•••It was quite a festive atmosphere on Wednesday, April 18 when Miami Springs councilman Dan Espino made it official. After more than two months of speculation that he would vacate his post as Group II councilman for Miami Springs to run for Miami-Dade County School Board District 5 Representative, he held his big kickoff bash celebration at the Miami Springs Country Club.
The event was well attended and featured a real who’s who around the local area of Miami Springs and Virginia Gardens, including District 12 Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who came to offer his support for Espino.
•••After two one-run nail-biters during the regular season with each team winning once, it only figured that when the Coral Gables and Miami Springs softball teams got together again, it would be more of the same. And that’s exactly what happened on Thursday, April 19 when the teams met in the District 14-8A championship game at Virginia Gardens Field.
Thanks to a Frances Santos two-out infield single in the top of the eighth that scored Taylor Navarro from third, the Lady Hawks won a 2-1 extra-inning thriller over the Cavaliers to capture their fifth district title in six years to move their record to 18-3. The real hero of the evening for Springs was Frances’ cousin Geneva Santos, who took to the mound and mowed down Gables hitters all night, finishing with a two-hitter while striking out 11.
•••Even though Vilet Torrez no longer lived in the immediate area having been a resident of Miramar for many years, the 38 year-old mother of three was a graduate of Miami Springs Senior High School, Class of 1993. During the month of April, it was learned that she had been missing since March 30. Her car was found in the parking lot of her apartment complex. She was not reported missing until Monday, April 2.
Looking to continue to draw awareness to the dire situation, more than 100 loved ones gathered on Tuesday, April 24 for a prayer vigil at Vilet’s favorite place on earth, her church, Casa Cana Church in southeast Hialeah. Cid Torrez, Vilet’s estranged husband, said he he had last seen her on Friday, March 30, when he picked up their three children for the weekend and was named as a “person of interest” by the Miramar police.
•••After months of projecting where the former Miami Springs Golden Hawks football star T.Y. Hilton would be selected in the NFL draft, Hilton’s phone rang late Friday night, April 27 just before the end of the third round and it was the Indianapolis Colts on the other end of the line. They had made Hilton the 92nd pick in the draft. Four years after graduating from Springs and going on to star at FIU for four seasons, Hilton was headed for the “big leagues.”
“I was getting pretty anxious because it was right at the end of the third round and it looked like I was going to have to go to bed Friday night and wait until Saturday (the second and third rounds were Friday with rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday) to find out where I was going,” said Hilton, who was at home with his parents and family when the Colts called. “I was surprised and confused when it was the Colts on the line because they didn’t have a third-round pick and I knew the fourth round didn’t start until Saturday morning.”
What Hilton quickly learned was that the Colts had traded away their fifth-round pick in 2013 to San Francisco in order to move up five spots into the 49ers’ third-round slot to get him.