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tv   News Ch8 Today at 5AM  NBC  February 16, 2016 5:00am-5:30am EST

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a tornado watch and strong storms in bay area. good morning and welcome to news channel 8 today. i'm gayle guyardo. >> and i'm gene ramirez. we're waking up to nasty weather. there's lightning, thunder and rain. you're looking here at what it looked like on i-275. not looking at much, just listen in here. yeah, lots of rain as the cars drive by there. this is i-275 there. let's get straight to meteorologist leigh spann because we're learning this has lifted in most of the area. >> that's right.
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probably took the video an hour ago. how quickly things change. i mean, the howard franklin bridge is bone dry. everywhere north of that is bone dry the. this is all pushed off to the south and east at like 30 to 40 miles per hour, so moving really quickly. so once it moves out of the area, the tornado watches are canceled. the only place still in effect for highlands county. lakeland, half hour ago, heavy rain and now it's dry. pushing off along 27 through frost proof and lake whiles. southern portion of sarasota, north port some rain. and the heaviest rain, still the possibility of stronger downpours happening in highlands county right now. and let me show you the forecast. so i have switch into a forecast mode. rain in our southeastern areas. go forward just one hour, and then polk county is dry by 6:00 a.m. highlands county still seeing the rain. in fact, you may still get a sprinkle left in highlands at 7:00 a.m.
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clouds maybe but a lot of sunshine for the rest of the day. coming up in weather and traffic on the 8s at 5:08, i go hour-by-hour through the day so you know what to expect through the rain. and even where it's not rain, probably a lot of puddle action. >> yeah, wet roadways for sure but i like that it's getting better and better. when i woke up, it was pouring. but now it looks better. here's what's going on traffic-wise that you need to know about in the polk city area, eastbound i-4 past the polk parkway, we have a fatal accident, folks. and this is the situation here. you can see there's activity on the eastbound and westbound side. the left lanes are tied up as you pass through the area due to the fatal accident and activity in the median. you can still get by. and let's move over now and talk about this collision. it is cleared if the roadway, sun city center boulevard at cyprus village boulevard. all clear. but we've still got the exit
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i-75 blocked due to a collision. now back to gayle. >> thank you. breaking overnight, you are looking at new video just into the newsroom. check this out. this is the woman troopers tell us hit and killed a tow truck driver and then just took off. this is allison huffman just before she gets booked into jail. you can see her there in happened cuffs. she is accused in the crash that we followed all morning yesterday of that deadly crash on the howard franklin bridge. news channel 8's adrienne pedersen is now bringing us up to speed live from the pinellas county jail. adrienne, a lot breaking on this story overnight. >> reporter: good morning, gayle. that's exactly right. while most people were at home sleep, a lot happening herer in pinellas county. we know that allison huffman is now here behind bar, charged with leaving the scene of a deadly accident.
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the web -- mug shot is still not on the website yet. notice she didn't say anything or even look at our cameras arriving at jail. troopers tell us that she slammed into a tow truck driver on the howard franklin bridge but instead of stopping to help, she sped off and eventually took a cab to the casino. and new this morning, other video just into the newsroom of huffman sitting in an fhp car. she was at her friend's apartment in st. petersburg and that person called to turn her in. this morning, we have been looking through her driving record and it's disturbing to say the least. five pages, four duis, careless drive, running a red light as well as other citations. and now she is set to face a judge here in pinellas county at 1:30 this afternoon. of course, we will have a crew there and bring you the latest in terms of what happens and if more charges pile on. gayle -- >> yeah, her driving record, some of her social media posts, it's not looking good.
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more breaking news this tuesday morning. a missing child alert for you. investigators are looking for 6- year-old ashley jade martinez. you can see her on the left. she was last seen in miami. and they believe she may be the woman on the right, hillary has hadden -- lily eugene hayden. and a lot of folks are commenting on this morning. we showed you this video back in the day, showing a woman live streaming herself drunk driving on periscope. and now we know she will serve no jail time for that dangerous charade. news channel 8s lindsey mastis is live from the morning alert center. lindsey, what consequences will she face? >> reporter: even though she won't go to jail, there is a long list of consequences impose bid the court and we know her face because of the infamous live stream on periscope.
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you have to believe, please, driving drunk is not cool. i am drunk on south florida avenue. [ bleep ] spear scoping at 21 -- >> reporter: according to the state's attorney office, she took a plea deal. she will serve 12 months of probation because it's her first dui. she will have to perform 100 hours of community service, her license will be suspended for six months and she is prohibited from going to the bars. and now the court wants her to get an alcohol evaluation and treatment. and now the court of public opinion is chiming in. after all, the video is viral and it's trending on our website right now, a lot of people are commenting. some believe the punishment isn't enough and others insist it's what anyone else would get for a first time offense. head to wfla's facebook page
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>> thanks, lindsey. and you can follow the morning alerts each day on facebook and twitter. just search the #8alert. today a pretrial hearing is scheduled in the case of a suspected swindler exposed by an 8 on your side investigation. robert fletcher faces dozens of charges. he is accused of being an unlicensed contractor and of ripping off people with investment schemes. news channel 8's investigative reporter will be at the hearing today. today we could find out more about the disturbing case against a former florida state student accused of murdering her mom and step dad. the deposition hearing is scheduled for nicole knockman. the 21-year-old faces two counts of first degree murder in connection to the shooting deaths of her mother and her stepfather. well president barack obama is taking the first step in nominating a supreme court justice.
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antonin scalia is creating quite the controversy. republicans argue the next president should be the one making that appointment. they're vowing to block a senate confirmation. happening today, it's your last day to register to vote in the march 15th florida presidential primary. to vote for a republican candidate, you must be registered as a republican. and the same holds true if you're planning to vote for a democrat. ifer all the information you need, head to in the don't miss it section, you will find important links on how to register or update your information. well people in the panhandle are assessing tornado damage this morning. take a look there at the top right center of the screen. this is video one couple captured of the twister creating all this damage near the alabama/florida border. the rare february tornado destroyed at least 10 homes. crews went door to door
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at one home, they found a woman stuck under piles of mangled metal and splintered wood. you see the rescues pulling the woman out of the tornado- ravaged home. crews explain they had to dig around the woman and prop up debris to keep it from rushing her. she was rushed to the hospital. it's 5:08. let's get a check on weather and traffic on the 8s this morning. >> and in fact, the same system so thank goodness it wasn't as strong by the time we made it here. although we were under a tornado watch up until a few minutes ago. things are drying out quickly from north to south. almost all of our counties haven exaccusedded from the tornado watch. highlands county, you are the only one still left in it. it's drying out in eastern polk county. lake whale, seeing the last of your rain. north port, ening in the next 10 minutes. arcadia, seeing some heavy rain. and only 20% rain chance at 8 :00, 9:00 and after that,ive
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you will see sunshine at lunchtime. nothing but sun through the afternoon and evening. and highs today right around 71 degrees. and very comfortable with low humidity, 71 again tomorrow. 70 on thursday. and we get warm they are weekend. let's check on traffic on the 8s because we know there's been some wet roads overnight. >> but those bridges are dry and we have a great drive across them. not seeing any delays across the howard franklin bridge. at this point, about a six minute commute. 10 minutes across the courtney campbell from pinellas all the way over to where it links up with memorial highway and the veterans expressway. skyway bridge is also up to speed. where we have the biggest issue remains in polk county. for those who live out here and let's say you travel eastbound on i-4 up through polk city or work in this area, we have a fatal accident. a situation, it's kind of hard
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camera back but activity is tying up the lane. the other side of the interstate, eastbound and westbound here, we have the left lane taken away. you can still get by just use caution. traffic is light. i will be keeping an eye on it throughout the morning. a fatal crash and we will be there for a while due to the investigation that takes place. that's a look at weather and traffic on the 8s. back to gene and gayle. >> thank you so much. we are just days away from the gasparilla distance classic. >> and there will be new shoes on the route. how metropolitan ministries is benefiting from someone called the shoe giver. and big changes for cuba. up next, news channel 8's jeff patterson is in havana with a look at how traveling to the island nation will soon get easier.
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happening today, a controversial issue is expected to drum up a heated discussion at a sarasota county school board meeting. the board will meet to talk about creating a district-wide policy on gender neutral bathrooms to accommodate transgender students. news channel 8's ryan hughs is live in sarasota county.
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>> reporter: gene, good morning to you. that's right. pineview school here in sarasota county has the policy after a student asked for it. and once that was implemented, school leaders sent messages to parents telling them about this particular issue. and now this could become a district-wide policy. it's expected to be discussed in that room, the boardroom here in sarasota county later today. some students and parents are calling for a widespread policy on transgender bathroom use. a year ago, nathan quinn began the transition process. recently the principal asked him to use the boy's bathroom. and now he and supporters want a district-wide policy. it will be discussed here later today. >> it's not just about me. it's about the other trans kids at pineview and they need the same rights. >> reporter: and now nathan quinn is expected to be one of many people at a meeting here at district headquarters this morning. as you can imagine, the issue
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a lot of reaction, some pros, some con, so gene, something to be discussed here today and it will be somewhat controversial has it has been so far. back to you. >> for sure. and as you mentioned, it is controversial. the story is getting a lot of parents talking thissing this morning. look for the -- talking this morning. look for the conversation on the wfla facebook page. this morning, the u.s. takes another step toward normalizing relations with cuba. the u.s. secretary of transportation will sign a new travel agreement with the island nation. news channel 8s jeff patterson is in cuba to explain. >> reporter: the u.s. secretary of transportation is scheduled to be here today to sign a historic agreement that will allow u.s. commercial airlines to fly here on a daily basis for the first time in decades. up to 20 flights into havana. and 10 flights a day in other cities throughout cuba. it's a big change for a country
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change in decades. and a u.s. congressional delegation is here this week and they are talking about the possibility of totally lifting the embargo which will allow more trade between the united states and this country. in cuba, jeff patterson, news channel 8. >> all right. thank you so much, jeff. and news channel 8 is the only television station bringing you reports from cuba on this delegation. stay tuned for the coverage from havana. all week we will have the story for you on-air and online. and also news this morning, really rough weather overnight. >> that's right, in fact, sofia vergara and i were on facebook live from about 2:00 a.m. to just after 3:30 this morning, and a lot of people were chiming in because that's when the worst of the weather was happening. we were under a tornado watch. we never had any tornado warnings. and it's racing off to the
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i will give you a closer look. it will get there, it's been working hard overnight. we still have lakeland coming to an end as far as the rain. and we still have a little bit of light rain east of frost poof but moving out there. manatee county, sarasota county, almost all dry now. and the only place left in the tornado watch is in highlands county and that's where we have the heaviest rain right now. and i think that will expire well before the time of 8:00 a.m. clearing at noon, 68. just a pleasant afternoon. this will be a distant momently when it's 7 1 , comfortable -- memory when it's 71 and comfortable this afternoon. bob in venice is at 63. already seen about an inch of rain. front and the rain head quickly to the south. the afternoon, it will feel cooler in the morning along with patchy fog but really a nice stretch of day, low 70s and sunny into the weekend. it's 5:18. let's check on weather and traffic on the 8s.
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we have some issues going on. folk, again, fatal accident in polk county. in the polk city area, just past the polk parkway, another live view of it. and you can see we have activity here on the left on each side of the eastbound and the westbound side of i-4. again, right near the polk parkway. fatal crash. and let's move over now and talk about the brooksville area, downtown brooksville, we are up to speed. but 75 north of cortez road which is state road 50, we have an accident on the interstate and looks like no delays but i'll keep an eye on that for you because that can get busy. and sun city boulevard at cyprus village boulevard, this collision has cleared from the roadway. and then issues going on where the ramps were blocked for 301 and i-75. the ramps, you can partially get by. that's good news. that's a look at weather and traffic on the 8s. back to gene and gayle.
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8 is on your side as we prepare for this weekend's gasparilla distance class and i can. there's a group of people that want to make -- classic. and there's a group of people that want to make sure the shoes we wear aren't taken for granted. leigh has an inspirational story about some people we will see this year. >> reporter: that's right. metropolitan ministries has a team of about 100 staff members taking part in the races. they have been training for six weeks but they have a secret weapon from a superhero known as the shoe giver. >> i measure everyone and then go back out and get the shoes and bring them back. >> reporter: the 14-year-old julie rice comes from a family of shoe givers. her brother started this project at 10 years old. >> he contacted the cdc and asked what they needed most. and their answer was shoes. >> reporter: julie became the shoe giver of tampa when he left for college. for the first time though, these shoes serve the specific
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the finish line at the gasparilla distance classic. they have been part of a six- week training program to get ready for the race. >> what will you feel like on race day at the starting line? >> a little nervous because i have never done it before but it's a new experience, so kind of feel happy. >> reporter: while the families get fit, they're also learning life lessons. >> they set a goal of running the race and they want to do it in a certain time or distance, and they do it which translates over into the rest of their lives when they are setting goals in other areas such as employment and housing. >> reporter: it's amazing what new soles can do for the soul. knowing that your shoes will be out there, how does that make you feel? >> i'm really excited. >> reporter: today is the shoe giver of tampa's 10th anniversary but the first time they have been used specifically for the gasparilla distance the classic. i have put a link to the website in my story on
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giver of tampa started. jay con, her brother started it, and now she is taking over. a great family. >> we have been following the story for the last decade here, almost every year. and i will tell you, it's grown and it's just multiplied and so cool that they're keeping the legacy alive, even though the big brother is off at college. >> and for the resip yen, it means so much more. >> and it allows them to make the goals and accomplish them. >> great story. >> thank you. back after this short
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r i don't know what i'm doing. i can't find anything p just when i think it's just not going to work. p this woman that works there comes over and asks can i help you? and he was so happy, to do it amazing right? r i never would have expected would have thought that anyone would find that do that. make that go out of their way for me. right then, right there i couldn't believe it he was so helpful i know it's such a small thing little thing. simple thing but it made me smile made me happy made my day share your story.
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you might be crazy about the decade, but whatever you do, please, don't go back to the '70s. some apple product users are finding out the hard way, manually changing the date on their apple devices to may 1970 or earlier, after a restart, the iphones and ipad, et cetera, they don't turn back on. i'm thinking it's because apple didn't exist back then. apple is ware of the bug and the company claims the upcoming software update will prevent that issue. if you set it to that time frame and then your music automatically changes. >> that would be awesome. you know what song would be great today? "someone left their cake in the rain." >> i'm getting the hook. plus, bundled background checks on school employees. what one bay area school district is doing after officials dropped the call on checking out their employees? and continuing coverage of
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the arrest of a suspected hit- and-run driver. where investigators finally tracked down the woman and the charges she is now facing. (donkey sound) (elephant sound)
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between making noise, (tapping sound) and making sense. (elephant sound) (donkey sound) when it comes to social security, we need more than lip service. our next president needs a real plan to keep social security strong. (elephant noise) hey candidates. enough talk.
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it's 5:28. and after a stormy night, the rain coming to an end and now just left in highlands county. by the afternoon, you will get two thumbs up and sunshine. traffic is looking better here. still a fatal accident eastbound i-4 just past the polk parkway but they have a lot off to the side of the
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hey, guys, it's annie. you know, as moms, we are always looking for new ways to save money. pwell today, i'm going to share with you pa simple tip that could help you stretch your budget when it comes to your grocery shopping. not bad. pit's easy: bogos from other stores aren't always the best deal, pbut walmart every day low prices, pwell, that could save you some money. tampa, the total amount saved at walmart vs winn dixie was $24.49 in this week's basket - that's 22%. including bogos. give walmart every day lowpprices a try today. pyou'll be glad you did. good tuesday the morning. welcome to news channel 8 today. i'm gene ramirez. >> and i'm gayle guyardo. we have a lot going on this morning including strong storms moving through overnight. the tornado watch for most of


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