<![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 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:40:37 -0400 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:40:37 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Tries to Abduct Miami-Dade Teen: Police]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:16:24 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/attemptedabductor102314.jpg

Miami-Dade Police released a sketch they hope will aid them in catching a man they say tried to abduct a teenager Monday morning.

Miami-Dade Police said the man in the sketch tried to abduct the teenager as she was walking to school early Monday. The attempted abduction happened near the intersection of NW 22nd Avenue and 87th Street in Miami-Dade County.

Police said the man came up behind the girl, grabbed her, and tried to force her into his car.

“It’s a scary feeling knowing that somebody’s out here trying to snatch our kids, especially when they’re just going to school to get an education,” said neighbor Vernarda Teal.

The attempted abductor was described as being between 35 and 40 years old with low-cut hair, 6’1” tall and approximately 180 pounds. The abductor has brown eyes, a muscular build, and had a beard. He was also wearing a dark blue shirt with dark colored jeans.

“It’s not somebody I know,” Teal said. “It could be a common person. I mean, I would be looking out and looking at everybody now to see if I could recognize him.”

If you have any information about the suspect or the crime, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Police]]>
<![CDATA[Police Search for Miami School Camera Thief]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:52:25 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102414+miami-dade+schools+camera+thief.jpg

Miami-Dade Schools Police are looking for a thief who has been stealing surveillance cameras from public schools.

The suspect has stolen several cameras from Miami schools dating back to September 2013, causing more than $10,000 in damages, police said.

Police said the suspect commits the thefts between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., and has been captured on cameras before removing them.

The suspect is described as a black male between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-9 with a thin build. Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Schools Police]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 6 Investigation: Email Scams Getting More Elaborate]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:44:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000015244732_1200x675_347554371749.jpg NBC 6 Investigation: Email Scams getting more elaborate]]> <![CDATA[Children's Group Sues Over Broward Ballot]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:51:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/browardballot102414.jpg

Ballot problems are nothing new in South Florida and now; the 2014 ballot is under fire after over where the issue of keeping the Broward Children’s Services Council falls on the ballot.

“I said, ‘What happened to the Children’s Services Item?’” said voter Karen Dickerhoof. “So I went backwards, and there it was at the bottom of the page under Amendment 3. Well, my plan was to vote no on Amendment 3, and so what did I do? I voted no on the Children’s Services Item.”

Children’s Services attorney Mike Ryan filed suit against Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes. Ryan alleged that the three-column ballot is misleading.

“You get to Amendment 3, people are naturally going right to the bottom,” Ryan said. “What’s missing right here is any prominence.”

Ryan says that going forward, Broward County should print a revised ballot, or hand voters a note that, “directs their attention that there are four items on page 1A, and in column 3, there are two.”

The first two columns feature election items, their Spanish and Creole translations, and a yes or no vote at the bottom. Column three features two issues, with two yes or no votes, and many voters are skipping to the bottom.

The CSC said that the mistake could be costly to the program. According to CSC president Cindy Arenberg, it could cost 150,000 kids valuable developmental service, and hurt service providers.

“Over the next year, we would have to say this is the end of your contract, stop all programming,” Arenberg said.

Snipes was briefed on the issue and issued a warning to voters to be careful when filling out the 2014 ballot.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[A History of School Shootings Since Newtown]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:49:26 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/school-shooting-AP746502146007_0.jpg

A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria on Friday, killing at least one person and wounding at least three others before killing himself, officials said.

The shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, outside of Seattle, happened during the lunch period. Witnesses described the shooter walking in with a blank stare before opening fire.

"Just all of a sudden I see him stand up, pull something out of his pocket," Austin Taylor, who had just finished lunch, told NBC affiliate KING. 

Taylor said he heard five pops, then saw three kids fall from the table.

The shooting is at least the 11th planned mass shooting at a school since the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012, when Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 first-grade students and six adult staff members at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, before killing himself. Here's a look at the ten other major incidents.

Reynolds High School, Oregon

June 10, 2014

Parents of 15-year-old gunman, Jared Michael Padgett, were "confused and shocked" when they found out their son was the suspected killer in the school shootings at an Oregon high school that left one student dead, NBC News reported.The shooter concealed his weapons, an AR-15 type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a knife and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, in a backpack and guitar case. Padgett killed a 14-year-old student athlete, Emilio Hoffman. He eventually killed himself in the school bathroom, police said.

Seattle Pacific University, Washington

June 5, 2014

The man responsible for the Seattle Pacific University shootings at the beginning of June was off his psychosis medication because he "wanted to feel the hate", the Associated Press reported. Aaron Rey Ybarra, 26, was armed with a shotgun, a knife and nearly 50 shells of ammunition with intentions to attack a mass number of students and managed to injure two people and kill one 19-year-old student before a student security guard subdued the shooter with pepper spray. After being arrested, police learned Ybarra had done extensive research on other mass shootings, and the shooter told police he didn't target anyone but had a "hatred for the world in general," according to the Associated Press.

Berrendo Middle School, New Mexico

January 14, 2014

 A 12-year-old boy pulled a sawed-off shotgun from his bag and fired shots in a New Mexico Middle School gymnasium. According to officials, the unnamed seventh grade shooter opened fire in the school’s gym with a 20-gauge shotgun, killing one student and seriously injuring two others. John Masterson, an eighth grade social studies teacher, approached the shooter and talked him into putting down the weapon.

Arapahoe High School, Colorado

December 13, 2013

Karl Pierson, 18, entered Arapahoe High School on December 13th, 2013, equipped with a shot gun, a machete, 125 rounds of ammunition and three Molotov cocktails. Pierson entered the school through a door that was normally locked; he fired his first shot randomly in the school’s hallway, then his second, killing 17-year-old Claire Esther Davis. With his final shot, the gunman took his own life, shooting himself in the head. The teen was likely motivated by a dispute with his former debate coach, NBC News reported. 

Sparks Middle School, Nevada

October 21, 2013

A 12-year-old student arrived on the grounds of Sparks Middle School and shot a student in the shoulder, wounding him, then shot and killed Michael Landsberry, a math teacher at the school. The boy’s violent streak ended when he shot himself in the head. The shooter never entered the building and no shots were fired by law enforcement, NBC News reported. A Sparks student, Michelle Hernandez, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the shooter had complained about being teased.

McNair Discovery Learning Academy, Georgia

August 20, 2013

A young male opened fire at a Georgia elementary school last year. Michael Brandon Hill, 20, was taken into custody after he fired six rounds of gun shots in the main office of the McNair Discovery Learning Academy. Hill was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to officials. No one was injured, NBC News reported. 

Santa Monica College, California

June 7, 2013

John Zawahri, a former student of Santa Monica College, went on a mile-long shooting spree that culminated at Santa Monice College. He first set his father's house on fire, then carjacked a vehicle and threatened to kill the driver if she didn't drive him to the SMC campus, officials said. Zawahri killed five people and injured several others before killing himself, according to NBC News. Zawahri’s father and brother were among the victims.

New River Community College (NRCC), Virginia

April 12, 2013

An 18-year-old college student, Neil Allan MacInnis, faces two counts of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony after shooting and injuring two women at New River Community College's satellite campus at the New River Valley Mall. The Christiansburg Police Department police chief said a year earlier MacInnis participated in the Christiansburg Police Department Citizens Academy program: a 12-week course where citizens observe the department on a regular day, get the opportunity to ride along in police cars, tour the offices and practice with firearms at the shooting range. 

University of Central Florida, Florida

March 18, 2013

James Oliver Seevakumaran, 30, planned a massacre at the University of Central Florida -- making a checklist that included instructions like "pull fire alarm" and "give them hell", police told NBC News. He pulled the firearm and pointed the gun at his roommate before the roommate slipped away and hid in a bathroom. When officers arrived, they found Seevakumaran dead in his bedroom, from a self-inclicted gunshot wound. They also found a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .22-caliber tactical rifle, ammunition and a backpack with four homemade explosive devices.

Taft Union High School, California

January 10, 2013

A 16-year-old student came to Taft Union High School armed with a 12-gauge shotgun, intent on shooting two students who had bullied him, authorities said. He shot one in the chest, and fired at another but missed the other. Both students survived. Many students described the shooter as a loner and a year earlier, the shooter was suspended for compiling a "hit list", police said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Body Is Missing U.Va. Student: Cops]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:15:26 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hannah+graham+triple+photo.jpg

The remains found Oct. 18 on an abandoned property are those of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, the Albemarle County Police Department said Friday.

The suspect in her disappearance, Jesse L. Matthew, Jr., was charged last month with abduction with attempt to defile Graham, 18.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Hannah," Graham's parents, John and Sue Graham, said in a statement Friday afternoon. "Over recent weeks Hannah has been described by those who know her as bright, witty, thoughtful, loyal and fun to be around. She was all those things and more."

Graham's parents' statement continued:

Put simply, Hannah lit up our lives, the lives of our family and the lives of her friends and others who knew her. Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished. We will hold it in our hearts forever and it will help sustain us as we face a painful future without her.

Graham's family originally lived in England but later moved to the United States; Graham graduated from West Potomac High School in Fairfax County, Virginia in 2013.

In her second year at UVa., Graham had intended to pursue a career in global public health and wanted to help others, her parents said. They said it is heartbreaking that she'll never get to pursue that dream.

UVa. President Teresa Sullivan released a statement Friday, noting the 18-year-old "brought immense energy and delight to her learning at the university, [where] she was a source of friendship and joy for so many people."

Graham's family thanked Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo and other law enforcement agents for their dedication.

The Albemarle County Police Department announced the medical examiner's results at about 4:40 p.m. Friday, saying on Twitter, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Graham family & Hannah's friends during this incredibly difficult time."

Volunteer searchers found the remains at about noon Oct. 18 in an "abandoned property" in the Walnut Creek Park area of Albemarle County, authorities said.

A day later, investigators interviewed nearby residents, and forensic teams combed the sides of a road for several miles past the site. 

Authorities are still asking to hear from people who live along Old Lynchburg Road or those who may have any information; the Charlottesville Police Department's tip line remains open at 434-295-3851.

Matthew's attorney, Jim Camblos, issued a statement Friday, saying the "Carrs asked me to convey that they will continue to pray for the Grahams and the Harringtons throughout this ordeal."

Graham was reported missing after a night out with with friends Sept. 12. She was last seen on surveillance videos from the early morning hours of Sept. 13.

The videos show her walking unsteadily, and later running, in downtown Charlottesville. She is also shown with a man police have identified as Matthew, who is shown wrapping his arm around Graham. He is also accused of buying her alcohol.

Investigators believe Matthew, a hospital worker and former taxi driver, acted alone and didn't know Graham before her disappearance.

Matthew was arrested in Texas two weeks after Graham's disappearance, and was extradited to Virginia, where he remains in custody in the Charlottesville area.

He is not due for a court appearance in the case until December, but could appear in a Fairfax, Virginia court earlier to face charges in a separate, earlier case.

Matthew was indicted Monday for attempted capital murder and two other felonies in that case, a 2005 attack on a 26-year-old woman in Fairfax, Virginia.

Police said the victim was walking home from a grocery store in September 2005 when a man grabbed her and forced her into a wooded area, where he assaulted her. He fled after being startled by another person.

On Thursday, a Fairfax judge issued a bench warrant to bring Matthew to Northern Virginia to face charges in that case.

Authorities have previously said DNA evidence links the 2005 Fairfax assault to the murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington in fall 2009.

Harrington disappeared after attending a concert at the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. Her body was found in January 2010, a little more than five miles from where Graham's body was found Oct. 18.

No one has been charged in Harrington's murder. But Harrington's parents have been active in searching for Graham, noting the similarities between the two cases.

"I thought [Graham's disappearance] seemed very similar to Morgan's situation with sort of the question of her maybe being somewhat impaired, someone just picking her up and trying to take care of her," Dan Harrington said earlier this fall.

Virginia State Police said late last month that they believe they have found a link between Harrington's death and Graham's disappearance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Consumer Reports: Tablet-Laptop Combos]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:58:02 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/CR+Laptops+081114.jpg

Tablets have been one of the fastest growing consumer electronics. But sales are starting to level off. And the laptop market has been declining for some time. Now there’s an emerging class of computers called detachables that combines a laptop and a tablet.

Detachables work like a laptop with more memory, storage, and power than a tablet. Then they can be converted into a tablet when you need something lightweight and easy to carry along. Consumer Reports has been checking out several detachables, and so far its testers haven’t been overly impressed.

The problem is detachables don’t do either task particularly well. As a laptop, they’re not as fast or as powerful as you would like. As a tablet, they tend to be a little bit heavy.

There are other concerns, too. On the Lenovo model, you can’t adjust the viewing angle of the screen like you could on a standard laptop. And on the Asus model, you get only 2GB of memory. Most laptops come with at least 4GB.

The only detachable that Consumer Reports recommends as both a tablet and a laptop is the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It has a great display and great battery life. And at 12 inches, its screen is larger than most other tablets. The Surface Pro 3 comes equipped with a Surface Pen, camera, and memory card reader, and starts at $800. The keyboard is sold separately for $130.

Consumer Reports says that more and more detachables are coming on the market, and it hopes to see lighter, more powerful models soon.

Photo Credit: Consumer Reports]]>
<![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[NY, NJ Tighten Standards for Travelers at Risk for Ebola]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:59:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tlmd_newark_hospital_ebola_st.jpg

Anyone flying into John F. Kennedy or Newark Liberty International Airport after having contact with Ebola-infected patients in one of three West African nations battling an epidemic of the deadly virus will face a mandatory 21-day quarantine, the governors of New York and New Jersey announced Friday.

“We have to do more," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday. "It's too serious of a situation to leave it to the honor system of compliance."

The new measures came one day after a doctor who had recently returned from an Ebola assignment in Guinea was diagnosed with the virus in New York City. In addition to the mandatory quarantine for those who came in direct contact with patients in the Ebola-ravaged nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, health officials at those two airports have been authorized to actively monitor and quarantine if necessary anyone with a travel history in that region.

Craig Spencer, a doctor just back from a month-long stint treating Ebola patients for Doctors Without Borders, was admitted into an isolation unit at Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, less than a week after he arrived home. In the days prior to his Ebola diagnosis, he made several outings in the city, including coffee in one of Manhattan’s tourist-packed parks, a stop by a meatball shop and a subway ride to Brooklyn for an evening of bowling with friends.

While Spencer followed the self-monitoring protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some experts are now suggesting health workers who return from Ebola-ravaged areas do more to avoid public places.

City officials praised the quick response to his illness and said Spencer, the city's first reported Ebola patient, followed all the proper steps to monitor his health and minimize exposure. But Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in retrospect those steps weren't enough.

"New Jersey and New York are going to determine the standards of quarantine since the CDC's guidance is continually changing," Christie said.

The governor tweeted that a health care worker who arrived at Newark International Airport after treating Ebola patients in West Africa is now under quarantine and has no symptoms.

The Obama administration also is considering quarantining healthcare workers returning to the United States from the Ebola hot zone of West Africa, Reuters reported.

Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters on Friday that quarantine was one option being discussed regarding the monitoring of healthcare workers.

"We want to strike the right balance of doing what is best to protect the public’s health while not impeding whatsoever our ability to combat the epidemic in West Africa,” Skinner said. “Our risk here will not be zero until we stop the epidemic there.”

Some public health experts were already urging added extra caution as more doctors and others potentially exposed to the virus return from the front lines of fighting the outbreak in West Africa. Tighter restrictions on such health care workers could prevent mass hysteria and make the job easier on health detectives in the event of a positive Ebola test, they say.

Dr. Joseph McCormick, a professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health who has cared for Ebola patients, said while putting a large number of people in quarantine because of possible casual interaction “is not warranted,” as the virus can only be spread by contact with the bodily fluids of person with symptoms, some situations may merit more prudence.

“I would say that for somebody like a health provider like the physician who clearly was in direct contact with patients, I’m not sure that total quarantine is needed but I think a more cautious approach to traveling around the city probably would be warranted,” McCormick, a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official who investigated the first Ebola epidemic, said. “We all have to balance our messages here.”

The safeguards followed by Spencer, recommended by the CDC and Doctors Without Borders, included taking his temperature twice daily, watching for fever and other symptoms during the virus’ 21-day incubation period. Living in New York, he was well within the recommended 4-hour radius of a hospital with isolation facilities. When his temperature hit 100.3 degrees Thursday morning, he called health officials and was quickly moved to Bellevue Hospital.

Still, at least one other relief group operating in West Africa has gone beyond the CDC recommendations in light of the heightened public concern following the infection of two nurses treating an Ebola patient at a Dallas hospital, including one who took flights to and from Ohio while she was self-monitoring for signs of the virus.

Samaritan’s Purse is mandating that employees who return from its efforts in Liberia undergo a “self-imposed, no-touch self sequestration” for 21 days that limits even physical contact with family members, according to Kendell Kauffeldt, the Christian international relief organization’s longtime country director in Liberia. Employees of the organization, which made headlines after its own Dr. Kent Brantly survived an infection, are also required to take their temperature four times a day, with the trigger for alerting officials set one degree lower than the CDC's level. They require returning staff, including three who are currently in the incubation period, stay within 90 minutes of an isolation facility for those three weeks.

Kauffeldt, who lived in Liberia for 10 years before returning to the United States with his family in August, stressed that Spencer took all the required steps and the potential of “anyone else becoming infected is almost zero because he followed the protocol.” He said the added precautions enacted for his own colleagues were simply meant to go even farther to ensure general public health, the safety of their employees and peace of mind.

“It was really just in reaction to the situations in Dallas and just recognizing that there is a level of uninformed fear, but we still as an organization have a responsibility to the general public to ensure we were doing everything possible for their safety and their health,’ he said.

The protocols for monitoring and protecting those workers will likely remain in the spotlight, as more are deployed to fight an outbreak that has sickened more than 10,000 since March. Demand for doctors is still high, and thousands have volunteered through an online portal USAID set up in early September to match qualified applicants with aid organizations.

Doctors, nurses and other medical aides are considered at the highest risk for contracting the virus because they deal with bodily fluids from the sickest of patients and the World Health Organization says an “unprecedented” number have been infected in this outbreak. In all, more than 440 health care workers have contracted Ebola and 244 have died as of Oct. 19, the WHO says. Six other American health workers — four who worked in Africa and two from a Dallas hospital that treated a patient from Liberia — contracted Ebola and recovered after receiving treatment in the U.S.

Both New York City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett and National Institute of Health’s Anthony Fauci, who cared for one of the Dallas nurses, suggested Friday that the federal guidelines for monitoring are the subject of active discussion.


Eden Wells, clinical associate professor of epidemiology and director of the Preventive Medicine Residency at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, said she would personally restrict her movements if she were returning from West Africa or had been caring for someone with Ebola. She stressed she did was not criticizing Spencer, who she noted followed the current protocols.

She’d take the more cautious approach “not only just to reassure the public but it is also to aid public health epidemiologist disease detective, because the more contact that’s out there that has to be investigated because someone did leave the home really taxes the system.”

“Whether they’re sick or not sick what happens is any time a case like this happens there’s an incredible amount of resources undertaken to do the investigation to reassure everyone that there’s not then another case as a result of a contact,” she said.

Doctors Without Borders, which did not return multiple interview requests, said in a statement Friday that it will investigate how Spencer contracted the virus. But it acknowledged that even with its “Extremely strict procedures “ for staff, the “risk cannot be completely eliminated.”

"Tragically, as we struggle to bring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa under control, some members of our staff have not been spared," Executive Director Sophie Delaunay said in a statement."Our thoughts are with our colleague in his own struggle right now, and we sincerely hope for his quick and full recovery."

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<![CDATA[Guard Injured at Ultra Suing for $10 Million]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:29:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/IMG_64561.JPG

A security guard injured during this year’s Ultra Music Festival in March will file a lawsuit Monday against the festival organizers, the city of Miami, and others for $10 million.

Mack was trampled while working security at the festival after fencing in the area she was working collapsed. She was injured after a large group of people outside the festival tried to push over a fence at SE 1st Street and Biscayne Boulevard.

Miami Police had reportedly been warned that the area where Mack was providing security needed stronger fencing in case of any problems. Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said organizers didn’t follow through.

Mack suffered a skull fracture and a broken leg when she was trampled. Her attorney, Eric Isicoff, said she remains under the care of her doctors and regularly attends rehab for her broken leg.

Erica hasn’t spoken to the media about what happened since the incident, but Isicoff said she will speak on Monday about her ordeal.

<![CDATA[Email Schemes Getting More Clever]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:52:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/computer2.jpg

At first glance, the emails may look legitimate, containing warnings about accounts that need updating, or packages that need to be delivered.

But, upon closer inspection, the emails from a bank, online pay site or delivery service are clearly bogus.

It’s called “phishing,” the mass-spamming of millions of email accounts by fraudsters who hope a few recipients nibble and turn over valuable information: passwords, account numbers, you name it.

“The best thing to do when you receive these emails is to not respond to them and immediately contact your financial institution,” said Chris Catania, a Wells Fargo senior vice president “They’re then able to use your information to make purchases on line. If you give them your information, say your online banking information, they’ll be able to go right online and possibly transfer your money into other accounts.”

“The best thing to do when you receive these emails is to not respond to them and immediately contact your financial institution,” Catania said.

One technique phishers use, he said, is intentionally misspelling a key word or two, an attempt to avoid detection by filtering systems in email servers.

For instance, an email sent to Team 6 Investigators purportedly from Wells Fargo spells the bank’s name “Wells Fago” in an email address. A filter would be less likely to keep out a brand name it does not recognize.

“As they become more technologically advanced, it is becoming more on the rise and that’s why it’s very important to protect yourself as much as possible,” Catania said.

He suggested those concerned about phishing should review these tips from the Wells Fargo website.

<![CDATA[Map: Where NYC Ebola Patient Went]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:45:33 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ebola+map.jpg
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<![CDATA[Police Probe Suspicious Cat Deaths in Palmetto Bay]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:55:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/172*120/cat+generic.JPG

Police are investigating after at least two cats have been found dead under mysterious circumstances in the same Palmetto Bay neighborhood in the past week.

The first cat was found Monday in its owner's front yard on Southwest 84th Court Monday morning, according to a Miami-Dade Police incident report.

"It is unknown how the cat perished," the report said.

The next day and on the same street, a woman found her pet cat dead in her front yard. The woman, who doesn't want to be identified, said the cat was pierced by an arrow.

"She had a big hole in her back and there was flesh coming out of the back and her spinal cord had been cut in half," said the cat's owner, who asked not to be identified.

Police aren't sure if the two deaths are linked but both are under investigation.

In 2009, a South Florida teen was arrested after police accused him of mutilating and killing 19 cats in Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay. The charges against Tyler Weinman were later dropped in November 2010.

The cat owner who spoke to NBC 6 said she doesn't believe the recent cat deaths are related to the previous incidents.

<![CDATA[Family Found After Toddler Taken to Wrong School]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:53:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/abandonedchild102414.jpg

The family of a one-year-old boy who was thought to be abandoned at a daycare center Friday morning has been found.

The boy, named Nicholas, was brought to Lincoln Marti Daycare at 880 SW 8th Street by an unknown Latin woman who was accompanied by two small children.

Miami Police said Nicholas was dropped off at the wrong daycare by a relative and that no one will be charged in the case.

The Department of Children and Family Services took custody of the child as of Friday afternoon.

Anyone with information about Nicholas or this incident is asked to call the Miami Police Department at (305) 603-6310 or (305) 603-6304.

Photo Credit: Miami Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[90-Year-Old Fan Challenges Heat's Wade to One-On-One]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:35:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/209*120/wadegrandmaplay.jpg

For her 90th birthday, Miami Heat fan Illuminada Magtoto only had one wish: to play one-on-one with Dwyane Wade.

Magtoto challenged Wade in a YouTube video, saying, "Dwyane Wade, on my 90th birthday, I want to play one-on-one with you, okay?"

The Heat star accepted her challenge, and the unlikely duo took to the court at the team's practice facility on Tuesday.

"Happy birthday!" Wade greeted Magtoto. "Thank you so much for being a fan of mine and the Heat."

As the two took turns shooting, Magtoto lobbed the ball high, and Wade dunked it in.

"You throw lobs better than Mario Chalmers," he said to Magtoto's delight.

Seeing how happy the experience made her, Wade appeared to tear up in an interview with the team's Heat TV.

"This is real, and this is what it's about," Wade said as he dabbed at his eyes. "This gives me life. It gives me purpose."

Magtoto expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to meet her favorite player.

"Now I feel like I'm very, very happy, and I'm very grateful," she said. "This is my dream come true."

Wade later posted about Magtoto's visit on Instagram, saying, "I had the chance to meet this lovely lady. You never know the impact you have on people and meeting her made me realize yet again that my life is bigger than basketball. She presented a challenge to play me one on one for her 90th bday. Thanks to her family, the Miami Heat and TeamWade for making this wish come true. #biggerpurpose #hertearsalmostmademetear #happybday"

Photo Credit: Miami Heat]]>
<![CDATA[Toddler Hospitalized After Fall From Balcony in Hialeah]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:57:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102414+hialeah+balcony+fall+child.jpg

A young child was airlifted to a hospital after falling from the fourth floor balcony of a Hialeah apartment building Friday morning.

The incident happened at the apartment complex at 6975 W. 16th Avenue.

“His mother came knocking on my door like all worried and she was crying because he like, fell off the fourth floor,” said neighbor Nayahliz Ruiz.

A man acme to rescue the child after he fell from the balcony, neighbors said.

“When he grabbed the kid, he was moving and crying and I see his face with sand and scratches and his lips were like this and purple,” said Ruiz.

The 2-year-old child was conscious and alert but suffered some facial injuries and was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital, Hialeah Fire Rescue officials said.

Hialeah Police said the entire incident appears to be an accident.

“A grandma, mom, and an aunt and somehow, very quickly, he got away from them,” said Hialeah Police Detective Carl Zogby. “They claim that for seconds they left the sliding glass door that leads to the balcony and he must have run out without them noticing and fell over.”

Police don’t expect to file any charges and the child is expected to be okay.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Despite Strict Protocol, Risks Remain for Ebola Doctors: Group]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:25:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tlmd_newark_hospital_ebola_st.jpg

The medical and humanitarian organization that employed the New York doctor who tested positive for the Ebola virus said that the risk for staff returning from the front lines in West Africa can't be completely eliminated, even with "extremely strict procedures" to protect against the potentially deadly disease. 

Craig Spencer tested positive for the potentially deadly virus at New York's Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, six days after he arrived home from an Ebola assignment in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders.  He is the first Ebola case in New York City and the fourth diagnosed in the United States.

Doctors Without Borders, which is also known internationally as Médecins Sans Frontières, said the doctor who contracted the virus followed its guidelines for self-monitoring, which includes checking temperature twice a day and staying within four hours of a hospital with isolation facilities during a 21-day incubation period. He was admitted to the hospital on Thursday after reporting a fever of 100.3 degrees. 

"Extremely strict procedures are in place for staff dispatched to Ebola affected countries before, during, and after their assignments," Sophie Delaunay, executive director of MSF, said in a statement. "Despite the strict protocols, risk cannot be completely eliminated. However, close post-assignment monitoring allows for early detection of cases and for swift isolation and medical management."

The organization has launched a "thorough investigation" to identify how Spencer contracted Ebola.

More than 10,000 people have fallen ill with Ebola since the outbreak began in March, creating a dire need for international health workers in the West African countries that have been hardest hit. 

Spencer, 33, is one of more than 700 international staff Doctors Without Borders has sent to Ebola-stricken countries since March. Three international staff and 21 locally employed staff have fallen ill with the virus since that time, with 13 dying of the disease.

“Tragically, as we struggle to bring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa under control, some members of our staff have not been spared,” Delaunay said in the statement. “Our thoughts are with our colleague in his own struggle right now, and we sincerely hope for his quick and full recovery.”

Scores of other aid groups and health workers have stepped up as well. More than 3,700 people have signed up using an online portal USAID launched in early September to connect potential volunteers with aid organizations, said Lisa Hibbert-Simpson, press officer with USAID. Demand for more help hasn't slowed, she said.

“The need will exist until we have it under control," she said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says health workers are among those facing the highest risk of contracting the virus, which is spread through contact with bodily fluids from a person who is already showing symptoms.

In late August, the World Health Organization called the "high proportion" of doctors, nurses and heath care workers infected "unprecedented." As of late October, the virus had sickened more than 440 health care workers worldwide, claiming the lives of 224.

Four American health workers and a freelance cameraman for NBC who fell ill after working in West Africa have recovered from Ebola after receiving treatment back in the United States. Two nurses in Dallas who contracted the virus while caring for a patient diagnosed there were also recently declared Ebola free. That patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, has been the only person to die of the virus in the U.S. so far.

Officials in New York have said the risk to the public is minimal given the timing of Spencer's symptoms and admission to the isolation unit.   They believe he had direct contact with fiancee and two friends, before going to the hospital. The three have been quarantined and are in good health, New York City's health commissioner said.

<![CDATA[Dallas Nurse Pham Ebola-Free]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:46:48 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP570888027428.jpg

Dallas nurse Nina Pham was declared free of Ebola and discharged from the hospital on Friday, just before she met with and hugged President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

"I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," Pham said in a brief statement outside the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, just before she headed to the White House. "I am on my way back to recovery, even as I reflect how many others have not been so fortunate."

Tests show that Pham, who contracted the virus while caring for the first patient diagnosed in the United States, has no more virus in her system, Dr. Anthony Fauci of NIH told reporters.

Pham thanked everyone who has been praying for her, and the medical workers who have been caring for her. "As a nurse, I have a special appreciation for the care I have received from so many," she said.

Pham, a nurse with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, contracted Ebola while helping to care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. She helped treat him from his first day in intensive care at until Oct. 7, the day before he died, NBC5 in Dallas reported.

Pham was flown via charter flight Oct. 16 to Frederick, Maryland's municipal airport and taken by ambulance to the Clinical Center, a hospital located on the grounds of the 312-acre NIH campus in Bethesda.

In her statement Friday, Pham thanked Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American to recover from Ebola, for the "selfless act" of donating his blood, and she asked people to pray with her for her colleague Amber Vinson and for just-diagnosed Dr. Craig Spencer.

In advance of Pham's arrival at NIH last week, Fauci, one of the most highly respected immunologists in the world, announced he would be her admitting physician.

On Friday, while wearing the colors of Pham's nursing school, Texas Christian, Fauci called her a "courageous and lovely person," saying that she also represents the nurses and healthcare workers who put themselves on the line caring for sick patients.

He said they did not administer any experimental drugs to Pham during her treatment at NIH.

Fauci said she was doing well in Texas, and continued to do well at NIH. "We both supported her, so I can't pinpoint in one patient, what was the turning point," he said.

Fauci said it was not possible to pinpoint whether Brantley's donation of plasma was critical in her recovery and that more research is needed.

He said Pham's youth and general health were likely other factors that likely helped, as was the fact that she entered a hospital that was able to give her intensive care early.

Fauci said that Pham communicated with her family via FaceTime during her treatment -- and that she taught him how to use the program, too.

"I gave her my cell phone number just in case I get lonely," he quipped.

Pham's dog, Bentley, tested negative for the virus, Dallas officials announced Wednesday. Dallas Animal Services have been caring for him in isolation. Officials said they'll run one more test before the end of a 21-day quarantine period Nov. 1.

Pham said Friday she plans to return home to Texas and looks forward to reuniting with Bentley.

Pham's Texas hospital said the decision to transfer her to NIH was made in consultation with Pham and her family, adding that many of the medical personnel who would have usually worked in the intensive care unit were themselves "sidelined" for monitoring.

In an emotional video recorded shortly before she left Texas, Pham is shown in her hospital room speaking with a doctor and another medical worker, telling them, "Come to Maryland, everybody!" and "I love you guys."

As medical workers prepared to transport Pham to Dallas' Love Field last week, her coworkers at Texas Health Presbyterian held up signs to encourage her.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Weather: Wet Friday, Drier Weekend]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:31:34 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102414+weather+miami.jpg

We'll be ending the work week with plenty of rain in South Florida Friday.

Heavy rain was already moving through much of Miami-Dade and parts of south Broward Friday morning. Along with the rain will be breezy conditions and high temperatures around 82.

The rain will clear out in time for the weekend, leaving drier conditions on Saturday and Sunday.

<![CDATA[2 Arrested in Shooting That Left Man Paralyzed: Cops]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:02:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/102314+isaac+coles+quinton+grate.jpg

Police have arrested two suspects and are still looking for a third in a home invasion shooting that left a South Florida man paralyzed.

Isaac Glen Coles, 21, and Quinton Grate, 20, have been arrested and charged with attempted murder, armed kidnapping, armed burglary and armed robbery in the Aug. 18 shooting, Miami-Dade Police said Thursday.

Both men were being held without bond Thursday and it was unknown if they have attorneys.

According to police, 20-year-old Bryan Perez was sitting on his patio at 20761 Northeast 4th Court with a friend when three men robbed them at gunpoint and tried to force them into the home.

But as Perez went inside, he closed the sliding glass door behind him, and his attackers fired several shots into the home, striking him, police said.

Perez suffered several gunshots and underwent surgery. Doctors determined his spine was severed and he would be paralyzed from the waist down. His friend wasn't injured.

Coles and Grate were arrested and were identified by Perez and his friend in a six-person photo lineup, police said.

Police are looking for the third suspect, who is believed to be a 15-year-old black male. Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Girl Found Dead at Shelter: Cops]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:55:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/Generic+Police+Tape+Generic.JPG

A 4-year-old girl was found dead at a Queens homeless shelter and authorities are classifying her death as "suspicious," police say.

Police found the child, identified as Linayjah Meraldo, after responding to a call at the Briarwood Family Residence, a temporary housing shelter for homeless families on 134th Street, on Thursday. The little girl's four siblings were in school when she was found; the child's mother said she kept the girl home because she wasn't feeling well, according to a source familiar with the case.

There were no other adults living in the unit where the mother and children were staying.

The mother initially told police Meraldo was involved in a physical altercation with a sibling -- "a tousling thing," she called it, according to the source. The source said the mother later said the child had fallen, and that the version of events she told investigators kept changing.

The little girl was last seen in the 100-unit shelter Thursday morning, the source said. The child was active and nobody noticed bruises or other injuries, according to the source.

The family has lived at Briarwood for nearly a year.

The Department of Health and Human Services called Meraldo's death "terribly disturbing." The agency said in a statement it was working closely with police.

The child's death comes less than a week after a 3-year-old girl was found dead in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, saying the girl died from blunt impact to her head and torso. Her 20-year-old stepfather was arrested on a murder charge.

After the Brooklyn girl's death, Mayor de Blasio called for a thorough investigation. 

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Fires 28 Times on Neighborhood]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 02:42:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/225*120/Assault+Rifle+Alton+Street+Shooting.JPG

A Northeast Philadelphia man fired an assault rifle at his neighbor more than two dozen times after an argument spiraled out of control Thursday night.

"The shooter fired multiple shots, unloaded his magazine, then reloaded the weapon," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Not only was the 57-year-old neighbor hit multiple times but bullets -- police said at least 28 were fired -- also hit neighboring homes along the 8900 block Alton Street in the Bustleton section of the city.

Medics rushed a 57-year-old man from the scene to Einstein Medical Center in critical condition, according to Philadelphia Police.

"This victim stated who he was shot by," said Small.

Investigators said the incident began as an argument between the older man and a 26-year-old suspect around 7:30 p.m. in the rear driveway of the homes. At some point the suspect grabbed an assault rifle and began firing, police said.

At least 20 bullets hit two neighboring homes, said police. Officers checked on the residents inside and luckily no one was hit.

Police arrested the unidentified shooting suspect without incident and confiscated the rifle, said Small.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Who Is Craig Spencer, 1st New York Ebola Patient?]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:15:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/ebola+clothes1.jpg

New York City doctor Craig Spencer is the fourth person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States and the first in New York. He recently came back from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, and preliminarily tested positive for the Ebola virus at Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, Oct. 23. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the following day that he had contracted the potentially deadly disease.

He was in stable condition as of Oct. 24 and talking on the phone with extensively with family members, officials said.

Spencer is the fifth U.S. aid worker to contract the virus while working in West Africa. Dr. Kent Brantly, who recovered from Ebola earlier this year, issued a statement saying he is "grieved to hear about another health care worker contracting Ebola in West Africa.

"My prayers are with Dr. Spencer, his family and the crew taking care of him," he said in a statement released to NBC's "Today." "From everything I've read and heard about his circumstances, it sounds like New York has done everything right to contain this case."

Here's what we know so far about Spencer, his background, what he has done since coming back to the U.S. and the people with whom he may have come into contact.

Who is Craig Spencer?

Spencer, 33, is an emergency room doctor at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Columbia Medical Center campus in Upper Manhattan. He is a Detroit native who went to Wayne State University there and has family in that area.

He attended Grosse Pointe North High School, where he played hockey and was a member of the National Honor Society, according to WDIV-TV in Detroit

His former principal there said she wasn't surprised to learn was on a humanitarian mission for Doctors Without Borders.

"I remember his smile, his energy and his positivity," said Kate Calabresa Murray. "He was the type of student you didn't have to have had in class to know him, because he was such a selfless leader." 


He was volunteering with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea, one of the three West African nations experiencing an Ebola epidemic. His proficiency in the French language may have aided in his treatment in the French-speaking country. He hasn't returned to work at NewYork-Presbyterian since returning to the U.S., the hospital said in a statement.

Spencer "went to an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population," the hospital said in a statement. "He is a committed and responsible physician who always put his patients first."

Spencer graduated from the Wayne State School of Medicine in Detroit in 2008 and received a master's in public health from Columbia's University Mailman School of Public Health. He is board-certified in emergency medicine. 

"Off to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders,'' he reportedly posted on Facebook on Sept. 18, along with a photo showing him dressed in protective gear. "Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history.''

Spencer left for West Africa via Brussels in mid-September, according to the Facebook page. He completed his assignment there on Oct. 12 and left on Oct. 14 via Europe. He arrived in the U.S. on Oct. 17 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

When Did Spencer Test Positive for Ebola?

Spencer participated in the enhanced screening at JFK for all travelers returning from the West African nations affected by Ebola. He did not have fever or other Ebola symptoms.

While back in New York, Spencer checked his temperature twice daily, New York City’s health commissioner Mary Travis Bassett said at a Thursday evening media briefing. He began feeling sluggish on Oct. 21, but did not have any symptoms then. He felt well enough to go on a three-mile jog this week.

On Thursday morning, between 10 and 11 a.m. ET, Spencer reported coming down with a 100.3-degree fever and diarrhea and called 911, New York's Department of Health said. Officials corrected the number Friday morning after having first said in error that his temperature was 103 degrees.

He was transported from his apartment on West 147th Street in Hamilton Heights to Bellevue, one of eight New York state hospitals designated to treat Ebola patients, by a specially trained HAZ TAC unit wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Spencer was placed in a special isolation unit at the hospital, where he's being cared for by the predesignated medical critical care team.

Doctors Without Borders said it was notified about Spencer's fever Thursday morning and immediately notified New York City health officials.

"We are fully prepared to handle Ebola," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday.

A blood sample was sent to the New York City Health Department laboratory, which is part of the Laboratory Response Network overseen by the CDC, for preliminary testing, and tested positive for Ebola. A CDC test confirmed he had contracted the disease.

What Has Spencer Done Since Returning From Africa? 

Bassett said Spencer spent most of his time in his apartment, limiting his contact with people, but he had gone on a three-mile jog, taken the A, 1 and L subway trains, visited the High Line in Manhattan, stopped by the Blue Bottle coffee shop near the elevated park, and went to The Meatball Shop on Greenwich Avenue.

He also took an Uber livery car to The Gutter bowling alley in Brooklyn Wednesday night, where he met some friends and bowled.

"At the time he was at the bowling alley, he had no fever," Bassett stressed.

Who May Have Been Affected?

Health officials have been tracing Spencer's contacts to identify anyone who may be at risk. Bassett said officials were aware of four people who came in contact with Spencer: his fiancee, two friends, and the Uber driver.

The fiancee and friends who have been in direct contact with Spencer have been quarantined and are in good health, she said. They weren't yet being tested for Ebola because they were showing no symptoms, she said.

The Uber driver was determined not to be at risk because he had no direct physical contact with Spencer.

“Our understanding is that very few people were in direct contact with him," Mayor de Blasio said Thursday.

What Happens Next?

Spencer's apartment was cordoned off and the Department of Health was giving out information to area residents Thursday night. The bowling alley has been closed as a precaution, and will be examined Friday.

The Gutter said in a Facebook post Thursday that it had talked with health department officials, who determined that other bowlers weren't at risk for contracting the disease. They're cleaning the business as an extra precaution and will reopen afterward. 

Officials have Spencer's MetroCard to track where he's traveled. They said there's a "close to nil" chance anyone was exposed on the subway.

"There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed," de Blasio said. "We've been preparing for months for the threat of Ebola with clear and strong protocols that were scrupulously followed in this instance."

A specially trained team determined earlier this week that Bellevue Hospital has been trained in proper protocols and is well prepared to handle Ebola patients, the CDC said.

Several members of the CDC's rapid response team were on their way to New York on Thursday night, and others were arrived Friday morning.

President Obama spoke Thursday night to de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo and offered the federal government's support, The Associated Press reported. He asked them to stay in close touch with Ron Klain, his "Ebola czar," as well as public health officials in Washington.

<![CDATA[Provocative "Vest or Vote" Campaign Hitting Airwaves]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:32:02 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/vestorvotecampaign.jpg

A new ad campaign from a group called the Dream Defenders is using powerful imagery about guns and safety to try to get out the vote.

The ad is in black and white and is set in a kitchen. A mom is talking with her son and asks him to wear a bulletproof vest. The son protests and the mother asked her son to wear it so that she knows he will be safe.

The ad campaign, according to Steven Pargett of the Dream Defenders, is intended to be provocative and conjure images of fatal shooting of unarmed young men of color.

“It speaks to that moment that’s so familiar,” said Pargett. “But we have that twist on the end of strapping on that bulletproof vest onto the son.”

The Defenders believe the deaths of both Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown can be traced to systematic bias against minorities and in state laws like “Stand Your Ground.”

The political ad finishes with a call for Floridians to cast their ballots on November 4th with the three words, “vest or vote.”

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Copper Theft Targets Miami Beach Lightpoles]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:40:17 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/copperthefts102314.jpg

Miami Beach officials are trying to fight back against a series of burglaries that have plunged neighborhoods into darkness.

The thieves are targeting light poles and stealing the copper wire contained inside. The wire inside the light fixtures is valuable on the black market. Miami Beach Police have gone as far as placing their own camera crews out to document the trouble the copper thieves are causing.

“Folks are taking advantage and attacking our light poles and similar street fixtures to rip out as much copper wire as they can in the middle of the night,” said Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales. “All of a sudden, you’ve got a block that’s in the dark.”

Multiple locations have had to be repaired after the copper thieves hit. It’s all coming at a cost to taxpayers.

“Just the replacement of it is costing us between material and labor, over $200,000,” said Morales.

Miami Beach Police detectives said they are after Frederick Hamm, who they believe may be involved with some of the thefts. Detective Chris Mitchell also said there are four other men he wants to talk to about the copper thefts: Armando Sanchez, Daniel Ambrose, Luiz Lopez, and Tony Prado.

“We seem to think this is just not one or two individuals, it’s an organized crime,” said Detective Mitchell. “We seem to think this is a group of individuals working for one particular person.”

Police said the areas that have been hit the hardest are: MacArthur Causeway, South Point Park and its neighborhoods, and the boardwalk.

Morales told NBC 6’s Willard Shepard the city is trying to stay a step ahead of the thieves by replacing the copper with aluminum. Detective Mitchell said if you see someone near a light pole without a city uniform call 911.

If you have information locating the men involved or about the copper thefts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

<![CDATA[Davie Man Allegedly Molested Boys with Autsim]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:23:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/orlandopalaciosmugshot102314.jpg

Davie Police arrested 47-year-old Orlando Palacios Wednesday night on multiple charges after he allegedly sexually molested two boys with autism.

“I mean, I’d bury him under the jail if I could,” one of the child’s parents told NBC 6. “He targeted kids with special needs.”

According to Davie Police, last weekend Palacios allegedly touched a boy’s buttocks from inside his shorts and underwear and prevented the boy from leaving his bedroom during the incident. Davie Police said Palacios also allegedly committed sex acts on a different child.

According to the arrest affidavit, one of the boys said he walked into the room during Palacios allegedly having sex with the other child, allowing both kids to escape and tell their parents what had happened.

“I was shocked because actually both boys told me and my wife,” one child’s father said. “Because the other boy is my son’s best friend.”

Police said after being read his rights, Palacios said he made lewd comments to one of the victims and asked if he was gay. The arrest affidavit said Palacios gave “several accounts of his actions and whereabouts during the date and time of this incident.”

Neighbors told NBC 6’s Dan Krauth there was always a steady stream of kids coming and going from Palacio’s home, especially on weekends.

Davie Police said when Palacios was confronted with the differing stories, he stopped cooperating with police.

Palacios was arrested and charged with one count of battery, one count of lewd/lascivious molestation of a victim older than 12, but younger than 16, and three counts of engaging in sexual activity with a person older than 12, but younger than 16.

Palacios was taken to the Broward County Jail and remains there on more than $40,000 bond. It’s unknown if Palacios has an attorney.

If you know more about the case, or were a victim of Palacios, call Davie Police or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Company Paid Workers $1.21 An Hour]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:47:49 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/1022-2014-EFI.jpg

A Bay Area tech company has been slapped with a fine and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in back wages after a United States Department of Labor investigation revealed the company paid workers $1.21 an hour.

The Labor Department said about eight employees of Fremont-based Electronics For Imaging were flown in from India and worked 120-hour weeks to help with the installation of computers at the company's headquarters. The employees were paid their regular hourly wage in Indian rupees, which translated to $1.21.

EFI, which posted third-quarter revenue of nearly $200 million, released the following statement on Thursday: "During this process we unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local US standards."

Last year, another company, Bloom Energy in Sunnyvale, faced similar charges and was fined for underpaying employees from Mexico an hourly wage of $2.66.

Federal officials said both cases are particularly egregious, given the booming labor market and the wealth in Silicon Valley.

"It is certainly outrageous and unacceptable for employers here in Silicon Valley to bring workers and pay less than the minimum wage," said Alberto Raymond, an assistant district director for the United States Department of Labor.

EFI has been ordered to pay $40,000 in back wages to the employees. In addition, the company was hit with a $3,500 fine.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>