<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - South Florida News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida https://www.nbcmiami.comen-usThu, 22 Feb 2018 14:03:23 -0500Thu, 22 Feb 2018 14:03:23 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[1 Stoneman Shooting Victim Released From Hospital, 3 Remain]]> Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:32:34 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-920685276.jpg

Three victims of last week's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting remained hospitalized Thursday after one patient was released Wednesday night, hospital officials said.

Two patients remain at Broward Health Medical Center and one remains at Broward Health North, officials said. All are in fair condition.

A total of 17 victims were taken to area hospitals after the Feb. 14 shooting at the Parkland school. Officials said two later died at the hospital, bringing the death toll to 17.

One of those hospitalized was 15-year-old student Anthony Borges, who was shot multiple times while trying to save his classmates from the gunfire. Borges was visited in the hospital by Broward Sheriff Scott Israel over the weekend.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands of Fla. Students Walkout to Protest Gun Violence]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 21:01:59 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022118_sign4.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[JROTC Students Remember Douglas High Cadets Killed]]> Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:56:35 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/211*120/022218+fort+lauderdale+jrotc+remembers+victims.PNG

Every step, every move counts for the Junior ROTC cadets of Fort Lauderdale High School.

“It is really a lot about them learning about themselves and how to lead,” said the group’s leader, Capt. Terry Hammond. “This ultimately teaches them the skills they need to succeed once they leave high school.”

Those skills include responsibility, accountability and leadership. Each cadet has a leadership role: some are squad leaders, platoon commanders and battalion commanders.

“One of the main things we do learn is to set the example, and share the knowledge with people,” said battalion executive officer Stephanie Buenaventura

These cadets also learn to be selfless, and help those in need. One JROTC member who knew that all too well was Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Peter Wang, who put himself in the line of fire to save his classmates.

Wang and two other students, Martin Duque and Alaina Petty, died during the mass shooting.

“It’s an amazing thing to be able to sit there and make a split decision to save so many people’s lives, putting yours at risk,” said Chief Cadet Petty Officer Brianna Marks-Sterling.

The JROTC cadets did a dedication and a moment of silence for Wang during their annual Area Managers Inspection. The recent shooting, and loss of fellow cadets, also puts things in perspective for these future leaders.

“Even this morning as the cadets were getting ready for inspection, I went to each and every one of them and their respective platoons and I told them that I love you and you’re going to do great,” Marks-Sterling said. “Because you never know when it’s going to be the last time you see somebody.”

<![CDATA[6 to Watch: Florida's Mantia in 1000m, Figure Skating Battle]]> Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:14:35 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022218+6+to+watch+miami.jpg

For Americans, Friday in Pyeongchang is full of questions:

Can Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell and Karen Chen recover from a disastrous opening night in the women’s individual figure skating competition? Can 35-year-old Shani Davis turn back the clock and deliver one more golden performance in his signature event? If the best hockey players in the world were in the Olympics, would Team USA still be playing?

Here are the six events you need to see over the next 24 hours in Pyeongchang:

Russians Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva Battle for Gold

Heading into the women’s individual figure skating competition, most people thought a Russian would win. Halfway through, the question is, which one?

Eugenia Medvedeva won the last two world championships, and was expected to win gold in Pyeongchang. But after the short program, she trails 15-year-old teammate Alina Zagitova, who dazzled with a record-setting 82.92-point performance. Medvedeva’s routine earned 81.61 points, good for second place. Both Russian athletes are competing as Olympic Athletes from Russia, because Russia is not allowed to compete as a team due to a doping scandal.

If Zagitova keeps the top spot, she’ll become the second youngest woman to win figure skating gold. Tara Lipinski was also 15 when she won the gold medal at the Nagano Olympics, but Zagitova is 25 days older than Lipinski was on Feb. 20, 1998.

The Americans will try to play spoiler, but they’ll have to recover from a disastrous night during the short program. Mirai Nagasu, who became only the third woman to land a triple axel in Olympic history earlier in the Pyeongchang Games, fell when she tried the jump on Tuesday. Her teammate Bradie Tennell fell on a triple lutz to triple toeloop combination, while Karen Chen placed a hand on the ice to brace herself coming out of a triple lutz. Nagasu, Chen and Tennell finished ninth, 10th and 11th.

The combined scores in the two programs will determine the medals.

Watch live during NBC’s primetime coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET Thursday or on digital platforms here.

Florida's Mantia America's Best Hope in 1000m

The 1000-meter sprint is Shani Davis’ event. He won gold medals in the event in 2006 and 2010. His world record time of 1:06.42, set in 2009, still stands.

But it’s been nearly a decade since Davis, one of America’s greatest speedskaters ever, turned in those record-setting performances. Does the 35-year-old have one magical performance left?

The favorite is not Davis but Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands, the gold medalist in the 1,500-meter last week and winner of two world titles in 2017. Nuis made his Olympic debut in Pyeongchang.

In fact, Davis isn’t even America’s best hope. Ocala native Joey Mantia is considered America’s contender. Mantia finished 8th in the 1500-meter last week, and edged out Davis in the Olympic qualifying race in January.

Watch live on NBCSN at 5 a.m. ET or on digital platforms here.

France’s Greatest Olympian Aims for Another Gold

In Pyeongchang, Martin Fourcade has established himself as France’s most successful Olympian ever.

When he anchored the mixed biathlon relay team to a come-from-behind victory on Tuesday, he became only the second athlete from France to win three gold medals at a single Winter Games. His five gold medals overall — the mixed relay, a photo finish in the 15-kilometer mass start and the 12.5-kilometer pursuit, plus gold in the individual and pursuit events in 2014 — are the most ever by a Frenchman.

He has a chance to add one more gold to the list, in the men’s 4x7.5km biathlon relay.

After Tuesday’s win, according to Reuters, he sent a message to French skier Mathieu Faivre, who was sent home by the French Alpine team for saying he did not care about the medals won by his teammates.

"I wanted this team medal, it’s such a different emotion from an individual medal," he told French television. "This is an individual sport, and to win as a team is something beautiful, even if everyone cannot participate."

In the final relay, France will face stiff competition from Norway, led by Johannes Thingnes Boe and Tarjei Boe. Germany and Austria could also be in contention.

Watch live at 6:15 a.m. ET Friday on digital platforms here, or watch on NBC’s daytime coverage on Friday at 3 p.m. ET

'Red Machine' Battles for First Medal in 16 Years

When NHL players started competing in the Olympics, it was a boon for many countries.

Superstar goaltender Dominik Hasek led the Czech Republic to gold in 1998, the first Olympics with NHL players.

Mario Lemieux, Eric Lindros and Chris Pronger played on Canadian teams, and the country won gold in three of the last four Olympics.

Teemu Selanne led Finland to medals in three consecutive Olympics.

But it hurt the Russians, who managed a silver in 1998, a bronze in 2002 and nothing since.

Now, with the NHL out of the Olympics, the Russians are looking to get back in the medal race — even if they can’t compete under their own flag. Playing as the Olympic Athletes from Russia because Russia is not allowed to compete as a team due to a doping scandal, the Russians have reached the semifinals. A win against Czech Republic will clinch at least a silver medal. Two more wins will give the Russia its first gold since it played as the post-Soviet Unified Team in 1992.

The Czech Republic knocked out the United States in the quarterfinals, 3-2. Canada, going for its third consecutive gold medal, faces Germany in other semifinal.

Watch OAR vs. the Czech Republic live at 2:40 a.m. ET on Friday on NBCSN or on digital platforms here.

Watch Canada vs. Germany live at 7:10 a.m. ET on Friday at on NBCSN or on digital platforms here.

Four Months From Major Injury, Canadian Skier Looks for Repeat Gold

When Marielle Thompson ruptured her ACL and MCL ligaments in her right knee in an October training accident, she thought her season was done, along with her hopes of a repeat Olympic gold medal.

Thompson won gold in the women’s ski cross in Sochi four years ago. Now, just four months after having her knee surgically repaired, Thompson is trying to win gold again. Nobody knows if she’ll be able to do it.

On Monday, she took a few training run on the Olympic course at Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang. She said they were her first serious runs since the accident in October.

"I couldn’t take the smile off my face, from the bottom, all the way up the lift," she told the National Post. "It was nice just to get back out there and put down a couple of solid runs."

Still, without any real competition for four months, Thompson isn’t considered a medal favorite; Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund and Switzerland’s Fanny Smith are the favorites. No Americans are expected to contend for a medal. But you can’t count out the defending champion.

Watch live on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on digital platforms here

Canada Goes for Curling Bronze After Loss to US

Canada, the three-time defending Olympic champions and 2017 World Champions in curling, suffered a historic upset to Team USA, but they can still medal.

The Canadian men will take on Switzerland in the bronze medal game, where they'll be the heavy favorites.

Watch the match at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday on NBCSN or live at 1:35 a.m. on digital platforms here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Message for the World: MSD Students Unite in Emotional Video]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:27:01 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022118+MSD+Strong+Video.png

In a powerful and sentimental video, past and present Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and staff shared a message of solidarity and strength.

The Parkland school, whose staff, students and teams are known as the Eagles, was the target of a mass shooting in which 17 people, mostly teenagers, died on Feb. 14 – Valentine's Day.

However, MSD's durable community and history were visible in a nearly four-minute video directed by Ryan Blitzer, who graduated in 2013.

"We have a message for the world," the video reads.

The senior class president of the 1992 founding class was first to speak in the video.

"I just want you to know that thousands of Stoneman Douglas alumni are standing with you – so proud of the way you're handling this unspeakable strategy," he says.

What follows is a compilation of MSD students from throughout the country.

Messages include: "We are with you!" "MSD strong!" and "Stay strong, Eagles."

"I just want to remind you, through thick or through thin, real Eagles always fly together," an alumni says.

MSD Principal Ty Thompson shared a resounding message of support.

"I promise you. I will hug each and every one of you as many times as you need and I will hold you as long as you need me to for all 3,300 of you and your families and we will get through this together," Thompson said. "Our community is strong. Our students are strong. We will persevere in these trying times."

Dozens of shooting survivors are not allowing themselves to be treated as victims. Some are standing up and taking charge in hopes to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. About 100 students traveled to Tallahassee to push for gun reform.

The last message of the video summoned the person after which the school is named: "There is always the need to carry on." – Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

<![CDATA[Funeral, Military Burial for Stoneman Athletic Director]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 18:20:21 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-922441710.jpg

Family members and friends said their final goodbyes Wednesday to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School athletic director Chris Hixon, who was killed in last week's mass shooting.

Hixon, 49, who also served as the school's wrestling coach, died shielding students from bullets. His funeral was held at Nativity Catholic Church in Hollywood.

The Desert Storm veteran received a full military burial at South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth.

Another school employee who died a hero in the shooting, assistant football coach Aaron Feis, will be remembered at a funeral Thursday at Church by the Glades in Coral Springs.

Meanwhile, religious leaders and officials held a vigil outside Pembroke Pines City Hall Wednesday to honor the victims.

"I want to show that this city is supportive of another city's problem and this hit so close to home," Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Deputies to Carry Rifles on School Grounds: Sheriff]]> Thu, 22 Feb 2018 12:33:43 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-918668440.jpg

Deputies will carry rifles on the grounds of local schools in Broward County in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel announced Wednesday.

Israel said that only deputies who are "qualified and trained" will carry the rifles on school grounds.

"When they are not carrying the rifle, until we look for gun locks and gun lockers, the only place when they're not slinging the rifle, that will be allowed to be stored, will be in their locked police vehicle," said Israel.

The practice was implemented Wednesday morning, Israel said at a news conference.

"Schools as soft targets need to be fortified," Israel said.

Israel said he spoke with Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, who supported the idea.

One of the shooting survivors, Chris Grady, spoke with Runcie Tuesday on local radio station WLRN and said he was against the idea. "I do not feel safe when I see armed officials. Why would you want the student body to have to walk around that," Grady said.

A reporter asked if deputies will carry AR-15’s, and Israel said some would.

The AR-15 is the weapon used in the tragic shooting that left 17 dead at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

"It will be done safely," said Israel, "We need to be able to defeat any threat that comes onto campus."

Israel's announcement comes after President Donald Trump suggested arming 20 percent of teachers and coaches with firearms to overpower potential shooters.

A 2013 Cleveland State University College of Urban Affairs review showed that, at the time, putting one armed guard at every school building in the nation would cost about $13 billion a year.

The review was conducted after the NRA proposed the idea following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in which dozens died.

When scaled up to better reflect student populations per school buildings, the cost would increase to about $23 billion a year – some $500 per student for armed security.

In the Broward County School District, where the Parkland tragedy occurred, there are about 15,000 teachers. The proposal to arm about 20 percent – about 3,000 – of those teachers with a Glock 17, a popular weapon, would cost more than $1.4 million, not taking into account the cost of ammunition.

Teachers would also have to be educated on gun safety, the cost of which can be about $200 per training day.

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho rejected the idea of teachers with weapons.

"I respect teachers too much, and I respect their voice too much and I respect the voice of students who, unequivocally, who yesterday in Tallahassee and over the past week have told me they want to feel safe but they want teachers to teach," Carvalho said.

Runcie said that "we don't need to put guns in the hands of teachers."

"You know what we need. We need to arm our teachers with more money in their pockets," Runcie said.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he does not support arming teachers and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., agreed saying Trump’s suggestion on arming them was "a terrible idea."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[FIU President: Sadness, Love Persist After Parkland Tragedy]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 18:29:04 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022118+FIU+Memorial+MSD.jpg

At a memorial for victims of the Parkland school tragedy, FIU President Mark Rosenberg spoke of the dual emotions that remain: sadness and love.

Some 200 people on Wednesday packed a room at the FIU campus, where about 70 graduates from Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attend.

Rosenberg said that "sadness persists" every passing day since the shooting in which 17 people were killed on Feb. 14.

“So we got sadness and we have love. Sadness carries the important lessons. It can be a motivation for us it can drive us to make a difference and to promote real change," Rosenberg said.

The South Florida community has come together in mourning following the devastation wrought unto Parkland.

Among the victims, coach Aaron Feis – who died sacrificing himself to protect students. He was fondly remembered by an FIU student.

"He taught me that I could be tough on the field but still be humble and hard-working in my everyday life," Jonathan Sabag said. "He was a true mentor."

During the memorial service, Rosenberg urged students to care for each other and to remember victims.

"Each of those 17 souls had stories that were still being written – bright futures, hopes and dreams that will never be realized," Rosenberg said.

<![CDATA[Events Commemorating, Helping Parkland Tragedy Victims]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 14:13:57 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hospitalizados-pacientes-victiomas-tiroteo-parkland.jpg

While the community continues to mourn the loss of 17 lives, funerals and vigils for those victims are planned across South Florida in the coming days, along with marches, protests and walkouts.

On Monday, funeral services for Luke Hoyer, 15 and Alaina Petty, 14, will be held in Coral Springs. On Monday evening, hundreds of people are expected to attend a rally at the Palm Beach Court House calling for an end to gun violence.

On Tuesday morning, Carmen Schentrup, 16, and Peter Wang, 15, are set to be laid to rest. Later that evening, public viewings are scheduled for Stoneman Douglas’ athletic director, Chris Hixon and football coach Aaron Feis. Both were killed as they shielded their students from a hail of gunfire.

At 5 p.m., a run remembering the victims will begin at Pine Trails Park -organized in honor of cross country coach and teacher Scott Beigel.

Wednesday will mark a full week since the tragedy. The White House says President Trump will host several Stoneman Douglas students and teachers that day, while at the same time, Chris Hixon will be laid to rest.

State and local officials are invited to the White House Thursday to meet with President Trump and administration officials. Later Thursday night, a celebration of life memorial is planned for Cara Loughran, 14.

On Friday, Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale will host a benefit concert for Parkland survivors. Ticket donations range from $15 to $50 each. 

Saturday, the city of Pembroke Pines and schools in the city will be holding a "Ceremony of Hope" at 6:30 p.m. inside Silver Lakes Softball Park with all proceeds going to Douglas High School.

Sunday, I Heart Mac and Cheese will host a fundraiser at all four locations from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., with a percentage of all profits going to victims.

National school walkouts are being organized for both March 14th and April 20th, while a protest march is being planned for March 24th in Washington D.C. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lockdown Lifted at Legoland After Threatening Note Was Found]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 15:24:35 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-126663556.jpg

Legoland Florida is open once again following a brief lockdown after a threatening note was found inside of a bathroom at the theme park.

According to Jamie Brown of Winter Haven Police, they conducted multiple sweeps of the property and found no threat or anything concerning.

Legoland released a statement on their Twitter page that law enforcement officials have cleared the theme park and will resume normal operations for the rest of the day.

Details of the nature of the letter remain unclear at this time. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[School Board Member Gets Emotional About Parkland Victims]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:13:27 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022118+broward+school+board+member+emotional+reaction+parkland+shooting.PNG

NBC 6's Tony Pipitone brings us the moment where one Broward County school board member could not get through her statement remembering the lives lost last week.

<![CDATA[6 to Watch Recap: Hockey Gold for USA, Shiffrin Gets Silver]]> Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:18:38 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022118+shiffrin+vonn+womens+hockey+6+to+watch.jpg

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These Winter Olympics haven’t always been kind to Americans, but there might be no bigger day for Team USA at the Pyeongchang Games than the one that saw Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn share the hill.

It’s the matchup we’ve been waiting for since Vonn recovered from the years of injuries that kept her out of the Sochi Games, where Shiffrin made her Olympic debut and won gold. The Alpine combined gave the two greats a chance to play to their strengths as they duked it out down the hill.

Beyond that pair of stellar skiers, there were a handful of medals that the U.S. could grab, including at least a silver in the women’s hockey finale — the latest installment in one of hockey’s deepest rivalries.

A trio of American freestyle skiers were in pole position going into the men’s halfpipe finals, and what sport is more American than big air snowboarding?

So break out the Stars and Stripes and settle in for some of the best action the Olympics has to offer. Here's the 6 to watch recap:

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Vonn Voyage! Lindsey Skis Out in Alpine Combined, Shiffrin Takes Silver

A day after winning bronze in her best discipline, Lindsey Vonn, who posted the fastest time in the downhill leg of the women’s Alpine combined, missed a gate early in the slalom and didn’t finish in what's likely the final race of her Olympic career.

Michelle Gisin of Switzerland turned in a nearly flawless performance as she finished in a combined time of 2 minutes, 20.90 seconds to eclipse the silver-medalist Shiffrin by 0.97 seconds. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland earned the bronze.

Shiffrin adds the silver medal to the gold she won earlier in the games in the giant slalom.

It was very likely the first and only Olympic race between U.S. teammates Vonn and Shiffrin.

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Women’s Hockey Grudge Match

The American women who suit up for USA Hockey had Feb. 22 circled on their calendars as soon as the 2018 Olympic schedule was announced. It’s the day of the women’s hockey gold medal game, when they could get revenge over Canada.

It took extra time, but the red, white and blue are on top of the world again after a 3-2 shootout victory over their northern neighbors.

The bitter rivalry between the U.S. and Canada has all but defined Olympic women’s hockey. They’re so much stronger than other countries that the two teams they play in the round-robin games automatically go through to the playoffs. Not that it’s much help, since Canada and the U.S. are about to face off in the gold medal match for the sixth time in seven Games.

Look at the Olympics head-to-head and Canada has the clear advantage over the U.S. They've won four gold medals to Team USA’s one entering this Olympics, and beat the U.S. in pool play last week, 2-1.

But the Americans believe they should have won gold in 2014, when Canada rallied from two goals down with less than four minutes to play and won in overtime.

"This is the game we've been dreaming of and to have another opportunity to get back here, it's huge," star Hilary Knight said after the team punched its ticket to yet another final.

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Austria’s Gasser Takes Big Air Gold; Team USA's Anderson Earns Silver

Austria’s Anna Gasser, the favorite in women’s snowboard big air, took gold Thursday after she landed two different 1080s — something no one else did in the competition. Gasser edged the top American in the event, Jamie Anderson, by 7.75 points points and Anderson took silver. 

Scoring is determined but the best two runs out of three. Gasser broke out back-to-back double 1080s in her second and third runs for a total score of 185.00 and it was good enough for gold.

Already the Olympic champion in snowboard slopestyle, Anderson was in search of her third career Olympic gold medal. Her top trick was her first one, a frontside 1080 that received 90.00 points.

New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski Synnott took bronze.

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Wise Takes Gold as US Dominates Men's Freeski Halfpipe

Americans dominated the podium in the men’s freeski halfpipe on Thursday, with David Wise winning gold and Alex Ferreira taking silver.

American Alex Ferreira led the way after two rounds, scoring a 96 on an electric second run. But Wise came roaring back, after falling on his first two runs, to take the lead with a 97.20.

Teammates Aaron Blunck and Torin Yater-Wallace placed seventh and ninth, respectively.

New Zealander Nico Porteous took bronze.

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Third Gold’s the Charm

The last day of individual Alpine skiing at the 2018 Winter Games could bring a moment of rare greatness.

Austria’s Marcel Hirscher won the Alpine combined and giant slalom events already, and he’ll be in men’s slalom on Thursday (Wednesday night in the U.S.).

Only three people have won three Alpine gold medals at the Olympics, the last in 2002, so another gold for Hirscher would be a big deal. Fortunately for Hirscher, slalom is his best event. Six of his 10 world cup victories since December have come in slalom.

The race is also the last chance for members of the American men’s Alpine ski team, who haven’t won a medal at these Olympics. Ted Ligety has the best shot, but he couldn’t win his signature event, the giant slalom, and he probably won’t win the slalom, either.

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USA Men's Curling Face Canada in Semifinals

American curlers have done surprisingly well at the Olympics after the brother-sister duo of Matt and Becca Hamilton, known affectionately as #HamFam, lost more mixed doubles matches than they won. The American men’s and women’s teams were both contending for a spot in the playoffs going into the last day of action, but the women fell to Sweden 9-6 Wednesday morning.

The men advanced to the semifinals, their first since 2006, with a 10-4 win over Great Britain. They'll now face Canada in the semifinals.

Watch the US take on Canada on NBCSN beginning at 1:45 p.m. ET Thursday or live at 6:05 a.m. ET on digital platforms here

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Driver Dies After Fiery Early Morning Crash in Hialeah]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 06:59:36 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/022118+hialeah+fiery+crash.PNG

A fiery crash early Wednesday morning claimed the life of one person and caused a major road to be closed for several hours.

Crews responded to the single car crash near Hialeah Drive and Okeechobee Road, where the vehicle burst into flames after hitting a utility pole. Officials have not said whether the driver died as a result of the crash or from the blaze.

Officials have also not released details of the crash, which closed both directions of Okeechobee Road as crews worked to clean up the scene.

<![CDATA[Gun Show Canceled in Fort Lauderdale After School Shooting]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 06:13:24 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/022118+fort+lauderdale+gun+show+cancelled.PNG

A major gun show scheduled to take place in Fort Lauderdale will not happen in the wake of the Parkland school tragedy.

Organizers and operators for the Florida Gun and Knife show, scheduled to take place March 17th and 18th inside the War Memorial Auditorium, said the show has been canceled. Morgan Waters, the event’s manager, said the decision was made after Mayor Jack Seiler “courteously and professionally” requested the move.

Kim Treat from Florida Gun Shows confirmed that the event scheduled for May will continue as planned. The annual events have taken place for over three decades at the location just 25 miles from where 17 people were killed in the mass shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th.

Another gun show in Southwest Miami-Dade did take place just days after the shooting, with event organizers saying it was not financially feasible to cancel the event in spite of pleas from residents and officials.

<![CDATA[Girl, 13, Arrested, Facing Felony Charges Over School Threat]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 21:46:45 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/school-generic-cc.jpg

A 13-year-old girl who allegedly threatened the life of students at Lauderdale Lakes' Central Charter School on Instagram has been arrested and faces felony intimidation charges.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office said the girl made the threat at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday, adding she gave two dates: Tuesday and Thursday.

"Broward Sheriff's Office Violent Crimes Unit immediately investigated the threatening message," BSO said in a statement. "On Feb. 20, the girl told deputies that the post was done in jest. However, her parents were concerned enough to keep their daughter home from school for the day not knowing at the time that she made the threat."

The sixth-grader's alleged threat occurred less than a week after the deadly Parkland school shooting tragedy.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images]]>
<![CDATA[Florida Rifle Ban Motion Fails: How Representatives Voted]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 19:39:18 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/112717+Florida+Building.jpg

In a 36-71 vote largely across party lines, the Florida House of Representatives struck down a motion to consider a bill that would ban assault rifles.

Florida's 120-seat House is controlled by Republicans, who have 76 seats compared to the 41 held by Democrats. There are three vacant seats.

The vote effectively ruled out the possibility of banning assault rifles during the current session.

Key House Representatives in South Florida


Joseph Geller, who serves the 100th District as part of Broward County, voted YES.

Kionne McGhee, who represents the 117th District as part of Miami-Dade County, voted YES.

Shevrin Jones, elected in the 101st District as part of Broward County, voted YES.


Manny Díaz Jr., who serves the 103rd District as part of Broward County and Miami-Dade County, voted NO.

Carlos Trujillo, elected in the 105th District as part of Broward County, Collier County and Miami-Dade County, voted NO.

Jeanette Núñez, who represents the 119th District as part of Miami-Dade County, voted NO.

Full vote break-down: 


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stoneman Douglas Parent Turns His AR-15 In to BSO]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:17:20 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022018+Mark+Timpone.jpg

A man whose son survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week turned in his AR-15 to Broward Sheriff's deputies in Parkland.

Mark Timpone loved the gun, the same one authorities say 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz used in the shooting, but now says he wants it gone. He said it's too much knowing that his son, Dominic, was steps away from the gunman who used the same semi-automatic weapon to kill 17 people.

“My son was ten feet from the shooter, he bumped into him and ran back upstairs," Timpone said.

Timpone and Dominic's mother were among the first parents to arrive at the school after the gunfire started. His mother left a chilling voicemail for NBC 6's Trina Robinson a short time later.

"Trina, Trina there’s a shooting at the Stoneman Douglas we’re going to get Dom," she said in the voicemail.

And because their 15-year-old son survived the horror in the classrooms and the hallways, Timpone said he wants no part of a weapon that could cause so much pain.

"These are killing machines. My son was saved, if I get rid of it and show I don’t want it, I could save one child, because my son was saved," he said.

Timpone said he wants stricter background and mental health checks for all gun owners, but said the AR-15 should be outlawed because he was able to buy it used without any kind of checks.

"I didn’t even have my conceal carry. No background check used, anybody could do it," he said.

Timpone said he knows he's going to get grief from the gun lobby but he doesn't care.

"When your son or daughter goes though what my son did then put yourself in my shoes and then you will understand," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Three Parkland School Staff Members Remembered as Heroes]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:30:28 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/022018+Coaches+Teachers+Parkland.jpg

Three Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School staff members – Aaron Feis, Chris Hixon and Scott Beigel – are being remembered for giving up their own lives while trying to save the lives of students.

When the Parkland shooting rampage began, coach Aaron Feis moved toward the danger – spending his last living moments protecting students.

Feis – a father, husband and friend – is being recalled as a hero. A viewing for the assistant football coach was held at the Church of the Glades in Coral Springs on Tuesday.

Willis May, the head football coach at the school, said Feis pushed a student away from danger and jumped in between the student and the gunman.

"Everybody talks about how he’s a hero — he was a hero every day,"

Feis' funeral service will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Church by the Glades.

Chris Hixon, the school's athletic director and wrestling coach, is also being hailed as a hero because he steadfastly stood between students and oncoming bullets.

A viewing for Hixon was held at the Landmark Funeral Home in Hollywood on Tuesday. His funeral will be held Wednesday morning at Nativity Catholic Church, where the U.S. veteran who served in the Gulf War will receive a full military burial.

“Their families lost their loved ones. Both of them have kids, they’re great dads – it’s just sad. God, how sad," May said.

The Parkland school tragedy forced a community to unite. That reality was again exemplified on Tuesday when the "Run 4 Beigel" was held.

Geography teacher and cross country coach Scott Beigel began working at the school less than six months ago. In his memory, students helped organize a walk-and-run event.

"He was an amazing guy," student Alyssa Fletcher said.

Survivors said Beigel was fatally shot while also helping students.

"I heard two shots. I didn't see it, but then those two shots would have been my friend Scott Beigel getting shot and killed while trying to save his kids," fellow teacher Ernest Rospierski told The Associated Press.

Beigel was laid to rest on Sunday.

"If the shooter would have come into the room, I probably wouldn't be speaking to you now," student Kelsey Friend told Good Morning America.

Beigel "unlocked the door and let us in," she said. "I thought he was behind me, but he wasn't. When he opened the door he had to relock it so we could stay safe, but he didn't get a chance to."

Student Bruna Oliveda said she saw Beigel blocking the door.

"I don't know how we're alive," she said.

Beigel's mother was at the "Run 4 Beigel" event.

"I was just so happy that had gotten [through to] his students. That was the most important thing to him that he got through to his students and that he made a difference in their lives," his mother said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stoneman Suspect's Former Friend Reported 'Alarming' Signs]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 19:00:42 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022018+nikolas+cruz+ariana+lopez.jpg

A student who says she reported warning signs about the suspect in the Parkland school tragedy more than a year before last week's mass shooting said her friendship with him quickly turned to fear in the years leading up to the massacre.

Ariana Lopez said she was friends with Nikolas Cruz when he first joined Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School three years ago, but the friendship quickly deteriorated.

"I knew that something like this would happen," Lopez told NBC 6. "He made it very clear to other people that he was dangerous."

Lopez said she watched and worried as Cruz posted disturbing photos to social media, including a collection of rifles and a fascination with shooting and killing animals.

"The way that he talked about hunting so often and like the misery of the animals was just very alarming," she said.

Lopez, 17, said Cruz's behavior eventually showed up in the classroom.

"He used to sell knives at school and stick them in his lunch box, sometimes it was just a brown paper bag he’d bring around and he’d say 'hey guys, wanna but some knives?'" Lopez said. "Nick was not a kid that was bullied, he was not a kid that was harassed, he did the bullying and the harassing. He instilled fear in innocent people for fun."

Lopez said Cruz began to threaten her and other classmates.

"Him verbally assaulting us, talking about killing us, doing things to our corpses, killing our parents, friends and family and all of this was right there," she said. "As a teenager I shouldn’t have to look over my shoulder and see some creepy kid that I know because he’s talking about killing me."

The threats were reported to the school numerous times by Lopez.

"A ridiculous amount to the point where my parents and I actually had a conversation where they told me I’d need to stop because I was going to the office almost every single day because it didn’t stop," she said.

Lopez said the school counselors recorded her concerns and encouraged her to report anything alarming. But Cruz remained a student until he was expelled for getting into a fight.

Officials with Broward County Schools didn't immediately comment on Lopez's claims but said they are receiving a high volume of media requests and are working to respond as quickly as possible.

As students fled the school on Wednesday, Lopez locked herself in a closet and waited. When she emerged she learned that many of her friends were killed and her former friend, Cruz, was the suspect.

"I shouldn’t have to sit in a closet with 50 other kids because we think we are going to die, no kid should have to go to school being scared that they’re going to get shot by someone they know or don’t know," she said. "I want this stopped because my friends shouldn’t have to go to school and stand in front of each other to block each other from bullets, I shouldn’t have friends that are in the hospital because their friend who died covered them."

Cruz, 19, is facing 17 counts of murder in the shooting. Lopez said she was attending two funerals Tuesday.

"I don’t want to be angry because then he wins, I don’t want to be upset because then he wins, I don’t want to blame anyone or point fingers because that's just how they win and I can’t do that right now," Lopez said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA['Cowardly Killer': BSO Sheriff Discusses Parkland Tragedy]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:19:04 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022018+BSO+Sheriff+Israel.png

In an interview with NBC 6, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel criticized politicians for not enacting gun reform, particularly when related to mental health.

Israel said no one with mental health issues should have access to a firearm.

Several agencies, including the FBI, have been criticized for not taking preemptive action to prevent the tragedy as accused gunman Nikolas Cruz had previously been reported for suspected dangerous behavior.

When asked about the warning signs and reports raised related to Cruz before the shooting, Israel said that his agency does not see any reason for why it should accept any blame.

He said he would "act accordingly" if he finds one of his deputies was "remiss in their duties or didn't follow policies."

"At this point let me be empirically clear, the only responsibility for these horrific deaths and shootings is the killer," Israel said. "This was a detestable, cowardly killer who snuffed out the lives of 17 people who should be with us."

"This is all on the killer," Israel said.

<![CDATA[Man Who Abducted Girl, 10, From Bus Stop Arrested: MDPD]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:57:58 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022018+Curtis+Lee+Lawson.jpg

Police have arrested a man who they say abducted a 10-year-old girl from a northwest Miami-Dade bus stop before dropping her off at school earlier this month.

Curtis Lee Lawson, 35, was arrested Thursday on kidnapping and lewd and lascivious assault charges, Miami-Dade Police officials said.

The girl was sitting at the bus stop at Northwest 100th Street and Northwest 22nd Avenue the morning of Feb. 12 when the suspect asked her if she wanted a ride to school, police said.

The girl agreed and got into the car, and she was driven to a gas station at 1601 Northwest 119th Street, where the man made an inappropriate sexual request, police said. She refused and demanded to be dropped off at school, and the man took her to school unharmed.

Lawson was being held without bond Tuesday, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Husband of Fla. Woman Missing at Sea Charged in Her Murder]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:25:07 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/082817+isabella+hellmann+lewis+bennett.jpg

A man who reported his new wife missing while sailing in the Caribbean last year has been arrested for his alleged involvement in her murder, officials said.

Lewis Bennett, 41, was taken into custody at the federal court house in Miami Tuesday morning on second-degree murder charge in the killing of Isabella Hellman, FBI officials said.

Bennett abandoned his sinking 37-foot catamaran near the Bahamas last May. He told the Coast Guard he didn't know where Hellman, was. Rescue crews found Bennett in a life raft.

According to an arrest affidavit, Bennett said he had gone to the cabin to sleep and left Hellman at the helm when the vessel struck an unknown object.

He said when he got topside, Hellman was nowhere to be found, the affidavit said. That's when he deployed his life raft and abandoned ship.

Among Bennett's belongings were coins that authorities say had been stolen in St. Maarten last year from a yacht he was working on. He later pleaded guilty to transporting as much as $100,000 in stolen coins.

The Coast Guard searched but Hellman's body was never found.

According to the affidavit, a Naval expert later determined that the boat was "intentionally scuttled."

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Sign Cameron Maybin]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 09:30:30 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-689167202.jpg

The Miami Marlins signed outfielder Cameron Maybin to a one-year contract on Wednesday.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced by the team, but it is likely to be a relatively low salary. Maybin played for the Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros in 2017, with some struggles in the second half. Despite those struggles, Maybin was on Houston's playoff roster and scored twice during their championship run.

Maybin played for the Marlins from 2008-2010, but was never able to perform at an expected level. The former top prospect had a disappointing .323 on-base percentage with the Marlins and that hindered his ability to steal bases. After leaving Florida, Maybin found some success with the San Diego Padres.

The Marlins have been linked to a number of veteran outfielders in recent weeks, after trading away Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich. Miami was rumored to be looking for a one-year deal with any candidate, but others may have not been as open to that idea. For Maybin, this is an opportunity to resurrect his career and build value for next season.

If Maybin succeeds with the Marlins, he will become a trade candidate in July. Miami is not expected to compete in 2018, but it can continue to improve the minor league system along the way. Maybin could be joined by other short-term signings in the coming days.

Where Maybin will hit in Miami's lineup remains to be seen, but his speed could put him atop the order. The Marlins will likely try to limit the service time of their young players. Even though Maybin is unlikely to be a part of Miami's long-term future, he could help the franchise out for years to come in other ways. Keeping a player such as Magneuris Sierra in AAA to begin the season, should give the Marlins an extra year of contractual control down the line.

Miami will begin the Grapefruit League season on Friday with a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mass Walkout From West Boca School to Parkland Shooting Site]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:53:45 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-921635734.jpg

Students and staff from a school in Boca Raton hit the streets Tuesday morning for a planned walkout to the site of last week’s horrific Parkland school tragedy.

Chopper 6 was over the scene as a large group of people left West Boca High School off Glades Road, beginning a nearly 11 mile journey to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 17 people were killed last Wednesday.

Officials estimated as many as 1,000 people could be taking part in this walkout.

It’s the latest event in South Florida where students and staff have left the classroom to push for reforms in gun laws – a hotly debated issue that has come back to the forefront in the wake of the tragedy.

Earlier Tuesday, protests took place in front of both Fort Lauderdale High School and McArthur High School in Hollywood. Protests took place in front of American Heritage School in Plantation on Monday and at South Broward High School in Hollywood last Friday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[West Point Honors JROTC Cadet as Military Burial Uncertain]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:37:11 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022018+peter+wang.jpg

The United States Military Academy Preparatory School accepted a Junior ROTC cadet who died valiantly in the Parkland school massacre Tuesday, on the same day his funeral was being held.

As loved ones awaited word on whether a petition for him to receive a military burial would garner enough signatures, West Point posthumously offered 15-year-old Peter Wang admission to the academy. Loved ones say Wang died a hero in his ROTC uniform, and his dream was to attend West Point and serve in the military.

Family and friends of Wang gathered at Kraeer Funeral Home in Coral Springs to say their final goodbyes to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student.

"For as long as we remember him, he is a hero," fellow student Jared Burns said.

Friends say Wang was holding a door open so other students could escape, sacrificing himself and getting shot repeatedly as he put others before himself.

"He was like a brother to me and possibly one of the kindest people I ever met," friend Xi Chen said.

The USMA said in a statement that admitting Wang into the school was an appropriate way to "honor this brave young man."

"West Point has given posthumous offers of admissions in very rare instances for those candidates or potential candidate's whose actions exemplified the tenets of Duty, Honor and Country," the statement said.

A White House petition is calling on Congress to give Wang a proper, full honors military burial. The petition had received more than 56,000 signatures by Tuesday but still needs more than 40,000 signatures before it would get a response from the White House.

"His selfless and heroic actions have led to the survival of dozens in the area. Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial," the petition reads.

In a military funeral, tradition calls for the playing of "Taps" and the folding of the American flag.

"He died in uniform and he saved people's lives. He deserves to have a full military burial," friend and fellow JROTC member Victoria Downing said. "I want him to be remembered as a hero because that’s exactly who he was."

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott has ordered the Florida National Guard to honor Wang and the other two JROTC members killed in the shooting at their funerals this week.

It was also announced Tuesday that the three JROTC members would be given the Army Medal of Heroism, which will be presented to their families.

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<![CDATA[Reported Bomb Threat Called In to Lauderdale Lakes Schools]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:16:58 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/217*120/022018+lauderdale+lakes+middle+school+bomb+threat.PNG

Two Broward County schools are dealing with a bomb threat that was phoned in Tuesday morning.

Chopper 6 was over the scene at Lauderdale Lakes Middle School, where the threat was called in shortly after 9:30 a.m. to the campus located at 3911 NW 30th Avenue.

Students were taken to the football stadium located at nearby Boyd Anderson High School, which was placed on lockdown as a result of the threat.

Stay tuned to NBC 6 on air and online for updates

<![CDATA[6 to Watch Recap: Vonn Wins Bronze, Men's Hockey Eliminated]]> Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:09:52 -0500 Genevieve Collins and Meagan Shemenski ]]> https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022018+6+to+watch+olympics+miami.jpg

Lindsey Vonn got another crack at winning her first Olympic medal since 2010, when she became the face of Team USA at the Vancouver Olympics. Elana Meyers Taylor went after the gold medal that just eluded her four years ago. The United States hoped to win its first-ever medal in women’s cross country, and to inch closer to its first-ever medal in women’s curling.

These are the six stories you may have missed in Pyeongchang over the past 24 hours:

Italy’s Goggia Wins Gold, Vonn Takes Bronze in Women’s Downhill

Italy’s Sofia Goggia held off a strong field to win gold in the women’s downhill, while Team USA’s Lindsey Vonn took bronze, finishing 0.47 seconds behind her rival.

"I gave it my best shot," Vonn said through tears after the race. "And I’m so proud to have competed with so many amazing girls."

Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway won silver, finishing 0.09 seconds behind Goggia.

Vonn’s bronze-medal finish makes history: At 33, she is the oldest female medalist in Alpine skiing at the Winter Games. She will ski again in the combined on Thursday (Wednesday night in the U.S.), going up against teammate Mikaela Shiffrin, who won gold in these Games in the giant slalom.

Team USA’s Alice McKennis finished fifth, Breezy Johnson finished seventh and Laurenne Ross finished 15th.

Check out the full recap here.

Russian Skaters Deliver in Women’s Short Program

Women’s figure skating at the Pyeongchang Olympics was billed as a showdown between Olympic Athletes from Russia Evgenia Medvedeva and Aliona Zagitova, and they delivered Wednesday at Gangneung Ice Arena.

Zagitova set a new short program record with her score of 82.92 to slide into first place, ahead of Medvedeva by 1.31 points. If the 15-year-old Zagitova holds on to the top spot through Friday’s free skate, she would become the second youngest women’s figure skating gold medalist behind Tara Lipinski, the 1998 Olympic champion.

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond was in third place after the short program with 78.87 points.

All three Americans to skate in the short program planned to open their routine with triple jumps, and all three stumbled. Bradie Tennell and Mirai Nagasu each fell all the way to the ice — Tennell on a triple lutz to triple toeloop combination, and Nagasu on a her trademark triple axel — while teammate Karen Chen placed a hand on the ice to brace herself coming out of a triple lutz.

Check out the full recap here.

US Men’s Hockey Eliminated After Shootout Loss

The U.S. Men’s Hockey Team’s dreams of an Olympic medal were crushed in a shootout loss to the Czech Republic.

Petr Kouka was the only player to score for either team in the 10-player shootout as the Czech Republic eliminated the Americans with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

USA’s Chris Bourque, Mark Arcobello, Ryan Donato, Troy Terry and Bobby Butler were all stopped in the shootout.

Donato and Slater scored in regulation for the U.S., which again was led by its youngest players, including speedster Terry. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shootout.

The Czechs move on to face the winner of the Olympic athletes from Russia against Norway.

US Women Win 1st Long Track Speedskating Medals in 16 Years

The long wait is over for an American woman to stand on the podium in long track speedskating.

Team USA beat Canada in the women’s pursuit on Wednesday, becoming the first American women to win an Olympic medal in long track speedskating since 2002. No American had won a long track medal since the 2010 Games.

For most of the match, the U.S. skaters looked like they had the medal in the bag. They leapt out to a huge lead, more than two-and-a-half seconds after two laps, and then ratcheted it up. But the high speeds wore on Mia Manganello, who began clutching her knee and nearly fell in the final stretch. Nevertheless, she, Heather Bergsma and Brittany Bowe held on.

The Netherlands, so dominant in speedskating in Pyeongchang, were upset in the team pursuit. The men lost to eventual gold medalists Norway in the semifinals, while the women, who had cruised to victory over the U.S. in the semifinals, lost to Japan in their final.

USA Clinches Silver in Women's Bobsled

Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the U.S. finished second in women's bobsled in Pyeongchang. Their time of 3:22.52 was just 0.07 seconds back from the gold-medal German sled — the closest margin between first and second in any Olympic bobsled race.

Germany's Mariama Jamanka — a winner of exactly zero major international races in her life until now — drove to gold in the event, adding to her country's dominant showing at the sliding track in these Olympics.

Canada's Kaillie Humphries teamed with Phylicia George to get third in 3:22.89.

It was the third consecutive medal for both Meyers Taylor and Humphries. Meyers Taylor won bronze as a push athlete in 2010 and silver as a driver in 2014; Humphries won gold in each of those Olympic races.

The American sled piloted by Jamie Greubel Poser with brakeman Aja Evans finished fifth, 0.13 seconds off the podium. Greubel Poser won bronze in Sochi.

Outside the medal race, teams from Jamaica and Nigeria made history in Pyeongchang. The Jamaican sled became the first women’s sled from the country to compete in the games, while the Nigerian women became the first African nation to participate in women’s bobsled. Jamaica finished the competition in 19th. Nigeria finished 20th.

After 42 Years, US Wins Gold in Women's Cross-Country Skiing

Team USA ended their 42-year Olympic medal drought in cross-country skiing Wednesday and they made American cross-country history in the process.

Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall became the first American cross-country skiers to capture a gold medal by winning the women’s team sprint at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Sweden captured silver and Norway took home bronze.

Diggins and Randall are the first American women to win an Olympic medal and join Bill Koch as the only American cross-country skiers to earn an Olympic medal.

Koch picked up the silver medal in the men's 30km in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1976.

Going into the team event, Diggins had three fifth-place finishes and a sixth-place finish in these Olympics.

Diggins’ other high finishes have come in the 4x5-kilometer relay (fifth), the skiathlon (fifth), the 10-kilometer freestyle (fifth) and the classic sprint (sixth). But throughout her career, she’s shined in the team sprint, winning gold at the world championship in 2013 and bronze at the world championship in 2017.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['They Will Have to Shoot Me': Teacher Recalls Guarding Kids]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 14:20:38 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/highschoolGettyImages-919901294.jpg

Mary Trizzino, a 65-year-old math teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had been trained how to secure her classroom during an active shooter situation. But when a gunman actually opened fire in the halls Wednesday, she "broke protocol" to keep kids safe.

Trizzino said she opened her classroom door — something she was trained never to do — to let a group of children and an adult shelter inside. Then, in those harrowing moments that followed, she turned to comfort the students.

"I turned to the kids and I said, 'I want you to know that if anybody comes through that door to harm you, ... they will have to shoot me to get to you, and maybe that will give you a chance,'" Trizzino said on the "Today" show Tuesday, nearly one week after alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and teachers at the South Florida school.

Known as "Momma Trizzino" to her students, the teacher is just one year away from retirement. She huddled in her classroom with the kids for 90 minutes until a SWAT team came for them. 

The gunman had been walking through the next building over, where English teacher Dara Hass had watched her students take some of the first bullets. In an emotional interview on "Today," Hass described the moments she saw 14-year-old Alex Schachter lying on her classroom floor.

"I went to shut the blinds, and then I turned to say 'Turn the lights off.' When I turned I saw my student. I saw him and he … he was bleeding," Hass said.

"I called 9-1-1 and they asked if I could get to my student that was injured. And I couldn't get over to him."

Schachter died in Hass' classroom, along with fellow freshmen Alyssa Alhadeff and Alaina Petty.

"It's so hard to grasp that I lost their sweet faces," the teacher said.

Like Trizzino, Hass also worked to bring peace to the children she had been educating.

"I figured if I have to go, I'm gonna hug my students closer," Hass said. "And I kissed my students on their head, trying to comfort them."

Hass mourned the young lives she lost that day, saying, "It's not fair that they had to be taken." Honoring Schachter, she read a poem he had written for one of her homework assignments. Because he would never get to submit it to Hass, Schachter's dad had texted the piece to her.

Hass read from her phone:
"Life is like a rollercoaster
It has some ups and downs
Eventually it all comes to a stop
You won't know when or how
But you will know that it will be time to get off and start new"

Hass, Trizzino and the other Stoneman Douglas staff members are scheduled to return to the school Friday for a day "dedicated to meeting staff members’ needs, with a variety of support services," according to a school statement. Students are set to return on Feb. 27 with a modified schedule and support services available.

In the meantime, about 100 Stoneman Douglas students are in Tallahassee Wednesday to meet with the state's Republican-held legislature and rally for sweeping change to Florida's gun-control laws.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Worst Nightmare': Broward Superintendent Discusses Shooting]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:26:29 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-918647882.jpg

For the superintendent of Broward County Schools, Dr. Robert Runcie, it has been the toughest week of his professional career after the deadly mass shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

“It is the worst nightmare you can ever have. It’s one of those things you pray you never live to see and experience,” Runcie told NBC 6’s Jawan Strader. “Something of this magnitude, it’s really hard to put into words. Some days, I wake up and hope I can reverse time and ask is this really happening?”

But, it’s a nightmare that did happen – 17 precious lives taken by a teen gunman who was once enrolled at the school. Now, the man who oversees the sixth largest district in the country and second largest in the state must not only comfort, but lead his district that’s still in shock and trying to heal.

“I’m not sure you can (comfort families). It’s not supposed to happen this way,” Runcie said. “A parent is not supposed to bury their child. It’s supposed to be the other way around, I don’t know how, I just don’t know how to console a parent.”

Runcie says that out of this tragedy, there may be some change on the way - especially with the actions students have taken in the past several days that included scheduled marches and rallies in both Tallahassee and Washington D.C.

“I love it! I love it! It seems like we’ve been preparing our kids for some day really stepping up and taking charge,” he said.

While Runcie does support the idea of more law enforcement and security measures in schools, he cannot get on board with the idea of arming teachers or allowing open carry of weapons on campuses.

“The answers can’t be that we are going to introduce more guns in society. We have more guns in this society than we have people,” he said.

Runcie said that while he would welcome a call from President Donald Trump, he has yet to receive one since Wednesday’s tragedy.

“I’m somewhat surprised, but given the nature of his presidency, not. “

You can watch more of this interview Saturday on NBC 6’s Voices with Jawan Strader at 8:30 a.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hialeah Officer Hospitalized After Patrol Car Hits Pole]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 07:48:26 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022018+hialeah+police+car+crash.jpg

A Hialeah Police officer was rushed to the hospital after the patrol car he was driving hit a pole early Tuesday morning.

Officials say the officer, who has not been identified, crash just after 5 a.m. near East 4th Avenue and 4th Street. He was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital as a trauma alert with a lower back injury, but was conscious as he was being transported and is expected to be okay.

Investigators have not released information on what caused the crash.

<![CDATA[Marjory Stoneman Douglas Hopes to Resume Classes Feb. 27]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:18:18 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/nikolas-cruz-pasado-017.jpg

Authorities in Florida say Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the scene of last week's deadly shooting rampage, will remain closed Tuesday and Wednesday. 

The statement released by Broward County Public Schools said Monday it hopes to resume classes at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 27 following a devastating shooting.

Staff members will return to the school on Friday with the day "dedicated to meeting staff members’ needs, with a variety of support services."

On Sunday, the school will hold a voluntary campus orientation for all students and their parents or guardians from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. – where support services will also be available.

“Our hearts remain with the victims and families impacted by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy,” BCPS said in a previous statement. “Across our community, the difficult and emotional recovery process continues, as we struggle to understand this senseless act of violence and find a way to move forward.”

BCPS said it hopes to open the school on a modified schedule Feb. 27.

Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie described the shooting as a "nightmare."

“It is the worst nightmare you can ever have. It’s one of those things you pray you never live to see and experience. And something of this magnitude it’s really hard to put into words. Some days I wake up and hope I can reverse time…is this really happening?” Runcie said.

Runcie said he "loves" the movement started by students to push for gun reform.

"I love it. It seems like we’ve been preparing our kids for some day really stepping up and taking charge," Runcie added. “I’m not in favor of arming teachers with guns, I’m not in favor of arming teachers with guns. The answers can’t be that we are going to introduce more guns in society. We have more guns in this society than we have people.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images/EFE/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Fins Host Youth and Police Conference at Hard Rock Stadium]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:19:23 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*126/022018+Miami+Beach+PD+at+Fins+Event.jpg

A powerful meeting played out at the Hard Rock Stadium between black youth and dozens of law enforcement officers. The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project teamed up with the Miami Dolphins Tuesday to host a police and youth conference. The event is designed to promote a positive interaction between young black men and law enforcement.

More than 600 high school students, who are members of the program, attended the conference along with officers from different police agencies, including Miami Gardens Police, Miami Beach Police, FBI and DEA.

The group assembled also took a moment to honor law enforcement and first responders for the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, founder of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, works with community leaders to help black teen boys get on the path to success. The teens are mentored by prominent leaders in South Florida’s black community, including NBC 6 anchor Jawan Strader. Strader spoke at Tuesday’s event, encouraging students to continue their education to ensure a bright future. “Education is the key to success,” Strader told the mentees.

The teens participated in workshops and demonstrations with officers. 

“In these workshops, the police and youth reverse roles to learn each other’s responsibilities, and how to respect each other and cut that tension," said Congresswoman Wilson. "To have the Dolphins, our hometown team, involved as well, and have them teaching a lesson to the children is just phenomenal.”

 The program is part of the Dolphins’ RISE initiative – which is supported by a yearly fund for social justice programs. Several Fins players have been vocal about police brutality and racial inequality since the kneeling protest spread throughout the NFL last season.

Players Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas and Julius Thomas have worked with the team to create events that serve to bridge the gap between the black community and law enforcement. The Dolphins host CommUNITY Tailgates at every home game, allowing members of the 5000 Role Models and other members of the community to bond with players and law enforcement officers.

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