Major League Soccer approves David Beckham's 3 new partners in Miami dream

After four years of pushing for Miami's very own Major League Soccer team and stadium, David Beckham announced more progress Thursday. The MLS board of governors approved a new ownership group that aims to celebrate the team's first game in a new Overtown stadium in 2020.

The three new owners are two wealthy Cuban-American brothers from Miami and the second richest Japanese, who has a network estimated at $13.9 billion. Todd Boehly, the co-owner of Los Angeles Dodgers, stepped out. 

Jorge and Jose Mas, the sons of Jorge Mas Canosa, the founder of the Cuban-American National Foundation and MasTec, join Masayoshi Son, the founder of Soft Bank and chairman of Sprint Corporation.

Marcelo Claure, CEO of Sprint and Soft Bank member, and Simon Fuller, an entertainment executive, are still in. Claure brings his experience as owner of Club Bolivar, the most popular team in Bolivia and the ninth most successful team in Latin America.

The new team "brings local expertise, global perspective, an unquestionable track record of business success and one of the foremost icons in global soccer," the Miami Beckham United Group said in a statement. 

MLS expects the Miami Beckham United Group to make a major announcement before the start of the 2018 MLS regular season. They are still facing opposition in court from Bruce Matheson, who owns land near the nine-acre site of the stadium, and City of Miami approval on zoning changes. 

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Cubans mark religious holiday honoring both Catholic St. Lazarus, African Babalú-Ayé

Cubans are preparing for the Saturday pilgrimage to the shrine of Rincón in the outskirts of Havana. They will be honoring both the Roman Catholic St. Lazarus and the African Babalú-Ayé.

In an island where African slaves used Roman Catholic church symbols to disguise their practice of the Yoruba-inspired religion of Santería or Regla de Ochá, the holiday becomes a melting pot of ancient traditions. 

Theologians from Spain taught that Jesus restored a poor beggar known as Lazarus of Bethany to life four days after his death. In Santería, Lazarus represents the deity of Babalú-Ayé, which has the power of punishing with epidemics, or of curing disease. 

"People come here sick," said Milidis Prine, a flower vendor. "Many people come here to live up to their promises."

The shrine of Rincón will also be marking its 100th anniversary Saturday. Some Cubans will be traveling from South Florida to make the 25-mile pilgrimage from Havana. They will travel to the small town from all over the island. Police officers will close the main roads to cars to protect the large crowds.  

Gricel Diaz took two buses and walked for about an hour. She said her heart is full of gratitude. She believes St. Lazarus cured her sister, who was sick, and also protected her daughter who she said made it to Miami safely this year.

Even children blow cigar smoke at the statues to get St. Lazarus attention. To connect with Babalú-Ayé, Santeros will have plates of food as offerings at home. They will use the food in a ritual that also involves a broom, eggs, small animals and a circle on the ground.

  Catholics will be making sacrificial promises that include making the pilgrimage on their knees, or painfully dragging themselves along the road on their back or chest. There will be dust and blood stains along the road.

Inside the church, pilgrims were already bringing the photos of their relatives in need Thursday. Some were already carrying heavy statues. Aside from flowers, the offerings of devotion also included coins for alms and candles. Diaz understands the desperation.   

"We know there are a lot of problems," she said. 


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Women using stroller to try to steal from Best Buy fail miserably, police say

Two women walked in and out of a store in Davie with a baby stroller. The problem was the stroller didn't have a baby inside. Davie Police Department detectives say the women were using it to hide stolen merchandise. 

Surveillance video shows Marcelous Thomas and Sheeronnye Pendergrass walking into the Best Buy at 2200 S. University Dr. in Davie. 

"While in the store, both females began to select items and place them aside which were later loaded into the stroller and covered with a blanket," Sgt. Mark Leone said in a statement.

When a loss prevention officer uncovered the blanket to reveal the stolen merchandise, Thomas tried to to grab the merchandise from the stroller, pushed the officer away, and ran to a parked car with Pendergrass, according to Leone. 

Detectives believe Donald J. Carter was their getaway driver, and was waiting in the car. After crashing into several vehicles, they were trapped in the car. Carter tried to jump in the backseat to get out through a rear window, police said.

Thomas jumped from the passenger seat and into the driver's seat. 

"The driver's of the vehicles that were hit, in fear, began to move, leaving space for Thomas to drive away with Carter in the back seat," Leone said. 

Pendergrass jumped out of the car, but police officers caught up to her in the parking lot. Thomas lost control of the car on a curve and crashed into a nearby sign. She and Carter jumped out of the car and took off running until officers found them. 

"They were walking around lost in the neighborhood," Leone said. 

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'It's a pain I never knew before,' father says after losing son to meningitis

A South Florida family is heartbroken after their 22-month-old son died early this month after being diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis.

Donald and Doreen Mincey held a news conference Thursday, saying they are still working to come to terms with the death of Connor.

"(It's a) nightmare — pain I never knew before," Donald Mincey said.  

The Minceys are now wondering who is to blame for their son's death, as they said the meningitis festered unchecked although he had been taken to a doctor's office and given a note that he was OK to return to day care.

"I think if that doctor didn't send my child home with fever, my child would be with me today," Doreen Mincey said.  

The Mincey's said the doctor's note clearing their son to return to school was given to the parents Nov. 21. 

For the next week, Connor was back and forth between day care and doctors' visits.

The parents said he was then taken to Nicklaus Children's Hospital on Nov. 28. 

"Antibiotics should have been able and would have been able to treat the condition that Connor had," attorney Judd Rosen said. 

The Florida Department of Children and Families conducted a routine inspection Dec. 1 at Connor's day care, the YWCA Carol Glassman Donaldson Child Care Center, at 112 NW Third St. in Miami.

Among the multiple violations noted in DCF's report were that the day care had no quarantine room for sick children.

Conner died two days later at the hospital. Yet, it was four more days until the health department sent a letter to parents about the meningitis case at the day care.

A 2-year-old boy who attended the same day care died about a week later, possibly from the same illness.

"The worst insult to us (is) they love Connor so much and not one of those people from the day care called and expressed their condolences," Donald Mincey said.

The Mincey family has not yet taken legal action following their son's death.

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Dash cam video shows high-speed chase that ended in fatal crash

Dash cam video released this week shows a dramatic high-speed chase between police officers and two teenagers earlier this month that ended in a deadly crash.

The chase began Dec. 2 at an apartment complex in Coconut Creek after officers received a call about a noise complaint. 

Police said an officer smelled alcohol and marijuana coming from inside a car. When the officer approached the car, he saw a bottle of liquor and a green, leafy substance, authorities said. 

Police said the officer tried to talk to the driver, Fabreece Ductan, 19, but he took off.

Authorities said the chase that ensued spanned 2 to 3 miles.

Police eventually lost sight of the driver and said the car ended up veering into oncoming traffic and hit another vehicle on Rock Island Road.

Abigail Espinosa, 18, was a passenger in the suspect's car, authorities said. 

Dash cam video shows the moment when officers arrived at the scene of the crash, and also shows first responders taking Espinosa to a hospital, where she later died.  

Ductan is expected to face charges in connection with the fatal crash.
 

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1 dead after power line falls on tree trimmers' truck in Pinecrest, authorities say

One person is dead after a power line fell on a truck Thursday that belonged to tree trimmers in Pinecrest, authorities said.

The incident was reported in the area of 6282 SW 98th St.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said two people inside the truck jumped out and one of them touched the power line.

Officials confirmed that one person was confirmed dead at the scene.

No other details were immediately released.

 

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Net neutrality repeal: Sites, internet providers react

The vote to roll back net neutrality rules on Thursday was slammed by tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Netflix. But the move was applauded by internet service providers.

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to repeal regulations aimed at protecting net neutrality — rules that ensure internet providers can't deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites or apps. Nor can they put their own content at an advantage over rivals. The rules were first put in place under President Obama in 2015.

Nothing is set in stone yet. The repeal isn't set to take effect until next year. The issue may ultimately end up being decided in court, and Congress may step in with a legislative solution.

A recent poll by the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy found net neutrality rules have broad support among consumers — 83% to be exact.

Here's what some companies and business leaders had to say after Thursday's vote.

Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels

"I am extremely disappointed in the FCC decision to remove the #NetNeutrality protections," Vogels wrote on Twitter. "We'll continue to work with our peers, partners and customers to find ways to ensure an open and fair internet that can continue to drive massive innovation."

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg

"Today's decision from the Federal Communications Commission to end net neutrality is disappointing and harmful. An open internet is critical for new ideas and economic opportunity — and internet providers shouldn't be able to decide what people can see online or charge more for certain websites," Sandberg wrote on Facebook. "We're ready to work with members of Congress and others to help make the internet free and open for everyone."

Microsoft Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith

"The open internet benefits consumers, business & the entire economy," Smith wrote. "That's jeopardized by the FCC's elimination of #netneutrality protections today."

Netflix

"We're disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement," read a tweet posted on Netflix's verified account. "This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order."

Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian

"We cannot let this happen to our internet in the US," Ohanian tweeted. "We must keep fighting for #NetNeutrality."

Vimeo

"It's disheartening that the #FCC chose to ignore the public and approve a policy that benefits the few and powerful at the expense of creators, and the stories they work to tell," the company posted on Twitter. "We look forward to challenging this misguided decision in court. #NetNeutrality"

Not everyone is behind the net neutrality rules. Internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have a lot to gain from loosened regulations. (AT&T is seeking to acquire Time Warner, the parent company of CNN).

AT&T posted a new statement after the vote Thursday. In it, the company insisted it provides service in "an open and transparent way."

"We do not block websites, nor censor online content, nor throttle or degrade traffic based on the content, nor unfairly discriminate in our treatment of internet traffic," the company insisted. "These principles, which were laid out in the FCC's 2010 Open Internet Order and fully supported by AT&T, are clearly articulated on our website and are fully enforceable against us. In short, the internet will continue to work tomorrow just as it always has."

The USTelecom and Broadband Association, which represents companies including AT&T and Verzion, put out a statement praising the FCC's decision.

"Today, the future of our open, thriving internet has been secured," the group wrote. "America's broadband providers — who have long supported net neutrality protections and have committed to continuing to do so — will have renewed confidence to make the investments required to strengthen the nation's networks and close the digital divide, especially in rural communities."

–CNN Tech's Seth Fiegerman contributed to this report.

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Thomas Fire Fatality (Thomas Fire Wildfire)

We learned late this morning of the fatality of a Cal Fire Engineer from the San Diego Unit, who was assigned to the Thomas Fire. As this tragedy occurred just a short time ago, we have very few details but I wanted to share with you what we know at this time. I know I speak for us all in saying our hearts go out to our Cal Fire colleagues during this difficult time.This is a tragic reminder of the dangerous work that our firefighters do every day. The Thomas Fire has many unprecedented conditions and complexities that challenge the already demanding job of fire suppression. I am proud of the team effort of everyone involved, and ask that you keep up the good work while taking care of yourselves and each other with safety as our highest priority.I have attached the Thomas Fire news release with Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott’s statement on the firefighter fatality below. Teresa Benson Forest Supervisor Los Padres National
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After prosecutors drop child sex abuse case, accuracy of report is questioned

A forensic interviewer with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, who reportedly interviews hundreds of children a year, made a mistake on a report that was part of a child sex abuse case that prosecutors later decided to drop. 

While interviewing a 6-year-old girl accusing her friend's dad, Josef Opdeweegh, 51, of touching her vagina three times at a pool party, the forensic interviewer had to make a determination about the girl's understanding of the truth. 

Eulusandra Coats erroneously reported in June that the girl was "unable to accurately demonstrate her understanding of the truth and a lie," when in fact she meant to report that the girl was "able" to make the distinction, according to prosecutor Laura Adams.  

Adams wrote in a Nov. 27 email to attorney Joseph Rosenbaum, who is representing the girl and her parents, that the SAO employee made a "significant" typographical error in her report and her supervisors were "putting into practice a new procedure for these reports" that will require a review prior to dissemination. 

"The most damning piece of evidence against Opdeweegh was the forensic interview," Adams wrote and that, she added, was thanks to the experience of Coats, who "follows the best practices in forensic interviewing," is "a valued member of the SAO team" and "does excellent work for this community."

A video of the forensic interview prompted the Miami-Dade Police Department to determine the girl's "disclosure was sufficiently credible" and there was probable cause to make an arrest. Opdeweegh surrendered Aug. 14. But prosecutor Rachel Kipnis decided not to charge him with lewd and lascivious molestation. 

"The child's disclosure was sufficiently credible," Kipnis wrote in a memo, but despite this, she added there was "insufficient evidence to prove the allegation beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt."

There weren't other witnesses and detectives didn't find surveillance video of the crime. Opdeweegh, a wealthy executive who lives in Pinecrest, hired a spokesperson from RBB Communications, who said he was innocent, and the case was "a grave mistake."

Rosenbaum, the girl's family attorney, demanded corrections to the report Nov. 25. Adams made sure that the record was corrected and the girl's family received a copy of the amended report. Miami-Dade state attorney's office spokesman Ed Griffith said the "recognized typo" didn't change the status of the case. 

"Without sufficient evidence and without the victim's testimony in a criminal trial, the issue of the recognized typo in a report would not reopen this matter," Griffith wrote in an e-mail.  "However, the situation might change if additional corroborative evidence were to be supplied the police."

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1 in custody after police chase ends in North Miami

One person is in custody after a police chase ended in North Miami.

The suspect was taken into custody in the area of Northeast 139th Street and 16th Avenue. 

Local 10 News reporter Derek Shore was at the scene later in the afternoon and said the suspect was riding in an orange Toyota RAV4 that was believed to have been stolen. 

Shore said police are still searching for two others who bailed out of the SUV.

Natural Bridge Elementary School was placed on lockdown during the investigation and police officers blocked off streets in the neighborhood.

No other details were immediately released by police. 

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