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    Apparently, Marco Rubio isn't concerned about the votes of his Florida State University alumni constituency.

    The U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate offended the FSU fan base with his recent remarks about the Tallahassee school.

    "Look, I don't have anything against Florida State," Rubio said in a weekend radio interview in Iowa. "I think there has to be a school where people that can't get into Florida can go to college, and so that's why we have Florida State."

    Rubio, who received an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and attended the University of Miami for law school, said he's never been to the rivalry game between the Seminoles and the Gators in Tallahassee, but he has been when the game is played in Gainesville.

    He said Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field, affectionately known as "The Swamp," is the toughest place to play in Florida and the Southeastern Conference. The Seminoles are scheduled to play the Gators there Nov. 28.

    Rubio admitted that FSU has been the more successful program in recent years.

    "But these things ebb and flow," he said. "I feel good about the future of the Florida program."

    Rubio was also asked who Florida fans support when the Seminoles play the Hurricanes.

    "I grew up in Miami," Rubio said. "I'm a Gator fan, but I don't root against the Hurricanes, and when (they) play Florida State it's not hard for me to root against Florida State."

    FSU President John Thrasher, who previously served with Rubio in the Florida legislature, took a jab at the senator Tuesday.

    "He's a nice kid," Thrasher told the Tallahassee Democrat. "I'm sure he's frustrated by his low standing in the polls, which I believe could be a reflection of where he got his education."

    In response to the backlash, Rubio told FSU fans on Twitter to "relax."

    Rubio Twitter: #BeatFSU

    "It was just college football trash talk on sports radio, not serious statement on @meetthepress," Rubio tweeted.

    He then followed it was another tweet.

    "But we are still going to #BeatFSU," Rubio wrote.

    Later in the day, Rubio posted a photo of his office door on Facebook with the caption, "My FSU staffers vandalized my office door before I arrived this morning with references to historical aberrations in #UFvsFSU. Maybe they forgot -- All Time Series: University of Florida 32 wins, Florida State University 23."

    Rubio also may have rankled New England Patriots fans during his radio interview. The Miami Dolphins fan said he has told supporters when campaigning in New Hampshire that he doesn't like the Patriots and wanted quarterback Tom Brady suspended all 16 games for the deflated football controversy.

    "So I probably won't win New Hampshire because of that," Rubio said. "I'm not sure."

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter@WPLGLocal10

    10 most important games involving Florida teams


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    The moment a thief saw his chance to steal a tow truck, he jumped into it and took off, and it was all caught on camera.

    The is a case now in the hands of Hollywood police.

    Some people might call it poetic justice, because the victim was a repo man, and unfairly, he had the tables turned on him right in front of his eyes.

    Police said there were four culprits -- a woman, her boyfriend, who came to pick up her repossessed car, and their friends in a second vehicle.

    "They're leaving with their car -- the one that was repossessed," Victor Puran said as he watches the surveillance video.

    Puran owns AAA Asset Recovery in Hollywood. But Monday night a real crook turned the tables on him. One of the woman's friends allegedly stole Puran's tow truck.

    "I was in shock. This is my hard earned money that paid for this truck," Puran said of the $65,000 truck.

    "Did you have any confrontation with this guy prior to this?" Local 10 News' John Turchin asked Puran.

    "No. They were very friendly outside, which was shocking," Puran said.

    Just as one of Puran's driver's pulled up and ran in for a moment, that woman's friends circled back and made their move.

    "My thought was, at that moment, to get my truck," Puran said. "He was taking all the streets, making lefts, making rights, going through all the neighborhoods. He was trying to lose us, basically. What he tried to do was try to run us off the road and make me crash."

    The thief repeatedly slammed into the front end of Puran's Nissan Maxima.

    "He went through (a) yard here," Puran said. "As he was coming through really fast, the tires spun out and got stuck in the mud. He jumped out, he ran on foot and somebody picked him up, and he was never seen again."

    The thief made a cameo appearance on camera at the financial lending center, where his friend was taking care of her loan.

    Police are now investigating, trying to locate the thief.


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    A fatal crash that shut down part of Florida's Turnpike Tuesday afternoon in southwest Miami-Dade County left a Florida road ranger dead.

    All northbound lanes were shut down on the Turnpike between Southwest 120th Street and Kendall Drive for about three hours.

    Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Joe Sanchez said a State Farm safety patrol officer was killed after responding to a crash involving a Ford Mustang and a pickup truck.

    Sanchez said Andres Garcia Boligan, 47, of Miami, was attempting to stop traffic so he could move both vehicles to the same side of the highway when he was struck by a dump truck.

    Troopers said the driver of the dump truck, Sergio Gonzalez, 40, of Miami, attempted to stop when his breaks locked and he swerved out of control before hitting Boligan along a metal street light pole.

    Boligan was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Troopers told Local 10 News reporter Jeff Weinsier that the road ranger was very careful and they don't believe he stepped into traffic.

    Sanchez said Boligan was wearing his work vest and had the emergency lights activated on his vehicle.

    No one else was injured in the crash.

    Troopers said the investigation is ongoing.

    State Farm has a partnership with Florida's Turnpike and its safety patrol officers offer free roadway assistance to drivers along the Turnpike and the Sawgrass Expressway.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    When animal owners leave their pet in someone else's care, anything can happen, including losing their loved one. Local 10 News Animal Advocate Jacey Birch investigates the worst case scenario that's broken a heart and run up the bills for one business owner.


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    A group of mothers who have each lost a child to violence gathered to share their stories of grief and frustration, with the hope of stopping the cycle.


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    A group of Cuban migrants and a dog came ashore Miami Beach Tuesday, police confirmed.

    The migrants were taken into custody near the Shelborne Hotel off 17th Street in South Beach.

    SoBe 1

    SoBe 2

    A Miami Beach police representative said 11 males, one female and a dog named Chiquita traveled to South Florida on a small boat.

    ON THE WEB: Watch a video of the welcome migrants got on South Beach

    "They seem to be in decent health and in good spirits," Tobias Max, of Aventura, said on Twitter. "They were out there for six days. [The] dog they had was really scared."

    Sky 10 was above the scene shortly after noon as police roped off a lifeguard stand where the migrants were seated at.

    A crowd of beachgoers surrounded the lifeguard stand, watching paramedics attend to the migrants.

    ON THE WEB: Watch Cuban migrants wave a U.S. flag

    Some of the men spoke to reporters briefly while holding up an American flag before one of the men draped the flag over his shoulders.

    One of the migrants said they left Cuba about a week ago and said the boat's engine gave out two days ago.

    Carlos Rojas told Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg that the first call he made was to his wife and 6-year-old son. He said he and his friends risked their lives to find work that they don't have in Villa Clara.

    Miami Beach Sanitation brought in a dump truck to dispose of the boat, which was made from steel drums, a tree branch and plastic.

    However, with a four-hour reprieve, two women arranged to have it dismantled and saved.

    "It should go to a Cuban museum," Rene Pratz said.

    The migrants are now in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol and are expected to stay in South Florida.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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    A man accused of hiding under a table and smelling a student's feet at Florida International University's main campus was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon.

    Sky 10 was above the scene shortly before 5 p.m. at Southwest 97th Court and 59th Street as Miami-Dade police arrested the man, identified as Eddy Juan, 52, following an attempted traffic stop.

    This week FIU police warned students about a man who was seen "crawling underneath a table in a suspicious manner," at the main campus's Green Library.

    FIU police spokesman David Navas said in a statement that the man appeared to smell the feet of an unsuspecting female student sitting at the table.

    Investigators said that a person matching the description of a man involved in the incident at FIU's main campus was spotted riding a scooter in the area of 51st Street and Southwest 104th Avenue.

    Officers attempted the traffic stop, but the scooter driver attempted to flee and then crashed at 59th Street and Southwest 79th Court, police said.

    "Based on recent media coverage of a suspicious incident at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, the Crime Stoppers program received multiple tips leading to the identity of the person involved," FIU police Chief Alex Casas said in a statement. "This matter was investigated jointly by members of the Miami-Dade Police Department along with the FIU Police Department. On Tuesday afternoon, a member of the public saw the person and called  Miami-Dade Police Department. Police officers saturated the area and located the individual riding a scooter. The individual attempted to flee and was apprehended and arrested."

    Miami-Dade police said Juan was taken into custody without further incident and is being charged with violation of sexual offender registration, fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, aggravated assault and resisting without violence.

    FIU spokeswoman Dianne Fernandez said nobody was hurt in the incident and there have been no other reports.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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  • 09/18/15--23:00: On this day: September 19
  • George Washington says goodbye, America takes nuclear testing underground, Simon & Garfunkel reunite in Central Park, and emoticons are born, all on this day.


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    The White House announced Friday changes to commerce, travel and investment restrictions that will take effect Monday in Cuba. But there was no mention of Cuban exiles' property claims.

    The changes come as Pope Francis visits both countries this month. The U.S. Department of Commerce allows U.S. companies to do business on the Communist island and hire Cuban workers.  And while Congress has yet to lift the embargo, the U.S. Department of the Treasury lifted fund limits on financial transactions.

    Fidel Castro's failed redistribution of wealth left many victims and some of them live in the United States. Miami attorney Rosa Vega holds deeds to properties in Cuba that the government seized after Castro's socialist revolution.

    CLAIMS AGAINST CUBA The U.S. Department of Justice's Cuban claims program completed claims July 6, 1972 and July 15, 2005. The U.S. Secretary of State has the two claims for eventual use in negotiation of a lump-sum claims settlement agreement with the Cuban government. Amount of awards (principal) - $1,902,202,284.95 - Cuban Electric Co. - $ 267.57 - United Fruit Sugar - $85.5 million - Exxon Corp. - $71.61 million -Texaco Inc. - $56.20 million

    "They are going to negotiate with our money," Vega said. "That's basically what's going to happen."

    Local 10 News talked to Josefina Vidal, Cuba's lead diplomat, in Havana.

    "We will begin speaking about claims ... we will listen to the minister and we will put our claims too on the table," Vidal said.

    The U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission certified 5,913 claims out of 8,821 claims. One in 10 of the claims is from an individual owner, according to USAID. 

    "It has nothing to do with the money. It has to do with what is right," Vega said. "Everything was taken from the Cuban people."

    Follow Local 10 News' Glenna Milberg on Twitter @GlennaOn10

     


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    President Obama spoke with Cuban president Raul Castro Friday, a day before the Pope visited the communist island.


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    When Fidel Castro staged a first, failed attempt to overthrow the Cuban government, Roman Catholic Archbishop Enrique Perez Serantes pleaded for the rebel leader's life to be saved. After Castro took power, Serantes' support turned to opposition and the prelate's family fled.

    As they built a new life in Miami, Serantes' family vowed never to return while Castro was in power.

    Now, as formerly icy relations between the U.S. and Cuba thaw, thousands of Cuban-American families are trying to finally put five decades of bitterness behind them. For many, the visit to Cuba of Pope Francis, the man who mediated detente between the two nations, is the moment to return.

    Hundreds of Cuban-Americans are traveling to the island this week to see Francis, hopeful that the pontiff who shepherded the two countries toward reconciliation can also bring them peace with the past.

    "I keep hearing that I'm going to get sad and have these overwhelming feelings and emotions of despair," said Serantes' great-niece, Frances Serantes Gomez, who flew to Havana on Friday on a trip of 250 mostly Cuban-Americans organized by the Archbishop of Miami. "I hope I don't feel that way. I hope because I'm going with the pope, I see something positive coming out of this."

    For many, it is an anguished decision, with the plight of parents and grandparents, many now deceased, weighing heavily on their consciences. Fidel Castro is out of power but his brother Raul is president. The recent diplomatic opening and Francis' personal intervention nevertheless provided the final push many Cuban-Americans needed to return.

    "At the end, I said, these people who were cruel, they do not own my country. That's my country as well. I have a right to go back," said Clara Gonzalez, 69, who is returning with her sister and three children. Her sister has never returned to Cuba. Her children have never been there at all.

    Many of the Cuban-Americans coming with Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski have either spent decades in exile or grew up in the U.S. with only stories and faded photographs as a testament to their connection with the island. For many, the past anguish is still palpable.

    "There were some really deep psychic wounds, of having lost your country, and in a lot of ways, part of your identity," Wenski said. "That's something you can feel a lot of anger about. And certainly a lot of Cuban exiles do. But I think what the pope is trying to do, and what we're trying to do in going to Cuba, is to help Cuban people build a future of hope. And you can't build a future of hope on a foundation of resentment."

    Many Cuban-Americans still refuse to return.

    Amparo Martinez was 14 when she was sent alone to the United States with thousands of other Cuban children after the revolution in what became known as Operation Pedro Pan. She's going to see the pope in Philadelphia.

    She said that when her father died in Cuba, she was unable to return. "I didn't see my father. I wasn't able to have a Mass for him. Nothing. And now everything is going to be fine?" said Martinez, 68, who opposes the normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba.

    Gomez's great-granduncle was the highest religious authority in the eastern city of Santiago when a young Fidel Castro attempted to overthrow the government of Fulgencio Batista nearly six years before the 1959 revolution. Serantes was friends with Castro's father and vouched for the 27-year-old's life to be saved.

    If not for the archbishop's intervention, history may have taken a different course. Among exiles in Miami, Gomez heard that message time and again.

    The full story, of course, reads slightly differently: By appealing for Castro to be spared, Serantes also helped stop the violence that ensued as authorities searched for the rebel leader. After initially supporting the revolution, Serantes was among the first church members to speak against Castro.

    "He was a brave priest, with no fear about the personal consequences of his acts," said Ignacio Uria, a professor and author of a biography on Serantes. "Prophetic in many ways and able to change his mind if the reality confirmed he was wrong."

    Before returning, the 58-year-old Gomez said the visit, and whether she made the right choice, had weighed heavily on her mind. She and her husband plan to visit a church program they help fund that gives food and teaches Catholic values to Havana schoolchildren. Gomez said she hopes their trip will help establish personal connections between Cubans and Cuban-Americans.

    "These days I've been praying a lot to get the strength to see it like that," Gomez.


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    Tropical Storm Ida has formed in the Tropical Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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

    As of 11 p.m. Friday, the storm was 915 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands and was traveling northwest at 7 mph.

    The storm's maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph Friday night, weather officials said.

    There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, the NHC said.

    Forecasters said Ida is expected to slowly strengthen over the next couple of days.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Police are asking for the public's help in finding a woman who may be endangered.

    Angeletha Beckford, 48, was last seen at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the 15900 block of Northeast 19th Court in North Miami Beach.

    Police said Beckford suffers from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and diabetes.

    Beckford was described by police as 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds. Police said her most recent outfit was a brown polo shirt and gray pants.

    Anyone who has seen Beckford is asked to call police.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A man convicted of first-degree attempted murder was sentenced to three life sentences Friday in the beating of a store owner in Little Havana.

    Prosecutors said Rodobaldo "Johnny" Sanchez went inside Alex's Mini Market in the 500 block of Northwest 12th Avenue on Dec. 18, 2011, pretending to buy some milk.

    Instead, Sanchez spayed a chemical on the owner, Cen Yue Kui. He then went around the counter and beat the victim with a sledgehammer, grabbed two cartons of cigarettes and escaped on a bicycle.

    Kui suffered skull fractures and was in a coma with brain damage at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He survived the attack, but he will always need a wheel chair for mobility.

    Police found a fingerprint that they were able to link to Sanchez because of a prior arrest. Detectives also found Kui's blood on Sanchez's shirt.

    Sanchez, who was homeless at the time, was convicted in February of first-degree attempted murder, armed robbery and armed burglary.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A Miami father is outraged after a police officer pulled his 5-year-old son's ear and handcuffed him at Eneida Harter Elementary School.

    According to a newly released internal affairs report, the incident happened Feb. 9 after the kindergartner bit another student while they were fighting over a toy.

    The boy's father, Hector Feliciano, told police that the school notified him of the incident, and he told them he would discipline his son when he got home.

    However, Feliciano said Officer Paul Gourrier decided to take matters into his own hands.

    According to the report, school counselor Margarita Fernandez told police that she and Gourrier met with the boy after his teacher, Michelle Svayg, brought him to her office.

    Police said Svayg claimed that the boy had been picking on the other student and had previously injured the child's lip.

    Fernandez claimed that the boy continued to play around in her office "as if everything was a joke."

    Police said Fernandez said that she did not see Gourrier pull the boy's ear, but said Gourrier asked the boy if he knew what could happen to him if he continued to attack other students.

    She said the boy said, "No," and Gourrier replied, "Let me show you. I'm going to show you what happens so that you can understand."

    Fernandez said Gourrier walked the boy out of her office in handcuffs and returned with him about two minutes later. She said the boy was not handcuffed when he returned to her office.

    A security guard at the school said she saw Gourrier walk the handcuffed boy to the front door of the school and point at his police cruiser, explaining that if his bad behavior continued, he could go to jail.

    She said the officer spoke with the boy for a minute or two and returned to the counselor's office.

    According to the report, Gourrier admitted to handcuffing the boy and to "tugging" on his ear to get his attention.

    Because of his admission, internal affairs investigations found the allegation of misconduct against Gourrier to be substantiated.

    The report said Gourrier's actions were in violation of numerous city of Miami departmental orders, including unnecessary force, conduct unbecoming a police officer and improperly dealing with juveniles.

    Gourrier was suspended from work without pay for 20 hours, effective June 24.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    The captain of a boat and his crew are being hailed as heroes after helping a group of boaters at sea.

    A baby, three small children and two women were rescued from a pontoon boat.

    "We saw this one lady had a little baby. I didn't see a single life jacket," Capt. Chan Warner said.

    Warner was out on the water when a fishing trip suddenly turned into a rescue mission.

    "It wasn't life or death, but it could have been," Warner said.

    He and fellow fisherman were about to call it a day when they discovered a pontoon boat packed with passengers in dire need of help.

    "So I thought we got to do something very quick," said Warner.

    Warner's instincts immediately kicked in and his fishing crew transitioned into rescue mode.

    "I got down on my knees, grabbed the baby first and then we brought all of them on board. It was raining, the waves were getting rough and more weather was heading their way," Warner said. "They go out, that part scared me, especially for the children, but it turned out well. Lucky that we were there. There was no visibility, maybe raining and the lightning and thunder were right on top of one another."

    Despite the danger, Warner and his crew managed to safely rescue all of the women and children from the other boat.

    The captain didn't stop there, though, guiding the remaining men on the pontoon back to shore, riding like this for about an hour and a half.

    "It all turned out well. That's the main thing," Warner said.

    Warner said unfortunately he sees boaters unprepared on the water way too often.

    Follow Shyann Malone on Twitter @ShyannMalone

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Two people have been taken into custody in connection with a bank robbery in Plantation.

    The robbery happened Friday afternoon at a Chase Bank at 10195 Clearly Blvd.

    Sky 10 was above the scene about 5 p.m. as authorities blocked off intersections nearby as they searched for the robber.

    Detective Robert Rettig said Plantation police were working with the FBI to find a second person involved in the robbery. That person was taken into custody Friday evening.

    No injuries were reported. It's unclear how much money was taken in the robbery.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A short police chase that involved a stolen car came to an end shortly after 5:30 p.m. Friday in Fort Lauderdale.

    Police said a female victim was approached by a man, identified as Brian Semil, 27, while walking to her vehicle.

    Semil demanded keys to her vehicle, at which time, in fear for her safety, the victim gave her keys to the man, according to police.

    Semil fled the area in the victim's gray four-door Toyota. Police said Fort Lauderdale patrol officers attempted to stop the vehicle that matched the description of the victim's vehicle.

    Semil refused to stop and a pursuit ensued, police said. The chase initially began in the 100 block of Andrews Avenue.

    Sky 10 was above the area of Broward Boulevard and Northwest 11th Avenue as one man was handcuffed on the ground.

    Another man was seen being handcuffed nearby. One of the men was taken to a hospital by ambulance.

    Semil has been charged with robbery (sudden snatch), auto theft, aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and traffic offenses, police said.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Fuel leaked into the water as crews worked to put out a boat fire that may have been sparked by lightning, Miami Fire Rescue officials said.

    It happened after 6:30 p.m. Friday at the River Run Condos and Yacht Club at 1700 Northwest North River Drive.

    Officials said crews arrived to find a 29-foot Regal pleasure craft fully engulfed in flames.

    Despite a combination of heavy rain and winds accompanied by continuous lightning strikes, firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in about 20 minutes, according to Miami Fire Rescue.

    Some boats in the marina were relocated as a precaution to prevent any further damage, officials said.

    Lightning was seen striking the boat moments before flames erupted, according to a resident, Miami Fire Rescue officials said.

    Although the fire was extinguished, crews were concerned with the amount of fuel and fumes that were lingering in the area of the marina. Officials said layers of foam were applied across the water and the power to the marina was shut down until the fumes dissipated.

    No injuries were reported. Officials said the boat's owner was not there at the time of the fire.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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  • 09/19/15--23:00: On this day: September 20
  • Magellan sets sail, the first American-made, gas-powered car goes for a spin, Cal Ripken sits for the first time in 16 years, and the U.S. ends "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," all on this day.


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