Florida couple rescued after boat breaks free during Hurricane Nicole
FORT PIERCE, Fla. — First responders in St. Lucie County helped rescue a couple and their pets Wednesday night after hurricane-force winds lodged their boat under a causeway. Snow called 911, and several St. Lucie County Fire District units responded to the marine emergency. Firefighters launched a rescue boat from a nearby ramp and caught up with the vessel, which had run aground on a sandbar, according to WPEC. “Our biggest challenge was is our vessel and their vessel from deck to deck was about a 5-foot difference. We had to basically help to lower her down into ours,” St. Lucie County firefighter Lt. Shane Kozac told WPTV.wftv.com
NICOLE LIVE UPDATES: Hurricane 50 miles from Florida’s coast
ORLANDO, Fla. — Nicole is now a hurricane as it approaches Florida’s east coast. Read live updates below:12 a.m. update:Meteorologist George Waldenberger said Nicole is now 50 miles from Fort Pierce with over 60 mph wind gusts in Sebastian Inlet. MIDNIGHT UPDATE: 66mph wind gust at Sebastian Inlet .. Hurricane Nicole 50 miles from Fort Pierce pic.twitter.com/AjfiGBz9wh — George Waldenberger (@GWaldenWFTV) November 10, 2022Read this update in Spanish below:Los vientos del huracán Nicole son de 66 mph en este momento. La tormenta está a 55 millas de Fort PierceREAD: How to download the free WFTV news & weather apps before your power goes outFollow our Severe Weather team on Twitter for live updates:Visit our hurricane section: EYE ON THE TROPICSClick here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live. ©2022 Cox Media Groupwftv.com
DeSantis, Crist square off in first and only gubernatorial debate
Ron DeSantis squared off against former governor Charlie Crist in their one and only debate. For an hour, DeSantis highlighted Florida’s job creation and robust budget, pointing to issues such as teacher pay and tax holidays. The candidates toward the end also sparred when it came to immigration, and the use of state tax dollars to fly migrants from Texas to Massachusetts. READ: ‘Classic politics’: 3 proposed amendments to Florida state constitution on midterm ballotVideo: What to expect from first and only debate between DeSantis, Crist Gov. Ron DeSantis will take the stage against former congressman and former Gov.wftv.com
What to expect from first and only debate between DeSantis, Crist
Read: DeSantis, Crist to square off Monday in only Florida governor debateHanley points out the time for persuasion was weeks, if not months ago, with the two most recent polls of the state showing DeSantis with a double-digit lead over Crist. “I think one of the things we can expect from Crist is to say that DeSantis has routinely ignored these issues,” Binder said. Hanley expects Crist to hammer DeSantis on ignoring insurance and cost of living in favor of social issues. “I think it will be on the list of things that Crist attempts to bring into the debate,” Hanley said. Video: DeSantis, Crist to square off Monday in only Florida governor debate Gov.wftv.com
Florida woman who stole $288K from elderly couple sentenced to 51 months in jail
FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A Florida woman who pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $300,000 from a couple in their 90s was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison on Wednesday. >> Read more trending newsSherri Lynn Smith, 52, of Tamarac, was sentenced by a U.S. federal district judge in Fort Pierce, the Miami Herald reported. The sentence consists of 27 months for bank fraud served consecutively and two years for fraud with identification documents, the Herald reported. From 2016 to 2019, Smith worked as a caretaker for the couple in Broward County, according to the news release. As part of her duties, Smith was given access to the victims’ bank accounts in order to help them pay their monthly bills.wftv.com
‘I just murdered my ex-girlfriend’: Florida man fatally shoots woman, police say
(St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office)FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A Florida man accused of fatally shooting his former girlfriend on Saturday called 911 to report the homicide, authorities said. Charles Donnon said Castro called 911 and told them “what he had done,” TCPalm.com reported. “He called 911 and he said, ‘I just murdered my ex-girlfriend,’” Donnon said. “We were able to, through our investigation, have others familiar with him listen to it, immediately identify him,” Donnon told the website. “We’re really working on the backstory now as to why this occurred, what prompted it, and following up,” Donnon told TCPalm.com.wftv.com
Video shows manatee borrowing child’s surfboard at Florida beach
Video shows manatee borrowing child’s surfboard at Florida beach The manatee managed to knock Evan Blais off his surfboard. (Leesa Blais)FORT PIERCE, Fla. — It was a close encounter of the marine kind in Florida, when a manatee decided to try out a child’s surfboard. The video shows her son, Evan, on a surfboard, as a manatee swims beneath it. “It was pretty cool for our boys to experience,” Blais told WPEC. Blais told WPEC the interaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime birthday gift for the twins, who turned 11 years old the next day.wftv.com
4 more bodies recovered after boat capsizes off Florida coast, 34 remain missing
FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Officials plan to suspend the search for survivors Thursday night after a ship capsized over the weekend off the Florida coast, throwing 40 people into the water, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The person rescued Tuesday is so far the only known survivor after the boat capsized in inclement weather days earlier. Authorities believe the boat might have been part of a human smuggling operation. Officials said the boat that capsized hit inclement weather after leaving Bimini in the Bahamas on Saturday evening. Previously, Burdian said the lone survivor told authorities that no one on board was wearing a life jacket when the boat hit bad weather.wftv.com
Girl trying to get to school bus injured in hit-and-run, police say
Fort Pierce police Police in Fort Pierce, Florida, are investigating after a girl was injured in a hit-and-run while trying to get to a school bus on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. (Fort Pierce Police Department)FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A girl was injured Thursday morning after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while trying to get to a school bus, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending newsFort Pierce police said the incident happened around 6:10 a.m. near the intersection of Skylark Drive and Oleander Avenue. Police spokesperson Curtis Jennings told Treasure Coast Newspapers that a school bus was picking up children for Allapattah Flats K-8 school in nearby St. Lucie when a driver ignored the bus’s flashing lights and struck the girl. The Fort Pierce Police Department is investigating a hit and run near the intersection of Skylark Drive and Oleander... Posted by Fort Pierce Police Department on Thursday, September 23, 2021Authorities continue to investigate.wftv.com
National Navy SEAL Museum debuts 9/11 remembrance exhibit to honor lives lost in terrorist attacks
FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The National Navy SEAL Museum unveiled a special 9/11 exhibit Saturday on the 20th anniversary of the attacks that changed America. The 9/11 20th Remembrance installation was designed to commemorate the innocent lives lost during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The museum’s permanent 9/11 exhibit spotlights the service of Navy SEALs in a reverse chronological timeline, starting from that horrible day in America’s history. READ: Central Florida remembers 9/11, 20 years later“The tragic events of 9/11 put Navy SEALs on the map publicly. READ: Navy hosts Air Force as sports world remembers 9/11Officials said the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum is the only museum dedicated solely to preserving the history of the U.S. Navy SEALs and their predecessors.wftv.com
Federal Court Shuts Down Florida Tax Return Preparer
Today, a federal court in Fort Pierce, Florida, permanently barred a Florida tax return preparer from preparing federal tax returns for others. According to the complaint, Brandhi Shaw prepared tax returns in Belle Glade, Florida, at Premier Financial Services and Premium Financial Solutions. The complaint alleges that Shaw prepared tax returns that purposefully understated the tax her customers owed or overstated the refunds they were entitled to claim. Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’ Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers.justice.gov
Coast Guard says 16 people missing off Florida coast; 1 rescued
The United States Coat Guard said 16 people went missing from two separate boats off the coast of Florida. Officials said 10 people went missing near Key West while six others disappeared off the coast of Fort Pierce. They were en route from Bimini, Bahamas, according to the Coast Guard, but the agency did not mention where their boat was headed. More here: https://t.co/BbN2wS8c4U#D7 #USCG pic.twitter.com/gUk7RQfz9P — USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) February 15, 2021The rescued man was transported ashore for medical treatment. Last week, the Coast Guard rescued three Cuban nationals who were stranded for more than a month on a desert island in the Bahamas.cbsnews.com
Police: Florida woman steals sex toy, uses it in store
FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A Florida woman stole a sex toy, then took off all her clothes and started using it while still in the store, according to the Fort Pierce Police Department. Records show employees at the store, which was not identified in an arrest report, called police Aug. 31 to report that 36-year-old Theresa Stanley had stolen a pink sex toy from a shelf, removed it from the packaging, took off her pants and began using it. Police said by the time they arrived, Stanley was completely nude and had moved to the stock room area to continue using the item. She stopped using the item and dropped it to the ground when an officer walked in the room, according to the affidavit. She was arrested on charges of indecent exposure and larceny.
Report: 18-month-old son of Gregory Edwards found in pool, taken to hospital
Kathleen Edwards, widow of Gregory Edwards, and her mother called 911 after finding the son, about 18 months old, and pulling him from the pool at the family’s house in Grant, a friend at the scene said. Brevard County Sheriff's Office Cpl. The house’s driveway was roped off as a crime scene so the sheriff’s office could investigate, which Jennings said was the sheriff office’s usual procedure for drownings. He said the sheriff’s office had to obtain a search warrant to go inside the house because Edwards did not want law enforcement inside. Gregory Edwards was arrested for assaulting a charity worker in what Kathleen Edwards said was a post-traumatic stress disorder episode, then declared dead after a confrontation with deputies at the jail.
This was not use of force -- it was a criminal act: Florida officers charged with punching intoxicated man
Officer Monica Frederic, 27, is charged with misdemeanor filing a false police report and is suspended without pay. Towering over the still seated man, Eckrode leans into him and uses his knee to push the chair backward twice. They continue jawing at each other and Eckrode slaps him with his left hand. On their reports, Eckrode and Frederic said the man had had been yelling racial slurs at Frederic, who is black. Frederic's attorney Marty White told TCPalm that his client will defend herself in court and "is a good young lady, a good officer. She is free on $1,000 bond.
Under Armour shooting suspect likely found dead in vehicle, police say
FORT PIERCE, Fla. – The man accused of fatally shooting a manager at Under Armour has likely been found dead inside his vehicle in Fort Pierce, according to the Orlando Police Department. [RELATED: Wanted suspect in outlet mall shooting returned to kill manager hours after he was fired, police say | U.S. Marshals search for man accused of shooting manager at Under Armour store]Also on Friday, authorities released surveillance photos showing Everett inside the store in the moments before and after the shooting. A few minutes after that, he went to the store and shot Vasquez, authorities said. Sprague said Everett likely planned and executed the shooting that same day after he was fired.
New photos show Under Armour suspect in store moments before, after shooting
New photos show a man accused of killing a manager at Under Armour in the store holding a gun around the time of the shooting, according to the Orlando Police Department. [RELATED: Manager killed at Orlando Under Armour store was sweet, caring, family says | Under Armour employee shot and killed in store at Orlando International Premium Outlets]Everett fatally shot manager Eunice Maria Vasquez as shoppers were in the store, according to authorities. In the photos, Everett is wearing a gray, black and white striped shirt with dark-colored pants. Police say Daniel Everett fled in a Kia Sorento bearing Florida license plate number IH21AC after shooting a manager at Under Armour. (Orlando Police Department)After the shooting, Everett is accused of fleeing in a gray Kia Sorento bearing Florida license plate number IH21AC.
Severe weather threat for South Florida ahead of the Super Bowl
ORLANDO, Fla. – The unsettled weather pattern that has kept most of Florida locked in the clouds will continue through the first part of the weekend. A few severe thunderstorms will be possible around Lake Okeechobee and points south Friday evening. The severe threat will continue to focus on South Florida Saturday, but shifts further north closer to Fort Pierce and Fort Meyers. Damaging wind will be the main threat with the highest likelihood for severe thunderstorms in the yellow shaded areas. The strongest storms will develop along a warm front that will park itself over South Florida Friday night through Saturday afternoon.
Walmart admits misuse of layaway donations by Florida native Khalil Mack
A Chicago Bears outside linebacker and Fort Pierce native donated $80,000 to his hometown Walmart to be used toward layaway debt. A Walmart spokesperson said the foundation knew and was OK with the employees being included in the donation, despite a Chicago TV station reporting that Mack himself was unaware of the controversy. An employee at the Fort Pierce location was allegedly left out of the cut and reported the incident to corporate, prompting an investigation. The foundation's donation covered over 300 customer layaway accounts, said Mathias Libardi, manager of the Fort Pierce store at 5100 Okeechobee Road. Mack, a Chicago Bears outside linebacker, graduated from Fort Pierce Westwood High School in 2009.dailycommercial.com
Walmart admits misuse of layaway donations by Florida native Khalil Mack
A Chicago Bears outside linebacker and Fort Pierce native donated $80,000 to his hometown Walmart to be used toward layaway debt. A Walmart spokesperson said the foundation knew and was OK with the employees being included in the donation, despite a Chicago TV station reporting that Mack himself was unaware of the controversy. An employee at the Fort Pierce location was allegedly left out of the cut and reported the incident to corporate, prompting an investigation. The foundation's donation covered over 300 customer layaway accounts, said Mathias Libardi, manager of the Fort Pierce store at 5100 Okeechobee Road. Mack, a Chicago Bears outside linebacker, graduated from Fort Pierce Westwood High School in 2009.ocala.com
Walmart admits misuse of layaway donations by Florida native Khalil Mack
A Chicago Bears outside linebacker and Fort Pierce native donated $80,000 to his hometown Walmart to be used toward layaway debt. A Walmart spokesperson said the foundation knew and was OK with the employees being included in the donation, despite a Chicago TV station reporting that Mack himself was unaware of the controversy. An employee at the Fort Pierce location was allegedly left out of the cut and reported the incident to corporate, prompting an investigation. The foundation's donation covered over 300 customer layaway accounts, said Mathias Libardi, manager of the Fort Pierce store at 5100 Okeechobee Road. Mack, a Chicago Bears outside linebacker, graduated from Fort Pierce Westwood High School in 2009.news-journalonline.com
Florida’s Turnpike to offer free coffee during Thanksgiving travel
ORLANDO, Fla. – You can grab free coffee at Florida’s Turnpike service plazas to keep awake and alert during the Thanksgiving travel season. The java will be available at Shell locations on the Turnpike, as well as the lobbies of the Turkey Lake, Canoe Creek, Fort Drum, Fort Pierce and West Palm Beach service plaza lobbies. Free coffee will be offered during the following peak travel times:11 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 27 to 6 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 2811 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 1 to 6 a.m., Monday, Dec. 2The free coffee offer is available to promote driver safety. The State Farm Safety Patrol will also provide around-the-clock coverage in urban hours, and extended hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. north and south of Orlando.
Florida man says wind blew cocaine into his car
FORT PIERCE, Fla. – That darn wind is always causing trouble, especially for "Florida Man." A man pulled over by police in Fort Pierce last month claimed the cocaine residue found inside a Budweiser can along with a crack pipe was blown there by the wind, according to News 6 sister station WPLG. Police noticed Joseph Zak, 37, appeared to be trying to discard an item when he was stopped for failing to pause at a stop sign, The Smoking Gun reports. When cops asked Zak about the white residue inside the can which eventually tested positive for crack cocaine, he told them "the police or the wind must have placed it there." Zak was arrested and jailed.
Man arrested in Edgewater pursuit had 2-year-old in car
EDGEWATER A man arrested for stealing a car from Fort Pierce and forcing officers on a high-speed chase told police he fled because he didnt want any trouble since he had a 2-year-old in the car, according to an Edgewater police report. Salley, of Orlando, was arrested Tuesday after officers spotted a vehicle that looked like the one reported stolen to the Fort Pierce Police Department, reports state. Daytona Beach police responded to the sighting of a stolen vehicle and started following Salley south on Interstate 95. The Volusia County Sheriffs Office's helicopter then began tracking the stolen car, reports state. The car driven by Salley exited I-95 into Edgewater where officers successfully deployed stop sticks.news-journalonline.com
20-year-old pilot lands airplane on I-95 in Indian River County
VERO BEACH, Fla. – A single-engine plane safely landed on a stretch of Interstate 95 in Vero Beach early Monday after the pilot had an onboard emergency, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Firas Awad H. Alghamdi, 20, of Saudi Arabia, landed the 2004 Piper Cherokee PA-28 about 1:30 a.m. in the southbound lane of the highway at mile marker 144 in Vero Beach. Alghamdi, who took off from Fort Pierce, said the plane apparently ran out of gas, according to officials. The aircraft was loaded onto a truck and moved south to a rest area near mile marker 133. The plane is owned by Ari Ben Aviator Inc. of Fort Pierce.
FBI combs through homes of Orlando gunman and family
The FBI spent the night combing through the Orlando shooter's home in Fort Pierce, Florida. Omar Mateen lived about two hours from the scene of the massacre at Pulse nightclub. Investigators also seized evidence from Mateen's father's home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. David Begnaud reports from outside Mateen's home in Fort Pierce.cbsnews.com