tv News Ch8 Today at 6AM NBC February 16, 2016 6:00am-7:00am EST
bay area. this is what it looked like along the howard franklin bridge around 2:00 a.m. a lot of wet roads. at within point, there was even a tornado -- at one point, there was even a tornado watch. and that's now over. let's get over to leigh spann to see what's happening right now. >> a lot of people did not sleep through the storms because it was loud with the lightning, the thunder, the strong winds but now everything is calming down. early. 8:00 a.m. obviously barely raining anymore so there's no need for the watch. in highlands county, you still have some rain but you were just excluded from the tornado watch. and let me show you how fast this morning. this is a forecast for you, forward one more hour at 7:00 a.m., we still have clouds around but the rain will be gone. by 9:00 a.m., patchy clouds and starting to break those up. and then the rest of the day, even by lunchtime, a lot of sunshine, a cool breeze.
below average but 71, it's going to feel pretty comfortable. at 6:06, i walk you hour-by- hour through the day. and leslee is going to let you know what to expect when you walk out the doors. >> at least the roadways are dry. drying. still a little wet in some areas. but we have some issues. eastbound i-4 just past the polk parkway, a live look. you can see a lot of activity in the median. and now it looks worse. and left lanes blocked east and westbound. again, right near the polk parkway. and now i want to head down to the sarasota area, folks. and here's what's going on. we have a traffic light that is out on 12th street at 301 which is also known as washington boulevard. so i want to go ahead and look now at some of the pictures from the crash. and you can see, what a mess it is out there. just treat it as a four-way stop instead.
and traffic and now back to gayle. >> thank you. you are looking at new video just into our newsroom. the woman troopers tell us hit and killed a tow truck driver and then just took off. you can see her there in handcuffs. this is allison huffman just before she gets booked into jail. she is accused in the crash that we followed all morning yesterday of the 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. a lot breaking on this story overnight. >> reporter: good morning, gayle. that's right. and things are really changing by the minute. i do keep checking back here at the pinellas county jail and although her new mugshots not available -- mug shot is not available just yet, we do know that she is charged with at least leaving the scene of a deadly accident and will go before a judge this afternoon at 1:30. i want to show you some new video we have of her arriving at jail.
or look at our cameras. 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 she took a cab to the casino. and also new this morning, check this out just into the newsroom, video of huffman sitting in an fhp car. she was at a friend's apartment in st. pete. and that person eventually called and turned her in. you can see there, the strange video, just sitting there, calm, talking, looking like she's having a casual conversation. and we're sifting through her records this morning. extremely disturbing to say the least. several duis as well as careless driving, running a red light. this is five pages long. so of course we will keep you updated. as soon as we know if she's going the to face other charges and what happens at her court appearance here today. >> yeah, between the record and some of her social media posts, it doesn't look good. thanks.
a missing child alert. investigators are looking for 6- year-old ashley jade martinez. she's on the left-hand of the screen there. she was last seen in miami and they believe she may be with the woman on the right of the screen, lily eugene hayden. call 911. happening today, a controversial issue is expected to drum up a heated discussion board meeting. the board will meet to talk about creating a district-wide policy on gender neutral bathroom to accommodate transgender students. news channel 8's ryan hughs is live at the sarasota county school board offices. and one school already has the policy in place. what's that about? >> reporter: gene, good morning. pineview school here in sarasota county has a policy. it was enacted after a student asked for it.
meeting here today along with some supporters here at school district headquarters. and some students and parents are calling for a widespread policy on transgender bathroom use. it's a result of a push from this student, a year ago nathan quinn began the transition process. it wasn't until recently that the principal allowed 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. they need the the same rights. >> reporter: and again, nathan quinn expected to the turn out here. when we first posted this story on our facebook page back in january, it certainly ignited a firestorm. so a lot of differing opinions on this one, gene. so we will be here and could want on 8 on your side to have the latest on first at 4:00 tonight. back to you. >> definitely a controversial topic. thank you. and the story is getting a lot
you can join the conversation on our facebook page. and today a pretrial hearing is scheduled in the case of a suspected swindler exposed by 8 on your side. robert fletcher faces dozens of charges. he is accused of being an unlicensed contractor and ripping off people with investment schemes. news channel 8 investigative reporter mike douglas will be on the. this morning, people in the panhandle are assessing tornado damage. just take a look here of video one couple shot you can see in the center of the screen, the storm there forming. this is escambia county and this is the left damage there. it's near the alabama/florida border. this rare february tornado destroyed at least 10 homes. at one home, crews found a woman stuck under piles of mangled metal and splintered wood.
out by rescuers from her ravaged home. and crews explain they had to dig around this woman, even propping up debris to keep it from crushing her. she was rushed to the hospital. and we are coming up on 6:08 on this tuesday morning. and we had some wild weather overnight. >> and in fact that same storm system moves through escambia, came through here about 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning and now it's exiting. a very fast-moving system. there's still plenty of clouds around. nobody under a threat for tornadoes at this point. highlands county, your rain is finally dwindling as we speak. i left in a 20% rain chance through about 9:00 a.m. after that, clouds break up. notice how temperatures don't warm up that much. again, a cold front is coming through. 68 at noon. 71 at 2:00, 3:00. cooler during the evening. so for the gasparilla distance classic, wait until the early evening hours and it will be
for the weekend's races. and actually mild through the weekend. 71 today and tomorrow. 70 thursday. mid-70s for saturday. it's 6:08. let's check on traffic on the 8s. again, puddles but no rain. >> yeah, that's nice especially as we move closer to rush hour. and we have had our share of issues this morning. fatal accident in polk county, this is eastbound i-4 past the polk parkway where it happened. let's take a view here from the fdot camera. and still activity in the median and some lanes take anway. we're starting to see a slow down. let's go to meliek on the street. -- the street. there's a crane out there. so this is going to be there for a while. of course thanksgiving is the median but -- of course, this is the median but the left lane is blocked each direction, eastbound and westbound due to the crash. that car looks completely mangled. so i will keep you posted throughout the morning.
the area near the polk parkway on i-4 . that's a look at weather and traffic. back to gene and gayle. >> thank you so much, leslee. a brother comes to the rescue. >> yeah, the high profile politician hoping his reputation will help his campaign trail. works for cuba. coming up, news channel 8's jeff patterson is in havana with a look at how traveling to the island nation could get easier. and she is accused of driving drunk and live media. and now she is being punished. why some are angry with the sentence a judge just handed down. wait till you hear the details. you are watching news channel 8
so a lot of people are commenting on this one this morning. you might remember the video showing the woman live streaming herself on periscope while driving drunk. and now we know she will serve no jail time for that dangerous charade. news channel 8's lindsey mastis is live from the morning alert center. lynn see, what consequences does she face? >> reporter: good morning. even though she won't go to jail, there's a long list of consequences impose bid the court, plus we all know her
>> i am drunk on south florida avenue. driving drunk is not cool. >> reporter: she took a plea deal. she will serve 12 months of probation because it's her first dui. she will have to perform 150 hours of community service. and her license will be suspended for six months. and she is prohibited from going to the bars. the court also wans they are get an alcohol evaluation and treatment -- wants her to get an alcohol evaluation treatment. and the story is trending on our website. 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 our wfla facebook page and tell us what you think about the plea deal. >> i'm sure you're going to get a lot of feedback. you can follow our morning alerts each day on facebook and twitter. just search the #8alert. and now to your vote. former florida governor jeb bush is getting some brotherly
former president george w. bush joined him in charleston, south carolina monday. the former president took a jab at donald trump saying the country needs a president with, quote, humility. well this morning donald trump is threatening to file a lawsuit against senator ted cruz. trump is challenging the senator's eligibility to serve as president because senator cruz was born in canada. in south carolina, trump called senator cruz, quote, the most us dishonest guy he's ever met in politics. and democratic candidates are hitting the trail hard in nevada. after losing new hampshire, hillary rodham clinton is looking to come back with a big win. nevada was supposed to be a sure state for clinton but now it's in play. the nevada caucuses are just four days away. today is your last day to register to vote in the march 15th florida presidential primary. the vote for a republican
registered as a republican. the same holds true if you're planning to for a democrat. all the information you need is on wfla.com. it's in the don't miss it section. you will find links on how to register and how to update your voter registration information. very important. time now 6:15. and this morning, the u.s. takes another step towards normalizing relations with cuba. >> the u.s. secretary of transportation will sign a new travel agreement with the island nation. news channel 8's jeff patterson is in cuba to explain. >> reporter: the u.s. secretary of transportation is scheduled to be here in havana 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 a day into havana, 10 flights into other cities throughout cuba. it's a big change for a country that hasn't seen a lot of change in decades. and there's a u.s. connable delegation that's here in
talking about the possibility of totally lifting the embargo which will allow more trade between the united states and this country. a lot going on here and we're here to report about it all week. in havana, cuba, jeff patterson, news channel 8. >> news channel 8 is the only television station bringing you reports from cuba on this delegation. so stay tuned for jeff patterson's continuing coverage from havana all week on-air and online. let's talk about music. this morning the music world is celebrating after a big night at the grammys. taylor swift received three awards. she gets them all. she walked away with album of the year for the 1989 album. the rapper received an award for best rap album, i have to say this outloud, to pimp a butterfly. that's the name. the record of the year went to bruno mars for the dance anthem
one of my favorites. and this also has people talking. listen to this. give me a memory that i can use >> yeah, sorry about that. that hurt, doesn't it? the twittersphere is exploding this morning with angry adele fans. doesn't sound as good as we typically hear her, right? the star delivered the heart felt performance out of tune. well, adele is blaming it on the mic. she says it fell on the piano springs. a cps spokesperson confirms there were five to eight technical issues with the broadcast and says it was all out of the they work's control. >> she had a good sense of hue mar about it. she said she was going to figure it out eating an in and out burger. >> have two. the good news, our weather is getting better too. we had strong storms pushing through after midnight until about 4:00 this morning. and now notice it's all pushed
atlantic at this point. a closer view shows just a few light showers left in highlands county. everywhere else, there's some clouds around. at 8:00 a.m., the rain has pushed into our southern areas across south florida, 6 4 degrees. and the sky will start to clear out, more sunshine at noon and then a very pleasant afternoon, 71, low humidity and sunshine. and outside right now, it's 61 in tampa. 59 in clear water. 60 in sarasota. and my weather watcher in inverness, 57 degrees. she was watching steve jerve and i as we were on facebook live overnight as the storms came through. and people were asking us questions and were giving personalized forecasts because i know those storms woke a lot of people up. the good news is now as you hit the roads, they're drying out quickly. heading to the south so you get the pleasant afternoon. and we do expect at least some patchy fog tomorrow morning, cooler.
days as we head into the weekend. can't beat this forecast. leslee, how about traffic on the 8s? well, we are starting to see a little bit of a slow down here due to the fatal accident in polk city, eastbound i-4 just past the parkway. meliek on the street is live at the scene. and we can get a view of what is happening. you can see traffic is slow and go. and most of the activity is in the median. they have a crane out there to get the mangled vehicle out of the median. so the left lane is blocked both east and westbound. this was a single car accident. one person is deceased due to the crash. but i'll be watching this throughout the morning. and i have more accidents to bring to you in the next report. and now back to gene and gayle. >> all right. thank you so much. well get ready for a chance to see beyonce. >> oh, yeah, queen b. what is happening today that can give you a seat to see her world tour. it's coming to town. and be aware, going back in
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so you may be crazy about the decade, but whatever you do, do not go back to the '70s. we are talking about your iphone and apple devices. some product users are finding this out the hard way. listen to me, this is your warning. if you manually change the date on our apple device to may 1970 or earlier, well guess what, after a restart, your iphone, ipad, et cetera, will not turn back on. yeah. apple is aware of the bug and claims an upcoming software update will prevent the issue but you found out how it started. >> yeah, 8 on your side crack digging for you.
have a '70s easter egg if you did this so people got deeped their phones back. bee january soy's world tour kicks off in april and includes a stop here in tampa april 29th. good luck getting the tickets today. >> got to wear your dancing shoes. >> yes. weather and traffic on the 8s is three minutes away. >> plus, bungled background checks on school employees. what one school district is doing after officials dropped the ball. and you are and our news. the arrest of a -- and the continuing coverage of breaking
good tuesday morning. welcome to news channel 8 today. i'm gene ramirez. >> and i'm gayle guyardo. breaking overnight, an arrest in the deadly hit-and- run crash. while you were sleeping, investigators put the cuffs on allison huffman. this is new video of her being taken to the pinellas county jail. she is accused of hitting and killing a tow truck driver on the howard franklin bridge. she is charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
before a judge later today. plus, a missing child alert is in effect for a 6-year-old girl authorities want to find. you can see ashley jay martinez on the left-hand side of the screen. they believe she may be lily ukraine hayden you see on the right. if you see her, call 911. and early morning storms are moving out of the bay area. this is what it looked like ability four hours ago on the howard franklin bridge, lightning, thunder and rain. but the good news, things are clearing up. let's go to leigh spann. >> more people hitting the morning commute, it will be much, much better. in fact, the first looks of daylight, about 60 degrees, .30 of rain. and seeing the skies clearing out. there are some lingering clouds and the tornado watch was canceled early. watch the forecast now.
no rainfall for you. and again, around 8:00, 9:00, we start to break the clouds up. and by lunchtime in the hours after that, absolutely gorgeous. right now, 61 in tampa. 63 in atlantic city. and 62 in bradenton. and we only warm up to 7 1 . a cold front is coming through. the rain will be a distant memory. at 6:38, i have the eight-day temperature trend for you. we've had a tough start. a fatal accident out in the polk county area. most of the activity is in the median. meliek is on the street out there and what a mangled up vehicle. this is a truck you see here. it's upside down. and it's a mess. and there was a lot of paint and it was a paint truck. so there's a lot going on here, not only a fatal accident so we have an investigation, you can see the crane trying to up
spilled and they have to clean that up. and now back to the maps. we have other issues going on. we have a collision, state road 54 at the collier parkway. and delays eastbound on state road 54 approaching the collier parkway. keep that in mind too. that's a look at weather and traffic. back to gene and gayle. >> leslee, thanks. breaking overnight, while you were sleeping, a suspected hit-and-run driver was taken to jail. what you are looking at her is brand new video of allison huffman being take into the pinellas county jail in handcuffs. she is accused of causing the deadly crash we followed all morning yesterday as breaking news. and now she is set to face a judge this afternoon. news channel 8's adrienne pedersen is tracking this story live for us for the pinellas county jail. and i know you have been making phone calls all morning and you keep checking back. what charges is she facing right now. last we checked it was a single charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
well i checked again within the last two minutes and you're right, it's still the one charge, leaving the scene of a deadly accident. more charges could be forth coming though and i will let you know as soon as we get more information on that. in the meantime, she is locked up here at the pinellas county jail. this is new video into the newsroom this morning of huffman sitting in an fhp car. she was at a friend's apartment in st. pete. that person called and turned her in. we have some other new video to show you from overnight of her arriving at the jail. now notice she didn't say anything or even really look at our cameras. troopers tell us she slammed into a tow truck driver on the howard franklin bridge but instead of stopping to help, she sped off and even later took a cab to the casino. we talked to the tow truck driver's boss who remembers his employee as a great guy. >> you talk about a guy that would come to work 15 minutes early, this man comes to work two hours early just to see if
for this to happen, it's ridiculous. he was just pulling over to help somebody. >> reporter: so sad. so again, huffman is here in the pinellas county jail and she is set to face a judge at 1:30 this afternoon. we will have a crew there and let you know what happens on- air and on our news channel 8 app. >> incredible that she would be involved in that and in that accident and then head to the casino. makes you wonder what's happening in their mind at that time. we will see the details as they come out. thank you. and to stay on top of breaking news anywhere, any time, download our news channel 8 app to your smart phone. happening today, school board members in sarasota county will discuss why the district dropped the ball and failed to conduct background checks on some employees. 8 on your side first exposed the misstep earlier this month. 8 on your side's ryan hughs is live in sarasota this morning. and one school board member wants to get to the bottom of this today.
i emailed with the school board member last night and she said she plans to discuss it here at a meeting later today. she says she is not happy after the auditor general released this report. >> the safety is of the highest priority to me so essentially, i want to make sure and get all the information and see what happened and what caused that for us to not have that and be in compliance. >> reporter: that report says the district failed to conduct timely background checks for some staffers. it looked at 80 employees randomly and found 45 had not been rescreened in the last five years. and now every employee gets screened upon becoming a worker within the school district and then it's required again every five years after that. board members as i mentioned plan to discuss why this happened later today. and when i first uncovered this audit, the district said it simply did not have enough personnel to conduct the rescreenings. that is a big point of contention that will be discussed here later today. back to you.
because i know a lot of parents are concerned about this. thank you, ryan. today we could find out more about the disturbing case against a former florida state student accused of murdering her own mom and stepdad in carrollwood. a deposition hearing is scheduled for nicole nachtman. she faces two counts of murder in connection to the shooting deaths of her mother myriam dienes and her stepfather robert dienes. a truck plunged, that's the mess there on the ground, 100 feet off of i-95 down in miami. family and friends gathered at a prayer circle overnight, praying for him. he is in serious condition this morning. he is lucky considering the way the truck looks. and look at the image here, the aftermath of this. you can see the fire that was started there after that fall. and then a close-up of the truck. you can see the cab and the back part of the truck
they saw. >> first the impact on the 95 when it broke the rail and then he fell on the roof of the house that's right next to it there and then tipped it and fell on the floor. and it's where the driver was ejected from the truck. >> despite all you see here, amazely, no one on the ground was hurt. morning. overnight. kept some people up, i bet. >> it really. and hopefully they were able to get more sleep after it rolled through. and we are about a half hour if the sunrise that you're seeing already here. the clouds are clearing out. it's 60 degrees. let me take you hour-by-hour. i left in a 20% chance. maybe a sprinkle left in the next hour or two. after that, more and more sunshine. we don't warm up much. 71 around 2:00, 3:00 because the cold front is pushing through. so less humid air, a cool even,
and winter haven today, you will hit 73. 70 in inverness, tampa, 7 1 . sarasota, 73. and if you like this weather, good because it's going to stick around. 71 today and tomorrow. 70 thursday. 73 on friday. that's the average this time of the year. and mid-70s in the weekend. and just above the average, 78 on monday. and again, this is a nice stretch of weather. bright blue sky each and every day. glad we got the rainout before the commute time because as more and more people hit the road, it will get drier and drier. >> appreciate that. >> worked that out just for you. unfortunately, still some big issues. it was wet earlier and look at this, ybor city, kind of a slow drive, 301 to 275, eight minutes. veterans expressway, starting to get slow, typical for this time of the morning, ehrlich to 275, 13 minutes on the commute. and bearss to i-4, sacrifice minutes. and i want to go to meliek on
4. beautiful sunrise but not a beautiful situation below it. a fatal accident, folk, i-4 right at the eastern polk parkway, slow and go traffic. westbound really affected. eastbound not so bad. i will update you throughout the morning. back to gene and gayle. >> thank you so much. well we are just days away from the gasparilla distance classic. >> yeah, it's coming up. when we hit the starting line, there will be new shoes on the route. and we will show you how metropolitan ministries is benefiting from someone called the shoe giver. and getting to the bottom of a deadly sinking of the cargo ship from florida. up next, what the the u.s. coast guard is doing to find out who is responsible for. p the new caramel macchiato from dunkin' donuts. r let hand-crafted layers of espresso, milk, p and a caramel-flavored swirl uplift your mood. indulge in a hot or iced macchiato today.
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. r
>> that's right, first a power outage happening that duke energy is reporting right now. it was affecting quite a few people, 6,000 customers are without power at this hour. one of the affected areas is that red triangle that you see near downtown clearwater. that's in the area north of gulf to bay boulevard and west of old u.s. 19. >> yeah, the other area affected is south of ulmerton road near the clearwater airport. so keep that in mind in that area. they do not have power right now. and we will bring you updates. happening today, back to the el faro. the first two sessions the u.s. coast guard will conduct on the tragic sinking of that ship. the hearing begins this morning in just a few hours. it's happening in jacksonville. >> and i was mentioning, 33 crew members lost their lives after sailing right into our a hurricane. and now the u.s. coast guard wants to find out whether there was any wrongdoing. news channel 8s lindsey mastis is live from the tampa news center this morning. so lindsey, what will happen today?
the hearing gets underway at 9:00 this morning and investigators will dig deep. is any organization or person at fault? the u.s. coast guard marine board of investigation wants to find out whether there was any misconduct, any negligence? family of the 33 victims wants the to know the same. one family filed a $33 million lawsuit against the ship's owners and captain. their attorney insists someone is to blame. >> these are some greedy people. and as a result, you have innocent men and women who should be going about their businesses, on their job, with their family, with their kid, with their parents or whatever the case may be, but they're six feet under. >> reporter: the el faro is still sitting under 15,000 feet of water. and now officials know where the ship is but its black box has not yet been found. the national transportation safety board will send another team of investigators under water to once again search for
the date of which they'll do that is still undecided. we will keep a close eye on the hearings and let you know when the ntsb conducts its second search. >> yeah, it's totally understandable that the family wants answers of course. thank you. pope francis is back in mexico city this morning after what could be the most memorable moment of his trip to mexico. the blessing of this wheelchair- bound child. the pope was listening to testimonies by people from different family situations. he interrupted the remarks and was helped to the front of the stage by two cardinals. the child was lifted on to the stage by some of the pope's security detail. and then the pope blessed and the crowd, of course as you can imagine b, applauded. what a touching moment. -- imagine, applauded. what a touching moment. 8 on your side is helping you be preparinged for this
and there's a group of people that want to make sure that we don't take the shoes we wear for granted. >> our own running expert leigh has an inspirational story. >> reporter: that's right. this year metropolitan ministries has a team of about 100 residents and staff members taking part in this weekend's races. yes, they have been training but they also have a secret weapon from a superhero known as the shoe giver. >> i measure everyone and then i go back and go back out and get the shoes and bring them back. >> reporter: 14-year-old julie rice comes from a family of shoe givers. her brother started the project at 10 years old. >> he 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 purpose of helping people cross the finish line at the
the race for home team had 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 are also learning life lessons. >> set a goal of running the race in a certain time or distance and they do it which translates over into the rest of their lives when they're 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 walking, how does that make you feel? >> i'm really excited. >> reporter: this year is the shoe giver of tampa's 10th anniversary but it's the first time they have been used specifically for the gasparilla distance classic. i have put a link to the website at wfla.com if you want to know more about it. and you have been doing stories on this for the 10 years.
sister is now taking over. the rice family, just wonderful people. >> and for those that get the shoe, it means so much more to them. it's great. >> confidence in daily life and set this goal and that finish line feels great. >> yes, it does. we are finished with the rain. check out the beautiful sky here. 61 degrees. about .20 of rain that fell here. this is the restaurant over the waters of tampa bay on the tampa side looking towards st. -- towards st. petersburg. there's no need for a tornado watch at this point. that's great news. this rushed through quickly. when it came through, it brought heavy rain. anywhere from .50 in the lighter spots to more than 2 inches in some places. and it all fell between about midnight and 4:00 this morning
64 degrees at 8:00 a.m. and more sunshine by noon, 68 degrees. and just a gorgeous afternoon. 71 degrees, sunny and a light breeze from the northeast. and 95 right now in bartow. and 59 in clearwater. 61 tampa. 62 bradenton. there goes the front pushing the rain to the south. and again, clear, beautiful skies. that light breeze this afternoon. tomorrow morning there will be cool and fog but after that, a nice stretch of days. great to be outside, low 70s in the afternoon which is perfect weather for the gasparilla distance classic. >> i am looking forward to it. we're going to have a great week. unfortunately, traffic not so great. veterans expressway, ehrlich to 275, 18 minutes. and then westbound starting to hit the brakes through ybor city. and let's go ahead and move over and look at the big problem spot here in polk city. a fatal accident, westbound traffic is backing up, down to
this is near the polk parkway, the eastern side. and state road 33 heavy in the area. and meliek on the street with a live look for us again. look at that back-up, folks. you are just sitting there on the roadway. and again, it's all due to the fatal crash. and there's a crane out there. you can see it right now. so even though only one lane is blocked, people are like, whoa, checking out what's going on and that's causing -- i hate to say the word lookie loos, but that's what's going on. back to gene and gayle. >> thank you so much. what you need to know before you walk out the door is next. >> including the big changes coming to cuba. and the driver investigators arrested in connection to the deadly hit- and-run crash and how troopers tracked her down. it's 65:00 1 . you are watching
hit-and-run driver now behind bars. >> investigator tracked down allison huffman in st. petersburg and charged her with leaving the scene of a deadly crash. news channel 8's adrienne pedersen joins us live from the pinellas county jail. adrienne -- >> reporter: good morning, gayle and gene. she is set to face a judge this afternoon around 1:30. of course, we will have a crew there. in the meantime, she is here at -- in the meantime, she is here at the pinellas county jail. let's pull up new video of her arriving here. troopers caught up to huffman at her friend's st. petersburg's apartment. she is accused of hitting and killing a tow truck driver on the howard franklin bridge and not stopping. we will have a crew in the court and let you know what happens on-air and on our news channel 8 app. adrienne pedersen, news channel 8 today. >> thank you. and a missing child alert is in effect for a 6-year-old girl. authorities want to find ashley jade martinez.
they believe she may be lily eugene hayden. if you see her, call 911. school board members are meeting to discuss why the district dropped the ball on background checks. an audit found more than half of 80 employees were not recheck as required by state law. the board member tells us 8 on your side she plans to bring up the fail at the meeting this morning. and also in sarasota county, the school board will discuss starting a new gender wide policy on gender neutral bathrooms. a student began the transition a year ago. the principal allowed him the boy's bathroom recently. top u.s. officials are in cuba today. they'll sign an agreement to restore scheduled airline service between the u.s. and cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. news channel 8 is the only television station in cuba. stay tuned for jeff patterson's reports from havana beginning
and people are assessing the damage of a towerful tornado. thisser to throughest cam bah beeia county. escambia down thety. >> that includes the home of one woman. rescuers found her trapped under the metal and splintered they carefully dug around her body and pulled her to safety. people are applauding in the background. she was rushed to the hospital to determine how serious her injuries are. >> and when the same storm system raced through here between midnight and 4:00 a.m., yes, strong storms but nothing to that effect for sure. we are seeing clearing skies. degrees. 68 by noon. 71, pleasant at 3:00 p.m. with the lower humidity and the sunshine. cooler tonight at 53. and look at this stretch of great weather, all the way into the weekend. traffic right now, still a mess. westbound i-4, you're backed up
crash before you get to the polk parkway. a fatal accident. what i want you to do is exit at 559 and make your way back over to the polk parkway because the accident is before it and then you can ease yourself. look at this, only one lane getting by westbound. most activity is in the mean january and we can go to meliek on the street with a closer view for us. and you can that it's at a stand still there away from 559. exit at 559, make your way over to the poll, paisway and there's the activity. big crane -- polk parkway and there's the activity. thank you for joining us on this tuesdaying. >> catch our updates during the
ba da ba ba ba good morning. winter wallop. nearly 50 million americans waking up to a sloppy commute. a massive storm sweeping across at least 17 states, from north carolina to new england. a tornado outbreak across the south. a 94-year-old woman trapped inside her home. >> hallelujah! >> first responders and volunteers form a human chain to pull the woman from the debris. ultimatum. donald trump now threatening to