The local personalities, egos, and public figures who swung through the news cycle this week, ranked by New Times' crack research department using a highly scientific algorithm (i.e., taking the square root of the Sun Life Stadium upgrade price tag . . . err . . . which button is the square root? . . . what's a square root . . . ah, fuck it).
5. @FreePenelope. We're not sure if folk-hero status is really deserved in the case of Penelope Soto, the 18-year-old who ended her appearance in a Miami-Dade courtroom this month by flipping off the judge. The antics landed the young woman 30 days in jail for contempt of court. But since the incident, someone on the outside has started a vigorous Twitter account campaigning in her favor, putting Penelope's case in stark socio-economic terms. Call us sentimental suckers if you want, but we're always willing to hand out props when someone steps up to give voice to the voiceless.
4. Jury in the Palm Beach County Bus Rape Case. This one really had the potential for going down as bottom-of-the-barrel humanity on display. When she was 3-years-old, a Pahokee girl was raped on a Palm Beach County school bus by an 15-year-old student in 2007. The family attempted to hold the county responsible for the crime with a civil trial. The school board's response was -- get ready, deep breaths, stay calm -- the child was too young and dumb to know what was going on at the time of the incident, meaning there would be no long-term damage. This week a jury disagreed, granting a $1.7 million reward to the girl.
3. Alex Collins' Mom. Andrea McDonald is really dumping some bad vibes on what should have been her son's big day. The South Plantation High School standout was all set on inking his intent on National Signing Day for the University of Arkansas. The Razorback won out against still competition from the University of Miami. McDonald, however, was none too pleased about Collins' decision; she snatched the letter of intent and went underground, forcing her son to no-show at a signing event held in his honor. Then she lawyered up. Although the year is still young, this is by far the ballsiest Mom Power Move we've seen in 2013.
2. Dolphins' CEO Mike Dee. This week the folks wearing the big legislative shoes at the Florida Senate Commerce Committee threw their support behind the paperwork that would allow the Dolphins to siphons off taxpayer money for half of the $400 million Sun Life upgrade. Thanks to slick PR full-court press, including the requisite jobsjobsjobsjobs spiel and economic-impact hooey, team boss Mike Dee is on his way to securing exactly what he needs: blind, knee-jark thumbs up from politicians who should be asking more questions.
1. Alex Collins. Look, we can't think of anything worse than having your mom wage some Freudian psycho-drama in front of the nightly news cameras. Can you? But Collins has handled this whole shitstorm with a surprising amount of class for an 18-year-old. At that age, we probably would have just done some whippets and sulked in front of a Lord of the Rings marathon. Collins kept cool, and weaved around his mom's shenanigans. Well done, young sir.