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Woman steals over $300 worth of baby formula

A woman took hundreds of dollars worth of baby formula from a Lee County Publix.
Surveillance cameras at the Publix on Paul J. Doherty Parkway in Fort Myers caught her on Tuesday. They said she came in, left, but then came back. The second time she stole 15 baby food containers totaling more than $300.
Crimes like these are not rare and a fast way to cash in. Last year a Cape Coral couple was convicted of racketeering for organizing a baby formula crime ring.
They sold stolen baby food through a Craigslist business called “Formula Mom.” The couple allegedly made $2 million from the scheme. 
Publix employees followed the woman in this latest case out of the store and tried to grab her. She sped off in a blue four-door Chevy.
Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).  All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
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NBC-2 | WBBH

Woman steals over $300 worth of baby formula

A woman took hundreds of dollars worth of baby formula from a Lee County Publix.
Surveillance cameras at the Publix on Paul J. Doherty Parkway in Fort Myers caught her on Tuesday. They said she came in, left, but then came back. The second time she stole 15 baby food containers totaling more than $300.
Crimes like these are not rare and a fast way to cash in. Last year a Cape Coral couple was convicted of racketeering for organizing a baby formula crime ring.
They sold stolen baby food through a Craigslist business called “Formula Mom.” The couple allegedly made $2 million from the scheme. 
Publix employees followed the woman in this latest case out of the store and tried to grab her. She sped off in a blue four-door Chevy.
Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).  All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
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A&M prepared to offer Jimbo Fisher 10-year deal that could be worth $75 million

And, yes, they still won’t pay the players above what’s minimally required.

With that out of the way, most of the signs the past few days have been pointing toward Jimbo Fisher leaving Florida State for the same job at Texas A&M.  While FSU is urging its current head coach to make a decision sooner rather than later, it’s looking as if Fisher won’t make one until after he coacheshis 5-6 Seminoles in a matchup with Louisiana-Monroe Saturday that essentially amounts to a bowl play-in game.

Barring something unexpected over the next 48 hours or so — FlightAware y’all — Fisher is expected to make his highly-anticipated decision shortly after the end of the regular-season finale.  Ahead of that, and after a closed-door meeting of the university’s regents Thursday, A&M is reportedly prepared to roll out a very plush financial red carpet for the head coach.

Now, I’m no mathematician, but that works out to be ***runs out of fingers, takes off shoes, runs out of toes*** a lot of money over an unheard of period of time for the 52-year-old Fisher.

Whether the dollar amount or length is dead-on-balls accurate is immaterial; what’s apparent is that A&M is showing a head coach who made $5.7 million this year that they are prepared to do whatever it takes to land someone who’s already won one national championship and believes can win another in College Station.  In the toughest division in all of college football — but with the facilities he craves to compete with the best already in place.

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2017 hurricane season won’t be forgotten anytime soon

Florida residents, along with many others, have been waiting for this day to come, the end of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. It will go down in the record books as the 5th most active hurricane season on record. In total, there were 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and six major hurricanes (a Category 3, 4 or 5 storm).
The Sunshine State alone had to deal with three named storms, most notably Hurricane Irma, but also Tropical Storm Emily, and Tropical Storm Philippe.
One way to measure how active the season was is by using something called ACE, or Accumulated Cyclone Energy. This is basically a measurement of all the energy that storms collectively produce. When we add up all the ACE for the 2017 season, it ranks as 7th highest on record. September, the month when we saw Irma, Jose, Katia, and Lee, ranked well above average for the peak month of season.
It’s estimated that this will be the costliest hurricane season on record, according to Cape Coral Emergency Management. Preliminary numbers suggest the cost could be close to $400-billion dollars. The majority of the damage was due to three storms: Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Harvey was the first major hurricane to hit the United States since 2005 (Wilma). Hurricane Harvey dumped a record breaking 60-inches of rain for some places in Southeast Texas, causing horrific and deadly flooding.
Hurricane Irma came next, developing on August 30th, and lasting nearly 2 weeks, with the last advisory not issued until September 12th. Irma had sustained wind speeds of 185 mph for 37 hours, a new global record. When all is said and done (and records are finalized), there will be multiple records that Hurricane Irma will likely keep for a long time to come. The devastation from Irma first arrived in the Caribbean, before making two landfalls in Florida, the first in the Keys, and the second on Marco Island. The Marco Island landfall occurred on September 10th, and a 142 mph wind gust was recorded at the Naples Airport. Flooding rains occurred well inland of landfall, and flooding and power outages plagued much of Southwest Florida for weeks after the storm had passed.
Maria is a hurricane that some in Puerto Rico are still trying to recover from. The storm struck September 20th as a powerful Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 mph. As of November 30th, status.pr reports that nearly 35% of customers are still without power.
On an up note, the National Hurricane Center had a good performance record this season with regard to track forecasts. For the three major storms of the season, Harvey, Irma, and Maria, track errors were about 25% below the most recent 5-year averages.
Final data and reports from the NHC regarding the 2017 hurricane season will be complete in February of 2018.
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Man rescued woman during Irma, fell in love, now mourning her death

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA/WTVJ) – A woman who was rescued from Hurricane Irma died after she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle.

Two and a half months ago, Chris Guinto rescued Rena Mondzioch as she was trapped in a home in Big Coppit Key.

Guinto is now grieving for the woman he rescued and began to fall in love with.

“There’s no words,” he said. “There’s no words. Best times of my life meeting her and Irma. And we were together pretty much the entire time.”

According to FHP, Mondzioch had just left work and was riding home in a bike lane when the vehicle hit her.

She died on the scene on US-1.

“She was extremely strong, not just female, but person I ever met. We were gonna move, leave the Keys, start somewhere new, just to get away. Something somewhere didn’t matter,” Guinto said. “Everybody was saying that I was her angel. I didn’t believe that. But I think she was just mine.”

The vehicle used in the hit-and-run accident was located and investigators are now questioning a person of interest.

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Medical marijuana and gun ownership an illegal combination, Florida representative says

(WFTV)– As more medical marijuana dispensaries open in Florida, one state representative is warning users that they can face serious legal consequences if they also own a gun.

Rep. Cord Byrd is a lifetime outdoorsman and hunter and has dubbed himself the “Florida gun lawyer” in his private practice.

With his history and knowledge of gun laws, Byrd has taken it upon himself to make sure medical marijuana users in the state know that their medicine and guns don’t mix.

“(People think) ‘I have a constitutional right in Florida (to use) medical marijuana. I have my state-issued card,’” Byrd said. “And they’re not thinking about the Second Amendment implications.”

Speaking to Channel 9 via Facetime, Byrd explained that possessing medical marijuana while having or buying a gun can carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

“I won’t say it will happen, but I will advise someone who calls me that it certainly is a possibility,” he said.

The prohibition is clearly explained on forms required when a person is purchasing a firearm, Byrd said.

Federal law prohibits any “unlawful user” of a controlled substance to purchase a firearm, and it doesn’t matter if Florida has legalized medical marijuana, he said.

“People are going to look at that and say, ‘Oh, I’m not unlawful. I’m licensed in my state,’” Byrd said.

The forms clarify that “the use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under federal law, regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”

The rule was challenged in U.S. Circuit Court last year, but was upheld by a federal court.

Byrd said he doesn’t believe it is fair to force people to navigate the complex divide between state and federal laws.

“(It is) the choice of, ‘Do I get the medicine that I need, or lose a constitutional right?’ and we’ve got to figure this out,” he said.

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7 students arrested during big fight at East Lee County High School

There’s an increased security presence after multiple students were arrested for a big fight at East Lee County High School.

The chaos broke out in between classes.

“It was like a brawl, it was crazy,” said Asaf Martinez, a student at East Lee High.

“Students came in the class and told me everything that happened, and I was just in shock,” said sophomore Blake Whitlock. “And I went on Snapchat and saw the group chat and saw everything that was happening.”

Seven students were arrested and six of them were charged with misdemeanors. Jamila Fabius, 16, faces three felony charges for her role in the fight.

“All this stuff happened and I don’t feel safe with my daughter there,” said Tailanis Rodriguez.

School district staff increased security on campus on Thursday for classes. It was a scene that was much different than the day before.

“There was a lot more security, a lot more cops,” Whitlock said. “Two cops were in lunches, and we had to call security to go to the bathroom.”

The district wouldn’t comment on the discipline the students may face.

One staff member who was injured trying to break it all up didn’t return to the classroom today.

Some parents said they’re getting fed up with all the violence.

“Lehigh is getting worse,” said Rodriguez. “I’m thinking of moving to Orlando because my daughter is in there and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

However, students like Whitlock said they felt safe in class today.

“It was a good day of school,” said Whitlock. “I actually learned today.”

No incidents were reported on Thursday. School administrators called the fight only a “bump in the road,” and that it doesn’t represent the entire school.

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Residents still in the dark about sludge site details

The city wanted to keep things quiet, but Fort Myers residents are pressing Mayor Randy Henderson about test results from a toxic sludge site.

Four new monitoring wells were built near a toxic dump site on South Street Thursday. Neighbors said once again, they had no idea when to expect these new wells, only that the city announced a need for them last week.

This comes just one day after the local Florida Department of Environmental Protection blasted the sludge cleanup efforts for not being transparent enough.

High levels of arsenic were found deep in the groundwater of the fenced property, with monitoring wells testing up to five times beyond what’s considered safe. A memo from the city sent on November 20 anticipated these results wouldn’t be made public until January of 2018.

It wasn’t until members of the media pressured the city to release the results, that they were finally made public just days later.

Georgia Smith lives down South Street and suffers from asthma. She suspects it stems from the same lot her daughter and grandson played in that the city also used to dump wastewater more than 50 years ago.

“They’re pretending that there’s not much sludge or whatever it is going on, but they don’t tell us anything,” Smith said.

In an exclusive interview, Henderson defends the city not publicizing the first round of tests.

“The process is incomplete. We only have some data,” said Henderson.

Inconclusive or not, Jon Iglehart of the FDEP explains in a letter released Wednesday that his office should have been notified.

The letter addressed to city manager Saeed Kazemi, requested all of the results obtained from the groundwater flow analysis.

“They’re clarifying that now in subsequent meetings. I should hasten to add that the FDEP was present in meetings where it was decided that more data and information was needed,” Henderson said.

Henderson did not seem too concerned with the deadline placed on the city by Iglehart and the FDEP, to have all of the test results shared by December 1. As he explained, GFA International needs time to drill, get the data, interpret the data and draft a solution.

“I don’t know why there needs to be a deadline. To create an ambiguous deadline to me does not seem useful to the process,” Henderson said.

Kazemi has noticeably not made himself available for comment in weeks, even before the release of the most recent test results. In past months, Kazemi had the help of public information officers who relayed his thoughts on camera. Henderson said Kazemi has been busy meeting with the DEP and if we’re looking for comment, not to hesitate to reach out to the mayor’s office.

“Point is we gotta move forward to solve the problem and we need more data and information to do so,” Henderson said.

No wells were tested for toxic materials Thursday, but engineers with GFA International say to expect tests in coming weeks.

Once the extent of the contamination is evaluated, the city will solicit further public input to review potential physical remediation options and determine the future use of the site.

Interim city public information officer, Phyllis Ershowsky said the city will now offer weekly updates to the sludge cleanup efforts.

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How to talk with your kids about sexual assault

It’s a conversation that’s almost unavoidable for parents.
“When my girls hear about on the news or the hearing on the radio or they asked me about it, I just have an open honest conversation,” Fort Myers mom, Beth Geevry said.
Since October, a long line of powerful men has been accused of sexual misconduct. 
“If it’s something that you’re going to be embarrassed about later, don’t do it,” Kristin Schoffman said.
It’s a tough topic to swallow, but one that parents need to be on top off no matter how awkward, as education could mean prevention for kids. 
“You have to get over your own issues because if it’s your issues then you’re going to instill that on your children and you don’t want your children to have those issues,” Geevry said.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Maribeth Lichty, suggests starting with a question and being open.
“You want to find out what their thoughts are. Make some subtle inquiries, [like] ‘What do you think about that? What did you hear about that?'” says Lichty.
Explain the meaning of “consent,” and remind children of boundaries 
“We learn what we can say, what subjects are off-limits by what our parents will or will not talk about,” Lichty said.
It’s a teachable moment that will benefit young people in their professional lives. 
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Anti-Daylight Saving Time bill arrives in Tallahassee

A bill by Florida State Senator Greg Steube is moving forward and is currently under review in Tallahassee that would mean Florida would join Arizona and Hawaii as the only states to opt out of Daylight Saving Time.  

Steube said he filed the bill because he thinks setting the clocks forward in the spring has a negative impact on families, especially those with kids in school.

“I have more absences when Daylight Savings Time comes,” school teacher Jack Edmonds said. “With the sun coming later…it just interferes because we start early in the high school.”

As a teacher, Edmonds thinks getting rid of Daylight Saving Time will help kids stay alert in school.

Farmers think the bill could help with agriculture businesses as well.

“It’s a little easier to do things obviously when you have daylight to do it in, so we’re having to run around with headlamps on,” said Christine Lindsey, known as “The Sprout Queen” under Pine Island Botanicals.  

Another farmer said it would make little difference on his farm.

“Actually, because we’re a poultry farm and since the poultry doesn’t seem to really care about what time it is, I don’t think it will affect us in any way,” said Bert Hubbell, Owner and Operator of Hubbell Farms.

While some Floridians have strong opinions on the matter, others are on the fence.

“I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but I do think that it’s probably a long time coming,” Courtney Stasi said.

If the bill passes the legislature and the governor signs it, Florida’s exemption from Daylight Saving Time would take effect on January 1 of 2019.