<![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-usThu, 26 May 2016 08:52:52 -0400Thu, 26 May 2016 08:52:52 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[2 Injured in Miami Beach Shooting: Police]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 08:34:02 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Generic+Police+Tape+Generic+NJ.JPG

Two people were shot and injured in Miami Beach Thursday morning.

According to Miami Beach Police, two vehicles were involved in the shooting at Ninth and Collins avenues just before 8 a.m.

The two victims were taken to an area hospital. Their conditions were not released, but their injuries were said to be non-life threatening.

Police have one person of interest in custody.

Police are working to confirm whether the shooting was connected to an earlier shooting at the Mokai Lounge nightclub, located at 235 23rd Street in Miami Beach.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Weather: Warm and Dry Thursday]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 06:22:06 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000023737571_1200x675_693247043663.jpg Ryan Phillips says Thursday will bring us more sunshine, warm and dry with a breeze and lower humidity.]]> <![CDATA[If You Build It, They Will Come]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:05:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+hurricane+impacts.jpg

In the classic baseball movie Field of Dreams, a baseball diamond was built in a cornfield. In what could be a disaster movie-in-production, Florida has built enough housing and infrastructure in the past decade to accommodate two and a half million new residents. It’s clear that a lot of building has been going on in the Sunshine State lately. But not ONE has come! Not a single hurricane has reached Florida since Major Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. On June 1st 2016 at the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, that’ll mark a record 10 years, 7 months and 8 days since the last landfall.

What’s most remarkable about this streak is that 66 hurricanes have tracked through the Atlantic since Florida’s last hurricane impact. According to Dr. Phil Klotzbach from Colorado State University (CSU), the odds of that happening are approximately 1 in 500.

That’s a really, really low BABIP.

Wait, what? Batting Average on Balls In Play! You weren’t expecting me to drop the baseball theme after the first sentence, were you? Baseball – my favorite sport – provides an excellent analogy on what’s been happening with tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin of late.

When it comes to tropical threats, having had 66 “balls in play” – hurricanes -- over the last 10+ years without a single “hit” denotes a BABIP of ZERO in Florida. Yet the normal ratio of Florida landfalling hurricanes to Atlantic basinwide hurricanes – we’ll call it our Florida Hurricane BABIP -- is 9 percent. Had our Hurricane BABIP over the last decade remained close to the mean, we would’ve had 6 hurricanes hit the state! Instead, we had zero. But a good baseball analyst (or a baseball nut like me) knows that BABIP always reverts to the mean. We won’t be as lucky going forward, and eventually – unless there’s been a fundamental climatic change – we may see several hurricanes strike the state in a short span.

This year, 2016, is particularly worrisome. While a normal to slightly more active than normal year is being predicted by the various seasonal prediction entities (CSU, NOAA, UK Met Office, WeatherChannel, etc.), there will likely be a La Niña to contend with this season. The powerful El Niño that helped suppress tropical cyclones in the Atlantic in 2015 has faded rapidly. If it’s replaced by La Niña, there’ll be more favorable conditions for tropical storms to mature into hurricanes.

While there are many other variables that can affect how many storms form, how strong hurricanes get, and where they go, there’s nothing pretty about this statistic: Florida is impacted by over twice as many hurricanes in La Niña compared to El Niño, as shown in the graph above. The blue bar shows 0.88 hurricane impacts per year or about 9 Florida hurricanes for every 10 La Niña years.

So, if we built it, will they come? I hope not! But it’s going to be very difficult to sustain our record lucky streak. Billions of dollars have been invested in property and infrastructure across the Sunshine State since our last hurricane strike. Florida is now more populous than New York State. South Florida’s metro area alone has seen its population increase by 500 thousand in the past 10 years. Complacency has set in. And many new neighbors have never had to face the threat of a hurricane.

There are reasons to be worried, and you need to be prepared.

<![CDATA[Strip Club Location for Student Party Causes Uproar]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:45:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+strip+club+party.jpg

There has been an uproar over tickets to a party for kids to celebrate the end of school this year. The location: one of South Florida's largest adult strip clubs.

The promoter said hundreds of tickets had been sold, fancy clothes purchased and hotel rooms booked. All for what was labeled a #NoIDParty at the King of Diamonds Adult Entertainment Complex.

If you drive anywhere along I-95 near the Golden Glades, you would recognize the huge building as the King of Diamonds.

NBC 6 received word about the party when a woman said her 15-year-old son brought the information home from school and she was shocked.

The event was posted on social media, and a flyer for the event shows scantily clad women; $15 to get in and $30 for VIP.

"My first thought was, it's kind of inappropriate. You know, especially in a strip club," one parent said.

The parent said she became alarmed when her son showed her the promotional material for the teen party. The promoter posted teens posing with the tickets at area high schools. Promoters were also handing out goodies at schools.

A social media posting shows the tickets being offered as far north as Jacksonville.

State Rep. Barbara Watson said she went to the club to see what was going on.

"I was informed that they would be having their strippers there but they said they were going to be dressed appropriately for intermingling with children," she said. "I inquired about their poles and they told me their poles would be removed."

Miami-Dade County rules require minors be kept more than 1,000 feet away from adult entertainment. That's why Rep. Watson moved to put an end to it.

"I find that totally unacceptable to have teenagers to be involved in. We need to stop this event in its entirety," Rep. Watson said.

The strip club owner has agreed not to host the teen bash. Parents said they were not only worried about the club, but about the hotels the promoter listed as preferred locations for those staying overnight.

NBC 6 spoke to the promoter who said he has taken the proper steps so this can be a clean and safe environment for teens, no strippers. He said he only picked the location for the size. He said hundreds of tickets have been sold and now he's scrambling to find another location for the event.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Tally 13 Hits to Top Rays]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:33:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-534344342.jpg

The Miami Marlins put together 13 hits in their 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday at Tropicana Field.

Miami led by two runs early in the game before blowing the lead. A rally in the eighth inning would put the Marlins back on top where they'd remain. With the win, Miami now leads the Citrus Series 2-1 with one game remaining.

Cole Gillespie started in place of Giancarlo Stanton who is battling a strained rib cage. Gillespie did the most with his opportunity with two hits including the game-winner. Gillespie's single in the eighth inning plated the go-ahead run at the time.

Stanton could miss another game or two, and Christian Yelich also remains out for Miami. Ichiro Suzuki drew another start in place of Yelich and went 0-5. Suzuki also struck out twice and saw his average fall to .357.

Tampa Bay's rally was led by former Marlin, Logan Morrison. The first baseman has been hitting exceptionally well during the series and had three runs batted in on Wednesday. Morrison's two-run home run tied the game in the sixth inning as well.

Six different Marlins had multi-hit days including the aforementioned Gillespie. Martin Prado, Marcell Ozuna, Derek Dietrich, J.T. Realmuto and Adeiny Hechavarria also had two-hit games.

Justin Nicolino struck out a career-high six batters in his 5.2 innings on the mound. Nicolino would end up with a no-decision as he served up the game-tying home run to Morrison and was lifted soon after.

Miami will look to win the Citrus Series on Thursday when it sends Jose Fernandez to the mound.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Officer-Involved Shooting in NW Miami-Dade: MDPD]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:38:57 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+dade+ois.jpg

Miami-Dade Police responded to an officer-involved shooting Wednesday evening, the third in Miami-Dade County in 24 hours.

It happened around 9:20 p.m. near Northwest 27th Avenue and Northwest 95th Street.

It's unclear what led to the shooting, but MDPD said it was non-contact.

Earlier Wednesday around 11 a.m., a suspect was killed in a shooting involving a Florida Highway Patrol motorcycle trooper in Miami Gardens.

A couple hours later, an armed teen was injured in a shooting in southwest Miami-Dade involving MDPD officers.

Stay with NBC 6 for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Meet the First Female Chief Fire Officer in Miami]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:42:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+melissa+llera.jpg

She's in charge of five fire stations in the north end of Miami and also oversees the Miami Fire-Rescue's dive team and technical rescue team. But Melissa Llera is even more than that at Miami Fire-Rescue, she's the department's first female chief fire officer.

"I spent time as a firefighter and as a lieutenant and as a captain before getting to the rank of chief," Chief Fire Officer Llera said.

It's the highest rank ever held by any female in the history of the department.

"I always knew that it was possible one day, I just didn't think I would be the first one," Chief Fire Officer Llera said.

A department where, similar to the profession, women are largely under represented.

Currently, the agency has 749 firefighters and only 38 of them are women. That's less than six percent. Those are numbers the fire chief is working to get up.

"I've been on staff from one position or another since 1994, always seen this as a challenge and been chief since 2009. So now in a better position to do things about it," said Chief Maurice Kemp.

Chief Kemp said one thing he's done is make it a priority for the department to recruit more women.

All recruits for Miami Fire-Rescue train at a facility where another high ranking female is one of those in charge.

"If anything, I personally hold the female recruits in this academy to a higher level, knowing what it's like to be in this profession," said Capt. Dena Burton.

Capt. Burton knows all about the challenges female firefighters face. She said the greatest is physical.

"Because of their upper body strength, they have to work twice as hard for the physical complement," Capt. Burton said.

Of course, fighting fires isn't all physical. It requires bravery and a certain amount of selflessness.

If you spend time with Chief Fire Officer Llera, you would find out those qualities exist, but in addition, she's very humble. During our interview about her success as a woman, she took the spotlight off herself.

"There's been a lot of women before me. I thank them for what they had to live through. So they really paved the way for the women in the fire service today," she said.

When asked what it all means to her, she mentioned the children in her life, especially the 9-year-old, whose picture sits on her desk.

"My son is very proud of me. I've done countless school presentations for family and friends and I really do take pride in the fact that I'm showing these kids, especially the girls, that they can be firefighters some day and really be whatever they want," Chief Fire Officer Llera expressed.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Hialeah Rally Raises Awareness on Keeping Kids Safe]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:07:06 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000023730559_1200x675_692893251808.jpg Wednesday was a day dedicated to missing children across the country. A number of people are trying to draw attention to the issue. NBC 6's Julia Bagg explains.]]> <![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 20:31:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6_Carlo.jpg Check out the animals available for adoption in Broward County!]]> <![CDATA[Alleged Burglary Duo Appears in Bond Court]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:12:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+mendoza+and+logigensky.jpg

Suspected criminals, busted during Operation Save Our Streets, faced a judge Wednesday.

Mike Mendoza, 20, was caught during the operation in Brickell Tuesday evening and was in bond court Wednesday, facing charges of burglary and grand theft.

His alleged partner-in-crime is Mark Lodigensky, 62.

"Two cases April 19, one from April 13 and one from April 14," said Judge Mindy Glazer, Miami-Dade Bond Court.

Detectives said the duo targeted homes in Downtown Miami and the nearby areas. Both wore hats and latex gloves, according to the arrest report.

One victim told police she surprised the burglars in her apartment, as they left with backpacks full of her jewelry and electronics.

One of the defendants appealed to the judge to lower his bond.

"I have a heart condition. I have atrial fibrillation and it's pretty bad, and I'm not getting any medication," Lodigensky said.

The judge was not swayed and gave him a total bond of $60,000. Mendoza got $35,000.

Operation Save Our Streets is an anti-crime initiative by the City of Miami Police Department, with a focus on robberies, burglaries, thefts, graffiti and other crimes.

"During this operation, we were able to put an end to this duo pulling off burglaries in the Brickell area," said Officer Kenia Fallat with Miami Police.

Both defendants have prior convictions, with some dating back to the 80s. They will be back in court later this month for their arraignments. It's unknown whether they have attorneys.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[FWC Officers Undergo Intense Gator Trapping Training]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 06:56:33 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/052516+gator+trapping.jpg

Alligators, the potentially lethal lizards, are on the move. 180 pounds of muscle and teeth, with a chomp so powerful, one bite can shatter bones.

It's alligator mating season and because they're motivated by finding a mate, they're turning up in odd places.

"We've found them in public bathrooms, called out to people's homes, in their pools, on their cars, sometimes we've found them in their cars," explained Lorenzo Velos with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The newest crop of FWC officers has to know how to deal with those situations. Wednesday was training day at Everglades Gator Farm in Homestead.

Rope techniques were taught, along with how to blind the gator, in order to capture it. Keeping your digits is key, so hand placement is very important.

The trapping portion can be easy, at least compared to actually carrying the gator, especially one that's not cooperating.

For a 10.5-foot alligator, it took four officers to wrestle it and six to carry the 400-pounds of combustible power.

One of the officers being trained was rookie Juan Blanco, who has already responded to five calls in the field. He's had classroom training, but he said hands-on training has taught him so much more.

"Better techniques on how to keep my fingers on my hands," Blanco said.

The alligators caught are either relocated in the Everglades or taken to a farm. It may look like the animal is being hurt, but this is actually very humane, according to experts.

The techniques taught focus on safety. In the end, officers want go home with limbs intact, and the gators get a new home.

A nuisance gator is a different story. A nuisance gator is not afraid of people and has to be euthanized; they cannot be brought to a gator farm.

However, that nuisance gator is still used for science research and taken to the FWC biology offices in Davie. They do everything from weigh it, use the meat and the hides. They also check to see what it's been eating, which can tell a lot about the eco-system.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[5 From Miami Arrested in $2M IRS Phone Scam: Officials]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 15:55:46 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Woman+on+Phone+Generic+Telephone+Customer+Service.jpg

Five South Florida people are facing federal charges in a $2 million IRS phone scam, officials said Wednesday.

Jennifer Valerino Nunez, Dennis Delgado Caballero, Arnoldo Perez Mirabal, Yaritza Espinosa Diaz, and Roberto Fontanella Caballero have been arrested in the scam, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

Officials said the group falsely impersonated IRS agents over the phone and demanded money from victims. They threatened arrests and persuaded their victims to wire money through MoneyGram, Walmart-2-Walmart and other wire services, officials said.

The group defrauded more than 1,500 victims out of almost $2 million, officials said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[2 New Zika Cases Reported in Miami-Dade County]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:16:25 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/178*120/Zika.png

In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the Zika virus, the Florida Department of Health will issue a Zika virus update each week day at 2 p.m. Updates will include a CDC-confirmed Zika case count by county and information to better keep Floridians prepared.

There are four new travel-related cases today with two in Miami-Dade, one in Lee and one in Orange counties. Of the cases confirmed in Florida, five cases are still exhibiting symptoms. According to CDC, symptoms associated with the Zika virus last between seven to 10 days.

CDC recommends that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to Zika affected areas. According to CDC guidance, providers should consider testing all pregnant women with a history of travel to a Zika affected area for the virus. CDC recommends that a pregnant woman with a history of Zika virus and her provider should consider additional ultrasounds.

Florida has been monitoring pregnant women with evidence of Zika regardless of symptoms since January. The total number of pregnant women who have been monitored is 36, with 9 having met the previous CDC case definition.

On Feb. 12, Governor Scott directed the State Surgeon General to activate a Zika Virus Information Hotline for current Florida residents and visitors, as well as anyone planning on traveling to Florida in the near future. The hotline, managed by the Department of Health, has assisted 1,839 callers since it launched. The number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 1-855-622-6735.

All cases are travel-associated.

<![CDATA[Man Wanted for Drugging, Robbing Date: BSO]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:39:35 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+drugged+date+oakland+park.jpg

The Broward Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying a man who allegedly drugged his date and then stole from him.

According to BSO, an Oakland Park man woke up dazed and confused after having possibly been drugged by a man he met at a bar the previous night.

The victim told detectives he does not remember anything that took place after they arrived at his home.

Detectives are searching for the suspect, who was captured on video leaving the victim's home on May 22.

The suspect stole a laptop, an iPhone 6S and the victim's wallet. He's described as having a medium complexion, shaved head, 5'8" and 165 pounds, and approximately 38-45 years of age.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.

Photo Credit: BSO]]>
<![CDATA[$5,000 Keyboard Stolen From Miami Church]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:12:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+bethany+baptist+church+miami.jpg

A Miami baptist church pastor is asking for the public's help after the church's keyboard was stolen.

Pastor Salim Auguste of Bethany Baptist Church at Northwest 7th Avenue and 54th Street says he can't believe criminals took advantage of a house of worship.

"All of a sudden around 2:30, I receive a call that something is going on at the church," Auguste said.

Auguste said police told him someone tossed a rock through a window and broke in.

"And when I reach here, the keyboard has been gone," he said.

Auguste said the keyboard is worth about $5,000.

"It's very difficult today, I know for people to work, but at the same time it is unexpected to see people come into the house of the lord and do such thing," he said.

Motion detectors set off an alarm so the thieves only got away with the keyboard but it's a big part of the church's services.

Auguste said he forgives the thieves and won't press charges if the keyboard is returned.

"But we say a prayer for that person so God might change his heart and return the keyboard. It's a really expensive one," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Amanda Plasencia/NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Fatal Head-on Crash in Oakland Park: BSO]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 14:22:48 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+Javier+Landron.jpg

A man has been arrested in a head-on crash that killed a woman on Labor Day in Oakland Park last year, authorities said Wednesday.

Javier Landron, 47, was arrested Monday on charges including DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in the September 7, 2015 crash that killed 44-year-old Audrey Williams Ives, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.

Landron was being held without bond Wednesday, jail records showed. It was unknown if he's hired an attorney.

A witness told BSO he was heading westbound on Oakland Park Boulevard when he noticed a silver Toyota Tundra driving westbound in the eastbound lanes. The witness honked his horn and tried to get the driver's attention, but the attempts failed.

In the 1900 block of Oakland Park Boulevard, the Tundra, driven by Landron, crashed head-on into a Toyota Camry, which was driven by Ives, authorities said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities said toxicology results showed Landron had a blood alcohol level of .16 the morning of the incident, above the state's .08 legal limit.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Girl, 2, Strangled by Window Blind Cord in Oakland Park: BSO]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:48:46 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+oakland+park+toddler+strangled.jpg

A 2-year-old girl has died after choking on a window blind cord at a home in Oakland Park Wednesday, authorities said.

Oakland Park Fire Rescue officials said they responded to a home in the 4500 block of Northeast 15th Way  around 12:30 p.m. and rushed the toddler to Holy Cross Hospital.

Broward Sheriff's Office officials later said the child died. Neighbors said a mom, dad and two children live at the home. 

"Six sheriff cars pulled up and they were running as fast as they could into the front door," neighbor Michael Matheson said.

Matheson said the girl's father arrived moments later.

"He was running as fast as he could and he came around the corner and darted past all the sheriffs, about five second later he came out screaming," Matheson said.

The incident is under investigation but there is nothing suspicious, officials said.

No other information was immediately known.

This child's death is the third in Florida since August 2015, according to Linda Kaiser of Parents for Window Blind Safety. Kaiser started the nonprofit group in 2002 to support parents who lose children and educate consumers about the risks.

The group keeps tracks of deaths and injuries from window blind cords. They report 592 children have been killed or injured in these accidents since 1995, 36 in Florida.

Parents for Window Blind Safety petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2014 for mandatory standards for window blind makers.

CPSC in March announced its partnering with Canada to to come up with new standards to encourage cordless window coverings.

The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) encourages parents and caregivers to check window coverings for exposed or dangling cords. The group recommends replacing them with cordless window covering products or those with inaccessible cords.

The group says parents can identify products best suited for homes with young children by looking for the 'Best for Kids' certification on products.

PSA: In An Instant (Child Safety Film - Dangers of Corded Blinds)

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Trio Robs Pembroke Pines 7-Eleven: Police]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 13:53:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/219*120/052516+seven+eleven+robbery.JPG

Police in Pembroke Pines are looking for three males who robbed a 7-Eleven at gunpoint on Monday.

Surveillance video shows the three black males entering the 7-Eleven station at 1696 Southwest 101 Street. All three have their faces loosely covered.

Two men step out of view, while a third pushes a customer to the ground and appears to rob him.

The three then hurry out of the front door, though it is not known exactly what they took from the store.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.

Photo Credit: PPPD]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Injured in Police-Involved Shooting in SW Dade]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 22:28:33 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+police-involved+shooting+sw+miami-dade.jpg

An armed teen suspect was injured during a police-involved shooting in southwest Miami-Dade Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

The shooting happened around 12:30 p.m. in the area of Southwest 224th Street and Northwest 1125th Avenue.

According to police, officers tried to stop a vehicle that had been involved in a carjacking when one of the three people inside came out with a gun.

That suspect, a 16-year-old boy, was shot and taken to Kendall Regional Hospital, officials said. His condition was unknown but police said he had non-life suffering injuries.

The car took off again with two suspects inside but they bailed out after driving onto a field, officials said.

One of those suspects also pulled out a gun and shots were fired by police but no one was injured, officials said. A 15-year-old was taken into custody but the third suspect was able to run away.

Police searched for the third suspect for a couple hours before he was eventually caught. Two firearms were recovered at the scene, police said. It's unknown if any of the suspects fired any shots.

Two nearby schools, Pine Villa Elementary School at 21799 Southwest 117th Court and Mays Conservatory of the Arts at 11700 Southwest 216th Street, were placed on lockdown as a result of the incident.

No other information was immediately known.

Check back with NBC 6 for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Planning for Super Bowl LIV in South Florida Begins]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 17:14:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/211*120/012916+sun+life+stadium.JPG

With Super Bowl 54 locked down for South Florida in 2020, attention will now turn to planning.

New details were released Wednesday by the host committee on what's in store leading up to the game, the fun, festivities and football mania that will take over downtown Miami.

"Biscayne Boulevard will be converted into an interactive football field," former Dolphin Larry Csonka said at Wednesday's presentation.

Super Bowl 54 will not only mark the NFL's centennial year but will put South Florida at the top of the list of having hosted more Super Bowls than any other city, ahead of New Orleans.

The game was last played in South Florida in 2010, but Super Bowl LIV will be the first one played in the Dolphins' newly-renovated stadium. Improvements will include new seating, technology, food options and an open-air canopy that will offer shade for most fans inside.

A 400 person crew is working 24/7 to get the stadium in Miami Gardens ready.

"The Super Bowl is coming home and it will be played in Miami Gardens, 110,000 people welcoming the Super Bowl to their hometown," Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert said.

The NFL had made it clear that South Florida wouldn't see another Super Bowl until upgrades were made.

"We put together probably our most comprehensive bid proposal that I've ever been involved with and I've been doing this for 28 years," host committee chairman Rodney Barreto said.

The host committee is now working on rolling out the welcome mat with plans to transform Downtown Miami into "Super Bowl Park" for the thousands who are expected to pump money into the South Florida economy.

<![CDATA[NHC Watching Area of Disturbance]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 14:20:46 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Tropical+Disturbance+PM.png

You’ve either looked at the calendar or you’ve scrolled across something on social media, a reminder that the next hurricane season is upon us. 

The reminder is that looming date, June 1st, the commencement of the Atlantic hurricane season.

That “something” is an area of disturbed weather northeast of the Bahamas, some 700 miles east of South Florida.

The National Hurricane Center has put out a few special statements about the potential for development of this area, but nothing is imminent.  As of Wednesday afternoon, there is about a 50 percent chance of development in the next five days.  As I stated this morning on Twitter, I’m not too concerned about this.

If any system does unfold, here are two simple ideas to keep in mind:

First, if it happens, it’s only going to develop slowly.  That would give us plenty of time to observe it and model it. The parameters necessary for development aren’t currently in place, and sea surface temperatures are only marginally supportive.

Second, and most important, if anything unfolds, it’s not going to be a South Florida problem.  All models suggest this entity, in whatever state it’s in, would drift well to our northeast, even if it heads back to the coastline of the United States. 

This early-season disturbance does, however, serve a greater purpose, and the timing couldn’t be better.  Even if South Florida would not see any impacts, it has your attention.

And while there is no expectation for a tropical event to ramp up this Memorial Day weekend, the official start of hurricane season is coming next Wednesday.

June 1st will come every year, but are you ever ready for it?

Take the time now (especially with an extra day this weekend) to get ready with a home that’s prepared and an action plan that’s been reviewed. Little steps now could pay off later in the season.  And always keep the NBC 6 Hurricane Section handy to keep up to the minute on developing storms, and guidelines to stay safe this hurricane season.

<![CDATA[Suspect Killed in FHP-Involved Shooting in Miami Gardens]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:40:08 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/211*120/shots+fired+fhp.JPG

A suspect was killed in a shooting involving a Florida Highway Patrol motorcycle trooper in Miami Gardens Wednesday morning, officials said.

The shooting was reported in the area of Northwest 175th Street and Northwest 37th Avenue in Miami Gardens just after 11 a.m.

Officials said the trooper had stopped a vehicle and became involved in a confrontation with the driver. Shots were fired and the suspect was killed at the scene.

Surveillance footage from nearby showed part of the confrontation. It shows the trooper pull up next to a car and climb on the hood while the car goes in reverse.

The driver moves forward and makes a U-turn and the trooper is flung off the hood, landing on his feet. Investigators said he shot the suspect while on the hood.

"The trooper fired into the vehicle fearing for his life and the vehicle fled northbound," FHP spokesman Joe Sanchez said.

The suspect's vehicle struck another vehicle during the incident, officials said. The driver of that car wasn't hurt.

Aerial footage showed at least one person being treated at the scene, while a yellow tarp was seen covering what appeared to be a body lying next to a red car.

A black car with damage to the front end was also seen in the street not far from the scene, as was an FHP motorcycle lying on its side in the middle of the roadway.

Multiple FHP troopers were seen responding to the scene. The trooper involved in the incident received minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

The suspect's identity wasn't released. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.

<![CDATA[Student Stabbed in Boy's Bathroom at School in Palm Beach County]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:35:46 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+royal+palm+beach+community+high+school.jpg

A student at a high school in Palm Beach County was taken to the hospital after another student stabbed him in the boy's bathroom Wednesday.

NBC affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach reports that the incident occurred in the bathroom at Royal Palm Beach High School at 8:47 a.m. while students were changing classes. They say one student stabbed the other with a pocketknife.

The injured student was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in stable condition.

The suspect, who is also a student, was taken into custody. He's expected to face charges of attempted murder and bringing a weapon on school property.

It is not known what prompted the stabbing. The students' identities have not been released.

The Palm Beach School district said on Twitter that the school was briefly placed on "code yellow" due to what they called an "isolated incident."

As of 10:40 a.m., the school was back on regular bell schedule with no missed instructional time.

The stabbing is the second at Royal Palm this school year and the third in 21 months.

"Hopefully they'll do something about it or I'm going to take my other child out of here," parent Amber Givens said.

Photo Credit: WPTV]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Husband Arrested in Missing Florida Mom Case]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:33:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+tricia+todd+arrest+murder.jpg

The ex-husband of a missing Florida Air Force veteran has been arrested and charged with her murder, the Martin County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday.

Air Force airman Steven Williams, 30, is facing second-degree murder and child neglect charges. Williams has been ordered held without bond and court records don't indicate whether he has hired an attorney.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said Williams confessed to killing 30-year-old Tricia Todd — a mother and hospice nurse — and disposing of her body in a wooded area near Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

Todd's body hasn't been found. Snyder said Wednesday crews were searching a 15-mile wide area, redoubling their efforts to find her remains.

Todd was last seen at a Publix grocery store in Martin County on April 27 prompting a large-scale, multi-agency search, NBC affiliate WPTV reported.

Officials said Todd was killed the night of her disappearance and that her 3-year-old child was nearby when she was killed. He had no accomplices in the killing or in disposing of the body, officials said. 

Williams had been cooperating with authorities and even agreed to a polygraph test on May 3.

"Nothing in (William's) lengthy interview — and it was a long and detailed interview — nor his polygraph exam indicated that he was involved or had any additional information about Tricia Todd's disappearance," Snyder previously said.

He was also interviewed by a lieutenant, two detectives and an assistant state attorney in North Carolina, where he was stationed at an Air Force base.

Williams was seen on camera buying gas at around 1 a.m. on the day Todd went missing, later telling investigators that she asked him for it because the fuel in her car was running low, NBC News reported.

Officials said Williams was taken into custody Tuesday in North Carolina and was brought back to Martin County.

Williams had been assigned as a field training detachment instructor with the Air Force's 372nd Training Squadron. The Air Force said in a written statement Wednesday they are "cooperating fully with civil authorities in this case."

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Photo Credit: Martin County Sheriff's Office / Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Weather: Possible Pop-Up Showers Weds.]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 09:29:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000023721347_1200x675_692503619762.jpg Wednesday is starting off dry but Ryan Phillips says we may see a few showers pop up by midday.]]> <![CDATA[Miami Police Operation Targets Criminals in Brickell]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 23:27:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052416+operation+save+streets.jpg

South Florida police officers are cleaning up the streets. One by one, accused criminals were handcuffed and hauled to jail Tuesday evening, as part of Operation Save Our Streets.

City of Miami Police rounded up accused thieves and burglars in The Roads neighborhood of Brickell.

"If we see a spike in crime or some concern in the area, we want to focus our operations there to reduce and prevent crime in the future," said Freddie Cruz with Miami Police.

The biggest arrest Tuesday was 20-year-old Mike Mendoza. He's accused of breaking into downtown condos and stuffing backpacks with valuables.

Detectives said he and another suspected burglar are responsible for multiple crimes in the last few months.

"During this operation, we were able to put an end to this duo pulling off burglaries in the Brickell area," said Kenia Fallat with Miami Police.

Police had a makeshift processing center setup in the parking lot of a Publix supermarket off 13th Street near 2nd Avenue.

Officers conducted the operation over a span of 10 hours. They said they plan to do these once a month to quickly collect criminals.

The goal is to focus on robberies, burglaries, thefts, graffiti and other crimes within The Roads and surrounding areas.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Leech Therapy Gaining Popularity in South Florida]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 11:19:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/052416+leech+therapy.jpg

The healing powers of a blood-sucking worm: South Florida medical practitioners are using leeches to treat patients suffering from a variety of medical conditions.

Hirudotherapy, commonly referred to as Leech Therapy, is a centuries-old practice used to treat a wide range of conditions.

Patricia Nardone has uterine fibroids and turned to this alternative therapy after undergoing an ineffective medical procedure.

"It affects my daily life because I get tired and I'm anemic," she said.

Through an online search and a couple of phone calls, she found Alicja Kolyszko, a naturopathic practitioner who travels around the United States working to heal her patients with medicinal leeches.

"They are safe, without any side effects and they are all natural," Kolyszko said.

Leeches are like cousins to earthworms. They have at least 270 microscopic teeth, and depending on what you're treating, they can be on your body from as short as three minutes to as long as 45 minutes.

"It really wasn't painful. It was just a numbing feeling, it was a nice feeling," Nardone explained.

The leeches suck your blood, but before that, Kolyszko said they secrete a beneficial enzyme into the human body.

The most popular treatments include varicose veins, infertility and migraines. But over the last year, many have a growing interest in this type of therapy for cosmetic reasons.

"What the leeches input into a body, they affect your face and they affect the body and face from within," Kolyszko said.

After application, the leeches are discarded and cannot be reused.

The price of one session starts at about $250, but Kolyszko recommends you do your research before getting started. Learn about your practitioner and know where the leeches are coming from.

For more information on how Leech Therapy works, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA['Gap Year' Proves Successful for Many Students]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 21:01:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Yearbook-GettyImages-176779068.jpg

Taking a gap year does not necessarily mean working at the Gap. It's the commonly-used term for taking the uncommon path after high school. Instead of going directly to college or the workforce, a student takes a year off from school to travel, work, volunteer, or otherwise explore a passion.

"It really helps you set your goals and see where you are right now and how you could grow from a different experience and getting a different perspective on life in general," said Schae Maynard, a student at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.

Malia Obama is making "gap year" a trending thing, taking a year off between her high school graduation and her freshman year at Harvard. Schae Maynard did the gap year thing, too. Before she enrolled at NSU, she worked at a nonprofit agency in her native Trinidad, working with disadvantaged kids.

"It was one of the best decisions I made," Schae said. "It just really helped me focus on what I want to do in life and it just got me to a really good point because I definitely was not ready for college."

The things students can do in a gap year are virtually limitless.

"After high school I ran away with the circus, my family's four generations of circus people," Cassiano Santos said.

Yes, you read that correctly. After he graduated from Everglades High School in Miramar, Cassiano joined the circus. He didn't clown around or swing on the trapeze, he worked in sales.

"It was amazing, it was the best experience of my life, actually, we were in a different city every week," Cassiano said. "I met different nationalities, people from all over the world."

Cassiano said minding the gap helped him focus on what he wants to do in college. Gap years are obviously not the best course for everyone, but NSU's director of student success, Sheila Fabius, said good planning can make it worthwhile.

"You want to make sure that it's productive, that they're receiving a great experience, and that it's not an expensive vacation," Fabius said.

Fabius works with incoming students to plan their academic careers. She said some kids aren't ready for college-level work and independence, so a gap year can, pardon the expression, bridge that gap.

"So taking that gap year allows them to kind of work on developing their identity, exploring their passions, their interests," Fabius said.

Cassiano is a student at Broward College, with his sights focused now on eventually studying engineering at the University of Florida. No circus life for him.

"I love science and I like engineering and I like the idea of possibly changing the world one day through solar energy," the freshman said.

You might say Cassiano and Schae have very little in common, except that for each of them, taking a year off of school put them on the right academic path.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman's Family Pleads for Help After Botched Surgery]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 23:32:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052416+linda+perez.jpg

A woman was left in a coma after what should have been a routine plastic surgery. She did come out of the coma months later, but the damage was done. Now her family is asking for help with mounting medical bills.

Linda Perez was a beautiful, loving 18-year-old. But her life drastically changed three years ago.

"Our client was a healthy, independent woman when she walked into the Coral Gables Cosmetic Center for a routine procedure. She left in a coma and is now permanently brain damaged," said Mark Eiglarsh, Perez's attorney.

After undergoing a breast augmentation surgery back in 2013, the now 21-year-old can no longer eat, speak, walk or go to the bathroom by herself.

"Physically, she's no different than an infant who needs 24-hour care for the most basic of activities," Eiglarsh said.

Perez's mother Mariela said these past couple of years have been difficult and a burden on her and her daughter's six-year-old son. Her lawyers said they didn't file a lawsuit because it wasn't worth it financially.

"Because the surgical center didn't have any insurance and the anesthesiologist's insurance was minimal, my client recovered very little," Eiglarsh said.

Perez has been through a lot and will never be the same. Her family and lawyers are also trying to caution others to be careful and do extensive research before undergoing a cosmetic procedure.

"The public needs to know what they're dealing with. Most of these clinics do not carry insurance. People need to do their homework if they're going to be doing something like this," Eiglarsh expressed.

According to Perez's lawyers, court records also show the anesthesiologist for the procedure, Dr. Mario Albert Diaz, had some issues in the past.

"The anesthesiologist who handled this case was convicted in federal court for a number of crimes, including drug trafficking. He served 30 months in prison and was released to probation," Eiglarsh said.

NBC 6 reached out to the Coral Gables Cosmetic Clinic for a comment. Kubs Lalchandani, attorney for the clinic, released the following statement:

"CGCC is committed to upholding the highest standards of medical care and patient safety. For privacy reasons, CGCC cannot comment on any medical issues related to its patients and is unaware of any pending lawsuit regarding medical services provided at CGCC's facility."

If you'd like to help the family with medical expenses, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Zoo Miami Komodo Dragon That Appeared on 'Letterman' Dies]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 19:16:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052416+ron+magill+zoo+miami+komodo+dragon+khaos.jpg

Zoo Miami is mourning the death of their famous Komodo Dragon who once made an appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman."

Khaos, who hatched at the zoo in 1998 and traveled the country with Communications Director Ron Magill has died, officials said Tuesday.

Magill recalled the famous visit to New York and the "Late Show" set in a statement Tuesday.

"I’ll never forget when I put him on David Letterman’s desk and Letterman totally freaked out not realizing what a gentle giant Khaos was," the statement read. "He was a very special animal that I was privileged to travel around the country with and he inspired countless people, children and adults alike, about the wonders of wildlife. He will be deeply missed."

The zoo had reported last July that Khaos was undergoing treatment and had been suffering from limited mobility in his hind quarters. The initial results from a necropsy didn't indicate a clear cause of death.

Komodo dragons are the largest species of lizard on earth and can grow to nearly 10 feet and close to 250 pounds. They're currently classified as endangered.

Photo Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Dies After Being Left Inside Vehicle: Hialeah Police]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 23:31:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052316+baby+inside+car.jpg

An 11-month-old girl died after she was left inside her parents' parked car Monday in South Florida, possibly for hours, according to police.

Emergency responders were called to the 3500 block of West 86th Terrace in Hialeah around 4:10 p.m. The baby was found unconscious and taken to Palmetto General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

Police said the baby had been left inside her parents' parked vehicle with the engine turned off. It's not clear how long she was there, but police said it may have been a few hours. The child's name has not been released.

The temperature outside climbed into the upper 80s on Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

"In 10 to 15 minutes, a temperature of a car that's parked with the engine not running could go from 80 degrees to 130 degrees," explained a member of the fire rescue team.

Authorities have not taken anyone into custody or filed charges in connection with the case. Police are working with the Miami-Dade state attorney's office to investigate.

Hialeah Police also issued the following statement: "We are aware of the public interest and multiple information requests for this case. However, we will not be releasing any further information at this time while the case remains open and active. This is a very significant incident and an equally important investigation. We do not wish to comprise the integrity of the investigation or release incomplete information until the investigation is finalized."

According to HeatStroke.org, the child is the first to die in a vehicle in Florida this year and the eighth nationwide.

Janette Fennell, president and founder of Kids and Cars, a nonprofit organization focused on improving child safety around cars, recommends the following tips to parents:

  1. Look before you lock. Open the back door and look in the back seat to make sure everyone is out of the car (even if you think there is no one back there).
  2. Keep something you need in the back seat. Put your cellphone, briefcase, computer, lunch, ID badge, left shoe or anything essential to your daily routine next your child.
  3. Travel with a furry companion. Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When a baby is in the seat, the stuffed animal rides shotgun. The furry passenger serves as a reminder that baby's in the back.
  4. Always lock the doors. Even if the car is in the garage, keep the doors locked to prevent curious children from getting into the car.
  5. Put the keys and fobs away. Kids might want to play with keys and be able to get into the car without parents knowledge.
  6. Have a plan with child-care provider. If your child does not show up to daycare or school without prior notice, someone should call to locate child.
  7. If you see something, do something. If you see a child alone in a car, do not hesitate to call 911.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Doctors Declare 'Parking Emergency' at Kendall Regional]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 19:07:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052416+kendall+hospital+parking.jpg

Finding a place to park at many businesses in South Florida can be difficult. But a group of doctors said they're dealing with a parking emergency at a local hospital.

If you travel to Kendall Regional Medical Center during the week, you'll often find the parking garage full, cars parked illegally on the sidewalk and on the grass near the building's main entrance. The NBC 6 Investigators saw a truck driver back into a car as he was trying to park on the sidewalk across the street from the hospital.

Johanna Miranda parked three blocks away and walked her baby daughter to the hospital to be treated for a fever. "It's terrible, terrible," said Miranda.

"The parking situation has been critical," said Dr. Sandra Gotman.

Dr. Gotman is a podiatrist who works in the medical office building on Kendall Regional Medical Center campus. She said she receives at least two calls a day from patients saying they can't find a place to park.

"I'm already coming in to work thinking how many patients will call today to cancel because of the parking," Dr. Gotman said.

She's one of about a dozen doctors who work in the medical office building who are meeting together to try to find ways to fix the problem. They said their medical practices are in jeopardy due to the amount of patients cancelling services due to the parking situation. They're now consulting with an attorney to figure out what their legal options are to get more parking for patients.

"The patients are suffering because we're not seeing them," said Dr. George Pimiento, a gynecologist who works on campus.

The doctors said parking has never been easy but the current hospital expansion that's underway right now is making it especially difficult for drivers. They claim the problem has reached a boiling point over the last year.

Miami-Dade Officials with the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources said the hospital actually has about two hundred more parking spaces than the minimum law requires. County officials reviewed hospital blueprints for the expansion in 2015. The number of parking spots a hospital is required to have is based on the number of hospital beds and office space on the property.

"How an individual business operates its own parking and manages their own parking is something we don't control at this level," said Nathan Kogon of the Dept. of Regulatory and Economic Resources.

Hospital administrators wouldn't comment on camera about the issue. They told the NBC 6 Investigators parking is a top priority and they are planning a new parking garage that is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2017. A hospital spokesperson released this statement:

"Kendall Regional Medical Center is a fast growing regional teaching hospital. We are continually looking at ways to improve services and our patients' experience. Currently, we are focused on enhancing parking on campus. Over the past year we have added additional valet parking stations and now have three stations located throughout the campus. We now also have employee parking off site, to increase the availability of on campus parking for patients, visitors and physicians. Additionally, we have started the design process to construct a new parking garage, which should be completed by the 4th quarter 2017."

Some doctors said their practices can't wait that long for a parking remedy.

"It's a little too late," Dr. Gotman said.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Charges Dropped Against Doctor Accused of Fondling Patients]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 18:42:14 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/031915+manuel+abreu.jpg

Criminal charges have been dropped against a Palm Beach County doctor who had been accused of fondling female patients, NBC 6 has learned.

The sexual battery and battery charges against Dr. Manuel Abreu were dropped by prosecutors last week, court records show.

"Although there was probable cause for the arrest and charge of the defendant, the available evidence cannot prove all legally required elements of the crime alleged and is insufficient to support a criminal prosecution," Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg wrote in the documents.

Attorneys for Abreu said he has maintained his innocence at all times.

"Dr. Abreu has always had faith in the judicial process and has always been confident that justice would prevail. He is grateful that all charges against him have been dismissed and that he has been vindicated," attorney Walter Reynoso said in a statement. "He is also thankful to his wife, family and friends for their unwavering support and belief in his innocence. Dr. Abreu is happy to move forward with his life alongside his loving family."

Abreu, 46, was arrested on the criminal charges in March 2015. Seven women had also filed civil lawsuits against Abreu at or before the time of his arrest.

Photo Credit: Palm Beach County Sheriff]]>
<![CDATA[Cop Fired Over Racist Texts Won't Get Job Back: Arbitrator]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 07:19:35 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/021916+james+wells+fort+lauderdale+police.jpg

A Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police officer fired for allegedly sending racist text messages and a video will not be getting his job back, an arbitrator has ruled.

James Wells was fired last March along with officers Christopher Sousa and Jason Holding following an extensive internal affairs investigation into the distribution of the racist materials. A fourth officer, Alex Alvarez, resigned during the course of the investigation and would have been fired, Police Chief Frank Adderly said at the time.

Wells claimed he never should have been fired and took his case to an arbitrator, who sided with the city in his firing.

According to a police report on the firings, the officers criticized co-workers' appearance and work ethic, and they "exchanged text messages that included derogatory comments toward Hispanics and homosexuals." The inappropriate material included images of President Barack Obama and fellow Fort Lauderdale police officers, the report said.

Alvarez's ex-fiancée reportedly released the text messages after a nasty breakup. Wells said he expected the messages to be private.

More than 40 cases linked to the four officers have been dropped, according to the Broward State Attorney's Office.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Emergency Motion Filed for Cubans Found on Lighthouse]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 18:08:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052016+american+shoals+lighthouse+standoff.jpg

The Democracy Movement and a team of attorneys representing a group of Cuban migrants found on a Florida Keys lighthouse filed an emergency motion Tuesday afternoon.

The injunction asks a federal judge to determine if the American Shoal Lighthouse is U.S. territory. The ruling is crucial for 19 Cuban migrants who on Friday climbed on the lighthouse about eight miles from shore near Sugarloaf Key.

All 19, and two others who didn't climb the lighthouse, are hoping to stay in the United States under the wet foot, dry foot policy. The Coast Guard negotiated with the group for several hours until they came down. They have since been in a Coast Guard cutter awaiting their fate.

"We're relying strongly on the 2005 precedent with the 7 Mile Bridge, we're pretty much making an analogy to this case and stating that just as the federal judge ruled in the 2006 case they should do the same with the lighthouse," attorney Virlenys Palma said.

"We have always defended the integrity of the territory of the United States and we believe that lighthouse is an integral part of this great nation," Democracy Movement's Ramon Saul Sanchez said.

Only six migrants are currently listed on the motion because they've been identified by relatives in South Florida. The others can be added later.

Coast Guard officials told NBC 6 Tuesday that all of the migrants are in good health aboard the cutter. They are given food and water daily.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Insect Repellents to Stay Safe This Summer]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 17:27:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/052416+bug+sprays.jpg

The Zika outbreak continues to dominate the news. With no vaccine for the virus and no drug to treat Zika infections, it has become clear that avoiding mosquito bites is essential.

Consumer Reports tested 16 insect repellents for their effectiveness at repelling bites from the Aedes mosquitoes that can carry the Zika and Chikungunya viruses and the Culex mosquitoes, known to spread West Nile virus. The lab also tested the repellents against deer ticks, which can carry Lyme and other diseases.

Some of the repellents are labeled "natural," and contain plant-based oils. But Consumer Reports found they were not very effective. Five out of the six that were tested lasted only an hour and a half or even less against the Aedes mosquito, the one that carries the Zika virus.

In response to Consumer Reports' concerns about natural insect repellents, a trade group, the Natural Products Association, says that some plant oils do work, and some people want alternatives to deet.

The only "natural" repellent that did a good job was Repel 30% Lemon Eucalyptus. It was able to ward off Aedes mosquitoes for 7 hours. (It should not be used on children under 3 years old.)

Other repellents that did well in Consumer Reports tests were Sawyer 20% Picaridin and Ben's 30% Deet Tick and Insect Wilderness Formula.

When used properly, they are safe for children and all are safe for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

You can find more advice on buying insect repellents by clicking here.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Food Fight Leads to Arrests at Piper High School]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 20:44:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/207*120/052416+piper+high+school+arrests.jpg

Numerous students at Piper High School were hauled away by police in handcuffs Tuesday after a disturbance on campus.

What started as a food fight at the school in Sunrise, prompted class disruptions and a call to police.

Students posted videos on social media of what many are calling a senior prank that has many of them upset.

"It's really disrespectful and rude. We don't deserve this. I wish we could know better and stop the foolishness before the school year ends," one student said.

A spokesperson for Broward County Public Schools said students refused to go back to class, and seven were arrested for disorderly conduct.

Parents who heard of the behavior as they picked their kids up from school said they're disappointed.

"Piper High School is a much better establishment than what's being portrayed here and this is stupid kid B.S.," said Hiedi Handford, parent.

The last day of school for students is June 9.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Awarded 2020 Super Bowl]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 22:24:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-503281536.jpg

The Super Bowl will return to Miami as the Dolphins and their renovated stadium will play host to the big game in 2020.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by the National Football League. With three Super Bowls up for grabs, Miami's odds of landing one appeared good. That selection was made official and now the countdown can begin to what will be known as Super Bowl LIV.

“I can’t think of a better place to host the Super Bowl than right here in our world-class community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “Miami has hosted more Super Bowls than any other city, and it’s clear why. This is the place to live, work and play, and hosting the Super Bowl at Dolphins’ stadium once again serves as further evidence that Miami is a major event community.”

The voting came down to Tampa Bay and Miami after Los Angeles dropped out of the running for the 2020 game. The Atlanta Falcons came away with the 2019 game before Miami's bid was named the winner for 2020. The voting was preceded by a spirited presentation from the South Florida Bid Committee.

“We were confident. It was definitely our most competitive bid ever,” said Rodney Barreto, Chairman of the Super Bowl Host Committee. He counts off: “A more that $450 million enhancement to Dolphins’ stadium. A budget of cash and incentives valued at more than $40 million. A warm weather destination that always delivers. Always. We are truly thankful to Mr. Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins, for all his support and assistance throughout this process.”

Miami last hosted a Super Bowl in 2010, but has been the site of a record 10 championship games in the past. The NFL has not brought the prized game back to Miami due to the condition of the stadium that the Dolphins play in. That stadium which is currently going by the name "New Miami Stadium" has undergone major renovations over the past two years.

The Dolphins should have a naming partner ready for next season, and the asking price may have just went up with the Super Bowl announcement. It is likely that this is part of the reason the stadium does not have a name in place as of yet. Not only does the Super Bowl generate significant revenue at the time of the game, but it can have an effect on finances years in advance.

Super Bowl LIV will likely take place on February 2, 2020.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins' Stanton Homers in Loss to Rays]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 15:39:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-533960748.jpg

The Miami Marlins fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Tuesday in a game that featured a Giancarlo Stanton home run.

The blast from Stanton was a tremendously positive moment for Miami, even though it came in a game that resulted in a loss. The slugger has struggled nearly all month long and has been striking out at a record pace. The HR for Stanton was only his fourth in the month, and his first in nearly two weeks.

Stanton now has 12 home runs this season to go along with a dismal .214 batting average.  Even though Stanton did add another strikeout to his totals in this one, he has taken better swings. Stanton has shown flashes of ending his slump and the HR could be a sign of things to come this week.

The Marlins and Rays are in the middle of a four-game Citrus Series split between Miami and St. Petersburg. The teams split the Miami games and will now head North to complete the annual tradition. In the games at Tropicana Field, Miami will have a designated hitter which could end up meaning more playing time for Ichiro Suzuki.

Suzuki who entered this one with ten hits in three games, went 0-5 in the loss. The veteran had been 12 for his last 16 overall and has been filling in for Christian Yelich.

Marcell Ozuna continued to pad his stats with another two doubles in the loss. Ozuna now has nine two-base hits this year and has his batting average all the way up to .327.

The loss in this one was charged to Tom Koehler who started for Miami. Koehler went five innings and allowed three runs on six hits. Koehler fell to 2-5 on the season with the loss.

Justin Nicolino will make the start on Wednesday when the Citrus Series shifts to St. Peterburg for two games.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>