<![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 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:16:10 -0400 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:16:10 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man In Custody After Shots Fired, SWAT Standoff]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:30:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102314+fort+lauderdale+swat+standoff.jpg

A man who police say opened fire on officers was taken into custody after a SWAT standoff in Fort Lauderdale early Thursday.

The incident began shortly after midnight after the unidentified man shot at uniformed officers from his apartment in the 3000 block of Harbor Drive, Fort Lauderdale Police said.

Officers had gone to the home after a neighbor called 911 to report a commotion in the second-floor apartment.

The suspect barricaded himself inside the apartment as a SWAT team was called to the scene. He was later taken into custody.

No one was injured in the incident.

The man's identity wasn't released and it's unknown what charges he may face. He was taken to Broward Health Medical Center for a mental evaluation, officials said.

Check back with NBC 6 South Florida and NBC6.com for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Charged in Woman's Murder: Miami-Dade Police]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:56:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102314+Sandra+Santiesteban+Alonso.jpg

A Miami man is facing second-degree murder charge in the brutal beating death of a woman in July in Opa-locka.

Lazo Santiago, 52, was arrested Tuesday in the death of 49-year-old Sandra Santiesteban Alonso, Miami-Dade Police said.

Santiago was being held without bond Thursday and it was unknown if he has an attorney.

According to police, officers found the body of Alonso inside her Honda Accord in the area of Northwest 135th Street and Northwest 26th Court the evening of July 10.

Police said the investigation and laboratory analysis led them to issue a warrant for Santiago.

<![CDATA[NYC Restaurant Owner Thinks "Nighthawks" Painting Was Set There]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:53:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/nighthawk+diner.jpg

Artist Edward Hopper's famous "Nighthawks" painting has had admirers speculating for years whether the diner depicted was inspired by a real-life eatery, and one Greenwich Village restaurant owner is convinced he knows the answer.

Fiko Uslu, owner of the newly opened Classic's Cafe at Greenwich and Christopher streets, says he's so sure the space was the setting for the classic 1942 painting that he wants to rename the restaurant Nighthawks.

"We did a lot of research, a lot of legal paperwork," he said. "I don't want to get anything wrong."

The painting shows an all-night diner in which three customers are seated, lost in their own thoughts, under an "eerie glow," according to a description on the Art Institute of Chicago website.

Classic's Cafe manager, Alex Vigro, said they never thought about a connection until a mystery man named Mark stopped by last week and pointed out some similarities.

"These windows right there, the view in front of us, they still remain the same," he said. "The corner, I think everything, the design, everything is really similar."

It's not the only location that has been suggested as the inspiration for Hopper's painting, which hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago. A building housing what is now a flower shop is one of at least three Greenwich Avenue locations frequently discussed, and it's not lost on local residents.

"Certainly the shape of this building with the windows, and the way it comes to a peak, potentially," said Cynthia Kueppers.

Blogger Jeremiah Moss has chronicled his journey to find the real-life Nighthawks diner, writing in a 2010 New York Times op-ed piece that city folklore has suggested that Mulry Square -- a triangular lot at Greenwich Avenue and Seventh Avenue South -- was the site of the diner. His research found that it couldn't be the case because a gas station stood there from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Hopper himself has said the painting was inspired by a "restaurant on Greenwich Avenue where two streets meet," according to the Art Institute of Chicago, but never got more specific than that.

Carter Foster, the curator of drawing for the Whitney Museum, which has 2,500 drawings donated by the artist's widow, making it one of the largest Hopper collections anywhere, said the painting was probably influenced by multiple locations on the avenue.

"There were three corners on Greenwich Avenue, not Greenwich Street, where Hopper walked by frequently that were roughly the same shape as the diner in 'Nighthawks,' and I think those were the inspiration in a very general way, as was the tip of the Flatiron building," said Foster.

The artist with the answers died in 1967, leaving behind his painting and the speculation that goes along with it.

<![CDATA[Jockey Sues Calder Race Course Over Accident]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:48:57 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/injuredjockey.jpg

A professional jockey sued the Calder Race Course after allegedly suffering multiple severe injuries due to an incident that happened in a race in June 2014.

According to the lawsuit, Zarella Ore claims she was the victim of bullying, harassment, and physical confrontations with fellow jockey Jocelyn Gomez. The suit claims Gomez, “on multiple occasions intentionally tried to harm jockeys other than Ore by intentionally causing or attempting to harm other jockeys by causing improper, dangerous, and illegal contact with other jockeys and/or their horses during races and warm-up activities at Calder.”

The lawsuit states that Gomez repeatedly “verbally harassed, threatened, assaulted, bullied, grabbed, struck, battered, and beat Ore and otherwise placed Ore in danger of grievous bodily harm.” The suit said a week before a race on June 27th, Gomez “attacked and battered” Ore in the jockey room at Calder and told Ore, “I’m gonna *expletive* you up!”

Ore’s attorneys claim Calder knew about the incidents and problems with Gomez leading up to the races on June 27, but “failed to take reasonable action to protect Ore from further attacks by Gomez.”

The lawsuit states that on June 27th, during morning warm-ups, Gomez called and whipped a horse Ore was on in an attempt to make Ore fall from the horse. Ore’s attorneys say police were called to investigate the situation. The lawsuit said Calder “specifically knew about this situation when it occurred or shortly thereafter that morning.”

Later on the same day, the suit says Gomez attacked Ore in the jockey room again and told her, “I’m gonna *expletive* you up real bad!”

During the sixth race of the day at Calder on June 27, the lawsuit claimed that Gomez intentionally caused a “chain reaction between her horse and the other horses between” her horse and Ore’s horse. Ore and her horse fell to the ground during the race.

According to the lawsuit, Ore was airlifted to the hospital for injuries including: a fractured skull, facial fractures, as well as bleeding on the brain. Ore’s lawyers said she was put into a medically induced coma for several weeks and has since suffered from: traumatic brain injury, severe amnesia, severe bodily pain throughout her body, excruciating headaches, serious vision impairments and other medical issues.”

Gomez finished second in the race in which Ore fell, but was later disqualified for illegal interference and suspended for 15 days by Calder, the lawsuit stated.

NBC 6 reached out to Calder Race Course for a comment about the lawsuit. A course official told NBC 6, “We do not comment on pending litigation.” It’s unknown if Gomez has an attorney, but in a phone call with NBC 6’s Dan Krauth she said she denies all of the allegations and caused no intentional harm.

Miami Gardens Police investigated the fall and has handed the case over to the State Attorney’s Office for review to determine if any charges will be filed.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[67 Pot Plants Removed from Miami Grow House]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:28:06 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/miamigrowhouse102214.jpg

Miami Police arrested an older man who walked with a cane after his home was raided as a grow house.

Police said the home, located near the intersection of NW 61st Avenue and 2nd Street, contained 67 marijuana plants. Neighbors said the couple who lived at the home was older, neither worked, and the woman had recently died.

As FPL workers shut off power to the home, neighbors were upset about what could have happened with the grow house so close.

“It’s just scary. It’s unbelievable that somebody can be that stupid,” said neighbor Anna Acosta. “If you see the street, you see all the houses are right next to each other. It’s just scary.”

Miami Police said a tip led them to the grow house Wednesday.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 22 Injured in Hayride Flip]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 22:42:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/pumpkinland+maine.jpg

A hayride flipped over at a Halloween attraction in Mechanic Falls, Maine, on Saturday, killing one teen and injuring 22 others.

The Maine Sate Fire Marshal's office confirms one person, a 17-year-old girl, died as a result of her injuries.

They say that two others, including the driver and a teenage boy, were seriously injured; however, they are expected to survive.

In addition, 15 people were taken to Central Maine Medical Center, seven were taken to St. Mary's in Lewiston, and one person was taken to Maine Medical Center, according to the State Fire Marshal. One child was later sent to a Boston hospital for treatment, according to WCSH.

Scott Lansley, a Harvest Hill spokesperson, says the two most serious injuries were sustained by employees. 

Authorities say a small jeep pulling a flatbed trailer missed a turn on a steep dirt road and jack-knifed. The jeep went off the road and the trailer hit a tree, sending riders tumbling to the ground. 

Investigators say a mechanical problem with the jeep may have caused the driver to lose control. State Police will inspect the vehicle.

The Maine State Fire Marshal is required to inspect and license mechanical amusement rides in the state, but hayrides do not require such licensing.

Lansley said Sunday morning that the operator is an experienced truck driver.

Harvest Hill Farms/Pumpkin Land posted the following message on its Facebook page around 10 p.m. Saturday night:

"Emergency crews are on-site now at our Gauntlet Night Ride as there was an accident with one of the wagons. We will keep you posted."

Around 11 p.m., the farm posted the following update:

"Emergency crews are on site and Life Flight was called in to transport those needing urgent care. The accident occurred at the Gauntlet Haunted Night ride, a separate venue from Pumpkin Land, our daytime Family Fall venue. However Pumpkin Land will be closed Sunday while authorities investigate the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured."

Several people who were at the Halloween attraction or had loved ones there on Saturday night posted messages as well. 

"My bestie and our lil girls were a few rides before this tractor. So sad," said Alexis Caron.

"My family was minutes away from this...a couple tractors ahead," said Patty Ann Keene. Thinking of everyone involved."

"My son and his pregnant girlfriend and a bunch of their friends were on that ride," said Penny Peare. "Thank God they are okay."

The Portland Fire Department posted the following message on Twitter on Saturday night:

"Thoughts and prayers with the victims, their families, and the emergency crews operating at a MCI in Mechanic Falls, ME"

Mechanic Falls is about 30 miles north of Portland. 

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Weather: Showers and Storms Thursday]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:46:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000015216545_1200x675_346618947979.jpg Weather Forecast -- 5 AM -- October 23, 2014]]> <![CDATA[Family Needs Help Finding Pet Piglet]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:31:49 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/missingpig2102214.jpg

A family is handing out fliers and asking for the public’s help to find a pet that is a bit of a ham. Her name is Lucy and she’s a pot-bellied pig that was stolen from the front porch of a home.

“I’ve had dogs, cats, skunks, birds, I’ve had everything and I’ve never been attached to a pet the way I’ve gotten attached to this pig, this silly fat pig,” said Lucy’s owner Bianca Sierra.

The pig was stolen by two young men who have tried to steal the animal before. According to the family, the men have tried twice before to steal the pig but were scared away by neighbors. Sierra said since Lucy was stolen, a part of her life is missing.

“It’s heartbreaking. I wake up in the morning and I look for her,” Bianca said. “I come home from work and I look for her.”

The animal normally stayed indoors, but also spent part of her time on the front porch inside the enclosure from which she was stolen.

“I got home from work and my piglet was gone,” Sierra said. “I want to know that she’s okay and she’s safe. That’s all I want to know.”

Bianca said she’s hoping someone will see the pictures of Lucy and come forward with information that could help bring the piglet back home. A police report was filed with Miami-Dade Police.

If you know where Lucy is, contact Miami-Dade Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Schools Eliminate 24 Tests]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:22:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hempstead+schools+classroom.jpg

Miami-Dade County students will take two dozen fewer tests in the current school year after a preliminary review of the school district’s testing programs.

According to the school district, the review was conducted to address concerns over the amount of testing students in the county face each year. The school district said the adjustments to the testing calendar will result in a reduction in testing time upwards of 260 minutes depending on the grade.

“This action should bring relief to parents and educators who have been concerned over the excessive amount of tests students face and the time those tests take from valuable classroom instruction,” Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

The district said district baseline tests were decommissioned earlier this year and the new action separate Fall and Winter administrations of the Interim Assessments have been cancelled.

The school board said all of the adjustments to the testing schedule meet all state and federal requirements.

<![CDATA[WH Fence Jumper Taken Down By Dogs]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:48:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/172*120/456595274.jpg

A Maryland man is in custody after jumping the White House fence Wednesday, just weeks after a similar incident prompted the director of the Secret Service to resign.

Officials said around 7:15 p.m., 23-year-old Dominic Adesanya climbed the fence on the North Lawn and got about 20 yards past it when he was taken down by Secret Service officers and K-9 dogs.

The officers were heard yelling, "Stop moving!" in a grainy surveillance video. Adesanya is then heard screaming, "I'm not!" 

Adesanya, of Bel Air, Maryland, was hospitalized after suffering dog bites to his arms, back, chest and knee, a Secret Service official told NBC News. He has since been released from the hospital and placed in custody.

Secret Service officials say two Secret Service K-9s, named Hurricane and Jordan, were taken to a veterinarian for minor bruising sustained during the incident after being kicked. Both K-9s have been cleared to return to duty.

The White House was locked down until just before 9 p.m. Officials say Adesanya was not armed. He has been charged with two count of felony assault on a police officer (K-9), one felonious count of making threats and four counts of resisting/unlawful entry, which is a misdemeanor. 

President Obama was at the White House at the time, law enforcement sources told News4.

Just last month, 42-year-old Omar Gonzalez also jumped the fence, entered the White House and got to the East Room before he was arrested. The security breach prompted scrutiny of the Secret Service, which led to the resignation of director Julia Pierson Oct 1. 

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said the Secret Service K-9s made all the difference Wednesday.

"As the adage goes, 'Who let the dogs out?'" Holmes Norton said. "This time, the Secret Service let the dogs out. Had the dogs been out, Gonzalez would never have gotten into the White House."

This is a developing story. Stay with us for more.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Explosives Comment at MIA: Police]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:41:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102214+bomb+squad.jpg

A man was taken into custody after he made a comment about having explosives at Miami International Airport Wednesday, authorities said.

The passenger, identified as 60-year-old Manuel Alberto Alvarado, made a comment about having explosives in his luggae while he was checking in, Miami-Dade Police officials said.

He later said he was joking about the explosives, police said.

The incident prompted authorities to shut down Concourse J at the airport shortly before 9 a.m.

A bomb squad was also called to the scene for precautionary measures and the departure roadway was shut down while officers removed two suspicious bags, police said.

The bags were removed and authorities gave the all clear shortly before 11 a.m. after no explosives were found, officials said.

Alvarado, who was booked to fly from Miami to Caracas, Venezuela on Avianca Airlines, will face charges including criminal mischief for the incident, police said.

Check back with NBC 6 South Florida and NBC6.com for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Final 2014 Debate Addressed Medical Marijuana]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:24:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/medical+marijuana+stock+capsule+cannabis+prescription+note+bottle+stethoscope.jpg

With less than two weeks to go before Floridians will vote on a controversial marijuana initiative, NBC News hosted a state-wide debate on medical marijuana Wednesday night in Orlando and it came down to an argument over the health benefits versus the perceived ambiguous wording of the amendment.

NBC correspondent Peter Alexander moderated the debate over Amendment 2 and wasted no time by asking Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, why are 23 other states allow medicinal marijuana use, why are they wrong?

“Not this amendment. Not an amendment that says anybody involved in this business is completely immune from civil and criminal liability,” said Sheriff Gualtieri. “Not one that says all you have to be, to be a caregiver and distribute to five different people its 21-years-old. One that says you can be a convicted drug trafficker and give it to a 16-year-old without their parents’ knowledge; so not this amendment.”

Gualtieri was very critical of the wording of the amendment and said it was riddled with loopholes which would eventually open up the state to have recreational use of marijuana.

Under the new amendment, to obtain marijuana, a patient would have to get a doctor's certification of their condition, which in turn would qualify them for a patient ID card they can use at licensed dispensaries.

Orlando-area lawyer John Morgan, who has helped finance the push for medicinal marijuana, responded saying comparing powerful prescription opioids to medicinal marijuana.

“If I know your number and I’ve got your address, I can go to Walgreens right now. I can get you Oxycontin right now as a non-caregiver,” Morgan countered.

NBC, which organized the debate, brought in two doctors who agreed medicinal marijuana has benefits, but disagreed how far the law should go. Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos argued against any smokeable form of marijuana, while Dr. Clifford Selsky argued in favor of Amendment 2.

“I’m not against Senate Bill 1030 or Charlotte’s Web or low THC non-smokeable forms of marijuana,” said Dr. Haridopolos. “I agree there are medical benefits, a lot of physicians do. But overwhelmingly, we do not support smokeable marijuana.”

“It’s not the end all be all,” Dr. Selsky replied. “There’s still going to be children with intractable seizures that can be helped by chemicals in the whole plant.”

Selsky’s point was that while Charlotte’s Web may work for some, other patients may need more potent forms of marijuana to help ease their symptoms.

Like all statewide ballot measures, Amendment 2 will require 60 percent support in the Nov. 4 election to pass. In the end, Morgan doubts Amendment 2 will garner the support needed to pass.

“If young people get up and vote, it’ll pass,” Morgan said. “If young people stay home, it won’t.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Nurse Amber Vinson No Longer Has Ebola: Family]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:40:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ambervinson.jpg

Dallas nurse Amber Vinson no longer has signs of Ebola in her blood, her family said Wednesday, one week after she was hospitalized at an Atlanta hospital with the potentially deadly virus.

Vinson will be transferred into a different unit at Emory University Hospital and is still being treated in the serious communicable diseases unit, the family said.

"Amber and our family are ecstatic to receive this latest report on her condition," her mother Debra Barry said, saying the news had "truly answered prayers and bring our family one step closer to reuniting with her at home."

Vinson, 29, was the second Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse to fall ill with the virus after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the United States. Duncan died Oct. 8.

Her coworker Nina Pham, who also contracted the virus after treating Duncan, remains hospitalized in good condition at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.

It is still unclear how exactly both nurses contracted the virus.

Vinson had worn protective gear including face shields, hazardous materials suits and protective footwear as she inserted catheters, drew blood and dealt with Duncan's body fluids. She worked on the three days in late September when Duncan was producing "extensive" diarrhea and vomit.

Vinson was hospitalized on Tuesday, Oct. 14, one day after she returned to Dallas from a trip to Ohio to plan her wedding and visit family. She was diagnosed with Ebola one day after she was hospitalized.

Vinson's family has defended her decision to fly home to Dallas the day before she fell ill with Ebola, saying that she made the decision in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and with guidance from her own hospital.

She had been cleared by the CDC to fly just before she boarded the flight, the CDC said last week, hours after the CDC chief told reporters she should not have flown.

Photo Credit: Vinson Family / NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Arrest Made for Deadly Lauderdale Lakes Shooting]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:51:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/herman+farrell+mug.jpg

The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it has arrested Herman Farrell, 31, for allegedly shooting and killing 34-year-old Sean Fleming on Saturday.

According to BSO, Farrell and Fleming were arguing in the parking lot of the Town Square apartments at 4848 NW 24th Court just after 10 p.m. Deputies said the argument stemmed from an ongoing dispute between the two men, who had known each other for many years.

Deputies said Farrell shot Fleming multiple times before fleeing. Fleming died at the scene.

Detectives said Farrell cut his hair, bought a different cell phone, and moved from place to place since the Saturday shooting in an attempt to avoid capture. BSO said Farrell faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Deputies are asking anyone with more information on the case to call the Broward Sheriff's Office at (954) 764-4357, or Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Suspected Serial Killer Charged in Second Death]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:29:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Darren+Deon+Vann+new.jpg

A second round of murder charges were filed Wednesday against a registered sex offender suspected in the deaths of at least seven women whose bodies were found over the last weekend.

Darren Deon Vann, 43, was charged in the death of Anith Jones, a 35-year-old Merrillville resident whose body was found late Saturday night. Her family had reported her missing on Oct. 8.

Vann was charged Monday in connection with the strangulation death of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy.

Earlier Wednesday, Vann was ordered held in contempt of court when he refused to utter a word to the judge during his initial court appearance in the Hardy case.

"He will stay in jail for the rest of his life until this hearing takes place," Magistrate Judge Kathleen Sullivanwas said before putting the case on hold until Oct. 29 and agreeing to a defense motion for a gag order.

"See you in a week," she said.

Vann was then taken back to his jail cell, which is away from the general population and where he is under 24-hour watch from personnel.

Authorities said Vann, of Gary, opened up about previous crimes once he was arrested in connection with the Hardy case and helped police find six other bodies. By Wednesday morning, just three of those six had been positively identified: Jones, 28-year-old Teairra Batey, and 36-year-old Kristine Williams.

Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey on Tuesday asked asking for the public's help in identifying two of the women who were recovered over the weekend. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lake County Coroner’s Office at 219-755-3265.

Photo Credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Alleged Armed Robber Attacked K-9 Officer: Police]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:32:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mariolopezmugshot.jpg

Fort Lauderdale Police said they have arrested a man who allegedly hit a man and a woman in the face with a pistol, robbed them, and later beat a K-9 officer during his arrest.

Police said, Mario Lopez, 26, approached a man on North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard early Monday morning and started hitting him multiple times in the face and head with a gun. Police said Lopez then took all of his victim’s belongings.

According to Fort Lauderdale Police, the victim’s family became concerned when he didn’t return to their hotel and his fiancé and her mom went to look for him. When they found him in the road, police said Lopez approached the two women and hit the mother in the face with the gun before ordering them to lie down on the ground.

Police said Lopez then hit both of them multiple times with the gun and stole items from them. As Lopez walked away, Fort Lauderdale Police said he went back to the first victim and hit the man more times before running away from the scene.

Lopez was found in the area of University Drive and I-595 in Davie. FLPD said when Lopez saw police, he violently resisted and when a K-9 officer assisted, Lopez allegedly kicked and choked the dog.

Police said Lopez faces multiple charges including: armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, resisting without violence, resisting with violence, and battery of a police dog.

It's unknown if Lopez has an attorney.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[S. Florida Man Wins $1 Million on Scratch-Off]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:26:48 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/eric+muller.jpg

For years a South Florida man has been scratching off lotto tickets, hoping for that lucky break. Eric Muller, Sr.’s luck finally changed recently when his lottery ticket hit and he won a million dollars.

Muller said he bought a $25 ticket at a Pompano Beach liquor store. When he figured out he hit the jackpot, he said he’s gone from living paycheck-to-paycheck, to making investments for the future.

Muller told NBC 6 that he got the ticket and began to scratch off his numbers. When he finally saw that he had the winning numbers, he said he had to get confirmation that what he was seeing was actually happening.

“I was in shock. I had to run back inside the store,” Muller said. “I asked the guy, I said, 'Am I dreaming? Am I hallucinating?'"

The new million-dollar man said he is modest and he sat on the ticket for two weeks. He said he’s already back at work and his family actually just found out about the jackpot Wednesday.

“You just told me when you came to the house today,” Eric Muller, Jr. told NBC 6 reporter Jamie Guirola. “He told me he was going up to Tallahassee for real estate.”

Muller said he didn’t have a bank account before he hit the jackpot. He said in the past that when he lived paycheck-to-paycheck, he always “had to make sure I was at work, regardless if I was sick or not.” But that time has definitely changed for Muller.

“It’s a game-changer,” Muller, Sr. said. “The first words out of my mouth is, ‘I’m quitting.’ And then I realized the money has got to work for you before you take it easy.”

Muller opted for the lump sum payment. After taxes, Muller pulled in more than $745,000 from his lucky scratch-off ticket. After paying off his debts, Muller said he plans to invest the rest of the money.

Based on scratch-off ticket sales, Muller isn’t the only one who may hit it big. Scratch-off tickets make up 64 percent of ticket sales and generated roughly $640 million for education last year.

<![CDATA[Tobacco Road Announces New Brickell Location ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:26:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*128/tobacco-road1.jpg

Every road has to go through repairs and sometimes even a new route from time to time and that’s exactly what will happen to the legendary Miami establishment, Tobacco Road.

The iconic restaurant said Wednesday it will be moving to a new home in Brickell. Specifically, the new Tobacco Road will be at 69 SW 7th Street in Miami. The new location won’t be hard to find either. It’s going to be about 300 feet from the original location.

Still, several key deals must close, starting with a new lease, before Tobacco Road moves.

“It all depends on all the different stuff,” said Tobacco Road co-owner Patrick Gleber. “You know, all the licensing, the permit. But we’re pretty confident it’s going to happen.”

The bar has seen a traffic decline in recent years as construction continues to go up all around the bar. With Tobacco Road past the century mark in age, and a crumbling building; Gleber and his team sold the site two years ago and the current location will close in just a few weeks.

“You know, Tobacco Road was never about the building,” said Gleber. “Tobacco Road was about the employees. Tobacco Road was about the musicians. Tobacco Road is about the customers. You know, that’s what made Tobacco Road.”

In the meantime, Norwegian Cruise Lines announced Wednesday that it will have an onboard Tobacco Road featuring the original neon sign, photos, and other memorabilia, along with drinks created by bar mixologist Leo Holtzman, according to the Miami Herald.

A closing party will take place at the historic location on Sat. Oct 25th. For more information, click here.

To donate to Tobacco Road to save historical items, click here.

<![CDATA[Munawar Toha Convicted in Wife's 2010 Murder]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:35:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/100512+munawar+toha.jpg

A Coral Springs man was convicted Wednesday of murdering his wife.

Munawar Toha, 67, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2010 death of Surya Toha.

Police said Surya Toha disappeared after she dropped the couple's two young kids off at school on March 23, 2010. Days later, her body was found inside her car in a Pompano Beach lake. Detectives said surveillance cameras showed Munawar Toha shoving the car into the lake.

In 2012, Munawar Toha was found guilty of attempting to hire a hit man to kill four witnesses in the case.

Munawar Toha has been behind bars since his arrest in April 2010. He had pleaded not guilty in the case.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Consumer Reports: Top Juicers]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:27:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/CR_Juicer_1200x675_345417283924.jpg

You’ve heard it before you need at least five servings of fruits and veggies a day! Juicing offers a way to up that number. And Americans are catching on. Sales of juicers are up 25 percent in the past year.

Consumer Reports tested 13 juicers, both augers and extractors. Extractors spin very fast to separate the juice from the pulp. They produce less pulpy, frothier juice. Cold-press juicers, also called auger-style, make juice by slowly crushing and mashing produce. Auger-style juicers tend to be more expensive but in tests they produced more pulp, which can make for a more nutritious juice.

Convenience is also key. A juicer is not going to do you any good if you don’t like using it. So Consumer Reports pays close attention to things like how easy the machine is to assemble, how easy it is to clean, the size of the feed tube, since a wider feed tube means less time spent chopping fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces. For example, it takes a lot of time to scrub out bits of pulp from the Bella NutriPro juicer 13695.

The best of the bunch? The extractor-style juicer from Juiceman JM800S beat out pricier juicers. It costs $70. And the best of the auger-style is the Kuvings Whole Slow B600 that costs $400.

But don’t juice up everything you buy. Eating whole fruits and veggies is even better for you. Consumer Reports says, rather than buying a juicer, you might consider using a blender or food processor. That way you’ll get all the nutrients plus fiber.

<![CDATA[Woman Arrested in Baby Shaking Case: BSO]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:26:17 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102214+latasha+hankerson.jpg

A South Florida woman accused of shaking a 9-month-old baby was behind bars on an aggravated child abuse charge Wednesday, authorities said.

Latasha Gail Hankerson, 31, was arrested Tuesday in North Lauderdale, according to a Broward Sheriff's Office arrest affidavit.

Hankerson was being held on $7,500 bond Wednesday. It was unknown if she has an attorney.

According to the affidavit, Hankerson is accused of shaking the baby back in October 2013. The incident "caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement" to the child, the affidavit said.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Man Hurt in Drive-By Shooting in Miramar]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:14:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102214+miramar+drive-by+shooting.jpg

Police are investigating a drive-by shooting that left a man hospitalized in Miramar late Tuesday night.

The shooting happened around 11 p.m. in the 9500 block of Atlantic Street, Miramar Police officials said.

Witnesses told police a car drove past a home at a high rate of speed and someone opened fire on a group that was gathered outside the residence.

The man who was struck was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries, officials said.

Dozens of shots were fired and several bullet holes were found in the walls of the home and a nearby truck.

Police are working to get a description of the vehicle and any possible suspects.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Suspended From Tree in Cocoon-Like Structure: Witness]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:40:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dogrescuecocoon.jpg

A small, blind dog was rescued by Miami-Dade Animal Services Tuesday after he was found in mangroves in southwest Miami-Dade County. But it’s what witness said happened to the dog before it was found that left many questions.

Miami-Dade Animal Services investigators were initially called to area of Black Point Marina on a report of a dog in the area. A witness said the dog was in an area that had bones and a cocoon-like structure wrapped in duct tape and tied to a tree, but the dog wasn’t found there.

“On the edge of the forest, we found duct tape hanging from a nail and the evidence sort of points to the fact that the dog was covered in duct tape in like a cocoon and nailed to the back of a palm tree,” said resident Bill Flett.

Animal Services said the dog was found in mangroves near the Water Treatment Plant in southwest Miami-Dade County. An investigator went into the mangroves, found the dog and was able to bring it out.

Witnesses said the dog was inside the cocoon-like structure that was taped to the tree. However, they couldn’t say why the dog was taped to the tree. Miami-Dade Animal Services said when they arrived the dog wasn’t taped to the tree.

“All over this place are bones and I was told by some experts that I spoke with that it’s probably Santeria because there’s a bunch of dead bones and the way the dog was hung in the sack of made of duct tape up on the tree,” said Flett. “Not really sure what it was, but it sure points to the fact that it probably was something like Santeria.”

Animal Services said the dog is doing well and on fluids and antibiotics. Staffers have named the dog “Angel.” Animal Services said if the owners don’t come forward, Angel will be made available for adoption.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[FBI Searching for Miami Bank Robber]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:48:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102214+miami+chase+bank+robbery+fbi.jpg

The FBI is asking for the public's help in tracking down a man who robbed a Miami bank Wednesday morning.

The robbery happened around 9:20 a.m. at the Chase bank at 175 Northwest 199th Street when the suspected entered and demanded money from an employee.

No one was injured but money was taken by the suspect, who fled the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 305-944-9101.

Photo Credit: FBI]]>
<![CDATA[Man Guilty of Killing Teacher ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:58:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Allen+Prue.jpg

A Waterford, Vermont, man was convicted Wednesday in the brutal March, 2012 killing of a beloved St. Johnsbury Academy Science teacher. A jury of six men and six women found Allen Prue guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and attempted kidnapping. The decision followed a 10-day trial and roughly six hours of deliberations.

Allen Prue turned his head from news cameras and gently cried as the jury's foreperson delivered the verdict. There were also tears—of relief—from the family and friends of Melissa Jenkins who had gathered in the courtroom.

"It took a lot of weight off our shoulders," said Linda Gadapee, the aunt of Melissa Jenkins. "It's been a hard two years and I think justice is going to be served."

Gadapee and other relatives and close friends have been remembering Jenkins as a good mom to a toddler son, and as a smart and motivated science teacher who wanted to continue her education. Loved ones have traveled from across the state to attend the proceedings in Burlington.

While the crime was committed in Caledonia County, the trial took place in Chittenden County, where attorneys believed they'd have an easier time finding potential jurors who had not been exposed to pre-trial news coverage of Jenkins' disappearance, memorial services, and details of the case.

Prosecutors told the jury Prue and his wife Patricia developed an obsession with Jenkins, starting when the snowplow driver did work for Jenkins. That turned to a sexual fascination, Caledonia County State's Attorney Lisa Warren argued, that exploded with a plot to trick the mother into leaving her home to help the Prues through a roadside emergency with their car.

After having lured her, the couple launched a blitz attack, Warren said, stun-gunning, beating, and strangling Jenkins to death. They then dumped Jenkins' naked body in the Connecticut River, weighed down with cinder blocks, Warren told the jury. They also tried covering the crime by disposing of evidence, Warren said.

"On behalf of the state police, we're very, very grateful to this jury for their verdict," said Capt. J.P. Sinclair of the Vermont State Police. "This was the culmination of a lot of hard work. And I'm very grateful that these 12 jurors saw this case the way we did."

The decision will bring an automatic appeal.

Prosecutors are turning their attention now to Patricia Prue, who plans to use an insanity defense at her trial. "It's going to be the same evidence and then some," Warren told reporters after the verdict in Allen Prue's trial was announced. "It's a different defendant so there are different fact patterns that have to be addressed with Ms. Prue."

Warren said she believes the conviction of Allen Prue can be "very helpful" in assisting the state seek a conviction of Patricia Prue. She is expected to go on trial in early 2015, Warren told reporters Wednesday.

No sentencing date has been set for Allen Prue. The most serious conviction, first-degree murder, carries a minimum 35-year sentence in Vermont, with a maximum of life in prison.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Bobcat Escapes Again]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:25:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Rocky+the+Bobcat.JPG

A pet bobcat escaped from its Jersey Shore home for at least the third time this year, a little more than a month after a judge told its owner the feline would be removed from her home permanently if it got out again.

Authorities were notified around 9 a.m. Tuesday that the bobcat, named Rocky, escaped from Ginny Fine's home. Stafford Police said Wednesday the 38-pound cat was found in a humane trap Wednesday morning. It is currently being held at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey.

Fine was issued another summons after the cat escaped, and she could lose custody of the animal because of its previous escapes.

It's the third time authorities have had to round up the elusive cat this year. In one escape, the partially-declawed feline was missing for days, leaving neighbors concerned.

A judge ordered Rocky to undergo DNA testing to determine if he was a full-blooded bobcat, which are illegal to have as pets in the Garden State. Fine said he is a hybrid. The test came back inconclusive. 

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA["Game of Thrones" Debate Moment]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:41:31 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NECN_102114_winteriscomingNHdebate_10p_1200x675_346016835790.jpg

A University of New Hampshire political science professor's three word pop culture reference in the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race debate Tuesday night in Concord had the audience laughing and the Internet buzzing.

"Winter is coming," Dante Scala said in kicking off a question on rising energy costs directed at Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen.

NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, who was moderating the debate, quickly said it wasn't in reference to HBO's hit show "Game of Thrones." 

The light moment in an otherwise testy debate came as Shaheen and Republican Scott Brown face a close race.

A recent WMUR Granite State poll showed Shaheen leading her GOP challenger 44 percent to 38 percent among likely voters at the start of the month. Seventeen percent remained undecided.

<![CDATA[Family Says Theater Had Bed Bugs]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:59:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/bedbugtheater.jpg

The Santillana family recently went to the Regal Cinemas in Hollywood to see the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie. But the family left with what they said was a huge problem from a tiny bug.

“It was itchy, it hurt everywhere, hot, like I have venom inside, horrible,” Sheyla Santillana said of the bed bugs she alleges came from the movie theater.

Santillana said the bugs came from the theater and took aim at everyone in the family, leaving bite marks all over their bodies.

“I mean, I went over there to relax and have fun with my family, not to get infested by bed bugs. It’s like a horror movie, this is outrageous.”

Santillana showed NBC 6’s Ari Odzer pictures that she claims showed bite marks on her arms and legs. Her four-year-old daughter also said she was bitten on both arms by the bed bugs. She said she knows the bugs came from the theater and not somewhere else.

“Cause it was right afterwards and it was two separate families that went two separate ways and they both got bitten,” Sheyla said.

And it’s not just Santillana upset about the alleged bed bugs, two other people have complained on the website Yelp! about the same problem at the same theater.

“We know of at least three incidents that have been published so far,” said lawyer Joe Madalon. “All in the same time frame and we know it’s in at least two separate theaters, 16 and 17. This wasn’t an isolated incident.”

NBC 6 reached out to Regal Theaters’ owners, but has yet to receive a response about the alleged bed bug problem.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[TD 9 Remains Poorly Disorganized]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:04:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102214+tropical+depression+nine+8+am.jpg

Tropical Depression Nine remained poorly organized but was likely to become a tropical storm Wednesday as it headed toward Campeche in Mexico, forecasters said.

The system had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph as it remained stationary about 120 miles west-southwest of Campeche early Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Celestun to Frontera.

The system, which developed into a tropical depression late Tuesday, is expected to strengthen to a tropical storm later Wednesday and it is expected to continue heading east.

An Air Force plane was investigating the system Wednesday morning.

Forecasters believe the system will stay south of South Florida but will likely bring rain to the area.

Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center]]>