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    A University of Miami football player is out of a South Florida hospital after he injured his neck during practice Wednesday.

    Team spokesman Tom Symonds said sophomore backup linebacker Marques Gayot was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center on Thursday morning.

    Symonds said Gayot "is expected to make a full recovery."

    Gayot has played in nine games for the Hurricanes, including all three this season. The Lake Worth native has 2.5 career tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

    The Hurricanes (3-0) have this weekend off before traveling to Cincinnati on Oct. 1 for their first out-of-state game of the season.

    Follow Local 10 Sports on Twitter @Local10Sports

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    A South Florida man is on trial on accusations that he operated a marijuana grow house out of his home, although he claims he was only growing the drugs to help his cancer-stricken wife.

    Maria Varona, 49, broke down once after telling the jury that the drug she takes to keep her cancer from coming back has tremendous side effects, including vomiting and diarrhea.

    Varona was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and is now in remission.

    She claims that she started using marijuana to deal with the side effects from the other drug she was prescribed.

    Investigators claim that her husband, Ricardo Varona, 43, was growing marijuana in their southwest Miami-Dade County home.

    Ricardo Varona said he was doing it to help his wife, but police claim he was dealing it.

    According to detectives, 15 marijuana plants were found inside the home.

    Bruce Vanaman, an advocate for medical marijuana and a cancer survivor, told the jury Thursday that what Varona was growing was just enough for personal consumption.

    Vanaman's statement was based on evidence photos he was shown, but prosecutors questioned whether Vanaman really knew how many plants were being grown based on just pictures.

    Varona's wife was also put on the spot when asked what other types of drugs she had taken to deal with the bad side effects.

    Maria Varona was not able to recognize any of the drugs that the prosecutor named.

    Follow Hatzel Vela on Twitter @hatzelvela

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    U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Miami International Airport discovered $2,000 in counterfeit money from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" coloring sheets on Sept. 16.

    According to CBP, the fake currency was found in a package from Trinidad to Tobago. After selecting the package for examination, officers discovered the counterfeit money between two glued coloring sheets.

    CBP officers seized the fake money and turned it over to the U.S. Secret Service for further investigation.

    "Once again our officers’ diligence in inspection operations has paid off," said MIA Port Director Christopher Maston. "They remain committed to protecting the American people and it shows in their hard work every day."

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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    A small plane made an emergency landing Thursday morning on Interstate 595 in Davie.

    It happened in the westbound lanes of I-595 near Southwest 136th Avenue.

    A view from Sky 10 showed the 1963 single-engine Piper PA-24 Comanche in the shoulder of I-595.

    The pilot, identified as Scott Richmond, 58, of Comstock Park, Michigan, was not injured. He waved to Sky 10 and could be seen sitting on a wing of the plane.

    A check of the plane's tail number shows it is registered to Gary Hill of Nashville, Tennessee.

    Richmond told Local 10 News reporter John Turchin that he was headed to South Florida from South Carolina on a business trip.

    As Richmond was approaching Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, air traffic control suddenly refused to allow him to land, explaining that an airbus needed the runway immediately.

    Richmond flew around for a while and was passed on to Miami International Airport's air traffic controllers, but he realized that he couldn't stay in the air for much longer.

    So Richmond decided to land on the highway, clipping the top of a gold Honda. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was seen taking a photograph of the damage.

    "She sputtered and quit," Richmond said. "She ran out of fuel."

    Westbound traffic was being detoured off the interstate at Nob Hill Road. Traffic was backed up all the way to Interstate 95.

    The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the pilot was the only person on board the plane.

    Richmond said he has been flying for about six years and just purchased the plane two weeks ago.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    Single-engine plane makes emergency landing on I-595

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    A former Cooper City youth baseball coach accused of inappropriately touching at least two boys who played on his team asked a Broward County judge Thursday to grant him bail.

    David Solomon, 47, is being held in the Broward County Jail without bond and has pleaded not guilty to child molestation charges.

    Solomon's attorney tried to cast doubt on the allegations, claiming there wasn't proof evident or presumption great enough to prove that Solomon was guilty.

    The victims' mothers took the stand Thursday, and Solomon's attorney showed text messages from one of them that he said showed she was angry with the coach for not giving her son enough playing time. He also implied that her son was unaffected by the alleged incidents and is back to playing baseball as if nothing happened. That is when she broke down on the stand.

    "My son is scared to death of David," the woman said. "My son won't let his dad hold his hand or touch him. He won’t let anyone but me around him."

    The mother said her son is in counseling and was nearly hospitalized under the Baker Act because he threatened to commit suicide.

    According to arrest reports, Solomon touched the 11-year-old boys' genitals and buttocks while they played in the Cooper City Optimist League with his son.

    Detectives said the sex acts happened in Solomon's car and at sleepovers at the coach's home.

    Solomon was previously arrested on molestation charges in 2000 while working as a physical education teacher at Hialeah Gardens Elementary School.

    In that case, Solomon and his attorneys claimed that the two boys, who were under the age of 14, were lying. One of the boys eventually recanted his claims, and the state dropped the charges against Solomon.

    A college friend of Solomon's testified on his behalf Thursday, however Judge Lisa Porter did not make a decision on whether to grant Solomon bail.

    Porter is expected to hear more testimony Friday afternoon.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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    Standing before a rapt Congress, Pope Francis issued a ringing call to action on behalf of immigrants Thursday, urging lawmakers to embrace "the stranger in our midst" as he became the first pontiff in history to address a joint meeting of the legislators.

    Referencing the migration crisis in Europe as well as the United States' own struggle with immigration from Latin America, Francis summoned lawmakers "to respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal."

    "We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best as we can to their situation," Francis urged.

    READ: Text of pope's speech to Congress

    He was welcomed enthusiastically to a House chamber packed with Supreme Court justices, Cabinet officials, and lawmakers of both parties, uniting the bickering factions before he even opened his mouth as all stood to cheer his arrival. The sergeant at arms intoned "Mr. Speaker, the pope of the Holy See," and Francis made his way up the center aisle in his white robes, moving slowly as lawmakers applauded, some inclining their heads in bows.

    After the speech, he appeared on a Capitol balcony and briefly addressed a cheering crowd of thousands below on the lawn and the Mall beyond. "Buenos dias," he called out, and the crowd thundered its response. "God bless America!" he concluded, as he had in the House chamber.

    Thursday's speech was the latest highlight for the pope's whirlwind three-day visit to Washington, the first stop on a three-city U.S. tour.

    He was cheered by jubilant crowds Wednesday as he visited the White House -- where he and President Barack Obama embraced each other's warnings on climate change -- paraded through Washington streets in his "popemobile," addressed U.S. bishops, noting the clergy sex abuse scandal and celebrated a Mass of Canonization for Junipero Serra, the Spanish friar who founded major California missions.

    Late Thursday, he moves on to New York and then later in the week to Philadelphia.

    Pope parades through Washington kisses children on foreheads

    Introducing himself at the Capitol as "a son of this great continent," the Argentine pope, reading his remarks slowly in English, spoke from the same dais where presidents deliver their State of the Union speeches. Behind him sat Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, the first and second in line to the presidency, both Catholics. Outside, tens of thousands watched on giant screens, and many more were watching on TV around the world.

    Lawmakers of all political backgrounds and religious affiliations eagerly welcomed the pope, pledging to pause from the bickering and dysfunction that normally divide them and hear him out. Yet Francis spoke to a Congress that has deadlocked on immigration legislation, at a time when there are more than 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, and where some lawmakers have balked at Obama administration plans to accept more of the migrants from Syria and elsewhere who are now flooding Europe.

    Indeed, Francis arrived at a moment of particular turmoil for Congress, with a partial government shutdown looming next week unless lawmakers can resolve a dispute over funding for Planned Parenthood related to the group's practices providing fetal tissue for research. Boehner himself, who invited Francis to speak and met with him privately beforehand, is facing a brewing revolt from tea party members who've threatened to force a floor vote on whether the speaker can keep his job.

    Francis steered clear of such controversies, alluding only in passing to the Catholic Church's opposition to abortion when he noted, to applause, "our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development."

    He advocated abolition of the death penalty, something that enjoys support from a number of lawmakers of both parties at the federal level, and spoke out against fundamentalism of all kinds, while urging care in combating it.

    "A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms," Francis said.

    On immigration, Francis urged lawmakers -- and the United States as a whole -- not to be afraid of migrants but to welcome them as fellow human beings, not things that can be discarded just because they are troublesome.

    Francis, the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina, recalled that America itself was founded by immigrants, that many lawmakers are descended from foreigners and that that new generations must not "turn their back on our neighbors."

    Given an ovation when he spoke of the Golden Rule, he said, "Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated."

    Ahead of Francis' remarks lawmakers of both parties had busily sought political advantage from his stances, with Democrats in particular delighting in his support for action to combat global warming. One House Republican back-bencher announced plans to boycott the speech over Francis' activist position on climate change.

    Francis reiterated that stance Thursday, urging action to address "the environmental deterioration caused by human activity."

    "I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States -- and this Congress -- have an important role to play," he said.

    Many lawmakers had vowed to preserve decorum throughout the speech and members of both parties listened intently, yet they did not completely contain their reactions. The mention of climate change drew standing cheers from Democrats while Republicans stood to applaud the reference to abortion. One Democratic House member let out a whoop of delight at the pope's call to abolish the death penalty.

    Pope spends day in Washington; NYC next

    Republicans in particular also loudly applauded as Francis asserted the importance of family life and bemoaned that "fundamental relationships are being called into question as is the very basis of marriage and the family." The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage, recently legalized by the Supreme Court.

    Francis also criticized the arms trade, significant before Congress because the United States is the world's largest exporter of weapons.

    Security was tight outside the Capitol, with streets blocked off and a heavy police presence that rivaled an Inauguration or State of the Union address by the U.S. president. The scene on the West Lawn was festive but orderly.

    Francis brought comfort to a more modest gathering after speaking to Congress and thousands of people cheering from the lawn.

    Outside the Catholic Charities building in Washington, the pope walked among tables where homeless and needy people were eating and blessed the meal.

    Francis also spoke to about 400 people at St. Patrick Church, including the homeless, parishioners of the church and Catholic Charities staff. He waded into the crowd and hugged people.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    Pope Francis' quotes in Washington, D.C.

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    With every sighting comes the cry of excitement. Cellphone video captured Pope Francis making his way around New York City before he ended his night at the papal apartment.

    If only for a few seconds, Eliza Cotto said everything in the world seemed all right.

    "He was on that side of the street and he waved at me. It was amazing. What a feeling. I feel blessed," Cotto said.

    Cotto joined a growing crowd on Madison Avenue and 72nd Street, hoping to score video or a picture of the pontiff.

    For many, the last-minute trek up the famed street capped the ending of a historic day.

    "You really do feel a sense of peace and a great blessing to have him here," Valerie Lettan said. "I'm so excited to have him in NYC."

    Unlike the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C., this was about as close as the faithful would get to the papal apartment. The Secret Service expanded the security perimeter late Thursday, expecting larger crowds at the home where Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul both stayed in when they visited New York City.

    "I feel like I had his blessing as he was passing by me," one person said. "I'm still here on 72nd Street trying to see him again."

    Doormen at neighboring buildings on the edge of Manhattan's Museum Row were replaced by NYPD officers.

    No one, not even the owners of multimillion-dollar homes, can come or go once the pope is on the move.

    Follow Carlos Suarez on Twitter @CarlosWPLG

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    Behind the scenes: Coverage of Pope Francis in U.S.

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    A Miami man was arrested after he forced a 9-year-old girl to have sex with him at a church, police said.

    Jerry Ameris, 31, faces one count of sexual battery on a minor.

    According to a Miami-Dade police report, the girl told police that she walked into the youth ministry area at the church when Ameris removed her panties and forced her to have sex with him.

    RELATED: Babysitter accused of having sex with teen

    The report said Ameris cleaned the table and told the girl not to tell anyone or he would give her a "cale."

    Ameris later admitted that he asked the girl to show him her private parts, the report said. Ameris also said he exposed his penis to her and ejaculated on the floor, the report said.

    The address listed on the police report is 175 NW 128th St. A search of that address shows it is the Horeb French Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

    Local 10 News has contacted the church seeking comment.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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    A dump truck overturned on Florida's Turnpike in Deerfield Beach Thursday afternoon, spilling sand in the northbound lanes.

    Sky 10 was above the scene at 4:30 p.m. as only one northbound lane was getting by and traffic was backed up for miles.

    Only two southbound lanes of traffic were opened.

    It's unclear whether anyone was injured in the crash.

    Details leading up to the crash were not immediately released.

    Watch Local 10 News or refresh this page for updates.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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  • 09/25/15--23:00: On this day: September 26
  • Sir Francis Drake completes his trip around the world, Nixon and Kennedy square off on TV, the Beatles release "Abbey Road," and an acting legend passes away, all on this day.

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    A couple from Utah got the surprise of a lifetime when their baby boy came three months early while they were vacationing on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

    Chase and Emily Morgan's baby wasn't due until December, but Emily suddenly began having contractions Aug. 31 on the second day of their cruise.

    The ship was 14 hours away from Puerto Rico.

    Doctors on board the ship initially told the Morgans that Emily had miscarried.

    "About 45 minutes later, the doctors and the nurse walk back in and say, 'He is still alive. He's not breathing very well (and) we don't expect him to live very long,'" Emily Morgan said. "But I wanted to see him, so they took me to the room that he was in."

    "I don't think it really hit me that we were going to have a miscarriage or anything -- it's just, I was more trying to focus on Emily and me, making sure that she was going to be emotionally OK," Chase Morgan said.

    Haiden Morgan weighed just 1 pound, 8 ounces when he was born.

    The Morgans spent two days in Puerto Rico before family and friends in Utah gathered their resources to help the family get a private jet to take them to Nicklaus Children's Hospital, in Miami.

    The family is expected to remain in Miami for at least another month until Haiden is strong enough to go home.

    The Morgans said Emily's doctor had approved the family to go on the seven-day cruise to celebrate their 3-year-old daughter's birthday.

    Follow Shyann Malone on Twitter @ShyannMalone

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A man who pleaded no contest last month to three felony counts of giving false information to a law enforcement officer after his son was found buried in his backyard was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

    Calvin Melvin Jr. and Brittany Sierra were arrested in January 2013 after it was discovered that their son, Dontrell Melvin, had been missing since 2011.

    Police later found Dontrell's body buried behind the couple's Hallandale Beach home.

    Police reports indicate the body had blunt trauma to the skull caused by police during the recovery. The medical examiner's office determined the bones were too damaged to determine a cause of death, but said Dontrell's death was due to "violence by undetermined means."

    Child neglect charges were dropped against Sierra in April. According to a closeout memo, Sierra and Melvin had discussed placing the baby up for adoption. Sierra told detectives that Melvin took it upon himself to give the baby to his parents without her consent. She said his parents didn't like her, and she believed they were keeping her son away from her.

    Detectives made contact with the parents, who said they hadn't seen Dontrell since he was 2 months old. Dontrell would have been 18 months old at the time his body was found.

    According to the memo, law enforcement did not intervene after Sierra's numerous phone calls to police, because they believed it was "strictly a civil matter."

    Neither parent was ever charged with murder, due to a lack of evidence in the case. Child neglect charges against Melvin were dropped last month.

    He faced up to 15 years in prison during sentencing.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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    A man from Miami Gardens pleaded guilty Friday to tax fraud charges.

    Rosheem Oneil Williams, 19, faced a mandatory of two years in federal prison for an aggravated identity theft charge and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices.

    According to court documents, investigators noticed tax returns filed from Williams' home from Jan. 17 through June 6 totaling more than $360,000.

    Authorities searched Williams' home on June 19 and seized an Apple iPad and computer-generated lists, which contained personal identification information for hundreds of people, including names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

    Agents said Williams admitted to filing at least 180 tax returns without the permission of the individuals in whose names the returns were filed.

    Williams is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 2.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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    A man from Miami Beach is facing charges after impersonating a doctor and inappropriately touching a woman who believed she was being hired as a nursing assistant.

    Howard Harlib, 62, was arrested Thursday on charges of battery and practicing medicine without a license.

    According to an arrest report, the victim, Antonia Pascal, saw an advertisement for a nursing assistant/home health aside assistant position listed on Beacon Hill Training Center's community board.

    Police said Harlib identified himself to Pascal as Dr. Allen, and told her that she would be paid about $40,000 a year to help care for one of his patients.

    Pascal told detectives that Harlib asked her several questions that made her uncomfortable, such as whether she would be uncomfortable if a patient masturbated in front of her or touched her breasts. He also asked if she knew how to take a patient's temperature rectally.

    When Pascal questioned why Harlib was asking her those things, she said he told her, "Well, sometimes a patient can touch your breasts. Is that OK?" She said that he also told her that some patients would masturbate because they "can't help themselves," and that sometimes patients' temperatures had to be taken rectally.

    Police said Harlib also asked Pascal to bring a pack of Kool cigarettes for his patient and asked her what type of clothing she would be wearing and what car she would be arriving in.

    Despite her concerns, Pascal said she went to Harlib's home, where she believed she would be meeting with a patient.

    Police said Harlib made small talk with Pascal before touching her breasts and pushing a thermometer between her buttocks over her clothing, claiming to be demonstrating the proper way to take a temperature rectally.

    According to the report, Harlib offered Pascal Valium to help her be more relaxed and apologized when he saw that she felt uncomfortable after he touched her breasts.

    Detectives said Pascal recorded part of her conversation with Harlib, which was turned over to authorities.

    Police said Pascal had told Harlib that she had a 20-year-old daughter during their conversation, at which time he asked her if her daughter could fill in for her when she couldn't come in to work.

    Police said Pascal informed Harlib that her daughter was not a certified nursing assistant and would not come in for her. Police said she then told Harlib that she was feeling uncomfortable and left his home.

    Detectives said Harlib admitted to meeting with Pascal, but claimed that he only touched her arm.

    According to the report, Harlib is on probation for the same charges from a previous incident.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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    A romance between a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office sergeant and a clerical worker came to an end once the law enforcement officer revealed that he had genital herpes, the woman said. Now Sgt. Scott Schwab is facing a lawsuit seeking in excess of $15,000 in damages.

    The lawsuit, obtained Friday by, was filed Monday in Palm Beach County court by attorney Michael Pike on behalf of his client, Yvonne Belisle.

    According to the complaint, Schwab and Belisle had known each other for about eight years because of their working relationship. It was in or about October 2014 that Schwab invited Belisle over to his home to watch a football game and they had sex for the first time.

    After that first date, Schwab and Belisle had sex 10 to 20 times in a span of two or three weeks, the complaint said.

    ALSO: Mom who fled with son to prevent circumcision agrees to pre-trial intervention

    "One evening, several weeks after their first tryst, Schwab invited Yvonne over to his home for dinner, where Schwab had made Yvonne dinner and poured her a glass of wine," the lawsuit states.

    It was that same night that Schwab revealed to her that he had herpes simplex 2, a sexually transmitted disease, the lawsuit said.

    Belisle went to a clinic to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and found out that she tested positive for herpes, the lawsuit claims. She previously "had no history of contracting or carrying any STD prior to this incident." Herpes is an STD that is treatable but incurable.

    The lawsuit cites negligence against Schwab "by failing to warn her of his condition." It also alleges that Schwab has known for more than 18 years that he has had herpes.

    As a result, contracting herpes caused Belisle "emotional strain on her future relationships and ability to engage in sex."

    There is no policy that precludes inner-office relationships outside of the workplace, PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera told

    "We don't police personal relationships," Barbera said.

    She could not say if Schwab or Belisle face any internal discipline. sent an email to Pike seeking comment about the lawsuit, but he did not reply. Schwab was not made available for comment.

    The lawsuit requests a jury trial.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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    John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who steered his party to an overwhelming House majority in 2010, said in a news conference Friday afternoon he had decided only that morning to announce his plans to resign from Congress.

    "Last night I started thinking about this and this morning I woke up and I said my prayers -- as I always do -- and I decided today's the day I'm going to do this. As simple as that," Boehner said during an emotional Capitol Hill press conference a day after he had a moving encounter with Pope Francis.

    He will step down as Speaker and leave Congress at the end of October.

    The Ohio Republican's tenure as Speaker has been marked by clashes with conservatives -- especially when it comes to fiscal policy. He's struggled to push through legislation to increase the debt ceiling and was facing another showdown next week to keep the government open. The Speaker has often relied on Democratic votes during these moments -- a strategy that has infuriated conservatives.

    Boehner, who turns 65 in November, said Friday that he had planned to step down at the end of the year but turmoil within his caucus prompted him to resign earlier than planned.

    "I got plenty of people following me but this turmoil that's been churning now for a couple of months, it's not good for the members and it's not good for the institution. If I was not planning on leaving here soon, I can tell you I would not have done it," Boehner said.

    The abrupt decision comes amid heavy pressure from conservatives for Boehner to take a harder line on their causes, most recently over defunding Planned Parenthood as part of a package that would keep the government open. Boehner said he didn't want to put his fellow members through another vote to challenge his leadership.

    Boehner, who has presided over the House since 2011, explained during a closed-door meeting with Republicans Friday morning that he had only planned to serve two terms as Speaker but decided to hold onto his post after then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his seat during a primary last year.

    Boehner also told the lawmakers that Pope Francis' visit to Congress the day before was a crystallizing moment, according to the lawmaker. Boehner then read the prayer of St. Francis to the conference after announcing his decision.

    Why now

    Boehner said the main driver behind his resignation was concern for his conference, he also recalled emotionally when he and the Pope found themselves alone during the visit Thursday -- something Boehner, a devout Catholic, had sought since taking the helm of the House GOP caucus.

    "The Pope puts his arm around me and kind of pulls me to him and says please pray for me. Who am I to pray for the Pope? But I did," Boehner said, struggling to hold back tears.

    Boehner also drew on the Pope's words during his address to Congress on Thursday and said he hoped "we will all heed his call to live by the Golden Rule." He also stressed the importance for leaders to "find common ground to get things done."

    He said he will not partake in the vote to choose his successor but said his deputy, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy "would make an excellent Speaker."

    President Barack Obama said Friday at a previously scheduled news conference alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping that he called Boehner after learning of his resignation.

    He did not say what he told Boehner, but praised him as "a good man" and "a patriot" who "cares deeply" about the country and always kept his word.

    "We have obviously had a lot of disagreements and politically we're at different ends of the spectrum," Obama said. "He has always conducted himself with courtesy and civility with me. He has kept his word when he made a commitment. He is somebody who has been gracious. Most importantly he's somebody who understands that in government and in governance you don't get 100% of what you want."

    Obama said he hoped Boehner's successor would recognize that political differences should not come at the risk of shutting down the government.

    "There's no weakness in that. That's what government is in our democracy. You don't get what you want 100% of the time. So sometimes you take half a loaf, sometimes you take a quarter loaf and that's certainly something I've learned here in this office," Obama said.

    Congressional leaders respond

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Boehner's resignation "seismic for the House" and called it evidence of the far right's "hijacking" of the Republican Party. And she said the squabble to succeed Boehner will be "more than a distraction" to efforts to resolve the latest funding battle roiling the Hill.

    "That resignation of the Speaker is a stark indication of the disarray of the House Republicans," Pelosi said during a Friday morning press conference.

    Pelosi said she had not yet spoken with Boehner, but affirmed that she planned to continue negotiating directly with him to achieve her goal of funding Planned Parenthood.

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid tweeted similarly that the ouster of "a good man like Speaker Boehner -- someone who understood the art of compromise" showed that "the party of Eisenhower and Reagan is no more."

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also lamented Boehner's resignation, saying it is "very, very sad" that the tea party has "taken over control of the party."

    "John Boehner, he ... is a conservative Republican, but his problem is that John Boehner has been pragmatic. He realizes that there come times when you have to make a deal," McConnell said, before pointing out that Reagan also "understood the art of compromise."

    Boehner and McConnell have not always seen eye to eye as Boehner wrestled with hardline conservatives in his caucus, but McConnell said that throughout those disagreements, Boehner "never, ever misled me.

    "His word was always good," McConnell said.

    The next Speaker

    The vacancy leaves the party scrambling to find a successor.

    McCarthy, the No. 2 Republican who could succeed Boehner, praised the Speaker as "a true statesmen" in a statement Friday morning and called on the Republican caucus "to focus on healing and unifying."

    "John has been a leader, mentor, and most of all friend throughout, and I learned not only from his experience but also from his unshakeable faith and principles. It takes profound humility to step down from a position of power, and John's depth of character is unmatched," McCarthy said.

    Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman who was the party's vice presidential nominee in 2012, said he isn't planning to run for the seat at this time.

    Rep. Raul Labrador, a favorite of conservatives who ran unsuccessfully for majority leader in January, declined to say if he would run for Speaker.

    Rep. Tim Huelskamp, who claimed in January that he lost his Agriculture Committee seat after voting against Boehner for another term as Speaker, said he and other Tea Party Republicans were jubilant at the news of Boehner's resignation.

    "The establishment lost today," he said.

    He bluntly claimed the Speaker was pushed out by a simmering revolt among hardline conservatives, particularly those who Boehner had punished and tried to defeat in their re-elections last year.

    "He read the writing on the wall," Huelskamp said. "We need new leadership. Every time we go home we hear, 'Fire Boehner.' We need a new Speaker who can standup to the president."

    Asked who will run to succeed Boehner in the top post, Huelskamp had just one answer: "Everybody!"

    But he added hardline conservatives, often splintered, would agree on a candidate together and not offer any early endorsements.

    'I got choked up'

    Ohio GOP Rep. Steve Chabot ‎called the mood in the room "somber" during Boehner's announcement and said there were tears from the Speaker and other lawmakers.

    "I got choked up," Chabot said.

    Boehner's decision came as a shock to many, with his top deputy House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy finding out moments before his announcement. McCarthy, a California Republican, is a top candidate to succeed Boehner.

    Rep. Greg Walden, a member of Boehner's House leadership, said he had no idea Boehner would announce his resignation this morning and called it a "terrible loss for the party."

    Walden said he wondered what the Pope told Boehner that may have affected his decision: "I don't know if this was a message from God but I wish he sent a different message."

    The Speaker has survived many challenges to his position. He was facing another threat after Rep. Mark Meadows, a conservative North Carolina Republican, offered a resolution before the August recess to "vacate the chair," a rarely invoked move that would have stripped Boehner of the Speaker's gavel if it passed.

    Meadows told reporters on Friday he would not run to succeed Boehner.

    2016 reactions

    Still, some conservatives applauded Boehner's resignation.

    "Yesterday John Boehner was Speaker of the House," Sen. Ted Cruz said at the Values Voter summit Friday. "Y'all come to town and somehow that changes. My only request is can you come more often?"

    Former Pennsyvania Sen. Rick Santorum, another GOP presidential candidate, told attendees at the summit that it was time for Boehner to step down, claiming that Boehner had "changed a bit" during his time in Washington.

    "It's probably time for him to have stepped down to start a new chapter here in Washington, D.C.," Santorum said.

    Sen. Rand Paul echoed that message during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, saying Boehner's resignation might be "a step in the right direction."

    Paul criticized Republican leadership for failing to fight Democrats on funding for Planned Parenthood and said it's not just conservatives in Congress that are frustrated.

    "I think all incumbents are going to facing a threat if we don't stand up and do what the American people want and that is that we have to control spending. We have to assert ourselves and show that we are in charge of spending."

    Paul also joked about running for the speakership, referencing the one vote he got back in January when conservatives challenged Boehner.

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush praised Boehner in a tweet Friday morning.

    "John Boehner dedicated his life to public service. Bringing the Holy Father to Congress was a fitting cap to a great career," said Bush, the former governor of Florida.

    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also praised Boehner, thanking him "for his efforts to make our party, the state of Ohio, and our nation stronger."

    "He has been a tireless advocate for conservative principles who has raised millions to elect and re-elect Republicans to the House of Representatives. Our party owes him a great debt," Priebus said in a statement.

    The House Speaker is third in line for the presidency after Vice President Joe Biden.

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    Anthony Farruggia of Davie is this week's Local 10 News "Get Social" winner.

    Farruggia will take home an iPad for getting social with Local 10.

    Each day during the Local 10 Morning news for the rest of the month, one of our anchors will "takeover" our Twitter account and engage with you over anything and everything.

    Okay, almost anything and everything.

    Local 10 viewers still have the chance to win a Marathon gas card.

    All you have to do is Tweet out the most creative selfie of you watching Local 10 or logged-on to WITH the #LoveLocal10 hashtag.

    Can't forget the hashtag!

    Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning, we'll choose the most creative selfie as the winner of a $200 Marathon Gas Card.


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    New York's governor and the president of Cuba have met to discuss economic development as relations between the Caribbean nation and the U.S. continue to thaw.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Raul Castro met Friday afternoon at the Cuban mission to the United Nations in New York City. Cuomo was joined by Howard Zemsky, his administration's top economic development official.

    Cuomo traveled to Cuba in April for a two-day trade mission, becoming the first sitting American governor to visit the nation since President Barack Obama and Castro announced the two nations would re-establish diplomatic ties.

    The Democratic governor has said he wants to find ways to help New York take advantage of the emerging Cuban market.

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    A major ruling affecting tickets issued by red light cameras in Aventura could lead to a reversal of fines issued to thousands of drivers.

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    Police are investigating after a man found injured in a Miami alleyway died on the way to a hospital.

    It happened in the 3400 block of Northwest Third Avenue in Miami.

    Police responded to reports of a man being struck by a vehicle that was reportedly seen chasing him.

    When police arrived, they found the man in the alleyway. Police said he died on the way to a hospital.

    Police said there was trauma to the man's body.

    No other details were given.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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