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Man dies after BSO-involved shooting at North Lauderdale strip mall

Thu, 2021-04-15 23:01

Authorities are investigating a shooting involving Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies at a strip mall in North Lauderdale that left one person dead.

7News cameras captured an active scene in the parking lot of the shopping center near a Ross store along the 7300 block of West McNab Road, Thursday night.

BSO cruisers, a forensic response unit and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue vehicles were seen lined up in front of the stores. Most of the parking lot has been blocked off.

According to investigators, a man carrying a knife walked inside the Ross with a knife at around 9 p.m.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said the subject was waving the knife around and cutting himself.

Deputies were called to the scene. Officials said the man exited the store, and that is when responding deputies talked to the man and tried to have him put the knife down.

Tony said the subject made threats, not only to himself but to the deputies as well.

“Unfortunately, the individual did not comply, charged toward our deputies with a knife in his hand, at which time several rounds were fired,” said Tony.

Officials said the subject was transported to Broward Health Medical Center.

“Unfortunately, he was pronounced deceased,” said Tony.

Investigators said they have cellphone video recorded by a witness.

The deputy who, officials said, fired the rounds has been placed on administratve leave. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be investigating the incident.

Police: Aspiring model drugged man at Brickell condo, stole $100K in cash, valuables

Thu, 2021-04-15 22:57

An aspiring model is accused of a high-priced heist after, police said, she drugged a man and took off with tens of thousands of dollars in cash and valuables after he brought her to his Brickell condo.

7News cameras captured 24-year-old Syndey Compston as she walked out of the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade on Thursday.

When asked to comment on her charges, she replied, “I’m not talking.”

But her boyfriend, who was not identified, had plenty to say.

“It’s crazy,” he said.

Crazy and criminal, according to City of Miami Police.

Investigators said it all started at Sugar East in Miami’s Brickell section, back in December 2019, and ended later that night at a nearby condo with a man being drugged and robbed.

“It’s just a misunderstanding. She’s an aspiring model,” said Compston’s boyfriend.

But detectives said Compston definitely wasn’t showing model behavior that night.

According to the arrest warrant, the victim said he met the suspect and brought her back to his condo, located along Southeast Sixth Street.

The victim told detectives Compston made him a couple of drinks, and he passed out.

When he woke up, police said, she was gone, along with $100,000 worth of watches, jewelry and cash.

The warrant goes on to say surveillance video from the lobby shows a woman leaving with a large bag.

Investigators said there’s even video from inside the condo showing the woman making drinks.

“She’s a nice person. She’s a tourist; she’s not even from here,” said Compston’s boyfriend.

Police said it took a while to track her down, and more than a year later, she was arrested.

Now that Compston had bonded out, her boyfriend said, she’s looking forward to her day in court.

“She got a warrant, but she’s innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “She don’t do stuff like that, man.”

Compston faces charges of first-degree grand theft.

Florida ‘anti-riot’ bill goes to governor amid racial strife

Thu, 2021-04-15 19:23

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature approved stiffer penalties against violent protesters on Thursday, handing a major legislative victory to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who began campaigning for the measure last year following a summer of turmoil across the country over the killings of Black people by police.

A divided Florida Senate approved a so-called anti-riot bill as the trial of a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was underway for the death of George Floyd, a Black man whose death under Chauvin’s knee triggered waves of protests.

The measure was sent to Florida’s Republican governor as new protests erupted this week in a Minneapolis suburb after another fatal police shooting of a Black man.

During weeks of debate, the spirits of the civil rights movement — and the specter of racism — wafted through hearing rooms, as bill opponents invoked the names of civil rights icons, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Can I tell you that this bill is not about racism? Not entirely, I don’t know,” said GOP Sen. Ed Hooper, who joined the Republican majority in advancing the bill to the governor. “But I do believe in my heart that, at the end of the day, we are a nation and a country of law and order.”

When lawmakers introduced the bill earlier this year, some supporters cast it as a response to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters, mostly white, of former President Donald Trump.

But critics debunked that narrative and instead called the legislation an assault against the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as an attempt to curtail the right to free speech and to peaceably assemble.

Indeed, the genesis of the measure dates back to a Sept. 21 press conference held by the governor in which he was joined by Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls to condemn the tumults in cities across the country and what he referred to as attacks on law enforcement.

After the bill’s final passage, DeSantis said he looked forward to signing the measure into law.

“This legislation strikes the appropriate balance of safeguarding every Floridian’s constitutional right to peacefully assemble, while ensuring that those who hide behind peaceful protest to cause violence in our communities will be punished,” the governor said in a statement.

The measure drew intense passions over the months, as community activists from across the state gathered in the state Capitol during to implore lawmakers to turn down the effort.

“We know the governor wants this piece of legislation. We know that’s why it’s here. We don’t have to do everything the governor wants,” said Sen. Gary Farmer, the chamber’s Democratic leader.

From the start, the legislation appeared cleared for passage by Republican leaders. What came before the state Senate for final approval on Thursday was the same measure already approved by the House, which cleared the way for the measure to head to the governor’s desk. It would become law immediately upon signing.

When signed into law, penalties would be enhanced for crimes committed during a riot or violent protest. It would allow authorities to hold arrested protesters until a first court appearance. And it would establish new felonies for organizing or participating in a violent demonstration.

It would also strip local governments of civil liability protections if they interfere with law enforcement’s efforts to respond to a violent protest and add language to state law that could force local governments to justify a reduction in law enforcement budgets.

The proposal would also make it a second-degree felony to destroy or demolish a memorial, plaque, flag, painting, structure or other object that commemorates historical people or events. That would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

“Rights have limits, and violence is where the line is drawn,” said Republican Sen. Danny Burgess, who carried the bill in the Senate. “This bill is about preventing violence.”

But Democrats saw it differently, saying it was designed to muzzle dissent.

“This is not going to stop people from rising up,” said Sen. Darryl Rouson, a former St. Petersburg chapter president of the NAACP.

“This won’t stop anything, except those who are afraid. I’m not afraid,” he said. “I just want to say to people, keep on knocking, keep on protesting, keep on rising in spite of an attempt to stifle voices.”

Police searching for missing 12-year-old Miami girl

Thu, 2021-04-15 18:40

Police are searching for a missing 12-year-old girl out of Miami.

The search is on for 12-year-old Farrah Sanders, who was reported missing Thursday from the area near Northeast 2nd Court and 53rd Street.

https://twitter.com/MiamiPD/status/1382824120799297538

Farrah was last seen wearing a black shirt with a white bear on the front and blue jeans.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, call police at 305-603-6300 or 305-579-6111.

Video shows Chicago teen wasn’t holding gun when shot by cop

Thu, 2021-04-15 18:31

CHICAGO (AP) — A 13-year-old Chicago boy appears to have dropped a handgun and begun raising his hands less than a second before a police officer shot and killed him last month, footage released Thursday under community pressure shows.

A still frame taken from Officer Eric Stillman’s jumpy nighttime body camera footage shows that Adam Toledo wasn’t holding anything and had his hands at least partially up when Stillman shot him in the chest at around 3 a.m. on March 29. Police, who were responding to reports of shots fired in the area, say the teen had a handgun on him before the shooting. And Stillman’s footage shows him shining a light on a handgun on the ground near Toledo after he shot him.

The release of the footage and other investigation materials comes at a sensitive time, with the ongoing trial in Minneapolis of former Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd and the recent police killing of another Black man, Daunte Wright, in one of that city’s suburbs. Before the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, an independent board that investigates all police-involved shootings in Chicago, posted the material on its website, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on the public to keep the peace and some downtown businesses boarded up their windows in the expectation that there could be unrest.

“We live in a city that is traumatized by a long history of police violence and misconduct,” Lightfoot said. “So while we don’t have enough information to be the judge and jury of this particular situation, it is certainly understandable why so many of our residents are feeling that all too familiar surge of outrage and pain. It is even clearer that trust between our community and law enforcement is far from healed and remains badly broken.”

Nineteen seconds elapsed from when Stillman exited his squad car to when he shot Toledo. His bodycam footage shows him chasing Toledo on foot down an alley for several seconds and yelling “Police! Stop! Stop right (expletive) now!”

As the teen slows down, Stillman yells “Hands! Hands! Show me your (expletive) hands!”

Toledo then turns toward the camera, Stillman yells “Drop it!” and midway between repeating that command, he opens fire and Toledo falls down. While approaching the wounded teen, Stillman radios in for an ambulance. He can be heard imploring the boy to “stay awake,” and as other officers arrive, an officer says he can’t feel a heartbeat and begins administering CPR.

Adeena Weiss-Ortiz, an attorney for Toledo’s family, told reporters after the footage and other videos were released that they “speak for themselves.”

“Adam, during the last second of his life, did not have a gun in his hand. The officer screamed at him, ‘Show me your hands.’ Adam complied,” she said.

Weiss-Ortiz said it’s irrelevant whether Toledo was holding a gun before he turned toward the officer.

“If he had a gun, he tossed it. The officer said show me your hands, he complied. He turned around,” she said.

The Chicago Police Department typically doesn’t release the names of officers involved in such shootings this early on in an investigation, but Stillman’s name, age and race — he’s 34 and white — were listed in the investigation reports COPA released Thursday.

Weiss-Ortiz said that she looked into Stillman and, “From what I understand, he had no prior discipline, no prior events.”

Lightfoot, who along with the police superintendent called on COPA to release the video, urged the public to remain peaceful and reserve judgment until the police accountability board can complete its investigation. Choking up at times, she decried the city’s long history of police violence and misconduct, especially in Black and brown communities, and said too many young people are left vulnerable to “systemic failures that we simply must fix.”

She also described watching the footage as “excruciating.”

“As a mom, this is not something you want children to see,” said the mayor.

In addition to posting Stillman’s bodycam footage, the review board released footage from other bodycams, four third-party videos, two audio recordings of 911 calls, and six audio recordings from ShotSpotter, the technology that alerted police to gunshots in that area of Little Village, a predominantly Latino and Black neighborhood on the city’s West Side, and led officers to head there that morning.

Toledo, who was Latino, and a 21-year-old man fled on foot when confronted by police, and Stillman shot the teen once in the chest following a foot chase during what the department described as an armed confrontation. The 21-year-old man was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.

The review board initially said it couldn’t release the video because it involved the shooting of a minor, but it changed course after the mayor and police superintendent called for the video’s release.

Footage of the Toledo shooting had been widely anticipated in the city, where the release of some previous police shooting videos sparked major protests, including the 2015 release of footage of a white officer shooting Black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing him.

Before the video’s release, some businesses in downtown Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district boarded up their windows. Lightfoot said the city has been preparing for months for a verdict in the Chauvin trial and that it had activated a “neighborhood protection plan” ahead of Thursday’s release.

“It happens now that these circumstances are sitting next to each other,” she said.

The Toledo family, meanwhile, issued a statement urging people to “remain peaceful.”

“We have heard reports in the media that more protests are planned today, and while we have no direct knowledge of such events, we pray that for the sake of our city, people remain peaceful to honor Adam’s memory and work constructively to promote reform,” said the family, which planned to hold a news conference later Thursday.

Before the video’s release, Lightfoot and attorneys for the family and city said in a joint statement that they agreed that in addition to the release of the video, all investigation materials should be made public, including a slowed-down compilation of what happened that morning.

“We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city,” the joint statement read. “We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and elicit an emotional response to all who view it, and we ask that people express themselves peacefully.”

The Chicago Police Department has a long history of brutality and racism that has fomented mistrust among the city’s many Black and Hispanic residents. Adding to that mistrust is the city’s history of suppressing damning police videos.

The city fought for months to keep the public from seeing the 2014 video of a white officer shooting McDonald 16 times, killing him. The officer was eventually convicted of murder. And the city tried to stop a TV news station from broadcasting video of a botched 2019 police raid in which an innocent, naked, Black woman wasn’t allowed to put on clothes until after she was handcuffed.

Jackson Health administers COVID vaccinations to college students

Thu, 2021-04-15 18:17

A South Florida hospital system has turned their attention to college students, as they continue vaccination efforts in their fight against the coronavirus.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya conveyed the importance of ensuring that everyone who can receive their shot at protection is able to do so.

“These shots are the best protection we have against COVID-19,” he said.

Jackson Health has taken steps to give college students an opportunity to be vaccinated.

7News cameras captured several Barry University and Florida International University students receiving their doses.

“COVID has affected all of us in different ways. For young people, it’s been especially hard,” he said.

Thursday’s inoculations are part of a new COVID vaccination initiative and partnership with multiple local colleges and universities.

Migoya listed the higher education entities that are taking part in the initiative.

“The University of Miami, FIU, Miami Dade College, Florida Memorial College and Barry University,” he said.

Students can get their shots at one of three Jackson Health facilities, including the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center in Miami.

“We have ample availability for appointments at all our three vaccination sites,” said Migoya, “here at the Lynn Rehab Center on Jackson Memorial campus, at Jackson South Medical Center, off of U.S. 1 and Southwest 152nd Street, and the North Dade Center, just south of the Palmetto Expressway on Northwest 27th Avenue.”

The appointments are available to students who are Florida residents, as well as out-of-state and international students.

Among those who received their first shot on Thursday was FIU student Camila Gutierrez.

“I know that if I were in my home country, I wouldn’t be able to get the vaccine, so I’m really thankful for this opportunity,” she said.

Over the past year, the college experience has looked considerably different. Students like Nils Buecheler, a soccer player at Barry University, said they’re excited to return to some sense of normalcy.

“It’s quite hot, it’s different, but I hope that for next semester, everything is going to be similar as before,” said Buecheler.

The goal for Jackson Health leaders is to continue to expand vaccine access to students. Those who spoke to 7News said they aim to encourage their peers to get vaccinated.

“Actually getting the vaccination just encourages me even more to pretty much be excited to see what’s to come,” said Barry student A.J. Joshway.

To make a COVID vaccination appointment through Jackson Health System, click here.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

At least 3 injured in shootings in Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens

Thu, 2021-04-15 17:44

At least three people suffered gunshot wounds in an incident that spans the cities of Hialeah and Hialeah Gardens, and one of the people injured was shot during an officer-involved shooting.

A dark-colored pickup truck could be seen surrounded by crime tape in the area of Northwest 121st Terrace and 90th Avenue, at around 5 p.m., Thursday.

Paramedics have transported one person to an area hospital in unknown condition.

According to investigators, the incident began in Hialeah in the area of West 20th Lane when a man in his 50s and a woman in her late 70s were found shot.

The conditions of the two other victims are not yet known.

Please check back on WSVN.com and 7News for more details on this developing story.

Princes William, Harry won’t walk side-by-side at funeral

Thu, 2021-04-15 17:32

LONDON (AP) — Prince William and Prince Harry won’t walk side-by-side Saturday as they follow their grandfather’s coffin into the church ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral, minimizing the chances of any awkward moments between the brothers who are grappling with strained relations since Harry’s decision to step away from royal duties last year.

Buckingham Palace on Thursday released the broad outlines of the funeral program for Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, who died April 9 at 99. The palace revealed that William and Harry’s cousin, Peter Phillips, will walk between the princes as they escort the coffin to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, west of London.

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne and the father of the princes, together with his sister, Princess Anne, will lead the 15-member procession.

The brothers had been closely watched as Saturday’s funeral will almost certainly remind the pair of their shared grief at another royal funeral more than two decades ago. As young boys, both walked behind their mother Princess Diana’s coffin in 1997 in London in a ceremony watched around the world.

Palace officials refused to comment when asked whether the positioning of William and Harry was an effort to minimize family tensions, which have grown after Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, gave an explosive interview to Oprah Winfrey that suggested an unnamed member of the royal family had made a racist comment to Harry before the birth of their child Archie.

Meghan, who is pregnant and living in California with Harry, is not coming to the funeral on the advice of her doctor.

“We’re not going to be drawn into those perceptions of drama or anything like that,’’ a palace spokesman said while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy. “This is a funeral and the arrangements have been agreed and they represent Her Majesty’s wishes.”

In another effort to preserve family unity, the palace said senior royals would wear civilian clothes to the funeral. The decision, signed off by the queen, means that Harry won’t risk being the only member of the royal family not in uniform during the funeral.

Members of the royal family often wear uniforms to public events by virtue of their honorary roles with the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, but Harry lost his honorary military titles when he decided to give up frontline royal duties last year. As a result, protocol suggests that Harry, an army veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, would only wear a suit with medals at royal functions.

The decision also sidesteps another potential controversy after reports that Prince Andrew, the queen’s second-oldest son, considered wearing an admiral’s uniform to his father’s funeral. Andrew retains his military titles even though he was forced to step away from royal duties after a disastrous interview with the BBC about his acquaintance with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Attendance at the funeral will be limited to 30 people because of the coronavirus restrictions in England. The list will include several of Philip’s relatives from Germany, together with immediate members of the royal family. The children in the family will not attend.

Guests will wear masks inside the chapel and observe social distancing. The queen, always the first to set an example, will also wear a mask.

In other details released about the funeral, Royal Marine buglers will play “Action Stations,” an alarm that alerts sailors to prepare for battle.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, served in the Royal Navy for 12 years and maintained close ties to the armed forces throughout his life. Military personnel will have a large role in honoring him Saturday despite the attendance limit.

Members of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Royal Air Force and the British Army will take part in the funeral procession. Philip’s coffin will be carried to St. George’s Chapel on a specially adapted Land Rover that he designed himself.

On Thursday, Charles and his wife Camilla visited Marlborough House in central London to see a sea of floral tributes for Philip, which have been moved there from the gates of Buckingham Palace.

The couple spent some time looking at the cards and notes with the flowers. The items left in tribute included a model of a Land Rover similar to the one that will bear Philip’s coffin on Saturday, with the words “The Duke R.I.P” on the roof.

Man is arrested after trapping a police officer’s arm in his truck window and speeding off, police say

Thu, 2021-04-15 17:25

(CNN) — A Minnesota man was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly trapped a police officer’s arm in his truck window while attempting to flee, and then attacking him with the officer’s own rescue hammer, police said.

The officer was attempting to stop the suspect, Luke Alvin Oeltjenbruns, 61, after an alleged assault over wearing a mask was reported at a Menards home improvement store in Hutchinson, a city about 60 miles west of Minneapolis.

Hutchinson Police Chief Tom Gifferson told CNN the officer approached the suspect’s truck and was standing on a running board on the driver’s side when the suspect rolled up the window, trapping the officer’s arm, and drove away with the officer clinging to the vehicle, reaching speeds up to 40 mph.

The officer used his rescue hammer to break the window to free his own arm, but the suspect took the hammer and began striking the officer in the head with it, Gifferson said.

Police had responded to the Menards store after a report of a man assaulting an employee with lumber in a dispute over wearing a mask, according to a Hutchinson Police statement.

Oeltjenbruns led officers on a slow-speed pursuit before stopping.

Police arrested Oeltjenbruns and booked him on first-degree assault.

The officer was taken to a local hospital for his injuries and is resting at home, said Gifferson.

The case is still under investigation by the McLeod County Sheriff’s Office.

CNN is trying to determine whether Oeltjenbruns has legal representation.

California woman who went missing in downtown Miami over 2 weeks ago found safe

Thu, 2021-04-15 17:24

A California woman who went missing in Miami has been found.

Angela Morrisey called police from Medley, Thursday morning.

She was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

Morrisey was last seen at a Hialeah gas station in late March.

Her boyfriend reported her missing on March 28, when she disappeared while the two were at Bayside Marketplace in downtown Miami.

Mother, son suffer severe burns while escaping fire at Miami home

Thu, 2021-04-15 17:11

A mother and son suffered severe burns and are fighting for their lives at the hospital after they escaped from their burning Miami home.

Angel Lankford, whose daughter and grandson were burned in the blaze, stepped foot inside of their home on Thursday for the first time since it caught fire.

“We lost everything, and right now, they’re fighting for their life to live,” Lankford said. “My daughter has 80% burns all over her body. My grandson has 17% all over his body.”

The fire sparked on Monday along Northwest Fifth Place, filling the home with smoke. Lankford’s daughter Stevangela and her son TJ were the only people inside at the time.

Lankford said once the fire ignited, Stevangela shielded her son from the blaze while they escaped.

“She was upstairs sleeping on the baby, and I guess she woke up into a panic with the smoke already taking over the house, and actually just came downstairs with her baby in her arms,” Lankford said. “She was trying to shield him and get him out. She was trying to get him out of here.”

With her son in her arms, Stevangela made it out of the burning home. Paramedics transported both victims to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

Lankford said her grandson suffered some horrific burns.

“His whole face is burnt and his arms and his hand,” she said. “He doesn’t have a face. You don’t see any eyelids or none of that. Everything is just white.”

Stevangela and TJ are said to be in and out of surgery, as doctors work to reconstruct their burned bodies.

Lankford said the family will need help to cover the mother and son’s expensive medical costs.

“We lost the whole house,” she said, “a house full of furniture, clothes, whatever. We lost it. I know it’s going to be a long recovery, but they’re fighting to live.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

If you would like to donate to help cover Stevangela and TJ’s medical expenses, click here to be redirected to their GoFundMe page.

Police: Bullet kills sleeping 7-year-old boy in Florida

Thu, 2021-04-15 17:06

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Police in Florida are searching for the person who shot into an apartment and killed a 7-year-old boy who was sleeping inside.

The boy’s 28-year-old mother was injured in the shooting which happened early Wednesday, Riviera Beach police said during a news conference.

Police Chief Nathan Osgood said the shooting was targeted, but it was unclear if the shooter knew there were children inside the apartment.

The boy, whose name has not been released, another sibling and their parents were asleep when the shots rang out early Wednesday. The boy was shot several times and his mother was hit at least once, police said.

The mother is recovering from her injuries, Osgood said.

“There’s people out there who know who did this,” Osgood said. “We have to come together as a community and say we can’t take this anymore. We will not take this anymore.”

Riviera Beach is near West Palm Beach.

So far, 5,800 fully vaccinated people have caught Covid anyway in US, CDC says

Thu, 2021-04-15 17:02

(CNN) — About 5,800 people who have been vaccinated against coronavirus have become infected anyway, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells CNN.

Some became seriously ill and 74 people died, the CDC said. It said 396 — 7% — of those who got infected after they were vaccinated required hospitalization.

This is the CDC’s first public accounting of breakthrough cases, and the agency is searching for patterns based on patient age and gender, location, type of vaccine, variants and other factors.

“So far, about 5,800 breakthrough cases have been reported to CDC. To date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in case demographics or vaccine characteristics,” the CDC told CNN via email.

About 77 million people in the US are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, according to a CNN analysis of CDC data. The CDC’s reports on breakthrough cases will lag day-to-day reports of vaccines given, so many, if not most, of those breakthrough cases will have happened weeks ago.

Nonetheless, the total represents a very small percentage of those who have been vaccinated.

Breakthrough cases are expected. The vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections and as tens of millions of people are vaccinated, more and more such cases will be reported.

Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine was 95% effective in preventing symptomatic disease in clinical trials, and earlier this month the companies said real-life data in the US shows the vaccine is more than 91% effective against disease with any symptoms for six months. Moderna’s vaccine was 94% effective in preventing symptomatic illness in trials, and 90% effective in real life use. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was 66% overall globally in trials, and 72% effective at preventing disease in the US.

CDC will be looking for clues about who is most prone to become infected despite having been vaccinated.

“Vaccine breakthrough infections were reported among all people of all ages eligible for vaccination. However, a little over 40% of the infections were in people 60 or more years of age,” the CDC said.

Most, 65%, were female and 29% of the so-called breakthrough infections were asymptomatic. “CDC is monitoring reported cases for clustering by patient demographics, geographic location, time since vaccination, vaccine type or lot number, and SARS-CoV-2 lineage,” the CDC said.

Plus, samples from cases will be tested to see how many are caused by variants and if so, which ones.

“CDC has developed a national COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough database where state health department investigators can currently enter, store, and manage data for cases in their jurisdiction,” the CDC said.

“Vaccine breakthrough infections make up a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated. CDC recommends that all eligible people get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is available to them. CDC also continues to recommend people who have been fully vaccinated should keep taking precautions in public places, like wearing a mask, staying at least six feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing their hands often.”

Outside experts agreed.

The likelihood of these “very rare” infections depends on how much virus is circulating within a community, Dr. Kawsar Talaat, an infectious disease physician and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNN.

“That’s the whole point of getting to herd immunity,” Talaat said. “Because once we get to a point where enough people in the community are vaccinated, then if somebody develops Covid in that community, the people around them are protected and it’s much harder for that person to spread the virus to somebody else, and therefore the transmission stops.”

Less transmission means fewer breakthrough cases, said Dr. Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean at Emory University School of Medicine.

“There is currently a lot of transmission in many parts of the country. Vaccines will help decrease that,” del Rio said. “Get vaccinated as soon as you can and help control this pandemic.”

Dog finds help for owner suffering medical emergency

Thu, 2021-04-15 16:09

EL PASO, Texas (WSVN) — A dog in Texas has proven what many already know to be true, that dogs are man’s best friend.

The El Paso Fire Department is crediting Cosmo for saving his owner’s life.

Officials said Wednesday, Cosmo’s human began having a medical emergency. When Cosmo saw what was happening, he immediately searched for help.

The department said a good Samaritan saw Cosmo, and the pup led them to his owner. The good Samaritan then called 911, and Cosmo’s owner was taken to the hospital.

“Who’s the goodest boy of them all?” firefighters wrote.

Florida education chief: Masks should be voluntary next year

Thu, 2021-04-15 16:08

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s education commissioner has asked superintendents across the state to update their policies to make facial coverings voluntary rather than mandatory for students, teachers and staff in upcoming school year.

In a memo sent Wednesday, Richard Corcoran said that “Florida has once again proven that one-size-fits-all policies do not meet the unique needs of individual students or their families.”

Corcoran also claimed that data shows mask policies don’t impact the spread of the virus and “serve no remaining good at this point in our schools.”

His memo didn’t cite any particular data to back up the claim, which goes against guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mask-wearing in schools — along with social distancing and frequent hand-washing — is essential to stopping the spread.

It came days after YouTube removed a video of a coronavirus discussion organized by Gov. Ron DeSantis for violating the platform’s ban on posting disinformation, by contradicting the consensus of public health authorities that mask-wearing is effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. DeSantis slammed the removal on Monday as tech-giant censorship.

Corcoran, who was appointed on DeSantis’ recommendation, said masks may “unintentionally create a barrier” for students and families who would otherwise choose in-person instruction if such a policy were not in place. And, in bold underlined wording, the memo said masks may impede instruction for students with disabilities and those who speak English as a second language because they benefit from seeing a teacher’s face and mouth.

“Right now, our schools are safer than the communities at large,” Corcoran wrote. “This safety record should only increase next school year with the increased availability of vaccines.”

The memo made no mention of whether school systems should require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, like they do for other contagious diseases, once vaccines are approved for their ages.

Statewide, about 33 percent of people in Florida have received at least one vaccination shot and 20 percent are fully vaccinated, according to federal health data. Since March 2020, Florida has recorded 2,141,686 cases of COVID-19, and 34,829 deaths, state records show.

United Teachers of Dade president Karla Hernandez-Mats told the Miami Herald she takes issue with Corcoran’s request to make masks voluntary, not mandatory.

“Even with an increasing number of people getting vaccinated, safety measures must continue to be implemented,” she said in a statement. “The only way to safely and successfully reopen our schools is by following CDC guidelines, including the use of masks, handwashing, and socially distancing. Our priority will continue to be ensuring the health and safety of our students, teachers, and staff.”

Orange County Classroom Teachers Association president Wendy Doromal told the Orlando Sentinel that making masks voluntary in schools doesn’t make sense when the number of virus cases have been on the rise in Florida this month.

“I just think it’s incredibly premature and irresponsible to put something like that out there,” she said, adding that dropping mask requirements will make teachers and some parents nervous.

Many school districts in Florida have already announced that students are expected to return to campus to start the next school year.

DeSantis never issued a mask mandate, and ordered local governments last September to stop collecting fines for mask order violations. He followed up in March with an order that wiped out fines imposed on people or businesses for violating coronavirus-related ordinances.

FDOH reports 6,762 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday

Thu, 2021-04-15 14:44

There have now been more than 2.14 million reported cases of the coronavirus in Florida, with 34,238 deaths.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, the Florida Department of Health reported 2,141,686 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 6,762 from Wednesday’s update.

The state also reported a single-day increase of 74 deaths.

There are now 466,000 total confirmed cases in Miami-Dade County and 226,054 total cases in Broward.

The total number of cases in Palm Beach County has now reached 137,552 and 6,695 total cases have been reported in Monroe County.

The state also reported a positivity rate of 6.66%.

Health officials reported 87,742 hospital admissions statewide.

For a full breakdown of the cases in Florida, click here.

Florida education commissioner calls for masks to be voluntary in schools next year

Thu, 2021-04-15 14:22

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s education commissioner has asked superintendents across the state to update their policies to make facial coverings voluntary rather than mandatory for students, teachers and staff in upcoming school year.

In a memo sent Wednesday, Richard Corcoran said that “Florida has once again proven that one-size-fits-all policies do not meet the unique needs of individual students or their families.”

Corcoran also claimed that data shows mask policies don’t impact the spread of the virus and “serve no remaining good at this point in our schools.”

His memo didn’t cite any particular data to back up the claim, which goes against guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mask-wearing in schools — along with social distancing and frequent hand-washing — is essential to stopping the spread.

It came days after YouTube removed a video of a coronavirus discussion organized by Gov. Ron DeSantis for violating the platform’s ban on posting disinformation, by contradicting the consensus of public health authorities that mask-wearing is effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. DeSantis slammed the removal on Monday as tech-giant censorship.

Corcoran, who was appointed on DeSantis’ recommendation, said masks may “unintentionally create a barrier” for students and families who would otherwise choose in-person instruction if such a policy were not in place. And, in bold underlined wording, the memo said masks may impede instruction for students with disabilities and those who speak English as a second language because they benefit from seeing a teacher’s face and mouth.

“Right now, our schools are safer than the communities at large,” Corcoran wrote. “This safety record should only increase next school year with the increased availability of vaccines.”

The memo made no mention of whether school systems should require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, like they do for other contagious diseases, once vaccines are approved for their ages.

Statewide, about 33 percent of people in Florida have received at least one vaccination shot and 20 percent are fully vaccinated, according to federal health data. Since March 2020, Florida has recorded 2,141,686 cases of COVID-19, and 34,829 deaths, state records show.

United Teachers of Dade president Karla Hernandez-Mats told the Miami Herald she takes issue with Corcoran’s request to make masks voluntary, not mandatory.

“Even with an increasing number of people getting vaccinated, safety measures must continue to be implemented,” she said in a statement. “The only way to safely and successfully reopen our schools is by following CDC guidelines, including the use of masks, handwashing, and socially distancing. Our priority will continue to be ensuring the health and safety of our students, teachers, and staff.”

Orange County Classroom Teachers Association president Wendy Doromal told the Orlando Sentinel that making masks voluntary in schools doesn’t make sense when the number of virus cases have been on the rise in Florida this month.

“I just think it’s incredibly premature and irresponsible to put something like that out there,” she said, adding that dropping mask requirements will make teachers and some parents nervous.

Many school districts in Florida have already announced that students are expected to return to campus to start the next school year.

DeSantis never issued a mask mandate, and ordered local governments last September to stop collecting fines for mask order violations. He followed up in March with an order that wiped out fines imposed on people or businesses for violating coronavirus-related ordinances.

1 dead after crash involving motorcycle in Dania Beach

Thu, 2021-04-15 14:10

A person has died following a crash involving a motorcycle in Dania Beach.

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene of a crash along Griffin Road near Anglers Avenue just before 5 a.m., Thursday.

7SkyForce HD hovered over the scene where clothes and a helmet could be seen near the turned-over motorcycle.

A red SUV remained on the scene after the crash, as deputies could be seen talking to someone sitting in the back of the vehicle.

BSO officials said one person was transported to a nearby hospital where the individual was pronounced deceased.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava receives 2nd vaccine dose at Zoo Miami site

Thu, 2021-04-15 13:42

Despite the recent pause on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, local leaders are hopeful South Florida residents will continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Thursday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava received her second vaccine dose at Zoo Miami.

Sites across South Florida continue to distribute the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Other local leaders joined Levine Cava, as they tried reaching out to members of their communities and assure them the vaccines are safe and to help them find a vaccination site near them.

On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County announced over 1 million residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“We have 75% of those over 65 vaccinated and a total of one million shots delivered across Miami-Dade County,” said Levine Cava. “We feel that we are well on the road to turning this pandemic around.”

For more information about vaccination sites in Florida, click here. To pre-register, click here.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

2 transported after hit-and-run in Miami

Thu, 2021-04-15 13:22

Two people are left in the hospital following a multi-vehicle crash in Miami where one driver fled the scene.

City of Miami Police responded to the scene of the crash along Northwest 37th Avenue and 36th Street, Thursday morning.

7News cameras captured a minivan, a sedan and a Lamborghini all damaged from the crash.

Authorities said although the crash remains under investigation, a driver involved who was driving the Lamborghini fled from the scene in another vehicle.

One victim was transported to Hialeah Hospital in unknown condition while another was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.