<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - South Florida News]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida https://www.nbcmiami.com en-usWed, 15 Aug 2018 00:49:51 -0400Wed, 15 Aug 2018 00:49:51 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Students Will See Security Enhancements at Broward Schools]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 23:35:38 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/broward-security.PNG

As Broward students begin a new school year Wednesday, they should expect to see new security enhancements at every public school in the district.

The sixth largest school district in the nation -- and the second largest in Florida -- has been working all summer to make sure staff and facilities are adequately prepared as part of a $26 million-dollar plan for tighter security at campuses all across Broward County.

Some security enhancements include upgraded security cameras, ID badges that students, faculty and staff should wear at all times, and expanded mental health services.

The Broward Sheriff's Office tweeted Tuesday about the added security measures it's provided to schools across the county, including an armed BSO School Resource Deputy that will be on duty during school hours, additional armed security for every public school campus, and the launch of SaferWatch, an app where students, faculty and parents can tip off law enforcement about a variety of incidents.

The district is working to fulfill a new state law that requires at least one armed person on every school campus. Due to a shortage of cops, Broward County is training armed guardians that will patrol elementary schools. The city of Fort Lauderdale also announced it is supplying 13 police officers to Broward schools for the first five days of classes.

Six months after the mass shooting, Parkland has seen a new police captain and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has a new upgraded security system.

"Everybody just wants to get back to the way things were or as close to that," said police Capt. Chris Mulligan. "And our job is to get out to the community and just try and reassure them as much as possible that what we are working for as well."

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<![CDATA['You Gotta Love It': These Women Hunt Pythons for a Living]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 23:42:27 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/python-hunters.jpg

You might consider their passion unusual.

These two women have one mission: to protect the Everglades from Burmese pythons.

Beth Koehler and Peggy Van Gorder are among the several female hunters with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation's Python Removal Contractor Program.

"You gotta love it," Van Gorder said. "I don't think anyone else is making a living doing this."

Contractors survey specific areas for pythons, capture them and then deposit them -- live or euthanized -- at specific drop-off locations.

The biggest python they've caught was over 12 feet long and weighed 62 pounds.

"Probably took us 20 minutes to get to up to the road," Van Gorder said.

Some nights, they don't end up catching anything.

"You can spend an entire night here and not see them," Koehle said.

Koehler and Van Gorder have been working with the program for one year. They live in Tampa but come down to South Florida every few weeks to survey the Everglades.

They got into hunting back in 2016 when the FWC ran a python hunting challenge.

The women have learned a lot about not only the Burmese python but about themselves.

"It's not all about power," Koehler said. "It's all about technique to catch that snake."

To learn more about the FWC's Python Removal Contractor Program, click here.

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<![CDATA[After Delays, Family Gets Generator Installed]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 20:00:44 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/generator+installed+responds.jpg

Nadine Wenzel is battling Stage 2 Breast Cancer. She is also fighting to bring her husband home from the hospital. She worried that a slow-moving contractor could delay her husband’s arrival even longer.

A wife fighting to bring her husband home from the hospital feared a slow-moving contractor would delay her husband’s arrival even more.

“I’m fighting with all of my strength for my husband, so I don’t have any fight left in me for other things,” Nadine told us.

But for the last eight months, Nadine has been forced to fight another battle.

Last November, Nadine signed a contract with Total Power and Gas Contractors of Miami for the purchase and installation of a generator.

Nadine paid an initial deposit of $13,749.

“I’ve taken care of people my whole life. And I have to get healthy. I don’t want to be fighting with Generac,” she said.

Nadine says she was told by a salesperson the project would take around six weeks. But after 5 months, she says her generator was still not installed. Without progress or word from Total Power and Gas Contractors on when it would be completed, she told us she reached out to the generator’s maker, Generac Power Systems, Inc., for answers.

She says within days, Total Power and Gas Contractors workers delivered her generator to her home.

But the installation wasn’t completed and then she says the company stopped communicating again.

“There’s been no communication since mid-June,” she said. “That box was dropped off and the generator was dropped off and the gas tanks were dropped off.”

After several unsuccessful attempts to reach out to Total Power and Gas Contractors, Nadine reached out to NBC 6 Responds.

“I’ve been ignored, no consumer deserves that,” she said.

When we showed up to Nadine’s home, we saw the generator had been moved into place but was not bolted down. Empty fuel tanks sat idle.

Nadine worried that all the delays would stall her husband’s arrival home from the hospital.

Nadine’s husband is bound to a wheelchair. His medical equipment needs electricity to run and a generator would provide extra security in case of a power outage.

“It is hurricane season,” she said. “I worry. I worry.”

After we reached out to both Generac Power Systems, Inc. and Total Power and Gas Contractors, within days an electrical permit application was submitted to the city of Cutler Bay.

And within a week, her generator was being installed.

In a statement, Generac Representatives told us “Once Generac was made aware of the situation, we immediately engaged all the resources necessary to fully understand the situation and find a resolution for the customer. We’re truly grateful that Ms. Hutchison-Wenzel chose Generac for her backup power needs.”

For Nadine, this may be a small victory but she says it made all the difference.

“It’s just one more thing off the checklist to put his mind at ease and to let him know I’m taking care of things. ‘Honey, you just get better and come home,” Nadine said.

A representative for Total Power and Gas Contractors told us the delays were due to “issues with the location of the generator.”

As a courtesy, the company has offered Nadine and her husband lifetime maintenance on their unit, at no charge.

Also, Generac Power Systems has offered the couple a 10-year extended warranty.

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<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: The Furry Friends of NBC 6]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:52:33 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Amanda+and+her+dog.jpg As NBC and Telemundo stations around the U.S. team up for Clear the Shelters on Aug. 18, NBC 6's anchors and reporters share their favorite pictures of their lovable furry friends.]]> <![CDATA[Surprised? These Florida Cities Among Best Places to Retire]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 18:02:22 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-850442008.jpg Here are the top 10 U.S. cities in which to retire, according to WalletHub.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Seek Hit-and-Run Driver After Man Dies From Injuries]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 16:53:41 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/flyer-frank-ali.PNG

Homicide detectives are seeking the public's help to find the hit-and-run driver who struck a Pompano Beach man who later died from his injuries.

Frank Ali, 58, was struck by a dark-colored vehicle on June 20 in the area of NW Fifth Avenue and NW Sixth Street, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. Ali was seriously injured but was able to call 911.

He died from his injuries on Friday, seven weeks after the crash.

Detectives are handing out flyers out to residents Tuesday near Akel Market in Pompano Beach in the hopes of finding possible witnesses to the crash.

Anyone with information about the suspect(s) should call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Cop, Ex-Wife Arrested in Insurance Fraud Scheme]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 21:10:53 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/police+lt+insurance+fraud.PNG

A Miami-Dade Police officer and his ex-wife are facing charges related to false insurance claims, officials said Tuesday.

Lt. Alexander Diaz de Villegas, 45, and 30-year-old Barbara Gonzalez, were arrested on charges including organized scheme to defraud, insurance fraud, and grand theft, according to an arrest warrant.

The warrant said the couple married in June 2015 but the marriage was dissolved in July 2016. In October 2016, Diaz de Villegas filed a police report claiming Gonzalez had forged his signature on documents related to a 2015 insurance claim for damages at his home, the warrant said.

He also claimed Gonzalez forged his signature on settlement checks issued by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation totaling more than $25,000, the warrant said. But during the investigation into his claims, Diaz de Villegas submitted a document that made "multiple admissions about his knowledge of the fraud that was perpetrated upon Citizens," the warrant said.

"At no time, once he learned of this fraud did subject Diaz de Villegas notify Citizens of the alleged fraud. On the contrary, he continued with the claims process and benefited financially from the fraud," the warrant said.

Diaz de Villegas was being held on $65,000 bond while Gonzalez was being held on $67,500 bond, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.

"It's extremely disappointing when allegations of wrongdoing are made against any member of our agency. However, today's arrest serves to show that we take these matters seriously and will always rigorously investigate allegations against our personnel in the pursuit of justice. No one is above the law," Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said in a statement.



Photo Credit: NBC 6 / Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[South Florida Teacher Accused of Molesting Girl at Camp]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 20:27:10 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081418+Christopher+Falzone.jpg

A counselor at a Fort Lauderdale summer camp was arrested after police say he inappropriately touched a 10-year-old camper and whispered "I love you" in her ear.

Christopher Falzone, a counselor at Camp Live Oak at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, was arrested Monday on a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior or conduct by a person over 18, according to an arrest report.

According to the report, the 35-year-old Falzone was a counselor and associate director at the camp where the girl attended from June 11 to Aug. 3, when the girl's mother called police to report the inappropriate touching.

The mother told police she heard her daughter talking on the phone and heard a "grown man's" voice on the other end, and discovered her daughter was on a Facebook Messenger call with Falzone, the report said.

The girl told detectives that since she had broken her arm and couldn't participate in the camp's swimming activities, she would sit with Falzone under a tent while the rest of the campers would go swimming, the report said.

Falzone touched the girl on about 15 occasions while they were under the tent, the girl told detectives, according to the report. Falzone would also whisper in her ear "I love you" and "you're my beautiful," according to the report.

The girl said she was also inappropriately touched on field trips and on the bus on the way back from trips, the report said.

Detectives also found a number of Facebook Messenger app messages between Falzone and the girl that started on July 13. "Hi I already miss you," she wrote in one, according to the report. "Aww. I miss you too," he replied.

When the girl wrote "I want you," Falzone replied "Awwww," according to the report.

When he was interviewed by detectives, Falzone admitted to having private conversations with the girl and whispering "I love you" in her ear, the report said. He said he did not remember touching her, but he was "not calling [her] a liar," the report said.

Falzone was booked into jail where he was being held on $25,000 bond Tuesday, records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.

"Visitor safety is a priority for Florida State Parks. All outside, private parties conducting events or programs are required to retain an event permit from Florida State Parks. Camp Live Oak retained a private event permit from the Florida Park Service for their camp. The Florida Park Service conducts background checks on permit holders and concessionaires, and also requires permit holders and concessionaires to conduct background checks on their employees and volunteers," the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which runs the park, said in a statement.

Officials at Camp Live Oak said they are cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

"At Camp Live Oak, our commitment to the safety of our campers, staff, and surrounding community is our highest priority and chief objective. We have a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate misconduct within- or peripherally related to our organization," camp officials said in a statement.

Falzone, from Davie, also works as a teacher, including for a third grade class at Renaissance Charter School at Cooper City this past year.

School officials said they are aware of the arrest and said Falzone has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[8 South Florida Locations Participate in Clear The Shelters]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 11:38:38 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081418+nbc+6+clear+the+shelters.jpg

Eight South Florida locations will be participating in NBC 6 and Telemundo 51's fourth annual Clear the Shelters animal adoption drive on Aug. 18.

There will be two locations open in Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Below is everything you need to know about each shelter.


MIAMI-DADE COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES

3599 Northwest 79 Avenue, Doral, FL 33122

Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Miami-Dade Animal Services will waive adoption fees as well as license tag fees, if applicable. Adoption includes spay/neuter surgery, microchip and age appropriate vaccines.

HUMANE SOCIETY OF GREATER MIAMI

16101 West Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Humane Society is waiving adoption fees for the day but a $39.99 fee for the county tag and microchip for dogs and a $9 fee for microchip for cats will be due at adoption. At the time of adoption you will be asked to provide a picture ID; if you are a renter, a copy of your lease/rent agreement and pet policy, including the name and address of the landlord, or written consent from your landlord if the pet policy is not included in the lease; a collar and leash to take home your pet(if you are adopting a dog). Collars and leashes are available for purchase at their boutique or you may bring your own collar and leash with you.

BROWARD COUNTY ANIMAL CARE

2400 Southwest 42nd Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All adoption fees for dogs and cats will be waived. Each adoption includes spaying/neutering; all necessary vaccinations; a Broward County Rabies Registration License tag, and a microchip. Adopters will also receive a special "swag bag."

ABANDONED PET RESCUE

1137 Northeast 9th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Open 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Abandoned Pet Rescue is waiving adoption fees, but APR never allows an animal to immediately go home. "Every day we work to guarantee a forever home so you must fill out an application and once you find the dog or cat you think is right for you our team will evaluate your application and let you know if you qualify for the adoption," the shelter says. Every pet will be fully vetted and micro chipped.

FLORIDA KEYS SPCA

5230 College Road, Key West, FL 33040

10550 Aviation Boulevard, Marathon, FL 33050

Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at both locations

Adoption fees will be completely waived throughout the day, but current adoption procedures and policies will still apply. There will also be games, kids activities, a face painter, door prizes, food, a Kiss-A-Bull booth and fun for the whole family.

PEGGY ADAMS ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE

3100/3200 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33409

Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Peggy Adams will offer fee waived pet adoption all day. All dogs and cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. All Peggy Adams' adopters receive a free bag of Science Diet food, 30 days of free pet insurance, registered HomeAgain Microchip, and $25 off initial flea & tick services from Nozzle Nolen Pet-Friendly Pest Control. Dogs also receive a complimentary Essential Care Package from Scenthound and free basic training classes.

PALM BEACH COUNTY ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL

7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33411

Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Adoption fees are completely waived and include spay or neutering, tag, microchip and one free follow up visit with any of their partner vet clinics. They are also offering facility tours throughout the day and guests can participate in the play group program where they can watch and interact with adoptable pets.



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Community Members Show Support for Broward Schools Leader]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 12:59:01 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/175*120/GettyImages-923472446.jpg

Six months after the worst mass schools shooting in Florida history, supporters of Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie spoke Tuesday amid criticism the district’s leader has received in the wake of the tragedy.

A group ranging from county executives, school board members and even members of the state legislature met the media as a growing chorus of residents – including some families of those hurt or killed during the February 14th shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland – have called for Runcie to lose his job and for several current school board members to be voted out of office.

“When we look at what happened (on Feb. 14th)…to blame Runcie is not fair,” said school board member Dr. Rosalind Osgood.

A total of five school board seats are up for grabs during the August 28th primary elections – with the parents of two victims among those looking to oust incumbents and create a new majority on the board that could vote to fire Runcie and hire a new superintendent.

“We're trying to move as quickly as possible to respond to every need and we don't always get it right. But I will tell you when we find areas we need to make some adjustments, we'll get it fixed,” Runcie said. “What we're going through, nobody is going through with the school system. It's an enormous challenge."

Recently, the father of shooting survivor Anthony Borges issued a statement saying Runcie should lose his job – but while not all of those associated with MSD think that should be the case, frustration grows over the handling of some new policies that include delaying metal detectors from being put in place in time for Wednesday’s first day of school.

"We need leadership that is not affected by what happened and can look clearly and concisely and can set a plan of action for the safety of our kids,” said Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter Jamie in the shooting, during a meeting of the MSD Safety Commission last week.

The district has added school resource officers and armed guards at all 200 schools across the district as well as better security cameras. At Douglas High School, new portables have been put in to replace the building where the shooting took place as well as additional security measures.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Says She Found Razor on Cart at Coral Springs Walmart]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 10:41:15 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081418+coral+springs+walmart+razor+shopping+cart.jpg

A woman in Coral Springs claims she found a razor hidden on her shopping cart at a Walmart store.

The woman shared photos on social media of the razor on the cart from inside the store on Turtle Creek Drive.

It was unclear if someone intentionally put the razor on the cart. The woman said she contacted store management.

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<![CDATA[West Palm Beach Gives Leftover Meter Money to Help Homeless]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 08:59:49 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/210*120/081418+west+palm+beach+parking+meters.PNG

Commissioners in one South Florida city have approved a plan to allow money left unused in parking meters to be donated to help homeless residents.

West Palm Beach officials unanimously approved the plan to allow the parking revenue to be transferred to another department specifically for homeless prevention initiatives.

According to NBC affiliate WPTV, the first donation was for just under $12,500.

The unused money comes from the over 200 sensor-enabled street meters that have been placed in the city since 2016, which detect when a car has left and clears the remaining balance before the next car arrives.

“I am proud of the city employees at both the parking administration and the HCD Departments for their forward-thinking approach to support our homelessness initiatives, which remain a top priority,” Mayor Jeri Muoio told the station.

Officials expect more money to be collected and donated as additional meters are installed in the city.



Photo Credit: WPTV]]>
<![CDATA[Spirit Airlines Back to Normal After AM Outage Caused Delays]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 12:18:14 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/spirit-airlines-02.jpg

Passengers traveling on Spirit Airlines could be experiencing delays after a system-wide network outage for over an hour Tuesday morning.

Both the Miramar based airline and Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport posted messages on social media announcing the problem on Spirit’s website that is keeping the airline from being able to check in passengers and board flights.

The airline announced the problem had been fixed shortly after 9 a.m., but advised those with scheduled flights to check with the airline before coming to the airport to see if their flight was still delayed or by calling 801-401-2222 or reaching out on social media.



Photo Credit: Spirit Airlines]]>
<![CDATA[Child Sent Home From Fla. Private School Due to Dreadlocks]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 08:21:24 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/081418+apopka+school+no+dreads.PNG

The father of a young child is seeking answers after his son was sent home on the first day at an Orlando area private school because of his dreadlocked hair.

Clinton Stanley Sr. shot video of his son, Clinton Jr., being kept outside of A Book Christian Academy in Apopka on the first day of classes – posting it to Facebook and igniting a social media debate.

“We are living in the real world. Everybody's different, everybody looks different,” Stanley Sr. told NBC affiliate WESH-TV. “We are all Christ like, so if you are telling me that if Jesus comes to your door...his hair is long."

The school handbook says that all boy’s hair must be “tapered cut, of the collar and ears” and specifically says there are to be no dreads. The school’s director says since it’s a private school, they have that right.

“Short shorts on girls are popular, but they can't come here with them,” said John Book. “You can see my school it's probably 95% black - obviously I am not a racist.”

Book said the child will be welcomed back if he cuts his hair, but the family declined that offer.



Photo Credit: WESH-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Flees Scene After Crashing Into Miami Barber Shop]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 17:49:38 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/196*120/081418+miami+car+into+barber+shop.PNG

Police are looking for the driver of a truck that crashed into a Miami barber shop before fleeing the scene.

Officers arrived at the business located at Northwest 7th Street and 48th Avenue early Tuesday morning, where witnesses say the truck sped into the shop before pulling out and driving away at a high rate of speed.

A witness, Debby Lopez, said that she followed the truck, along with her husband, for nearly a mile before finding it near the intersection of Northwest 8th Street and 56th Avenue. The driver had fled the vehicle and is still on the run.

"It’s crazy. It’s it wasn’t something you see everyday or will ever see again in your life," said Lopez. "They didn’t even rob it, it was more like a hate. It was definitely some rival stuff."

Police have not released any information on the driver involved or the amount of damage caused to the shop.

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<![CDATA[Firefighter Hospitalized After Truck Hits Downed Power Lines]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 22:56:16 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/miramar-ff-injured-081318.PNG

A Miramar firefighter was hospitalized Monday after their fire truck hit a low-hanging power line that shattered the windshield, trapping three firefighters inside.

Florida Power and Light cut off the power in the area of Miramar Parkway between Fairmont Boulevard and Douglas Road so the firefighters could be rescued, according to Miramar fire officials.

The power line was hanging low due to a previous crash that had happened moments before, according to Miramar fire spokesman Jose Gregorisch. The truck hit the lines while responding to an unrelated call.

The firefighter was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. The other two firefighters were not hurt.



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Family of Broward Coach Killed in Hit and Run Seeks Answers]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:44:27 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081318+carlo+ulysse.jpg

The family members of a man who was killed in a hit-and-run on Interstate 95 just days before he was set to become an assistant football coach at a local high school came together Monday to plead with the community for answers.

The family of Carlo "C.J" Ulysse Jr. along with Florida Highway Patrol officials came together to ask the public's help to find the driver involved in the fatal Aug. 5 crash.

FHP officials said the 27-year-old Ulysse was walking on the northbound side of I-95 north of the Oakland Park Boulevard exit when he was struck by a car that fled the scene.

"Mr. Ulysse was involved in a small crash, prior to him being killed on I-95," FHP Lt. Alvaro Feola said. "We investigated two separate crashes, obviously two separate incidents. The first crash is where Carlo was involved with another vehicle, and after that incident, Carlo was walking either on the shoulder, somewhere near the accident, that's where he was hit and killed."

Ulysse had played football for Indiana State University and was recently hired as an assistant coach at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, his Alma mater. He also worked as a personal trainer and security guard and had created a personal brand called "More Fire" to motivate himself and others.

"C.J. was only 27 years...full of life. In fact, this shirt we all are wearing, that's his brand: More Fire. More life. He was a good, good, good kid," father Carlo Ulysse Sr. said.

"I am not threatening. I am actually, at this moment, asking this person who took my son's life away a favor. I would at least want to know what happened," mother Marie Ulysse-Lanoue said.

"I would like to say to this individual, 'come forth. You will never rest. Your soul will never rest until you come forth and speak with the investigators. Speak with a detective. Tell him what happened. Come forth,'" his father said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the FHP.



Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Florida Gov. Rick Scott Declares Emergency Over Red Tide]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:40:39 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081018+Red+Tide+Florida+Dead+Fish.jpg

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency in some counties due to the red tide outbreak that has killed wildlife and threatened public health.

Though red tide occurs naturally nearly every year, many environmental organizations argue that pollution has exacerbated the toxic algae bloom.

Scott's emergency Executive Order Number 18-221 declaration describes red tide as a "naturally occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida's Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs nearly every year."

Florida has been grappling with one of the longest-lasting red tide outbreaks in history that has affected more than 100 miles of beaches.

Dead marine animals that have washed up on beaches this summer include fish, sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and at least one whale shark.

Scott's emergency declaration will be in effect for the counties of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas. 

“As Southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay area continues to feel the devastating impacts of red tide, we will continue taking an aggressive approach by using all available resources to help our local communities," Scott said in a statement.

The executive order signed by Scott will provide funding to local governments and research agencies.

Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium will receive $100,000 to increase its response to red tide impacts by deploying more scientists to assist local efforts to save animals.

Funds will also be used to continue "enhanced water monitoring" to give "scientists the best possible data to work with," according to the statement.

Two different types of harmful algal bloom are affecting Florida's waters: red tide and a freshwater algae outbreak – known as blue-green algae – that is caused by fertilizer runoff.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Animal Sacrifices at Sunrise Slaughter Farm, ARM Says]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:55:33 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081318+kalito+jones+sunrise+animals+slaughter+farm.jpg

A property in Sunrise that operated as an illegal slaughter farm where animal sacrifices were made and more than 300 animals were being held without food and water has led to at least one arrest, according to a South Florida animal rights group.

Kalito Jones, 61, was arrested Sunday multiple charges of animal cruelty and unlawful confinement or abandonment of animals.

According to the Animal Recovery Mission, or ARM, Jones was arrested after they received an anonymous tip about horrific conditions in which animals were being held on the property at 10870 Northwest 50th Street.

ARM found about 300 animals, including goats, sheep, cows, dogs and bird that were malnourished, sick and emaciated. Many were too weak to move on their own and some died within their enclosures.

ARM officials said Jones, a resident of Lee County, supplied animals to slaughter farms in Lee County. They also said animal sacrifices were conducted on the property.

The animals that could be saved were removed from the property and are being cared for by ARM.

Jones was being held on more than $250,000 bond Monday, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.



Photo Credit: Animal Recovery Mission, Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Man, 73, Accused of Fondling Children, Police Say]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:41:17 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/adan+lagos-medina+bond+court.PNG

A Miami man is being accused of molesting children, ages 6 and 11, police say.

Adan Lagos-Medina, 73, is facing charges of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, according to an arrest form.

On separate occasions, Medina brought an 11-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy into his home and touched them under their clothes, police said.

Medina, who has several cases of molesting children back in April and May, also recently faces a charge of false imprisonment.

Another 11-year-old girl told detectives Medina was taking her to school but stopped at his home to get his wallet. He then allegedly took her inside his house and sat her on his bed.

She told him to take her to school but instead he "rubbed her leg," according to the arrest report.

Medina faces a total $75,000 bond.

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<![CDATA[Wild Video Shows $750K Robbery at Miami-Dade Flea Market]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 23:26:21 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081318+miami-dade+flea+market+armed+robbery+video.jpg

Armed men wearing masks assaulted workers and smashed display cases to steal about $750,000 worth of jewelry from a store in a Miami-Dade flea market, police said.

Surveillance cameras captured the violent armed robbery that happened last Tuesday at P & S Jewelry, inside the USA Flea Market at 7900 Northwest 27 Avenue.

According to police, several masked men armed with a firearm jumped over the counter and assaulted the employees as they smashed the display cases. The video shows the workers trying to stop the thieves, who quickly made their way out of the kiosk.

The suspects fled the scene in a white Ford Crown Victoria.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.



Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Police]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Beach Man Arrested in Beating Death of 3-Year-Old Girl]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 20:26:09 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081318+Dennys+Llopiz+Skylar+Lopez.jpg

A Miami Beach man has been arrested on a first-degree murder charge after his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter was brutally beat to death, police said.

Dennys Llopiz, 27, was arrested early Monday in the killing of the young girl, according to a Miami Beach Police arrest report.

The girl's mother told NBC 6 her name is Skylar and she was set to turn four later this month.

"I thought I was preparing a birthday not a funeral," a tearful Maria Lopez said. "She didn't deserve this."

According to the report, officers responded to Llopiz's home at 6921 Rue Vendome on Friday after he called 911 to report that the girl was unresponsive.

When officers arrived they found the child nude and the apartment in disarray with items tossed around, the report said.

Llopiz told officers he left the girl in the shower because she had defecated on herself and after several minutes he called out to her but she didn't respond, the report said. He said he ran to the bathroom and found her slouched against a wall in the shower, the report said.

Llopiz also told officers he should have taken the girl to the hospital the day before after she suffered a fall, the report said. Llopiz said they had gone fishing and the girl fell on some rocks, causing abrasions and a small injury to her head, according to the report.

The girl was taken to Mt. Sinai Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. Detectives found bruising throughout her body including on her torso, legs and buttocks, the report said.

The Miami-Dade medical examiner's office also found bruising on the girl's head and face and discovered she had a large laceration to her liver, three fractured ribs and ruptured air sacks in her lungs, the report said. The medical examiner determined the child had suffered blunt force trauma a few hours before her death, the report said.

The girl's mother, who is Llopiz's girlfriend, denied that they had gone fishing or that the girl had fallen on some rocks, the report said. She told officers she had left for work that morning and left her daughter with Llopiz at their home.

When detectives looked at his phone they found several text messages Llopiz sent to the mother about him being upset with the girl over her painting on a photograph of him, the report said.

Llopiz was booked into jail Monday morning and was ordered held without bond at a hearing Tuesday morning. Attorney information wasn't available.

Officials with the Florida Department of Children and Families said Tuesday that they've opened a child death investigation. They said there was one prior investigation involving Skylar and her mother that was closed in 2017 with "no indicators."

Jeffrey Hartley, the girl's father, remembered his daughter as a "happy, playful" child.

"I really hope he rots in prison for the rest of his life ... if he makes it that long," he told NBC 6. 

GoFundMe page was set up to help with Skylar's funeral expenses.

Llopiz was arrested last week in the Florida Keys for poaching lobster with a speargun, records showed. He was charged with possession of nine out-of-season lobster, possession of seven undersized lobster, possession of eight speared lobster, spearfishing within 300 feet of a bridge and having no measuring device.



Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections, Maria Lopez]]>
<![CDATA[Shots Fired at Car in Attempted Pembroke Pines Carjacking]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:42:23 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/081318+pembroke+pines+car+shot.PNG

Police are investigating an early morning incident where two vehicles opened fire on another car in Pembroke Pines during an attempted carjacking.

Officers arrived at the Chevron gas station near the corner of Flamingo Road and Pembroke Road shortly after 5:30 a.m., where the victim’s car could be seen with several bullet holes in it.

According to the victim, who was not injured, she was traveling west on Pembroke Road when she two vehicles – described as white sedans – stopped in the roadway and blocked her at the 12900 block near the south entrance of Century Village.

The victim says one person got out with their face covered and opened fire as she reversed her vehicle trying escape.

"The fact that she survived this incident is miraculous, the fact she wasn't struck by a bullet is miraculous," Pembroke Pines Police Capt. Al Xiques said. "There were several bullets shot in her direction, they struck her vehicle, the fact that the bullets didn't strike her is an absolute miracle, she was very fortunate."

Police said the suspects abandoned one of the vehicles, a white four-door Dodge, that was found about a mile from the shooting scene. The car was stolen and police believe the second car used was also stolen.

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<![CDATA[Man Shot During Apparent Road Rage Incident in SW Miami-Dade]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 08:10:55 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/081318+sw+miami+dade+road+rage+shooting.PNG

A man was shot in the leg after what police said was an apparent road rage incident Sunday afternoon in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Miami-Dade Police say two vehicles were involved in the incident near SW 107th Avenue and Caribbean Boulevard shortly after 3:30 p.m., where a physical altercation ended with one man being shot.

Fire rescue crews rushed that victim to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries while the other person involved stayed at the scene. Officials have not released information on possible charges in the case.

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<![CDATA[South Florida Bus Drivers Preparing for New School Year]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 12:29:20 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/081318+south+florida+school+buses.PNG

Parents and students, don’t be alarmed if you see school buses rolling through the streets of South Florida on Monday – you didn’t miss the first day of classes while enjoying the last moments of summer.

Drivers from Miami-Dade hit the road for a dry run of the over 1,000 routes that will begin in the coming days, while examining their buses as well as each stop along their route to make sure students will be safe.

An estimated 122,000 students travel on buses every day in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties, where an additional 820 routes take place.

"I’m excited, and I’m nervous, because the kids don’t know me, I don’t know them," said Elizabeth Gross, a 13-year veteran of driving buses in the county.

Classes begin in Broward County on Wednesday while students in Miami-Dade get a few extra days of summer as classes start next Monday, August 20th.

"Not only are the driver trained and the bus aides trained, but this year in light of recent tragedies they have gone through drills and training protocols," said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

Officials remind parents that traffic will be heavier in the coming days and to expect possible delays in the first days. You can track your child's bus with the Transportation Parent Hotline at 305-278-3530.

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<![CDATA[Parkland Students' March For Our Lives Tour Ends in Newtown]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 08:33:17 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/MarchForOurLivesStill.png

The March for Our Lives ended its national Road-To-Change bus tour on Sunday in Newtown, Connecticut, six months after the shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school inspired protests calling for what activists say are common-sense gun reforms.

Teenage activists took center stage Sunday as throngs of people gathered to hear them at the Fairfield Hills Campus in Newtown, ten minutes from Sandy Hook Elementary School. Among them was Natalie Barden, with the Junior Newtown Action Alliance, who lost a younger sibling in the shooting there six years ago.

“We are all here today because no one should have to feel the life shattering pain of losing a loved one to a gun,” she said, addressing the crowds.

Tommy Murray, also with the Junior Newtown Action Alliance, called attention to his fellow teens from Parkland, who began the March for Our Lives movement in the days after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School there claimed 17 lives.

“Five years ago, many of us were too young to fully understand what happened at Sandy Hook, but when you spoke up and demanded that you be heard, you inspired us to do more,” he said.

The teens traversing the country with March for Our Lives were on a mission to encourage young people who are turning 18 to register to vote in the November elections. They hope to bring about gun-law reforms and weaken the National Rifle Association by changing the makeup of Congress.

About 30 students with the Hartford non-profit, Hartford Communities That Care, took part in the forum. They met at the Ana Grace Love Wins playground before they headed to Newtown.

Some of the students said they have been captivated by the movement and wanted to be a part of it. One of the young activists said he was eager to share what he has learned over the past year. 

”It’s not about just school shootings and all that,” said Joshua Fee with HCTC. “It’s about urban gun violence as well because it starts in our own communities and goes further out, so if we control it in our own communities then maybe it can prevent it from going to other communities.”

”I was confused really by why Newtown when a lot of the gun violence happens in Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven, so when they reached out and said we can send a bus for anyone else who you feel like should be at the table I was just really, really excited to partner with Hartford Communities That Care and make that happen today,” said Nelba Marquez-Green, who lost her daughter Ana Grace in the Sandy Hook shooting.

Jackie Corin, a student speaker with March for Our Lives, spoke to the similarities between Parkland and Newtown and the symbolism inherent in ending their 50-city tour there, after the summer tour made stops in other notable sites of gun violence like Chicago, Illinois; Aurora, Colorado; and Charlottesville, Virginia.

“We are both suburban areas with similar population demographics, and we are both cities that forced our nation to come together when violence unexpectedly moved in,” Corin said.

Connecticut, unlike Florida, has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The March for Our Lives organizers also encourage people to look beyond the laws and politicians where they live to areas with weaker gun laws, pointing to gun trafficking from those places as another reason to join a political campaign for change.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Sawgrass Mills Reopens Following Shoplifting Incident]]> Sun, 12 Aug 2018 23:46:17 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081218+sawgrass+mills.jpg

The lockdown has been lifted at Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise after a scare inside the mall Sunday afternoon. 

The mall was placed on lockdown Sunday after police received calls of a shooter. However, those reports were unfounded, according to police. They determined that it was due to a shoplifting incident and the crook was in possession of a knife.

Shoppers posted on social media that they were ordered to shelter in place, while many others were seen running from the mall.

Police said the shoplifter has yet to be located. 

NBC 6 spoke to a law enforcement officer off-camera, who said they scanned the area on foot and through surveillance video. They did not see any suspicious person or activity, so it seems unclear to them, as well, what exactly happened at Sawgrass Mills Sunday.

"I was coming out of the store and walking across to another store. And everybody started screaming and running," said Wilma Raugenberger, a shopper.

Sunday's incident is the fifth of its kind at Sawgrass. The first happened last Dec. 31. 

Last August, Dolphin Mall was the site of a false alarm. Aventura Mall experienced a similar situation during last year's holiday season. 

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<![CDATA[Enjoy a Staycation in Miami Without Breaking The Bank]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:18:14 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/220*120/081218+temptations.jpg

Miami Spice, Miami Spa Month and Miami Hotels Month are all taking place at the same time, giving you the chance to enjoy some of Miami’s most luxurious hotels, for a lot less than you’d normally spend.

“It’s an amazing time to be in Miami,” said Janel Sierra of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s a great opportunity for visitors and locals to take advantage of this because you get not only great deals, but wonderful experiences that you can’t experience if you’re just at home.”

There are 20 hotels all over Miami participating in the three programs.

The Betsy, The Biltmore, Carillon Miami Wellness, COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, Delano South Beach, EPIC Hotel, Faena Hotel, Fontainebleau, Intercontinental Miami, Mandarin Oriental, The Mayfair at Coconut Grove, Mondrian South Beach, Newport Beachside Hotel, Royal Palm South Beach, The Setai, SLS Brickell, Trump International Beach Resort, Trump National Doral, Turnberry Isle Resort, and the W South Beach.

Many hotels are offering special perks, like free parking, discounts off the nightly rate, complimentary champagne and more.

The hotels are also participating in Miami Spice. The restaurants in the hotels are offering lunch for $23 or dinner for $39 per person.

If you’re also looking to get in touch with your inner-zen, the hotels are participating in Miami Spa Month. Massages, manis and pedis, and other spa services start at $109.

For more details on Miami Hotels Month, and what perks are offered at specific hotels, click here.

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<![CDATA[Police Search for Suspect Who Broke Into Little Havana Store]]> Sun, 12 Aug 2018 22:41:49 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/216*120/081218+little+havana.jpg

Guns were drawn overnight in Little Havana after a burglary at a local store. Now, police are looking for the man responsible.

Police surrounded the store's shattered window at about 4 a.m. Sunday on SW 12th Avenue after a witness called 911 saying they saw a man wearing a mask break into the store.

When the store’s owner arrived at 7 a.m., he noticed the smashed window. He worked all afternoon in the heat to repair the window.

“I’m scared. Very scared when I see that. Oh my God, my store is broken,” said Percy Siriwardana, the store’s owner.

The owner said the burglar took off with $2,000 worth of cigarettes.

“Took the cigarettes and some money, then they ran away,” said Siriwardana.

The thief was able to escape police. The owner says he wants the man caught for hurting his business.

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

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<![CDATA[Early Voting in Miami-Dade County Begins Monday]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 20:13:33 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/voting-booth1.jpg

Residents in Miami-Dade County will have the opportunity to take advantage of early voting beginning on Monday.

Miami-Dade residents will be able to vote for the upcoming primaries at their local poll site. Early voting ends Aug. 26.

To find your local polling site, including hours of when polling sites are open, click here.

In this election, Miami-Dade residents will have the opportunity to vote for U.S. Senators and Representatives, Florida Governor, State Senators, State Representatives, County Commissioners, School Board Members, Judges and other contests.

Florida is a closed primary state, meaning voters must be registered with a specific political party in order to vote.

Early voting will begin Aug. 18 in Broward County.

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you can do so by clicking here.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Dolphins Training Camp Breakdown - August 13th]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:42:41 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-629161024.jpg

The end is almost near for the Miami Dolphins as they hit the field in Davie for their next to last day of Training Camp 2018 – and it was a day that featured quite a bit of feistiness.

The players will tell you they are always brining the intensity at practice, but today the defense really put the intensity on display. In particular toward the end of practice as TJ McDonald and Davon Godchaux put a hit on running back Kenyan Drake, who was stuffed on a run up the middle.

Defensive Coordinator Matt Burke didn’t seemed pleased with the overall effort today, as dust ups broke out on two different plays. Offensive lineman Ted Larsen got in to it with Godchaux, who said it’s just part of camp, but it’s nothing serious. On the second scuffle, running back Senorise Perry took what could’ve been construed as a cheap shot from defensive tackle Gabe Wright. Players from both the offense and defense had to be separated afterwards.

In talking with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, he said he is pleased with the chemistry being built on the offensive line. While at times it didn’t appear the offensive line had some struggles in last Thursday night’s preseason opener, Loggains said he thinks overall both the first and second units have done a good job on their blocking schemes.

Injuries at this point appear minimal but starting wide receivers Kenny Stills (ankle) and Devante Parker (hand) sat out practice. For Stills, it’s a second straight day of practice missed for what head coach Adam Gase yesterday called precautionary reasons. Parker reportedly jammed a finger in yesterday’s session and was held out today.

The Dolphins will break training camp on Tuesday before heading to Charlotte for their second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Friday night.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>