Articles on this Page
- 06/19/15--15:23: _Fugitive Michael Ev...
- 06/19/15--13:53: _State refiles charg...
- 06/19/15--10:05: _Ex-student accused ...
- 06/19/15--15:21: _Residents of all ra...
- 06/19/15--17:04: _Shooting suspect he...
- 06/19/15--09:07: _Maria De La Fuente ...
- 06/19/15--14:44: _Van crashes into Ma...
- 06/19/15--15:02: _Thieves steal tires...
- 06/19/15--15:17: _Baby left in SUV du...
- 06/19/15--14:58: _Police searching fo...
- 06/19/15--07:23: _Celebrities who hav...
- 06/20/15--08:01: _Famous feuds betwee...
- 06/20/15--13:59: _Florida's battle ov...
- 06/20/15--02:10: _Johnny Depp's 'priv...
- 06/20/15--16:01: _Sunrise Lucky Money...
- 06/20/15--02:32: _A new mass extincti...
- 06/20/15--14:56: _Caucasian Heritage ...
- 06/20/15--14:54: _North Florida woman...
- 06/20/15--14:59: _Boca cop fired for ...
- 06/20/15--12:05: _New Orleans cop sho...
- 06/19/15--15:23: Fugitive Michael Evans, wife found at Kansas motel
- 06/19/15--10:05: Ex-student accused of vandalizing Hollywood high school
- 06/19/15--15:21: Residents of all races mourn together in Charleston
- 06/19/15--17:04: Shooting suspect hears victims' families
- 06/19/15--09:07: Maria De La Fuente Caro accused of operating brothel at Boca Spa
- 06/19/15--14:44: Van crashes into Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue truck
- 06/19/15--15:02: Thieves steal tires off cars at Hollywood Tri-Rail station
- 06/19/15--15:17: Baby left in SUV during Miami carjacking
- 06/19/15--14:58: Police searching for Hollywood Beach condo manager
- 06/19/15--07:23: Celebrities who have battled cancer
- 06/20/15--08:01: Famous feuds between politicians, musicians
- 06/20/15--13:59: Florida's battle over health care likely to return in 2016
- 06/20/15--02:10: Johnny Depp's 'private village' up for sale in France
- 06/20/15--16:01: Sunrise Lucky Money winner takes home $500,000
- 06/20/15--02:32: A new mass extinction could be underway
- 06/20/15--14:56: Caucasian Heritage Night' canceled
- 06/20/15--14:59: Boca cop fired for violating 8 department policies
- 06/20/15--12:05: New Orleans cop shot, killed while transporting prisoner
A couple wanted for questioning after a man was found dead inside a Miami motel room is now in custody, according to the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office in Ohio.
Deputies said Michael Evans and his wife, Kristy Evans, were found at a motel in Hays, Kansas, on Thursday night.
The two disappeared from Ohio in early May, along with Kristy Evans' daughter, Jala Barnett. The 7-year-old was found at the motel with them and is OK.
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.
Kristy Evans was also taken into custody on an outstanding warrant out of the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office for obstructing justice.
The couple is also wanted for questioning in the death of Joseph Moniz, 46. Miami police have ruled his death a homicide.
Police said Moniz was found by a motel employee who went to collect rent from the room. When there was no answer, he went inside to find the victim lying on the floor.
Evans had been renting the room.
Jala is now in the custody of Children Services in Kansas and is expected to be transferred to Ohio, where she will be placed in the custody of a relative.
A stolen 2005 Audi A4 convertible, believed to have been driven by Moniz prior to his murder, was found at a Walmart parking lot near the Kansas motel.
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The Broward County state attorney's office refiled charges Friday against the father of a 3-year-old boy who was found dead in his Hollywood home in March after a recent arrest caused authorities to accidentally throw out his original charge.
Nelson Osceola, 24, is charged with child neglect with great bodily harm in connection with the death of Ahziya Osceola.
Ahziya was found stuffed inside garbage bags and a box hidden in the laundry room of his Hollywood home.
Osceola was ordered held in jail on a $50,000 bond Friday.
Osceola previously appeared in bond court on Thursday after he was arrested on DUI charges.
According to Seminole police reports, Osceola drove through a security gate on the Seminole Tribe of Florida reservation about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, breaking the arm off the gate.
Police found Osceola nearby but said he fled when the officer turned on his vehicle's emergency lights.
Police said Osceola was followed by numerous patrol vehicles, but refused to stop. They said he eventually got out of his car and jumped over a fence before being taken into custody.
Osceola was out on bond after being arrested in March in connection with the death of his son. Police said Ahziya died at the hands of his stepmother, Analiz Osceola, who is behind bars on charges of manslaughter and providing false information to law enforcement.
Osceola's attorney, Hilliard Moldoff, said the emotional stress over the death of his son is likely behind Nelson's recent behavior.
"Mr. Osceola is the father of a child who's deceased and has been struggling with the reality that his son is dead, so to say that he was intoxicated doesn't surprise me in the least," Moldof said. "I'm sure he'll be out and be sober and be fine. In a week he'll get the message, but this was probably just a wake-up call for Nelson."
Osceola is expected to be released on bond Friday afternoon.
He is scheduled to return to court on the child neglect charge next month.
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A former student at Chaminade-Madonna Preparatory School is facing charges after breaking into the school and vandalizing it last month, police said.
Ronaldo Salas, 18, faces charges of burglary of an unoccupied structure and criminal mischief.
According to an arrest report, Salas and two underage boys were captured on surveillance video hopping over two fences to enter the school May 3.
Police said the suspects damaged the school's time capsule, overturned tables and benches, tore down numerous student government campaign banners and damaged a fire hose.
The estimated cost of the damage inflicted was about $1,000.
Detectives said a teacher identified as Colette Varese viewed the surveillance video and recognized Salas as a former student of hers. Police said Salas' mother also confirmed that he was the person on the surveillance video, but said she didn't know who the other two teens were.
Police said Salas was previously expelled from the school.
He was taken into custody on Monday. The two juveniles involved also face charges.
A Broward County judge ordered Salas be held in jail in lieu of a $1,500 bond. Salas is also not allowed on school property.
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Residents of all races continue to mourn the loss of the nine people who were killed at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday.
A mother and father of two gathered at the growing memorial outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Friday, having to explain to their children why this horrific act of violence happened inside their church.
"I explained to them that a young man came and did something very wrong because of the color of their skin, and he shot them," the mother, Kearston Farr, told Local 10 News.
"I feel sad for all the people who died," 7-year-old D'Mari Morton-Farr said. "It's really hard to take, but life's going to happen that way."
Even complete strangers with different backgrounds embraced outside the church, speaking about how they can come together to overcome their sadness. Some said they are ready to offer forgiveness.
"I forgive because I have to move on," Carol Ellerbee said. "If I don't forgive, then it is hindering me."
"The racism has to stop," Liberty Ortega added. "There has to be a way to stop this white supremacist(s) against black(s)."
Police said they have no doubt that the mass shooting was a hate crime.
A Snapchat video taken inside the church before the shooting, and exclusively obtained by CNN, shows suspected gunman Dylann Roof, 21, sitting among congregation members.
Roof, who was arrested several hours after the shooting, is expected to face a judge in bond court Friday afternoon.
Roof is charged with nine counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
"It's a deep cut. But I'm very, very happy that they caught him," a Charleston resident told Local 10 News. "Now I want to see justice."
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Dylann Roof heard words of forgiveness from families of some of the nine people he's accused of killing.
His response: A blank expression.
Wearing a striped inmate jumpsuit, the 21-year-old appeared Friday afternoon by video feed at a bond hearing in Charleston, South Carolina. He stood motionless while listening to the anguished words of relatives of victims he allegedly gunned down Wednesday night at a Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
"I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you," a daughter of Ethel Lance said. "And have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people but God forgives you, and I forgive you."
Felicia Sanders -- mother of victim Tywanza Sanders and a survivor of the church shooting herself -- said that "every fiber in my body hurts, and I will never be the same."
"As we said in the Bible study, we enjoyed you," she said of Roof. "But may God have mercy on you."
Roof's family spoke out for the first time Friday, extending its "deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims," according to a statement issued by his public defender.
"Words cannot express our shock, grief and disbelief as to what happened that night. We are devastated and saddened by what occurred. We offer our prayers sympathy for all of those impacted by these events," the statement says. It ends asking for privacy for the Roof family.
Roof barely spoke at the hearing, answering the judge's questions about his unemployment with a "yes, sir" and "no, sir" and stating his age as 21. The video feed meant Roof could hear, but not see, people in the courtroom, according to court employees. People in the courtroom could see and hear Roof.
Magistrate James B. Gosnell Jr. drew fire on social media by opening the hearing by expressing sympathy for the suspect's family.
He spoke about how Charleston would embrace all the crime victims and said: "There are victims on this young man's side of the family. Nobody would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they were thrown into. ... We must find it in our hearts at some point in time to not only help those who are victims but to help his family as well."
Tweeted Desiree P. Urquhart @CBMaiden, "Magistrate James Gosnell Jr is an example of white southern bigotry, ignorant pontification & a good ole boy's entitlement to say anything."
Elizabeth Bradbury @isabellabc tweeted, "For those who don't understand why blacks in America are still angry just watch Judge Gosnell's lecture to the court at Roof's hearing."
Gosnell set bail at $1 million on a weapons possession charge. A circuit judge will hold a bond hearing later on the nine murder charges, but it's unlikely Roof will be allowed to leave jail.
The suspect actually is being held in the North Charleston jail. Authorities didn't want him to appear at the bond hearing in person for security reasons.
Roof also may be prosecuted by federal authorities if it's determined he committed a hate crime. The Justice Department issued a statement Friday saying, "This heartbreaking episode was undoubtedly designed to strike fear and terror into this community, and the department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism."
Roof admits he did it, sources say
Roof admits he shot and killed the people he'd sat with for Bible study at the historically black church, two law enforcement officials said.
But why? To start a race war.
That's what Roof told investigators, according to one of the officials.
CNN's Evan Perez and Wesley Bruer were the first to report Roof's confession. Others earlier gave a glimpse into the twisted motivation -- including at the time and site of the shooting.
There, a survivor told Sylvia Johnson that Roof answered one man's pleas to stop by saying, "No, you've raped our women, and you are taking over the country ... I have to do what I have to do."
A friend recalled a drunken Roof ranting one night about his unspecified six-month plan "to do something crazy" in order "to start a race war." And the Berkeley County, South Carolina, government tweeted a picture of him in a jacket with flags from apartheid-era South Africa and nearby Rhodesia, a former British colony that was ruled by a white minority until it became independent in 1980.
By telling authorities his aim, Roof admitted he attacked unarmed civilians for political purposes in an act of terror.
What led the South Carolinian to adopt this reasoning and take such actions Wednesday night? Did anyone else help him or even know about his plans? And what is his general mental state? All are major, looming questions. Another is what American society should or will do now, if anything, to prevent similar tragedies.
In the meantime, nine families are left to mourn and a community is left to come together, ideally, to heal.
"This hateful person came to this community with some crazy idea that he would be able to divide," Mayor Joseph Riley said. "And all he did was make us more united, and love each other even more."
Roof faces a long legal road ahead.
It could end in his execution, assuming he's convicted and prosecutors seek (and are granted) such a death sentence, according to South Carolina law. Gov. Nikki Haley indicated that's what she wants, while Charleston's mayor -- while he doesn't support the death penalty personally -- thinks it's inevitable.
"If you're going to have a death penalty," Riley said, "then certainly this case will merit it."
Friend: Roof wanted 'white with white, and black with black'
How did Dylann Roof get to the point of being accused of one of the most hateful, violent race-related crimes in recent memory?
His uncle, Carson Cowles, told the Washington Post that Roof's mother "never raised him to be like this." Those who knew him, though, paint a picture of someone who has long voiced racist sentiments, even if they never anticipated he'd act on them like this.
John Mullins recalls "racist slurs in a sense" that Roof made while the two attended White Knoll High School in Lexington, South Carolina, though he also remembers him having black friends.
"He would say it just as a joke," Mullins told CNN. "I never took it seriously. But ... maybe (I) should have."
That sentiment was echoed by Joey Meek, who told CNN that he hadn't seen his old classmate for five years until the two became roommates about a month ago. He recalled Roof being quiet and keeping to himself since then, except for one night when he drank a liter of vodka and talked about his vague plans to start a race war.
"He wanted it to be white with white, and black with black," Meek said, adding that he took Roof's gun as a precaution that night only to put it back the next morning. "He had it in his mind, and he didn't really let nobody know (what he was going to do)."
Meek said he told Roof then that he "didn't agree with his opinion at all," but he didn't talk to authorities until Thursday, when he noticed surveillance photos and called a police hotline.
"Dylann wasn't a serious person, no one took him serious," Meek said. "But if someone had taken him serious, this all would all have been avoided."
Officials: Suspect bought gun in April
It's one thing to talk of stirring racial hatred, another to act on it to kill nine innocent people -- including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator who had welcomed Roof into the Bible study session.
One key part of this horrific scheme -- the weapon -- came in April, when Roof bought a .45-caliber handgun at a Charleston gun store, the two law enforcement officials told Perez and Bruer from CNN, the first network to report this development. His grandfather says that Roof was given "birthday money" and that the family didn't know what Roof did with it.
He apparently didn't hint at his intentions when he went to the historic church Wednesday. A Snapchat video shows him at a table with a small group, not anything to suggest the carnage to come.
An arrest warrant says Roof entered the church at 8:06 p.m. wearing a fanny pack. "After approximately an hour of studying," the warrant says, "the defendant stood up and with malice and aforethought pulled out a handgun and began shooting at the parishioners inside the hall striking nine victims. All victims were hit multiple times."
From what Johnson heard, Roof reloaded his gun five times. Six women died at the scene, as did two men -- with a third, the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., passing away later during surgery. Johnson said her friend played dead, lying in the blood of her slain son.
Before Roof left the church, he asked one of the elderly members whether he had shot her, and she said no.
"And he said, 'Good, because we need a survivor because I'm going to kill myself,' " Johnson told CNN.
Woman spotted, followed suspect's car
Roof then took off, hopping into his car and heading north.
Debbie Dills spotted a vehicle matching the description given by authorities, noticing the South Carolina license plate.
"I don't know what drew my attention to the car," Dills told CNN. "In my mind I'm thinking, 'That can't be.' ... I never dreamed that it would be the car."
She followed him more than 30 miles, keeping authorities updated along the way.
Police in Shelby, North Carolina -- about 245 miles (395 kilometers) from Charleston -- pulled him over and took him into custody. He waived extradition and returned to South Carolina late Thursday.
The Charleston Police Department also got help from Roof's family. The arrest warrant says: "The father and the uncle of the defendant contacted CPD and positively identified the defendant and his vehicle as those they saw in the photographs. Further, the defendant's father told investigators that his son owns a .45-caliber handgun."
Federal authorities have opened a hate crime investigation into the shooting at the oldest AME church in the South, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Charleston's mayor said that society should continue to talk about issues pertaining to race and try to educate people more, such as through an African-American history museum planned for a Charleston site where slaves used to land to be sold in the United States. But, he added, it may not be realistic to think you'll be able to change the minds of all racists.
"There's a lot of things we can do, in our country, to enhance the dialogue about race," Riley said. "But to get (hateful thoughts) out of the minds of very evil people ... is very difficult."
The owner of a Boca Raton spa is accused of operating a brothel at her business.
Maria De La Fuente Caro, 36, was arrested Wednesday on charges of deriving support from proceeds of prostitution, maintaining a place of prostitution and money laundering.
Boca Raton police said they began investigating the Boca Spa, 22 SE Sixth St., in December after several anonymous residents said De La Fuente Caro "was directing her employees to engage in various forms of sexual activity with customers in exchange for money."
According to the police report, detectives interviewed several spa customers who said they paid money to have sex or other sexual relations with employees. In one interview conducted in April, the customer told police that he paid $180, but on his second visit he was asked if he was willing to pay $280 for "additional sexual activity."
ALSO: Teen accused of pimping runaway girl in Hialeah
Boca Raton police detectives searched the spa's trash in February and found mail correspondence from MFV Investments LLC, 10 used condoms wrapped in paper towels, two bottles of lubricant, a customer's Visa credit card receipt for $190 and 11 envelopes with employees' names, dollar amounts and dates written on the outside.
Detectives said they also found a Backpage.com advertisement for the Boca Spa in January. According to the police report, the spa was advertised as the "newest erotic spa in Boca, with 23 gorgeous girls (to) pleasure you with just a touch."
The lead investigator began reading online reviews of the Boca Spa. All of the posts indicated that customers paid $80 to enter the spa and then negotiated a price, paying between $60 and $200 depending upon the sexual act provided, the report said.
Police said officers conducted surveillance at the spa, which opened last summer, on June 8 and 9. "Officers recorded every customer who entered the business" during this time, the report said. Police noted that "only males" entered the spa.
ALSO: Brothers drugged, beat, threatened girl so they could prostitute her
A total of 14 clients entered the spa during the two-day period, and De La Fuente Caro greeted two of them, the report said. She took a credit card payment from one of them and a cash payment from the other, the report said.
Police said the customers were then led into a room where the sex took place.
"Five different female employees were observed receiving cash or credit card payment from a male customer in return for a sexual act," the report said.
Two employees, Jessica Greenwell, 37, and Dalila Aouadhi, 34, were also arrested this week. They face prostitution charges.
The report said De La Fuente Caro "was observed handling cash which had been received either by female employees or herself."
A subpoena of bank records from MFV Investments LLC revealed three accounts, all of which listed De La Fuente Caro acted as the sole signer.
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Police are investigating after a van crashed into a Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue truck Friday afternoon.
The crash was reported shortly after 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Margate Bouelvard and U.S. 441.
Sky 10 was above the scene as the intersection was shut down while the van was towed away.
It's unclear if anyone was injured.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Security is being stepped up at the Tri-Rail station in Hollywood after someone stole the tires off of two people's vehicles in the parking lot in broad daylight.
Carina Strype and another victim filed police reports after they stepped off the train June 10 at the station off Sheridan Street to find their cars on blocks and their tires missing.
Strype said the thieves targeted her vehicle sometime between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The Florida Department of Transportation owns the lot, but Tri-Rail hires security to patrol it.
Tri-Rail officials said the security guard at the Hollywood station is also responsible for another station so the thieves likely waited until he left before they snatched the highly-sought after sports rims and tires.
Strype said she wants to get the word out so this doesn't happen to another hard working commuter.
"You do feel violated because it is your car," Strype said. "I feel that it is safe because it is in what you think is a secure lot. I do see a security patrolman once in a while, but not on a constant basis. You just feel comfortable."
"It is a huge inconvenience," she added. "It is really sad that you would even think about doing this. I don't know how you lay your head on the pillow at night."
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority released a statement Friday, which read in part, "SFRTA is aware of the increase in incidents at the Sheridan Street Station. We use daily security reports to monitor for emerging patterns. If any are identified, we adjust our security coverage as needed. We have stepped up our roving security."
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One person is in custody after a carjacking in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood Friday afternoon.
Police said the SUV was reported stolen from 8450 NE Miami Court.
Police said a woman left her 2-month-old baby was inside the running Jeep for some reason and a man jumped into the driver's side and took off. Police said the suspect stopped after a short police chase once he realized that a baby was inside the SUV.
Police took the man into custody at 229 NE 78th Street.
The baby was not injured.
No other details were immediately released.
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Kristin Glansen used to run condo associations – now she's running from the law.
Hollywood police have put out a grand theft warrant for the arrest of the 35-year-old condo manager, who allegedly embezzled more than $225,000 from The Waterway condominium on Hollywood Beach over a two year period.
A police spokesman said her whereabouts are unknown but that detectives are following "investigative leads" in an attempt to find her.
"I'm hoping they catch her, but it sounds like she's gotten a pretty good jump on things," said Waterway resident Dan Brucki. "If I was her, I'd probably be out of the country by now, but here's hoping they catch her."
Police said Glansen created a bogus company called Willis Homes, which has a very similar name to the condo's actual insurance company, Willis of Florida. She then began cutting big check after big check – one of them as high $47,000 – to the fake company, according to a civil lawsuit that has been filed in the case.
"The prior manager here walked away with a lot of money wrongfully," said condo attorney Eric Glazer, who filed the complaint. "She cut the checks basically to Willis or Willis Homes and put it in her very own bank account, making it appear as if insurance bills were getting paid."
Glazer said a big mistake made by the condo board was giving Glansen the power to sign checks.
Along with a former board president, Glansen signed each of the checks in question.
Glazer said that now residents must hope not only that they win a judgment against Glansen, but hope that she hasn't spent all of the money and they can collect on their alleged losses.
Anyone with information on Glansen's whereabouts should contact the Hollywood Police Department at 954-967-4411.
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Tommy Chong recently revealed that he has been diagnosed with rectal cancer after a previous battle with prostate cancer. Click on to see him and other celebrities who have battled cancer.
The feud this week between real estate mogul Donald Trump and singer Neil Young is not the first time musicians and presidential candidates have had creative differences. Click through for more kerfuffles between politicians and musicians.
Florida's budget battle is done for now, but state legislators may soon be at odds again.
The Florida Legislature on Friday passed a new state budget with just days to spare.
Legislators had until July 1 to pass a budget or state government would have been partially shut down. They didn't pass a budget during their regular session because they were divided over health care spending.
But legislators concede that their fix for this year may be short-lived.
Legislators agreed to use $400 million in state money to help hospitals in danger of losing federal aid. But hospitals may need even more state money next year.
That could spark yet another tug-of-war between the House and Senate. Some legislators remain upset over the budget battle that lasted roughly four months.
Known for his swashbuckling role in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, actor Johnny Depp has put one of his most treasured items on the market.
The actor and musician's 37-acre estate and "private village" in the south of France is for sale. The asking price: $25.76 million.
Depp's home in Plan de la Tour -- near Saint-Tropez -- includes a private "hameau" or small Provencal village featuring a main house, guest cottages, a chapel, a bar and restaurant, and other structures. There are 12 bedrooms and 12 full baths listed, among the more than 10,000 square feet of living space.
Sotheby's International Realty, the listing agency, says Depp "painstakingly restored and decorated all the houses, one by one" and has invested more than $10 million on it. He bought the property in 2001.
The idyllic landscape features rolling hills and a swimming pool.
Besides the grounds, the buyer would also get all the property's furniture and "a great number of personal belongings of Johnny Depp," according to Sotheby's.
Pictures on the realty website offer a glimpse into the private life of Depp, who's known for being reclusive and staying out of the media spotlight.
Rooms are decorated with paintings, antiques and musical instruments.
He apparently spent 15 years at the house with his then-partner, French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis.
One winner from Sunrise matched all four "Lucky Money" numbers plus the Lucky Ball, to bring home the $500,000 jackpot.
Lottery officials said Saturday that 6 tickets won $957 each for picking 4-of-4 numbers; 50 won $251.50 for picking 3-of-4 numbers plus the Lucky Ball; 679 tickets won $54.50 each for matching 3-of-4 numbers; 1,459 tickets won $17.50 for picking 2-of-4 numbers plus the Lucky Ball; 12,821 tickets won $2.50 for picking 1-of-4 plus the Lucky Ball; 22,755 tickets won $2 each for matching 2-of-4 numbers and 30,402 won a free Quick Pick ticket for matching the Lucky Ball.
The numbers drawn Friday night were 07-12-22-34 and the Lucky Ball was 08.
Sixty-five million years ago, the dinosaurs disappeared in what's known as the Earth's fifth mass extinction. Today, a sixth mass extinction could be well underway and humans are the likely culprit, according to new research published in Science Advances.
The past five mass extinctions on Earth were caused by large-scale natural disasters like meteors or enormous chains of volcanic eruptions, wiping out between half and 96% of all living species.
But the modern mass extinction isn't being caused by a freak act of nature, the researchers say. It's being caused by man-made changes to the environment including deforestation, poaching, overfishing and global-warming, and it's proving to be just as deadly.
Recently, species like the emperor rat, the desert rat kangaroo, the Yangtze River dolphin, the skunk frog and the Chinese paddlefish, among hundreds of others, are believed to have become extinct.
About 477 vertebrate species have been lost since 1900, according to the research by Gerardo Ceballos, a senior ecological researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Anthony Barnosky, a biology professor at Berkeley.
If humans were not the primary source of these extinctions, there should've only been nine species going extinct during the same time period.
The researchers fear that 75% of the species we know today could be lost in just two generations' time.
"We have the potential for making massive change ... and the bottom line is that we can't be the generation responsible for wiping out three-fourths of life forms on the Earth," said Barnosky.
Biodiversity provides critical functions, including the air in the atmosphere and purifying drinking water - life as we know it depends on having high levels of species diversity, scientists say.
"People think nothing bad will come from species loss, because scientists can't predict exactly how many need to go extinct before the world collapses," said Ceballos. "The problem is that our environment is like a brick wall. It will hold if you pull individual bricks, but eventually it takes just one to make it suddenly fall apart."
While extinction is a natural function of life, this is the first time humans are being confronted with species loss at rates that are 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than what is considered the natural rate.
What you can do
The problem of extinction is becoming very serious, but it is not too late, says Barnosky.
"We have the potential of initiating a mass extinction episode which has been unparalleled for 65 million years," said Ceballos. "But I'm optimistic in the sense that humans react -- in the past we have made quantum leaps when we worked together to solve our problems."
Barnosky says there are a number of steps people can take:
-- Reduce your carbon footprint -- this is to hold back climate change from falling below critical levels and to prevent altered conditions which can ravage fragile ecosystems
-- Never buy products made from threatened or endangered species -- this includes items like ivory, animal furs and rhino horns.
-- Eat less meat -- 40% of the Earth is currently under cultivation, and if the lands used to feed livestock were used to grow crops for people, there would be 50 to 70% more calories available for humans to eat, which is enough to feed an additional billion people. It would eliminate the need to clear natural ecosystems like rainforests for farmland.
"Little by little people are understanding that we need to change," said Barnosky. "But whatever we decide to do in next 10-15 years will decide future of biodiversity on Earth."
It was to be a night of Wonder Bread on burgers with mayo, a jumping contest and a group watching of "Friends," but "Caucasian Heritage Night" will never be.
The Orem Owlz, a minor league baseball team in Utah, said it had long ago scheduled the white appreciation event, which was meant to be a lighthearted event, according to a statement.
Within hours of posting a promotion Friday and two days after the church shootings in South Carolina, the team canceled the event after social media lit up.
"We understand, in light of recent tragic events, that our intentions have been misconstrued. For that, we sincerely apologize," read the team's official statement.
"In light of everything that has happened in Charleston, South Carolina, it is very troubling," Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Tri-State Conference of Idaho, Nevada & Utah, told CNN affiliate KSL.
"Especially now, when there are so many white supremacist groups out there, and they're looking for something like this."
People flocked to Twitter on Friday to lob angry comments at the team using #CaucasianHeritageNight. Melanie Monroe, a Hispanic, said every night is Caucasian heritage night.
One Utah resident was ashamed that such a night was even created.
Others shrugged and asked what was so bad about it. "Every other race has their night," a man told CNN affiliate KSL.
Another defender asked what's so bad about grilling meat and watching mixed-martial arts.
Some who defended the event were just as angry as those criticizing it. One person who commented was asking for the night to be rescheduled.
"Please in the future have a bigger backbone. Or at least schedule this for later. Blaming you or other whites for what one white did in South Carolina is racist and caucasiaphobic."
A 23-year-old woman faces charges of interfering with custody after fleeing from child protective services investigators who were trying to take the child.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that a Bunnell police officer contacted Jasmine Lee Sloan about an hour later. She agreed to surrender the child Thursday night and was taken to the Flagler County Jail, where she remained Saturday on a $10,000 bond.
An arrest report indicates Sloan refused to turn her child over to the Department of Children and Families, telling investigators they'd have to take the baby over her "dead body."
There were two active warrants for Sloan's arrest for violation of probation and failure to appear in court.
The child's age wasn't released. It's not known whether Sloan has an attorney.
A Boca Raton police officer has been fired after an internal investigation discovered he violated eight department policies during an arrest.
Chief Dan Alexander said Friday James Clark was terminated this week. No criminal charges were filed against Clark.
The Palm Beach Post reports Clark fired a shot at a fleeing stolen car suspect and took part in a 100 mph chase in October 2014.
Alexander says the incident started off with poor decisions and "unraveled from that point."
Clark told investigators he was scared because he thought the driver was pulling a weapon.
Twenty-seven-year-old suspect Mark Simmons pleaded guilty to fleeing an officer and was sentenced to the 98 days he had already served.
The report condemns Clark's handling of the traffic stop, use of force and pursuit.
The New Orleans Police Department said an officer was killed while transporting a prisoner Saturday morning on North Claiborne Avenue.
According to the NOPD, the incident happened around 9 a.m. near North Claiborne and Elysian Fields avenues.
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The NOPD identified the officer as Daryle Holloway, who is more than a 20-year veteran of the Police Department.
While few details were available, the NOPD said that the officer was transporting the prisoner, who got hold of a gun and shot Holloway. The prisoner was identified as Travis Boys, 33.
The NOPD is in the area searching for Boys who got away after the shooting. A photo of Boys was provided, but no additional details about his appearance.
According to records, Boys pleaded guilty to an attempted criminal escape charge in 2004.