A plan to establish an assault weapon ban in the city of Miami was announced by Commissioner Marc Sarnoff at a press conference on Feb. 14.

Since the federal weapon ban expired in 2004, violent crimes committed with assault weapons have increased substantially in Miami, according to Miami Police Chief John Timoney.

According to The Miami Herald, Sarnoff’s three-point plan to reinstate the weapon ban urges citizens to send their congressional leaders a signed letter calling for the ban. He also wants fellow commissioners to pass a resolution urging state and federal governments to pass a ban on such weapons, and he demands harsher sentences for those found guilty of crimes while using assault weapons. Sarnoff also said he may draft a legislation with the city attorney to make the sale of assault weapons illegal in Miami.

High school coaches engage in foul play to get athletes into top schools

A recent study by revealed that high school athletic coaches are breaking the rules in their efforts to assist student athletes in the college application process.

Launched in September 2007, the essay company serves as a legal resource that connects customers with professional EssayBay writers who edit or change their work.

“Our primary market is the student population; we provide them with the help they need that they can’t get from their educational institutions,” said Jed Hallam, an EssayBay representative, who added that the company is part of the Academic Answers Ltd. Group, who strive to protect academic values and prevent plagiarism. Hallam also noted that the writers, many of whom attend Ivy League institutions, often retain full copyrights of their work.

EssayBay expects customers will seek help without committing academic dishonesty.

Problems arose when an EssayBay writer refused to service a football coach who had plagiarism in mind, said Hallam. The coach said he needed the essays for football players who wanted Ivy League scholarships, but did not meet the academic credentials to receive them.

A customer profiling exercise conducted by the company divulged surprising news: over 45 percent of EssayBay customers are using the service to ensure that they have adequate academic scores to finalize sports scholarships and 70 percent are doing so with the full consent of their sports coaches. The study also revealed that 92 percent of these customers are competing for a spot at top universities.

EssayBay learned that over 80 percent of customers had turned to the service because they felt pressure to succeed from parents or teachers. Since its debut, sales at EssayBay have doubled every month.

Vice president for Human Resources announces retirement after 30 years

Roosevelt Thomas Jr., the University of Miami’s vice president for Human Resources since 1978, will retire at the end of this fiscal year.

Thomas, who described his career at UM as “a labor of love,” dedicated his time at the university to making it one of the area’s top employers, said Joe Natoli, senior vice president for Business and Finance. Thomas’s job includes staffing, employee relations, benefits administration, professional development and training, equality administration, compensation and continuous improvement.

After retiring, Thomas plans to move to Central Florida with his wife Sharon.