South Florida lawmakers Braynon, Flores ‘deeply regret’ relationship

Two South Florida lawmakers from opposite parties have admitted to having a regrettable relationship after an anonymous website exposed their alleged infidelity.

“As this 2018 session of the Florida Legislature gets underway, we do not want gossip and rumors to distract from the important business of the people,” state Sen. Oscar Braynon II, D-Miami Gardens, and Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, said in a joint statement Tuesday, the first day of the legislative session in Tallahassee. “That’s why we are issuing this brief statement to acknowledge that our longtime friendship evolved to a level that we deeply regret.”

Their admission comes after a website,, claimed to show secret video of Flores entering and leaving Braynon’s apartment in Tallahassee.

According to the website, Flores slept at Braynon’s apartment for four consecutive nights in April 2017.

Flores, who represents parts of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, is president pro tempore of the Florida Senate, while Braynon, who represents portions of Broward and Miami-Dade counties, is the minority leader.

Both lawmakers are married with children.

“We have sought the forgiveness of our families, and also seek the forgiveness of our constituents and God,” the joint statement said. “We ask everyone else to respect and provide our families the privacy that they deserve as we move past this to focus on the important work ahead.”

Follow this story

Man buys winning lotto ticket inspired by dream

A man who says he won the lottery in his dreams actually did it in waking life when he bought a scratch-off the next day.

James Woolbert, 52, of Delaware bought the $250,000 CASH Instant Game ticket at Black Bay Tobacco in Sussex County and scratched to win $10,000. He says the dream served as inspiration.

“I scratched it in the store and was stunned when I realized I won,” Woolbert said.

Woolbert says he plans to use the winnings to “pay off Christmas and save the rest.”

Follow this story

Arrest made after stolen motorcycle leads to shooting of 3 men in Miami Gardens

Three men who traveled from Tampa to Miami Gardens to retrieve a stolen motorcycle were shot Sunday, but they were able to identify their shooter, leading to an arrest, police said.

Ismael Manzano, 28, was arrested on charges of grand theft, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.

According to an arrest report, the victims told police that a motorcycle belonging to one of them was stolen from his home Friday in Tampa. After speaking with friends and fellow riders, they determined that a man known to them as “the Joker” stole the motorcycle and took it to Miami.

The victims said they spoke to a man known as “Rayco,” who claimed to have stolen the motorcycle with the Joker and knew where they could find it, so they picked him up and drove with him to Miami Gardens.

When the victims arrived, they were confronted by the Joker, later identified as Manzano, who was holding a rifle, and another man holding a handgun.

The victims said they told the men that they were only there to retrieve the stolen motorcycle and didn’t want any trouble. They said Manzano “became agitated, screaming at them” that he wouldn’t return the motorcycle and then started shooting at them.

Police said nearby surveillance video corroborated the victims’ stories.

All three victims identified Manzano from a photographic lineup as the man who shot them.

Police said Manzano surrendered and was taken into custody without incident, but he refused to speak to investigators without an attorney.

Follow this story

Driver dead in Davie moped crash

A driver is dead after a crash involving a moped Tuesday morning in Davie.

The crash was reported shortly after 7 a.m. on State Road 84 at Pine Island Road.

Debris was scattered on the ground next to the mangled moped. A yellow tarp was covering the driver’s body.

Two other vehicles were parked on the side of the road near the crash. One had rear-ended damage on the passenger side.

All but one lane of eastbound State Road 84 were closed during the traffic homicide investigation.

Follow this story

Mother, son arrested after cocaine, marijuana found in car with children

A 34-year-old woman and her 18-year-old son were arrested Sunday after they were found with marijuana and cocaine in a car with her two younger children in the back seat, police said.

Ilis Quesada-Valdivia faces charges of child neglect, cocaine possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

According to a police report, Quesada-Valdivia was arrested after a traffic stop near Southwest Eighth Street and Southwest 110th Avenue. Police said she let her boyfriend drive her Volkswagen Jetta “in a reckless manner, endangering and neglecting the lives” of her three children, ages 2, 4 and 18.

Police said the two younger children were unrestrained in the back seat, and the oldest son, Toni Sifuentes, was sitting next to them with an open container of alcohol and a half-smoked “marijuana blunt cigarette.”

Quesada-Valdivia told police that she knew the cocaine and marijuana were in the car “because I went with my boyfriend to buy it,” the report said.

Sifuentes was also arrested on drug possession charges and having an open container of alcohol.

Follow this story

Jeff Bezos is richest person in history

Jeff Bezos is now the richest person of all time. That should put an Amazon smile on his face.

The Amazon CEO’s net worth reached $105.1 billion Monday, according to Bloomberg’s billionaire tracker. That eclipses the record previously held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Forbes, the other major tracker of the net worth of the world’s richest, put Bezos’ net worth at a mere $104.4 billion.

The majority of that net worth comes from the 78.9 million shares of Amazon stock he owns. Shares of Amazon climbed 1.4 percent Monday, adding about $1.4 billion to his net worth.

Shares of Amazon are up nearly 7 percent so far in this year after rising 56 percent in 2017.

Bezos’ other holdings include the Washington Post and Blue Origin, a private space travel business that intends to take tourists to space.

Bezos grabbed the title of world’s richest person in July, when he briefly passed Bill Gates. He moved back ahead of Gates in October. He first crossed the $100 billion net worth mark in November at the start of the holiday shopping season, once again helped by the stock performance of Amazon.

The Microsoft founder is now worth $91.9 billion according to Forbes, and $93.3 billion by Bloomberg. That’s still enough to keep the No. 2 spot on both lists of richest people. But Forbes reports that his net worth was briefly above $100 billion back in April 1999, when the internet stock bubble helped to inflate the value of his holdings. Adjusted for inflation, $100 billion in 1999 would be worth $148 billion today.

But even without adjusting for inflation, Gates would still be worth far more than Bezos if not for his significant charitable contributions. Bloomberg said its analysis of his publicly disclosed donations shows that Gates has given away 700 million shares of Microsoft, worth $61.8 billion at today’s value, as well as $2.9 billion in cash, which would put his net worth over $150 billion.

Follow this story