<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usWed, 24 May 2017 23:24:34 -0400Wed, 24 May 2017 23:24:34 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Teen Driver Killed in Fiery Dania Beach Gas Pump Crash]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 19:18:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052417+Jose+Villeda+Romero+dania+beach+gas+station+crash.jpg

A 18-year-old driver was killed after crashing into a fuel pump that burst into flames at a Dania Beach gas station Tuesday night, authorities said.

The incident happened at the BP Gas on the Southeast 7th Street and South Federal Highway around 9:20 p.m., Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue officials said.

According to BSO investigators, Jose Romeo was traveling west on 7th Street in a 2005 Ford Mustang when he lost control after going over a speed hump, sending the car between two gas pumps before it caught fire. The impact was so strong the gas pump almost ended up on the road.

Firefighters responded and were able to put out the fire within minutes using foam, but they were unable to get Romero out and he was declared dead at the scene.

"I turned around looking for another fire extinguisher and on the wall was the emergency shutoff, and I ran over and hit it and all the power cut to the pumps and the overhead lighting, and by that point the flames were just too much for the powder fire extinguishers to do anything," witness Scott Robb said.

"There wouldn't have been any possible way that the victim could've gotten out of the car because the car was fully involved, it was all engulfed in flames," said Michael Wolf, a witness to the crash.

No one was pumping gas at the time of the crash. Officials believe speed played a factor in the crash, but their investigation continues and an autopsy will be performed.

Photo Credit: NBC 6, Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Hit and Run Victim Speaks, 2 Suspect Remain on the Run]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 23:03:50 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052417+miami+hit+and+run+scene.jpg

A driver involved in a hit and run in Miami thankful he survived the crash Wednesday.

A white Chevy Impala slammed into a pickup truck around 5 p.m. and left the scene, Miami police said. The collision happened on Northwest 75th Street and 2nd Avenue.

Minutes after the crash, officers set up a perimeter for three people who bailed out of the car that caused the crash. Lorient Aristilde spoke to NBC 6 about the accident.

"The light is green and it's my light. I go straight and he hit my truck in the back," said Aristilde.

The victim said the driver ran a red light. "It's not fair. It's not fair," said Aristilde.

Police detained one person, but the two others remained on the run. The victim's truck is damaged, but he believes it could have been much worse and he's thankful he gained control of his vehicle.

"Thank God I still got life. I feel the pain, but I'm okay," said Aristilde.

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

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Reporter Says He Was Body-Slammed By US House Candidate]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 22:29:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/gianforte-talking.jpg

A reporter said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed him Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election.

Greg Gianforte was in a private office giving an interview when Guardian newspaper reporter Ben Jacobs came in without permission, campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon said.

In an audio recording posted by the Guardian, the reporter asks the congressional candidate about the GOP's health care bill, which was just evaluated hours earlier by the Congressional Budget Office.

"We'll talk to you about that later," Gianforte says on the recording, referring Jacobs to a spokesman.

When Jacobs says that there won't be time, Gianforte says "Just--" and there is a crashing sound. Gianforte yells, "The last guy who came here did the same thing," and a shaken-sounded Jacobs tells the candidate he just body-slammed him.

"Get the hell out of here," Gianforte says.

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office said it's investigating allegations of an assault involving the wealthy Bozeman businessman. At a news conference, Sheriff Brian Gootkin said authorities were interviewing witnesses and Jacobs and plan to talk with Gianforte but that he has right to decline. He says the office hasn't seen any video of the incident.

It is a last-minute curveball in Thursday's race, which was partly seen as a referendum on Donald Trump's presidency. The majority of voters were expected to have already cast ballots through early voting, and it was unclear how much of an effect it may have.

Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist, who declined to comment, are seeking to fill the state's seat in the U.S. House left vacant when Ryan Zinke resigned to join Trump's Cabinet as secretary of the Interior Department.

The Gianforte campaign released a statement blaming the incident on Jacobs. It contends he "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face and began asking badgering questions" before being asked to leave.

Gianforte asked Jacobs to lower a phone that was being used as an audio recorder, then tried to grab it, the campaign said in a statement. Jacobs then grabbed Gianforte's wrist and both fell to the ground, Scanlon said.

The 45-second recording does not contain a request from Gianforte that Jacobs lower his phone.

Alexis Levinson, a reporter for Buzzfeed who was outside the office where the incident occurred, tweeted that she heard angry yelling and saw Jacobs' "feet fly in the air as he hit the floor."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee says Gianforte must quit the race and the Republican Party should publicly denounce him.

Requests for comment went unanswered Wednesday night from House Speaker Paul Ryan and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Gianforte had been scheduled to attend a meet-and-greet with campaign volunteers at his headquarters in Bozeman, but he left early.

As a candidate, he has already had to apologize for his treatment of the press, including after an incident last month at a meeting of a Christian group where a man complained about reporters and said he wanted to "wring their necks."

Gianforte pointed out a reporter covering the meeting and said, "It seems like there is more of us than there is of him," according to the Helena Independent Record newspaper.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Mayor Calls for Investigation in Commissioner Controversy]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 21:02:26 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/052217+north+bay+village+commissioner+douglas+hornsby.jpg

The mayor of North Bay Village wants an independent investigation into a controversy swirling around a commissioner.

Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps made the request for an investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office after learning what the NBC 6 Investigators discovered about Dr. Douglas Hornsby's past.  

Hornsby was convicted in a felony in 1992 but signed voter registration applications twice checking the box that indicated he was not a convicted felon.

Commissioners in North Bay Village have to be a registered voter to serve. And to be a registered voter, you can’t have a felony conviction or you have to have had your right to vote restored. Both voter registration applications were filled out before Hornsby had his voting rights restored in 2005.

Hornsby was appointed in January 2017 to the commission.

At a recent meeting, Hornsby told fellow commissioners he needed time to speak. It was then he admitted he had a drug conviction in Tennessee. He said he was making it public that he had a conviction for selling cocaine in 1992 because he and his wife were receiving threats he called blackmail.

“This is somebody outside that's doing this to get me… off the commission or to vote another way,” Hornsby stated at the meeting.

Hornsby says he recently started getting the threats by mail and over the phone. He says they were designed to ruin his political and medical career and his marriage.

“I started getting letters --poison pen letters. Anonymous letters describing I was going to be outed to tell the public I was such a terrible person,” he said during the meeting.

The police chief, Carlos Noriega, says Hornsby's accusations launched an investigation into what’s being called "extreme politically motivated crimes." He says those investigations involve FDLE and even the FBI.

Mayor Leon-Kreps says she wasn't aware of the specifics of Hornsby's past until told by the NBC 6 Investigators.

According to public records in Tennessee, Hornsby had a drug conviction in 1992 in Shelby County, Tennessee that sent him to prison. After being released, he was on parole until 1999.

Because of the felony conviction, he lost his right to vote. But that’s not what Hornsby said previously at the meeting.

“I have never lost my right to vote," he said at the meeting. “I've voted for years in Tennessee and then 20 years here in Florida."

Officials in Tennessee told us Hornsby had his right to vote restored in 2005.

But Miami Dade Elections provided his voter registration application dated in 1998 while he was still on parole in Tennesse.  The box is marked that the applicant isn't a convicted felon. Another application from 2004 when Hornsby moved to North Bay Village has the same box marked.

Attorney Herbert Erving Walker III, a former prosecutor and now defense attorney reviewed the public records obtained by the NBC 6 Investigators.

“He's voting fraudulently," Walker said. “There appears to be a clear conflict between what you have--the date that you have the restoration in Tennessee in 2005 and two forms from the Miami Dade Elections Commission that show 1998 and 2004 being signed by this individual indicating that he either wasn't convicted or was already restored. There's obviously a conflict."

The issue for Hornsby now is what’s on the voter registration application. The form says it’s a felony to be dishonest when filling it out.

Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps is worried. “My concern is the cloud over the Village," she said. “What you have told me is very serious.”

The Mayor is concerned about a vote of confidence the Commission took for Hornsby at the same meeting where he first spoke about the issue. The vote was based on the City Attorney's recommendation.

At the meeting, City Attorney Robert Switkes said the vote was needed “...to reappoint if that's necessary Commissioner Hornsby and ratify everything that's happened since he was appointed because the legal conundrum just gets larger and larger.”

“My concern is also why we have to reappoint him and ratify his nomination to the seat if he had already been nominated,” the mayor said.

The NBC 6 Investigators have tried repeatedly to talk to Dr. Hornsby by phone, email and visits to his home and work. The email to him was returned by the police chief who said he would answer our questions. But Chief Noriega said since the matter is under investigation, he can’t say much about what’s going on other than he’s making progress.

The NBC 6 Investigators notified the Miami Dade County Elections Department who said they are sending the information to the State Attorney's Office.

Mayor Leon-Kreps hopes Dr. Hornsby can help clear things up.

"We are going to have to give Commissioner Hornsby the opportunity to explain it to the residents, to all of us," she said. "We need clarification and full discloure. The residents are owed that. We need to be upfront and tell it like it is." 

<![CDATA[Student Vets at West Broward High Celebrate Birth of Foal]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 19:09:40 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052417+foal+west+broward+high.jpg

The veterinary program at West Broward High School has a new star. She’s 95 pounds of nock-kneed, fluffy equine charm, a foal named Wishes, who was born Tuesday morning.

“She’s really cute!” exclaimed Melinda Hooton, speaking for every student who sees Wishes.

A group of students in the program have been waiting for the foal’s birth since her mom, a mare named Lizzie, was artificially inseminated 372 days ago.

“I’m thinking it’s unreal, it’s so amazing to be able to work with her,” said Jaclyn Cross, a junior at West Broward High. “We’ve been talking about the foal for so long, we’ve been waiting for her and everyone’s so excited.”

The school’s principal agrees Wishes is an adorable horse, of course, but also sees an extraordinary learning opportunity here for her students.

“Just to see what they’ve learned in the classroom, for them to be able to experience it, that’s hands-on, and that’s what we want to do here,” said Principal Teresa Hall.

It can’t get much more hands-on. The kids in the vet program have taken part in the entire process, from breeding Lizzie, through her pregnancy, to the birth at 4 AM.

“We have had a couple of difficulties throughout and they’ve gotten to use that as a learning opportunity, different things that can happen, how do we prevent those? How do we treat those? And they’ve been so involved,” said Tara Terribile, the lead teacher in the veterinary program.

We watched students taking turns brushing and walking Wishes, giving Lizzie medicine, and generally champing at the bit to get involved.

“We’re extremely excited to work with her and see how she grows,” said student Carly Mandel. “This is actually a really big deal because we’ve never had anything like this before.”

The kids already know the basics of how to care for mares and stallions. Now they’re seeing the full horse life cycle.

“Born yesterday, so the kids have gotten to come in and start learning how to handle a newborn foal and what it takes to get that newborn foal healthy,” Terribile said.

One day, she’ll be an equestrian show horse, like her mom and dad. In the meantime, she’s charming everyone.

“It’s a pretty cute horse!” Terribile said, laughing, knowing she sounds like her students.

We at NBC6 would just like to say best Wishes to Lizzie and all the humans involved.

Photo Credit: NBC 6/ Ari Odzer]]>
<![CDATA[Hospital You Choose Could Impact Your C-Section Risk]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 19:32:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/baby+pic+generic+for+c-section+story.JPG

Analay Souza-Campos is still haunted by the birth of her first child.

“After 18 hours being stuck in a bed, unable to move, refusing medication with a baby monitor attached to my baby, I was literally – I surrendered,”  Souza-Campos said.  “I felt like I had an unnecessary C-section.”

The mother told NBC 6 she felt pressured to agree to a C-section after she was informed of the possibility that her doctor wasn’t going to be at the hospital much longer.

“I was very afraid of that,” she said. “I almost rather have a C-section with the doctor I knew than deliver with a doctor that I didn’t know.”

Marci Perez can relate with that experience. She also felt pressured into having a C-section when she gave birth to her first child, she said.

“I was already about 8 centimeters and the doctor, to my surprise, came in and said ‘we’re going to have a C-section,’” she remembered him saying.  “I believe the doctor was really in a rush because he had other patients.”

About one in three babies born in the United States are delivered by C-section and while being overweight, diabetic or older can make it more likely for a woman to have one, Consumer Reports found there was another factor to consider.

“Your biggest risk of having an unnecessary C-section could actually be the hospital where you choose to give birth,” said Lauren Friedman of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports found that 16 hospitals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties had C-section rates higher than 23.9% - the national target for low-risk births.  The study also found that at Hialeah Hospital, 64.6% of low-risk babies are delivered by C-section – the highest rate in the country.

“It’s not surprising to me,” said Dr. Alberto Dominguez-Bali, an OB-GYN at Hialeah Hospital.

Dr. Dominguez-Bali doesn't believe doctors are not responsible for the high C-section rate.

“There are physicians who do a C-section because they are in a hurry?  Yes, the answer is yes,” he said.  “They are most of them?  The answer is no.”

Instead, Dr. Dominguez-Bali said the numbers have more to do with the population and culture they serve – including women who he described as being overweight and having the tendency to skip prenatal care.

“Our rate of obesity is almost in 80% of the population that comes to this office in the middle of Hialeah,” he said.

But, according to an expert who spoke to Consumer Reports, obesity and other factors pointing to mothers only account for a small amount of the increase over time.  So how can you avoid an unnecessary C-section? 

Consumer Reports recommends doing your research on a hospital before signing up.  They also suggest considering a midwife.

Sandra Lobaina is a midwife.  Many of her clients have signed up for her services because they want to avoid a C-section if they can, she said.

“We have a lot of moms that will transfer to us later on in their pregnancy because the doctor will say yes, we’re going to go for a natural birth and when they get to around 36 weeks, they’re starting to talk about scheduling their C-section,” Lobaina said.

Analay, meanwhile, delivered her second and third babies at home, using a midwife.  She told us she’s glad she did.

“When you have a C-section, you feel that your baby’s given to you and if you have a natural birth,  you feel that you brought your baby to life,” she said.

You can read the full Consumer Reports investigation of C-section rates and check out details of where other local hospitals stand here.

<![CDATA[First Alert Weather Day: Severe T-Storm Watch Cancelled]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 21:41:02 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052417+nbc+6+weather+radar+5am.gif

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch that was in effect for Broward and Miami-Dade counties Wednesday was cancelled at 9:30 p.m.

The timeline for possible severe storms looked to be Wednesday evening through sunrise Thursday. There was a risk for strong winds gusting near 60 mph or greater along with hail up to a quarter size.

Plenty of lightning and heavy rainfall was also possible with a low chance of isolated tornadoes. Out ahead of the strongest storms, we will see thunderstorms activity as well.

Download the free NBC6 app to check First Alert Doppler 6000 anytime.

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<![CDATA[Families Fear Fallout From Health Care Changes]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 22:35:08 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Alba_Somoza.jpg

Peter Hodge’s two daughters fight cystic fibrosis daily, their medications, doctor visits and hospitalizations costing about $1 million in health care benefits a year. Should the Republican-controlled Senate upend insurance similarly to what the House of Representatives has already approved, their lives could be jeopardized, he said.

Hodge worries that his older daughter could end up on a newly defined Medicaid, with spending and other limits determined by the states. His younger daughter could face lifetime caps on the amount his insurance plan would pay for her treatment.

"People with cystic fibrosis and their families are terrified, absolutely terrified," said Hodge, who works in technology in South Florida.

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Congressional attempts to revamp the health care system have been overshadowed by the drama centered on the White House: the Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and the appointment of a former FBI director, Robert Mueller, as a special counsel. But even as some political analysts say Trump's problems threaten the GOP legislative agenda, senators have begun discussing health care.

And as they do, people across the country are trying to make sense of what Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare will mean for them and those with pre-existing conditions are particularly anxious.

The House-approved American Health Care Act dismantles many of Obamacare's provisions, which has resulted in an additional 20 million people receiving insurance. It allows insurers to reinstate caps on lifetime coverage, loosens protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions, rolls back state expansions of Medicaid and slashes more than $800 billion from the joint state-federal program over 10 years as it moves from an open-ended federal guarantee to one that gives states control over how to spend a set amount. The Medicaid cuts would affect about 10 million people, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

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Trump's $4.1 trillion budget proposal for 2018, released on Tuesday, includes $600 billion in decreases to Medicaid, apparently on top of the House cuts. Medicaid provides health care not only to the poor, but also to elderly and disabled Americans, who account for 60 percent of the cost.

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The House vote was taken before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analyzed the effects of the revised legislation. Its report on an earlier version found it would shrink the federal budget deficit significantly but leave 24 more million Americans without insurance in 2026. The new analysis, released on May 24, projects 23 million without insurance over the next decade and says the federal deficit would be reduced by $119 billion, down slightly from $150 billion. 

Republicans have been pledging to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act since it was signed by former President Obama in 2010. Some have philosophical disagreements over what role government should play in health care, others want to repeal taxes it imposed on the wealthy or argue that too many insurers are pulling out of the marketplaces. Trump has repeatedly insisted Obamacare is collapsing, a characterization disputed by his critics.

Negotiations in the U.S. Senate, which is expected to make major changes in the House bill, will begin in full now with the release of the new Congressional Budget Office report. Some senators are trying to work across party lines, but conservatives remain committed to more radical changes, and a group of Republicans picked by the party leadership has been meeting in private, with no plans for public committee hearings.

"Your morning reminder that under the cloud cover of the FBI story, 13 GOP Senators are still secretly writing a bill to destroy the ACA," Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut tweeted on May 15 as news organizations focused on Comey’s firing.

In an interview on May 24 with Reuters, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to provide a timetable for a draft of a health-care bill and said he did not know how Republicans would get the 50 votes needed for passage. 

"But that's the goal," he said.

The changes already approved by the House would be devastating to twin sisters Anastasia and Alba Somoza of New York City, particularly any decreases in Medicaid, according their mother, Mary Somoza. 

The twins, now 33, were born prematurely with cerebral palsy, and though unable sit up on their own, Alba Somoza works as an artist who teaches children in New York City and Anastasia Somoza as an advocate for others with disabilities. She also spoke on behalf of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Conventional last summer, when she said she feared Trump’s election. 

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Everything they have accomplished could be at risk, Mary Somoza said.

"They will require from-womb-to-tomb assistance," she said. "And I'm not always going to be around to provide it."

In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that the lifetime cost to care for a person with cerebral palsy at $1 million. Both women need extensive assistance from aides to live as independently as they do, and Alba Somoza, who cannot speak, communicates through a $10,000 computer that must be updated every five years. However progressive New York is as a state, it cannot cover the costs that the federal government does, Mary Somoza said.

"They both do extraordinary things and all of that would come to a halt if anything happened to their Medicaid coverage," she said.

United Cerebral Palsy, which advocates for independent lives for those with cerebral palsy, fought the House bill, calling it potentially devastating to anyone who relies on Medicaid for health coverage and longterm services.

"We are hopeful that as the Senate deliberates, more information about the projected impact of the House bill will become known and that the Senate will not pass a bill that would bring harm to our community," it said in a statement.

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It is among the major health organizations that have take positions against the House bill, including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Even the chief medical officer of Medicaid, Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky, tweeted his opposition in March.

"Despite political messaging from others at HHS, I align with the experts from @aafp @AmerAcadPeds @AmerMedicalAssn in opposition to #AHCA," he tweeted.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released on May 11, 56 percent of American voters disapprove of the plan passed narrowly at the beginning of the month by House Republicans under Speaker Paul Ryan.

Norma Brockman, the director of a pre-school in New York City, has already had one of her knees and a hip replaced, but needs the same operation for her other hip.

Brockman is insured through her job, plus she bought supplemental coverage, but fears that what had cost her $500 would no longer be covered and be more than she could afford, she said. The cost of a hip replacement in New York City can be as high as $69,654, according to a 2015 report done by Blue Cross, Blue Shield. 

"I will be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life if this happens," she said.

The changes approved by the House would allow states to waive the requirement that insurers not penalize people with pre-existing conditions, provided they have had a lapse in coverage. High-risk insurance pools would be available but critics say they are often under-funded. Six million Americans with pre-existing conditions could face significant premium increases, according to an analysis done by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

"We cannot afford to let people die," Brockman said. "We cannot afford to let people be sick. I don't understand how they look us in the eye and say, 'Oh you have choice.' If you can't afford it, you just don't have it."

Delilah Talbot, a mother from Kearny, New Jersey, was covered by a corporate insurance plan when she was diagnosed with what was thought a very early stage of breast cancer. But various rounds of testing revealed that the then 32-year-old actually had advanced breast cancer that had already moved into her lymph nodes and one of her hips. Talbot's treatment — surgery, chemotherapy and radiation — was covered by her plan and whenever her insurance company balked, her doctor was able to petition successfully, she said.

"I had a very experienced oncologist who understood the nature of breast cancer at a young age," she said. "As he calls it, it's a vicious monster and it really doesn't let up."

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She went into remission for two-and-a-half years. Early last year her cancer returned, this time as lesions in her spine. For six months she was able to keep the tumors from spreading through medication but by December she was in too much pain, and now her chemotherapy is so debilitating, she is often not able to leave her home. She is fighting for her life for her son, she said, who lives with his father.

"Everything that I do is for him," she said. "Every bit of work that I did, every penny that I earned was to provide a life for him."

This time, she is insured through Obamacare, with premium costs of just under $600 a month, which she offsets with a $300 credit. She is eligible for Medicare, but out-of-pocket costs would be higher. Were the Republican changes to take effect, she would not be able to get insurance she could afford and the treatments she needs, she said.

"I believe people creating these policies have no absolutely idea how it affects your life from A to Z — not just from the point of your health and your physical health and how you have to treat that but your mental health and your finances and trying to recover from that and possibly having to file for bankruptcy," she said. 

Hodge's daughters, now 24 and 16, are insured through his employer but he is apprehensive about lifetime caps, which he said his daughters' drugs alone could exhaust in a year or two. Equally worrying to him are the cuts to Medicaid, through which half of children with cystic fibrosis and a third of adults receive care.

Hodge's eldest daughter will turn 26 in two years and will no longer be eligible for coverage under his insurance. If she is assigned a high-risk pool, there is little likelihood that she will be able to get affordable, adequate treatments, he said. Or if she finds herself on Medicaid, she will be at risk if her treatments are restricted.

"The American Health Care Act is woefully inadequate for people with cystic fibrosis," said Mary Dwight, senior vice president for policy and patient assistance programs at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "To be clear, the legislation does not protect people with pre-existing conditions. In fact, it undermines vital safeguards against being charged more for insurance based on health status."

Currently, Hodge's daughters receive care at centers that offer multidisciplinary teams, an approach that has been successful for people with cystic fibrosis. It helps to keep them out of hospitals and emergency rooms, where they can be exposed to bacterial infections that will do further damage to their lungs, he said. Kalydeco, a drug that both daughters take, and which has allowed his elder daughter to live and work in Washington, D.C., costs more than $300,000 a year. Copay programs could be in jeopardy, he said.

"There is absolute potential in there for the protections that we have for existing conditions to go away," he said. "As much as Paul Ryan wants to stand up and say that isn't the case, he should read his own bill."

Photo Credit: Gerardo Somoza
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<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Police Once Again Warn of Hoax Letter]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 16:39:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052417+miami-dade+police+hoax+letter.jpg

Miami-Dade Police are once again warning residents of a hoax letter making the rounds on social media that warns of gang members who are raping women.

The document, which has a Miami-Dade County logo and has been making the rounds on the Internet for years, is not from police or county government, police said Wednesday.

Police have worked to debunk the hoax letter since at least 2011, and online fact checker Snopes has also rated the letter as "false."

The fake document from the Miami-Dade "Sheriff's Department" says the message is "for any lady who goes to work, college or school or even driving or walking the streets alone."

"If you find a young person crying on the road showing you their address and is asking you to take them to that address...take that child to the POLICE STATION!" the letter reads. "No matter what you do, DON'T go to that address. This is a new way for gang members (MS13) to rape women."

Police said official public safety communications are posted on their social media channels.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Police]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Failing to Track Foreign Cash at His Hotels]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 13:25:24 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/603142230-trump-international-hotel-DC.jpg

Just before taking office, President Donald Trump promised to donate all profits earned from foreign governments back to the U.S. Treasury.

But MSNBC has learned the Trump Organization is not tracking all possible payments it receives from foreign governments, according to new admissions by Trump representatives. By failing to track foreign payments it receives, the company will be hard-pressed to meet Trump's pledge to donate foreign profits and could even increase its legal exposure, NBC News reported.

The Trump Organization does not "attempt to identify individual travelers who have not specifically identified themselves as being a representative of a foreign government entity," according to a new company pamphlet. The policy suggests that it is up to foreign governments, not Trump hotels, to determine whether they self-report their business.

That policy matches what several sources told MSNBC — Trump Organization employees are not soliciting information about whether reservations or business is from a foreign government.

A Trump representative said that "the pertinent accounting rules" are well understood in the hospitality industry. But experts told MSNBC that there is no standard accounting system to track profits from foreign dignitaries.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers GM Focused on Making Right Hire of Next Coach]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 16:41:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/062315+dale+tallon.jpg

It has been one of the more quiet head coaching searches in recent memory. And that’s just how Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon likes it; “Can you keep a secret.”

Tallon has spent the last month and a half searching both domestically and internationally. His hunt has taken him to Germany and France, and he still isn’t close to naming the Panthers next head coach.

“We started with a big number, and we’re narrowing it down to six or seven guys,” said Tallon.

Tallon let it be known from the onset of the search, he would be thorough. He has stuck to that game plan.

“We’re in no rush, we don’t play until September, with training camp, so we are going to take our time and do the right thing,” said Tallon.

The candidate field has ranged from University of Denver head coach Jim Montgomery to former Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien. Besides bringing a winning attitude to the locker room, Tallon has focused on candidates who are good communicators, teachers and someone with the understanding of working with analytics.

“It’s important, you have to take advantage of everything out there to make us a better team,” said Tallon.

A “modern guy” as Tallon puts it, is what he’s pursuing. Many have connected the dots to Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley fitting that mold, since Housley and Tallon have a history together dating back to their days with the Chicago Blackhawks . But Nashville’s run to the Stanley Cup Final has held Tallon back from inquiring with the Predators about speaking with Housley.

“I’m just going to wait and see what happens and when that time comes and we’ll ask permission,” said Tallon.

After an injury riddled and disappointing season, Tallon knows he has too much talent on the team to miss on his next coaching hire. His goal since the search began has been to have a head coach in place by the NHL Entry Draft beginning June 23.

“Hopefully in the next couple weeks we’ll get it down to two or three, and then get the final one prior to the draft,” said Tallon.

Next week, Tallon will attend the NHL Draft Combine and will continue the coaching search conversation. He insists he’s had positive feedback about the opening, despite the restructuring and removal of Tom Rowe.

“I’ve learned a lot about our Florida team, everyone I’ve interviewed and spoken with all want to come here, they love our team, they love our players and they love the direction were headed,” said Tallon.

You can NBC 6 sports anchor Chris Fischer’s one on one interview with Dale Tallon Sunday night at 11:30 on NBC6 Sports Final.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Universal Orlando Set to Unveil Exciting 'Volcano Bay' ]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 12:42:31 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052417+volcano+bay+universal+orlando.JPG

You've embarked on a magical journey through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, challenged Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a race through New York and walked on sacred ground through Skull Island in Reign of Kong.

Now, it’s time to embark on a brand new adventure. A third park will rise at Universal Orlando resorts - Volcano Bay!

This is home of the Waturi people, according to the myth that after searching far and wide, they made this smoking mountain their home. You’ll learn about their story as you visit the park

“That's the back story that informs everything we do in our design,” said Dale Mason, Vice President and Executive Director of Universal Creative. “The idea here is to create the best experience. We know what our guest want they want the thrill and excitement of our theme parks.”

But you'll also experience some something new - no lines, no waiting and no hauling rafts up to the top of the slide!

It's exciting! It's fun! It's relaxing…and it all starts this Friday!

<![CDATA[Ariana Grande Fans Suffer 'Same Injuries' as Syrian Kids]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 15:53:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/manchestersuicide_1200x675.jpg

After a brutal suicide bombing that left 22 dead and dozens injured Monday night by the entrance of a Manchester arena in the U.K., a local doctor came face to face with injuries that reminded him of his time as a volunteer doctor in Syria, NBC News reported.

Dr. Mounir Hakimi is a surgeon who lives in Britain. But he grew up in Syria and has returned to the Middle Eastern country regularly to help train doctors and carry out operations during its years-long civil war. 

"I never expected that I would be treating patients who have the same injuries that I saw in Syria," he told NBC News on Wednesday morning. "I never thought I would experience a terror attack so close to my house. I never thought it would be close to my family and my kids."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Praises Philippine Leader for Drug Crackdown: Report]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 16:05:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trump-duterte-split.jpg

When President Donald Trump called Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in April, he said Duterte is doing "a great job" handling his nation's drug problems, which have been widely condemned as a bloody, extrajudicial campaign against suspected dealers, according to a Washington Post report.

Trump told Duterte he was doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem," according to a transcript of the call the Post obtained after being circulated by the government, NBC News reported. 

Trump also revealed sensitive military information — two U.S. nuclear submarines were near North Korea — on the call, in which he and Duterte described North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a "madman."

A senior White House official confirmed to the Post that the transcript is accurate. NBC has reached out to the White House for additional confirmation.

Photo Credit: AP/ Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[7 Divers Reported Missing Off Jupiter Inlet Found Safe: USCG]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 11:45:06 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/US-Coast-Guard-Generic.jpg

Seven divers who were reported missing in the ocean off Palm Beach County Wednesday have been found safe, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

Officials said the divers were on a commercial vessel named "The Emerald" when they went missing about five miles east of Jupiter Inlet.

The divers were later found and all were safe. Five of them were recovered by a good Samaritan and the other two were recovered by the the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, officials said.

No other information was immediately known.

Check back with NBC 6 for updates.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Cyclists Escape Serious Injury After Crash With Truck]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 17:27:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/216*120/052417+virginia+key+cyclists+struck.JPG

Several cyclists escaped major injuries after they were hit by a driver along the Rickenbacker Causeway early Wednesday morning.

Chopper 6 was over the scene just past the entrance to Virginia Key, where rescue crews attended to both riders as their bikes could be seen damaged on the ground.

Officials say the driver of a white pickup truck was behind the crash. He stayed on the scene and told NBC 6 the accident happened after he reached for his cell phone that had slipped onto the floor of his vehicle.

When he reached down to get it, he lost control of the vehicle and struck the cyclists.

"The guy who was in the back is the one who got hurt really bad, his bike was completely destroyed," cyclist Carlos Rojas said.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews treated the cyclists on scene and none were transported to the hospital.

"It just happened, just like that, out of the blue,” said Bernardo Perez, one of the cyclists who was struck. "You’re riding your bike and the next moment it could’ve been your life. It’s pretty frustrating. I’m more upset about the situation than banged up."

The latest crash comes just a week after there was the annual Ride of Silence to promote safety and bicyclist’s rights on the road.

<![CDATA[Miami 'Joker' Accused of Pointing Loaded Gun at Cars]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 19:11:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052417+Lawrence+Patrick+Sullivan.jpg

A Miami man whose green hair and tattoos bear a striking resemblance to the Joker character from "The Dark Knight" was arrested after police said he was pointing a loaded gun at passing cars.

Lawrence Patrick Sullivan, 29, was arrested Tuesday night on a charge of carrying a concealed firearm, Miami-Dade police said.

Sullivan was arrested after an officer responded to the 15200 block of Southwest 104th Street for a report of a man with green hair and tattoos on his face who was pointing a gun at passing vehicles, the report said.

The officer spotted Sullivan walking out of the front gates of the Hammocks Place Apartments. He patted Sullivan down and found the firearm, a Smith & Wesson handgun with six rounds in the magazine, in Sullivan's pocket, the report said.

At one point Sullivan told the officer "I don't have a permit cause it's too expensive," the report said.

Sullivan, who was listed as a "tattoo model" on the arrest report, was booked into jail where he was being held on $5,000 bond Wednesday, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't immediately available.

"I don't believe he was waving a gun around in traffic, he wouldn't do that. Yes he had a gun, but he wouldn't wave it around," said Sullivan's sister, who didn't want to give her name. "He's a character, he's just playing a character. I warned him that people would take it the wrong way."

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Body Pulled From Water Near Hollywood Wednesday]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 09:47:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052417+hollywood+body+found+in+ocean.JPG

Police continue to investigate a body that was found in the waters off Hollywood early Wednesday morning.

Shortly before 6:30 a.m., officers got a call of someone seeing a body in the Atlantic Ocean off Magnolia Terrace. The body was pulled from the water and identified as a black male believed to be in his 30’s.

Initial reports say the victim may have died as the result of a gunshot wound, but that has not been confirmed by police.

<![CDATA[Scammer Uses Fake 'Movie Money' to Dupe Maryland Student]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 11:15:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052317+prop+movie+money.jpg

A Maryland college student thought a man she met online paid her $450 cash for her old iPhone -- but he actually gave her an envelope full of fake "movie money" used in film shoots.

The 18-year-old no longer has the phone and is out $50 in real money after her encounter with the scammer. He handed her what she thought was $500 cash, and she gave him $50 change. 

Hannah Buehrle, of Frederick, wanted to sell the old phone to help finance a Memorial Day weekend trip to the beach. Earlier this month, she used an app to advertise it for $400. Before long, she was contacted by a man who called himself Xavier.

Xavier said he would pay Buehrle $450 if she would meet him in Germantown, about 30 miles from where she was in Walkersville. She said she wasn't suspicious when he offered to pay more than the listed price.

"I think it was mostly because I was taking the time out of my day to drive all the way to Germantown, from Walkersville, so I think maybe he wanted to be nice," she said, making air quotes around the word "wanted."

They met in the parking lot of a Kohl's store. Xavier handed Buehrle the envelope. She gave the contents a quick look and saw what appeared to be five $100 bills.

Buehrle handed over the phone and Xavier's $50 change.

They went their separate ways, and Buehrle headed to deposit the payment. She inserted the bills into an ATM, but the machine kept spitting them out.

Then, she looked at them closely.

"I saw at the bottom of one of the bills 'for prop use only,'" she said.

Montgomery County police are investigating.

The movie money looks a lot like real cash. The fonts are the same. The design is largely the same. But if you look closely, warnings appear all over it.

A real $100 bill says "federal reserve note" on the upper left. The movie money says "for cinematic use only." A real bill says "the United States of America" on the upper right. The phony bill says "for motion picture use only."

Benjamin Franklin also has a slight smirk on his face on the movie money and eyebrows are much higher on his forehead.

One company that sells the fake cash, Prop Movie Money LLC, says its bills are designed to look like the real thing on camera. But they say again and again on their website that they will not modify the bills to look and feel exactly like the real thing, with working holograms and the same feel as real cash.

"Our prop money is solely designed for TV, film, photography, training and media productions," the site says. "It will not pass as real currency and cannot be modified to look exactly like real USA currency."

A stack of fake $100 bills costs $25.

Police warn that you have to be careful when making cash deals with strangers. Many police departments suggest doing handoffs outside police stations.

Photo Credit: Hannah Buehrle
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<![CDATA[Homeless Men Rushed to Help Manchester Attack Victims]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 08:02:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/concertblastfeuerherd.jpg

Crowdfunding campaigns have been launched to help two homeless men who reportedly rushed to help victims in the moments after a blast from a suicide bomber killed 22 at an Ariana Grande concert in England Monday night. 

Stephen Jones was sleeping near the venue in Manchester when he heard the blast, he told NBC News’ partners ITV. 

Jones told ITV he saw children bloodied, then helped to remove nails that were lodged in victims. 

“It was just instinct,” Jones told ITV. 

NBC News has not yet independently verified Jones’ account. 

Another homeless man, Chris Parker, 33, also rushed to help victims after the blast, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper. 

Parker said he wrapped an injured girl in a T-shirt and tended to a woman with a serious leg injury after the blast, the Guardian reported. 

“I haven’t stopped crying. The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids’ concert,” Parker said, according to the report. 

The crowdfunding campaign for Parker had raised more than 28,000 pounds ($36,300) by Wednesday; donations for Jones were near 20,000 pounds ($26,073).

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[6 Things to Know - Budget Cuts, NYC Fleet Week]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 07:16:40 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000029703416_1200x675_952120899907.jpg

Before you head out the door for work or school, here are the top six stories you need to know from NBC 6.

<![CDATA[Raquel Regalado Announces Run For Congress in 2018]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 07:14:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Raquel-Regalado.jpg

A familiar name to South Florida politics is entering the race to replace longtime U.S. Representative Illena Ros-Lehtinen in 2018.

Raquel Regalado, a former Miami-Dade school board member who lost her bid for Miami-Dade mayor last year, announced that she's running for the District 27 seat being vacated by Ros-Lehtinen, who announced her retirement last month.

Regalado is the daughter of Miami mayor Tomas Regalado and launched her campaign at an event in Little Havana last night. Regalado says she'll work on getting money from the federal government to focus on issues, not only affecting the district, but all of Florida as well.

“It’s important for people to understand that a moderate Republican will have a bigger impact inside the room than a Democrat outside in the hall,” Regalado said. “I think it is a wonderful opportunity for a Hispanic woman to replace the first Hispanic woman that went to Congress.”

Other names rumored to be considering a run on the Republican side are Miami-Dade commissioner Bruno Barreiro, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Dr. Maria Peiro. On the Democratic side, State Senator Jose Javier Rodríguez, Miami Beach commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and businessman Scott Fuhrman – who lost to Ros-Lehtinen in 2016 – have been mentioned as possible candidates.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[2 Men Dead, 1 Rescued After Boat Overturns Off Dania Beach]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 18:02:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052317+2+bodies+boating+ax.jpg

Two people have died after a boat overturned in the ocean off Dania Beach Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Coast Guard officials said. 

Officials said three men were on board the 22-foot boat when it overturned around 2 p.m. The incident happened off N. Ocean Drive and Dania Beach Boulevard. 

One of the boaters swam to another vessel for help but the other two were found dead in the water. The names of the victims haven't been released.

The boat was completely submerged and later sunk, Broward Sheriff's Fire said. Crews were salvaging the boat and bringing it to a Fort Lauderdale boat ramp.

It's unknown how the boat became capsized.

Crews from the Coast Guard, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Broward Sheriff's Office all responded to the scene after a 911 call about a vessel in distress.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles urged caution on the water ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

"Please use caution. We want everyone to enjoy the holidays, but be safe and be smart," Jachles said.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

<![CDATA[Tuttle Causeway Reopens After 3 Killed in Motorcycle Crash]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 15:43:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052317+julia+tuttle+crash+miami.jpg

Traffic was opened back up on one major Miami roadway after three people were killed in an early morning crash Tuesday.

Florida Highway Patrol officials closed the eastbound direction of I-195, better known as the Julia Tuttle Causeway, after the crash happened near Biscayne Boulevard around 4:30 a.m.

According to FHP, a motorcycle and scooter were involved in the crash. The driver of the scooter, 24-year-old Erik Andrew Lau, of Hialeah, and the motorcycle driver, a 32-year-old man whose name wasn't released, died at the scene. 

A third victim, a fisherman who was on the bridge when he was struck by the motorcycle, died at the hospital. He was later identified as 30-year-old Daryl Jerome Williams, of Miami Gardens.

Drivers were asked to avoid the area as traffic was backed up near the Golden Glades interchange, with the road finally reopening around 10:30 a.m.

The cause of the crash was unknown.

Photo Credit: NBC 6
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[6 Things to Know - Budget Cuts, NYC Fleet Week Begins]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 05:36:35 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000029702185_1200x675_952086595998.jpg

Before you get your Wednesday started, NBC 6 has the top six stories we are working on.

<![CDATA[Trump Team Stands by Budget’s $2 Trillion Math Error]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 13:07:45 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mickmulvaneyfeuerherd.jpg

President Donald Trump's newly unveiled budget contains a massive accounting error that uses the same money twice for two different purposes, NBC News reported. 

Based on its supersized projections of 3 percent GDP, the president's budget forecasts about $2 trillion in extra federal revenue growth over the next 10 years, which it then uses to pay for Trump's "biggest tax cut in history." 

But then it also uses that very same $2 trillion to balance the budget. 

Experts say the numbers just don’t add up. 

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers wrote on his blog, "It appears to be the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the nearly 40 years I have been tracking them."

But White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday he stands by the numbers. 

"I'm aware of the criticisms and would simply come back and say there's other places where we were probably overly conservative in our accounting," he said. "We stand by the numbers."

Photo Credit: AP]]>