Miami gears up for annual Three Kings Parade

Miami is preparing to bring the Christmas season to a close in high style Sunday with its annual Three Kings Parade.

Pop star Luis Fonsi will serve as this year’s grand marshal. The “Despacito” singer will be joined by the young patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The parade will feature Walt Disney characters, telenovela stars, marching bands and, perhaps most importantly, camels.

Gov. Rick Scott and Lt Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera also plan to attend.

The parade starts at noon and wraps up around 4 p.m. The route runs along Southwest Eighth Street from Fourth Avenue to 17th Avenue, and turns north to end at Southwest Sixth Street.

The parade will be broadcast on Univision, which sponsors the event.

The Miami Police Department released the following advisories on street closures: 

  • Starting at 6 a.m., eastbound traffic on Southwest 8th Street from Southwest 19th Avenue to Southwest Fourth Avenue will be closed.  Traffic traveling eastbound on Southwest Eighth Street will be detoured north or south at Southwest 19th Avenue.
  • Southwest 12th Avenue and Southwest Eighth Avenue will remain open only for north and southbound traffic.  There will be no traffic allowed eastbound on Southwest Eighth Street.  All roads will be closed by 10:30 a.m. 
  • Miami-Dade Transit buses, which normally travels along South Eighth Street, will be detoured.  Please check with Miami-Dade Transit Agency for more information.
  • Seventh Street will remain open westbound until Southwest 12th Avenue.  At Southwest 12th Avenue, westbound traffic on Southwest Seventh Street will be detoured northbound.
  • Residents that live in the area will be allowed to travel along Southwest Seventh Street on the north side or on the south side of Southwest Ninth Street.
  • Southwest Eighth Street will reopen for traffic by 6 p.m.
     

Follow this story

What to do with your unwanted holiday gifts

We’ve all been there: We get a gift that isn’t quite what we wanted, isn’t the right fit or it’s something we have no use for. So what options do you have to rid yourself of those unnecessary gifts that may leave you with more clutter than you bargained for?

Returns

If you’re one of the lucky ones who received a gift receipt with your gift, you can always go to the store where the gift was purchased and get store credit. Many stores have 30-, 60- or 90-day return policies, so it’s best to check with the retailer before making the trip.

Target has a 90-day return policy in which most unopened items can be returned or exchanged. Items that are open or damaged, however, may be denied a refund or exchange. And some items have a modified return policy. You can always contact the store or visit its website for answers to frequently asked questions.

Walmart has a 90-day return policy on most unopened items with or without a receipt. However, some items may have modified return-by dates, so it’s best to check with the store or the date on your receipt to make sure if your item can be returned. Walmart.com says it reserves the right to limit or decline exchanges, whether a person has a receipt or not. For more information, contact your local store or visit the retailer’s website for answers to frequently asked questions.

Those who received their gift through Amazon.com may have to do a little more research to see if their gift is eligible for a return. The online retailer says many items purchased from its website, including warehouse deals, can be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment. Some products have different return policies or requirements. Visit the retailer’s website for answers to frequently asked questions or for information to contact Amazon directly.

Regifting

Regifting an unwanted Christmas present is something most of us do at some point in our lives. It can also save you time and money. You won’t have to wait in line at any store, you won’t waste gas getting to the retailer and you’ll save money by not having to purchase a gift for your next party.

You may want to consider what you’re giving away before handing it off to the next person. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to regift things that are generic and not personalized.

Candles, coffee mugs and picture frames can be generic enough to give away without the next person knowing you’re giving them an unwanted gift. Items such as clothes, fragrances or jewelry, however, may present more of a challenge when regifting, as people tend to be pickier about these kinds of gifts.

Reselling

If you try to return an item to a retailer without a receipt, the store may offer you the lowest selling price. Websites and apps such as OfferUp, Craigslist and Letgo may be a better alternative to rid yourself of an unwanted gift. When meeting in person to sell an item, it may be a good idea to meet in a well-lit, public area. Some police stations even offer safe zones where people can meet to sell their items. You can contact your local police office to see if that is something available in your area.

Online marketplaces such as Poshmark and eBay will allow you to sell your items without having to meet someone in person.

Trade

If you see something your family member or friend got that catches your eye, you can ask them if they’d like to trade with you. It saves time and money and your loved one may also be eyeing what you were gifted with, as well. It may also be a good idea to be considerate of the person who gave you the gift and swap your item with someone in a different social circle.

Donating

Some people don’t want to go through the hassle of having to return or resell their unwanted present. Donating to the Salvation Army or Goodwill will rid you of your gift quickly, and you may also be offered a tax benefit in exchange for your item. Check with the organization you are giving to for more information.

Follow this story

Couple claims marijuana found in truck was for Christmas gifts

A couple on a cross-country trip told deputies in Nebraska that they planned to give away the marijuana authorities found in their truck as Christmas gifts to family and friends.

Patrick Jiron, 80, and his wife, Barbara Jiron, 70, were traveling from California to Vermont, according to the York News-Times, when they were pulled over in York, Nebraska.

York County sheriff’s Lt. Paul Vrbka told the newspaper that the couple’s Toyota Tacoma was stopped on Interstate 80 for traveling over the center line and failing to signal.

When deputies stopped the truck, they could smell the strong odor of marijuana and searched the vehicle, Vrbka said.

Deputies found about 60 pounds of marijuana in the back of the truck.

“They said the marijuana was for Christmas presents,” Vrbka told the newspaper.

Vrbka said the couple also told deputies that “they didn’t know it was illegal to transport marijuana in Nebraska.”

Patrick Jiron was arrested on charges of marijuana possession with the intent to deliver and having no drug tax stamp.

Barbara Jiron was cited but not arrested “due to some medical issues,” Vrbka told the newspaper.

Follow this story

Car fire puts damper on Christmas for Pompano Beach family

Every year on Christmas morning, Victoria Dean and her family wait until everyone wakes up before gathering around the tree and exchanging gifts, but this year is different.

The South Florida family’s car was filled with Christmas gifts when burned it up on the side of the highway Friday night. The fire left them without gifts, and without any form of transportation.

“We were sick to our stomach,” Dean said. “I wanted to cry but I didn’t have the energy to.”

Dean said she was asleep in the car when her sister had to pull over to the side of the road because she heard a roaring sound.

Smoke began coming out of the car and moments later it burst into flames, Dean said.

“I grabbed whatever I could and left,” she said.

By the time firefighters put out the flames, the car was destroyed and so was everything inside — including Christmas gifts, cash and clothes.

Fortunately, Dean and her sister got out safely and she had some gifts on layaway at Walmart that she was still able to put under the tree.

But now, the Pompano Beach family is without a car they all shared – their only form of transportation to get to work, and take the kids to school.

The family has set up a gofundme page to help them raise money for a new car.

Nevertheless, they’re keeping a positive attitude, knowing it could have been much worse.

“It was very hard. I mean I went out, I spent money, but those are material things, we can always replace those. My life is not replaceable,” Dean said.

Follow this story

Parking tickets issued to those visiting Hyatt family Christmas light display dismissed

Parking tickets handed out last year by Plantation police to those who parked along Old Hiatus Road to see the Hyatt family Christmas light display have been dismissed, attorney Sabrina Visram, of the GMV Law Group, told Local 10 News on Friday.

Some in the community told Local 10 that they believed the city was trying to get revenge on the Hyatt family after a judge threw out a lawsuit filed by the city, which claimed that the massive light display and the crowds it attracts were a nuisance.

“We weren’t there for 15 minutes, and a whole line of cars had tickets on them. (It) must have been 30 that we saw,” Chris Keefe, who got a ticket after seeing the lights, said in December.

There are signs that say “no parking” on the road, but neighbors said those signs went up only after the Hyatts started their battle with the city and have never been enforced until last December.

Visram said her firm handled the tickets pro bono and said they have all been declared invalid.

The city was ordered earlier this year to pay councilmember Mark Hyatt and his wife, Kathy, $15,000 in litigation fees after its failed fight to stop the family’s extravagant holiday display.

The city also intends to lower the Hyatts’ code enforcement fines from $7,000 to $1,400.

Horace A. McHugh, Plantation’s chief administrative officer, said the legal battle has cost the city more than $434,000.

Follow this story