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- 06/12/15--08:26: 2 men arrested in Wilton Manors burglary
- 06/11/15--21:33: Man uses 'sext messages' to extort woman for thousands
- 06/12/15--09:38: Marijuana clubs sprouting up in Uruguay
- 06/12/15--09:20: Coast Guard, Cuban migrants continue deadly hide-and-seek
- 06/12/15--10:20: 1 in 5 say they were sex assaults victims in college, poll says
- 06/12/15--08:27: ?Are you an African American?? Why an NAACP official isn?t saying
- 06/12/15--06:05: Boy burned in Hollywood house fire, officials say
- 06/12/15--09:29: 3 men, woman shot outside Miami nightclub
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- 06/12/15--16:52: Coconut Creek officers cleared in death of inmate
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- 06/12/15--20:35: Fire at downtown Miami condominium forces partial evacuation
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- 06/13/15--06:42: Realtor Liz Caldwell shows us new properties on the market
- 06/13/15--04:23: Major construction on I-95 in Broward County this weekend
- 06/12/15--20:45: 5 hurt, including teen, in Pompano Beach boat accident
Two men are facing charges in connection with a residential burglary in Wilton Manors.
Adam Randy Alchin, 37, and Gjavit Ali Jakupi, 35, face numerous charges, including burglary, petty theft and criminal theft to solicit or conspire.
Jakupi also faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
According to police, the men planned to burglarize homes throughout Wilton Manors and sell the stolen items for cash.
Police said Alchin dropped Jakupi off at a home in the 100 block of Northeast 27th Drive on Wednesday. While Jakupi tried taking a rim and tire from a fenced backyard, the homeowner confronted him, police said.
According to a police report, Jakupi pushed the homeowner and ran off.
Police said the homeowner and his son followed Jakupi to a nearby bar where the suspect picked up a bar stool and tried to attack the victims.
The homeowner grabbed the bar stool and subdued him, but Alchin drove up to the bar to try to help Jakupi escape, police said.
Both suspects were taken into custody by police in the bar's parking lot.
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It's a tale of undercover cameras, taped calls and naked pictures.
"My life has been (a) nightmare!" a victim is heard saying on a wire-tapped call.
Court records show that victim was speaking with 27-year old Sahba Nadery, who was eventually arrested and charged with extortion.
Court documents claim the two met at the victim's business. Afterward, Nadery allegedly texted her "a explicit photograph of his penis." Records say she then sent him naked photographs of her body. Documents call it an "emotional, texting" relationship that went on for months. During that time, the victim apparently loaned Nadery first $5,000 and then $2,000, and claims it was never paid back.
The victim said Nadery then asked for more. Just a few of the texts contained in case records between Nadery and the victim said:
"I need $3,000. Please help me," Nadery texts.
"I would if I could," the victim replies.
"I'm sure you can come up with $3,000," he writes.
He then sent a picture and texted, "There's many more."
During dozens of other texts, the numbers keep changing. The woman even sends a photo of a check to Nadery.
At one point she texts, "No, I'll do it, you are very dangerous! I don't want to throw my life to garbage for a couple of stupid porno picture (sic)."
She eventually goes to the Broward Sheriff's Office. Deputies asked her to get it all on tape and make several recorded phone calls:
"I want this done, I want this over, I can't live my life like that ... I told you I'm sick, and this ... this is killing me," the victim says.
Later in the call, Nadery is heard saying, "I want you to deposit something in my account today ... so you can..."
"No," the victim replies.
"Show me that you're serious," Nadery says.
It didn't happen that day, but the two eventually met while deputies were again taping.
"Look, just to show you -- $1,500," the victim says as she hold up a check.
Minutes later, Nadery is heard saying, "So, everything is here."
"OK," the victim says.
"Everything that you've sent is all here ... so ..." Nadery says.
"No, I'm talking about the pictures," the victim says.
"Yes. Yeah, everything is here," Nadery tells her.
"The sex tape ... the..." the victim says.
"So, once I go like this and hit delete... everything is gone," Nadery says.
"So, you're gonna do that... at the... the bank?"
"As soon as I deposit the check at the bank... there's one right here," Nadery agrees.
Near the bank, though, instead of making that deposit, deputies move in along the road and arrest Nadery as he is driving.
"What you're actually being charged with is extortion," a deputy says during a taped interview.
"These are pictures that she willingly sent to me," Nadery said.
"Right," the deputy says.
"So I don't understand," Nadery says.
He soon understands that he is facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Nadery has a criminal past that court records list as a third-degree felony for grand theft.
"I'm very disappointed that you're back," Judge David Haimes said as Nadery appeared in court on the new extortion charge.
Nadery then took a plea deal. He agreed to pay the $7,000 back and plead no contest to the charges of extortion. In return, he received three years probation as Haimes entered a verdict of guilty.
"Huge break here," Haimes told Nadery.
"You think you got off easy in this case? Why would you do something like this to this woman?" investigative reporter Ross Palombo asked Nadery as he left the courtroom, but Nadery would not reply.
The victim would only say, "I'm relieved," as she also left the courtroom.
She later said she didn't want the fact that she put someone in jail to weigh on her conscience.
Nadery has been ordered to stay away from her while he is on probation.
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Uruguay legalized marijuana in 2013. Late last year, the government began registering growers clubs, which are allowed to cultivate up to 99 plants and can have a maximum of 45 members. The clubs, which are sprouting up in Montevideo, often include giant greenhouses where members can grow plants to their liking and, of course, smoke a joint or two to test a harvest. Members can receive up to 1.4 ounces (40 grams) per month.
With a shift in the relationship between Havana and Washington, many Cubans are now attempting a risky sea crossing out of fear that the U.S. will change its "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy allowing any Cuban reaching U.S. land to stay and pursue citizenship.
Without it, they'd be treated like other foreigners caught illegally in the country — ineligible for citizenship and subject to deportation.
The U.S. Coast Guard returns any Cuban migrants caught at sea to the communist island. Authorities have captured or intercepted more than 2,600 since Oct. 1, and that tally is expected to match or surpass last year's total of nearly 4,000.
"It's fair to say that this is the 'Wild West' of the Coast Guard," said Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma, spokesman for the Coast Guard's Miami-based 7th District, which patrols the Florida Straits. "We've got drugs, we've got migrants and we've got search and rescue, and we've got an enormous area, approximately the size of the continental United States."
The steady hum of a Coast Guard aircraft flying low loops over these swift, dark blue waters broadcasts a distinct message to migrants: Nothing has changed.
The Coast Guard planes are equipped with sensors that pick out shapes on the water's surface miles away. From a patrol altitude of about 1,500 feet, cruise ships look like smudges on the horizon and sailboats are white dots with long wakes.
A migrant vessel appears the size of a buoy. Pilots look for something suspicious: waves that don't break quite right, a dark speck in a cloud's shadow, the glint of something tossed overboard or the ripple of a blue tarp.
"I've seen two guys on a Styrofoam sheet with two backpacks," Lt. Luke Zitzman said from the cockpit of a recent patrol.
Coast Guard crews will open their cargo doors to toss buckets containing water and food, sometimes their own lunches, down to migrants frantically signaling for help.
They've also watched migrants push away life jackets and inflatable rafts thrown down to keep them afloat in deep waters before a Coast Guard cutter arrives. If they can see a shoreline, many migrants will try to swim for it.
"That must be really frustrating, to see that's freedom but not realize how far away that it really is," said Lt. Hans de Groot, the pilot of a recent patrol.
Once picked up by the Coast Guard, migrants find themselves transferred from cutter to cutter before they return to Cuba.
Aboard the cutter Charles David Jr., crew members sometimes recognize faces among the roughly 900 migrants who have crossed the decks since 2013. A family with a 4-year-old girl has shown up twice, and other migrants have confessed to getting caught half a dozen times or more.
Although Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Beaudoin calls the migrants his guests, some can't be pacified. Past guests have lashed out at crew, refused food and water or tried to hurt themselves, hoping to win a transfer to Florida. (That rarely works.)
"They're humans; they're trying to make a better life for themselves. They're not just trying to come to the U.S. to freeload. We've had some that have been on board six, seven times, and there's definitely desperation there," said Boatswain 2nd Class Matthew Karas, watching over the migrants.
In their wake, the Coast Guard burns or sinks migrants' rafts. Lately, Beaudoin has noticed many rafts primarily made from construction spray foam, enforced with rebar and wrapped in vinyl tarps. These won't sink, and the Coast Guard rigs them with transmitters that alert other vessels to the obstacle in the water.
"You look at all the risks that they're taking on those ventures and not being successful, and yet not being thwarted enough to say, 'I'm not going to do it a 16th time,'" Beaudoin said, squinting into the sun's glare off the water. "One can't underestimate the power of the motivation of the migrant trying to enter the United
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Twenty percent of young women who attended college during the past four years say they were sexually assaulted, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll. But the circle of victims on the nation’s campuses is probably even larger. Many others endured attempted attacks, the poll found, or suspect that someone violated them while they were unable to consent. Some say they were coerced into sex through verbal threats or promises.
In all, the poll found, 25 percent of young women and 7 percent of young men say they suffered unwanted sexual incidents in college. The Post-Kaiser poll, one of the most comprehensive to date on an issue roiling the nation’s colleges, provides evidence that sexual assault is often connected to factors woven deeply into campus culture. Most notably, two-thirds of victims say they had been drinking alcohol just before the incidents. Other potential risk factors, the poll found, are casual romantic encounters known as "hookups" and the presence on campus of fraternities and sororities. The findings illuminate the difficulty colleges face in preventing violence that is widespread but rarely reported to authorities. Cases that do land on the dean’s desk or in the criminal justice system raise what often proves a vexing question: Did both people involved agree to have sex? The poll yields insights from current and recent students on that issue and others:
- They are torn over sexual consent. Forty-six percent said it’s unclear whether sexual activity when both people have not given clear agreement is sexual assault. Forty-seven percent called that scenario sexual assault.
- They do not put sexual assault atop a list of possible concerns about their school. Thirty-seven percent described it as a problem on campus. By contrast, 56 percent viewed alcohol and drug use as a problem.
- They express confidence in how colleges deal with sexual-assault reports. More than two-thirds gave their schools an A or a B for their handling of complaints. Just 8 percent gave their schools a D or an F.
Local 10 News generally does not identify victims of alleged sexual crimes, but The Washington Post interviewed numerous poll participants who chose to be named. Conducted by telephone from January through March, the poll surveyed a random national sample of 1,053 women and men ages 17 to 26 who were undergraduates at a four-year college — living on campus or nearby — or had been at some point since 2011. They attended more than 500 colleges and universities, public and private, large and small, elite and obscure, located in every state and the District of Columbia.
Reporters also conducted dozens of follow-up interviews with men and women who say they experienced completed, attempted or suspected assaults. Their accounts reveal anguish, fury and confusion about incidents, on and off campus, that haunt a time of discovery and growth. In their first years away from home, while exploring the freedom and opportunity of college life, these students learned the pain of sexual violence. A 21-year-old at a public university in the Southeast who participated in the poll said she was raped by a male student who escorted her out of a nightclub after she suddenly became woozy and separated from a group of friends. Someone, she suspects, had slipped a drug into her rum drink. "In the morning, I woke up and my lip was so swollen," the woman said. "I just remember sobbing and sobbing and sobbing the next day. You learn a lot of lessons." Like most who said they had been assaulted, the woman did not report the incident to university officials or police. She said she worried about whether she would ruin the man’s future and wondered what to make of what had happened: Had there been a misunderstanding? Should she have been more vehement in saying no? She remembers clearly crying during the attack. She knew it was rape. But how would others see it? "Something very wrong happened," she said. "I would never wish what happened to me to happen to anyone."
The poll defined sexual assault to include five types of unwanted contact: forced touching of a sexual nature, oral sex, vaginal sexual intercourse, anal sex and sexual penetration with a finger or object. After they were read this definition, 5 percent of men and 20 percent of women said they had been sexually assaulted in college. Their assailants used force or threats of force, or they attacked while their victims were incapacitated. The effect on campuses is even broader. Three in 10 said friends or acquaintances had confided to them in college that they were victims of sexual assault. Katie MacPherson, 20, a student at Kent State University in Ohio, said she was heading to a concert one evening when a drunk friend attacked her inside a car. She was in the front passenger seat. Suddenly he lunged forward, MacPherson recalled, grabbed her head and hair violently and tried to kiss her. "Get your hands off me!" she yelled. The struggle continued until MacPherson managed to open the door and flee. "Immediately I knew," she said. "That was sexual assault." She didn’t report the attack to authorities. But through an intermediary, she told the man’s fraternity. "I wanted him to get a wake-up call," she said. "I never expected that from my friend."
HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?
College sexual assault, a long-hidden problem, emerged as an issue in the 1980s along with the term "date rape," describing a certain kind of sexual crime involving friends or acquaintances. The date rapist — someone who ignored a "no" or never sought a "yes" — contrasted with the stereotype of the rapist as a predator lurking in the dark. The issue has gained new urgency in recent years as the number of reports of forcible sex offenses on campus has surged. The Obama administration has opened civil rights investigations of more than 110 colleges and universities for their handling of sexual-violence complaints. Survivors are pressing colleges for some measure of justice, such as expulsion, even when offenses are not reported to police. Accused students, bewildered by the scrutiny of sexual encounters they thought were consensual, complain that internal inquiries are stacked against them. Overhanging the debate are questions about the extent of the problem. President Obama, relying in large part on a 2007 federally funded study of students at two unidentified public universities, said last year that "an estimated one in five women has been sexually assaulted during her college years." Skeptics call that statistic misleading, citing a 2014 study from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics that found college women were victims of rape or sexual assault at an annual rate of 6.1 per 1,000. Non-students, the BJS said, were raped or sexually assaulted more often than students.
The 2007 and 2014 studies differed significantly in methodology. The earlier survey, by RTI International, asked about specific scenarios of unwanted sexual contact. The BJS study, more focused on crime, asked directly about rape, attempted rape and other sexual attacks. Last year, a blue-ribbon panel said it was “highly likely” the BJS method underestimates victimization. The Post-Kaiser poll used questions and definitions similar to those in the 2007 study. The poll’s margin of sampling error overall was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. For answers from women or men only, it was five points. More than two dozen major universities, from Harvard to the University of Southern California, are surveying their own students this year to learn how often sexual assault occurs and what they can do to prevent it. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology last fall said 17 percent of female undergraduates who replied to a survey experienced unwanted sexual behavior at MIT, from touching or kissing to incidents that fit the definition of sexual assault and rape. Researchers reported in May that 19 percent of female freshmen at an upstate New York university said they were raped or victims of attempted rape within a year of starting at school. The Post-Kaiser poll found that 58 percent of men believe the share of women sexually assaulted at their school is less than 1 in 5. An identical majority of women believe the share assaulted is 1 in 5 or greater. Students seem less worried about sexual assault than the general public. The poll found 12 percent view it as a big problem at their school. But a separate Kaiser survey in March found 57 percent of the public at large saw college sexual assault as a big problem.
ABOUT THE PROJECT: The Washington Post and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation teamed up to poll more than 1,000 people nationwide who have attended college within the past four years about sexual assault and campus culture. Post reporters then interviewed more than 50 women and men who responded that they had experienced unwanted sexual contact — or attempted or suspected sexual contact — while they were students.
Many students point to another problem: alcohol.
Booze, from cheap beer to odd concoctions of liquor and juice, creates major risks. Analysis of the poll found that women who say they sometimes or often drink more than they should are twice as likely to be victims of completed, attempted or suspected sexual assault compared with those who rarely or never do. A 25-year-old woman recalled a date in her freshman year with a classmate at the University of Pittsburgh. They went to a friend’s house. He handed her a drink. It might have been a juiced vodka. A very strong one. "I woke up the next morning without any pants on," the woman said, "and without any recollection." A few weeks later, she said, the man "made a comment about wanting to see me again and do what he did before. It led me to believe we had some sort of sexual contact." If so, the woman said, it was without her consent; she was incapacitated. "I was in no state of mind" to say yes to sex, she said. "The memory is so, so foggy."
A QUESTION OF CONSENT
Another risk factor: hookups. Sixteen percent of women described their dating status during most of college as "hooking up from time to time." They were more likely to report being sexually assaulted or experiencing an attempted or suspected assault than those who were mostly in relationships or those who were not in relationships and not hooking up with anyone. The poll results suggested that women at colleges with fraternities and sororities were more likely to be assaulted. But statistical analysis found that several other campus characteristics were non-factors. It apparently made little difference whether the school was large or small, public or private, religiously affiliated or described by students as a "party school." Nothing about the race, ethnicity, social class, study habits or religious practices of students predicted whether they would be victims. Three-fourths of all victims said they told someone about the incident — but only 11 percent told police or college authorities. This finding echoes what experts have long said: Sexual assault is a vastly under reported crime. Even though 73 percent of those polled said sexual-assault claims are rarely or almost never fabricated, many victims are reluctant to step forward because they fear repercussions. More than 4 in 10 women said it is very or somewhat likely that a woman will be criticized by other students if she reports an assault. A 19-year-old at the University of Michigan who suspects she was sexually assaulted after she got blackout drunk at a fraternity party explained why she didn’t report it to authorities: "I didn’t want to start an entire thing. I didn’t want that whole frat to have a backlash against me." She did, however, tell a male friend. His response ended their friendship. He said her suspicion about what happened was wrong: "There’s a difference between having drunk, regrettable sex, and being raped,” she recalls him saying. The student’s experience underscored one of the most divisive aspects of college sexual assault: The facts of any given incident, especially those left without undergoing an investigation, are often in dispute. That gives rise to speculation about what happened and who was to blame. The poll found evidence that myths about sexual assault persist among students despite efforts in recent years to dispel them. Six in 10 women said it was a common attitude on their campuses that if a woman is sexually assaulted while drunk she is "at least somewhat responsible." Nearly 6 in 10 women also said it was commonly believed that when women go to parties wearing revealing clothes, they are "asking for trouble." Slight majorities of men said those attitudes were not common on their campuses. When posed a hypothetical situation in which they hear that a man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman on campus, about two-thirds of those polled said they generally believe the man is more to blame. About 3 in 10 said both people share blame. Almost none said the woman is more to blame. A 24-year-old woman who recently graduated from a private university in the Northeast said there were times as a student when she was so drunk that she was unable to consent to sex. She would wake up in bed with someone the next day and say to herself: "What? This is not okay. I didn’t agree to this." But she said the men involved might also have been too drunk. "Whether the other person had the capacity to consent either is something to take into account," she said. "So it’s like we’re both raping each other." In the past two years, colleges have begun urgent campaigns to prevent sexual assault. The poll found deep skepticism about some proposals. Seventy-three percent of those at schools with Greek-letter organizations said eliminating fraternities or sororities would have little to no effect. About half of all respondents voiced doubts about the effectiveness of a crackdown on alcohol. Instead, 9 in 10 said training students to disrupt potentially harmful situations would be effective — a technique known as bystander intervention. Nearly as many — 85 percent — favored harsher punishments for those found guilty of sexual assault. Colleges have come under fire for leniency toward students they find responsible for sexual assault in disciplinary probes. Federal data show that colleges often reprimand or suspend students in such cases, or order them to undergo counseling, rather than expel them. Debate has emerged in recent years over whether colleges should be involved in sexual-assault probes at all. Nearly half endorsed the view that as a serious crime, sexual assault should be investigated only by the police. But 83 percent said that if a victim chooses not to go to police but still wants an incident investigated, schools should be required to do so. There was a gender split on another key question: whether it is more unfair for an innocent person to get kicked out of college after a sexual-assault accusation, or for a person who commits a sexual assault to get away with it. Men were divided, with 49 percent seeing expulsion of the innocent as the greater injustice and 42 percent taking the other side. But by a decisive 20-point margin, women viewed it as more unfair for an assailant to go unpunished.
Kristina Erickson, 23, said she pursued punishment after her second sexual assault at Beloit College in Wisconsin. The first time, she said, she was "kind of wrestling around" in a dorm with a man she knew when things turned sexual. "I told him to stop," she said. "He thought I was joking. I froze." Erickson never reported that incident even though she later concluded it was rape. The second time, she said, a drunk man stuck his hand up her skirt in January 2013 as she walked past him in the crowded basement of a fraternity house. She shoved his hand away and yelled at him. Soon after, she filed a complaint with the college. A sanctions letter shows the alleged assailant received a suspension. Shortly before she graduated, Erickson decided enough was enough. She wanted to push the issue into the open. She wrote an essay for the student newspaper about her experience with sexual assault. It revealed that her mother also had been raped while she was a student at Beloit in the 1980s. "I got a lot of texts, a lot of e-mails," Erickson said. "People contacting me, saying, 'Hey, it happened to me, too.'"
The Washington Post's Nick Anderson reported from Kent, Ohio; Los Angeles; and Washington. Emma Brown, Peyton M. Craighill, Steve Hendrix and Susan Svrluga in Washington contributed to this report.
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A controversy is raging over whether a prominent Washington state civil rights activist and Howard University graduate who claimed she was African American is actually white.
Rachel Dolezal, 37, is the president of the Spokane NAACP and has claimed to be the victim of a number of hate crimes. As questions were raised about the veracity of some of her reports this week, a white couple from Montana came forward to claim that Dolezal is their daughter.
Earlier this week, KXLY4 asked Dolezal about a photo posted to the NAACP chapter’s Facebook page of a black man identified as Dolezal’s father.
"I was wondering if your dad really is an African American man," Jeff Humphrey, of KXLY4, asked Dolezal.
"That’s a very … I mean, I don’t know what you’re implying," Dolezal said.
"Are you African American?" Humphrey said.
"I don’t understand the question," Dolezal said. She walked off-camera as Humphrey asked: "Are your parents, are they white?"
Dolezal did not return requests for comment.
In a telephone interview with The Washington Post and others, Lawrence and Ruthanne Dolezal of Troy, Mont., said Rachel Dolezal is their daughter, and that they are Caucasian.
"There seems to be some question of how Rachel is representing her identity and ethnicity," Lawrence Dolezal said. "We are definitely her birth parents. We are both of Caucasian and European descent — Czech, German and a few other things."
The Dolezals provided family photos of Rachel as well, as what they said was her birth certificate.
DOCUMENT: View Rachel Doleza's alleged birth certificate
Lawrence and Ruthanne Dolezal, a Christian couple who adopted four young children — two of whom are black — while Rachel was a teenager, said her decision to misrepresent her racial background, if that’s what she’s doing, may be related to her family and social justice work.
"The adoption of the children definitely fueled her interest as a teenager in being involved with people of color," Ruthanne Dolezal said. "We’ve always had friends of different ethnicities. It was a natural thing for her."
Lawrence Dolezal said his daughter was involved in Voice of Calvary, a "racial reconciliation community development project where black and whites lived together," while at Bellhaven University in Jackson, Miss.
"You speak and sound and act and take on the mannerisms of the culture you live in," he said. When Rachel applied to Howard University to study art with a portfolio of "exclusively African American portraiture," the university "took her for a black woman" and gave her a full scholarship.
"You’ve got a white woman coming in that got a full ride scholarship to the black Harvard," Lawrence Dolezal said. "And ever since then she’s been involved in social justice advocacy for African Americans. She assimilated into that culture so strongly that that’s where she transferred her identity."
He added: "But unfortunately, she is not ethnically by birth African American. She is our daughter by birth. And that’s the way it is."
In telephone interviews with The Post, two of the Dolezal’s adopted sons confirmed she is white as well.
Ezra Dolezal, 22, compared his sister’s decision to conceal her race to black face.
"Back in the early 1900s, what she did would be considered highly racist," said Ezra Dolezal, who described himself as "25 percent black." He added: "You really should not do that. It’s completely opposite – she’s basically creating more racism."
Zach Dolezal, 21, said when he visited his sister in Spokane, he was told not to speak of Lawrence and Ruthanne as their parents.
"It’s a farce, really, is what it is," he said, adding he thought Rachel had posted a photo of a black couple from Spokane on her Facebook page whom she referred to as her parents.
The Dolezals, it should be noted, are a family divided. Parents Lawrence and Ruthanne and brothers Ezra and Zach do not speak with their sister. She obtained custody of her 21-year-old brother Izaiah.
Izaiah, who is black, lives with Rachel Dolezal in Spokane — and Rachel says he is her son, the family alleged.
"Izaiah always was her favorite child," Ezra Dolezal said. "… She turned Izaiah kind of racist. Told Izaiah all this stuff about white people, made him really racist toward white people."
More than Rachel’s claims of African American heritage, the custody of Izaiah seems to have driven the Dolezals apart.
"I can understand hairstyles and all that," Zach Dolezal said of his sister’s alleged attempts to appropriate black culture. "Saying her brother is her son, I don’t understand that."
Rachel Dolezal did not return requests for comment. However, she dodged questions about her race this week following allegations that some hate crimes she had reported were fabricated.
"That question is not as easy as it seems," Dolezal said after being contacted by the Spokane Spokesman-Review at Eastern Washington University, where she is a part-time professor in the Africana studies program. "There’s a lot of complexities … and I don’t know that everyone would understand that."
She added: "We’re all from the African continent."
The Spokane NAACP has offered limited response to the allegations about Dolezal’s race.
James Wilburn, past president of the Spokane NAACP who was replaced by Dolezal, said Thursday that a few members of that group discussed her background before her election late last year.
"It was discussed among close members to me, and we kept it like that," he told the Spokane Spokesman-Review.
Postal workers, meanwhile, told police that hate mail Dolezal said she received at the NAACP’s post office box in Spokane was not processed by a post office, as it had no date stamp or bar code. Postal workers suggested the mail was put there by someone with a key to the box. The Spokesman-Review noted, however, that similar mail was sent to that newspaper and the Spokane Valley Police Department postmarked from Oakland, Calif.
The city of Spokane is also investigating whether Dolezal misidentified her race in an application to the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, on which she serves. Dolezal said she had several ethnic origins on the application, including white, black and American Indian.
“We are gathering facts to determine if any city policies related to volunteer boards and commissions have been violated,” Mayor David Condon and Council President Ben Stuckart said in a joint statement, as the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported. “That information will be reviewed by the City Council, which has oversight of city boards and commissions.”
Social media has responded to the controversy with the hashtag “#RachelDolezal.”
"#RachelDolezal figured if Bruce Jenner could do it … what the hell," conservative radio host Wayne Dupree wrote. (Such controversial comments comparing Dolezal to Caitlyn Jenner found a home at the hashtag "#transracial.")
In the past, Dolezal has spoken fondly of her time in the nation’s capital.
“The only place I’ve ever lived where I felt like I could relax and just be myself was Washington, D.C.,” she told the Easterner, a student-run publication at Eastern Washington University, last year. “I am in love with the East Coast area, because it is much more international and you can find cultural company and kind of blend into the mix of people better than areas where there is either an absence of a strong black community or an extreme divide that sets up rifts equivalent to segregation.”
She added: “Probably one of the reasons I love D.C. the most, though, is because I was at Howard University. As a school that exists to promote Black values … it is definitely an oasis.”
A Hollywood family got quite the scare Thursday night as they barely made it out of their burning home.
A Local 10 News viewer took video as the fire burned at the home at 7500 Fillmore St., north of Pines Boulevard. In the video you can hear neighbors scream, hoping firefighters could put out the flames.
Firefighters said the back half of the home was on fire.
The homeowner told Local 10 News that he heard a loud bang, and as he went searching the home, he ran into the flames.
Firefighters said it took 40 minutes to put out the fire.
The homeowner, his wife and son were able to get out, but the son went back inside to rescue his two parakeets, and suffered first-degree burns on his forearms and smoke inhalation.
The wife was taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.
Firefighters are still trying to figure out what sparked the flames. They said whatever it was, it moved quickly.
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Four people were shot in front of a club early Friday morning, Miami police said.
The incident happened outside The Flow Bar & Lounge at along NW 36th St and NW 24th Ave.
Local 10 News spoke to a bouncer at the club who said the shooting happened outside at closing time.
The bouncer said he heard multiple gunshots and saw at least four people with gunshot wounds. Police confirmed that a woman and three men were shot.
"One waitress and some other people who come to the club and were just trying to have fun, that's it," the bouncer, Tomico Mortimer said.
Local 10 News reporter Jenise Fernandez spoke to one of the victim's friends at Jackson Memorial Hospital. They said the man was shot as they were getting food from a food truck outside the club. They also said the man would recover.
"I was in the club and I heard a shot, (and) my friend was shot," a witness who did not want to be identified said.
The identities and conditions of the victims have not been released.
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Auto magnate and art lover Norman Braman plans on bulldozing three bungalows in a historic residential district to make room for his new art museum.
A troop adviser for a local group of Boy Scouts has been charged after he allegedly showed pornographic videos to a group of Scouts, Sunrise police said.
Mark Kern, 48, was acting as a Boy Scout troop adviser for Boy Scout Troop 309 on Nov. 16.
Police said Kern was in charge of a group of Boy Scouts who were distributing beverages from within a beverage trailer at St. Bernard's Church on Sunset Strip.
While inside the beverage trailer, Kern became engaged in a conversation with the group of Scouts.
Police said at that time Kern showed the Scouts a photograph of a naked woman.
Kern then displayed several pornographic video clips of adults having sexual intercourse, according to the arrest report.
Five boys spoke this week about the incident and the items that were on Kern's cellphone, which was used to display the video clips, police said.
Authorities made contact with Kern at his home. Police said he voluntarily went to the Sunrise Police Department to provide a statement. He admitted to speaking with the Boy Scouts and showing pornographic video clips from his cellphone.
Kern was charged with two counts of displaying obscene material to juveniles. Police said he was taken to the Broward County Main Jail Facility.
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There are new details about three Coconut Creek police officers who were at the center of a case involving a man who died after being shot with a stun gun.
The officers were first called out to help Calvon Reid, 39, with alleged injuries, but then he refused treatment. The officers are now back on the job.
Bonnie Arendale hoped three Coconut Creek police officers who used a Taser on Reid, causing his death, would never return to the streets.
"I don't think they should be policemen anymore," Bonnie Arendale said.
Reid was shot with a stun gun repeatedly by all three officers outside of Bonnie Arendale's condo. She said she heard Reid's screams for help before he went into cardiac arrest.
Last month the medical examiner's officer ruled Reid's death a homicide by electrocution. A criminal investigation into those officers' actions remains active.
"We hoped there would be some justice," Bonnie Arendale said.
But now the Coconut Creek Police Department has put the officers back on the street, apparently clearing them of all wrongdoing.
"Shocked and disappointed" was reaction from both Bonnie Arendale and her husband, John Arendale, to the news. Both testified in the investigation and feel the police actions in the case were unnecessary.
"We were expecting the next news we would hear would be an indictment," John Arendale said.
This is only the latest questionable action by the city, which didn't notify the public of Reid's death and then tried to withhold public information about the case.
Then-Chief Michael Mann resigned after it was discovered that officers involved, including Sgt. David Freeman, the senior officer on scene didn't have up-to-date certification to even carry the Tasers.
The attorney representing Reid's family, Jarretty Blakeley, blasted the decision to put Freeman and the two other officers back on the street.
The Coconut Creek Police Department does not have the last say on the case. It's now in the hands of the state attorney's office and will ultimately go before a grand jury.
The attorney representing the officers, Tony Alfero, told Local 10's Bob Norman he believes other factors, including a heart condition and the fact that blood tests showed cocaine in Reid's bloodstream, may have been to blame for Reid's death.
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Miami-Dade County officials say it's unclear who put up a fence near the AmericanAirlines Arena, where some home a waterfront park will be built.
The Federal Communications Commission has more authority over Internet providers starting Friday, as the federal government may be moving closer to subsidizing high-speed Internet for the poor in South Florida.
With the new rules it is illegal for Internet providers to block users' access to certain websites or have all of the control over which websites users will be able to access faster.
"Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open," FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said.
Despite the rules, Internet providers in court will continue to question whether a referee is needed at all. And while there is ambivalence on how the rules will affect the regulatory landscape, the changes have also prompted uncertainty among Internet users throughout the political spectrum.
Some believe Internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon should be able to operate without government intrusion. The service providers oppose the new FCC restrictions and do not want broadband to be treated as a telecom service.
"I don't want to have to pay taxes for 'Obama Internet' and I don't want my options changing like with Obamacare," Jose "Joe" Gonzalez, a Nicaraguan living in South Miami-Dade, said in Spanish. "Look South and ask the Cubans on the Internet, how government control is going for them. Look at what happens with food stamps ... the government could be paying for a lazy criminal's access to pornography."
DID YOU KNOW Some regulations in Title II of the 1934 Telecommunications Act may now apply to internet providers. President Ronald Reagan's 1985 Lifeline Program meant to subsidize phone services may apply to high-speed Internet. DOCUMENT: The new FCC regulations adopted Feb. 26, 2015
Internet providers had the support of Republicans in Congress, who were fighting against the new rules stemming from Net Neutrality, a network design introduced in 2002 that aims to keep service providers detached from the information that is sent. Net Neutrality supporters include Facebook and Twitter, and counted on the support of President Barack Obama.
POLITICAL DISCUSSION: Watch 2014 Energy & Commerce committee meeting
And while the disagreements on the industry's competitive tactics continue, access to the Internet continues to be a challenge despite the new FCC rules.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that federal agencies should interpret the laws on Net Neutrality. Judge Antonin Scalia dissented.
"If what that [the new rules] means is that an undocumented boy like my son would have the same ability to do research online as a boy growing up in the Brickell area, then it would be just," Sandra Losano, born in El Salvador and living in South Miami-Dade, said in Spanish. "I don't think I will live to see that."
South Florida continues to experience a digital divide. About 69 percent of Internet users in Miami-Dade, 77 percent in Broward and 68 percent in Monroe had access to high-speed Internet in 2013, according to U.S. Census data.
Obama's effort to expand access to the Internet could be similar as President Ronald Reagan's program to subsidize phones. The program meant to give phones to the poor benefited about 12 million households in 2014, according to government data. And the needs of the program in Florida have continued to increase due to economic conditions, Florida officials reported.
Access to high-speed Internet has also concerned self-proclaimed members of The Anonymous collective, a group of hackers with a presence in South Florida. An Internet user who did not want to be identified, but said he has been a "white hat" hacker for close to a decade, said government regulation has nothing to do with access to the Internet, but he supports the new rules.
"There are efforts in place that focus on providing what you would call universal access," the 26-year-old said. "You have the issue of hardware, that means computers, cell phones and tablets. Then access to broadband is the critical Internet infrastructure, which the greedy corporations control. And that needs to change."
The dream, he said, is to be able to provide high-speed Internet connections worldwide. Some of the efforts include Google's backing of Space X and One Web on a dream of creating the capability to be able to provide a satellite connection.
GRAPHIC: One Web's vision of a neutral network
Google offers Google Fiber, which provides free internet for an initial fee in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Kansas City, Nashville, Provo, Raleigh-Durham and Salt Lake City. South Florida is not yet part of their expansion plan.
Facebook recently launched the Internet.Org program, which claims to provide free basic internet access to low-income users in some places in Asia, Latin America and Africa to avoid data charges. The radical member of Anonymous said the efforts are still too young and the federal government control was to be expected.
"If Constitutional equality and freedom are put over dollar bills then there will be hope in the ghetto," the hacker said. "Government control means politics. Dirty money controls power ... Obama promised change and here we are with failed promises moving to 2016 with slaves descendants left behind. They have more access to guns than Internet and tablets."
Anonymous position on free flow of information
Anonymous Net Neutrality
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A 74-year-old man was arrested Friday after walking around Hialeah Medical Plaza with a rifle, police said.
The incident was reported about 11:40 a.m. at 777 E. 25th St.
A 911 caller told the dispatcher that someone was walking inside the building holding a rifle.
Police confronted Gustavo Adolfo Calvet, who they said was holding an unloaded rifle.
According to Hialeah police spokesman Carl Zogby, the rifle belonged to a doctor in the medical plaza and Calvet was returning it to him after borrowing it.
Zogby said Calvet had "no ill intent with the firearm," and called the incident an "apparent error in judgement."
Patients told Local 10 News that the medical plaza. which houses five floors of doctors offices and a pharmacy, was placed on lockdown during the investigation.
Calvet was charged with improper exhibition of a firearm and released at the scene.
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The reward for information leading to the arrest of Michael Evans is now totaling $8,000 after the U.S. Marshals Service offered a $5,000 reward.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to $3,000 for tips leading to Evans’ arrest.
Michael Evans, 30, is wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service and Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office for failure to appear for aggravated robbery and felonious assault charges.
Michael Evans is also a suspect in a recent homicide in the Miami area.
He is believed to be traveling with his wife Kristy Evans and her 7-year-old daughter Jala Barnett. They may be driving a blue 2001 Ford Escort or a stolen blue 2005 Audi A4.
Michael Evans is white, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes.
Kristy Evans, 34, is white, 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds.
Jala is 4 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 65 pounds. She has a beauty mark on the right side of her face above her lip.
"Our concern is for the safety of the community and the welfare of the little girl who may be traveling with Michael Evans. Law enforcement is seeking the public’s help in locating this dangerous fugitive," said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers phone number in Miami or the city of Miami Homicide Unit at 305-603-6350.
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A fire at the Met 1 condominium in downtown Miami forced a partial evacuation Friday night.
The fire started on the 34th floor of the building at 300 S. Biscayne Blvd.
Local 10 News is told the fire was contained by the sprinkler system.
No one was home in the unit and there were no injuries.
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A puppy and kitten from the Broward County Humane Society are looking for a loving and forever home.
Realtor Liz Caldwell shows us new properties in Hillside Park, Ramblewood and Edgefield.
New traffic pattern will be in place for Monday morning commuters
Five people were hurt after a boat hit a jetty, fire rescue officials said.
It happened Friday in the 2600 block of North Ocean in Pompano Beach.
Five adults and three children were on board the boat at the time.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission seized the boat because the operator was listed in critical condition.
A 14-year-old child was taken by air rescue to Broward Health, according to Pompano Fire Rescue.
It's unclear what lead up to the accident, but it appeared the boat's operator may have misjudged entering the inlet off Hillsboro Inlet Park in Pompano Beach, authorities said.
The investigation is ongoing.
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