Miami real estate market breaks records despite COVID

Months of stay-at-home orders, growing numbers of infections and deaths, working remotely while the kids are attending school in the next room, stop-and-start business closures, and no end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic have all had an unexpected — and seismic — impact on Miami-Dade’s real estate market. It’s just not what you probably think it is.

“As the weeks ticked by, we were all getting stir crazy and our tempers were running thin, especially all of us glued together in a tiny apartment,” said Maria Ester Mercader, who lives with her husband and their three sons in a two-bedroom condo with no balcony in Key Biscayne.

Mercader had been thinking about buying a home for a couple of years, but COVID finally tipped the couple off the fence. “We felt really sad for our three boys who were now begging for a ‘big house’ with a ‘big patio,’”

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Litchfield County resident charged with shooting and killing bear as Connecticut population grows and number of bears entering homes breaks record

State environmental police charged a 26-year-old Litchfield County man this week with shooting and killing a black bear following a confrontation with his dog — at a time when the bear population has been steadily growing in Connecticut and spilling into residential neighborhoods.

William O’Connor, 26, of Thomaston, was charged Tuesday after he fired a .22-caliber long rifle in the direction of the mother bear and struck it near his property line, state environmental officials said. O’Connor was “reportedly fearing for his dog’s safety” after his dog had run toward the female black bear and her two cubs.

As the bear was “making huffing noises toward the dog,” O’Connor went back inside his house to retrieve his gun before firing, officials said.

He was charged on a misdemeanor count of illegal taking of a black bear by officers who work for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection,

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