<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - South Florida News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usSun, 01 May 2016 00:26:16 -0400Sun, 01 May 2016 00:26:16 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Suspect Tried to Make Swim Escape From Miami Beach PD]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:18:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/043016+miami+beach+swimming+suspect.jpg

A man who allegedly exposed himself on Miami Beach then jumped in the water to try to swim away from officers was taken into custody Saturday, police said.

Investigators say it all started around 61st Street and the man was taken into custody near Ocean Drive and 72nd Street, so he swam about 11 blocks to get away from officers.

Witnesses told police the man was doing inappropriate things and exposed himself. One witness said he watched him bother several adults and even two children. That witness said the children were too much so he called 911.

"That's when I called police, when I saw the first one. They took him off the beach and the next thing I know, I look over and he was running into the water with his pants coming down," Tyler Morin said. "He swam out and the helicopters and everyone was running after him."

Morin was one of several people to call 911, police said they got several calls. Some witnesses recorded the action on their phones.

The man, whose name wasn't released, is facing several charges including loitering, prowling and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Pair Arrested in Numerous Burglaries in Pembroke Pines]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 17:17:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/043016+isaac+destine.jpg

A pair of crooks responsible for dozens of car burglaries in Pembroke Pines have been arrested, police said.

Isaac Destine, 18, and a juvenile male have been arrested in the burglary spree, Pembroke Pines Police said.

Both face numerous charges including armed burglary, theft and criminal mischief.

Destine remained behind bars Saturday, Broward jail records showed. No attorney information was available.

The burglaries happened at three separate apartment complexes throughout the city overnight Friday, police said.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Ecuador Quake Relief Continues on Comcast Cares Day ]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:22:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/043016+comcast+cares+day+miami+8.jpg

There are no silver linings that can come out of the earthquake that rocked Ecuador earlier this month but now it’s time to help and that’s what NBC 6 and Telemundo 51 were doing Saturday in Doral.

Dozens of volunteers unpacked truck after truck of donations, including clothes for kids, water, personal hygiene items, you name it. The "Ecuador We Are With You!" relief event coincided with Comcast Cares Day.

A kind gesture that’s not going over looked. Debbie Ruid is just one of many from Ecuador who sees all of South Florida coming out to help.

“It’s touched my heart. I actually just came here in August and I didn’t know there was so many people that cared about this country," she said.

Andrea Perez is another Ecuadorian who is so grateful.

“Kids need a lot of donations, kids' clothes and shoes. Our elderly, our animals, they need all the help that they can get," she said.

The effort is lead by the Consulate of Ecuador. South Florida has already sent 500 tons of help to Ecuador.

“We all speak the language of giving so it’s nice to see everyone and nice to see everyone communicate through that,” NBC 6 reporter Marissa Bagg said.

“This is great just thinking about what it's going to be like in Ecuador when they unload this," sister Julia Bagg said. "We just want to help a little bit and I hope it goes a long long way.”

“It just warms your heart to see people are trying to help out and we’re going to be able to make an impact for those people there," NBC 6 morning anchor Sheli Muniz said.

If you didn’t make it you’re not out of luck just yet. You can still donate at at 7060 Northwest 87th Avenue on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

<![CDATA[Large Fire Breaks Out in Northwest Miami-Dade]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:18:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/043016+northwest+miami-dade+fire.jpg

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue workers and the Florida Division of Forestry responded to a large fire in northwest Miami-Dade Saturday.

The fire was reported in the area of the Florida's Turnpike and Okeechobee Road. Massive clouds of smoke from the scene could be seen for miles.

Officials said someone in the area had a burn permit when their fire somehow got out of hand.

About 10 acres had burned by Saturday afternoon, officials said. The fire posed no threat to any homes.

No other information was immediately known.

Check back with NBC 6 for updates.

<![CDATA[Comcast Cares Day in South Florida]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:21:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/043016+comcast+cares+south+florida+1.jpg NBC 6 and Telemundo 51 give back on Comcast Cares Day 2016. Team members collected and sorted donated items for victims of the earthquake in Ecuador and helped out at the Ann Storck Center in Fort Lauderdale.]]> <![CDATA[Warm and Rain-Free Saturday]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 10:26:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000023347084_1200x675_676914243671.jpg Miami Weather Forecast -- 8:45 AM -- April 30, 2016]]> <![CDATA[Marlins Nearly No-Hit Brewers in Sixth Straight Win]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:40:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-526199756.jpg

The Miami Marlins were only two outs away from no-hitting the Milwaukee Brewers in their 6-3 win on Friday.

The win was Miami's sixth in a row and the team is now 6-2 on the road trip with two games remaining. The no-hitter would have been the sixth in franchise history.

Miami is now .500 for the third time this year. The previous two times saw Miami lose the following day. the Marlins have not been over .500 since 2014. If Miami can reach that elusive point, it would mean a seventh straight win and another series victory.

Conley was brilliant in the victory with 7.2 no-hit innings. The lefty was taken out of the game with the no-hitter still intact due to a pitch count of 116. Not wanting to risk injury, manager Don Mattingly elected to lift Conley with one out remaining in the eighth inning. Conley finished with seven strikeouts and four walks in the win.

Urena would take over for Conley looking for four outs to complete Miami's no-hitter. Urena would get the first two outs before a soft bloop landed in right field with one out in the ninth. Urena would end up giving up three more hits as well as three runs.

With the lead down to only three, Mattingly turned to A.J. Ramos for the save with two outs in the ninth. Ramos would end the game and pick up his seventh save of the season.

Justin Bour was most of the offense for Miami in the win. The first baseman hit two home runs and also doubled. Five of Miami's runs were brought home by the slugger. Bour now has three home runs and 12 runs batted in on the season.

This marked the first game for Miami without Dee Gordon who is serving an 80-game suspension. Derek Dietrich started at second base while Ichiro Suzuki led off. Suzuki was playing in place of Giancarlo Stanton who was given the day off. Miami also rested J.T. Realmuto and Adeiny Hechavarria. It was just a day of rest for all three players after an early-morning arrival in Milwaukee.

Suzuki made some more history with the 500th stolen base of his career. The All-Star also added two hits and is now only 55 away from 3,000 in his career.

Wei-Yin Chen will get the ball on Saturday as Miami looks for a seventh straight win.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Victim of Crash That Critically Injured Principal Speaks Out]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:32:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+principal+crash+victim.jpg

Another victim of the horrific crash that critically injured a beloved South Florida principal spoke out Friday.

Ilena Salort-Horta, a mother of five, knows she's lucky to be alive.

"There was no where for me to move. So I thought to myself, 'I can't believe this is how I'm going to die.' I turned to my right, closed my eyes, got into fetal position and I said, 'God please my kids,'" Salort-Horta explained.

She was one of two people hit Tuesday evening during a Little League baseball game at Tamiami Park.

"I hear 'boom,' get thrown and I rolled about three times. I landed on my back, opened my eyes and see the sky," said Salort-Horta, who suffered a sprained ankle and a shoulder injury.

Investigators said the driver of an SUV, identified as Marilyn Aguilera, lost control at the 2300 block of Southwest 117th Avenue, slamming into a fence and driving onto the field.

Salort-Horta was standing in the path of the vehicle and so was the other victim, Javier Perez, the coach of the team that both his and Horta's sons play on.

"Touched my head. I looked over and Javier was next to me and I saw his condition and it was horrific," she explained.

Perez is the principal at South Dade High School. He's in critical condition at Kendall Regional Medical Center, fighting to recover after having his legs amputated by doctors, due to his injuries.

"It's a senseless accident. I feel so bad. I'm keeping in touch with the family," Salort-Horta said.

Still, she can't help feeling grateful. None of the children were hurt and nobody died. She knows it could have been worse.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Perez and his family with medical expenses.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Force Game Seven With Win in Charlotte]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:59:41 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-524237298.jpg

The Miami Heat survived and forced a seventh game with their 97-90 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

The win came in Charlotte's building and gives Miami back its home-court advantage. Much like during the regular season, both teams have won on the road in the series.

Miami held a nine-point lead at halftime thanks mostly to a strong percentage on three-pointers. The Heat shot 80% as a team on treys in the first half and 60 percent overall on their field goal attempts.

The third quarter featured very competitive basketball with Charlotte ending up with a four-point advantage. Miami would take a five-point lead into the final quarter of play.

Miami stretched its lead to nine in the fourth quarter, but Charlotte would fight back. With roughly five minutes to go, the deficit was only four and Miami was forced to take a timeout. The Heat looked better after those few minutes and were able to put the game away.

Dwyane Wade led Miami in scoring with his 23 points. The All-Star also added six rebounds and four assists. Wade would hit two big baskets down the final stretch as well.

Once again, all of Miami's starters reached double digits in points. The team did a great job of moving the ball and involving everyone. Miami as a team had 13 assists, and every starter with the exception of Hassan Whiteside had at least one assist.

The Heat and Hornets will head back to Miami for the seventh and final game of the series on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Family Suspects Foul Play in Case of Missing Teen Fishermen]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:39:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Austin-Stephanos-Perry-Cohen.jpg

The mother of a Florida teen who vanished months ago on a fishing trip with a friend now suspects foul play may have been a factor, according to a lawsuit filed in connection with the case.

Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, were lost at sea while fishing off the coast of Jupiter last July. New video was released Friday by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, showing the boys leaving the inlet before they went missing.

The boys were never found, although a pilot flying off the Georgia coast said he believes he saw one of the teens clinging to a pile of debris and waving his hands, according to a report released this week. By the time rescuers arrived, the person was gone.

The teens' boat was recovered near Bermuda almost eight months later, along with Stephanos' iPhone, which the families hope will provide valuable insight into what went wrong.

Stephanos' father, William Blu Stephanos, said earlier this week he was working with the phone's manufacturer and an IT professional to retrieve information from the waterlogged device.

The phone, however, has become a source of contention, with Cohen's mother filing suit Monday when the FWC agreed to relinquish the device to Blu Stephanos.

According to the suit, the FWC notified Pamela Cohen on April 22 "it did not intend to professionally examine the iPhone or extract the data" because the case was closed.

Pamela Cohen has said the teens shared Austin Stephanos' phone because her son's was broken. The suit claims she "will continue to suffer irreparable harm if the iPhone is not properly handled as material evidence in a possible maritime crime or homicide."

An investigative file dated Feb. 8 reveals the FBI has been involved in the case since September, when Austin Stephanos' stepfather told officials he believed the boys may have been abducted, NBC News reported. State investigators subpoenaed phone records in December as part of "an official investigation of a suspected felony," according to the document.

FWC spokesman Rob Klepper declined to comment Friday on the Cohen family's suspicion of foul play. He said the agency would not be issuing any additional statements on the case.

In a statement Tuesday, Pamela Cohen said she would withdraw her lawsuit if the Stephanos family submitted the phone for an independent forensics examination.

"We will be withdrawing our lawsuit as soon as FWC receives the written consents it needs from both families to put the iPhone in the hands of the best impartial iPhone extraction experts available, in a proper legal chain of custody," Pamela Cohen said in the statement.

During a hearing on the suit Friday afternoon, Pamela Cohen asked that the device be turned over to a third-party examiner.

"The public has a right to know what happened to the boys, and what led up to the point of their disappearance," the lawsuit states.

A judge said the phone will be shipped to Apple for forensic examination.

"We're highly disappointed that the FWC turned the phone over to Mr. Stephanos, but we're pleased the judge ordered the phone be sent for thorough, transparent and truthful investigation for both families," Pamela Cohen expressed.

FWC officials previously said there was no criminal element to the case.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[New Initiative Aims to Combat Domestic Violence]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:34:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+domestic+violence.jpg

It can happen to anyone and it often goes unreported: domestic violence. The Hollywood Police Department has started a new initiative to combat repeat offenders and keep survivors safe.

Hollywood Police is taking a closer look at domestic violence by keeping a closer watch on repeat offenders with a database. They hope this initiative will hold abusers accountable and empower survivors.

"We found that domestic violence was taking up over 25 percent of our calls for service," said Sgt. Rhett Cady with the Domestic Violence Unit.

Police are trying to change those numbers.

"When we saw that, we decided that we had to create some sort of initiative to combat that and to help the victims of domestic violence," Cady said.

It's called the Offender Focused Domestic Violence Initiative Program. It's the first of its kind in Florida and the goal is to identify the individuals with the most repetitive and violent offenses. They compile the names in a database and try to take action before the offender strikes again.

"We were concerned that eventually, as we know from history with domestic violence, it's gonna escalate eventually," Cady said.

The program hopes to prevent other crimes connected to domestic violence by monitoring individuals and holding them accountable in the justice system.

"Violence is violence, so if you're violent in your home, we're finding that a lot of these people that are repeat offenders again are violent in society. So you're gonna see a total reduction in crime throughout the city by targeting domestic violence," Cady explained.

Since the program started in May of 2015, the Hollywood PD has seen an average reduction of 22 percent for domestic-related incidents each month. The department has also partnered with the organization Women in Distress of Broward County.

"We're really focused on the batterer and ensuring we're holding them accountable for their actions," said Delores Deferrari with Women in Distress.

While this program helps, unfortunately, many domestic violence cases go unreported out of fear.

"Statistics show that about 60 percent of domestic violence situations are not reported to law enforcement," Deferrari said.

They want people to know the signs and speak up.

"Domestic abuse can happen in any household with any family and single individuals but usually there are signs of controlling behavior, possible bruises or unexplained marks, and a lot of emotional and financial abuse," she explained.

Both organizations hope this new initiative will help empower survivors with resources and keep repeat offenders off the streets.

If you are a domestic violence survivor, you can call the Women in Distress crisis hotline at (954) 761-1133. They have professionals on the line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you navigate your situation safely.

Women in Distress is the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center serving Broward County. They offer 24-hour crisis intervention through our 24-Hour Crisis Hotline and emergency shelter, as well as counseling and support for victims and their children. They also provide education and professional trainings on domestic violence and related topics in Broward County schools and in the community.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Images in Missing Teen Fishermen Case]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 19:27:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Image+3-+credit+Edda+Accommodations+Ltd.jpg Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, were lost at sea while fishing off the coast of Jupiter last July.

Photo Credit: Edda Accommodations Ltd]]>
<![CDATA[Daughter of Alleged Victim of Ex-Dade Mayor Speaks Out]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:30:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+Kristina+Fernandez.jpg

The daughter of the woman allegedly battered by former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez is speaking out.

Kristina Fernandez's mother Evelyn was dragged into the spotlight when Alvarez, her high profile ex-boyfriend, was arrested on domestic violence charges earlier this week.

The Sunday incident landed Alvarez, who is also the former director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, in jail. Fernandez claims Alvarez got verbally abusive and physical, pinning her against the wall and leaving bruises on her and spitting on her.

Alvarez has since bonded out and has denied the allegations.

In an exclusive interview with NBC 6, Kristina Fernandez said she was there when the alleged incident happened, although she didn't see it. She did see her mom crying, bruised, and with spit on her face, she said.

"I knew that everyone knew him as mayor of Miami Dade County and chief of police. What mayor of Miami-Dade County and chief of police would do this to a woman, with cancer?" she said. "If you think about it you think it's crazy. But nobody knows what happens behind closed doors."

The 16-year-old says it was just one of a handful of violent incidents.

"It's pretty upsetting especially that I saw him as a father figure. He's always been a father to me and always there for me. And he got really involved in my tennis and school. And just to see that happen is kind of sad because you see his true colors," she said.

Sunday's incident wasn't the only reported incident. In 2014, police responded to a domestic disturbance call about two people fighting, and that a mother and her daughter had barricaded themselves while Alvarez made threats to hit them. Evelyn decided not to make a statement in 2014 and said she was never battered.

According to Kristina, the violent behavior started in 2013 when Alvarez started bodybuilding.

"She wasn't so sure about it, because she knows what happens with your body changing, and your mood swings. She told him, 'Listen, I don't like you doing it," Kristina explained.

NBC 6 tried reaching out to Alvarez and his attorneys several times about this story, but our inquiries were not returned.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[SWAG on 6: Miami Springs High's Leslie Perez]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:50:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042816+leslie+perez.jpg

It takes guts to venture into uncharted territory. It takes a compassionate heart to reach out to the developmentally and intellectually disabled. Leslie Perez has courage and heart. Rather than ignore or shun the disabled students at her school, she decided to engage them as a mentor.

"I wanted to be that person, to be bold enough to help these students that are really different from us," Leslie said.

A senior and a trailblazer at Miami Springs High School, Leslie saw how isolated the disabled kids were from the rest of the student body. They would always sit in a group in the cafeteria, for instance, and Leslie noticed virtually no interaction between them and the other students.

"So I decided, like why not involve them in more activities, involve them in pep rallies, plays, do something different so they could get out of their comfort zone and go into something they haven't done before, you know, have fun," said Leslie.

That's how Project Unify, Leslie's club, was born. She recruited friends, and now they work their special needs classmates, teaching them games and sports, integrating them into the student body as much as possible, and making them feel like everyone else.

"I learned that I have more patience than I thought I would have," Leslie said, explaining that teaching the intellectually disabled kids a choreographed dance for a pep rally took much more time than she had anticipated.

"Leslie is truly an inspiration, she brings smiles to my students with intellectual disabilities to their faces every day and her energy is incredible," exclaimed Clo Creevay, the special needs teacher. "They're getting self-esteem, socialization skills just by interacting, and it's a win-win situation for everybody."

Seniors graduate but underclassmen will keep Leslie's Project Upstart vision in focus.

"Just to set an example for the other people, once I leave I want other people to go in there and do the same that I did or we did together and it's to make their lives way better," said Alex Diez, a junior and an original member of Project Upstart.

The kids call him Coach Alex because he taught them to play soccer.

It's hard to say who benefits more from Project Upstart, the mentors or the mentees. It's safe to say it's a two-way street.

"It's rewarding for me because when they're happy, I'll be happy, if they're smiling I'll be smiling," Leslie said.

Leslie is ranked third in her class. She's heading to the University of Florida next year, leaving behind a legacy of engagement, kindness, and smiles at Miami Springs High.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Struck by Debris Traveling on I-95: FHP]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:29:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/wind+shield.jpg

Florida Highway Patrol say a piece of debris went through a car's windshield and struck the driver, while he was traveling on I-95 Friday.

The incident occurred on the Broward-Palm Beach county line around noon.

Holden Amory, 22, was traveling southbound on I-95 when a another car ran over a piece of road debris, which then became airborne and struck his car. The debris pierced through Amory's windshield and struck him.

Amory's condition is unknown at this time.

Photo Credit: WPTV]]>
<![CDATA[Life Sentence for Man Convicted of Kidnapping, Rape]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:00:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+terrence+jefferson.jpg

A man convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman in Miami will be spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Terrence Jefferson, 36, was given the life sentence at a hearing in Miami-Dade Friday.

Authorities say he terrorized a northeast Miami neighborhood for months. Women locked themselves in their homes not knowing if he would be around the next corner.

But not anymore. Now, Jefferson is permanently off the streets. Back in 2013, a woman told police she was raped by Jefferson in a dark blue Chevy. And then Jefferson tried again with a 9-year-old girl.

But the girl got away and was able to memorize the license plate of the car he was in, police said.

"This little girl was instrumental in giving us the tag of the car," Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said. "She would go around playing games with her father of identifying tags and tags and tags."

Prosecutors say Jefferson, a career criminal, attempted other abductions and rapes before getting caught.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Recovering From Gunshot Wound in Hollywood]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:49:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+dog+shot+hollywood.jpg

Police in Hollywood are investigating who shot a dog in the leg and left her for dead.

A father, driving his kids to school, saw the dog limping and whimpering on the side of the road. He picked her up and brought her to the hospital.

A butterfly marks the spot where a bullet pierced through the dog's leg, leaving shrapnel behind.

"It always makes me upset at the humans that do this, especially when someone left her there like that, you feel upset," said Dr. Angela Suarez with VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital.

Doctors at the VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital have been treating the 9-month-old Labrador mix since Thursday morning.

"Luckily, she perked right up after anesthesia and she just whimpers in the cage cause she just wants to get out and cuddle with us. She's sweet, she's so sweet," Dr. Suarez said.

While veterinarians treat her wounds, police are investigating to find out who's responsible.

"Hollywood Police were here, took pictures with crime scene investigators, and they're trying to figure out who possibly could've done this and left her," Dr. Suarez said.

She's able to walk, but with a limp, and will be in a cast for at least the next six weeks.

Her medical expenses are more than $5,000. The clinic set up a GoFundMe page, and a group called Grateful Paws is helping find her a new home.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[SoFla Agencies Undergo Rigorous Explosives Training]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:27:01 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+atf+explosives+training.jpg

Local and state law enforcement agencies underwent rigorous explosives training this week in Homestead.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives started the week with a bang.

"Dynamite, C4, blasting caps," said Kevin Montekowski, Special Agent with ATF.

That's just the beginning of what participants encountered during ATF explosives training for law enforcement and fire rescue agencies across the state and in South Florida.

"It's a post blast investigation course, and the course provides students with the resources, the tools and the training to conduct an investigation and collect evidence after an explosive incident," explained Ari Shapira, Assistant Special Agent with ATF.

The fiery explosions, including a wall of fire, were set off at the Homestead Air Force Reserve Military Base.

"We kind of went over basic explosive components. You know, different kinds of explosives. Ones that are used in the commercial and military side," said Staff Sgt. Jason Cohen, Air Force Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flight.

The training may just be a simulation but the explosives are powerful and real. The goal is to prepare the men and women physically and mentally as they investigate explosive-related crimes.

"What we are trying to teach is how bombs are built and then what happens after the device goes off. What are some things and the evidence that you can look for and law enforcement can look for to help solve the crime," Montekowski said.

It's a tough job, but these classes are all about promoting public safety and being ready for anything in the chaos after an explosion.

"You can't put a price on preparation and the agents here are going to learn the value of teamwork, and what exactly they're looking for in terms of post blast recovery," Shapira said.

The classes ended Friday, but they run every couple months.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida Highlights Students With SWAG]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:51:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042816+swag.jpg

NBC 6 South Florida continues to put the spotlight on local students who have SWAG: Students Working At Greatness.

The weekly feature during the 6 p.m. newscast each Friday highlights students who rise against all odds and continue to succeed.

From Sebastian Salas, a senior at Miami Lakes Educational Center, who is the youngest person to ever earn expert-level certification on Solid Works, a mechanical engineering design program; to Elena Lopez and Nadia Mazinani, seniors at Coral Reef High School, best friends who share the same passion: fighting breast cancer; to Juvens Pierre of Northeast High School in Oakland Park, who has overcome a troubled pass to thrive in class; all of these students have SWAG and inspire those around them.

On Friday at 6 p.m., NBC 6 put the spotlight on Leslie Perez, a senior and trailblazer at Miami Springs High School.

Perez is in her element, enjoying the company of kids with special needs, the ones who are ignored or even shunned by most high school students.

"I wanted to be that person, to be bold enough to help these students that are really different from us," Perez said.

Hear more about Perez and her Project Unify, which she launched after seeing how isolated the disabled kids were from the rest of the student body, by clicking here.

"Leslie is truly an inspiration. She brings smiles to my students with intellectual disabilities to their faces every day and her energy is incredible," said Clo Creevay, teacher.

Join us each week to see South Florida students who have SWAG and get inspired! To view more SWAG on 6 stories, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigating String of Car Burglaries in Pembroke Pines]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 17:53:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/pines+car+burglaries.jpg

Police are searching for the suspect behind a string of car burglaries overnight Friday.

The burglaries occurred at three separate apartment complexes across Pembroke Pines: 105 NW 108th Ave., 10170 SW 7th St., and 11045 SW 16th St.

No further information has been released. Pembroke Pines Police Department are currently investigating.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Pembroke Pines Police Department at 954-431-2200 or call Crimestoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Survey Worker Struck, Killed by Vehicle on I-95: FHP]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 22:27:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/042916+survey+worker+killed.jpg

A survey worker was struck and killed by a vehicle along I-95 northbound Friday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. near Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach.

FHP said the worker, who was wearing a reflective traffic vest, was standing within the white-striped area between the northbound lanes of I-95 and the entrance ramp onto I-95 from Atlantic.

As the driver was approaching slower traffic, FHP said he entered the painted area to pass and struck the worker.

59-year-old Enrique Diaz of Culter Bay was transported to Broward Health North, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver stayed at the scene. It's unclear whether he'll face charges.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Monday at 6: South Florida Trauma Center Charges Inconsistent]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 19:42:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022216+nbc+6+investigators.jpg

South Florida has several trauma centers, but when it comes to charges not all are created equal.

An NBC 6 Investigators analysis of more than 44,000 trauma center admissions reveals one hospital’s charges are four, five, in some cases 10 times higher than the others.

Beginning Monday at 6 p.m., NBC 6 will reveal the impact those charges have on people who wind up being rushed to trauma centers – and ask the one hospital whose charges are off the charts, why that is.

<![CDATA[2016 Billboard Latin Music Awards Fashion]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:46:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*130/billboardgallery17.png Photos from the 2016 Billboard Latin Awards]]> <![CDATA[Weather: Warm, Sunny Weekend Ahead]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:14:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000023338131_1200x675_676386371692.jpg Dry, warm and bright. Ryan Phillips says the sunny skies will stick with us through the weekend. He says the middle of next week may bring rain chances.]]> <![CDATA[2 Miami Cops Out of Hospital After Crash]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:55:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/235*120/042916+cop+involved+crash.JPG

A pair of officers have been released from the hospital following a crash Thursday night that injured seven people.

The Miami Police officers were responding to an emergency backup call when they crashed with a Chevy sedan near a construction site at Northwest Sixth Street and First Avenue in downtown Miami.

Five people were inside the sedan, which bounced into some bushes off the median. One person inside was seriously injured and rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The officer's patrol car ended up in the construction area. The officers were taken to the hospital as a precaution, and have since been released.

"They're doing much better," said Ofc. Frederica Burden with Miami Police. "They were evaluated last night. They were transported in stable condition so they're doing much better today."

Both officers are said to be new to the force, having only served for a couple of years.

No update so far on the conditions of the individuals in the sedan.

<![CDATA[North Miami Man Cleared in Alleged Sex Battery Case]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:55:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+clenol+jean.jpg

Prosecutors have dropped sexual battery charges against a North Miami man who was accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl.

Clenol Jean, 23, was arrested last week on five counts of sexual battery on a minor and spent eight days behind bars before he was released Friday following a court hearing.

"It feels good to be vindicated," Jean told reporters after the hearing. "My faith was never shaken, I'm a strong believer in God and I believe in true justice."

The state dropped the charges after discovering there was not enough proof to establish guilt.

Jean's attorney and family members had vehemently denied the charges after his arrest. Attorney Larry Handfield said he was glad Jean was vindicated but said the damage has already been done.

"This is a perfect example to what happens when you rush to judgment," Handfield said. "You can't un-ring the bell, he spent eight days in jail without bond, he lost his job. He has his freedom now but his nightmare continues."

Handfield thanked the state attorney's office for investigating the case but criticized the North Miami Police detective who investigated and made the arrest.

"He should have never been arrested in the first place," Handfield said.

Jean's mother said that as a favor, her family would take care of some kids from their church, including the alleged victim, a 4-year-old girl. The girl told her mother she was touched on her privates by Jean while attending an unlicensed daycare run by Jean's grandmother in the 1500 block of Northeast 142nd Street, according to a police report.

The child said the incident happened five times, the report said. Jean denied touching the child in a sexual manner, the report said.

Jean had been working at Renaissance Charter School at Plantation before his arrest but lost his job. He said he wants his job back.

Handfield said they will be taking legal action in the case.

Photo Credit: Sharon Lawson/NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Tunsil Attends Press Conference After 'Allergic Reaction']]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:11:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+laremy+tunsil+presser.jpg

The Miami Dolphins think they got the second best player in the NFL draft with the 13th pick. But there's a catch. A big, bizarre, controversial catch.

Just before Thursday's NFL Draft, a video was tweeted from the official account of Ole Miss Offensive Linemen Laremy Tunsil. The video shows him smoking from a gas mask bong.

The tweet and account were subsequently deleted, and Tunsil's agent has stated that the OT's account was hacked.

As the video went viral, team after team passed on drafting Tunsil, who was previously projected to be the first overall pick by some analysts. It's estimated the drop cost him millions in salary.

That is, until it was the Dolphins' turn. The Fins selected Tunsil with the 13th overall draft pick.

Miami said they were comfortable with Tunsil's character, saying they'd researched him and had him take personality tests.

"We did not expect him to be there (at #13)," said Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier.

At the Dolphins official draft party at Nova Southeastern University, fans were stunned they got Tunsil too. But many of them didn't realize why he slipped until we showed them the gas mask video.

He was asked if he has a drug problem he said no. And to those who question if the Dolphins can trust him? "Don't question my character," Tunsil said. "You can't judge a book by its cover. I'm a good person"

Tunsil said he was hacked on Twitter and did not specify who did it, adding he does not intend to press charges.

At a Friday press conference where the Dolphins were expected to introduce him, Tunsil was a no-show. Team officials said he couldn't attend due to an allergic reaction.

"There were some mistakes he had made in his past, we were comfortable with that, all the research we had done," Dolphins VP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum said. " We are comfortable with his character, very comfortable with Laremy, the player and the person."

Tunsil attended a later press conference where he said he was feeling better.

"The doctors took care of me so I'm good," he said.

Tunsil mostly avoided questions about the controversy surrounding the video.

"I'm excited to be here, it's a blessed opportunity just to be in the NFL, just to be a part of the Miami Dolphins organization," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Abused Dog Shows Signs of Improvements at Hollywood Vet]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 09:55:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+tucker.jpg

Tucker, a German Shepherd who arrived at a Hollywood veterinary hospital severely emaciated and badly abused last week, is showing signs of improvement on his road to recovery.

New photos of Tucker show that the sores on his skin are healing and that overall, he's coming along very well.

Veterinarians with VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital are working to determine the best way to treat deep wounds to Tucker's hips.

Miami-Dade Animals Services contacted Shepherd Help and Rescue Effort (SHARE) ealy last week after an owner surrender of the starving, sick dog.

Officials called for an immediate rescue and SHARE picked Tucker up the next day. Miami-Dade Police informed SHARE that Tucker's case will be pursued as a felony animal cruelty case.

Tucker came to the hospital suffering from inflammation in all four paws, skin that was cracked and bleeding, peridontal disease and two large open wounds on his hips, both of which are infected and will require intense wound care.

Tucker is now on antibiotics, they've dressed his wounds and he's responding well. He's in good spirits, although his injuries were some of the worst these volunteers have ever seen.

Despite his injuries, Tucker is said to have a sweet, calm demeanor which is noticed by everyone around him.

"Everyone we ran into at [VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital] always comments on what a great, loving spirit he has considering what he has been through," says Cindy Newton, a volunteer with SHARE. "He's such a great dog."

Vets are keeping Tucker for intensive treatment and observation, and they're hopeful he'll make a full recovery and soon be available for adoption.

An online fundraiser has been established on YouCaring.com to help cover the cost of Tucker's medical care.

As of Friday, the site had raised more than $9,500.

Photo Credit: SHARE]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins' Gordon Suspended 80 Games for PED Violation]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:19:50 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-519277774.jpg

Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon was suspended for 80 games for a performance-enhancing drug violation on Friday.

Major League Baseball in announcing the suspension stated that Gordon tested positive for testosterone and clostebol. Gordon must begin the suspension immediately and will forfeit roughly $1.65 million in salary.

Gordon released a statement on Friday morning in regards to the suspension.

"Though I did not do so knowingly, I have been informed that test results showed I ingested something that contained prohibited substances. The hardest part about this is feeling that I have let down my teammates, the organization and the fans," Gordon said. "I have been careful to avoid products that could contain something banned by MLB and the 20+ tests that I have taken and passed throughout my career prove this. I made a mistake and I accept the consequences."

This is a crushing blow to the Marlins who are coming off a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road. Miami has won five games in a row and has turned its season around in a hurry. It will be difficult to continue that momentum now without Gordon.

Miami's manager Don Mattingly knows Gordon well as the two spent time together in Los Angeles before Miami. Mattingly had some thoughts on the suspension following the win in Los Angeles.

"These guys love Dee, and we're going to support him," Mattingly said. "I feel like Dee's one of my kids, to be honest with you, because I've known him so long. So we're going to love him, and then we're going to support him. He's been a big part of the success that we've had."

Team president David Samson also commented on Gordon's suspension and let it be known that Miami is disappointed.

"Dee Gordon is a very important part of our team, and we all love him and support him," Marlins president David Samson said. "That said, I don't like or condone what he did. He is an important member of this organization and will be for many years to come. It's a huge, huge disappointment to the kids, to our fans, to his teammates and to everyone in our organization every single day."

Miami is off to Milwaukee now for a series with the Brewers. Derek Dieitrich is the likely beneficiary of Gordon's suspension.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead in Pompano Beach Shooting, Gunman Hospitalized in Crash]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 17:58:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042916+francois+roosevelt.jpg

A man is in the hospital after authorities say he fatally shot a man in Pompano Beach, then led officers on a chase through several cities before crashing in Tamarac.

The incident began after a man was found dead in a strip mall in the 1100 block of Southwest 15th Street in Pompano Beach around 10:20 p.m. Thursday, Broward Sheriff's Deputies say.

The homicide victim has been identified as 25-year-old Hector Alvarez. Friends told NBC 6 that Alvarez worked at a local car dealership and was a father-to-be.

Authorities identified the hospitalized man as 30-year-old Roosevelt Francois.

A business owner at that stip mall says one of the businesses there a storage facility by day, and an after-hours spot for a local bike club by night.

The leader of that bike club told NBC 6 that both Alvarez and the suspect were members the club and he considered men like brothers. He expressed disbelief at what happened that morning, saying it all stemmed from an argument.

"There's no logical justification for what happened. There's no reason why a gun would have been pulled for something as simple and as small as this was," he said.

The gunman drove away from the scene and was spotted by Margate Police. Several agencies, including BSO's North Lauderdale and Tamarac deputies, joined Margate in chasing the suspect.

BSO used their chopper to help try and locate Francois.

The chase ended once the suspect crashed his car at at 8900 Southgate Boulevard near Pine Island Road in Tamarac.

The suspect was airlifted to Broward Health North with minor injuries. He is in the custody of BSO and will face first-degree murder charges for the shooting.

Photo Credit: BSO]]>
<![CDATA[Armed Robbery at Jewelry Store in Little Havana: Police]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:36:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042816+jewelry+armed+robbery.jpg

A jewelry store was the scene of an armed robbery Thursday evening, as SWAT surrounded shops in the area searching for the suspect.

It happened around 6:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of Southwest 8th Street in Little Havana, according to Miami Police.

Investigators said an armed suspect went into the store as the owner was closing. The owner was handcuffed and then robbed, but not injured.

Police said the suspect fled the scene with approximately $500,000 worth of jewelry and other property.

No further details have been released. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Keith Jones Experiences Water Rescue in Demo With MDFR]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:39:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042816+keith+jones+water+rescue.jpg

Their job is dangerous and heroic. It's the most scenic position of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, but also the most daring.

The county's fireboat is like a floating ambulance and responds to countless scenarios.

"On a regular basis, we respond to vessels taking on water, people in distress, boat fires, medical emergency, people drowning," said Capt. Leonel Reyes with MDFR.

Other scenarios include boating accidents with severe injuries which they experience on a regular basis. While NBC 6 was with MDFR, they "rescued" anchor Keith Jones in a demonstration.

In the story line, the injuries were severe enough that it begged the attention of one the county's trauma helicopters.

Its capabilities are considered rare, providing a service which only exist in five agencies in the country.

"It's one of the unique things our service offers. We have a hoist affixed to the aircraft so we can retrieve patients without landing," explained Lt. Enrique Gonzalez, MDFR Flight Medic. "We have the same capabilities of a ground rescue. We carry the same amount of medications, same protocols of ground rescue. It's just a fast way of getting there."

The $9 million airborne ambulance has two paramedics and can treat up to four patients.

The day's training started with Keith getting lost in Biscayne Bay, and the call was made to dispatch. The fireboat located the accident scene.

In no time, the first paramedic diver was in the water and made contact. Then, the second diver was in the water with equipment, working as a team.

Even before the other team members worked to move Keith onto the fireboat deck, it was determined that injuries were severe enough for air transport.

They moved with precision, securing their patient into the stokes basket. The helicopter 25-feet over head had already dropped the hoist.

This is where communication is key, as the boat and chopper have to move in sync, at 10-knots across the waters.

In less than 90-seconds, the basket and injured patient were hoisted up to the helicopter. It was carefully maneuvered inside the aircraft, and then off to the trauma center.

The day's perfect setting made for a flawless training session, but Mother Nature's reality can offer severe challenges.

"You can imagine what we just did in the rain, rough winds, rough seas. Trying to keep your footing on the deck and at the same time making sure the patient gets safely hoisted onto the aircraft," one responder explained.

There are a lot of moving parts to this operation and a lot of room for error. But amid the floating chaos, the fireboat and air rescue crews moved with the fluidity of rescue ballet. Offering confidence to any boater, should catastrophe strike.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Select Laremy Tunsil in First Round]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 21:58:14 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/512485362-Laremy-Tunsil-nfl-combine.jpg

The Miami Dolphins selected offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil with their first round pick in the NFL draft on Thursday.

Miami selected Tunsil with the 13th overall pick after days of speculation that the team may move up. The Dolphins opted to stay in their slot and go with Tunsil. After seeing other teams move up at a high cost, Miami may have felt it wasn't worth the price to change slots.

Tunsil who attended Ole Miss was a projected first overall pick by some, but off the field issues made Tunsil drop. Minutes before the draft began, a tweet appeared on Tunsil's twitter account showing a man wearing a gas mask and smoking. The tweet and account were subsequently deleted. Tunsil's agent has stated that the OT's account was hacked.

There is no question that Tunsil is a very talented player who can be a difference maker for any team. The teams ahead of Miami chose to not take the risk of drafting Tunsil, but Miami evidently felt the potential reward outweighed the risk.

The Dolphins entered the draft with multiple needs including running back, linebacker and cornerback. Up until its choice was announced, it was possible that Miami could go in any of those directions with the pick. Those needs could be filled later in the draft.

If the Dolphins can't find suitable pieces with their other picks, they could opt to go with what they have. While Miami has been very active in its hunt for a RB, the team has been complimentary of Jay Ajayi in recent days. Ajayi could end up playing a bigger role than many anticipated.

Miami's other picks barring trades are 42nd, 73rd, 107th, 147th, 186th, 227th and 231rd overall.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, file]]>
<![CDATA[Vigil Held in Honor of South Dade HS Principal]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:37:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042816+javier+perez.jpg

Family and friends held a candlelight vigil Thursday evening for Javier Perez, the South Dade High School principal who was struck by an SUV at his son's Little League game.

"It's definitely brought out a somber vibe to the school. Teachers and administrators are feeling it," said Bryce Febres, student.

"We're all waiting and praying he gets better. We want him to come back. It's a shame because he's a wonderful person," said Sabrina Ayala, parent.

Perez was hit and pinned to a cement block Tuesday night by an SUV at Tamiami Park. He was coaching a Little League baseball game when it happened. The vehicle busted through a fence and onto the field.

Since then prayers for healing and messages of support hang throughout campus and all over social media.

"Having to hear what happened to him, it was terrifying. We love Mr. Perez and we're here to pray for him and hope he's doing better," said Juan Castillo, student.

Students say the school is really coming together, hoping Perez hears what's in their hearts.

"I really hope he gets well. It's hard to find people like him around. It's rare to find someone so genuinely caring of their school," Febres said.

"Javier Perez is the bow tie man. He's a tough person with great passion and compassion and we honor him and tonight is Buccaneer night across the district," said Alberto Carvalho, MDCPS Superintendent.

Perez remains at Kendall Regional Medical Center. He has undergone multiple surgeries to save his life.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Perez and his family with medical expenses.