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    So far a whopping 77 elementary-aged students have been withdrawn from the troubled Paramount Charter School in Sunrise, citing a lack of organization, the firing of teachers, bullying and a lack of security.

    That's a full 25 percent of students who have been enrolled at the taxpayer-funded school, which today has 229 students left, according to school board records.

    That has left many of those young students in educational limbo, like 11-year-old Shania, whose mother, Tracy Jackson, enrolled her and two other children into the school hoping it would be an improvement over public school.

    Because Jackson hasn't been able to find a public school that can take all three of her children, Shania and her siblings have missed three weeks of school.

    "I'm afraid I might get left back," said Shania at home during a recent school day.

    Jackson, a struggling single mom, said she, like so many other parents in the Lauderhill area, enrolled her children into Paramount after the upstart charter school sent fliers to her home making promises of providing a great education. She said it was a tough decision to pull her children out of public school but felt they weren't safe there after she said Shania was bullied by several other girls at the schools, culminating in her getting jumped and beaten up in the hallway. Shania said four girls jumped her and beat her on her head with their fists until a janitor at the school intervened.

    Jackson said no one at the school, including administrator Maia Williams, contacted her to tell her about the assault.

    "My kid just came home, got beaten up with a knot on her head, and nobody did anything about it, nobody," Jackson said. "There's no security at that school."

    Shania said she was deeply relieved when her mother took her out of the school, saying she was suffering from anxiety and headaches from the strain of being bullied.

    "I wanted to leave the school because I couldn't deal with all that stress," she said.

    But after missing three weeks of school, a new kind of stress is starting to take hold -- of falling behind in her education.

    "I'm afraid I might get left back," said Shania.

    Williams, the Paramount administrator, acknowledged that her school had an issue with bullying and said that was one of the reasons teachers were fired before she stopped commenting altogether.

    But some parents said the problem was the result of a new charter school approved by the Broward County School Board that was terribly mismanaged from day one. One parent, Victor Arriola, wrote an email to Local 10 News and several local politicians last week complaining that the lunchroom early in the morning at the school -- which has received $740,000 in tax dollars so far and is slated to receive as much as $3 million this year -- was in virtual chaos, with more than 200 students gathered and no adult supervision whatsoever.

    "There were multiple kids fighting and running throughout the cafeteria and no one was there to bring order or protect all the small children that were being bullied by the older kids," Arriola wrote. "I went outside and notified an employee that there were no adults or security present. The gentleman came inside and he started running around trying to control some of the kids that were fighting. I asked the gentleman, why were the kids unattended? He informed me that he was the janitor and that he was just trying to help."

    Arriola said he was told by another half-dozen parents that it was a daily occurrence. He said that when the school administrator, Williams, arrived he wanted to complain but wasn't able to "because all of the enraged parents were trying to speak to [her] at the same time."

    "There is no security and kids as young as 5 years old are left unattended," wrote Arriola. "There are many tragedies that can happen if this is not rectified. Any person with a malicious intent can come in and cause harm to our kids due to lack of security and supervision."

    Indeed, Sunrise police records show that Sept. 21 a 63-year-old man suffering from schizophrenia and Alzheimer's who had walked away from a nearby health care facility and was off his medications somehow got into the school and began "touching his groin."

    "I would like to know how that man got past there in the school and started fondling himself in front of children," said Jackson. "That's just ridiculous."

    The school board, which oversees the school but has little regulatory power under lenient state laws, paid a visit to the school last week, but found no security issues that "would merit an investigation." Arriola said that after he complained about the lunchroom mayhem, the school staffed the cafeteria.

    Sunrise Mayor Michael Ryan, citing the Local 10 News investigation, said he was concerned about students at the school.

    "We cannot experiment with our children's education," Ryan wrote in an email to Supt. Robert Runcie. "We will continue to evaluate what, if anything, we can do from the city perspective."

    More children, meanwhile, are being pulled from the school. Last week parent Shanice Hansen pulled her 9-year-old son Brandon from the school, roughly three weeks after she went to police about what she said was relentless bullying of the boy by an older and bigger girl.

    "On the second day of school the girl she started punching me and hitting me," said Brandon, adding he had no idea why.

    "He was upset, telling me about it he'd go to crying," said his great grandmother, Dorothy Freeman. "He would tell me how the girl would do him, she would push him down, tear up his pants, took his phone and choke him and she just kept doing that the whole time."

    It was so bad that Brandon, who was never bullied or in trouble when he attended Plantation Elementary the year before, would tell his family that there was no school the following day to try to keep from having to ride the bus, where the bullying occurred. The family finally called police Sept. 18 and the school "reassured (the family) that they will be addressing the issue ... to make sure the bullying stops."

    But the family said the bullying continued until finally a bus driver witnessed the girl choking Brandon on the bus and she was suspended from the bus for four days.

    "They wouldn't be qualified to supervise a pet shop," said his grandmother, Monica Mayo. "We didn't feel that he was safe there."

    Mayo also echoed other parents' concerns about constant use of substitute teachers and a general lack of education there.

    "There was always a substitute and children were always in music class or watching a movie," said Mayo. "He never even had any homework."

    The family pulled him out of the school last week and are currently trying to get him enrolled back in a public school, just as Jackson is trying to do.

    "I regret that school," said Jackson, of Paramount. "I wish I never got a flier. I wish I never applied. I wish I could just turn back the hands of time."

    When asked what should be done about the school, Shania is clear about what she believes: "That school needs to be shut down immediately."


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    A repo man was taken to a hospital after being shot in northwest Miami-Dade, police said.

    The shooting happened just before 7 p.m. Tuesday in the 2300 block of Northwest 95th Terrace.

    Officers received a call about a man who was shot at Northwest 22nd Avenue and Northwest 99th Street, investigators said.

    When officers arrived, they found the tow truck driver, Serge Lossard, 53, had been shot.

    Lossard told investigators that while he was waiting inside his tow truck on Northwest 95th Terrace, he was approached by three juvenile black males, according to Miami-Dade police. One had dreads and was wearing a black shirt and black pants, and the other two wore dark clothing, police said.

    The trio attempted to open the man's truck, and when they were unsuccessful they shot him through the window, police said.

    The three fled on foot in an unknown direction. Police said the motive is unknown at this time. The man was able to leave the area and call police nearby.

    Police said the man was taken to Ryder Trauma Center, where he was listed in stable condition.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    All passengers on board American Airlines flight 2325 at Miami International Airport were removed from the plane Tuesday after the Miami-Dade Police Department received a report of a possible bomb threat around 9:15 p.m.

    Police said the plane was moved to an area where it was swept by the K-9 unit. It was given the all-clear shortly before 10 p.m.

    An American Airlines representative said the flight headed to LaGuardia Airport had a curfew that it missed. The airline offered passengers the opportunity to fly into the John F. Kennedy International Airport instead, or to stay overnight in Miami to take the first flight out Wednesday morning.

    Officials said all airport operations continued as normal as the bomb threat was investigated.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Authorities said a small plane crashed into a trailer in the Mar-Mak Trailer Park just before 6 p.m. Tuesday in suburban Lake Worth.

    Fighting back tears and still admittedly in shock, Domingo Gallecia said he couldn't save his daughter, Banny Gallecia, 21, who was asleep in her room when the plane crashed.

    Domingo Gallecia said he stepped outside, heard a plane flying close and then heard a massive explosion inside his Lake Worth home.

    "Yo, Banny, Banny, Banny! Come on. Come on, Banny!" Domingo Gallecia said. "But no one could save her."

    Domingo Gallecia said his daughter's bedroom door was locked. When he got it open, a massive fire pushed him back.

    Authorities said they believe several victims are dead, although officials didn't have a number on hand.

    Banny Gallecia, a student at Palm Beach State College, decided to stay home from school Tuesday because she needed to rest after working, according to her father.

    Domingo Gallecia said relatives have to notify his wife in Guatemala.

    According to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, two trailers were affected by the crash. Surrounding roads and trailers nearby were immediately closed and evacuated.

    Deputies said Lake Worth Road was initially closed in both directions, but the westbound lanes have been reopened to traffic.

    Officials said besides the two affected trailers, all other people in the area were allowed to return to their homes.

    It's unclear what caused the plane crash and the identities of those onboard have not been released.

    Deputies said they would be securing the crash scene until the National Transportation Safety Board arrives Wednesday.

    The Federal Aviation Administration does not have any information about the aircraft available at this time.

    Watch Local 10 News or refresh this page for updates.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter@WPLGLocal10


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    A woman has been shot and killed in Pembroke Pines, according to police.

    The shooting happened just after 10 p.m. last night on North Douglas Road near Taft Street. Officers say they arrived at the residence and found the victim inside.

    According to police, a suspect has been arrested and charged with homicide. The name of the suspect has not yet been released.

    Police say they are still investigating the shooting and have not released a motive. The victim has also not been identified.

    Stay with us for updates on this developing story.


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    Two K-9s retired this week from the Pembroke Pines Police Department.

    "The Pembroke Pines Police K-9 Unit would like to thank K-9 Natz and K-9 Siep for their service throughout the years, as both are retiring from our agency," the police department said Thursday on its Facebook page.

    Siep has worked with Officer Heath Wagner for more than nine years and served as a patrol and narcotics detecting K-9. Police said he assisted in the apprehension of several wanted felons.

    Natz joined the police department in 2009 and has worked with Officer Patrick Pagliai since 2011. Natz served as a patrol and explosive-detecting K-9. He too is credited with helping in the apprehension of several wanted felons.

    Police said each dog will stay at home with their handlers as pets.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A man accused of burglarizing a CVS Pharmacy after it had closed for the night Tuesday is now behind bars, Monroe County sheriff's deputies said.

    The burglary was reported at 9 p.m. at the CVS store at the mile marker 91.

    An employee at the business told deputies that a man, later identified as Ronald Williams, 26, jumped the pharmacy counter and took a garbage bag full of Sudafed and other similar medications. She said she heard the pharmacy alarm go off and yelled at him to stop, but he ran off.

    Minutes later, two deputies were called to a domestic situation at a mobile home park just north of the CVS.

    Deputies said Williams, who matched the description of the CVS burglar, was arguing with his girlfriend outside a mobile home.

    They said his girlfriend allowed deputies to search their trailer, where they found the garbage bag full of medication.

    Deputies said Williams admitted to having a "drug problem," and said pseudoephedrine, an ingredient found in the stolen medication, is commonly used to make methamphetamine.

    Williams was arrested on charges of burglary and theft.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    President Barack Obama says he plans to keep more troops in Afghanistan than previously planned.


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    Broward County sheriff's detectives are searching for an identity thief who they say withdrew thousands of dollars from a victim's account at a Chase bank branch in North Lauderdale.

    Surveillance video from the bank at 1319 State Road 7 shows a man approaching a teller on July 2 to withdraw money. Detectives said he committed the same crime at a bank in Sunrise.

    In the North Lauderdale incident, the man wore a polo shirt, dress slacks and reading glasses.

    Detectives believe there are more victims targeted by the man.

    Anyone with information about his identity is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. A reward of up to $3,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    It's a little early in the year to be hearing about Santa Claus of North Pole, but this Santa is more interested in elections than gift-giving, though he'll probably do a little bit of that, too.

    A man who is legally named Santa Claus won a three-year city council term in an Alaskan town called North Pole, according to news reports.

    The 68-year-old man reportedly has a soft white beard, and even donned a red velvet suit while campaigning in recent days, according to a Reuters report.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Claus, who was one of two write-in candidates for vacant seats, says he is an advocate for legislation and services that benefit at-risk children, the Reuters story said.


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    Target has always been well-known as the place where you can buy most anything under the sun.

    But one location went too far on Wednesday, throwing in a little dose of bow-chicka-wow-wow.

    A mother in California was recording when X-rated porn started playing over the store's PA system while she was shopping with her children.

    As they were looking for food, clothes or various other items, shoppers were subjected to groans, moans and dirty talk in the aisles.

    The New York Daily News says the audio porn session lasted for more than 15 minutes as confused employees attempted to turn off the unwanted graphic sounds.

    The mom, Gina Young, wrote on her Facebook page that her boys burst into tears while other people walked out of the store.

    A Target spokesperson told the Daily News that they are reviewing the situation in an effort to make sure it never happens again.


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    A girl from Haiti was born with a tumor that became massive over the years, threatening her life. But today, she is smiling and thankful to be alive.

    A team of doctors from Baptist Hospital helped remove the 8-year-old girl's tumor, which made it nearly impossible for her to breathe.

    "It was growing rapidly," said Dr. Joseph McCain, who is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. "From the time I saw her in August to one month later, she was beginning to have airway problems."

    What happened two weeks ago inside Baptist Hospital was nothing short of extraordinary.

    Neissa Azor knew she was in a race against time, so she and her mother boarded a plane to South Florida, where a team of surgeons and physicians performed the life-saving surgery.

    "I can't even explain it," said Neissa's mother, Fernande Romelus. "We were looking all over Haiti for help and we couldn't find anyone who could help her."

    That's when Elaine Lewis came into their lives.

    Working as a surgical technician in Port-au-Prince, Lewis said she was on her lunch break when she bumped into Neissa.

    "I saw them sitting on a bench out front and I smiled and tried not to stare and kept walking, and God said, 'Turn around, go back and get their story,'" Lewis said. "So I did, and gave her a sucker and asked them if they wanted my help."

    Within six weeks, Neissa was admitted to Baptist Hospital. The faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization was able to provide the medical care for Neissa through its compassionate care program.

    After undergoing surgery, she is now expected to live a normal life thanks to the generosity of complete strangers.

    "She's doing pretty good," McCain said. "Right now, she can eat, speak (and) she can function."

    Doctors said Neissa will get new dentures and then she will be able to return to Haiti, where she is planning to be back in school -- somewhere she hasn't been in a year.

    Follow Michael Seiden on Twitter @SeidenLocal10

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A man was shot and killed after he tried to rob a Walgreens in southwest Miami-Dade County at gunpoint early Thursday morning, Miami-Dade police said. 

    Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said employees called 911 shortly before 2 a.m. after the masked man entered the store on the corner of Southwest 288th Street and Biscayne Drive armed with a gun.

    A manager told police that the man left in a white four-door Acura. 

    Zabaleta said police quickly tracked down the car and attempted to pull over the driver, but he sped away.

    Police pursued the car a short distance until it became disabled about eight blocks away.

    At some point, shots were fired and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unclear if the man fired shots at officers, but a handgun was found in his car.

    "Not only did he use the gun to commit the armed robbery, of course, we have to assume he is going to use the gun against the officers as well," Zabaleta said.

    No officers were injured in the shooting. 

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Police are searching for a masked gunman who robbed a Dunkin' Donuts in Miramar early Thursday.

    The robbery was reported shortly before 6:30 a.m. at the Dunkin' Donuts at University Drive, just north of Miramar Parkway.

    Sky 10 was above the scene as police arrived at the coffeehouse.

    Miramar police spokeswoman Tania Rues said the gunman approached the counter and demanded cash from an employee before running off.

    An undisclosed amount of cash was taken in the robbery.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A memorial service was held Thursday at Port Everglades to honor the men and women aboard the cargo-ship El Faro.

    The ship is believed to have sank near the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin with 33 people on board.

    El Faro had docked from Port Everglades many times in the past, bringing many people to the memorial to honor its crew.

    "We remember the crew of El Faro and pray that they have eternal peace in your arms and the light perpetual shines upon them. Amen," the Rev. Ronald Perkins said during the gathering.

    Perkins blessed the memorial before a wreath of flowers was tossed into the ocean to remember the victims.

    The cargo ship sank Oct. 1, while in the path of the Category 4 storm. The U.S. Coast Guard spent days searching the sea for traces of the victims, but only one body was found in a survival suit.

    At Port Everglades, each of the victims' names was read one by one. There were prayers and somber songs and tears at the memorial, because some people knew several of the victims personally.

    "We would interact with them quite often, and for something like this to happen, it touches home because one week they're there and you expect them to come back the next week. And, you know, it just didn't happen that way, so it hurts," Cedrick Titus said.  

    Since the incident, the 40-year-old ship's condition has been questioned, with some saying that it was not seaworthy.

    The family of one crew member has since filed a $100 million lawsuit against the vessel's owner, TOTE Maritime and its captain.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A man from Pompano Beach is facing an attempted murder charge after he attacked another man with an ax, detectives said.

    According to an arrest report, Nicholas Fiore, 25, attacked the victim over a debt he was owed from a narcotics sale. 

    Detectives said Fiore and the victim, identified only as Mr. McClain, were "hanging out" July 21 at McClain's home in Pompano Beach for several hours before Fiore picked up the ax.

    Fiore struck the man several times on the head, neck, arm and hand, Broward County sheriff's deputies said. McClain was eventually able to wrestle away control of the ax and call 911. 

    Detectives said Fiore admitted to feeding McClain drugs and alcohol to distract him because he knew McClain didn't have the money to pay the debt. 

    Fiore is being held in the main Broward County jail without bond until he can face a magistrate judge.

    He faces a charge of attempted murder resulting from the distribution of a controlled substance. 

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A tractor-trailer overturned Thursday morning on Interstate 75 in Weston, trapping the driver inside.

    The driver was trapped in the cab of the truck, which was on its side.

    Firefighters cut open the roof of the cab to free the driver. He was flown to a nearby hospital in a Broward Sheriff's Office helicopter.

    Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky said two other cars were involved in the crash. The drivers were taken to Cleveland Clinic but were expected to be OK.

    The truck was carrying chlorine that was leaking onto the highway.

    Northbound lanes of I-75 near Royal Palm Boulevard were closed for several hours during the rescue and cleanup effort.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    Driver rescued from overturned chlorine truck after crash


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    An accommodation rental website is looking for a lucky couple of "cataphiles" who may want to celebrate Halloween in the Catacombs of Paris, the world's largest grave.

    The "tableau of death" keeps the remains of more than six million people in a dark underground network of labyrinthine tunnels that King Louis XVI started in the late 18th and mid-19th century.

    "Halt, this is the realm of the death," a sign at the entrance reads.

    Although most of it is off access, there are secret illegal entrances to clandestine places. And Airbnb -- which was launched in 2008 and claims about 40 million users who disregard tax laws --  has full access for two at the Alesia neighborhood.

    DETAILS: The winner will be treated to meals, a concert with underground acoustics and scary bedtime storytelling. The last day to enter is Tuesday.

    ON THE WEB: Click here to enter to win >>

    Follow Local10.com reporter Andrea Torres on Twitter @MiamiCrime


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    With the news that Uber is operating again in Broward County, Local 10 News decided to put transportation to the test. Uber vs Taxi: How  long does it take? How much does it cost?

    Local 10 News morning anchor Eric Yutzy went from WPLG's studio on West Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Pembroke Park to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport -- about 12 miles away.

    To order the taxi, Yutzy used the ZabCab app.

    ZabCab said it has just about enrolled most Broward County cab drivers. Within just seven minutes, the Friendly Checker taxi arrived at Local 10.

    The trip took Yutzy north on Interstate 95 to the airport about mid-morning.

    The trip was smooth sailing and took less than 27 minutes from the time he ordered the taxi at the station to get to the arrivals section at the airport. The trip cost $36.90.

    Yutzy then headed back down I-95 to Local 10 and requested an Uber car.

    The driver, Rocco, was at the station within four minutes in his Honda Odyssey.

    The trip to the airport was about the same time of day with little traffic, and Yutzy got to the airport about a minute and a half faster.

    But the big difference was the price. The Uber ride cost just $17.23 -- about half the price of the taxi ride.

    Follow Eric Yutzy on Twitter @EricYutzy

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A 3-year-old boy started a fire Thursday afternoon at a home in Fort Lauderdale.

    Fort Lauderdale firefighters said the boy somehow started a fire at the home at 2510 NW 30th Way.

    The boy's teenage sister said she heard the smoke alarm go off and ran to a bedroom to find the boy in his older brother's bedroom.

    "I just got water and put the fire out but it didn't go out," Chakia Mattear told Local 10 News.

    The boy's mother said her son was playing with a lighter that the family used to make s'mores last weekend.

    Neighbors told Local 10 News that the family had just moved into the home a couple of months ago. One neighbor said he grabbed a hose to spray the home before firefighters arrived.

    The home was destroyed in the fire, and the family is now displaced.

    Both children were treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns.

    The American Red Cross is assisting the family and putting up the mother and all her children for at least three days. Anyone who would like to help the family can email reporter Andrew Perez at aperez@local10.com.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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