<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usWed, 25 May 2016 16:50:30 -0400Wed, 25 May 2016 16:50:30 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Suspect Killed in FHP-Involved Shooting in Miami Gardens]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 16:32:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/211*120/shots+fired+fhp.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<![CDATA[Ex-Husband Arrested in Missing Florida Mom Case]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 13:29:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+tricia+todd+arrest+murder.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[5 SEAL Trainees Blacked Out in Training Exercises in 2016]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 15:48:31 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Seaman+James+Derek+Lovelace.jpg

A Navy SEAL student who died two weeks ago was the fifth trainee in four months to lose consciousness during a pool exercise in California, according to Navy injury data obtained by NBC News and The Virginian-Pilot. 

More accurate data related to pool injuries was mandated after two blackout deaths last year. According to recent data, there have as many pool blackouts this year as were reported over the past 10 years at the training course in Coronado. 

Seaman James Derek Lovelace, 21, died on May 6 during a pool drill in California. His death has raised questions about whether instructors are following safety protocols and whether the training has become dangerous in recent years. Two other students passed out in back-to-back drills six weeks before his death, and two other students lost consciousness in March and January during training exercises. 

The Navy says there hasn’t been an increase in blackouts and that safety standards haven’t been wavered. The course is designed to produce people who can operate in remote and dangerous situations, and that the training has to be difficult, according to the Navy.

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy]]>
<![CDATA[2 New Zika Cases Reported in Miami-Dade County]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 16:11:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/178*120/Zika.png

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

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

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

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

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

All cases are travel-associated.

<![CDATA[Student Locked in Fridge Speaks]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 00:01:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/teen+locked+in+fridge.jpg

A Manhattan high school student who was locked in a refrigerator by classmates told NBC 4 New York he's faced taunts since the incident and "I don't know who to watch my back from."

The 16-year-old boy, who asked not to be identified, was locked in the commercial fridge at Food and Finance High School on West 50th Street on May 6.

Three students were arrested after the incident, and students at the school said last week that it was a prank. But the boy who was locked in the fridge said he doesn't see it that way and that he's been ostracized since the incident.

"I feel like it's me against everybody at this point," he said on Tuesday. 

The boy said no teacher was in the classroom when fellow students locked him in the fridge. He said they then pounded on the door with large chef's knives and threatened to kill him.

"They're real knives," he said. "I was thinking, 'What if they opened the door and they really wanted to kill me?'" 

He added, "It was was pitch black, I just started freaking out."

After about 10 minutes, the boy said he called his mother. She in turn called the school. The boy was let out and three of the students were later arrested. 

The boy missed several days of school after the ordeal and said that he can't sleep because he fears retaliation. He also said his doctor diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder and that students and teachers have mocked him.

"There are faculty that will say to me, 'Stay frosty,'" he said. "They think it's a joke. It's not a joke."

The boy's mother told NBC 4 New York she was outraged that students had access to chef's knives without supervision. She also said the Department of Education initially tried to downplay the incident, claiming students didn't have weapons because the knives are tools.

"Children were in danger if children were running around with knives and no supervision," the boy's mother said. "There was imminent danger."

The DOE again maintained that there were no weapons involved on Tuesday, however. 

"The safety and security of students and staff is our top priority. The school followed protocol in responding to an incident that was reported and the students involved were disciplined appropriately," the DOE said in a statement.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Man Wanted for Drugging, Robbing Date: BSO]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 15:37:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+drugged+date+oakland+park.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: BSO]]>
<![CDATA[$5,000 Keyboard Stolen From Miami Church]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 15:38:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+bethany+baptist+church+miami.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Amanda Plasencia/NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[No 'Decision' or 'Timeline' Yet on Trump Endorsement: Ryan]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 14:30:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/PaulRyan-AP_16140578310835.jpg

House Speaker Paul Ryan has not yet decided whether to endorse presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, NBC News reported.

"I haven't made a decision," Ryan told reporters in an off-camera briefing Wednesday. "I don't have a timeline in my mind." 

A spokesperson for Ryan shot down accounts that an endorsement was imminent.

Ryan announced earlier this month he was “not ready” to endorse the party’s presumptive nominee. But he says his team is working closely with Trump’s campaign, saying the two staffs meet “virtually every day.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Girl, 2, Strangled by Window Blind Cord in Oakland Park: BSO]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 16:48:45 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+oakland+park+toddler+strangled.jpg

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

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

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

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

Matheson said the girl's father arrived moments later.

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

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

No other information was immediately known.

Check back with NBC 6 for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Survivor Recalls Texas Flood]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 05:49:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/jonathan+mccomb.jpg

Memorial Day weekend marks the anniversary of historic flooding that swept across much of Texas, claiming lives and ravaging the region.

One year later, Jonathan McComb still remembers with incredible precision the night his family slipped away in the floods of Wimberley.

"It was sunshine, we were in the river playing, barbecuing, radio playing, girls are laying out in their swim suits," McComb recalled.

Nightfall brought epic rains.

"In an instant it was on us, and there was nothing you could do and no way out," McComb said.

The Blanco River swelled 28 feet in an hour and a half, pulling the family's vacation home, where they were staying with the Carey and Charba families, from its foundation. The house was floating down the river.

"When we hit the bridge, it took the whole second layer off. It was an awful, awful sound," McComb said.

In the chaos, the families got split up. McComb remembers being alone in the cold river and praying.

"I'd been under long enough and I said, 'I'm going home, I know what happened to everybody else and I just, you know, I'm too tired. I have nothing left in me,' so I just went limp underwater," he said.

McComb said he struck a hard object, possibly a rock, and began fighting again and made his way toward shore. A stranger helped him and called an ambulance.

McComb spent several days in the hospital while search crews began looking for the bodies of his family and friends.

"There was always hope, but I knew the second that I wasn't with them, they were gone," he said.

McComb has spent the last year recovering at the family's home in Corpus Christi. His children's drawings and play table are set up just as they were. Their book bags still hang from hooks in the mudroom. Framed memories are everywhere and he has added some, too.

"They were all incredibly unique and beautiful and I miss them," McComb said of his family.

He said his young daughter, Leighton, came to him in a dream one night and brought him a sliver of peace.

"I said, 'What happened?' She said, 'We're OK. We got picked up by a man on the river and it was Jesus.' That was huge for me, hearing that," McComb recalled, choking back tears.

Honoring them, he said, means moving forward. McComb is renovating the master bedroom and bathroom — something he and his wife Laura had planned to do.

"A new start. Unfortunately. It's not replacing anything. It's starting over and beginning again. We are here for a reason. You don't really know what that reason [is]; you just continue to have faith and it will be presented to you at some point," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Trio Robs Pembroke Pines 7-Eleven: Police]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 13:53:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/219*120/052516+seven+eleven+robbery.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: PPPD]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Injured in Police-Involved Shooting in SW Dade]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 16:24:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+police-involved+shooting+sw+miami-dade.jpg

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

The shooting happened in the area of Southwest 224th Street and Northwest 1125th Avenue.

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

That suspect, a 16-year-old boy, was shot and taken to Kendall Regional Hospital, officials said. His condition was unknown.

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

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

Police said they were still searching for the third suspect. Two firearms were recovered at the scene, police said.

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

No other information was immediately known.

Check back with NBC 6 for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Whole Foods Opens 1st 365 Store]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 13:20:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/172*120/365_preopening_party_shopping_carts_main_image.jpg

Southern Californians will be the first in the nation to check items off their grocery lists at Whole Foods' new 365 market, which opened in Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood Wednesday with the promise of lower prices and a "streamlined customer experience."

The high-end grocery chain's smaller quality-meets-value store at 2520 Glendale Blvd. will feature product selections from Whole Foods Market's 365 Everyday Value brand and a curated mix of products from Friends of 365 including Allegro Coffee Company, teaBOT and by CHLOE, plus partners Loomstate and Instacart.

"It's an awesome thing," Silver Lake resident Joseph Tan said. "If they actually have lower prices, well see."

Doors opened at 9 a.m. following a cake-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the Austin-based company's first 365 store in the nation. Grand opening deals, including discounted food items, will be offered.

The 365 store boasts a different look than typical Whole Foods stores. The space is airy and accented with blues, reds and yellows. All price tags are digital and fewer printed signs are displayed.

A loyalty program offering personalized offers and deals will also be launched.

More locations are planned for Southern California, including in Long Beach, Santa Monica, North Hollywood, Claremont and Los Alamitos. Two locations in the Bay Area — San Francisco and Concord — are also planned.

The company says two more stores are slated to open this year in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and Bellevue, Washington, and up to 10 more are expected to open next year.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of 365 by Whole Foods
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<![CDATA[Planning for Super Bowl LIV in South Florida Begins]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 16:13:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/211*120/012916+sun+life+stadium.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

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

<![CDATA[2 Charged After NY Doctor's Death]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 16:29:17 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/kiersten+cerveny.jpg

The producer of an HBO series and another man are facing federal narcotics charges in the drug overdose death of a Long Island dermatologist who was found unconscious in the vestibule of a Manhattan apartment complex last fall, according to a criminal complaint.

Marc Henry Johnson, who was a producer on an HBO series called "The Deuce," and James Holder were arrested at their homes in Manhattan late Tuesday by a team of Drug Enforcement Administration, NYPD and New York State Police investigators, sources said.

Their arrests come eight months after the death of Dr. Kiersten Cerveny, a Manhasset dermatologist who was found in the vestibule of Holder's apartment building on West 16th Street in Chelsea on Oct. 4.

Sources have previously said Cerveny and Johnson were in a relationship at the time of her death.

According to the complaint, Johnson, 51, met Cerveny and another individual at a bar on the Lower East Side after texting about meeting Holder, 60, for "a pickup." While at the bar, he allegedly told Cerveny, who had been using cocaine before he arrived, he had more of the drug and offered to share it with her and the other person. 

Later that night, Cerveny and Johnson left the bar together in a taxi and went to Holder's apartment, according to the complaint. They went upstairs and weren't seen again for hours. 

The complaint alleges that Holder and Johnson emerged four hours later and dragged the unconscious Cerveny along the hallway to the first-floor vestibule. Holder left afterward and Johnson called 911.

Johnson allegedly refused to give the dispatcher his identity and didn't say what had happened to the 38-year-old. He left after paramedics got to the scene, according to the complaint. 

Emergency medical technicians attempted to resuscitate Cerveny as they loaded her into the ambulance and took her to the Lenox Health emergency room in Greenwich Village. She died at the hospital.

Medical examiners ruled her death resulted from acute cocaine and alcohol intoxication. 

According to the complaint, Holder -- who went by the nickname "Pepsi" -- had allegedly sold drugs out of his apartment since about 2013. He generally sold "hundreds," bags of cocaine costing $100, the complaint says.

"We believe Mr. Holder has been selling drugs in this city for a long time," said NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton. 

According to multiple media reports, Johnson stepped away from "The Deuce" after Cerveny's death. The show's executive producer, "The Wire" creator David Simon, called the death a "greivous tragedy."

"As evidence has yet to be presented it would be irresponsible to say more at this point," he said. 

Cerveny, originally from Washington Township in Gloucester County, New Jersey, had been an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, according to a Dec. 12, 2009 announcement of her marriage to Andrew Cerveny Jr., also a dermatologist, in The New York Times. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and earned her medical degree at Tulane University.

She met her husband in 2004 while both were residents at the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans. They had three children together. 

Johnson and Holder were expected to appear in federal court in Manhattan later today.

Information about whether the men had obtained attorneys who could comment on the charges wasn't immediately available. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<![CDATA[Student Stabbed in Boy's Bathroom at School in Palm Beach County]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 16:40:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052516+royal+palm+beach+community+high+school.jpg

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

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

The injured student was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center. His condition wasn't released.

The suspect, who is also a student, was taken into custody.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: WPTV]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Police Operation Targets Criminals in Brickell]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 23:27:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052416+operation+save+streets.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Hacker Who Says He Breached Clinton Server Pleads Guilty]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 11:56:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/160505-guccifer-headshot-2.jpg

A hacker known as Guccifer, who claims he broke into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server, pleaded guilty Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Marcel Lehel Lazar, who's Romanian, entered guilty pleas to charges of identity theft and unauthorized access to protected computers before a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia. He could face up to seven years in prison. 

Prosecutors said he broke into the e-mail and social media accounts of about 100 Americans, including members of the family of former presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush.

Lazar served time in a Romanian prison and was brought to the U.S. in late March to face federal charges.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[7-Year-Old's Viral Videos Draw Attention to Rare Disease]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 10:41:35 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Audrey-1.gif Pint-sized powerhouse Audrey Nethery's viral fame is drawing attention to the little girl's rare condition, Diamond Blackfan Anemia. Audrey channeled Taylor Swift's energy in her singing.

"She has all the passion and spirit and I thought I would start singing to maybe put a little passion and spirit in me so maybe I could fight off my disease," Audrey said.

Photo Credit: WAVE]]>
<![CDATA[Weather: Possible Pop-Up Showers Weds.]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 09:29:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000023721347_1200x675_692503619762.jpg Wednesday is starting off dry but Ryan Phillips says we may see a few showers pop up by midday.]]> <![CDATA[Ukraine's 'Joan of Arc' Swapped for 2 Russians: Lawyer]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 08:18:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-514433924-%281%29.jpg

Russia on Wednesday released a military pilot dubbed Ukraine's "Joan of Arc" in an exchange for two Russian prisoners of war, her lawyer said Wednesday, NBC News reported. 

Nadiya Savchenko, an Iraq war veteran, was captured by Russians during fighting involving pro-Kremlin rebels in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

She was convicted in March of involvement in the death of two state TV journalists during a shelling. Savchenko, 35, pleaded not guilty, while her lawyers said the case was fabricated by the Russian court.

In Ukraine, she is seen as a symbol of resistance to what most consider an invasion by Vladimir Putin's forces.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bouncers Trained to Spot Terrorists]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 11:14:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/nightclub+generic.jpg

Anyone who has been to a nightclub knows bouncers are there to keep people safe, check identification and make the evening peaceful. Some bouncers are expanding their duties by keeping an eye out for terror attacks.

Soft targets, like nightclubs, have been hit by terrorists in places around the world. Robert Smith, a nightclub security consultant, is teaching a group of D.C. club bouncers how they can help protect their establishments and the people inside.

The bouncers are taking a 12-hour class over two days to receive National Host Security Certificate training. Smith, a retired 20-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, said one of the things they look for is a convincing fake identification, usually made in China.

"When a bouncer is checking ID, not many self-respecting terrorists are going to use their own legitimate ID. They will go get a China fake," Smith said, referring to counterfeit ID’s.

Last November, terrorists launched an attack at soft targets in Paris, hitting cafes, restaurants and a music venue. The director of the D.C. Nightlife and Hospitality Association supports the training, hoping it will help keep people safe.

"This training, programs like this, are how we ensure that our member businesses are prepared for any kind of scenario," said director Mark Lee.

The bouncers believe the training will help them serve as another front line in the war on terror.

"You don't want to see anyone [set] down a bag or... those things," said bouncer Vincent Andrews. "It makes me look at it twice."

Smith told the bouncers to take the fake IDs they come across and tell the person to call police in order to get it back.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[NY Senator Wants Reform on Military Sexual Assault]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 07:32:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/gillibrand-16x9-AP877512816227.jpg

Two Democratic senators could be gearing up for an ideological rematch on the best ways to curb sexual assaults in the U.S. military.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said Tuesday she will reintroduce a bill that would remove the decision of whether to prosecute military sexual assaults from the military chain of command — a legislative effort which failed to move forward in 2014 after being opposed by the Pentagon, NBC News reported.

Pushing the bill again may put Gillibrand at odds with Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who argues that reforming the military from within is the best path to change. She says the Pentagon has made strides in stemming sexual assault in part due to legislation she sponsored that was passed that same year.

But Gillibrand argues that despite attempts at reform, a "troubling command culture" in the military still seems to favor closing cases over pursuing justice.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mom: Y Shamed Me for Breastfeeding]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 07:09:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-186081739.jpg

A Pennsylvania mom is speaking out after she says employees at a local YMCA shamed her for breastfeeding her son during a class for toddlers Monday morning.

Kate Haslam, 35, takes her 19-month-old son, West, to a toddler gym class every Monday morning at the Spring Valley YMCA in Limerick, Pennsylvania. This Monday started off just like any other, but little West was hungry, so Haslam sat on a balance beam along the wall in the classroom and breastfed her son.

That's when she says things went downhill. A YMCA employee asked Haslam to leave the classroom and breastfeed outside because she was making people "uncomfortable," Haslam said. When the mom protested, telling the employee it's against the law to tell her to breastfeed elsewhere, Haslam said, two other YMCA officials got involved, pressuring her to move.

"It just kept getting deeper and deeper," Haslam told NBC10. "That's what's upsetting."

Haslam said one YMCA official told her women don't breastfeed at the Y -- which she says isn't the case -- and that she needed to breastfeed in the locker room if she chose to feed there.

"It was just such a weird thing. I told [the employee] the locker room is coed," Haslam said. "They said, 'Well, we have curtained areas.'"

She said the employees backed off requiring her to move when they looked up the law and realized that it is indeed illegal in Pennsylvania to ask a breastfeeding mother to move, then saying the YMCA preferred that she breastfeed in private.

"Why should I have to go somewhere different?" the mother asked. "I didn't do anything wrong."

Haslam took to Facebook Monday night and wrote a post about her experience. By Tuesday morning, more than 300 people had shared her post, and people began writing on the Spring Valley YMCA's page to express their outrage over the incident.

Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA President & CEO Shaun Elliott, who oversees the Spring Valley YMCA, called the incident a misunderstanding.

Elliott said the employee wanted Haslam to move from the balance beam she sat on to breastfeed so that children in the class could use it, and that the employee is "distraught" that Haslam interpreted the request in the way that she did. Haslam said that the employee did also point out that "a couple of members had expressed to her that they were uncomfortable" with Haslam breastfeeding.

"But that, quite frankly, is a challenge for them to deal with," Elliott said of the other members who expressed concerns. "She was just being honest with the woman. In no way, in her mind, was she communicating that it was inappropriate for her to breastfeed."

Elliott said breastfeeding is accepted anywhere in the facility and that the Y's policy is clear. He said the staff "tried to do the right thing" and will improve the way it's communicated in the future.

"The Y is an inclusive place where we want to make everybody feel comfortable, and to the extent we can get better, we're always happy to try to improve," he said.

The YMCA also posted a message from Elliott on its Facebook page in response to angry comments from members and others about the incident.

Haslam disputed Elliott's explanation, saying that nobody asked her to move because she was on the balance beam. She said employees specifically told her multiple times that she should breastfeed elsewhere, and that another Y member had complained of being uncomfortable with it.

"That's not even true. At least if you're going to post an apology, don't shame me more," Haslam said of the Facebook statement the Y posted. "I wasn't doing anything wrong."

Haslam said that when she breastfeeds West outside of her home, she generally wears two shirts and West sits up to nurse, blocking the view of her breast.

"It's not like I'm sitting there topless," Haslam said. "People have less on at the pool and in workout gear."

Not that it would matter if it wasn't -- the Pennsylvania Freedom to Breastfeed Act, signed into law in 2007, reads in part, "A mother shall be permitted to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present, irrespective of whether or not the mother's breast is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding."

Haslam said that YMCA officials have reached out to her to talk more about the incident, and that she hopes to set up a meeting to get to the bottom of why it happened.

"I'm just shocked by it. I just can't believe the stuff that they said," Haslam said. "The only reason I went public was because they need training. They need a dedicated facility for moms nursing who want privacy, they need to train their staff on customer service and laws, they need signs saying they're breastfeeding friendly. It's a family facility."

Haslam said that since she had West, Monday's incident was the first time she felt discriminated against for breastfeeding in public. As someone whose family has been involved with local YMCAs for decades, she said Monday's incident disheartens her.

"I felt very unwelcome, and very shamed for doing something that's natural," the mom said. "I'm still in shock by the whole situation ... I'm hurt in 2016 that we're still fighting this battle, especially in a family facility."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DOJ to Seek Death Penalty in Charleston Church Shooting]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 17:38:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/184*120/odio1.jpg

The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against accused church shooter Dylann Roof, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Tuesday.

Lynch said in a statement that her department came to that decision after a "rigorous review process," NBC News reports.

"The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision," she said.

Roof, 22, will stand trial for the massacre of nine people last June at the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He was charged with nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Photo Credit: Charleston County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Opa-locka Commissioner Dies in Apparent Suicide Crash]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 18:50:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052416+terence+pinder.jpg

A City of Opa-locka commissioner who was expected to face corruption charges was killed early Tuesday after crashing his car into a tree in an apparent suicide at Opa-locka Executive Airport, according to a report.

Commissioner Terence Pinder was scheduled to turn himself in to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported

The State Attorney's Office said Pinder was set to face bribery and unlawful compensation charges. The charges were related to bribes Pinder allegedly solicited to help a local businessman, who was acting as an informant, to help get approval from the city to operate a solid waste transfer station, officials said.

"No such charges or offenses are worth taking one's life," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "This is a tragedy for Terrence Pinder’s family and friends, a tragedy for the City Of Opa-locka and a tragedy for the people of Opa-locka that circumstances surrounding the city’s operation have gone this far."

Miami-Dade Police confirmed there was a fatal crash at the airport, saying the car drove about 100 yards onto airport property before hitting the tree. Sources told the Herald Pinder crashed his car into the tree while driving more than 100 mph.

Police said a woman walking her dog came across the crash scene around 8 a.m. Tuesday. City officials confirmed the death of Pinder in a statement.

"It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we inform you of the passing of Commissioner Terence K. Pinder," the statement read. "He was known and loved by the young, the elderly and the community at large. He will be missed in 'The Great City of Opa-locka.'"

Mayor Myra Taylor also released a statement on Pinder's death.

"Our thoughts and hearts go out to the loss of our great colleague, friend and brother, Commissioner Terence K. Pinder. The entire Opa-locka community joins in sending our condolences to the Pinder family," her statement read.

The vehicle was towed from the airport and was taken to the medical examiner.

Opa-locka has been facing financial troubles for months. The Herald reported Monday that the city's top financial officer said the city will run out of money after next week's payroll.

Meanwhile, the FBI has begun a corruption investigation into the city's leaders, the Herald reported. Pinder's expected surrender was for state charges and wasn't related to the federal investigation.

A special commission meeting had been scheduled for Tuesday night, where commissioners were expected to hear a resolution to request Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a financial oversight committee. The meeting was later canceled.

Friends spent Tuesday mourning the death of Pinder, saying he was not married and had no children.

"Men like that make me pull my pants up, put a belt on and tuck my shirt in my pants," Artis Grant said. "I mean, he had nothing but a positive influence on me since I have known him."

"He was one of the first telling us that we were going to run out of money, he was one of the first telling us that the city finances was in trouble," Alvin Burke said.

Photo Credit: Opalockafl.gov]]>