look at it! No, not the LED dancing woman, the structure to the right.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez signed the official proclamation into law last summer. It went into effect on January 1.

“I am super excited for this event,” said Adrien Powers, a third-year history major at FIU with no business experience or technical skills. “I have a start-up tech company—it’s an app that delivers skinny jeans to customers. It’s like the Uber of jeans. It’s called Tight—and I think attending this event will give me the connections I need to finally close my series-A funding round.”

The event, of course, is Manny Medina’s annual eMerge Americas conference, the premier event for Miami’s start-up community. Started in 2014, the conference’s aim is to introduce Miami to the global technological community by positioning it as a hub for Latin America technology. “This is really a wonderful event for Miami’s robust tech community, which absolutely exists”, said Manuel Astaraga, a spokesperson for eMerge Americas. “All you have to do is look at the incredible list of speakers participating in the conference this year, and you can see that our focus is on attracting serious tech talent to Miami.”

This year’s event brings a proverbial Who’s Who of the Country’s leading tech minds to Miami, including former presidential mistress Monica Lewinsky, aging skateboarder Tony Hawk, and sort-of-rapper Pitbull.

“It is such a great honor to speak at the eMerge Americas conference,” said Lewinsky, who, after a very public affair in the 1990’s with then President Bill Clinton, become an internationally renowned computer scientist specializing in R/Python and who has taught courses at MIT and Cal Tech on Haskell, Scheme, Erlang, F# and SML. “My presentation will be primarily technical. I think a lot of young local developers will learn something from it.”

Similarly, Tony Hawk sees the eMerge Americas conference as an opportunity to impart his unique expertise on an eager Miami audience. “Most people don’t know this, but I’m an equity partner at Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and have a long history of putting together high-valuation deals for emerging technologies. I want to impart some of my wisdom on Miami’s growing tech community.”

But for Mr. Powers, he is most excited to hear from Miami’s own Pitbull. “He’s really an inspiration,” said Powers, who admits that his app idea is “really just in his head at this point” but is nevertheless convinced he is ready to close on a 7-figure funding round.

Pitbull, proving as always to be blissfully self-aware, admitted that he doesn’t have technological or business expertise at the level of Ms. Lewinsky and Mr. Hawk, but was using the conference as a platform to announce his candidacy for Mayor of Miami-Dade County.

“Miami knows technology,” said Mr. 305. “Dale Dade”.

eMerge Americas is on April 18 and 19. Monica Lewinsky, Tony Hawk, and Pitbull are actually speaking there. Hearing them will cost you $425.00

It was an odd scene at the Miami-Dade County Commission on Monday during what was supposed to be a “workshop” on a Campaign Finance Disclosure Ordinance now scheduled to be voted on in April. The Ordinance, which simply requires City and County Commissioners and candidates for those offices to disclose successful solicitations they make on behalf of political action committees and 501(c)(4) entities, was sent to be workshopped after members of the Commission balked last February at the idea of passing an ordinance that would make it more difficult for them to raise money on behalf of PACs anonymously. “I see no need for reform,” said 18-year Commission veteran Bruno Barreiro. The Commission unanimously agreed to postpone a vote on the ordinance so they could undertake a “serious and detailed discussion” on the proposed reform.

Yet at Monday’s workshop, the Commission was nearly empty, as eleven of the thirteen County Commissioners were absent. Only Commissioner Xavier Suarez and the Ordinance’s sponsor, Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, were present. The two heard testimony in favor of the reform from the public and the Commission on Public Ethics, and were informed by the County Attorney that the ordinance mirrors requirements already imposed on State legislatures and the Governor’s Office. “You would think that if its good enough for Rick Scott it would also be good enough for the Miami-Dade County Commission,” remarked Kendall resident Louisa Henley.

A skeptical Plantain reporter reached out to the 11 absent Commissioners for an explanation as to why they skipped the workshop they themselves insisted occur, and was shocked to learn that each Commissioner had a perfectly valid and understandable excuse for missing the public meeting.

District 1 Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan and District 2 Commissioner and Board Chair Jean Monestime were unable to attend because they were involved in a heated and bizarre argument over who was England’s greater Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston or Pitt the Elder.
District 3 Commissioner Audrey Edmonson was cleaning up chalk drawings at the Dan Paul Park.
District 4 Commissioner Sally A. Heyman was unable to attend following an unfortunate incident with an unlicensed North-Bay Village hypnotist who accidently caused the Commissioner to believe she was a chicken.
District 5 Commissioner Bruno A. Barreiro was picking out a watch for his retirement party.
District 6 Commissioner Rebeca Sosa was competing as a Top-16 finalist on American Idol.
District 9 Commissioner Dennis C. Moss had left his keys in his car, as well as his pants.
District 10 Commissioner Javier D. Souta developed a sudden case of gigantism.
District 11 Commissioner Juan C. Zapata was catching a matinee performance of “42nd Street” in Kendal’s West End Theater District.
District 12 Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz was delayed for unspecified reasons on a trip back from Key West.
Finally, District 13 Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. had intended to go but just couldn’t catch the bus.

“I trust the Commissioners will review the record from today and pass these modest reforms in April,” said Little Haiti resident Mary Martinez. “I mean, they would have to be pretty out-of-touch not to.”

ALL! This very real and very modest reform will be before the Commission once again in April. Please sign this petition, tweet this story to the Commissioners, call their offices, write them emails, and generally let them know that this disclosure ordinance needs to pass.

District 1 Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan:
Email: district1@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-375-5694
Twitter: @BarbaraJordan1

District 2 Commissioner and Board Chair Jean Monestime:
Email: district2@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-375-4833
Twitter: @JeanMonestime

District 3 Commissioner Audrey Edmonson:
Email: district3@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-375-5393
Twitter: @AudreyMEdmonson

District 4 Commissioner Sally A. Heyman:
Email: district4@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-375-5128
Twitter: No Twitter! Darn!

District 5 Commissioner Bruno A. Barreiro:
Email: district5@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-375-5924
Twitter: @BrunoABarreiro

District 6 Commissioner Rebeca Sosa:
Email: district6@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-375-5696
Twitter: @RebecaSosaMiami

District 7 Commissioner Xavier Suarez:
Email: district7@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-694-3550
Twitter: @XavierLSuarez1
THANK HIM FOR ATTENDING THE WORKSHOP AND URGE HIM TO VOTE FOR THE BILL!

District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava:
Email: district8@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-375-5218
Twitter: @DLCAVA
THANK HER FOR SPONSORING THIS ORDINANCE!

District 9 Commissioner Dennis C. Moss:
Email: district9@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-375-4832
Twitter: No Twitter! What’s that about?

District 10 Commissioner Javier D. Souta:
Email: district10@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-222-2116
Twitter: @JavierSoutoD10

District 11 Commissioner Juan C. Zapata:
Email: district11@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-375-5511
Twitter: @JuanCZapata

District 12 Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz
Email: district12@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-599-1200
Twitter: @CommishDiaz

13 Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr.
Email: district13@miamidade.gov
Office: 305-820-8424
Twitter: @CommBovo

It was an awkward scene inside Cuba’s Revolutionary Hall on Monday during a joint press conference between President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro when CNN’s Jim Acosta asked the normally shy communist dictator whether he would release the dozens of political prisoners currently held by his regime.

“Whaaaaat? Political prisoners? In Cuba?” asked a visibly flustered Castro. “Nah bro, you’re trippin. We don’t have any political prisoners. I mean, even if we did, and we for sure don’t, but even if we did, we would like definitely release them. Just produce a list of names and if we have those political prisoners, they will be released before tonight ends.”

When handed a list of 53 political prisoners currently being held in Cuban prisons, President Castro made eye-contact with a member of his secret police, flashed an awkward smile to an bemused President Obama, and then ran off the stage so quickly that he left only a smoke silhouette of himself like an old Road Runner cartoon.

The southbound section of Interstate 95 has been reopened after an 18-wheeler crashed and leaked white privilege from Fort Lauderdale onto the road early this morning.

Florida Department of Transportation officials said the 18-wheeler was the only vehicle involved in the crash along the southbound I-95 near Miami Shores at about 4:45 a.m.

The interstate reopened at about 9 a.m. after crews cleaned approximately two tons of societal privileges and micro-aggressions benefiting people who identify as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. The shipment of white privilege was on its way to Pinecrest from Weston.