Barack Obama snaps photo of Michelle Obama on yacht

The Obamas are having the time of their post-White House lives.

Former President Barack Obama snapped a photo of former first lady Michelle Obama as she posed on the top deck of a yacht where the couple and celebrity friends spent Friday morning off the island of Mo’orea, in the South Pacific.

The Obamas were vacationing with Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey and spent two hours aboard music mogul David Geffen’s luxury yacht, the Rising Sun, before leaving Tahiti. They had been staying in French Polynesia for nearly a month.

So far, Obama’s post-presidency life has been more glamorous than you can imagine.

In the past few months, his trips have included visiting California for some golf, a private island in the Caribbean — where he kite-surfed with billionaire Richard Branson — New York to take in a Broadway play, and then to dine with U2’s Bono.

Follow this story

Widow says tow truck driver who fell to his death was nearing retirement

The widow of a tow truck driver who fell off an overpass and onto Interstate 95 in Boca Raton said he was looking forward to his upcoming retirement.

Richard Randolph, 69, was trying to help upright a tractor-trailer that overturned at the Congress Avenue exit Wednesday morning when he accidentally fell off a ledge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Randolph fell about 20 feet to the pavement and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We were going to move to north Florida and get a little place out in the country and get dogs again,” Judy Randolph told Local 10 News. “You’re not allowed to get dogs in a condo.”

Richard Randolph worked for Emerald Towing, which is based in Pompano Beach. The company had no comment about the accident.

“It’s still unbelievable,” Judy Randolph said. “You know, I’m still going to wait for that phone call saying, ‘I’m on my way home, hun.'”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

Follow this story

South Florida children caravan to Washington to protest Trump’s immigration policy

Some South Florida children, most of whom are sons and daughters of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, are headed to Washington to protest the immigration policy of President Donald Trump.

Leah, who declined to give her last name to protect her parents for fear of deportation, and her siblings were among a group of students who piled inside a bus bound for the nation’s capital.

The students hope their numbers, their stories and their ages will attract the attention of Trump, who they blame for increased chances their parents will be deported.

“We must love and protect one another,” they chanted Monday outside Miami-Dade County Hall.

Before leaving, the group tried to deliver a makeshift, failing report card to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and commissioners because of their agreement to comply with federal agents who might ask for a hold on jail inmates who are in the country illegally.

“I expect President Trump can change his heart and start protecting us,” Leah told Local 10 News.

When the students arrive in Washington, they plan to unite with other children on the caravan and make a ring around a park in front of the White House.

Follow this story

Nebraska ban on LGBT foster parents to end, court rules

The Nebraska Supreme Court upheld a decision to strike down a ban on same-sex couples becoming foster parents.

The court compared the ban on its decision to “a sign reading ‘Whites Only’ on the hiring-office door.”

Since 1995, same-sex couples had been barred from becoming licensed foster-care providers in Nebraska.

“This is a victory for children and LGBT Nebraskans. There are tens of thousands of LGBT people who call the Cornhusker State home and thousands of Nebraska children in need of a foster care placement,” said ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad in a statement.

The Nebraska rule comes as lawmakers began discussions on a bill that could ban workplace discrimination based on an employee’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

The case

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2013 by three same-sex couples, the ACLU of Nebraska, the ACLU LGBT and HIV Project, and the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

The couples had intentions of serving as foster parents but were turned down by state employees.

One couple claimed the staff of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services discouraged them when they asked for information. Another couple said they were told same-sex couples could not be licensed even after they’ve gone through training and background checks.

State employees were citing a 1995 administrative memo written by the then-director of the department.

“It is my decision that effective immediately, it is the policy of the Department of Social Service that children will not be placed in the homes of persons who identify themselves as homosexuals. This policy also applies to the area of foster home licensure in that, effective immediately, no foster home license shall be issued to persons who identify themselves as homosexual,” the memo reads, according to court documents.

The memo was removed from the agency’s website during court procedures in 2015.

In 2015, a judge ordered the state agency to license gay and lesbians as foster parents but the state appealed the decision. State officials said in court they intended to place children in the most “family-like setting,” the ruling states.

Similar to the Nebraska Supreme Court ruling, other courts across the nation have changed long-time policies and granted same-sex couples parenting rights in recent years.

Last year, a federal judge struck down a ban on adoptions by same-sex couples in Mississippi. A few weeks before, the Supreme Court summarily reversed an Alabama Supreme Court decision that had refused to recognize a same- sex parent adoption from another state.

Follow this story

Babies Romeo, Juliette born hours apart at central Florida hospital

Two sets of new parents were surprised to learn that their babies were part of a Shakespearean connection at a Florida hospital.

The Orlando Sentinel reports Juliette Crouch was born Friday morning at Leesburg Regional Medical Center. Hours later, Romeo Kidd made his debut down the hallway.

Hospital privacy laws almost kept the drama from playing out. A nurse asked Carolyn Kidd her baby’s name and said a Juliette was born the same day. But she couldn’t tell them where Juliette’s parents were.

But the two families began searching for each other. Dad Justin Crouch said he thought about walking down the hall saying, “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo.”

“It was eventually Bella Baby photographer who actually was able to make the connection for us. After the connection was made, all the nurses went crazy about it and they’re the ones who found little tux and dress so we could dress the babies up for the pictures,” Kidd said.

The families finally got together, shared laughs and exchanged contact information unlike in “Romeo & Juliet” where the families were mortal enemies.

Follow this story

2-year-old defends her choice of doll to cashier

When 2-year-old Sophia was told she could pick out a prize for finishing her potty training, she knew just what she wanted.

She and her mother, Brandi Benner, visited a Target near their South Carolina home, where Sophia spent 20 minutes looking at all the dolls in the toy aisle.

“She kept going back to the doctor doll, because in her mind, she is already a doctor,” Benner said. “She loves giving checkups, and if you come in the house, she’ll tell you that’s the first thing you need.”

Sophia, who will be 3 in July, was so excited by her choice that she wouldn’t let go of her new doll until they reached the register to check out.

Did we mention that the doll is black and Sophia is white?

The issue came up right away, when a store cashier asked Sophia: Wouldn’t she rather have a doll that looked like her?

According to her mother, Sophia had a ready answer.

“She does (look like me)!” the toddler responded. “She’s a doctor; I’m a doctor. She is a pretty girl; I am a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? See her stethoscope?”

Benner credits the TV cartoon “Doc McStuffins” with teaching Sophia the word “stethoscope.” But she credits Sophia for knowing what is important: The doll’s skin tone didn’t matter. To Sophia, she and the doll share the same aspirations.

Benner was relieved she didn’t have to defend her daughter’s choice and glad that Sophia wasn’t fazed by the cashier’s question.

“If she was another child, that could have discouraged her,” Benner said.

Benner posted an account of their experience Friday to her personal Facebook page. It’s been shared more than 140,000 times and attracted more than 19,000 comments. Most of them have been supportive messages from other mothers or people with similar experiences.

The few negative ones don’t bother her.

“I just want to teach my kids love, and that’s included in my own actions,” Benner said, explaining why she doesn’t engage with negative commenters.

Research suggests that kids aren’t born with biases about race and gender.

But Sophia doesn’t know about all that. She just knows that everywhere she goes, she wants her doctor doll to come along.

Follow this story