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    A Davie teen is dead after crashing his vehicle into a tree in Cooper City, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

    The accident happened after 1 p.m. Saturday in the 3300 block of South Pine Island Road between Sheridan Street and Sterling Road.

    Dylan Anthony Dandrea, 17, was heading north on South Pine Island Road in a white 2004 BMW when he left the roadway, hitting the inside curb of the center median, deputies said.

    The vehicle rolled over and went airborne before hitting a palm tree, according to BSO.

    BSO Public Information Officer Mike Jachles said the car sheared in half.

    Dandrea was pronounced dead by Broward Sheriff's Fire Rescue.

    BSO traffic homicide investigators are looking into what might have caused the crash.

    Pine Island Road was shut down as a result of the crash.

    Follow Terrell Forney on Twitter @TVTerrell

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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  • 07/19/15--23:00: On this day: July 20
  • An ancient king is born, the first Ford rolls off the line, the Special Olympics are born, man lands on the moon, and a home run king belts his last, all on this day.


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  • 07/19/15--23:00: Celebrity odd couples
  • We all love our celebrities, especially when they pair up. But sometimes their tastes when it comes to matters of the heart can leave us scratching our heads.


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    Parents of elementary school students in one Florida county are pushing to remove two books about conflict in the Middle East from school bookshelves.

    The Florida Times-Union reported on Sunday that some Duval County parents have signed a petition seeking to ban the children's books "Nasreen's Secret School" and "The Librarian of Basra."

    Some parents say the books are inappropriate for young children because they deal with war. Other parents have objected to the books saying that they promote prayer to a non-Christian god. The parents recently petitioned the school district to remove the two books.

    Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said banning books sets a bad precedent.

    "We are walking up a slippery slope when we start to decide what books we are going to ban from the curriculum," Vitti said.

    The books are part of the district's recently adopted Engage New York curriculum, a digitally-based learning program aligned to the new Florida State Standards

    A synopsis of both books on Amazon.com describes "Nasreen's Secret School" as the story of a little girl with a grandmother who "risks everything to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls" in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. "The Librarian of Basra" is based on the life of Iraqi librarian Alia Muhammad Baker who struggles to save her community's book collection, which she fears in the midst of war "will be destroyed forever."

    School Board Member Becki Couch was the only board member to vote against the district's reading list. She said the books were not appropriate for young children.

    "We are a military town," she said. "Some of our children have parents who have been to Iraq."

    Dianne Haines Roberts, a grandparent of students at New Berlin Elementary School, also opposes the two books.

    "We're talking about third-graders and they're very impressionable. . I don't think they need to know the horrors of the world," Roberts said.

    But Devon Mears, the mother of a third-grader disagreed. She sees the resistance as an unwillingness to embrace a different culture.

    "I question if they even read the book," she said.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Florida A&M University is on the upswing in many ways: Audits are clean, accreditation appears on solid footing, the marching band has returned without incident after a hazing scandal, and freshmen attending orientation are proudly wearing orange "Class of 2019" T-shirts.

    Most incoming students, though, probably are oblivious to problems inside Lee Hall, an iconic building that houses the offices of President Elmira Mangum and university administrators.

    Mangum has been on the job a little over a year, but questionable decision-making and a lack of political finesse have strained her relationship with some faculty, FAMU supporters and, most important, the FAMU Board of Trustees. The 13 trustees are preparing Mangum's first evaluation and, if things don't improve to their satisfaction, they have the authority to fire her.

    Mangum is expected to receive low marks regarding her leadership style, communication and engagement with stakeholder groups when trustees meet July 21.

    Among her perceived missteps: failure to communicate with board members about key decisions and personnel changes, leaving a faculty feeling sometimes ignored or marginalized by her administration, and creating a feeling among alumni and supporters that they are not valued.

    But no one grades the trustees, who have their own faults. Mangum's supporters accuse board members, especially outspoken Chairman Rufus Montgomery, of micromanaging and behavior that borders on bullying.

    FAMU faculty, alumni and supporters say they back Mangum and want her to succeed. Still, they agree that Montgomery raises valid points about her shortcomings, even though some criticize his perceived arrogance and confrontational style.

    With 10,000 students signed up to attend FAMU this fall, will the adults responsible for running the school mend fences and learn how to play nice?

    "We don't need to kick up dirt and be mad at one another," said trustee Cleve Warren, who lives in Jacksonville and is a Mangum ally. "We should be talking about how to make this work."

    Mangum has had a steep learning curve since arriving from Cornell University, a private Ivy League institution. FAMU is a public university and historically black college for which people expect her to be an institutional cheerleader, fundraiser, political operative and academic chief.

    She arrived in Tallahassee in April 2014 without ever before serving in such a lofty leadership role.

    There was no honeymoon.

    Mangum was tested days into her tenure when John Thrasher — then a powerful state senator — inserted an amendment into the Senate budget that would have immediately split the joint FAMU-Florida State University College of Engineering. Mangum barely knew the players involved, but it was her job to make things right.

    She did so with the help of House leaders who agreed that the deal was not fully baked. Lawmakers and FAMU supporters praised Mangum for her even keel and help in forging a compromise.

    However, those resulting changes at the College of Engineering are providing fuel for Mangum's critics.

    In May a reinvigorated Engineering School advisory board, which includes Mangum and Thrasher, now FSU's president, made changes that sparked controversy. The committee agreed unanimously that FSU would become the College of Engineering's "fiscal agent" while FAMU would have oversight of its dean.

    Thrasher briefed the FSU Board of Trustees on June 3 about those changes, but members of the FAMU board say they have yet to hear directly from Mangum about what she had agreed to — or why.

    "I heard from the 'street' committee," trustee Torey Alston said last week, using a slang term for the rumor mill. "But I haven't heard those details from the president."

    Mangum declined the Times-Union's interview request but responded to questions in writing. She said she kept trustees updated about the College of Engineering changes, but backup documentation that she shared with the newspaper shows her report lacked details about the transfer of duties to FSU that raised the most concern.

    FAMU faculty and alumni complained for two weeks through Facebook groups and via blogs that Mangum had ceded too much control to FSU; this despite the rival school's stated interest in taking over the Engineering School and the state's history of favoring FSU when it comes to programs and resources. There was no public response from FAMU until Thursday, when a FAQ was published online.

    Warren said Mangum must react more quickly to small issues before they become major.

    There are other examples of where Mangum has gone astray, many of which were outlined in an 89-page dossier compiled by Montgomery to explain why he believes the president deserved low marks on her evaluation.

    Members of the Tallahassee Urban League also have accused Mangum of tarnishing the organization's relationship with FAMU, although she said a letter they crafted was misleading and full of inaccuracies.

    Mangum recently battled with the faculty union about raises. After encouraging trustees to take her side, state-level union leaders warned in a letter to Mangum that her actions violated collective-bargaining tenets.

    Hiring decisions have embarrassed Mangum; most notably athletic director Kellen Winslow. The NFL legend lasted eight months before resigning in December. He was best known during his tenure for firing Earl Holmes, the school's popular football coach and an alum, during 2014 homecoming festivities and mocking students and alumni who disapproved. Holmes filed suit in January for wrongful termination, seeking $400,000 remaining on his four-year contract, plus damages.

    Trustees say Mangum doesn't keep them in the loop, especially when big decisions are on the horizon or when she is dealing with major issues. Their job is oversight and governance; hers is the day-to-day operations.

    "I've had a number of challenges with this current administration," Montgomery said during a June 9 trustees meeting at which he shared his report. "In some cases there have been some attempts to make it personal, but it's not personal. I love FAMU like you love FAMU."

    Given an opportunity to respond at the same meeting, Mangum said she sometimes did not believe she had board members' confidence. She said carrying out her responsibilities had become personal, more than during any other job she's has had that involved working with a governing board.

    "I have never had the experience where my leadership team has been disrespected, privately in conversation that are not on record on a continuous basis," she said. "And this is the case that I think that I have here at Florida A&M by our chair."

    Montgomery, when reached, would not agree to an on-the-record interview. He requested questions in writing but did not respond to them.

    Montgomery said during the June meeting that he believes Mangum forgets that the board is her boss and she is the employee.

    Victor Gaines, president of an alumni association chapter in Tallahassee and the marching band alumni organization, said Mangum needs to find a way to work with trustees despite her personal feelings. And trustees must give her space to lead and stop trying to make her look bad in public, he said.

    "You have to say, 'We may not like each other personally or professionally, but we're supposed to be working for the betterment of FAMU,' " he said. "So let's sit down and figure out how to make this work as opposed to waiting until we get to a public forum to discuss the things that we're not doing."

    Mangum's leadership has seen its successes, too.

    In May, the FAMU Wind Symphony became the first ensemble from a historically black college or university to perform at Carnegie Hall, a major achievement for a music program still rebuilding after the 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion.

    The university's baseball, softball and women's track and field and cross-country teams all have won conference championships.

    FAMU was ranked this year as the top public HBCU by U.S. News & World Report. A graduate student and a professor were selected for the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program. Student Government Association leader Tonnette Graham is the new president of the Florida Student Association, making her the first African-American female in that position. As representative of student bodies at the state's 12 public universities, she serves as a member of the state Board of Governors.

    Some trustees believe Montgomery's diatribe during the June 9 meeting, and an attempt the next day by board Vice Chairman Kelvin Lawson to have a letter of reprimand added to Mangum's personnel file, were out of line.

    Trustee Kimberly Moore insisted that Mangum have an opportunity to respond to Montgomery's criticism and warned colleagues they all bear a responsibility in how they allow FAMU to be portrayed. She wondered if it was premature to take action that could be perceived as disciplinary before Mangum's formal evaluation was delivered.

    State lawmakers who happened to be in Tallahassee for a special session at the same time trustees were meeting expressed concern about what was unfolding. Five legislators, all FAMU alumni, wrote a letter to the Board of Governors requesting an investigation of the FAMU trustees' behavior — and specifically that of Montgomery.

    "Since her name was first advanced as a leading candidate for FAMU president, and, subsequently, after her historic selection, Dr. Elmira Mangum has been a frequent target of FAMU BOT Chairman Rufus Montgomery, whose abrupt and ongoing challenges to her leadership are bordering dangerously close to bullying," the legislators wrote. "Unfortunately, his actions recently intensified at a meeting of the Board last week, leading to spurious demands we believe are unwarranted and detrimental to the effective operation of the university as a whole."

    The letter was signed by Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa; Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami; Rep. Mia Jones, D-Jacksonville; Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park; and Rep. Bobby Powell, D-Riviera Beach. An investigation has begun.

    At the end of the June 9 meeting, trustees and Mangum agreed to "hit reset" on their relationship. But Lawson's surprising move the next day to reprimand her had threatened the truce.

    It was Graham, the only student trustee, who advanced a compromise that would allow everyone to save face and preserve the period of rebuilding that had begun less than 24 hours earlier. Instead of a formal letter, Graham suggested that board members put their concerns in writing and allow Mangum 30 days to address them.

    Lawson initially refused to go along, but he soon changed his mind. Mangum never uttered a word, even when Montgomery asked her to react to the possibility of a black mark on her employment record.

    The vote was unanimous in favor of Graham's proposal.

    It just so happened that the "adult in the room" was the youngest person at the table.


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    An Air Force bomb squad plans to detonate a barnacle-encrusted bomb that washed ashore on St. Pete Beach Sunday morning.

    A spokesman for Mac Dill Air Force base says the old military ordnance is a photoflash bomb.

    Officials have temporarily evacuated the beach and established a 300-yard safety perimeter.

    A beachgoer found the old bomb while combing the shoreline Sunday morning and alerted authorities.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Bill Cosby said he had sexual relationships with at least five women outside his marriage, gave prescription sedatives to women he wanted to have sex with and tried to hide the affairs from his wife, according to a court deposition obtained by CNN.

    The deposition, first reported by the New York Times, was taken 10 years ago and stems from a civil lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand -- one of two dozen women who have publicly accused the comedian of sexual assault over four decades, often alleging he gave them some sort of drug without their knowledge.

    CNN independently obtained a copy of the full deposition.

    Cosby, 78, has never been criminally charged and has vehemently denied wrongdoing. In the deposition he says the sex and drug-taking were always consensual.

    When reached for comment Sunday, Cosby publicist Andrew Wyatt said, "No comment at this time." Constand attorney Dolores Troiani said she could not comment due to the confidentiality of the lawsuit settlement. CNN has not been able to obtain Constand's deposition.

    Intense questioning

    In the deposition, taken in a Philadelphia hotel, the wealthy and popular entertainer faced intense questioning about how he conducted relationships with women. For instance, Troiani asked about a model he met more than two decades ago at a club in Denver.

    Cosby: We had sex and we had dinners and sex and rendezvous.

    Troiani: What are rendezvous?

    Cosby: Rendezvous is when you call somebody and say, do you want to be at such and such and they say yes and you go there.

    Troiani: Is there sexual contact associated with the rendezvous?

    Cosby: There was with (the woman) every time.

    The woman alleged Cosby drugged a cup of coffee and had sex with her while she was unconscious.

    Troiani: She says that she was in a car and that when she awoke her clothes were a mess, her bra was undone, her top was untucked and I was sitting there going, oh, my God, what happened. Do you recall anything such as that ever happening with her?

    Cosby: I wasn't there.

    Earlier this month, a judge released a memorandum of law relating to the Constand lawsuit which contained portions of the deposition in which Cosby has admitted to getting prescription Quaaludes to give to young women he wanted to have sex with.

    In those earlier documents, Cosby says he gave Constand one and a half tablets of Benadryl -- an over-the-counter antihistamine that can cause drowsiness -- to relieve stress.

    Cosby says he obtained a prescription for the sedative Quaaludes from a Los Angeles doctor, ostensibly for a bad back. But Cosby said he never used the drug because they made him sleepy.

    "Quaaludes happen to be the drug that kids, young people were using to party with and there were times when I wanted to have them just in case," he said.

    For instance, Cosby said he was introduced to a young woman at the Las Vegas Hilton in the 1970s.

    "She meets me backstage," he said. "I give her Quaaludes. We then have sex. ... I think she may very well have been very happy to be around the show business surroundings."

    Constand's lawyer said, "She said that she believes she was not in the position to consent to intercourse after you gave her the drug. Do you believe that is correct?"

    "I don't know," Cosby replied.

    "Why don't you know?

    "That's her statement," he said. "I don't know. How many years ago are we talking about? Nineteen seventy what?"

    Twenty years later the woman contacted Cosby and asked for money, saying he'd promised her $500 for every A she earned in school, Constand's lawyer says in the deposition.

    Cosby said he thought she was broke and gave her a total of $10,000.

    When Constand's lawyer asked who Cosby wanted to hide the payments from, he replied: "Mrs. Cosby."

    Cosby said he imagined his wife would have known he was helping pay for Constand's education but not because they'd had sex and Constand was now upset, he said in the deposition. In her lawsuit, Constand alleged she was the victim of non-consensual sex.

    First meeting

    In the deposition, Cosby mostly discusses his relationship with Constand but described sexual relationships with at least five women in different cities across the nation, in hotels and in one of his homes.

    Constand was a staffer for the women's basketball team at Cosby's alma mater, Temple University, when she visited Cosby's Pennsylvania home in 2004. She told police in her home province of Ontario, Canada, in January 2005 that Cosby gave her medication that made her dizzy and she woke up to find her bra undone and her clothes in disarray.

    In the deposition, Cosby says he first met Constand at a Temple athletic facility where he showed her a back-relaxation technique.

    "It's one where she gets on my back with her back and her arms come under mine and I grab her and I say, now you relax," the deposition quotes him as saying. "And her legs are hanging out in the air and I go up and down and I give that jolt and it's supposed to line the vertebrae."

    She talked about wanting a tighter butt, he said, so he touched it.

    "It wasn't a sexual opening," he said. "It's a woman who is working with basketball players, who used to be a jock, who also got on my back and is like that and she was very comfortable about that."

    When asked how he caused a romantic relationship to develop, Cosby said he acted as a mentor, "Inviting her to my house, talking to her about personal situations dealing with her life, growth, education access and thoughts to how to acquire a more aggressive attitude, protecting oneself in business."

    Cosby said he always looked for nonverbal clues that women welcomed his sexual advances.

    "I think I'm a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them," he said in the deposition.

    Though sometimes argumentative and seemingly evasive with Constand's lawyer, Cosby described a sexual encounter in such detail that it took several deposition pages. He said he and Constand were sitting on a sofa when he touched her stomach.

    "I don't hear her say anything," he said. "And I don't feel her say anything. And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped."

    Constand went to authorities with her allegations in January 2005 but in February of that year authorities -- citing a lack of evidence -- said no charges would be filed against Cosby.

    Similar stories

    Cosby eventually settled Constand's suit in which 13 "Jane Does" had similar stories of sexual abuse. The suit was settled under confidential terms in 2006.

    Since then, more than 25 women have publicly accused Cosby of raping or assaulting them over the past 40 years. He has never faced criminal charges, partly because almost all the accusations fall outside statutes of limitations.

    Cosby talked about his philosophy of sex in the deposition, saying he tried to avoid sexual intercourse because he didn't want women falling in love with him.


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    Police are investigating a crash that left one man dead Sunday.

    According to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Guilermo Rodriguez, 26, was driving his motorcycle north on South Federal Highway when someone driving a Ford F-150 truck going south on the highway attempted to make a left turn and Rodriguez struck the truck.

    Police said Rodriguez was taken to Broward Health Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He was later pronounced dead.

    Police said charges are pending further investigation.

    Anyone with any information on this crash is asked to contact Traffic Homicide Investigator Russell Brown at 954-828-5754.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A Vietnam veteran who was shot while trying to save baby sea turtles has been released from the hospital.

    Stanley Pannaman of Tamarac, was shot Friday night near a turtle's nest in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

    Pannaman was confronted by Michael McAuliffe, 38. 

    "He was yelling that he hated turtles and the people who try to save them," said Pannaman.

    Pannaman, who has a permit to carry, said he pulled out his gun in an attempt to calm down McAuliffe.

    "He complied, and I put my gun away, then he attacked me and took my gun," Pannaman said.

    Pannaman said he was shot in the backside; the bullet is still lodged in his buttocks. It should be removed in the next couple weeks. 

    McAuliffe, a convicted felon, is facing multiple charges, police records confirmed.

    Stay with Local 10 News and Local10.com for updates.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    South Florida's Cuban community are reacting to the Cuban Embassy reopening in Washington, D.C., Monday.


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    The Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., is ready to reopen come Monday morning.


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    Police are searching for a gunman after a teenage boy was fatally shot at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

    Police said they responded to a call of shots fire and when they arrived, they found the teen dead in an alley.

    A woman who heard the shots said she saw two men running away from the scene and told them to stop before she called police.

    Police said they interviewed someone who was with the boy at the time of the shooting, but no further details were immediately released.

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

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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  • 07/20/15--23:00: On this day: July 21
  • The Scopes Monkey Trial ends, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin bid the moon adieu, Hank Aaron joins Babe Ruth in an exclusive club, and the last space shuttle lands, all on this day.


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  • 07/20/15--23:00: Celebrities' hidden talents
  • Everybody has hidden talents, even celebrities. Click on to see which of your favorite stars have secret talents.


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    Police are investigating after a man was driven to a Miramar Walmart with a gunshot wound.

    Sky 10 was above the Walmart on South University Drive and Pembroke Road shortly after 4 p.m. Monday as detectives focused on a red car that was parked in front of the store. Blood-stained clothes or rags could be seen on the floor next to the front passenger-side door.

    Miramar police spokeswoman Tania Rues said it's unclear where the shooting occurred, but said it did not happen at the Walmart or in the Walmart's parking lot.

    Rues said the victim, who suffered from one gunshot wound, was driven to the store by a friend and was later taken by authorities to Memorial Regional Hospital.

    Witnesses told Local 10 News that he ran inside the store asking for help.

    "It's crazy because they're jeopardizing everybody's safety," said customer, Jessica Alvardo. "Because you never know if the guys were behind him, and he comes and drives where there's a lot of people."

    Rues said it's unclear where the shooting happened and said the victim is not cooperating with detectives.

    The Walmart remained open to customers.

    The victim is listed in stable condition.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Police said a teenage boy who was shot and left to die in a North Miami Beach alley Sunday was 16 years old and just days away from celebrating his birthday.

    Detectives said they haven't released his identity because they believe it may jeopardize the investigation.

    Orange spray paint and blood stains near Northeast 176th Street and 16th Avenue marked the spot where the victim was shot.

    Witnesses said they heard about six gunshots and saw two boys running from the scene.

    Romel Alvarez said the shooting happened near his home, which has motion sensing cameras. He said the cameras were just out of range to record the shooting.

    "I just saw a guy running back and forward," said Alvarez.

    "Did he have a gun in his hand?" asked Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney.

    "No. Just a cellphone," said Alvarez.

    Detectives said they interviewed someone who was with the victim at the time of the shooting, but haven't released any details about what that person told them.

    A woman who wished to remain anonymous told Local 10 News that she saw two boys running away shortly after the shooting.

    "I saw two young boys running down the alley and I said to them, 'Stop! What's going on here?'" she said. "It's scary because we have kids and it's a problem."

    No arrests have been made.

    Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

    Follow Terrell Forney on Twitter @TVTerrell

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Buying and selling on Internet marketplaces like Craigslist can be risky.

    Earlier this year, a Georgia couple looking to purchase a classic car on Craigslist disappeared after answering an ad. Their bodies were recovered and a suspect who posted the online ad turned himself in, according to local authorities. That's why the Miami Beach Police Department is offering its lobby as a safe place to complete online transactions.

    "Think about it: you're doing an online transaction. I post something for sale, you post something for sale," said Miami Beach Officer Ernesto Rodriguez. "We're engaged through text message or online, but you never really know who’s on the other end of that transaction, and you never know what their motives are."

    Like most large departments in South Florida, the Miami Beach Police Department is open 24 hours a day. The lobby is well lit and an officer is always nearby.

    "We actually have an officer staffed here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year," Rodriguez said.

    Following an incident two years ago in Broward County, the Broward Sheriff's Office offered its Weston parking lot as a safe zone to do business, too.

    Rodriguez said if you are unable to meet a potential buyer or seller at a police department, it is important to meet in a well-lit public place, to have a friend with you and to always have a cellphone handy in case of an emergency.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Police are investigating after a doctor was found dead in his Jupiter home Sunday.

    According to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, authorities were called to the home of Dr. Ronald Schwartz, 64, in the 9700 block of Mockingbird Trail to perform a welfare check.

    Deputies through investigation they determined Schwartz was the victim of a homicide.

    No other details were immediately released.

    Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A house-flipping dream turned out to be a flop for one South Florida retiree.

    Local 10 News viewer Rafael Mendoza called the "Call Christina" hotline, saying he couldn't get Armando Montelongo's company to respond to his repeated requests for a nearly $1,500 refund.

    Mendoza said he wanted to get his money back after he claimed the three-day seminar he attended in 2014 didn't deliver on a promise to reveal the secrets of making a fortune flipping real estate. Instead, he said he was just badgered to spend even more money.

    Television personality and self-professed real estate guru Armando Montelongo claims to be America's No. 1 home flipper, calling the people who buy into his products "students."

    Montelongo claims to flip 400 homes a year and says he can help you "grow rich," too.

    Mendoza is a retiree who was looking to supplement his Social Security income and found Montelongo's infomercial on real estate training sales pitch exciting.

    He signed up for the free seminar, "But it turned out that it was really an advertisement for the three-day seminar, which was $1,500."

    Mendoza paid the money, $1,496, and thought he was going to learn the ropes on how to flip homes.

    Instead, he said he was pitched a more than $30,000 bus tour promoting the sale of a separate program.

    Mendoza told Local 10 News he felt like he got "taken" and went as far as to say, "I think he's a scammer."

    Mendoza's complaint is echoed by people all across the country, spanning several years.

    Local 10 News investigative reporter Christina Vazquez uncovered that the Federal Trade Commission has 147 responsive complaints on file for the San Antonio-based business since 2009.

    In 2013, a Forbes headline described him as a "huckster." Two years prior to that, the Better Business Bureau issued an alert.

    [WEB EXTRAS: 2013 FORBES: Meet Armando Montelongo: The Home-Flipping Huckster Who'll Make $50M This Year | 2011 BBB Alert: "Free" Real Estate Investment Seminar Could Cost Tens of Thousands]

    Vazquez checked in with Erin Dufner, the chief marketing officer with the Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin.

    Dufner said that while the company currently holds a B+ rating and complaint volume is going down, "complainants continue to complain their dissatisfaction with the fee-based seminars after they attend the free seminar hosted by the business. Generally, consumers are asking for a refund."

    Is there anything our community should know about Armando Montelongo seminars from the BBB when it comes to consumer protection information?

    According to Dufner:

    Make sure to read all of the fine print when signing up for additional training.Be sure to understand any guarantees promised during the presentation.If you decide to sign up for additional seminars, make sure you have the time and tools to be successful using the training program.Don't be pressured to sign up for anything on the spot. Take time to review all documentation, research the business opportunity and decide if it's something in which you want to invest.

    "I really don't understand, with so many regulatory agencies, why he hasn't been put out of business," Mendoza said.

    In 2011, the Texas Attorney General's Office looked into the company's business practices and accepted what is called an "Assurance of Voluntary Compliance."

    While no misconduct was cited, Montelongo's companies paid the state $100,000, while the state outlined a laundry list of things the company can and cannot do in order to comply with Texas law.

    [WEB EXTRA: What is an "Assurance of Voluntary Compliance?"]

    AVC's are provided for in the Deceptive Trade Practices Act under Texas law, Business and Commerce Code, Chapter 17.

    Sec. 17.58. VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE.

    (a) In the administration of this subchapter the consumer protection division may accept assurance of voluntary compliance with respect to any act or practice which violates this subchapter from any person who is engaging in, has engaged in, or is about to engage in the act or practice. The assurance shall be in writing and shall be filed with and subject to the approval of the district court in the county in which the alleged violator resides or does business or in the district court of Travis County.

    (b) The acceptance of an assurance of voluntary compliance may be conditioned on the stipulation that the person in violation of this subchapter restore to any person in interest any money or property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of acts or practices which violate this subchapter.

    (c) An assurance of voluntary compliance shall not be considered an admission of prior violation of this subchapter. However, unless an assurance has been rescinded by agreement of the parties or voided by a court for good cause, subsequent failure to comply with the terms of an assurance is prima facie evidence of a violation of this subchapter.

    (d) Matters closed by the filing of an assurance of voluntary compliance may be reopened at any time. Assurances of voluntary compliance shall in no way affect individual rights of action under this subchapter, except that the rights of individuals with regard to money or property received pursuant to a stipulation in the voluntary compliance under Subsection (b) of this section are governed by the terms of the voluntary compliance.

    Local 10 News asked the Texas Attorney General's Office if Montelongo was ever found in violation of the AVC or if any follow-up investigation ever found Montelongo's companies to be in compliance.

    In an email, Katie Avinger of the Texas Office of the Attorney General stated, "Regarding any follow up investigation, we do not confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation. We do not provide comments regarding investigations."

    Since 2009, the office confirms it has received 78 complaints from people all across the country, some saying the Montelongo seminars are "bait and switch scam and fraud," complaining of "deceptive trade," looking to be refunded, in some cases, by tens of thousands of dollars. It would appear they have received as many complaints so far this year as they did all of last year.

    After an initial attempt to reach the company through Montelongo's website went unreturned, Local 10 News asked a news crew to visit one of Montelongo's free seminars in Orlando.

    A staff member winked at the camera, but did not talk. Instead, they held up a piece of paper to the lens reading, "Greg Salsburg--STiR Communications," a company Florida state records show is based in South Florida.

    Monday morning, Salsburg sent an email that did not address the pattern of complaints spanning several years, but did state, "Our documented company phone calls have recorded Mr. Mendoza stating his pleasure with the workshop he attended and that he was able to purchase a property with a cash flow of $850 per month from the teachings."

    It is a claim Local 10 viewer Mendoza denies.

    "That is a big lie," Mendoza said. "The seminar that I participated in was at the end of January 2014 and it ended three days later. So the house that I purchased, I bought in the fall of the year before, in 2013. So therefore, what they're saying is a lame excuse to try to justify that I used their information to obtain property."

    Local 10 News asked Mendoza to provide paperwork to support his statement. According to the purchase agreement for a home in Indianapolis, Indiana, dated Oct. 26, 2013, he signed on Nov. 3, 2013.

    Local 10 News then checked with Indiana Property Records, which documents a transfer of ownership date of Dec. 19, 2013. Records there show it was sold in January of 2015 for $900 less than his purchase price.

    Mendoza signed a "student agreement" with Montelongo and purchased a three-day workshop package for $1,496 on Dec. 12, 2013.

    Mendoza said he attended the three-day seminar on Jan. 31, 2014, Feb. 1, 2014, and Feb. 2, 2014. That is why Mendoza claims there is no connection between the Montelongo three-day seminar and the property in Indiana.

    Outside of his current Sunrise home, which is owned by Mendoza Legacy Inc., Mendoza stated he does not own any other property.

    Local 10 News has asked Salsburg for a copy of the audio recording. If we ever receive a statement regarding the years-long pattern of nationwide complaints we will also add that to the website.

    The BBB says in general to be wary of get-rich-quick enterprises and never be pressured to sign up for something on the spot.

    Follow Christina Vazquez on Twitter @CallChristinaTV

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    On paper, it seemed that Dorothy Rudnick was one of the worst SunPass toll violators in Florida. A license tag associated with Rudnick racked up nearly $3,000 in toll violations in South Florida. The state sent Rudnick one violation after another to her home in Killeen, Texas -- so many that she finally stopped opening them.

    Rudnick told investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that the tag had been affixed to a car she'd given her son years before that had been impounded and never returned after his DUI arrest in 2007.

    Those investigators already knew that. That expired Texas tag somehow wound up on the back of a take-home Chevrolet Silverado assigned to Broward Sheriff's Office Sgt. Tony Garcia, according to FDLE reports obtained by Local 10 News.

    It was a scene that was playing out in other homes in South Florida. Jesus Rodriguez was also hounded by SunPass for toll violations that were associated to a New York tag that he told investigators he'd traded in at the Coral Springs Auto Mall back in 2002. That tag somehow wound up on the back of BSO Maj. Donn Peterson's take-home vehicle and was associated with at least $800 in violations, according to FDLE reports.

    As Rodriguez was hit with toll violations, he filed two police reports to document that he no longer had ownership of the tag.

    Bonnie Feit, of Delray Beach, was also hit up for numerous SunPass violations on a tag that she'd turned into the state of New York several years before. She told investigators she had no idea how it racked up more than $1,500 in SunPass violations on the back of numerous vehicles and had turned up on a BSO take-home car being driven by an unknown employee.

    Then there was Timothy Hughett, an inmate in a Kentucky prison serving his sentence on an attempted murder of police officer conviction. His car had been impounded after his arrest in 2009 and, according to FDLE records, somehow ended up on the take-home car of BSO Lt. Brad Ostriff. The tag had a little more than $50 in SunPass violations.

    It was part of a wide-ranging investigation by FDLE into misconduct at BSO regarding the use of improper tags to skirt SunPass tolls -- the same type of misconduct that recently led to the arrest of Sweetwater Det. Octavio Oliu after it was alleged he was using a stolen tag to duck hundreds of SunPass violations.

    FDLE agents charged Oliu with felony counts of official misconduct and organized scheme to defraud for the use of those plates.

    But FDLE handled the case involving BSO much differently. It handed the case over to the Sheriff's Office -- the agency under investigation -- on Dec. 10, 2013, in a meeting between FDLE agents and BSO Undersheriff Steve Kinsey, Det. Efrain Torres, additional BSO staff and State Attorney's Office corruption unit Chief Tim Donnelly.

    "The entire contents of the FDLE investigation was given to Colonel Kinsey and Det. Efrain Torres," wrote FDLE Special Agent Aida Limongi in her report on the meeting. "Colonel Kinsey stated that BSO would continue the investigation moving forward."

    Now, some 19 months later, the BSO investigation remains officially open.

    A BSO spokeswoman wrote in an email to Local 10 that BSO forwarded the case to the State Attorney's Office in April 2014 for review and is awaiting its decision.

    Peterson retired with fanfare in October 2014 and Garcia and Ostriff, who is the No. 2 officer in Oakland Park, remains on his post on the SWAT team. After his arrest, Oliu was promptly suspended without pay and faces up to 20 years in prison on the charges.

    "On the face of it, it looks very unfair," said C. Michael Cornely, Oliu's attorney.

    Cornely acknowledged that BSO could still make arrests in the case despite the fact that BSO has been holding the investigation for nearly two years.

    "Why is my guy arrested?" Cornely said. "It seems like FDLE is selecting who they want to prosecute or don't want to prosecute."

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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