Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:
Miami Man Says Wrongful Conviction in 1990 Murder ‘Could Have Easily Been Prevented'
A Miami man who spent more than 30 years in prison after he was wrongfully convicted in a 1990 murder case is speaking out after his emotional release from prison.
Thomas Raynard James was just 23 when he was arrested for the Jan. 17, 1990 killing of Francis McKinnon in Coral Gables. The now 55-year-old was released Wednesday after more than three decades in prison, after a Miami-Dade judge vacated his conviction and life sentence in the McKinnon killing.
NBC 6 caught up with James at his mother's home on Thursday, where he was asked how it felt to wake up a free man. "It was beautiful, it was wonderful. I got to say, one of the greatest feelings in the world right now," he said.
‘Aden Was My Hero': Final Farewell for Teen Who Died Trying to Save Drowning Driver
A funeral was held Monday for Aden Perry, the 17-year-old boy who died trying to save a drowning driver in Sunrise.
The service was held inside a Plantation church where his mother, father and stepmother all spoke about Perry's life and shared more about the night he died. "He was so full of life, passion and good intentions at that moment," said Perry’s mother who was with him during his final moments.
The two were on a walk when a car plunged into a nearby lake and Perry jumped in the water to help the 18-year-old driver, Venkata Krishnamurthy, but both teens died.
"Aden was my hero every day, and not just because of his last act," said his mother. "He did so many good things in his life and I was just so proud of him." His instinct to act courageously and be selfless is something his parents say was part of his personality.
Disney Government in Dark About Effect of Law Dissolving It
At the first meeting of Walt Disney World's private government since Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a measure to dissolve it next year, officials said Wednesday vvvv, even as some ripple effects were starting to be felt.
The administrator of the government, called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, said the expansion of a solar power project could be delayed because of financing challenges linked to the legislation, and the union for the district’s firefighters expressed concerns about what the dissolution might mean for members' lifetime benefits.
After the meeting, Donald Greer, who has been a member of Reedy Creek’s board of supervisors since 1975, said the board could not provide clear answers on those issues because “we don’t know where we are going.”
‘Everyone Expects 911 to Answer': Broward Struggles With Understaffed 911 Call Center
Broward County's emergency call center is greatly understaffed and the sheriff told county commissioners his agency does not have the money to fill the empty positions.
In addition, Sheriff Gregory Tony said Tuesday that he is also having a difficult time retaining other dispatchers who can make more money elsewhere. “We’re going to continue to lose these people,” he warned. “This will always be a problem here whether we want to admit it or not.”
Some Broward County Commissioners told the sheriff to fix the issues immediately. “Give everybody a raise ... and you won’t lose anybody,” Commissioner Mark Bogen told the sheriff. “You got the money to do that right now without us giving you a penny.”
Tony told commissioners Tuesday he’s not going to make “random or quick decisions” that can create other problems. He agreed to make a presentation outlining financial needs at the May 10 commission meeting.
Their 13-Year-Old Son Died by Suicide. They Want to Help Save Others.
Family videos and photos captured countless moments in Colin Happ’s life: birthdays, holidays, family trips and many outdoor adventures.
“He was funny, had such a sense of humor, was kind, loving, always had a smile on his face,” said his mother Colleen Happ during an interview with NBC 6. His parents said Colin was enjoying his first year at Calvary Christian Academy - a private school in Fort Lauderdale owned by megachurch Calvary Chapel.
They said Colin got in trouble in March 2020 after he admitted selling a vape pen to another student and he was expelled as a result. On March 4, 2020, a day after he was expelled, Colin stayed home alone. Colin died by suicide that day. He was just 13 years old.
Bryan and Colleen said it took time and a lot of prayers to be able to talk about what happened to Colin. But they decided to share their story because they hope they can help others struggling.
Miami Fashion Designer Meets Demand for Modest Clothing During Ramadan & Eid
As the holy month of Ramadan ends, attention turns to the feast of Eid al-Fitr. The three day event is celebrated with tasty food and shopping, specifically new clothing for Eid al-Fitr celebration.
During this time of year, several fashion companies try to appeal to those who dress more modestly for their faith. These new trends are catching people's attention, especially Miami Boutique owner Ferhan Brhan from Brhan’s Closet.
She said the charity of gift giving has always been a part of the Ramadan season, with gifts traditionally given during Eid al-Fitr. “It’s something you celebrate with your family, friends, loved ones," she said. "And, you want to give the gift of anything, but the best gift is something they can benefit from.”
That’s where her clothing lines comes in. She was born and raised in Miami and had a difficult time finding fashion that fit her faith. So, she was inspired to start her own collection.
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