Authorities turn away thousands of Florida Disaster Food Assistance Program applicants

There was high demand for government funds meant to be used for food this weekend in South Florida. By the time the temporary government distribution centers for the Florida Disaster Food Assistance Program cards were open Saturday morning, officers were already turning thousands away.

At C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, there was a long line of people sleeping in their cars Friday and Saturday night. They wanted to be the first to get in and apply for a program designed to help them recover from Hurricane Irma, which prompted evacuations and power outages in September.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture entrusted the Florida’s Department of Children and Families with distributing the Florida Disaster Food Assistance Program cards, which can be redeemed for food at local supermarkets.

Government employees were moving as fast as they could at C.B. Smith Park trying to process applicants, as a long line of hopeful recipients waited outside. DCF Communications Director Beatriz Lopez said Saturday that they had served 1.1 million people in Florida and were going to help more, but not before coming up with a safer distribution plan.

Lopez said police officers were citing health and safety concerns. The centers at Amelia Earhart Park at 451 E 56 St., in Hialeah; tents at Tropical Park at 7900 SW 40 St.; Miami-Dade College’s North Campus at 11380 NW 27 Ave.; and South Dade Government Center at 10710 SW 211 St., were closed Saturday, according to Lopez.

Amelia Earhart Park’s location was going to remain closed, and the three other sites in Miami-Dade will be open Sunday, Lopez said.

“Individuals will be served as long as it is safe to do so,” Lopez said. “The lines at the sites may close down again early in the day in order to ensure safety operations.”

Locations in Broward County were also closed Saturday and Sunday, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright. She added BSO was working with program organizers and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the public’s safety during the process.

Lopez said the three Food for Florida locations in Broward County will be closed Sunday per a request from the Broward Sheriff’s Office following the response to the sites this week.

DCF will serve Broward County residents again later this month to ensure that every family in need has the opportunity to safely receive needed aid, Lopez said. Sites in neighboring counties are available to assist families for urgent needs.

Lopez said families can visit sites in Palm Beach County this week because Miami-Dade County has seen an unprecedented response.

Additional counties in the region also have sites that will be open and more information is available on the Food for Florida website, Lopez said. Information on date, time and locations will continue to be posted on the website and announced as soon as possible.

Seven temporary government sites opened in South Florida Wednesday and were meant to have employees meeting with applicants through Sunday. Officials were encouraging applicants to pre-register at MyFLFamilies.com, but on Saturday even some applicants who pre-registered were having to walk away.

The locations in Broward were Central Broward Regional Park at 3801 W. Sunrise Blvd., in Lauderhill; and the Quiet Waters Park at 401 S. Powerline Rd., in Deerfield Beach. Lopez said additional days will be announced for Miami-Dade.

For more information about the program, call 1-866-762-2237.

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1 dead, child injured in Alligator Alley crash in Broward

A child survived a crash in West Broward County that left the driver of the car dead Friday afternoon, according to the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.

Battalion Chief Michael B. Kane said the 5:30 p.m. crash was at 49000 Everglades Parkway, better known as Alligator Alley or Interstate 75. 

“The vehicle accident involves a passenger vehicle which struck the rear of a flatbed tow truck,” Kane said. 

Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky said the driver of the tow truck was getting ready to tow a car when a driver traveling eastbound struck them. 

According to Kane the driver of the moving car died at the scene, and the child who the driver was traveling with was seriously injured. 

Paramedics traveled with the child in a helicopter to Broward General Hospital. 

The Florida Highway Patrol was investigating the cause of the crash, which caused Alligator Alley to close in both directions. 

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Doctor finds newborn baby in Broward hospital restroom’s garbage can

A 25-year-old woman was arrested after giving birth to a baby girl in a bathroom at the Broward Health Medical Center’s emergency room earlier this month and hiding the baby in the garbage can, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Rubi Ramirez showed up to the hospital Oct. 5 with her mother. She was complaining of abdominal. Her mother told nurses she was bleeding in the bathroom, according to the arrest form. Her legs and vaginal area were covered in blood. 

Dr. Judson Numan Krosney believed Ramirez was pregnant. She denied it, but when Krosney checked the bathroom he found her baby girl alive in the garbage can. She was covered with dirty paper towels.

Krosney said he “stimulated the baby and she began to cry,” according to deputies. 

The doctor rushed the girl to a sterile trauma room, and after examining her he said he believed Ramirez carried her full term. But Ramirez, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, denied giving birth to the baby girl.

Deputy Elijah J. Thomas reported her lies didn’t last long. Thomas said she later confessed to knowing she was pregnant, and also said the baby was alive and opened her eyes when she left her in the garbage can. 

Ramirez was facing charges of desertion of a child and child abuse without great bodily harm. Records show she filed a not guilty plea. A Broward County judge granted a $5,000 bond and ordered her to avoid contact with the baby. 

“We are still gathering all of the facts and are not prepared to comment at this time,” Ramirez’s attorney Jeffrey Bloom wrote in an e-mail. 

 

 

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People line up early for Food for Florida events in South Florida

People lined up early Friday to sign up for D-SNAP benefits.

“I’ve been on line since 5 o’clock this morning,” Louanne Munoz, who was at the C.B. Smith Park event in Pembroke Pines, said.  

Some tempers were running short, as people waited for hours to be attended to, and there were 
even a few calls to fire rescue for heat-related issues.

There were about 10,000 people inside C.B. Smith Park at about noon Friday for the Food for Florida Disaster Food Assistance Program event.

“Traffic was backed up at 5:15 this morning,” Gene Price said. “People couldn’t even pull into schools after 7 o’clock. I waited seven hours inside there.” 

People who signed up for the Food for Florida events in Broward and Miami-Dade counties were given a card, which has disaster-assistance money on it with which people can buy groceries.
 
The cards are being distributed to people who live in any of Florida’s 48 disaster counties, and who fall within income and damage parameters. 

Many people who spoke to Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg on Friday said they lost of all of their food after losing power by Hurricane Irma. 

Most people in line didn’t know how much money they would receive, but were certain that they would be eligible.

“We’re hearing the same types of stories and circumstances over and over and over again,” said Paige Patterson-Hughes, with the Florida Department of Children and Families. “People who lost power, therefore they had to throw away their food (or) they weren’t able to work for a few days because businesses didn’t have power.” 

Cards will be handed out to those who already applied for assistance at the following locations between Oct. 11 and Oct. 15:

C.B. Smith Park
900 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines

Dates serving in order of last name: 

10/11 – A – F
10/12 – G – J
10/13 – K – O
10/14 – P – Z
10/15 – Make-up day

Central Broward Regional Park
3801 W. Sunrise Blvd., Lauderhill

Dates serving in order of last name: 

10/11 – A – F
10/12 – G – J
10/13 – K – O
10/14 – P – Z 
10/15 – Make-up day

Quiet Waters Park
401 S. Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach

Dates serving in order of last name: 
10/11 – A – F 
10/12 – G – J
10/13 – K – O 
10/14 – P – Z
10/15 – Make-up day

Tropical Park
7900 SW 40 Street, Miami

Dates serving in order of last name: 

10/11 – A – F
10/12 – G – J
10/13 – K – O
10/14 – P – Z
10/15 – Make-up day

Miami-Dade College North Campus
11380 NW 27th Avenue, Miami

Dates serving in order of last name: 

10/11 – A – F 
10/12 – G – J 
10/13 – K – O 
10/14 – P – Z 
10/15 – Make-up day

South Dade Government Center
10710 SW 211 Street, Miami

Dates serving in order of last name: 

10/11 – A – F 
10/12 – G – J 
10/13 – K – O 
10/14 – P – Z 
10/15 – Make-up day

Amelia Earhart Park
451 E 56 Street, Hialeah

Dates serving in order of last name: 

10/11 – A – F 
10/12 – G – J 
10/13 – K – O 
10/14 – P – Z 
10/15 – Make-up day

Click here to apply for the Food for Florida Disaster Food Assistance Program.

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Robber shoots man sitting outside Broward County home, deputies say

The Broward Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man who they said shot another man during a robbery in unincorporated Broward County.

The shooting was reported just after 1 a.m. Aug. 19.

Deputies said the victim, Jorge Castillo, was sitting outside his home when a man walked up to him and demanded his property.

Before the victim could react, the robber shot Castillo and ran away, authorities said.

Deputies said Castillo’s wife and child were inside their home when the shooting happened.

Castillo was able to make his way back into his home after the shooting, and he was taken to Broward Health Medical Center to be treated for his injuries, deputies said.

Authorities said the gunman was wearing black shorts and a white sweatshirt with “Broadway” written on the front, which was left at the scene.

Anyone with information about his identity is asked to call Detective Armando Enrique at 954-321-4233 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. 
 

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Man wearing Miami Heat hat, sunglasses robs BB&T Bank in Tamarac, FBI says

A man wearing sunglasses and a Miami Heat hat robbed a BB&T Bank branch Friday morning in Tamarac, FBI spokesman Jim Marshall said.

The robbery was reported at 9:43 a.m. at the BB&T Bank at 8201 N. University Drive.

Marshall said the robber entered the bank and demanded money from a teller.

An undisclosed amount of cash was taken.

No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information about the robber’s identity is asked to call the FBI at 754-703-2000 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. 

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