<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - South Florida News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usSat, 25 Feb 2017 18:06:19 -0500Sat, 25 Feb 2017 18:06:19 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Marlins Top Cardinals in Exhibition Opener]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 16:19:22 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-604593690.jpg

The Miami Marlins got their exhibition schedule off to a winning start with a 8-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

The Marlins looked good offensively with a pair of home runs from the starting lineup. Christian Yelich blasted a two-run home run, and Justin Bour followed two batters later with a homer of his own. Yelich also walked in his other at-bat in the contest. Roster hopeful Tyler Moore hit a home run off the bench as well later in the game.

Things did not start out so well for Miami, as Edinson Volquez struggled with his command. The new Marlin ended up walking one and allowed a run in his only inning of work. Due to the high pitch count, Volquez was lifted after the first instead of going two frames.

Next on the mound for Miami was Tom Koehler, and he looked good in his first appearance. Koehler went one perfect inning with a strikeout. St. Louis would plate two runs off Dustin McGowan, and also added a pair with Nick Wittgren on the mound. Neither of the runs scored off Wittgren were earned, due to an error by Brian Anderson at third.

The teams exchanged leads a couple of times, before Miami took the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. The aforementioned home run from Moore ended up being the game-winner. Moore is trying to win a job on Miami's bench, but is considered a long-shot to do so.

Giancarlo Stanton went 0-2, while Dee Gordon missed the game with pink eye.

The Marlins and Cardinals will be right back at it on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Constituents Host Town Hall for Sen. Marco Rubio]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 16:04:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/222*120/marco+rubio+town+hall.JPG

Constituents hoping to voice their concerns and questions to Sen. Marco Rubio, are holding a town hall at Plantation Central Park.

The event will begin around 2 p.m. at 9151 NW 2nd Street in Plantation.

"Senator Marco Rubio chose not to have Town Halls during this recess despite the fact that many Floridians had concerns that they wanted to discuss with him," said Hillary Dougherty, a Broward County resident. "Because that opportunity wasn't afforded to us by Marco Rubio, we decided to create the opportunity for ourselves."

Concerns include topics such as the Affordable Care Act, immigration, education, environmental justice, and LGTBQIA rights.

Sen. Rubio has recently received scrutiny after turning down an invitation to a town hall meeting Thursday.

Rubio was confronted on camera at Florida International University by constituents who questioned why he declined the invitations.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Linda]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 10:57:11 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/218*120/pet+of+week+linda.JPG

Our pet of the week is Linda, a 2-year-old Terrier mix, who is looking for her forever home.

Allison Nash with Humane Society of Greater Miami stopped by NBC 6 on Saturday with Linda. She says Linda has a great personality. She is playful, loving, and easygoing.

Linda would make a great pet for a family with kids or a single person. She gets along great with everyone and plays nicely with other animals.

If you're interested in Linda or other animals up for adoption, contact Humane Society of Greater Miami at (305)-696-0800.

For more animal news or to view other pets up for adoption, visit our All About Animals page.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Nuisance Offenders Become Growing Problem on Miami Beach]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 23:40:30 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+miami+beahc.jpg

Tourists from all over the world travel to Miami Beach to enjoy the beaches and the bars. However, the tourist hotspot is also a popular hangout for some trouble maker, which is a growing concern for both neighbors and city leaders.

Court records show Steve Silverman has racked up seven criminal cases on his record in the last four months alone. His alleged crimes include robbery, public intoxication and theft.

Silverman has been free to walk to the streets, according to jail records, until this week, when he was arrested again and charged with selling cocaine.

John Deutzman calls Miami Beach home.

He’s matched mug shots with faces spotted around his neighborhood — including Silverman’s.

Heather McCabe and her husband terry shared concerns about seedy characters at a recent city homeless meeting.

“I can’t even let my child walk the dog in my neighborhood — it’s horrible,” said McCabe.

Police records show Silverman is homeless.

Miami Beach has a small unit of officers who only deal with this group.

Numbers show the majority of its arrests are for misdemeanor crimes -- 425 such arrests compared to 39 felonies in the last year.

Repeat offenders are a big problem.

“People that are nuisance offenders, we’ve arrested one, two, 300 times,” said Miami Beach Police officer Jerome Berrian.

These people find their way back to Miami Beach within hours of being arrested.

“We arrest a person at 6:30 a.m. or 8 o’clock and they go to see the judge in the afternoon and then they’re back out at 8 o’clock that night. That’s just the way the system works,” said Officer Berrian.

Ed Griffith is the spokesperson for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

We asked him what more could be done to keep folks like Steve Silverman off the streets.

“Well, first off, it really depends on each individual crime," said Griffith.

He said while most people will see very little jail time for misdemeanor crimes. Concerned neighbors can play a key role.

"If people show up for court and articulate their concerns at these options, then you can get a better judicial response; when people don't respond, when people say it's a pain the neck, when people says I'm really too busy, that is how people fall through this," explained Griffith.

Miami Beach police officers are now doing just that -- showing up to bond court.

Commissioner Michael Grieco supports the city funding a prosecutor who focuses on Miami Beach nuisance offenders to make sure there are real consequences.

The city said funding a specialized prosecutor is an option that will be discussed this summer during budget talks.

<![CDATA[Heat Start Second Half With Lopsided Win]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 22:51:32 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626336598.jpg

The Miami Heat started the second half of the season with a 108-90 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

After more than a week away from the court, Miami looked well-rested and prepared for this one. The Heat were the hottest team in the NBA prior to the All-Star break, and have now picked up right where they left off. This win was Miami's second in a row, and it has picked up victories in 15 of the last 17 contests.

The Heat eclipsed 100 points for a 15th straight game, which is a new franchise record. Much like the other games during the hot stretch, several players had big days. Miami has succeeded due to contributions from the entire roster, and not from just one or two guys on the court.

Goran Dragic led Miami's starters with 17 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Dragic also blocked a pair of shots in an all-around strong effort for the guard.

The biggest scorer for Miami overall was Tyler Johnson off the bench. Johnson chipped in 23 large points and also added five rebounds and five assists. When Johnson was on the court, Miami was +16 which was by far the best number for the reserves.

Hassan Whiteside had a quiet night in terms of points, but still contributed in the win. Whiteside ended up with only two points, but had ten rebounds, two steals and a block in the win.

Miami will head home and play the second part of a back-to-back on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[1 Tased, Arrested at Transgender Rights March in FTL]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 15:49:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+ftl+transgender+rights+march+person+arrested.jpg

Over 100 Trans rights advocates gathered in Fort Lauderdale Friday night for one main goal: to be seen and heard. It started peacefully but unfortunately one person did end up getting arrested for a separate incident. NBC 6 was the only local station there as the marcher was tasered and arrested.

The protester was placed in the back of a Fort Lauderdale Police squad car. PIO said the marcher wandered off into a fenced off park after police told him not to. The marcher proceeded to enter the park and kick a tent. When police tried to arrest him, he resisted and police then tased and arrested him.

The marcher is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.

The night started with a colorful and glittery crowd that met at Huizenga Plaza Park and marched down Southeast First Avenue continuing through Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Elijah Drummond is one of the organizers of Friday’s march.

"One main purpose of this is to create a space and a platform for Trans youth and queer youth of color," said Drummond.

Those who came out to the march addressed some of their concerns regarding their issues with the Trump Administration, especially with transgender bathrooms. Last year, Obama's directive allowed transgender students to use whichever public school bathroom they identified with. Now, President Trump says he wants to leave the issue up to the states.

"Everything good that has happened so far you know it's looking like we're taking several steps back and the primary concern is the rhetoric of hatred and discrimination," said organizer Mira.

"We have this president who said he was our ally, you know our support and obviously that's not true. So it's really messed up that we have this person that a lot of us feel really unsafe under," said organizer Graciela Mendoza.

But, there's no change at Miami-Dade and Broward County public schools. Both school districts already have protections in place for transgender students at the local level.

Many who attended Friday’s rally also focused on what they say are too many unnecessary deaths in the transgender community.

“Trans women, especially trans women of color are still dying on the streets every single day and marriage is not enough," said Drummond.

But, their main goal is one of inclusion, acceptance and to have a voice by reclaiming public space.

"Our message you know for everyone in the city is to know that we're here. We're here and we deserve to here and of course we're not backing down anytime soon," said Medonza.

<![CDATA[3-Year-Old Girl Attacked By Dog, Recovering at Hospital]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 13:39:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*121/022417+toddler+attacked+by+dog.jpg

A 3-year-old girl is recovering in the hospital Saturday after a dog attack in Florida City.

The incident happened Friday around 8:20 p.m. on Northwest 12th Street and 8th Place. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said the toddler suffered multiple bites.

The 3-year-old is identified by family as Sani Julian. Initial reports indicate she was attacked by a mastiff mix. 

The child was airlifted to Kendall Regional Hospital. She was undergoing surgery. Her condition was unclear.

Officials said the dog escaped from a neighbor's home and attacked little Sani while she was with her father. The 3-year-old's father told NBC 6 they were going to buy milk when the dog targeted his daughter.  The father said he tried to get the dog off of the toddler. He suffered a minor injury on his leg.

The mastiff mix is said to be about 75-80 lbs. The canine is now in the custody of Animal Control. The dog will undergo DNA testing and officials will determine what will happen next.

Animal Services said it will charge the owner of the mastiff mix for not properly securing the dog, having no rabies shot and biting a child. 

Officials have not released the identity of the dog's owner.

<![CDATA[Homeowner Uses Jiu-Jitsu To Take Down Burglary Suspect]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:52:07 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+Josue+Ortiz.jpg

A burglary suspect picked the wrong house in a Fort Myers neighborhood Tuesday.

Lee County deputies said Josur Ortiz was badly beaten when he broke into Brian Burch's home. What Ortiz didn't know was that Burch is skilled in the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Burch said he was simply protecting his property from the accused thief. Deputies said Ortiz broke into the homeowner's garage but didn't get far.

Burch was inside the home and walked outside when he heard a noise. When he confronted the suspected burglar, Burch beat him using his Jiu-Jitsu skills.

"I was holding him down," Burch said. "Once I had him, he wasn't going anywhere."

Burch said he saw Ortiz carrying his jackhammer and airgun case.

"He told me that the boss sent him over here to pick up tools to finish a job."

Burch didn't buy that story. When he started asking questions, Ortiz tried to flee. That's when Burch said he put his skills to use.

"Once we got to the ground, he started pushing and fighting me, and I hit him one time."

A neighbor saw the scuffle and called 911. Burch held down the accused crook until deputies arrived.

He said several of his tools were found inside the suspect's car, which deputies said had a fake license plate.

Ortiz is still in the Lee County Jail, charged with burglary and grand theft.

<![CDATA[Flames Use Big First Period to Beat Panthers]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 22:19:51 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-637069428.jpg

The Florida Panthers fell behind early and never recovered in their 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday.

Florida allowed three goals in the first period alone, and Calgary would go on to add another later in the game. The loss was the second in a row for the Panthers, who are now 28-22-10 this season. Florida had won five in a row prior to this poor start to a homestand.

The first goal of the game was actually scored by the Panthers, but the good times did not last long for the team. Nick Bjugstad gave Florida a 1-0 lead with his fifth goal of the season. The power play goal came with assists from Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith.

After Calgary posted three straight goals, Aleksander Barkov answered back with his 16th goal of the season. Smith helped on this goal as well, as did Jonathan Huberdeau.

Roberto Luongo ended up with 24 saves in his 28 opportunities, but played well after the early goals. Luongo was rock solid in the net for most of the second period, and the entire final 20 minutes. Unfortunately for Luongo and the Panthers, the team was unable to make up the difference in that time.

Florida ended up 1-3 on power play opportunities, while Calgary failed on the one advantage it had.

The homestand will continue on Sunday when Florida welcomes the Ottawa Senators to BB&T Center.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Don’t Fat Shame My Pet!]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:55:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+dont+fat+shame+my+pet.jpg

Several years ago, I overheard my wife checking in a new client at the front desk. She took a detailed patient history that included vaccine history, heartworm prevention status, recurring medical problems, and diet. It soon became obvious that to this gentleman, a muscle-bound hulk of an individual, “diet” was a four-letter word.

“My dog’s diet is fine,” he growled as he loomed over the desk, “And as long as you’re writing down the story of her life, let me make something clear. My dog is fat. I know she’s fat. She’s fat because she’s loved, and I don’t wanna hear any crap from you people about it. Half the children in this country are fat. Their parents love them, and I doubt their pediatricians lecture them about how they feed their kids. So write this in your chart - don’t fat shame my pet! And make sure you tell that doctor of yours, ‘cuz I don’t wanna hear it from him either!”

Our clinic is small. Rants such as this are often heard by the entire staff - and this one was no exception. A collective gasp went up from my staff, and all eyes turned to me. To intervene, or not to intervene? I checked the security cameras to see if my wife needed help. What I saw instead was an impish grin, that after ten years of marriage, I recognized as the look that meant “this is going to be fun!”

I leaned back in my chair, wishing I had some popcorn - air popped and unsalted, of course.

“First of all,” Lynn began, “I’m pretty sure pediatricians talk to parents of overweight kids about the dangers of childhood obesity. Second of all, fat shaming is a form of bias and discrimination against people. It’s an unfair social attitude towards people who may be overweight for all sorts of complex reasons. But Pepper isn’t a person. And I’m willing to bet her life is not that complicated. She doesn’t know some foods are bad for her, and she can’t speak for herself. That’s where we come in. What you call fat shaming, we call doing our jobs. So while I promise we won’t be jerks, and we won’t belabor the point, we will do our jobs. And you need to let that happen. Capisce?”

Amazingly, we kept the client. He stuck with us through an orthopedic surgery, and a particularly harrowing case of pancreatitis (pork rinds - yum!). When Pepper’s size brought on crippling arthritis, we had to have yet another uncomfortable talk. This one involved fully disclosing the long term side effects of the drugs needed to relieve her pain. He understood. He wanted her to be happy.

Pepper belonged to a breed of dog well-known for energy and longevity. She experienced neither. The time to help her cross the Rainbow Bridge came way too soon. When she took her last breath, her owner broke down, shaking with sobs that wracked his entire body. My whole team was either in tears, or fighting them. When Pepper’s dad walked out the door, he left behind an eerie silence. For some reason, I felt obligated to break it.

“He loved that little dog,” I said.

Then one of my nurses hit me with a question to which I have yet to find an answer:

“Yeah, but...what kind of love does nothing?”

Whenever I meet with colleagues, I hear all-too-familiar grumblings. Ugh...the fat talk. Clients hate the fat talk. Truth be told we hate the fat talk! But given that 90-95% of clients with overweight pets perceive their pet’s body type as normal, it’s a talk we need to have. That extra weight can lead to diabetes, liver problems, hypertension, cardiac issues, joint pain, orthopedic injuries, increased anesthetic risk, arthritis - bottom line, it shortens their lives. It decreases their overall quality of life, and those last few precious years with them are often marked by suffering. I’ve heard all sorts of objections: a fat pet is a happy pet...I can’t say no to that face...food shows him how much I love him... but he’s just so cute this way.

No. Just no.

A client once told me I should stop implying she was somehow killing her pet, that her choices were none of my business. If you’re on her side, I’m here to tell you and believe me, I don’t want to, that you are killing your pet. And someday, you too will ask a veterinarian to help you make a difficult and heartbreaking decision.

None of our business? Um, yeah, actually it is.

I’ve written a lot on this topic in the past year. By now you should be able to tell if your pet is overweight. We’ve talked about the difference between hunger and food drive, and the marketing machine that promotes overfeeding, and spends billions of dollars promoting calorie-laden treats.

Ask the veterinarian who best knows your pet what kind of food he should be eating, and in what amounts. Give small, healthy treats sparingly, and as a reward for actually doing something. Substitute food with praise and activity. Play games that require your pet to move and burn calories.

If you’ve checked all those boxes and your pet is still overweight, it’s time for a veterinary visit. Just like their human counterparts, dogs and cats sometimes develop medical problems that can wreak havoc on their metabolisms. Hypothyroidism, diabetes, and Cushing’s disease are just a few of the reasons your pet may be slowing down and plumping up. When caught early, these conditions can be managed with minimal hassle and expense.

So if you find yourself on the receiving end of a veterinary “fat talk”, please don’t get angry. It’s awkward for us too, and most of us would love to just let it slide. We know you love your pet. That’s why we want to make sure he stays with you for as long as possible. We’re here to help, so if you need help, by all means ask for it! We don’t care how your fur-kid looks. We care about his health. And if ever we do resort to fat shaming, guess what?

Fluffy. Will. Not. Care. Chances are, he’ll be checking us out, wondering how he can hit us up for a treat.

And who knows? If everyone behaves, we might just give him a little, teeny tiny one!

Dr. Kupkee is the lead practitioner at Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Send him an email.

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<![CDATA[Owner of Pulse Nightclub Outraged by Massacre Re-enactment]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 10:11:18 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/223*120/pulse+promo.JPG

A dramatic and to some— offensive— re-enactment of the Pulse tragedy is a promotional spot for a show set to air on Univision.

The title in English is called "Blood Bath," and the announcer says "few would escape death... maximum terror..the strength of the human spirit."

"It's very upsetting. Its sensationalistic. The title is totally inappropriate," said Monica Trasandes. "It's just too painful for people."

Trasandes with GLAAD says there should have been far more community involvement in the story.

"There were about 300 people in the club that night," she said. "So there are hundreds of people in Orlando if not thousands and around the country for whom this was 9/11 this was the worst tragedy we've experienced in our community.

The owner of Pulse nightclub issued a statement regarding the promotional video:

“I am sickened by Univision’s senseless act of exploitation, which is clearly a sleazy attempt to shock and attract viewers. This graphic reenactment of one of the most terrifying nights in modern American history, does nothing but re-terrorize the victims, their loved ones and all who responded to help."

The reenactment was taped at Azucar, a gay night club in Miami. The space contracted out.

"My reaction was pain," said Ron Brenesky, Club Azucar Spokesperson. "Pain because if you have lost family or you lost friends obviously that's sad to see, that's my reaction but its something that has to be talked about."

The spokesperson for the club says he's seen the trailer— but he'll be watching the actual show to make sure it doesn't cross the line.

"We have not seen all of it. We would have to wait," he said. "According to Univision, they have assured us that they have been sensitive to the LGBTQ community."

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[SWAG On 6: Taravella High's Duran Cameron]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:52:32 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+duran+cameron.jpg

They call him the face of Taravella High School in Coral Springs. Duran Cameron does the televised announcements every morning, and he’s one of those students everyone seems to go to for advice, or just a hug.

"I just think that I’m very approachable, a lot of people when they have questions they know that they can come up to me and ask me, i won’t have a problem, as long as I’m available, I like to be really flexible for anyone who needs my help," Duran said.

At 6-foot-5, Duran is literally a standout at school, the president of the student body. It’s hard to picture now, but this senior was once paralyzed by shyness.

“And I think that’s why my biggest thing is getting everyone involved to show them that, like, you don’t have to isolate yourself,” Duran explains.

It’s one thing to be a popular kid on campus. It’s another thing to use that popularity to help your peers, and that’s exactly what Duran does. He became one of the leaders of the student mentoring club, Trojans in Transition, working to eliminate the fear factor for incoming freshmen.

“Yeah, I feel like having a senior friend is so cool as a freshman to have a senior friend but it’s also, like you have someone you can look up to and kind of aspire to be,” said freshman Kimberly Montalvo.

“When I first got here,” said freshman Morgan Schmidt, “I was very nervous, and he took most of that away by showing me there’s nothing to be scared of in high school.”

The faculty at Taravella says Duran’s a natural leader, the type of kid who could end up as a Congressman one day. He’s a problem solver with people skills so great, the principal told us they often ask Duran to intervene with students who are having issues.

“He can see a problem and take it by the horn and come up with solutions,” said interim principal Debra Johnson.

As an example, Duran organized a campaign against drunk driving, just before prom.

“A lot of people think they’re not affected by it and this won’t affect me, ever, but just to show you that this can happen to anyone, no matter what age you are, no matter who you are, you’re not invincible,” Duran said, explaining the reasons for warning his peers about driving drunk.

He’s an excellent student in the classroom, and after college, Duran wants to go to medical school to become a doctor. It’s hard to think of a better profession for someone who’s always helping everyone around him.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Hialeah Man Arrested After Marijuana Plants Found in Garage]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:07:00 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+martin+madrigal+marijuana.jpg

A Hialeah man has been arrested after police say they found a garage full of marijuana plants at his home.

Martin Madrigal Jr., 27, was arrested on charges including cannabis trafficking, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

Madrigal remained behind bars Friday with no bond, jail records showed. It's unknown if he's hired an attorney.

According to an arrest report, detectives received an anonymous tip of a home where marijuana was being cultivated on W. 78th Terrace. Detectives executed a search warrant at the home on Tuesday, where Madrigal was taken into custody without incident.

Inside the home, detectives found about 80.5 pounds of marijuana plants hanging upside down from the garage ceiling, the report said. Near the marijuana was a 12-gauge shotgun and some shells.

In Madrigal's room detectives found more than 250 steroid pills, the report said.

Photo Credit: Hialeah Police, Miami-Dade Corrections
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<![CDATA[Authorities Raid Fort Lauderdale Home]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:05:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+fort+lauderdale+house+raid.jpg

Authorities on Friday raided the home of a Fort Lauderdale man accused of embezzling millions of dollars from a Deerfield Beach company.

Fort Lauderdale Police officers and Broward Sheriff's Office deputies were seen at the home in the 2100 block of Northeast 61st Court that belongs to Salvatore Ciaramitaro.

Ciaramitaro, 47, is accused in a civil action of embezzling from List Industries, Inc., where he was the financial analyst for more than a dozen years.

Police said they were assisting an unnamed agency at the home and were awaiting a search warrant. Authorities said some illegal contraband was found in the home.

No other information was immediately known.

Check back with NBC 6 for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Agua de Violetas: A Familiar Fragrance With An Untold Story]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:02:08 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/202*120/022417+agustin+reyes+royal+violets.jpg

If you grew up in Miami and are of Hispanic descent, chances are high that you smelled like violets as a baby and sometimes beyond your childhood years.

The tradition started in Havana almost 90 years ago when a man named Agustin Reyes developed the first violet-scented cologne in Cuba.

The fragrance was not intended to become a baby cologne but the light, fresh scent became popular among Cuban mothers, who doused their infants in the mixture.

"It was difficult. Sure, at the beginning people didn’t understand it.  You know, it was ‘what is this? What do you use it for?  Perfume for babies," said Agustin Reyes III, who currently runs the business his grandfather established, from a plant in Hialeah.

A year after Castro's revolution took effect, the Reyes family fled the communist island with the formula covertly in hand.

Once settled in Miami, they reestablished the business with the fragrance that had brought them success on the island nation.

Word of mouth quickly spread among the Cuban exile community and Agustin Reyes, Inc. enjoyed newfound success, picking up on a tradition that went on to become iconic in the Cuban culture and beyond.

Decades later, the shelves at most Miami drug stores remain stocked with more than ten brands of the fragrance.

"Very few fragrances are that timeless. You can count them on one hand, you know, how many of those 1920s fragrances, by the most famous fragrance companies in the world are still around," said Reyes III. 

Cuban-American celebrities such as Gloria and Emilio Estefan purchase the bottles by the case, according to Reyes III.

The actress Eva Mendes has also repeatedly mentioned the product in her lists of favorite things and many “Miami girls”, even some in their teenage years, continue splashing on the scent before school or after soccer practice.

Agustin Reyes III prides himself on continuing to develop the scent in-house, as opposed to most fragrance houses, while using the original formula his grandfather created nearly nine decades ago.

Reyes says, he does this in order to maintain the authenticity of the product and the tradition.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Former Miami Marlins Pitcher Takes Oath to Become US Citizen]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:06:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/anibal+sanchez+2.jpg

We've seen so much passion and anger in the past few months over issues surrounding immigration, but if there's one sure-fire way to make all sides feel good about immigration, it's by watching 123 immigrants become citizens of the United States of America.

They come from more than 20 countries, pledging loyalty to the United States, to the constitution, and among them, Anibal Sanchez from Venezuela. Some might remember him as a Miami Marlins pitcher, but on Friday he led the group in the pledge of allegiance at the ceremony in Oakland Park.

Sanchez said it's a huge honor to become a citizen.

"I feel great, I feel great, it's another goal in my life, it's another dream come true," Sanchez said.

But what about those struggling to get to America?

"Yeah, it's really rough, people trying to get legal status here in this country," said Libia Comas, a new citizen.

As for the celebrity in the room, Sanchez said he's looking forward to voting, and no matter what happens in Washington, America will always be a magnet.

"The people they want to come here and they want to make a great future and have the opportunity, the American dream so the people have to do it, no matter what," Sanchez said.

Unlike most immigrants, Sanchez is already a millionaire. His first priority at the moment is making the starting rotation of the Detroit Tigers!

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Life in Prison for Man Who Killed Wife and Son, Shot Lawyer]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:41:11 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+fadel+jabado.jpg

A man who killed his wife and son and shot an attorney at a Kendall law office before he was shot by officers during a standoff in southwest Miami-Dade will be spending the rest of his life in prison after he pleaded guilty Friday.

Fadel Jabado, 55, was in court Friday as guilty pleas were entered on five murder and attempted murder charges.

Jabado's family cried in the courtroom as a judge sentenced him to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Jabado asked the judge for compassion, hoping for a shorter sentence.

"I would like for you to consider my history as a US citizen, and the sacrifices I made for my family who have in the future as a Muslim requires in our lifetime to go to Mecca Pilgrimage," he said.

Judge Stephen Millan said Jabado could apply for clemency from the governor's office, but explained that the minimum sentence for the charges was life in prison.

"You're not getting out, it's life," Millan said.

Jabado's attorney said he took a plea deal to avoid putting his family through a trial.

"One of his chief motivations for doing this plea today, as hard as it is for him knowing he's going to prison for life, because he wants to close the chapter on this case so that his children can begin to rebuild their lives and move on," defense attorney Manny Alvarez said.

Miami-Dade Police said Jabado shot attorney Larry Harshman at Harshman's office at at 11420 N. Kendall Drive on Nov. 2. Police later found Jabado's wife and adult son shot to death at their home off Southwest 192nd Street in southwest Miami-Dade. They were identified as 43-year-old Bassima Jabado and 26-year-old Ahmed Jabado.

Jabado shot his wife because he was angry that she wanted a divorce, police said. He also thought his wife and son were going to take their house from him and leave him homeless and without money, police said.

Officials said Jabado was angry at Harshman for assisting with a transaction regarding the home. Harshman spent months in the hospital but survived.

Jabado was shot by officers after an hours-long standoff. Police said he had barricaded himself inside a vehicle and was armed. He pointed his firearm at officers and fired at them, and they shot him several times.

Jabado had five children, three of whom are underage.

Photo Credit: Marissa Bagg/NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Black History Month: Meet the Faces of the Future]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 09:24:31 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Faces+of+the+Future+Still_00265.jpg

NBC 6 celebrates future history makers this Black History Month. We highlight young leaders who are shaping lives in South Florida as they enlighten and empower the next generation. Their passion is infectious and their activism is boundless. They are the legends of tomorrow who are already building their legacies today.

Jawan Strader profiles Joshua Williams, the founder of the Joshua’s Heart Foundation. His non-profit delivers food to the homeless.

Erika Glover shares the story of Ashley Eubanks, a Broward school registrar who leads the Help Her Period organization. Eubanks and volunteers hand out sanitary items to homeless women every weekend.

Michael Spears highlights Miami artist Chire Regans, who creates portraits of young gun violence victims to pay tribute to them and to protest against the senseless shootings.

Darryl Forges introduces us to Demetrius Jackson, a University of Miami football player who goes beyond the game. He leads Young Men of Tomorrow, which is a mentoring program in his hometown Overtown.

Willard Shepard profiles FIU senior Jessica Laguerre, who started the Princess Training organization, which trains young girls on how to become entrepreneurs.

Sharon Lawson highlights a free class for Miami students that is led by the iconic Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

NBC 6 also features Falicie Dirosier, the founder of Kids N Touch Academy, which offers an exploration program for students in underserved communities.

<![CDATA['Moonlight' Star Ready for 89th Annual Academy Awards]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 03:47:24 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-614915572.jpg

With the 89th annual Academy Awards fast approaching, a South Florida native is making his way to Los Angeles for Sunday's big night.

Norland Middle School student Alex Hibbert, who plays Chiron in “Moonlight," says he's ready to make the trip from Miami to the City of Angels. 

The film tells a story about Chiron's journey as a black, gay man living in Liberty City being raised by a mother with a drug addiction.

In contrast to his character's struggles with race, class and sexual identity in the film, the 12-years-old Hibbert says he has no worries, and his plans for Sunday night are to "chill out, have fun, and pray," he said in an interview with NBC Miami.

Hibbert's classmate, Jaden Piner, plays his close friend in the movie — and in real life. "Yeah, that's like my best friend," Hibbert said.

“Moonlight” is nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Hibbert said he never acted in a film prior to this. "I got the audition from school, and I thought it was this little movie," he said. "But it turned out to be so big, and it's just amazing."

Hibbert is currently preparing for his new role in an upcoming television show. Whether “Moonlight” takes home an Oscar or not, he said this unexpected journey is just getting started.

"My teacher always told me to have discipline," he said. "So I'm going to have a lot, a lot of discipline over there. Be very, very quiet, a little bit, but if we win, we gotta get a little crazy."

The rising star also said he hopes to run into another Oscar nominee this weekendDenzel Washington.

As Hibbert continues to take on his big screen ambitions, he has a message for everyone back home: "My message to everyone here in Miami is stay humble and keep working hard, because you can get somewhere in life if you just keep working hard."

Director Barry Jenkins, and the playwright of which the film is based on, Tarell Alvin McCraney, are also Miami natives.

Both of them attended Miami Northwestern Senior High School together, but they didn't know each other until Jenkins came across McCraney's play, Jenkins said in the film's commentary.

"Moonlight" is also nominated for Best Director and Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, among others.

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Photo Credit: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for A24]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Star Fernandez Was Married Before MLB Debut: Report]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:41:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-4824552761.jpg

Miami Marlins star Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident last year, was married before he ever made his debut with the team, according to a new report.

Fernandez was 20 years old when he married a woman named Alejandra Baleato Marichal on Dec. 2, 2012, in Tampa, according to a State of Florida Marriage Record obtained by the Miami Herald Friday.

Marichal, who was also 20 at the time of the coupling, confirmed to the newspaper that they were married until about 2014. Fernandez made his debut with the team in 2013.

"It was very short,” she told the paper, referring to the marriage. She said his death was difficult but she attended his memorial in Miami.

Fernandez, 24, was killed in September when his boat crashed into a jetty just off of Miami Beach. Eduardo Rivero, 25, and 27-year-old Emilio Macias were also on board and died.

Fernandez left behind a pregnant girlfriend.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Miss Miami Lakes Has Charges Reduced in Assault Case]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:06:40 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/022417+vanessa+barcelo+miami+dade+court.jpg

A South Florida beauty queen got a legal victory Friday in a Miami-Dade courtroom as her charges from a December 2016 incident were reduced.

Vanessa Barcelo, the current Miss Miami Lakes, saw her felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon reduced to a misdemeanor charge of battery. Barcelo will appear in court on a later date for that charge.

"I’m ready to take this next step and prove my innocence,” Barcelo said following the hearing. "I’m ready to show who I am since everyone has this picture of me."

The 26-year-old had been arrested after police say she attacked a man inside her Hialeah home with a baseball bat during a party late last year. She allegedly followed him outside and struck him with the bat while other man started kicking and punching the man.

Barcelo has maintained that she was defending her family inside the home – including her sister, who is in a wheelchair.

“I invite someone into my house as a networking, social thing to promote my business and it turned into this horrible scene," said Barcelo. "I had to defend myself and had to defend my cousin and I had to defend my little sister who's in a wheelchair."

Her lawyer, James Demiles, anticipates the case will go to trial.

"We are not going to plead to something that didn’t happen," Demiles said. "We will continue to maintain Vanessa’s innocence."

<![CDATA[FL Senator's Bill Would Make Road-Blocking Protests Illegal]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:39:07 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+miami+highway+protest.jpg

A Florida state senator has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to block traffic during a protest or demonstration.

Senate Bill 1096 was filed earlier this week by Republican Sen. George Gainer, whose District 2 covers parts of six counties in the Florida Panhandle.

"A person may not obstruct or interfere with the regular flow of vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway during a protest or demonstration for which a public assembly permit or other applicable special event permit has not been issued by a county or municipality," the bill reads.

It also says that a motorist who unintentionally causes injury or death to a person who obstructs traffic would not be liable.

The bill says any violation would be a second-degree misdemeanor.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Apartment Rental Costs in Miami-Dade Among Nation's Highest]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:42:04 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/101012+miami+skyline+generic.jpg

If you’re looking to rent an apartment in Miami-Dade County, be prepared to shell out more money than most other cities across the country.

According to the latest Zumper National Rent Report, it cost a median average of $1,800 to rent a one bedroom location in the county – ranking ninth in the country behind such cities as New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago. San Francisco ranked the highest at $3,310.

For two bedroom places, Miami ranked eighth in the country at an average of $2,500 – again, San Francisco leads the nation at $4,500. The averages for February 2017 rank the same as the year prior.

Fisher Island is the highest costing area in Miami-Dade at an average of $5,100 for a one bedroom unit. Venetian Island has an average of $2,600 while South Beach and Key Biscayne charge an average of $2,500, up over eight and six percent from last quarter respectively.

Those looking in areas such as Coral Gables and West Little Havana will pay an average of $1,500 a month, while Liberty City and West Little River are among the areas where you can find a place starting at $700.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Turkish Man Accused of Making Hoax Bomb Threat at MIA]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:51:31 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+Erdem+Uckun.jpg

A Turkish man was arrested after making a hoax bomb threat on a plane at Miami International Airport, authorities said.

Erdem Uckun, 41, was arrested at the airport Wednesday night on a charge of making a hoax bomb threat, a Miami-Dade Police report said.

Uckun's bond was set at $5,000 but he remained behind bars Friday on an immigration hold, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't immediately available.

The report said Uckun was a passenger on Turkish flight heading to Istanbul when flight attendants noticed he was nervous and impatient during flight preparations.

The flight attendants requested that he sit down, but he refused and requested something to drink, the report said. They told him to go back to his seat and they would help him as soon as possible.

When the cabin supervisor made contact with him, Uckun said "I have a bomb and you can search me," the report said. The cabin supervisor called gate agents, who called police.

Uckun admitted to police that the bomb threat was a joke, the report said. He was arrested and charged.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies, Two Others Rescued From Car In Weston Canal]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:03:12 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022417+weston+car+in+canal+rescue.jpg

A man has died and two others were saved after rescue crews were able to pull a family out of a car that went into a Weston canal late Thursday night.

Officials got a call shortly before 11:45 p.m. from the scene on I-75 northbound at the ramp to I-595 eastbound.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, the family's car left the roadway and struck a construction barrel before going into the water.

Workers from a nearby construction crew responded to help pull the people inside – a man, woman and child – out of the vehicle.

"We were just working like a team, trying to save their life," said Jeremiah Lewis, one of the rescuers.

Lewis said he was driving down I-75 with his mother when they witnessed the crash.

"I told my mom to pull over and she pulled over and I ran to the water. I couldn't see at first until someone put on the light and I saw them and I saw a guy jump in and we got them out," Lewis said.

The rescuers were able to get the woman and child out safely, but it took first responders to get the man out.

Florida Highway Patrol officials confirmed the male victim, 51-year-old Hassan Ali, died at an area hospital. The other two people inside, 42-year-old Syeda Zohra and a five-year-old child, suffered minor injuries.

Lewis said he tried using a rock to crack open the car window to get the man out but by the time he ran back it was too late.

"I wish we could have gotten dad out of the water," Lewis said. "The car was under the water, I couldn't even see the car anymore."

"It's amazing that someone puts their personal well being aside to try and rescue people and it has to be so commended," FHP Sgt. Mark Wysocky said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

<![CDATA['Moonlight' Star Heading to Oscars Ceremony]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:48:25 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000028195234_1200x675_883995715533.jpg

The Miami teen who starred in the hit film is on his way to Los Angeles for the award ceremony this weekend.

<![CDATA[Shoot Down of Brothers to the Rescue Flight Remembered]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:52:57 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/525388042.jpg

Members of South Florida’s Cuban exile community will join family and friends of the four men killed during the infamous Brothers to the Rescue flight shot down over two decades ago.

Friday marks the 21st anniversary of the day where the four victims - three American citizens in Armando Alejandre, Jr., Carlos Costa, and Mario de la Pena as well as one American resident, Pablo Morales - were killed as they flew on a humanitarian mission over international waters when their plane was shot down on orders from the Cuban government.

The annual remembrance ceremony for those victims will take place at the monument to those victims located at Opa-locka Airport starting at 11 a.m.

Friday will mark the first anniversary celebrated since the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who passed away in November – as news became public that his brother, current leader Raul Castro, will retire in one year at the age of 86.

Photo Credit: Corbis via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Celebrate SOBE Wine and Food Festival This Weekend]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 07:06:31 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022317+SOBE+WFF.jpg

Thousands have converged on Miami Beach for the annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival. From food tastings to wine seminars, the festival has events for everyone.

SOBE Wine and Food celebrate its 16th year and brings in some of the top chefs from across the country, along with celebrities that include NBC’s own Al Roker.

The festival has grown over the years and now there are several satellite events happening around town for those who can't make it to the official bash.

On Friday, The Ritz-Carlton South Beach is hosting a Golden Hour in its lobby from 5 to 9 p.m. Guests will get to take photos on a red carpet and sip on bubbly.

The Edition Hotel on Miami Beach is hosting the second annual "Ping Pong, Pizzas & Peroni" event Friday. The party goes down from 10-midnight. Tickets are $40.

On Saturday, Izzy's Fish & Oyser on Miami Beach celebrates SOBE WFF with a fun event with three guest chefs and a special menu. For only $25 you guy a selection of raw dishes, two signature cocktails and bottomless Rose.

If you’re still looking for tickets to SOBE WFF, a few events throughout the weekend are still available – but it’s going to cost you anywhere from $20 to $500 and event.

They can only be purchased online, which you can do by clicking here.

<![CDATA[Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Speaks Out About Trump Transgender Guidelines]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:09:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000028187932_1200x675_883814467817.jpg

NBC 6's Jackie Nespral has a preview of her interview with US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen about the Trump Administration's transgender guidelines scheduled to air Sunday at 9:30am on Impact with Jackie Nespral.

<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Firefighter Breaks Records As Skateboarder]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:37:23 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022317+firefighter+skateboarder.jpg

Andrew Andras has dedicated his life to helping people across Miami-Dade as a fire firefighter, but outside of the walls of the fire station, he's made a name for himself in the world of long distance skateboarding.

Skateboarding likely isn’t the first sport that pops into mind when you think of competitive racing. But, it’s worth a second thought, a growing sport where strength meets endurance.

"There's a little bit of everything for everybody," said Andras.

Perhaps, no one knows that better than Andras.

"It rejuvenates me basically."

Andras holds the Guinness World Record for the farthest distance traveled on a skateboard.

To compete for the record, Andras had to ride not one, not 10 but 24 hours nonstop.

It’s a world record this firefighter has set several times, beginning in 2011 when he skated 260 miles in one day.

"You're just out riding and kind of just letting go of the world," explained Andras.

His love for the sport came natural -- a product of his childhood years.

"There's a nostalgia about being on my skateboard that brings me back, basically, to my childhood," said Andras.

Andras set his world records at the Miami-Homestead Speedway during what’s now the yearly 24 hour Ultra Skate — an event that began less than a decade ago.

"It takes a lot of determination and a lot of heart to kind of push through that," said Andras.

The skateboarder said the dedication and long shifts that come with being a Miami-Dade firefighter have helped catapult him to the record books in long distance skateboarding — his 2015 record of 309 miles in 24 hours stands today.

The record-holder now has sponsors and travels to compete against talent from across the world.

He sees long distance skateboarding only growing as a sport from here.

"It's been fun. It's transformed who I am, the way I see things. I made my benchmark in the sport at this time and I'm looking forward to seeing the youngsters come up and become better athletes than I was and break my record," said Andras.

He said racing has become a family affair because now his daughter is following in dad's footsteps and has started competing in races herself.

<![CDATA[1 Injured After Shooting at CocoWalk]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:49:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022317+cocowalk.jpg

One person was rushed to the hospital Thursday evening after a shooting at the popular Coco Walk in Coconut Grove.

Miami Police said a male was struck possibly two times. Officers said the victim was found at a separate location. He was struck in the leg.

Several casings were found in front of the outdoor mall. 

Detectives said two suspects are at large.

No other information was released.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Bill Would Allow Cops to View Body Cam Video Before Reports]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:35:14 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022317+cop+arrest.jpg

Law enforcement officers could view the footage on their body cameras, before writing their official report of an incident, under legislation moving in the Florida House. The Criminal Justice Subcommittee approved the legislation this week by a vote of eleven to one.

The measure would allow police to see and hear what is on their camera, and it would be up to local law enforcement agencies to come up with policies and procedures about how the officer would review the footage.

Bill sponsor Shawn Harrison says cops respond to a wide range of calls each day, from something as simple as a barking dog to a report of shots fired.

The Republican State Representative says viewing their own body camera should help them remember what happened during a given call.

“For the officer responding to a scene, things happen quickly. They probably don’t have a full recollection of every single bit of the incident. This will allow them to review everything before they formally have to write up a report,” said Harrison.

The body camera legislation has one more committee stop in the House, before it would be ready for a vote by the whole chamber.

A similar Senate bill has yet to be heard by any committee, ahead of the 2017 regular session that starts March 7th.

<![CDATA[Constituents Furious After Rubio Skips Town Hall Meeting]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:50:35 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/012717+marco+rubio.jpg

A group of South Florida voters are furious after Senator Marco Rubio turned down an invitation to a town hall meeting Thursday. The Republican was in town but skipped the meeting.

However, Rubio was confronted by constituents who questioned why he declined the invitations.

The encounters were captured on camera. He was approached at Jackson Memorial Hospital and at the campus of Florida International University. Rubio walked away from the cameras and doesn’t say much as he’s questioned.

Later in the evening, dozens of people showed up to the town hall meeting Rubio opted out of. The event was organized by Indivisible Miami and held at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Voters were visibly upset about the Senator’s absence. A spokesman for Rubio said in a statement that events like that are falsely advertised as being connected with the Senator.

Town halls are being held across the country where taxpayers have grilled lawmakers on topics like the Affordable Care Act and the Trump Administration.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Learns Lesson After Clicking on Social Media Ads]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:40:34 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tito+puente+wife+and+alina+pic.JPG

You’ve probably seen ads pop up on your social media feeds, advertising products you might find appealing. But a local celebrity couple says they learned a tough lesson, after trying to buy products they found through those ads.

Tito Puente, Jr. is the son of the legendary musician, Tito Puente. He lives for the moments he’s on stage, sharing his music with his fans. How he looks is almost as important to him as how he sounds.

“I do have an extensive wardrobe,” Puente said.

When an ad for a unique jacket popped up on his Facebook page, it caught his eye.

“I love it, it’s so cool looking and it was gold, oh man, it was shiny,” he said.

“Yeah, it was very shiny,” his wife, Rosalie Lebron said. “Liberace shiny.”

The artist says he ordered a 3XL, but when the jacket arrived it was several sizes too small.

“I looked like ‘Little-race’,” he said laughing. “It was too short.”

He first exchanged it for a larger size, but Puente said when it still didn’t fit, he asked for a refund.

Around the same time, Lebron saw an ad on her Facebook feed from a different company for a toy she thought would be perfect for her granddaughter.

“It’s a singing elephant, who doesn’t love a singing elephant?,” Lebron said.

When she clicked on the ad, Lebron said she was taken to a website called Atisy.com.

“And immediately it said only 5 left, 39.99, free shipping,” she said. “So I’m thinking, wow, that’s a great deal. So I screamed out to Tito, ‘Let’s get it! Order it now!’”

That was in November. By February, tracking information for the elephant said it was still in transit, somewhere in China.

“We tried to call and we get no answer,” she said.

Puente said he didn’t think twice about making the purchase because the ad appeared on their Facebook feeds.

“I thought it would be vetted and it would be safe,” he said.

According to Facebook, anyone can buy ads on Facebook and Instagram and even though they do make sure an ad is associated with an actual website, they don’t verify the business itself.

“Anyone can set up a website, take pictures, set up shop, set up an e-commerce website and take credit card payments and pay for these ads,” said Cinthya Lavin, spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida.

Experts recommend doing your homework on a company before making a purchase. You should always pay with a credit card, Lavin said. If so, you can dispute the charges through your credit card company.

Puente did get his money back for the jacket. As for the elephant, Atisy.com told us in an email that they had shipped the toy but they think “it got lost”. They promised to reach out to Puente and issue a refund. The couple, meanwhile, said they’ve learned from the experience.

“We should be more cautious,” Lebron said. “I know I’m going to be”.

After our interview, Lebron said they received the elephant on February 21st , even though they never heard from the company.

Because they used PayPal to make the purchase, Puente could have filed a claim through PayPal to try to recover their money.

You can research a company on the Better Business Bureau’s website.

It’s also a good idea to look at reviews and comments on a company’s social media page to get a sense of the experiences other consumers have had with the company.

<![CDATA[Dog Tied to a Tree and Left for Dead]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:39:43 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dog+tied+to+tree+picture.JPG

A memorial marker now adorns a tree where a dog was found dead and tied to a tree. A volunteer who helps feed stray dogs recently made the disturbing discovery in Southwest Miami-Dade.

It took county officials more than a week to show up to the gruesome scene of what appears to be a case of animal abuse. NBC 6 Investigators discovered the reason behind the delay that has angered some animal advocates.

Kayla Harris helped locate the remains of the dog near the corner of SW 112th Avenue and SW 280th Street. She, along with two others, reported it to Miami Dade County’s 311 Service using an electronic app on her cell phone. That was February 12th.

However, eight days later, the animal still hadn’t been picked up. Miami-Dade resident Virginia Dieppa first read about what happened on Facebook.

“It’s outrageous, a horrendous crime,” said Dieppa. “Something’s not right here."

When she learned animal services officials still hadn’t shown up to investigate, she decided to call police.

Miami-Dade County officers showed up and launched a criminal investigation.

The NBC 6 Investigators went to the Director of Miami-Dade Animal Services to find out what happened with the original call for help.

Director Alex Munoz said the case was originally reported as a “Dead Animal Pickup” to 311 and ultimately to his department.

Munoz said when an animal control officer went to the location, he could not find the dog and the case was closed. Munoz said the case would have been treated differently if it was reported as a case of animal cruelty.

“Tethering alone is illegal,” Munoz said. “If that dog was tethered and abandoned that would be an animal cruelty investigation."

Miami-Dade Animal Services is now doing a forensic investigation to try to find out how the dog died and who was responsible. Meanwhile, detectives with Miami-Dade Police are doing an investigation of their own.

“I hope that they can find whoever did this, I hope they can collect the evidence, hopefully they can pull some fingerprints off the collar of the dog, said Dieppa.

Volunteers used the County’s 311 app to report the animal. Director Munoz said to report a serious concern you can also call the County’s 311 service and speak to someone directly to voice your concerns.

The NBC6 Investigators have been working for the past few weeks on an investigation into stray and abandoned dogs in the County. They’ll show you want they found Monday on NBC6 News.

<![CDATA[Security Guard Beaten, Robbed At Collins Park in Miami Beach]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:01:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022317+collins+park+guard+mugged.jpg

A security guard at Collins Park & the Bass Museum in Miami Beach was beaten and robbed by three armed thieves Wednesday.

The attack has the neighborhood on edge.

The President of the Collins Park Neighborhood Association Ray Breslin spoke exclusively to NBC 6 about his frustration over the violence.

"This is the art and cultural epicenter of Miami Beach and we have to make sure it's safe for everyone," said Breslin.

According to Miami Beach Police, three men approached the security guard identified as Lazaro Perea and one pointed a gun at his neck, demanding money.

Perea spoke to NBC 6 in Spanish about the scary encounter. He said the one of the robbers tried to punch him in the face, but he blocked it and knocked the gun out of his hands. 

After giving them his cell phone, the report says one of the robbers struck Perea in the face. The victim also hurt his left hand during the struggle.

"No lighting. They can't be seen. They rob. They do whatever they need to do," said Breslin.

Breslin says for about six years he's expressed concern to city officials that Collins Park is not properly lit.

"The city finally last year allocated $296,000 to re-do the lighting and electric in the park. All of their estimates came in higher than that, so instead of going to like phase 1, phase 2, they sent it out for re-bidding. And then an incident like this happens," said Breslin.

Thursday morning, Breslin proposed a temporary solution to the lighting issue.

"You have these generators with lights you stick out on the beach for special events. Ii want one in the park," suggested Breslin.

Thursday evening, the Miami Beach City Manager responded to the community's complain and generator lights were placed at Collins Park.

As for the robbery, police believe the men may have been targeting some rims the security guard had in the back seat of his car.

The crooks took off in a white sedan.

<![CDATA[Comedian Lenny Schultz Still Bringing the Laughs at 83]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:02:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022317+lenny+schultz.jpg

He’s 83 now, and doesn’t look all that familiar, until you hear his schtick. Growling like a dog, clucking like a chicken, whirring like a helicopter, it all comes out of Lenny Schultz.

It all comes back to you if you’re old enough to remember television from the late 1960’s through the 70’s, and you recognize the man as a living, breathing comedy legend.

"They would go nuts, the people, it was very hard to follow my act because I’m doing silly and crazy things," Schultz said, reminiscing about his glory days. "That was my reputation, unique and different and wild and where, how does he think that way?"

Schultz was a fixture on television talk shows and a regular on "Laugh In." His extreme physical comedy influenced a generation of humor, including his close friend, the late Robin Williams. They came up together.

"Like, I do this iguana, a lizard, he does a lot of it, he did a lot of it," Schultz said.

Comedy giants such as David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, and Billy Crystal all cite Schultz as an icon of their field.

"Letterman mentions all the time, 'Lenny Schultz, should’ve been much more famous than he is,' you know? But I was satisfied," Schultz said.

Schultz was a baseball prospect until he hurt his arm. So he became a high school physical education teacher, the teacher every kid liked because he was an easy "A" and he kept the class in stitches with his antics. One of his colleagues persuaded him to try comedy. So Schultz went to amateur night at the Improv in New York and within four months, he was doing his whacky routines on television.

"This is me, Dangerfield, Andy Kaufman, Redd Foxx," Schultz says, pointing out pictures in a collage of his contemporaries who played at the Improv.

For years, Schultz kept his day job, teaching PE and yucking it up at night on national TV.

"I would go into the school, the principal and the teachers asking me for my autograph, they see me with Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, then the next day I’m in a smelly gym with kids! It was crazy!" Schultz explained.

He’s retired now, living in a beachside condo in Hallandale, but Schultz still leaves a trail of chuckles everywhere he goes, from the clubhouse to the pool to the deli down the street.

Does he get tired of making people laugh?

"No, I don't think so, It's in my blood," Schultz said.

Once a goofball, always a goofball.

New York filmmaker Alan Berman is currently at work on a documentary about the life of Lenny Schultz and his impact on comedy. We acknowledge his help on this story.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Accidentally Shot Woman, Boyfriend Tells Police]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:30:21 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_12161325.jpg

Diesel the dog did it.

That's the claim a 25-year-old Jacksonville man made after his girlfriend was shot in the leg while she was sleeping.

Brian Murphy's girlfriend, Summer Miracle, was taken to the hospital late Tuesday with non-life threatening injuries.

Murphy told police he was sleeping next to Miracle when his dog Diesel woke him up. He went outside with the dog and then came back into the home.

According to an incident report, Murphy said it was really dark inside the home and could not see anything. That's when he said he saw a flash and heard a bang.

Murphy said he believes Diesel jumped on the nightstand where his gun was sitting and it went off, shooting Miracle.

The boyfriend called 911 and got a towel to put on Miracle's leg, according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. The girlfriend told police she was sleeping and was not sure how she got shot.

No charges were filed.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>