Miami Beach parks workers could be fired for not coming to work quickly enough after Irma

The whipping winds and strong storm surge brought on by Hurricane Irma had South Floridians bracing themselves through the storm that left millions without power.

A portion of Miami Beach deemed evacuation zones prompting people to relocate to safety. The storm even prevented some from getting to work, which did not sit well with Miami Beach officials.

Several parks and recreation workers reached out to Local 10 claiming that on Thursday they received this letter stating their current employment status.

“I write this letter to inform you of the City’s intent to terminate your employment with the city of Miami Beach for failing to show up to work and/or leaving your work assignment prior to being authorized to do so during our current civil emergency conditions, do to hurricane Irma, as you were required to do so,” the letter said.

But the union attorney representing these workers, Michael Baverman, had this to say about the situation.

“They never spoke to anybody and they just sent out a letter saying ‘You didn’t come to work Tuesday at the appropriate time, the city is going to fire you,” he said. 

The letters also include a meeting date where the workers could present their case with Human Resources sometime next week, meanwhile 100 workers could be out of a job.

The city has responded to the letter with a statement that said in part: “In these meetings, employees have an opportunity to provide better understanding why they did not report to work when expected. It is not our intention to terminate any employee who was facing a life safety situation or demonstrates an inability to return to work.” 

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Guns stolen, windows smashed from 16 firefighter vehicles

Sixteen firefighters had their vehicles broken into Friday morning.

Personal firearms were among the items stolen from the Miami Beach Fire Department and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue firefighters who had their vehicles parked at their respective stations.

It was sometime between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. that the thieves targeted the Miami Beach Fire Rescue Station 4 at 6880 Indian Creek, Miami Beach police said.

That’s where 10 firefighters had the windows of their vehicles smashed and their property stolen, police said.

“It’s a very unfortunate incident,” Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said. “Just last week we were with several of these firefighters down in the Keys rendering aid for everyone, so now they need our help.” 

Rodriguez said that in addition to having their windows smashed, firefighters who were working 24-hour shifts, also had their property stolen, including four guns. 

“Firearms were taken,” Rodriguez said. “These are the personal firearms of some of the employees. Those (firearms) have been registered and entered with their serial numbers, so when and if those are located we’ll automatically be able to gather more information.” 

No items were taken from the six vehicles that were broken into at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Station 7, located at 9350 Northwest 22nd Avenue.

Although the crimes are similar, Miami Beach police don’t believe the incidents are related. 

“There are two options here,” Rodriguez said. “You could watch this newscast and surrender yourself to the Miami-Dade Police Department or Miami Beach Police Department, or we’ll come looking for you.” 

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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Lyft driver leaves with child in car after misunderstanding, police say

A misunderstanding between a Lyft driver and his passenger ended with the driver leaving with a woman’s child in the car, police said.

The incident took place at 1190 NW 86th Street in Miami.

Miami police Officer Christopher Bess said the mother loaded her items and child into the car and told the driver to wait a moment while she went back inside her home to get a car seat.

Bess said the driver misunderstood her and thought he was taking the child to the intended destination.

The mother came outside to find that the car was gone and called 911.

Police later found the driver at the intended destination — a daycare at 7134 Byron Street in Miami Beach.

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Miami Beach police investigate shooting on Lincoln Road

A man who was shot early Saturday morning remained at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition. 

Miami Beach police officers responded to the shooting at 1340 Lincoln Road at 4:45 a.m., according to Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.

“A person of interest has been detained and is currently being interviewed,” said Rodriguez, a spokesman for the police department. “Their involvement, if any is unknown at this time.” 

Neighbors said they heard five to six gunshots. Detectives were asking anyone with information to call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

After Hurricane Irma, authorities lifted their curfew Friday night. 

Local 10 News’ Andrea Torres contributed to this report. 

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Miami Beach landmark to close after 72 years due to Irma

Hurricane Irma failed to deliver a knockout blow to most of South Florida, but one Miami Beach landmark is calling it quits after the storm.

The Epicure Market, which opened in 1945, posted to Twitter on Friday that it has closed forever following Irma.

Open in 1945…Epicure Market has closed forever due to Hurricane Irma. Thank you for your patronage. We loved being a part of your lives.

— Epicure Market (@epicuremarket) September 15, 2017

The Miami Herald reports the closure is due to perishables being lost during the storm’s power outages and ongoing slumping sales.

With the Jewish High Holidays coming up next week, many will have to turn to other stores to find favorites they’ve purchased at Epicure for generations.

According to the Herald, luminaries ranging from President Harry Truman to Winston Churchill and Joe DiMaggio to Michael Jackson were fans of the deli that once cooked 10,000 gallons of chicken soup a week.


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Miami Beach hotels offer $99 rates for residents displaced by Irma

A select group of Miami Beach hotels is offering a special $99 rate for residents displaced by Hurricane Irma.Mayor Philip Levine said Wednesday that while many homes are still without electricity in the city, some local hotels have agreed to charge no…

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