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  • 07/12/15--23:00: On this day: July 13
  • The Mississippi River finds its roots, a Hollywood icon debuts, Old Blue Eyes records for the first time, the MLB All-Star Game goes north, and Ronald Reagan gives up the presidency, briefly, all on this day.


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    Do you find yourself lacking enough energy to make it through the day? The Daily Meal complied a list of 14 foods and drinks you should try to eliminate from your diet.


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    Lawyers pushing for more money for legal aid to the poor will have to look elsewhere after the Florida Supreme Court rejected a proposed dues increase for Florida Bar members.

    The justices ruled last week that a more comprehensive solution is needed for legal aid funding woes. A coalition of attorneys had proposed a Bar dues increase of $100 to help fund the program.

    The dues are currently $265 a year and have held steady for 20 years.

    Gov. Rick Scott this year vetoed a small funding increase for legal aid in this year's state budget.

    Three Supreme Court justices dissented, contending it was wrong to deny attorneys a chance to solve at least some of the legal aid funding problems through the relatively small dues increase.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Federal government statistics show Florida draws more refugees than any other state.

    Since 2013, a total of 43,184 refugees resettled in Florida, a number that dwarfs second-place California, which had 16,714.

    Cubans represented the largest number of refugees in the state, with 2,177 last year, but others came from across the Caribbean and the Americas, as well as the Middle East and Africa.

    Refugees are defined as people forced to flee their home country because of persecution or fear of persecution.

    The Tampa Tribune reports about 70,000 refugees are admitted across the United States each year.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A man was killed early Sunday after the motorcycle he was driving collided with the back of a car.

    Pembroke Pines police said Cesar Uribe, 22, was ejected off a motorcycle near the 900 block of northbound U.S. Highway 27.

    He was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he later died.

    Police said the crash is under investigation. No charges against the driver of the car have been filed at this time. 

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A man was found dead in the water next to his houseboat Saturday afternoon, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

    Sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin said the body of Timothy Johnson, 53, was found floating in the water near the Murray Nelson Government Center in Key Largo shortly after 3:30 p.m.

    A friend discovered the body after he noticed Johnson's dog swimming to shore and thought there might be something wrong. The man went out to Johnson's houseboat, where he found the body face down in the water.

    Friends told deputies they last saw Johnson in his dinghy on his way to his houseboat Friday night.

    No foul play is suspected. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of his death.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue was busy Sunday afternoon after three airboats became stranded in the Everglades.

    Eight people were stranded, including one child, near mile marker 41 along Alligator Alley, according to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.

    Officials said the first boat was stuck, so a second boat went out to help the stranded boaters, but ran out of gas. A third boat then went to help but also ran out of gas.

    The highway was shut down for a short time while air rescue transported the stranded boaters back to the highway.

    No injuries were reported.

    Watch Local 10 News and refresh Local10.com for updates on this story.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Police said a 4-year-old boy drowned Sunday afternoon while in the care of his grandmother.

    "This is the first child drowning we've had in plantation in 15 years," said Joel Gordon, with Plantation Fire Rescue.

    Rescue officials got the call for help at about 3:40 p.m. The child's grandmother was taking care of two children when she fell asleep. The 4-year-old boy ended up outside.

    "There is a sliding glass door that apparently was closed at the time," said police Detective Philip Toman. "Somehow the child managed to get outside and was in the swimming pool."

    When the boy's father returned home from work, he found the boy at the bottom of the pool. The father pulled the boy out and performed CPR before help arrived.

    "He was soaking wet where he had jumped in the pool and he was going back and forth between the house and the ambulance and he was just absolutely devastated. You could tell he was in shock," said a neighbor who was identified only as Cynthia.

    She said she saw the child being treated by rescue workers.

    "Looking at him, I knew he was gone," Cynthia said. "He had a bluish tint to his body and he just -- it was very sad. It was very sad to witness."

    The boy was taken to Plantation General Hospital.

    "They worked on him for about half an hour, but could not revive him and he was pronounced dead," Gordon said.

    "We're devastated," Cynthia said. "We can't even imagine what that family is going through. (It's a) really sad day on our street."

    Police said there was no child safety gate surrounding the pool.

    "I don't know. I mean, I don't want to point the finger at anybody, but how could you fall asleep with a little boy like that in the house? Just unacceptable," Cynthia said.

    The drowning remains under investigation.

    Follow Liane Morejon on Twitter @LianeMorejonTV

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Police are investigating after four people were injured in two different shootings in North Miami.


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    Police are investigating a police-involved shooting that took place Sunday night in the area of 330 South State Road 7.

    According to the Plantation Police Department, an officer on foot patrol was walking around an empty office building when he saw a man in his 50s walking around the building.

    The officer told the man he needed to leave and the man got mad and punched the cop in his face, police said. The officer then discharged his Taser, but it didn't work, so he fired his gun multiple times at the man.

    It's unclear how where or how many times the man was struck. He was taken to Broward Health Medical Center as a trauma alert.

    PFR said the officer, who was described as a veteran with PPD, was taken to Westside Regional Medical Center.

    No other details were immediately released.

    Watch Local 10 News and refresh Local10.com for updates on this developing story.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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  • 07/13/15--23:00: On this day: July 14
  • The Bastille is stormed, the Matterhorn is scaled, Billy the Kid is shot and killed, Dr. Spock releases his baby book, and The Rolling Stones score their first No. 1, all on this day.


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    You know you're paying too much for all sorts of things. But just how much?


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    Tropical Storm Claudette formed Monday in the Atlantic Ocean, but it doesn't pose a threat to the United States.

    The National Hurricane Center in Miami expects Claudette to be short-lived since it will be moving over much cooler waters and into an area of increasing wind-shear.

    [RELATED: Subscribe for weather alerts |Hurricane Survival Guide | Track storms ]

    Claudette was moving northeast at 17 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

    The forecast track has Claudette making landfall in Newfoundland by mid-week, but Local 10 News hurricane specialist Max Mayfield said it would likely dissipate before reaching Canada.

    Follow Local 10 Weather on Twitter @Local10Weather


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    The locks on your door are supposed to keep the bad guys out. But according to consumer websites like Angie's List, Consumer Reports and Rip-Off Report, complaints about locksmiths are on the rise.

    Some homeowners have complained that the cost is way more than the locksmith's estimate, the company demands cash only for payment, or they realize the locksmith isn't even licensed.

    Reputable business owners said there are signs you can look for to find a good locksmith.

    Juan Pujol, the owner of York Lock and Key on Miami Beach, said his locksmith business has been operating for more than 75 years. He said that while technology has changed, their commitment to serving customers has not.

    "People put so much trust in locksmiths, that for us, it's extremely important," he said.

    Pujol said uniforms are a plus, and a locksmith's paperwork should bear the company logo, too.

    He also said a worker should show up in a marked vehicle.

    In Miami-Dade County, locksmiths have to be registered with the county, so ask for a registration number if you still have questions.

    "If they don't provide that, then you know something is not right," Pujol said.


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    Key West police made the first arrest of an Uber driver Friday since city officials warned the ride-sharing company that unlicensed drivers could be jailed.

    Uber driver Martin Maness, 51, was arrested after picking up undercover detectives near the Key West airport, police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said Monday.

    Crean said Mannes told detectives that he wasn't aware driving for Uber was illegal and claimed the money was worth the risk.

    POLL: Do you think Uber drivers without proper licenses should be arrested?

    Detectives arranged the undercover ride after receiving complaints that Uber drivers were still picking up passengers at the airport.

    City commissioners approved an ordinance last year that requires Uber and other passenger vehicle-for-hire drivers to carry licenses.

    Crean said police had previously been citing Uber drivers and city officials issued their final warning in June.

    Operating without the required licenses is a second-degree misdemeanor. Illegal drivers face a fine of up to $500 and/or 60 days in jail.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    The founder of the Veterans Support Organization, Richard Van Houten, is responding to allegations made by a South Florida veteran that his organization is not legitimate or is using fake veterans to raise money.

    On June 22, a South Florida veteran contacted Local 10 News about a confrontation he had outside a Plantation grocery store with a veterans' fundraiser group. He claimed the group, Veteran’s Support Organization, was using fake veterans to raise money for programs.

    Andy Rubenstein claimed the men fundraising were not wearing proper military gear and could not answer his questions. The confrontation eventually led to the group packing up and leaving the location.

    Van Houten spoke to Local 10 News at his Palm City location, where he defended the organization he founded in 1999.

    "It gives veterans fundraising jobs and donates money to other groups," Van Houten said.

    Van Houten said VSO was started in Virginia after he got out of the service, and it grew to several states very quickly, at one point, pulling in millions of dollars.

    On its website, it says that donations go to housing and other types of assistance to veterans. Over the years, Van Houten said the organization grew bigger than he could handle, and there were missteps. He said they no longer operate in other states anymore.

    The state attorney’s office in Tallahassee told Local 10 News they are looking into consumer allegations about VSO. Van Houten said he is an open book.

    "We have been here seven years," he said. "We have made minor mistakes, and we have corrected them."

    Van Houten said the organization is monitored by the Florida Department of Agriculture.

    Click here for more information on the organization.

    Follow Neki Mohan on Twitter @NekiMohan

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A South Florida man accused of beating his mother to death in 2011 accepted a plea deal Monday.

    Jason Kertesz was charged with murder in the death of his 62-year-old mother, Irene Kertesz. He pleaded no contest in court.

    Police said Jason Kertesz bludgeoned his mother to death with a baseball bat at her Hollywood home. Police believe the motive was robbery so Jason Kertesz could get money for drugs. 

    Jason Kertesz has repeatedly denied killing his mother, despite having her wallet, credit card and cellphone when he was arrested.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Vernell Roker said when her daughter, Vicki, died in 2013, she decided to go with a family friend when it came to ordering her daughter's marker.

    "I knew Ricky from a little boy," Roker said.

    She said her daughter and Ricky Williams grew up together, living in the same neighborhood, so when her daughter died, and she learned he was in the business of selling headstones, Roker said she thought, "I am giving Ricky a chance, because I know he's starting out and, you know, he does that kind of work."

    She gave Williams of Community Monument and Casket Company a $600 deposit toward a headstone.

    Roker then referred Ricky Williams to her best friend, Betty Williams, who said she gave Ricky Williams a check of more than $1,150 toward a headstone for her granddaughter, Kia.

    Months turned into years. At one point, Roker said she even visited with Ricky Williams' mother to try to get answers.

    When Williams didn't provide the marker or a refund, Roker reached out to "Call Christina."

    "I just don't understand," Roker said. "How can he do me like that? He got my money, he put no headstone on my baby's grave."

    "Unless he's a real con artist, I believe he was taking money, doing the next job, and the next job, and just ran out of money," Betty Williams said.

    When Local 10 News approached a man neighbors identified as Ricky Williams, he denied that's who he was, but both Roker and Betty Williams identified him on tape as the man who took their money and never delivered the marker.

    Later, Ricky Williams called Christina Vazquez and said he wouldn't be able to give them their money back but made an assurance he would deliver the headstones by May.

    Now, into July, both women said they haven't heard from him.

    "I hope you can make it right where he don't do that to anybody else," said Betty Williams.

    Roker said she often has a difficult time finding her daughter's burial site. She lumbers through the grass searching for her.

    "I want my baby to have a stone, a headstone on her grave, not just thrown it out here like she's forgotten. She need a headstone on her grave," Roker said.

    Because they are on a fixed income, both women said it is difficult for them to save enough money to hire someone else to order new headstones.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A Sunrise police officer was arrested Sunday after he threatened his wife and stepson with a loaded gun, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

    Patrick Gravelle, 41, faces charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and domestic battery.

    According to the arrest report, Gravelle was screaming at his stepson to get out of his house and pointing a gun at him.

    Deputies arrived and spoke to Gravelle's wife, who told them about a confrontation with her husband about two weeks ago.

    According to the report, Gravelle's wife said her husband "threatened to shoot her, kill her, dump her body in the Everglades and then kill himself while pointing a gun at her chest." She said that she didn't call 911 because she was afraid of what he might do.

    Gravelle's wife also showed deputies bruises on her arm from where Gravelle pinched her "as a form of punishment" earlier in the week, the report said.

    When deputies spoke to Gravelle, he told them that his stepson, who is bigger than him, "began to aggressively come towards him" during an argument, the report said. Because his stepson also takes steroids, Gravelle said he "clipped (his) gun onto (his) belt" but denied pointing it at anyone, the report said.

    Gravelle's wife told deputies that she "is deathly afraid" of her husband and believes he "will kill her if and when he gets out of jail."

    Gravelle was released from jail on bond Monday afternoon. He didn't have anything to say to reporters as he left the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

    "I can't comment at this time," Gavelle told Local 10 News.

    Gravelle, who was ordered to stay away from his wife, has been suspended without pay by the Sunrise Police Department.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    On a warm summer evening, Weston's Markham Park was filled with laughter, love and floating lanterns. The tribute, videotaped from the ground and from the air, will soon be a scene in a professional music video.

    The song was written for 21-year-old Dylan Schopp, who everyone called "Sunshine."

    [RELATED: Dylan Schopp's Sunshine Foundation]

    "There are tons of pictures, some of which are of him wrestling," Debbie Schopp said of her son. "He was always smiling. His wrestling coach gave him that name (Sunshine) because he came in, had long blonde hair, 93 pounds, with a big old smile on his face."

    But behind that smile, Dylan was hiding a pain he didn't share. In February, the popular college student, who talked about being a sportscaster, who even shadowed at Local 10 News, took his own life in Markham Park. No one saw it coming.

    But statistics show there is a suicide in the U.S. every 13 minutes. It's a leading cause of death among young people who are under all kinds of pressures.

    "It's different today," Debbie Schopp said. "With Facebook and social media, everybody knows what everybody else is doing. It's not going to change."

    That's why she and her husband, Dave Schopp, are hoping their story can be a wake-up call for other families.

    "The word has to get out there," she said. "If it can happen to us -- to him -- it can happen to anybody."

    The Schopps are not alone in their effort. Weston singer and songwriter Jake Miller, one of Dylan's close friends, was devastated when he heard the news.

    "The first thing I did was get my guitar. I went outside and I wrote a little song for Dylan," Miller said.

    That song, entitled "Sunshine," was released last week.

    "He went and wrote that song that night," Debbie Schopp said. "His dad text it to me -- just the riff -- and it was touching. He has a great group of friends. He touched everybody."

    Now family and friends are hoping to spread Dylan's sunshine through music to reach kids around the country struggling with depression or thinking about suicide.

    "I don't even remember the last thing I said to him," Debbie Schopp said. "I wonder if there is something I could have said or could have been done. It eats at me, but I hope he's happy now."

    Click here to visit Jake Miller's website.


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