<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Mon, 01 Sep 2014 04:08:35 -0400 Mon, 01 Sep 2014 04:08:35 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Authorities Out in Full Force on Local Waters]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:59:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/043012+miami+beach+ocean+generic+weather+clouds.jpg

The Labor Day holiday weekend marks the official end of summer for many and that means the waters will be filled with boaters, but it will also be filled with the Miami Beach Marine Patrol that is already out in full force.

The Miami Beach Marine Patrol is one of several agencies that plans to fill the waters with officers looking for anyone who may be breaking the law.

“We have a lot of assets out here,” said Thomas Fleischhauer of the Miami Beach Marine Patrol. “I know Miami Beach has, we have all of our boats out here. A full crew.”

Officer Fleischhauer said law enforcement will be targeting people on the water drinking and driving. Mayor Carlos Gimenez created a multi-agency taskforce to try and help crack down on the illegal activity this weekend.

The BUI taskforce said it will be targeting its efforts on the Biscayne Bay sandbar. The target area for some of the Miami Beach Marine Patrol will be Monument Island.

But it’s not just drunken boaters that will be focused on this weekend. The Miami Beach Marine Patrol said jetski riders are major violators in the beach area.

“Anybody operating a jetski, they need to have three things: They need to have a kill switch, they need to have a working fire extinguisher, and a sound-producing device readily accessible,” Fleischhauer said.

In addition, people on kayaks and paddle boards must follow the rules. Anyone on a non-motorized vessel must have a life vest and sound-producing device on board. The main message for everyone from law enforcement is be careful when you take to the seas.

“We want people to use caution,” Fleischhauer said. “Go slow.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Abandoned by Owner at Animal Hospital]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 18:52:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/peachesthepitbull.jpg

The staff at Pines West Animal Hospital is looking for a home for dog that stole their heart and has been with them for six months.

“Peaches has been a client of ours, a patient of ours for over nine years,” said Lynel Reeves of the Pines West Animal Hospital. “The family is known to board her with us and not pick up on the date that they were supposed to pick up, and this last time, they did not pick her up.”

That left Peaches, a pit bull mix, with nowhere to go. So the staff kept Peaches around the animal hospital. But, she’s in a cage most of the time and as Reeves said, “it’s not any life for the dog.”

Peaches is spayed and has all her shots and is in good health plus does basic commands like sit, stay, speak on command, shake hands, and bring someone a toy.

“She’s a lovely dog. She loves everybody,” Reeves said. “I think pit bulls get a bad rap. I could probably name five other breeds that, you know, are worse than a pit bull. And, most of this is learned behavior.”

The animal hospital took to social media to try to find a home for Peaches. Because she’s a pit bull mix, she can’t go to a home in Miami-Dade County because the breed is banned. But the hospital said it will keep helping the pooch and hope someone in another county will give Peaches a good home.

“We’re going to stick it out and find Peaches a home,” Reeves said. “She deserves a home.”

If you’d like to give Peaches a home, you can go by the Pines West Animal Hospital at 18419 Pines Boulevard. You will have to go through a screening process, but there’s no adoption fee.



Photo Credit: Pines West Animal Hospital]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 9 Injured in SoCal Crash ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:47:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*128/LAgenerics+CHP+California+Highway+Patrol.jpg

A woman was killed and nine other people were injured a crash involving an overturned truck on the 5 Freeway in Castaic on Sunday.

The crash on the northbound 5 Freeway near Lake Hughes Road was reported around 2 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

All northbound lanes were reopened after the crash shut down two lanes for hours.

Details of the crash were not being released.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

An overturned truck blocked lanes after the collision involving three other vehicles.

A SigAlert was issued and the two right lanes of the freeway were expected to be closed for at least three hours for the crash investigation.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida

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<![CDATA[3 Hurt by Lightning at NYC Beach]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:22:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/lightning+strike+orchard+beach+clothing+shredded.jpg

Three people are hospitalized in New York City with injuries from a lightning strike as heavy thunderstorms swept the tri-state, authorities say. 

The men were hurt at Orchard Beach on Pelham Bay in the Bronx at about 5 p.m., and were being treated at Jacobi Medical Center, according to the FDNY. They did not appear to be seriously injured or physically burned. 

Telemundo identifies two of the victims as a father and son, 49 and 19 years old, who sought shelter under a tree during the storm. A friend of the family told the news station that the lightning hit the tree, then sent the men flying at least 10 feet. 

The friend showed the station photos of the victims' clothing that appeared to be shredded in parts from the lightning strike.

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Visitors at Orchard Beach said they weren't seriously concerned about the rain until they heard the thunder. 

"That crack of thunder and lightning came, and that's when everybody started to run away," said Cheryl Greenidge. 

Edgar Ayalla said he saw lightning hit either the beach or the water "like an explosion," and that debris was sent flying from that lightning strike. 

Elsewhere in the city, torrential rain, thunder and lightning interrupted Labor Day weekend celebrations, halted play at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens and forced the early end to the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island. 

Traffic crawled on the Garden State Parkway in East Orange, where roads were flooded and emergency responders had to attend to a stranded driver, a traffic camera showed. 

Flooding on the Cross Bronx Expressway also caused long delays onto the George Washington Bridge. 

Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports all reported long delays as a result of the storm.

Another round of thunderstorms is expected in the area by Monday. Labor Day will be otherwise hot and humid. 

The last area thunderstorm broke records on Long Island, where the town of Islip saw more than 13 inches of rain fall in a matter of hours on Aug. 14. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida



Photo Credit: Telemundo/NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Homeless Man Beaten to Death]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:09:14 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic_thumbnail.jpg

A homeless man in Chicago was beaten to death on the city’s Northwest Side Saturday night, police said.

The man was in an alley in the 1900 block of North Ridgeway Avenue in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood when two men exited a vehicle and began beating him, police said.

The men beat the victim’s head and body with their hands and feet, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada.

The man was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office identified the man as 57-year-old Ernesto Garcia.

Police said the man appeared to be homeless.

"Regardless of whether he was homeless or not he's still human," said community activist Andrew Holmes. "A lot of these assaults that been taking place beating the homeless go unreported and the reason they go unreported is because they figure nobody cares, but we care, I care and we're just trying to find the individuals that beat this guy to death."

Holmes was patrolling the area Sunday afternoon hoping to find witnesses or see if surveillance cameras may have captured footage of the suspects.

"Each and every day someone is always picking on the homeless," Holmes said. "If they try to defend themselves they get jumped on, they get beat, they get assaulted... it shouldn't have gone this far."

Area residents say the attack was surprising for the community.

"It was so close to home," said Enrique Ruiz. "I thought nothing like this would happen around here."

Many in the area said Garcia frequently slept in the alley and was friendly those who lived nearby.

"People around here liked him," said resident George Bermudez. "He was really nice. I was shocked. I just said hi to him in the a.m., I didn't know someone I knew was going to die."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida

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<![CDATA[Bonded Dogs Need Urgent Rescue in Broward]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:57:26 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/236*120/urgentdogs831.jpg

Two dogs at Broward County Animal Care are considered "last call" and are in need of urgent adoption or rescue.

Daisy and Gatsby are an inseparable pair. They arrived together at the shelter on August 17th and need immediate adoption or rescue due to shelter overcrowding. Daisy is a 5-year-old, 53-pound American Staffordshire Terrier, while Gatsby is an 1-and-a-half year-old, 11-pound Chihuahua mix.

If you are interested in Daisy and Gatsby, contact the shelter at (954) 359-1313, or email rescue@broward.org.



Photo Credit: Urgent Dogs of Broward Animal Care/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[One Person Shot in Miami Beach Night Club]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:47:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic_thumbnail.jpg

One person was injured after being shot in a Miami Beach night club early Sunday morning.

Miami Beach Police say several people became involved in an altercation inside The Office night club at 912 71st Street. As the club's security ushered those involved outside, several shots were fired, causing the crowd to rush in several directions.

One victim was found with a single gunshot wound after the crowd cleared, according to police. The victim was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in stable condition.

The cause of the shooting is still under investigation.

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<![CDATA[One Dead After I-95 Crash in Broward]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 18:18:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/deadly+95+ax+830.PNG

A deadly crash on I-95 closed all southbound lanes in Broward for hours Saturday night.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 35-year-old Marlene Bernard was traveling south just after 7 p.m. when she lost control of her SUV near the Hallandale Beach Blvd exit. The vehicle veered to the right, striking 53-year-old Ronald Dwayne Griffin's pick-up truck.
Both Griffin and Bernard were ejected from their vehicles. According to FHP, both drivers were transported to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood where Griffin was pronounced dead.
The southbound lanes were re-opened 4 hours after the crash. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

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<![CDATA[Pompano Beach Man Stabs Roommate to Death]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:42:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/samuel+dulavoix.jpg

A Pompano Beach man has been charged with second-degree murder after stabbing his roommate to death Saturday night, police said.

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a disturbance call at 3208 Marine Drive just after 9 p.m. Deputies said 22-year-old Samuel Dulavoix was covered in blood when he answered the door. Officers spotted a pile of bloody blankets on top of a body.

BSO has identified the victim as 39-year-old Rahmil Alexander. Dulavoix told homicide investigators that he and Alexander had been living together for about a year. He said they argued over money when Dulavoix stabbed the victim more than 25 times, police said. He later attempted to clean up the scene and conceal the body.

The Broward County Medical Examiner ruled the case a homicide at the scene and said Alexander died of multiple stab wounds.

Dulavoix was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment to superficial cuts on his hands before being released to authorities. He is being held without bond and faces a charge of second-degree murder. It is unknown if Dulavoix has an attorney.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Katie]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 12:50:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/katie+pet+831.PNG

Our featured pet from the Humane Society of Broward County is Katie, a 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix.

Katie is a sweet, playful pup who is a people pleaser. She loves snuggling and squeaky toys. Katie gets along with other dogs and would love to find a forever home.

For more information on how to adopt Katie or any other animal, call (954) 989-3977 or visit the Humane Society of Broward County's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

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<![CDATA[Officials Stress Boating Safety Over Labor Day Weekend]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:02:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/boat+safety+labor+day+831.PNG

You couldn't ask for better weather as many people are celebrating the holiday weekend on the water. Whether the fun is above the water or under it, officials want to remind people that safety is the number one rule.

"We have fire boat one and fire boat two that are out here patrolling the waters from early this morning until the late evening hours," said Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll.

And just around 5 p.m. Saturday a diver near Government Cut was in distress.

"He was on a dive boat, a personal dive boat and at some point that boat ended up capsizing," said Jorge Pino from Florida Fish and Wildlife.

Several rescue units went out to help the diver and brought him to the Miami Beach Marina, but it was too late.

"They did perform CPR on him but unfortunately he was pronounced dead at the hospital," Pino said.

Officials are still investigating how and why the diver died.

"One thing that we encourage and tell people is make sure that you have all your safety equipment," Carroll said. "Check out your boat and have a safety plan in place, make sure where you are and where you're traveling to. And the most important thing is to use common sense while you're out on the water."

That includes no drinking if you're the one driving the boat. Carroll says another important tip is know how to use your boat radio.

"Cell phones are very good but sometimes they don't work in areas so know how to use your radio, know the area that you're in," Carroll said. "And make sure that you have somebody that is responsible on the boat if you are going to be drinking."

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<![CDATA[Cab Driver Shot at Gas Station Speaks Only to NBC 6]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:03:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/cab+driver+shot+831.PNG

A cab driver is recovering after being shot at a gas station in northwest Miami-Dade Friday night.

Bertin Simon is already home, and he says he's just lucky to be alive.

Less than a day after he was shot in the neck, Simon sits in his living room trying to make sense of it all.

"I don't know exactly what's going on because I don't have any problem with anyone," Simon said.

At about 8:50pm on Friday, the cab driver says he arrived at a gas station on Opa Locka Blvd, but before he could fuel up his car he heard several gunshots.

"I just put my car in drive and then I tried to get away," he said. "At the same time I feel like I'm too hot, I get my shirt, take it out, then I see I'm bleeding and I put it around my neck."

The father of 7 says the bullet went through one side of his neck and out the other. He was then transported to Ryder Trauma Center and believes if he hadn't had his chain necklace on, the injury couldve been much worse.

"I think he's a cat he has 9 lives," Simon's wife Lydia Francois said. "This was sure an act of God."

At least 5 bullets struck his cab, so Simon is unsure if he was targeted or just at the wrong place at the wrong time. But his wife is sure of one thing: she doesn't want him to go back on the road as a cab driverr.

"It's dangerous now everytime he says he's going out I'm going to be afraid," Francois said. "I'm not going to know if he's coming back home, if somebody is going to do something to him again. And for somebody to do that to him, they should be caught and punished."

Police are asking anyone with information on the shooting to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

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<![CDATA[Forecast: Hot, Sunny Sunday]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 10:06:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/204*120/BwXnfRlIAAAIWwN.jpg

Today will be mostly sunny and breezy with temperatures in the lower 90s. Heat index values will make it feel like the 100s again. There will be a high risk of rip currents for Miami-Dade and Broward County beaches. Afternoon thunderstorms will move inland toward the interior and Gulf coast.

Download the NBC 6 Weather App

For Labor Day an east breeze will push all thunderstorm activity further inland toward interior areas again. Temperatures will be in the low 90s under mostly to partly sunny skies. Rip currents will again be possible.

Moisture is expected to continue to increase as a system over the Bahamas moves toward us by the end of the week. An unsettled weather pattern is expected for the second half of the work week.

More Weather Content:

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<![CDATA[Weather Forecast -- Aug31 -- 8am]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 10:07:01 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/MaxOneWebWeather_1200x675_323771971545.jpg Spotty AM showers will lead to afternoon t-storms across interior areas and West Coast. High risk of rip currents along Atlantic beaches.]]> <![CDATA[4 Family Members Found Dead]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:44:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/216*120/elmhurst+2.jpg

Several family members were found dead in a home in west suburban Elmhurst Saturday, police said.

Few details were released surrounding the deaths, but police at a news conference Saturday said officers were conducting a well-being check at a home in the 600 block of Chatam just before 7 p.m. when they discovered "several family members" dead inside the home. 

Police said two men and two women were found with visible gunshot wounds.

Joan Stack and Francis Stack, both 82, Francis Stack, Jr., 48, and Mary Stack, 57 were killed, officials said.

The DuPage County Coroner's office, citing preliminary information Sunday, said all victims were shot in the head. Fancis Stack's shooting was suicide and the three other victims were murdered, officials said.

Police said a weapon was recovered from the scene.

According to authorities, a death investigation is ongoing.

Longtime neighbor Pete Sterchele said the victims were an elderly couple and their two disabled children.

"[Frank] was in a very difficult situation," said Sterchele. "Two severely handicapped children, his wife with cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. She was bed-ridden, the children had to be looked over 24 hours a day and Frank was losing mobility."

Police do not believe there is any immediate threat to the community, according to Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth.

Neighbors told NBC Chicago they saw armed police officers approaching the home Saturday evening.

Many in the community were shocked by the incident.

"They were great people," said neighbor Al Watson. "I mean if you had a problem you come over talk to [Frank] he could help you with about anything."

The Detective Section of the Elmhurst Police Department is investigating the incident, police said.

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<![CDATA[1 Man Robs 2 Banks Back-to-Back]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:27:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Dual-Bank-Robbery.jpg

A lone suspect may have been responsible for two back-to-back robberies at two different banks in the same Mira Mesa shopping center Saturday, officials said.

According to San Diego police, the robberies happened within minutes of each other, just before 12:30 p.m. One was at a North Island Credit Union at 9420 Mira Mesa Blvd., while the other was at a U.S. Bank at 9400 Mira Mesa Blvd. The banks are in the same shopping center, separated only by a small parking lot.

Police said an unknown man entered the North Island Credit Union first, approached a teller and verbally demanded cash. After receiving some money, he left the bank and popped into the U.S. Bank across the way, using the same strategy.

The man then fled the area on foot and was last seen heading westbound on Mira Mesa Blvd., police said.

No demand note or weapon was used in the robberies. Officer did not immediately locate the suspect. For now, the man is only described as 5-foot-6 with a heavy build. He wore a light grey hoodie, black hat and white gloves.

Though the robberies are under investigation, police are fairly certain the same suspect is responsible for both.
 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Drunk Federal Agent Arrested]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:15:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_generic_police_tape_police_lights_fishtown_722x406_2202385257.jpg

A drunken federal agent was arrested in Burbank after allegedly pulling out a handgun and telling someone to follow him early Wednesday.

Officers responded to a report of a person brandishing a gun around 12:30 a.m. in the 300 block of East Santa Anita Avenue, according to a news release from the Burbank Police Department.

The victim told police that they were ordered by a “very” intoxicated man armed with a gun to follow him. After following the man for a short period, the victim ran away and was able to escape, officials said.

Police searched the area and found Andrew Leconte around 1 a.m. near San Fernando Boulevard and Angeleno Avenue, less than one mile away.

Investigators later learned that Leconte is an agent with the United States Marshals Service.

Leconte was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and brandishing a firearm, police said. Burbank police were investigating the incident.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida



Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Repatriates Cuban, Haitian Migrants]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:04:31 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/migrants+repatriate+830.jpg

Coast Guard crews repatriated 86 migrants to Cuba and Haiti after multiple groups attempted to get to shore over the span of a week.

On August 21, 24 Haitian migrants were recovered north of Grand Bahama Island. Later that week, Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection units intercepted 62 Cuban migrants in 3 separate incidents in the south Florida Straits.

"Along with our Department of Homeland Security and international partners, the Coast Guard continues to robustly patrol the Florida Straits and Caribbean sea to prevent migrants from taking the perilous and illegal maritime journey to the United States," said Capt Mark Gordon, Chief of Response Enforcement for the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami. "Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, we will seek to quickly repatriate illegal migrants to their respective countries."



Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard]]>
<![CDATA[Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union Get Married]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:43:50 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/168*120/tlmd_172020619.jpg

NBA star Dwyane Wade married actress Gabrielle Union in Miami Saturday, E! News confirmed. The couple tied the knot at Chateau Artisan, a moated castle in Miami-Dade, according to reports.

They were surrounded by family and friends, including the athlete's elder two sons and nephew.

Heat owner Micky Arison, Chris Bosh and DJ Irie all posted Instagram pictures Saturday afternoon using #TheWadeUnion prior to the ceremony.

Wade proposed to Union in December 2013 after four years of dating. Shortly after, it was revealed that he had fathered a son named Xavier with a friend, according to E!.

This is the second marriage for Union and Wade.  Wade married Siohvaughn Funches, his high school sweetheart, in 2002. They welcomed sons Zaire and Zion. The pair broke up in 2007.

Union was married to NFL player Chris Howard from 2001 to 2006.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Make Final Round of Cuts]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 09:50:14 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/493389511.jpg

The Miami Dolphins will finalize their roster plans on Saturday following a series of cuts to reduce their roster size to the required 53 players.

On Friday, the Dolphins released TE Kyle Miller before the bulk of the cuts. Saturday's cuts began with CB Kevin Fogg and went on with RB Daniel Thomas, and RB Marcus Thigpen. As the day continued, Miami cut WR Matt Hazel, OL David Arkin, WR Kevin Cone, and LB Andrew Wilson according to the Miami Herald.

With the 4:00 p.m. deadline nearing, the Dolphins cut QB Seth Lobato, S Jordan Kovacs, DE Tevin Mims, DT Garrison Smith, OL Evan Finkenberg and OL Tony Hills. DT Kemal Johnson was placed on injured reserve with a torn meniscus.

The last group of cuts on Saturday included K Jake Rogers. DT Isaako Aaitui, C Sam Brenner, DE D'Aundre Reed, and TE Evan Wilson per the Herald.

There are actually more players on the roster if suspended players Dion Jordan and Reshad Jones are factored in. The two players are suspended for the first four games of the season with that suspension beginning officially on Saturday.

Once Jordan and Jones are eligible to play again after four games, the Dolphins will need to make a pair of cuts to bring them on board. These first four games will give Miami a bonus opportunity to look at a couple of guys who may have otherwise been cut prior to the season.

The season opener will be on September 7th against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Keys Aquarium Gives Visitors Immersive Experience]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:25:34 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/171*120/KeysAquariumEncounters01_830.jpg

Visitors to the Florida Keys can enjoy a new immersive experience, including feeding reef fish, invertebrates, stingrays and even sharks.

The recently opened Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters in Marathon features a coral reef exhibit and a predatory fish habitat housed in a 200,000-gallon interconnected saltwater aquarium.

"It's an interactive aquarium where you get the opportunity to go in and encounter all different species we have in the Florida Keys," said Ben Daughtry, the facility's managing owner. "And it's really a unique learning opportunity where you get the ability to touch, feel [and] feed any of the species we have here."

Feeding the marine life at the aquarium provides an opportunity not allowed in open waters off the Keys. Fish feeding in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is prohibited, because it disrupts their natural behavior, sanctuary officials said.

The encounter utilizes tethered diving technology, enabling individuals without prior scuba experience to enjoy the in-water opportunity with supervision from dive instructors. A fortified Plexiglass window divides the coral reef tank from a shark and other predatory fish section, and participants can safely hand-feed these creatures through small underwater feeding ports in the divider.

Other interactive facilities include shallow touch tanks that feature starfish, conchs and horseshoe crabs, and allow feeding of de-barbed stingrays and docile baby nurse sharks. Staff marine biologists provide educational introduction and guidance.

"You swim around a bunch of fish," said Doug Boring, a recent guest of the facility. "It gives you a whole new perspective on the world that doesn't get to be seen regularly."



Photo Credit: Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau]]>
<![CDATA[Cab Driver Shot at Gas Station in Northwest Miami-Dade]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 12:24:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/cab+driver+shot+830.PNG

 A cab driver is in the hospital this morning after he was shot at a gas station.

The shooting happened Friday night in the 700 block of Opa Locka Blvd. Police say the driver was walking back to his car when shots were fired in the area, striking him and hitting his car.

The driver was taken to Ryder Trauma Center.

Police are investigating the shooting, and say it's unclear whether the cab driver was the target.

Anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

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<![CDATA[Convict Charged in Mom, Kid Attack]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:45:40 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/pedro+vargas+inset.jpg

A man convicted of kidnapping and robbery in the 1990s was arrested for allegedly posing as a livery cab driver and assaulting a mother and two of her young children before hitting the youngest with the door of his fleeing car after driving them to a Queens homeless shelter, authorities say.

Pedro Vargas, 48, faces charges of misdemeanor assault, two counts of felony assault and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child after the alleged attacks outside the shelter that sits on the site of the former Pan Am Hotel in Elmhurst, prosecutors say.

Vargas, of Yonkers, was arrested late Thursday, four days after a man claiming to be a cab driver picked up a 26-year-old mother and her three kids -- ages 1, 3, and 5 -- and said he would drive them to the shelter. The man drove them around the back of the building and started to assault the family.

The attack was captured by surveillance cameras. Footage shows the man, allegedly Vargas, hurl the 3-year-old child from the back of the cab to the sidewalk, then elbow the 5-year-old, forcing her to the ground. Prosecutors allege the man then fought with the mother as she held her 1-year-old child in her arms, and the 1-year-old fell to the sidewalk. The man allegedly then got back into his car and sped off with the front passenger door still open; the car door hit the 1-year-old as the man drove away.

The children were taken to Elmhurst Hospital with minor injuries, including bruising and swelling. Their mother wasn't hurt. 

Vargas' attorney Howard Greenberg claimed the victim tried to "proposition" his client after she refused to pay the fare.

"He just wanted to get rid of her and them," he told reporters. "Some of it might have been a bit somewhat of an overreaction but there's no injuries to the children. So what's the crime?" 

Police say Vargas was arrested 12 times between 1984 and 1994, including on kidnapping and robbery charges in Manhattan and the Bronx. He served 18 years in jail on those charges. 

Vargas admitted in court he did not have a license to operate a taxi. 

-Lori Bordonaro contributed to this report



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Napa Wineries Open for Labor Day]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 12:23:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP573502597763.jpg

Napa city leaders are hoping swarms of tourists will flock to wine country for the holiday Labor Day weekend – and spend money that was lost this week after Sunday’s earthquake.

Workers at Saintsbury’s Winery - which suffered many broken bottles - spent Friday morning picking up grapes and allowed the public to be part of the process. The winery's co-founder, David Graves, said reservations this weekend are solid.

"We have had a few cancellations, but I think people realize Napa is open for business," he said.

While some of Napa is open for business, several blocks of the downtown area remain fenced off. In addition, several restaurants and shops on Main Street remain closed.

City officials on Friday said more than 1,000 structures have been tagged unsafe due to damage sustained from the 6.0-magnitude earthquake.

It has been a frustrating week for the owner of Velo Pizzeria -- building inspectors closed the restaurant on Thursday. Owner Lewis Chilton said he started the business nearly three weeks ago.

"For the last year we've been investing money in this business," Chilton said. "Our landlord has been investing money in this business."

Chilton is hopeful the restaurant will reopen soon so that he can start earning some of the money he has invested in opening the business back.

"It's a big weekend, a kick-off of the harvest of Napa Valley," he said. And it's important for our employees. It's a big weekend for them to make money too."

The city is hoping all the attention from the quake will help entice the tourists back.

Meanwhile, businesses depending on locals are suffering. A local deli said business is down 30 percent since the temblor hit and a hair salon reports a 70 percent drop this week.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Andrew]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 12:10:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/andrew+potw+830.PNG

Today's featured pet is Andrew, a 2-month-old chihuahua mix who is looking for a loving home.

Andrew is a sweet, gentle puppy. He is playful and loves attention.

The Humane Society of Greater Miami is holding two adoption events today in the community. They will have pets available for adoption at the PetSmart in Midtown from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Miami Children's Museum.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt Andrew or any other animal, call 305-696-0800 or visit the Humane Society's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

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<![CDATA[Accused Nurse Showed Baby's Room]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:22:35 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Michael-Lutts-Folo-crop.jpg

A longtime friend of a San Diego nurse accused of molesting a 2-month-old foster child said she visited the suspect at his home before the graphic allegations came to light and he even showed her the nursery he had set up for his new baby.

Michael William Lutts, 50, a pediatric nurse working at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, allegedly sexually abused a foster child in his care, recording the crimes on camera, according to a complaint filed by the FBI Wednesday.

He’s accused of beginning the lewd acts on Aug. 4 – the very same day he received custody of the prematurely born baby. According to graphic details in court documents, the alleged abuse included Lutts touching and manipulating the baby boy’s genitals while masturbating, among other things.

Lisa Rosenfeld and her family have known Lutts for the past 20 years.

She said Lutts once worked with her sister caring for children with autism. Rosenfeld’s father was also Lutts’ landlord, renting him an apartment for many years.

On Friday, Rosenfeld told NBC 7 she was completely shocked and disturbed by the accusations of child molestation against Lutts.

She said she had recently visited Lutts at his new home where he showed her the room he had prepared for his incoming foster child.

“I had gone to see him at his new house and he showed me the room he had all set up because he was going to adopt a baby boy,” Rosenfeld recalled. “The room was set up beautiful – all set up for a baby boy.”

Rosenfeld said Lutts mentioned he “had to do a lot of stuff to show he was a proper parent” prior to becoming a foster father.

She said she never imagined Lutts would soon be charged with the molestation of the baby boy.

“I was shocked to hear this, like, ‘Oh my God.’ Totally shocked; it’s not acceptable. Nobody should do that to a baby,” she said. “I never dreamed he would do something like that to a baby.”

Rosenfeld said she saw no signs that Lutts might commit these alleged crimes.

While he was a tenant at her father’s apartment, Rosenfeld said Lutts had no problems, always paid his rent on time and had lots of friends, all of whom were “age-appropriate.”

Given his job as a pediatric nurse and access to children, Rosenfeld said officials will have to thoroughly investigate just how far his interactions with young patients went. She also hopes investigators look at Lutts’ time working with children with autism to ensure there were no victims there.

Rosenfeld said that if Lutts is guilty of the sexual abuse, he should be in prison.

“That’s the kind of person that needs to be locked up. It doesn’t matter who it is – anybody that’s going to do harm to a baby. It’s a baby. That’s not acceptable,” she said.

“I never saw this coming. Wow. There’s nothing else you can say,” she added.

On Friday, Lutts appeared in federal court for a detention hearing with his head down, shackled at the waist. He did not speak and appeared sullen.

Through his attorney, he agreed to spend at least the next two weeks in jail without bond
Prosecutors could not comment on the case due to the ongoing investigation but did say Lutts may be indicted before his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Sept. 9.

Lutts was arrested Tuesday after the FBI raided his College Grove home. Investigators allegedly found thousands of photos and videos on his phone and computer depicting graphic sex acts with children, including his 2-month-old foster child.

According to court documents released this week, Lutts was also videotaped naked in his living room with the baby near him while he performed lewd acts on himself. Pictures show the hospital tag was still attached to the infant’s leg.

FBI agents said the newborn can be heard crying through many of the videos. The abuse happened over the course of at least five days, according to investigators.

The 2-month-old victim has since been placed in the care of Child Protective Services.

On Thursday Kaiser Permanente said Lutts had been suspended from work and would not be returning until the investigation and criminal proceedings are completed.

The medical group's spokesperson said the hospital has had no indication from law enforcement that their patients were possible vicitms but its administration is working with authorities.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Hot and Humid Saturday]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 18:27:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/BwR-fcvCMAAxsJc+%281%29.png

It will be a hazy, hot day with highs in the lower 90s and heat index values in the 100s. There will be a moderate risk of rip currents along Atlantic beaches. We could see thunderstorms across the interior and west coast.

Tomorrow will have less haze and more sunshine. It will still be hot with highs in the lower 90s. Thunderstorms again will push across interior areas and the Gulf coast.

Download the NBC 6 Weather App

For Labor Day, we will have mostly to partly sunny skies. It will be another day with highs in the lower 90s but heat index values will make it feel like the 100s. We will have more thunderstorms pushing across inland areas.

More Weather Content:

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<![CDATA[1-Day Sentence for Deadly Crash]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 14:09:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Wood-Steffey-0829.jpg

A woman who pleaded guilty to causing a head-on crash that killed an off-duty firefighter in Campo last year will only spend one day in jail, a San Diego judge ruled Friday.

Several months ago, Natasia Wood, 22, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter in the death of U.S. Forest Service firefighter Darin Steffey, 37.

On Friday, Wood was ultimately ordered to spend one day at Las Colinas Detention Facility for the deadly crash and was given three years of probation and community service in what a judge called a "very terrible, tragic, one-time mistake."

Steffey's mother, Jill Reid, was overcome with emotion at Wood's sentencing. She spoke in court about everything Steffey's family will have to miss now that he's gone.

"It means no wedding celebration, no grandchildren to love, no family gatherings that we would be a cherished part of," said Reid.

The mother said she recently spent her son's birthday not celebrating with him, but rather visiting his gravesite at Miramar National Cemetery in "the most painful way imaginable."

Steffey's sister, Heather Steffey, also addressed the court, speaking about how her only sibling's death has forever changed her life.

“There is nothing in life that will ever be worse than losing my brother. He was my built-in best friend, family and support. [His death] has crippled my existence, left me almost hysterical and unable to deal with the things that I used to be able to deal with," she said. "It has broken my life.”

“I valued no person more on this Earth. That’s what you took from me," Heather added, holding back tears. "I wear my brother around my neck in an urn every day and sometimes hear his sweet voice joking around as we used to.”

Steffey's girlfriend, Jessica Raddatz, also spoke at the sentencing. She said she and Steffey had planned to get married and some day start a family. Since losing Steffey to the deadly crash, Raddatz said she's suffered from depression and PTSD, and still can't believe he's gone.

“My world no longer shines. There are days when I just lay on the couch. I may not have been on the back of that motorcycle but I may as well have been killed because [Wood] has killed me too,” Raddatz said, sobbing.

“The defendant killed a man. And it was so preventable,” a prosecutor told the court, speaking about the dangers of speeding.

According to police, Wood was driving at more than 70 mph – about 15 miles over the posted speed limit – when she lost control and veered into northbound traffic lanes on Buckman Springs Road on Oct. 3, 2013.

Wood’s vehicle collided head-on with Steffey, who was riding his motorcycle. He was killed in the accident.

Steffey, also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and former hotshot firefighter, was on his way home from work at the time of the deadly crash.

The collision happened just a mile away from Steffey’s fire station. His colleagues were the first responders on scene.

Wood's father, Carlos Wood, also spoke at Friday's sentencing. He said his daughter had been unexpectedly called into work on the day of the accident, which may have played a role in how rushed she felt as she drove.

“I don’t justify speeding in any way, shape or form, but I believe this was an accident,” said Carlos.

The defendant's father said his daughter feels extreme guilt for causing the crash and "wakes up in the middle of the night screaming because of what she did."

Wood's attorney also told the court her client "regrets every day what she did, driving on that road too fast," and is truly sorry for taking Steffey from his family.

Since the accident, Steffey’s family, girlfriend and friends have been working to get justice for their loved one.

In January, Steffey’s mother spoke one-on-one with NBC 7 about her beloved son and urged others not to speed while driving.

Steffey's loved ones maintain a Facebook group that follows their fight for justice in this case.

Raddatz has also created a "Darin Steffey Roadside Memorial Fund," which collects donations to erect a permanent roadside memorial sign in Steffey's honor that will "remind others of the tragic consequences of reckless driving." To donate, click here.
 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Corrections Officer Shot Outside of His Home]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:13:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/correctionsofficershot.jpg

A Miami-Dade Corrections officer was working on his car outside his home in Southwest Miami-Dade County Friday night when he was shot.

Miami-Dade Police said 51-year old off-duty corrections officer was the victim of an apparent robbery when he was shot. Miami-Dade Police said the suspects took some property from the officer’s home, but haven’t said exactly what was stolen.

"They were able to take some personal property and they shot him multiple times," said Detective Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

A witness, who only gave his name as Tony, told NBC 6’s Justin Finch there were five to six gun shots and that the officer was shot in the upper torso.

"We were playing football back there, we heard five to six gunshots," Tony said. "We hid behind the car, five minutes after that, we looked around and we see a man with blackish skin color wearing a white tanktop."

Tony said the apparent shooter hopped a fence and ran away. He also said the victim was lying on the ground and appeared to be bleeding from his chest.

The number of shots or the exact injuries to the officer have not been confirmed by Miami-Dade Police.

Guellmes was airlifted from the scene to a Kendall Regional Hospital and was taken into surgery.

No update on the officer's condition has been given.

The Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department released a statement saying: “We are saddened by the incident that occurred involving our corrections officer. We are working hard with the Miami-Dade Police Department who are investigating the incident.”

"It's sad that there's a family waiting in a waiting room right now, you know, praying that their loved one is doing well," Detective Zabaleta said. "But we need the community to come together -- provide all the information that you can."

Police are looking for a dark gray or silver vehicle, possibly a Ford Taurus, with damage on the driver's side. They describe the suspect as a 5'8" black male with a medium build, wearing a black baseball hat, black hoodie and black baggy pants.

If you have any information on the shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[White House Responds to Tahmooressi Petition]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:52:41 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/050214+andrew+tahmooressi.jpg

The White House officially responded to a petition that’s received more than 134,000 signatures demanding the release of Weston-native Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from a Mexican jail.

Sgt. Tahmooressi has been in jail since he was stopped in Mexico with multiple firearms on April 1. The weapons were registered in the United States and Tahmooressi, according to his family, took a wrong turn into Tijuana, Mexico when he was stopped.

“The U.S. State Department continues to provide extensive consular assistance to Mr. Tahmooressi, and will do so until his case is resolved,” the White House wrote in response to the petition. “As in all cases when a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, our goal is to see that Mr. Tahmooressi is treated fairly during the judicial process with the hope that he can receive the support, both emotional and medical, that he may require now and at the conclusion of the proceedings.”

The White House response continued, “While we will not go into detail about our private diplomatic discussion on this case, U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have spoken to Mexican officials at the highest levels regarding Mr. Tahmooressi’s case.”

Tahmooressi’s case has gained the support of multiple elected officials, including Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Senator Marco Rubio, and Representative Duncan Hunter.

The White House said that “Mexican authorities have been very willing to engage on this issue” and that the Mexican officials have “provided prompt and continued consular access and visitations.”

The White House response did not call for the immediate release of Tahmooressi.

“We respect the rule of law and expect the judicial process of sovereign nations to protect other U.S. citizens who might find themselves in similar circumstances in the future,” the White House response said. “We will continue to monitor the case and work with the Mexican authorities as this case proceeds through the Mexican judicial system. We continue to urge the Mexican authorities to process this case expeditiously.”



Photo Credit: Facebook.com/freeusmctahmooressifrommexicanjail]]>
<![CDATA[Taxi Hits, Kills Woman in NYC]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 09:40:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/shane+kennedy.jpg

A 58-year-old woman died after being hit by a taxi SUV as she tried to cross a Manhattan street Friday afternoon, police say.

Police say the 30-year-old taxi driver was making a left turn onto East 79th Street from Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side around 2 p.m. when he hit the woman as she was crossing the street, pinning her underneath the cab.

"Everybody was screaming. We just wanted to know what happened," said Guillermo Silva, a construction worker who was working nearby. 

Silva and a group of good Samaritans, including at least six other construction workers, lifted the taxi and pulled the woman from under it, their only thought to "gotta get her outta there, gotta get her outta there," said Silva. 

One of those bystanders, Justin Havlik, said: "I took what strength I had and belted it out and lifted the car. The other two guys pushed it and we rested it on my thigh. We braced ourselved and then tossed it over." 

Witness Stephanie Knepper said: "I saw them lift up the car to bring a woman who was trapped under the car." 

Despite the good Samaritans' attempts, the woman was pronounced dead at Lenox Hill Hospital, according to police. 

Silva said he would do it all over again if there was any chance the woman could have been saved.

"We would do that for anybody. Nobody wants to see stuff like that, you know?" he said. 

It wasn't clear if the driver of the taxi was hurt, or if he will face charges. 



Photo Credit: @SeamusPK via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Secret Service: Man May Pose Threat]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 12:38:48 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/obama+westchester+aug+28.jpg

Police in Westchester and Secret Service were investigating a report of a "potentially suspicious person and vehicle" near where President Obama visited Friday for a set of fundraising events, authorities say.

An official with the Secret Service told NBC News the agency was working with local police to determine the validity of the report. 

The official did not elaborate on why the person and vehicle were considered suspicious.

Connecticut State Police were also told by Secret Service to be on the lookout for the suspicious person as Obama prepared to head to another fundraiser in Rhode Island later in the evening, a police spokesperson said. 

Obama landed in Air Force One at Westchester County Airport shortly before 2 p.m. Friday, and the presidential motorcade headed toward Sound Shore for the first fundraising site. The president then headed to Purchase later in the afternoon to attend a DNC Labor Day barbecue. 

Area streets were closed off as the president made his way through the area. He left the area at 5:30 p.m. for another fundraiser in Rhode Island. 

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