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Authorities search for missing diver off Ft. Lauderdale coast

<p> Authorities are searching for a 45-year-old Pompano Beach man who did not resurface Saturday afternoon off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.</p><p> The search for Marc Raroha continued late into the night Saturday. It was around 4:45 p.m. when the U.S. Coast Guard received word that a diver never resurfaced after going into the water with two other people. </p><p> "It happened approximately one mile off Fort Lauderdale beach," a U.S. Coast Guard official said.</p><p> The other divers were brought to shore and the search began for Raroha, of Pompano Beach.</p><p> "We launched the Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin, a helicopter from station Clearwater and a small boat," the official said.</p><p> The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Broward Sheriff's Office, and Fort Lauderdale police and Fire Rescue all assisted in the search, even using thermal imaging scanners to find Raroha.</p><p> Complicating the search Saturday night was the darkness and rough weather.</p><p> "We have rain, the currents are gonna be a little bit stronger," said the official.</p><p> Watch Local 10 News and refresh for updates on this story.</p><p> </p><p> --Photo courtesy of Ft. Lauderdale Fire Rescue.</p>

Published: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 04:30:48 GMT

Tanya Gonzalez laid to rest Saturday

<p> Family and friends gathered Saturday to say their goodbyes to Tanya Gonzalez.</p><p> Funeral services were held at St. Raymond Church in Miami.</p><p> Gonzalez had been missing since Sept. 9 and was last seen shopping with her aunt in Midtown. Her body was later found in the trunk of her car.</p><p> Her ex-boyfriend, Roy Blanco, 33, was considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Gonzalez. Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said deputies found Blanco with his mother in Big Coppitt Key on Tuesday.</p><p> Blanco died after stabbing himself in the stomach. Detectives said Blanco’s mother ingested some pills, and remains at Lower Keys Medical Center.</p><p> A viewing for Gonzalez was held Friday at the Vior Funeral Home in Miami.</p>

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 15:35:17 GMT

Marvin Rivera-Montalvo arrested after missing woman's burned body discovered

<p> Police said they now have a suspect in custody after a missing woman's burned body was found in northwest Miami-Dade County.</p><p> Marvin Rivera-Montalvo, 30, was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder.</p><p> Miami-Dade police investigators said Rivera-Montalvo confessed to luring Yolanda Samaniego, 51, to his car Sept. 13. Police said Rivera-Montalvo admitted that someone else shot her and he was tasked with disposing of the body.</p><p> </p><p> Police said he left Samaniego's body in a field and then returned several days later to set it on fire.</p><p> The body was discovered Wednesday morning after police were called to a brush fire near Northwest 64th Street and Northwest 82nd Avenue. A customer eating breakfast at a nearby Cuban cafe spotted the fire and called 911.</p><p> After learning that a burned body had been found, Samaniego's family rushed to the crime scene, which wasn't far from where Samaniego worked.</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 01:48:54 GMT

BSO investigates near-drowning in Pompano Beach

<p> Authorities are investigating after a child was found unresponsive in a pool in Pompano Beach.</p><p> Officials said they found the child face down in the pool at 4001 West McNab Rd.</p><p> After being rescued from the pool, the child eventually began breathing and was taken to Northwest Medical Center.</p><p> It's unclear how the child ended up inside the pool or who was watching over him or her at the time of the incident.</p><p> Police did not release any further details.</p><p> Watch Local 10 News and refresh for any updates.</p>

Published: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 01:36:02 GMT

School officials liable in alleged rape?

<p> It's an unimaginable horror. A 14-year-old girl with special needs allegedly was raped at school after a teacher's aide persuaded her to act as bait to catch an accused sexual predator, a fellow student.</p><p> "It has essentially devastated her life," attorney Eric Artrip -- who represents the girl and her father -- said of the alleged January 2010 incident.</p><p> The Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education filed an amicus brief Wednesday supporting her family's federal lawsuit against the Madison County School Board in Alabama.</p><p> An amicus brief is a legal argument offered to the court by someone who is not a party to the case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta will decide whether to accept the argument.</p><p> "School administrators knew the student's extensive history of sexual and violent misconduct and were alerted to the substantial risk he posed" to other students, according to the brief.</p><p> About a week before the alleged rape, Sparkman Middle School vice principals Jeanne Dunaway and Teresa Terrell received a complaint that the boy had touched a female student inappropriately and was assigned in-school suspension, according to federal attorneys.</p><p> A few days later, June Simpson, a teacher's aide at the Huntsville-area school, told the principal, Ronnie Blair, that the boy had "repeatedly tried to convince girls to have sex with him in the boys' bathroom on the special needs students' corridor" and had actually had sex with one student, according to the brief.</p><p> The boy and his alleged sexual partner denied having sex in the bathroom, but Simpson recommended the boy be "constantly monitored," according to the brief. Blair said the boy could not be punished because he had not been "caught in the act," the brief reads. </p><p> School policy requires allegations of student-on-student misconduct be substantiated.</p><p> Trying to "catch him in the act"</p><p> On January 22, 2010, the boy approached a 14-year-old girl with special needs who had already declined his "recent, repeated propositions" for sex, according to the brief.</p><p> "She was not physically or mentally handicapped, although she does qualify for special education classes," Artrip told CNN.</p><p> When the girl told Simpson, she encouraged the girl to "meet (the boy) in the bathroom where teachers could be positioned to 'catch him in the act' before anything happened," according to the brief. </p><p> The girl initially refused, but then agreed, according to Artrip.</p><p> Simpson and the girl went to Dunaway's office to explain the plan. Dunaway "did not respond with any advice or directive," according to the brief.</p><p> "If this was problematic for the administration it would have been better to express that on the front end instead of the back end," said attorney McGriff Belser III, who represents Simpson.</p><p> The girl left Dunaway's office, found the boy in the hallway, and "agreed to meet for sex," according to the brief.</p><p> "Something went wrong," said Artrip.</p><p> Instead of meeting in the boys' bathroom on the special needs students' corridor, the boy told the girl to meet him in the sixth-grade boys' bathroom, in another part of the school, according to the brief.</p><p> "No teachers were in the bathroom to intervene," the brief reads.</p><p> "She stalled for time. She continually tried to fight him off but ultimately was anally raped by this young man," Artrip told CNN.</p><p> "It was evident that this had been a severe trauma for her," said Artrip.</p><p> Police were called and the girl was taken to the National Children's' Advocacy Center in Huntsville, where a rape kit was taken, Artrip told CNN.</p><p> Medical personnel found evidence of trauma "consistent with (the girl) being sodomized." The boy claimed he had only kissed her, according to the brief.</p><p> Attorneys: Boy had a long history of serious misconduct</p><p> The girl was uncommunicative after the incident, Artrip said. The district attorney in Madison County investigated the incident, but with a victim who was unable or unwilling to talk about the incident, the office didn't think they had a good case, and did not pursue it.</p><p> Even after viewing photographs of the girl's injuries, vice principal Terrell "testified that she didn't know whether (the girl) had consented to the assault," according to the brief.</p><p> The school listed the alleged rape as "inappropriate touching a female in boys' bathroom," on the student's computerized disciplinary report. He was suspended for five days and sent to an alternative school, but later returned to Sparkman after about 20 days, according to the brief. </p><p> Vice principal Dunaway testified that the girl was responsible for herself once she entered the bathroom, according the brief.</p><p> DoJ and DoE attorneys claim the boy had a long history of sexual and other misconduct in school and Sparkman Middle School administrators knew it. Several pages of the 126-page brief detail years of disciplinary problems.</p><p> The boy had been involved in 15 violent or sex-related proven incidents of misconduct before the alleged rape, according to the brief.</p><p> Federal attorneys say details about the severity of the incidents are unavailable because school administrators shredded the boy's disciplinary files.</p><p> The girl's father filed the federal lawsuit in October 2010 against the boy, the three administrators, the teacher's aide and the Madison County School Board.</p><p> "We felt, (that) the teacher putting her into this position, because of the policy as interpreted by the school board and the principal, violated Title IX," Artrip told CNN.</p><p> Title IX is a federal law aimed at ending sexual discrimination in education. In part, it dictates how schools that receive federal funds must respond to claims of sexual harassment.</p><p> In 2010, a district court judge allowed the father's claims of state violations, including negligence, against Simpson and Dunaway, while dropping the boy from the lawsuit because he was a minor. The judge tossed out the federal claims -- that the school district violated Title IX and that Simpson and school administrators deprived the girl of her civil rights. </p><p> Both sides have appealed.</p><p> Fighting for a jury trial</p><p> According to the rare amicus brief, written in part by an attorney with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, the school, in its capacity as a recipient of federal funds is "liable for [its] deliberate indifference to known acts of peer sexual harassment."</p><p> On the same day the federal brief was submitted, the Women's Law Center, joined by 32 national and local organizations, submitted a joint brief supporting the family's lawsuit. Earlier this month, the National Women's Law Center and Artrip submitted a joint brief to the Eleventh Circuit. </p><p> Artrip told CNN his client deserves her day in court and a jury should weigh in on the Madison County District's requirement of substantiation of allegations of student-on-student misconduct.</p><p> "We hope that the attention that this case is getting will spur a movement on these kinds of policies so that a girl can simply report sexual harassment without having a need to bring a witness with her or roll up her shirt and show bruises," Artrip told CNN.</p><p> The girl was withdrawn from Sparkman Middle School and underwent extensive counseling. She went to live with her mother in North Carolina, but her mother died soon after. Instead of moving back to Huntsville, she and her brother were placed with Child Protective Services in North Carolina, the attorney said.</p><p> Geraldine Tibbs, the head of public relations for the Madison County Board of Education, said the board and school officials "are confident that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in favor of the Board and the administrators."</p><p> "Our attorneys recommend that we not discuss ongoing litigation," she said.</p><p> Ronnie Blair and Teresa Terrell are still principal and vice principal at Sparkman Middle School. </p><p> Jeanne Dunaway is now principal at Madison County Elementary School.</p><p> June Simpson resigned shortly after the incident.</p><p> "My client has gone from being a teacher's aide to being a scapegoat," said Simpson's attorney.</p><p> When asked why his client thought it was a good idea to use a special needs teen as bait to catch a suspected attacker, Besler told CNN, "I don't personally think it is a good idea. The events of this case have shown us that it was not."</p>

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:59:16 GMT

White House fence jumper carried a knife

<p> One man was carrying a weapon; the other had reportedly attempted to slip by security before. New details have emerged about two recent security breaches at the White House.</p><p> The man who jumped a fence at the White House late Friday and made it through the North Portico doors was carrying a folding knife in his pants pocket, according to a Secret Service affidavit filed Saturday.</p><p> Initially, officers believed Omar Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, Texas, to be unarmed. </p><p> And a man who failed to stop his car at a White House complex entrance on Saturday, after officers asked he do so, had tried to gain entrance a short time before on foot, the New York Times reported, citing Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan.</p><p> The jumper</p><p> Gonzalez is accused of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, officials said.</p><p> The knife he carried in his pants pocket was a Spyderco VG-10 folding knife with a three-and-a-half inch serrated blade, according to an affidavit. On Friday, the Secret Service had said the fence jumper appeared to be unarmed.</p><p> Gonzalez told a Secret Service agent "that he was concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing and needed to get the information to the President of the United States so that he could get the word out to the people," the affidavit read.</p><p> The Washington Post reported that Gonzalez's attorney said that his client was an Iraq War veteran, who served three tours there.</p><p> No guard dogs were released to chase him, which is normally standard procedure, the Post reported. </p><p> A Secret Service officer said he yelled at the intruder to stop. Gonzalez was apprehended just after making it inside the doors, according to the affidavit. The first family was not at the White House at the time, but other people were. </p><p> President Obama had left just four minutes earlier with his daughters via helicopter from the South Lawn to visit Camp David.</p><p> Gonzalez, who was in custody Saturday evening, is scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate on Monday. The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.</p><p> Barging vehicle</p><p> The man behind the wheel of the vehicle that did not stop was identified as Kevin Carr of Shamong, New Jersey. He was arrested and charged with unlawful entry, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. Carr is either 18 or 19 years old. </p><p> The incident happened at the entrance at 15th and E Streets, where the driver did not stop when the Secret Service ordered him to do so, Leary said. </p><p> The man's car did not hit the barriers at the entrance, and he then exited the vehicle, Leary said. </p><p> Carr was arrested after he refused to leave, Leary said. </p><p> The Secret Service said it would interview personnel and review policies and security procedures following the fence-jumping incident. </p><p> The agency said its director, Julia Pierson, ordered additional patrol officers around the White House complex. This happened before Saturday's security incident. </p><p> "The Secret Service is in the process of conducting a thorough review of the event on Friday evening," White House spokesman Frank Benenati said. "And we are certain it will be done with the same professionalism and commitment to duty that we and the American people expect (from) USSS."</p><p> May: Lost driver ends up in White House motorcade</p>

Published: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 06:33:27 GMT

Florida parent sues of shorter recess

<p> A Florida mother is criticizing her local school district for shortening recess time for elementary school students.</p><p> The estate lawyer with two elementary school-aged children tells The Bradenton Herald her third grader was stressed and upset when she came home one afternoon without having recess.</p><p> The mother plans to bring a motion before the school board to restore recess time in all elementary schools.</p><p> She says parents were never told about a plan to reduce recess time.</p><p> But the school district says all students are getting the required number of minutes for physical activity each week. The district says there has been no change in the overall time allotted for exercise but that some students may have less recess time because they are getting more physical education time.</p>

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:46:36 GMT

PHOTOS: Miami Hurricanes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

<p> Ameer Abdullah ran for 229 yards in No. 24 Nebraska's 41-31 win over Miami, photos provided by: Omaha World-Herald </p>

Published: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 05:47:11 GMT

Man gets 8 years after robbing bank in Santa suit

<p> A man who robbed a bank two days before Christmas while wearing a Santa suit and carrying a fake bomb in his gift bag has been sentenced to eight years in prison.</p><p> The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports 64-year-old Mark N. London was sentenced Friday after pleading no contest to robbery and displaying a fake bomb during a felony.</p><p> A judge rejected his claim of mental illness.</p><p> London told the judge he was ashamed of his actions and of using the Santa Claus suit as his disguise.</p><p> London said he became desperate after being laid off from his job as a commercial real estate executive.</p>

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:59:06 GMT

Central Fla. power workers train John Travolta for part

<p> Actor John Travolta is spending time with electrical linemen who work near his central Florida home while preparing for an upcoming movie role.</p><p> The Ocala Star-Banner reports the actor recently spent several hours getting lessons from the Ocala crew for his work in the movie "Life on the Line," in which he plays an electrical lineman.</p><p> An Ocala lineman invited Travolta to learn from his crew after reading that he was scheduled to play the movie part.</p><p> Travolta told the newspaper he took lots of notes while working with the local lineman. The actor said he was impressed by how intricate the work is and how risky it can be, especially in bad weather.</p>

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:06:20 GMT

Notable deaths of 2014

<p> From legendary actors to fashion designers, take a look at the most notable deaths of 2014.</p>

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 23:37:25 GMT

The ultimate first-class perks

<p> In an effort to really make first class "worth it," airlines have started offering passengers everything from on-board apartments (yes, really) to post-boarding limo rentals and private jet access. Here's a look at some of the top first-class perks.</p>

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:03:58 GMT