Miami firefighter union agrees to defend fired members

Miami’s firefighters union agreed Tuesday to help six members who were fired after they were accused of “sexually explicit and racially offensive conduct.” get their jobs back.

The men had filed grievances with the union contesting their terminations.

In September, Lt. Robert Webster, who is black, found a noose made of twine placed over his belongings at work. Several of his family photos on his desk had also been defaced with sexually explicit symbols.

The Miami Department of Fire Rescue launched a investigation and in November the city fired six of Webster’s colleagues — Capt. William W. Bryson, Lt. Alejandro Sese, David Rivera, Harold Santana, Justin Rumbaugh and Kevin Meizoso.

This is a developing story.

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YWCA daycare in downtown Miami closes during probe over children’s deaths

After two children died this month, the Young World Christian Association daycare center in downtown Miami closed voluntarily Tuesday, according to Miami-Dade County and Florida Department of Health officials.  

Jose Galan, the head of Miami-Dade’s real estate development division, said Miami-Dade County leases the space at 112 NW 3rd St., to The YWCA Carol Glassman Donaldson Center Day Care, which is adjacent to the Stephen P. Clark Center and across the street from the Miami-Dade Children’s Courthouse.  

The daycare administrators are anticipating inspections by both the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Children and Families Wednesday. 

The Miami Herald’s Douglas Hanks reported the head of epidemiology for the state’s health department’s office in Miami-Dade, said a 22-month-old boy, whose doctor thought he had meningitis, died Dec. 3 and a 2-year-old boy, who was diagnosed with pneumonia, died Dec. 10. 

This is a developing story. 

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Union to decide whether to uphold firing of 6 Miami firefighters

A hearing was held Tuesday morning for six city of Miami firefighters who were fired over 
sexually explicit and racially offensive conduct.

The lieutenant who found his family photos defaced and a noose made of twine in his office also attended the hearing, asking the firefighters’ union to uphold the city’s decision to terminate the men.

Several of the former firefighters are expected to attend the hearing later in the day with their attorneys to address the board.

At the Miami Firefighters Union Hall, Lt. Robert Webster was surrounded by other firefighters and members of the NAACP.

The union executive board is reviewing the request from the six firefighters, who believe they were wrongfully terminated.

Authorities said Webster found a noose made of twine placed over his belongings at work in September.

There were also drawings of explicit symbols on several of his family photos on his desk.

“The victim is not just myself and my family,” Webster said. “It’s the people in the community who look like me and my family, because, if this is what they feel about me, who wears the same uniform that they wear, how do they truly feel about the people whose homes they’re welcomed into at the time when they’re most needing someone to care for them?”

The city fired six of Webster’s colleagues after the investigation — Capt. William Bryson, Lt. Alejandro Sese, David Rivera, Harold Santana, Justin Rumbaugh and Kevin Meizoso.

“What I would like is for the decision that was made by the city manager, by the mayor and by our department, directed to stand,” Webster said. 

Union board members are reviewing the evidence and each firefighter’s discipline, and will determine whether it was just or excessive according to their involvement in the situation.

“We want them to understand this is a serious incident and to take what they’re deciding today very seriously,” Capt. Jackson Deglace, president of the Black Professional Firefighters Association, said. 

There are 16-17 board members who will vote on the issue.

If they choose to deny the grievances, the firefighters will remain terminated. If they approve the grievances, the matter will then go to the city and then, most likely, to arbitration.

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Miami morning low of 48 degrees sets new record

It’s been 687 days since the last time Miami had a morning temperature of 48 degrees or lower.

The National Weather Service in Miami said Tuesday’s morning low set a new record.

“So the streak is over,” Local 10 News meteorologist Julie Durda said.

Temperatures in Miami also dropped below 50 degrees Tuesday for the first time since Jan. 24, 2016.

Sunday was a record-setting day in Fort Lauderdale, where the high temperature was just 62 degrees. That surpassed the previous record of 63 degrees set in 1981.

“So this is a significant cold front,” Durda said.

There will be a gradual warm up throughout the day thanks to the South Florida sunshine.

High temperatures are expected to top out in the low 70s.

“We are expecting another chill because another front will be moving in,” Durda said. 

Be sure to download the WPLG Local 10 Weather app to receive the latest and most accurate information about severe weather where you live and work. You can find it by searching “WPLG Local 10 Weather” in your iTunes or Google Play app stores.

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Couple escapes, pets rescued from burning home in Miami

A couple escaped from their burning home early Monday in Miami.

Firefighters were called to a fire at a home on Northwest 52nd Street just before 3:30 a.m.

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy flames and smoke coming from a front bedroom.

The couple who lived in the home got out safely, but their pets were still inside.

Firefighters rescued a cat and two dogs from the fire.

The fire was contained before it could spread to neighboring homes, but a neighbor’s house was evacuated as a precaution because of the amount of smoke traveling in that direction.

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Comedian Hannibal Buress arrested on disorderly conduct charges

Comedian Hannibal Buress was arrested late Saturday in Wynwood, according to the Miami Police Department’s Twitter account.

The hashtag #freeHannibalBuress started trending on Twitter after the arrest.

The Miami Police Department said Buress was arrested about 10:30 p.m. on a charge of disorderly intoxication, but court records later listed the misdemeanor charge as disorderly conduct.

He was released on bond early Sunday.

A police source told Local 10 that Buress did not show any signs of intoxication and was cooperative.

A cell phone video posted on Twitter by user @eyehatgabe shows Buress with his hands behind his back against a patrol car as two officers question him. 

“I am under arrest? For what? … Explain what I’m detained for,” he asks two police officers in the video.

“For tresspassing,” one of the officers says in the video. 

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A standup comedian, Buress is frequent guest on late-night talk show such as the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He has appeared in several TV shows and movies including Broad City and Spider-Man: Homecoming. 

After a standup routine in 2014, Buress was widely credited with bringing renewed attention to charges of sexual assault against Bill Cosby.

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