It’s Tuesday, February 1st - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - A Hollywood woman has been charged with animal abuse/neglect after 52 cats were discovered living in poor conditions inside her home, police said.
The Hollywood Police Department said they were called out to 600 N 68th on Jan. 27th and discovered the cats. Jonathan Colon Garcia with the Blackheart Trappers Transport and Rescue said he was called to the home to spay and neuter the cats. However, he was shocked at what he found as he walked through the house. In all, there were 52 cats inside the home, all of which have now been removed. Patricia Vestweber was charged with animal abuse/neglect, police said. According to court records, she’s been cited before by Broward Animal Control for “harboring” animals.
No. 2 - The sole survivor from a boat believed to be carrying 40 people when it capsized off Florida spoke out for the first time Monday, recalling the moments the vessel went down and describing the heartbreak he felt after losing his younger sister in the tragedy.
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Juan Esteban Montoya Caicedo, 22, and his 18-year-old sister, Maria Camila Montoya Caicedo were on the 25-foot boat with 38 others when it capsized some 40 miles off Florida's coast on Jan. 22. "All the time I was thinking about my sister, that I had to survive so I could tell my parents what had happened to her," Juan Esteban Montoya Caicedo told reporters in Spanish Monday. A merchant vessel spotted him clinging to the overturned hull of the ship early Tuesday, setting off a massive search by the U.S. Coast Guard that was suspended Thursday night, after five bodies had been recovered.
No. 3 - A South Florida man is maintaining his innocence after a road rage incident was caught on his dashcam.
Eric Popper was driving southbound on Interstate 95 near 151st Street in Miami-Dade back in June. In the video, you can see Popper shift over three lanes, cutting another driver off. After that, you hear that driver beep his horn. Popper claims the other driver fired at him, so he fired back in self-defense. According to the arrest report, Popper fired a total of 11 shots. Former Police Chief Jorge Colina for the City of Miami watched all four vantage points released to NBC 6. Colina told NBC 6 Popper's calm demeanor was striking, as well as the way he carried a firearm. Click here for what else he said in a report from NBC 6’s Nicole Lauren.
No. 4 - Protests by anti-maskers at the home of a school board member and at the house where the parents of murder victim Gabby Petito's boyfriend lived were cited before a Florida Senate committee unanimously approved a bill Monday to make such disturbances illegal.
The bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee would make protesting outside a residence a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Republican Sen. Keith Perry cited Brevard County School Board member Jennifer Jenkins as an example of someone who was harassed at her home by protesters. Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley said protests at public places or at an elected official's office is one thing, but people's homes and families should be off limits — elected official or not.
No. 5 - A brother and father of two victims of the condominium collapse in Surfside are honoring their loved ones in a special way.
Martin Langesfeld and Pablo Langesfeld will both be running in the Miami Marathon in memory of sister and daughter Nicole Langesfeld, her husband Luis Sadovnic, and all the others who died tragically in the June 24 Champlain Towers South collapse. The father and son said that by participating once again in the marathon, it's a way for them to cope with unbearable pain. Click here for more in a report from NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo.
No. 6 - Fans of the Miami Hurricanes and FSU Seminoles can mark their calendars now with the release of each team’s 2022 football schedule.
The ACC released the schedule for each team Monday evening, with the season culminating with the conference’s championship game December 3rd in Charlotte, North Carolina. Miami and first-year head coach Mario Cristobal will open the season with four non-conference games, starting the season at home Sept. 3rd against Bethune-Cookman and including a road game Sept. 17th at Texas A&M. The 'Canes will open ACC play October 8th against North Carolina and will host rival Florida State on November 5th. Click here for the complete schedules for the ‘Canes and the ‘Noles.