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    Face facts, Floridians. We're just plain rude!

    Time to realize that our sandy beaches, amazing scenery and incredible nightlife can only car us so far.

    At least when it comes to our mobile manners.

    A new survey shows that Florida residents are among the worst when it comes to crossing boundaries of decency while using our smartphones.

    Bank of America's survey shows that one-third of Floridians, a hearty 33%, admit to texting while eating meals with others.

    31% of us fess up to checking our mobile phones while in mid-conversation with others. Admit it, that's not nice.

    Another 25% say that they multi-task on their mobile phones during meetings, which, to be honest, isn't that bad. Seriously, some meetings are just so droll!

    You want more stats?

    How about the fact that 55% of Floridians check their phones at least once an hour, and 41% say they will never fully disconnect from their mobile phones.

    And it doesn't end during our conscious, waking hours. The survey shows that nearly one-quarter of us have fallen asleep with our smartphones in our hand.

    We could go on and on, but let's face it, you've probably already moved on from... hold, please... got to go, need to Snapchat a funny cat picture to a friend, and this article is so five minutes ago.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A Miami-Dade police sergeant is recovering after a crash on Florida's Turnpike.

    Miami-Dade police said he was driving north on the Turnpike near Southwest Eighth Street in his marked patrol car when he attempted to avoid a vehicle involved in an unrelated crash.

    That's when he struck the metal guardrail before hitting another car.

    The sergeant was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center for cuts to the head. Police said he was alert and stable.

    No one else was hurt.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    The Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust has sued a South Florida mayor who tried to pay a $4,000 fine with 28 buckets filled with pennies and nickels.

    The commission also doubled the fine imposed on Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez, saying he intentionally broke the rules by sending them 360,000 coins on Nov. 6 even though he knew the panel only accepts checks.

    According to a statement from the commission, a hearing on the complaint filed in small claims court is scheduled Dec. 9.

    The commission ruled in July that Hernandez lied about his charge of usurious interest rates on a $180,000 loan to a jewelry salesman now jailed for a pyramid scheme.

    Last month, Hernandez told Local 10 News that a typo in the commission's final notice was a reason for not paying the overdue fines.

    READ: Hernandez's letter of reprimand

    "They are so incompetent that when they sent me the notice, they put a date without a year, so I don't know what year it's due," Hernandez said.  

    The last line of the final order against him, time-stamped with the court clerk July 7, 2015, ends with "... all fines and costs to be paid on or before August 7, 201_," with the last digit missing from the date.

    Hernandez was ordered to pay the civil fine for violating Miami-Dade County's "Truth in Government" provision of the Citizens' Bill of Rights.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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  • 11/19/15--10:49: Body found in Pompano Beach
  • A man's body is found in a field near a Pompano Beach high school.


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    Two people were hurt Thursday morning when a car crashed through their Lauderdale Lakes home.

    Clair Lohier was asleep in her bed just before 2 a.m. when a Volkswagen Jetta crashed into her home on Northwest 52nd Avenue.

    The car crashed into a front window, through the living room and into the kitchen.

    Lohier, who was injured by debris and glass, and her roommate said the driver ran away at first, but returned a short time later.

    The driver, identified as Nicole Bailey, 21, was arrested on a charge of leaving the scene of a crash causing injury.

    Deputies said Bailey was wearing only a bra and pants.

    Detectives found her driver's license and marijuana inside the car.

    A building inspector deemed the house unsafe.

    The cause of the crash is under investigation.

    Follow Ben Kennedy on Twitter @BenKennedyTV

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    The Broward Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl.

    BSO deputies received an emergency call at 2:43 a.m. Thursday from a home at 1101 NW 30th Terrace.

    The child was taken to Plantation General Hospital.

    BSO deputies are not able to confirm if the child died at the hospital. Deputies said it's too early to tell if the investigation is criminal in nature.

    Follow Sanela Sabovic on Twitter @SabovicSanela

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho spent Thursday consoling students at the high school where a 15-year-old boy who was shot to death was a freshman football player.

    Miami Northwestern Senior High School freshman Johnny Lubin was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon as he walked home from school in his Liberty City neighborhood.

    "Seven shootings impacting kids from Northwestern in six months is too much," Carvalho said. "It is unacceptable. We feel anguish, disappointment, sadness and anger."

    Students who spoke to Local 10 News said the news of another dead classmate has them fearful that they could be next.

    "Every time I leave the house or I leave somewhere, I talk to God to, you know, to cover me and watch me on the way," sophomore Garlande Henry said.

    It is that kind of talk among 14- and 15-year-old students that has Carvalho concerned.

    "I am saddened by the fact that they referred to what's happening in this community as the equivalent of terror in the streets," Carvalho said.

    The superintendent said there is a way to stop the violence.

    "There's got to be a disruption to the code of silence that exists in these communities," Carvalho said. "There are people out there who know who's doing this."

    Lubin's mother is begging for that help from the community.

    "We have innocent teens just losing their (lives)," mother Julie Examar said.

    Follow Erica Rakow on Twitter @EricaRakow

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A well-known forensic pathologist testified for the defense in the trial of a man who fatally shot his wife and then posted a picture of her body on Facebook, contradicting an assistant medical examiner's claim that the victim was likely on her knees when she was killed.

    Dr. Michael Baden discussed the trajectory of the bullets fired at Jennifer Alfonso by her husband, Derek Medina. Baden, who has testified in several high-profile trials, including those of O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bulow, said Alfonso was standing and bent forward when she was shot.

    Baden's statement contradicts the testimony of Miami-Dade County's chief deputy medical examiner, Dr. Emma Lew, who said Wednesday that Alfonso was probably on her knees.

    Baden also disputed some of the details of the autopsy conducted by Lew.

    Medina is accused of fatally shooting Alfonso in the kitchen of their South Miami townhouse in August 2013. Police said Medina uploaded a photo of Alfonso's body to Facebook after the shooting.

    Defense attorney Saam Zangeneh is arguing that Medina killed his wife in self-defense.

    Medina faces life in prison if convicted.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    Many faces of Derek Medina


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    Miami-Dade police were able to convince a man to surrender after he barricaded himself inside his southwest Miami-Dade County home.

    Police were called to the home near 140th Avenue and 20th Street after receiving a 911 call referencing a domestic violence situation.

    A woman who had escaped the home told police that her estranged husband was armed.

    The unidentified man barricaded himself inside the home and refused to speak with officers at the scene.

    Hostage negotiators were able to convince the suspect to surrender.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A Sanford police officer has been relieved from duty after video surfaced of the officer attending a death metal concert on duty and in uniform.

    [Scroll below for video ]

    Officer Andrew Ricks was patrolling the area around West End Trading Company in downtown Sanford on Nov. 13 when he joined the band Vital Remains on stage and sang a verse that included the lyrics, "Let the killing begin," according to police.

    Video was sent to Police Chief Cecil Smith Tuesday evening. Smith then removed Ricks' authority to perform his law enforcement duties.

    “An incident of this nature erodes the thin fibers of trust, which already exist between the community and the police, and it will not be tolerated within the Sanford Police Department,” Smith stated in a news release.

    Ricks had already submitted a letter of resignation on Oct. 30, with Nov. 20 as his pending last day, police said. Ricks said that he had resigned before this incident to make a career change that would allow him to spend more time with his son.

    Because of the video, Ricks' police powers were removed as of Wednesday morning, two days ahead of his scheduled end date.

    “It is important that the agency must maintain and improve upon the trust built within the community," Smith said in a release. "Based on the information received, it is imperative that we have no misinterpretations of the immediate actions taken by the police department in situations of this nature, and that we will continue to provide professional service to all citizens of Sanford.”

    Imani Ramos attended last week's concert. "Of course, when he came out, everybody is patting him on the back, 'Hey, nice job,' and then next thing you know it goes viral on Facebook," she said.

    The video made its way to the police chief's desk.

    "What was the part that got him off the job?' said Sanford police representative Ronny Neal. "The fact that there was video that surfaced or had he gone and sung about something else, would it have resulted in the same outcome?"

    "The focus is, again, how the citizens view it, how the community views it and 'Let the killing begin' was just a concern," he responded.

    The former officer had been with the department for six years. The department said he had no major issues while there.

    "He's a wonderful person, he's a wonderful officer of the law, and he happens to be fun, but being that way is what gained him so much respect from the community," Ramos said.

    She said Ricks has responded to her home before.

    "What do you think is going to happen now when you're attacking someone that's reached out to us? You're eroding the trust right now," she said.

    Video embedded here


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    The FBI is trying to identify a man who robbed a Plantation credit union Thursday afternoon.

    FBI Special Agent Michael Leverock said the man entered the Tropical Financial Credit Union on Nob Hill Road about 4:30 p.m. and demanded money from a bank employee.

    Leverock said the man got away with an undisclosed amount of money.

    No injuries were reported.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI office in South Florida at 754-703-2000.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A Florida man has admitted to lying about being a federal law enforcement agent and a U.S. Army sergeant who earned a Purple Heart.

    Simon Emilio Zablah, 28, pleaded guilty to multiple counts, including impersonating a federal officer.

    Prosecutors said Zablah went AWOL from the Army about two weeks after he enlisted in January 2005.

    Investigators said he told people he was a veteran, an agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and a member of the U.S. Department of Defense.

    According to court records, he often wore a military uniform that got him special treatment, including free meals.

    A U.S. district judge will sentence Zablah early next year.

    His lawyer declined to comment Thursday.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A car catches fire on the side of the northbound lanes of Interstate 95.


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    Why did the turkey go to church? Perhaps it was looking for sanctuary less than a week before Thanksgiving.

    A wild turkey on Friday walked up to the front doors of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church on South Apopka-Vineland Road in Orlando.

    The church livestreamed the incident on Periscope, creating a social media buzz.

    "The jokes are endless, and he doesn’t seem to want to leave," said Dawn Fleming, who works for the church.

    Posters chimed in on the church's Facebook page.

    "Maybe he is thankful that he is a wild turkey and not in the frozen section of a supermarket now," one poster said.

    "If President Obama won't pardon him, maybe Jesus will," another wrote.

    "Pardon for sin and PIECE that endureth.  I'll take a dark piece, please," another said.


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    A SWAT standoff is taking place in Miami, where a suspect has barricaded himself inside a home.


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    The U.S. Coast Guard has seized an estimated $17 million worth of cocaine intercepted at sea.

    According to a Coast Guard news release, the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Bernard C. Webber seized the drugs from a go-fast boat in the Caribbean Sea near the Dominican Republic.

    A search of the vessel uncovered a total of 22 packages of cocaine.

    Four suspected smugglers were taken into custody for prosecution in the U.S.

    The Bernard C. Webber returned to the Miami Beach Coast Guard station Friday to offload the drugs.

    A Coast Guard representative commended the crew for "making a strong impact on the war on drugs."

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    The mother of a 21-year-old woman who crashed her car into a Lauderdale Lakes home early Thursday morning defended her daughter as she faced a judge Friday.

    Nicole Bailey is accused of leaving the scene of a crash after her Volkswagen Jetta plowed into a home at the corner of Northwest 52nd Avenue and Northwest 39th Street about 2 a.m. Thursday.

    Bailey's mother told Broward County Judge John Hurley that the area wasn't well lit, contributing to the crash.

    "It was a very sharp curve," Bailey's mother said. "The home sits right here along the sharp curve. It was very dark."

    Bailey's public defender said his client never left the scene.

    "She was looking for something," he told Hurley. "She came back. It's not like she just ran off."

    The car crashed into a front window, through the living room and into the kitchen.

    Broward Sheriff's Office deputies said Bailey left the scene but returned a short time later wearing nothing but a bra and pants. Deputies said they also found marijuana in her car.

    Two roommates were injured by debris and glass but were expected to be OK.

    The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

    Bailey's bond was set at $1,000, which her family was expected to pay.

    Follow Sanela Sabovic on Twitter @SabovicSanela

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Four Miami-Dade County men have been arrested and two others remain at large in connection with a series of business burglaries from Tampa to Miami.

    The Florida attorney general's Office of Statewide Prosecution announced the arrests Friday.

    Investigators said the suspects smashed through a wall of a Tampa warehouse and stole about $300,000 worth of surveillance equipment. Investigators said they loaded the equipment into two stolen vehicles and traveled to Miami with the merchandise.

    The suspects are also accused of burglarizing a battery store in Doral, breaking through the wall with a sledgehammer, stealing cases of batteries and loading the stolen items into a van parked outside.

    In another instance, the suspects are alleged to have stolen more than $100,000 worth of beauty products by breaking through a wall adjacent to the wholesaler's warehouse in Tampa.

    Eduardo Batista, Yosvany Batista, Alberto Napoles-Diaz and Alberto Napoles-Hernandez were arrested. Arrest warrants have been issued for Isoil Polo and Marcos Rodriguez.

    All six men face charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, grand theft of more than $100,000 and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Jurors in the murder trial of a man who claims he shot his wife in self-defense and then posted a picture of her body on Facebook heard recorded testimony Friday from a woman who spoke with the victim on the day she was killed.

    Kelly Harwood testified via Skype with the attorneys and judge present earlier this week. Harwood can't travel because she is pregnant and due to give birth soon.

    Harwood and Jennifer Alfonso were exchanging Facebook messages minutes before Alfonso was shot to death in the kitchen of her South Miami townhouse in August 2013. Alfonso indicated during those messages that she was angry at Derek Medina, who she suspected may have been cheating on her.

    Of particular importance to the defense is one statement Alfonso made to Harwood during their conversation.

    "I need to calm down because I feel like I'm about to explode," Alfonso wrote.

    Defense attorney Saam Zangeneh said it speaks to Alfonso's mental state at the time of the shooting.

    Earlier in the day, Miami-Dade County Judge Yvonne Colodny chastised the defense for trying to admit certain evidence about battered spouse syndrome through Medina's recorded statement to police after he turned himself in.

    "Let's focus on the specific issues," Colodny said. "I don't need the barbs back and forth. This has been a messy trial from the beginning. I'm trying to keep this ship upright and sailing forward and proper so both parties get a fair trial here."

    Alfonso's 12-year-old daughter also testified, saying she didn't like Medina because of the way he spoke to her mother.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    Many faces of Derek Medina


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    Spirit Airlines says a misunderstanding caused pilots to make an emergency landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Thursday evening.

    A bomb threat was allegedly made during Flight 596 from Fort Lauderdale to Minneapolis.

    All 92 passengers were forced to leave the plane as Broward Sheriff's Office deputies checked the flight.

    Two men were originally seen being removed from the plane in handcuffs.

    One of those men was Yaniv Abotbul, 38, from Aventura.

    "You don't know how many things you have in your head, when you don't know," Abotbul told Local 10. "Nobody told me what's going on. Nobody told me why I have been arrested. I have been treated, you know, like a criminal. I didn't know what kind of crime."

    Abotbul said he spent five hours being interrogated by agents before being allowed to leave. He said that when he attempted to reboard the flight to Minneapolis, the airline denied him entry and gave him a refund.

    After the aircraft's cabin and cargo were checked, and all bags were swept by a BSO canine, it was determined that there was no threat.

    After the men, witnesses and flight attendants were interviewed by FBI agents, it was determined that the incident was a result of a miscommunication between passengers and the flight crew.

    The misunderstanding stemmed from a phone conversation overhead in the cabin of the plane. A girl who was seated across the aisle from one of the men said she heard a remark about blowing up the plane while he was on the phone. The girl told her mother, who then relayed the conversation to a flight attendant.

    Spirit Airlines defended the move as a safety precaution.

    "While we never want to divert a flight, concerns for the safety and security of our all of our passengers and crew sometimes call for immediate action," the airline said in a statement. "It requires the best judgment of the crew to make these difficult decisions.  The consequences of not acting or responding to a potential threat can be catastrophic once the plane is in the air."

    Abotbul says he wants an apology from the airline and is considering a lawsuit.

    Passengers were able to board another aircraft later Thursday evening to resume their flight.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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