Ultra Music Festival attendee punches firefighter, massive party goes on

As electronic dance music fans worldwide continued to descend on Miami for the three-day Ultra Music Festival, one attendee punched a City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue firefighter. 

The Friday night injury did not require hospitalization and the firefighter continued working at the festival. The glow of complex LED lighting systems and loud beats continued with some 165,000 on Saturday. 

A spider-shaped stage designed to suspend the DJ booth up in the air was one of eight elaborate stage designs spread out the 32-acre area of Bayfront Park. 

With tickets ranging anywhere between $300 to $1,250, this year organizers took Ultra VIP to another level with their Social Floating Platform on Biscayne Bay. It features lounging areas and goodies from chefs and mixologists.

The festival’s range is unlike no other in South Florida. Indie electronica has a presence with Bag Raiders. Techno has ANNA. Trance has Purple Haze. Death metal has Slipknot’s Sid Wilson. Hip-hop has A$AP Ferg, Cypress Hill and Ice Cube.

Law enforcement expected recreational drug use within the fenced 32-acre Bayfront Park in downtown Miami. Paramedics were ready to respond to health risks. Last year, 21-year-old Adam Levine, a University of Miami student from Virginia, was rushed from the park to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Although water taxis and Uber were encouraged, there were traffic jams in downtown, Wynwood and South Beach. As part of the simultaneous Miami Music Week events, there will be popular parties at The Raleigh, The Delano, The RC Cola Plant and SOHO Studios.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Police officers will begin to reroute traffic at 9 p.m. on Thursday until 12 p.m. on Monday. Biscayne Boulevard’s northbound lanes will be closed from Southeast First Street to Northeast Fourth Street. The northbound traffic will flow on the southbound lanes of Biscayne Boulevard.




A post shared by calsurfer (@calsurfer) on Mar 25, 2017 at 12:54pm PDT

A post shared by @hex_____ on Mar 25, 2017 at 12:55pm PDT

A post shared by MissG (@missg_look) on Mar 25, 2017 at 12:59pm PDT

A post shared by @michibaby_x3 on Mar 25, 2017 at 9:34am PDT

A post shared by Nizar Yarbouh (@nizaryarbouh) on Mar 25, 2017 at 11:11am PDT

A post shared by Lucy Palette (@lucypalette) on Mar 25, 2017 at 11:11am PDT

A post shared by Ben O’Brien (@obrienb90) on Mar 25, 2017 at 12:15pm PDT

A post shared by Drizzy (@dreahx) on Mar 25, 2017 at 8:49am PDT

A post shared by Tøny (@tf_real) on Mar 25, 2017 at 10:34am PDT



A post shared by (@olieray) on

Mar 24, 2017 at 7:01pm PDT


A post shared by SoCal 🌴🌴 (@rob.rt5) on

Mar 24, 2017 at 6:50pm PDT


A post shared by Daily Beat (@dailybeatmedia) on

Mar 24, 2017 at 5:52pm PDT


A post shared by Marcelo Estrada (@mark2013) on

Mar 24, 2017 at 7:45am PDT

A post shared by Marco Semenzato (@marcolegend) on Mar 25, 2017 at 11:58am PDT

A post shared by Alena Ivleva (@ivlevaalena) on Mar 25, 2017 at 12:13pm PDT

A post shared by Ledua Darias (@leduadarias) on Mar 25, 2017 at 12:11pm PDT

A post shared by John Kosmopoulos (@kosmojohn) on Mar 25, 2017 at 12:11pm PDT

A post shared by Edric Chew (@chewbeezie) on Mar 25, 2017 at 11:56am PDT

A post shared by GIRLRAVERS (@girlravers) on Mar 25, 2017 at 11:54am PDT

A post shared by Franz Berdugo (@franzbk) on Mar 25, 2017 at 11:49am PDT

A post shared by Masclet Laura (@mascletlaura) on Mar 25, 2017 at 11:10am PDT

A post shared by Kaine Rosado (@kainerosado) on Mar 25, 2017 at 11:05am PDT

A post shared by Melissa Gasia (@escapadejars) on Mar 25, 2017 at 10:56am PDT

A post shared by Tiffany (@missskinrejuve) on Mar 25, 2017 at 9:47am PDT

A post shared by Jena Van Tooren?? (@jenavanto) on Mar 25, 2017 at 9:36am PDT

A post shared by anibalcvilla (@anibalcvilla) on Mar 25, 2017 at 8:26am PDT

A post shared by Carter Jones (@mr_carter50) on Mar 25, 2017 at 7:42am PDT

A post shared by ????Max T.???? (@max_frenchy88) on Mar 25, 2017 at 7:29am PDT

Follow this story

Plane crashes into Georgia house

A private plane crashed into a residence in an Atlanta suburb Friday night, but the people inside the home got out safely, authorities said.

A Cessna Citation I aircraft went down about three miles northeast of Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field, north of Atlanta, around 7:20 p.m. ET, the FAA said. The plane had been headed to Fulton County Airport, about 20 south of McCollum Field, the FAA said.

The Cobb County Fire Department said the plane crashed into a home but everyone inside the house got out safely.

Photos posted by CNN affiliate WSB-TV showed a house in a suburban neighborhood burning.

Firefighters were still on the scene Friday night and no injuries or fatalities were confirmed.

It’s not known how many people were in the aircraft. The Cessna Citation I is a small jet, according to the Cessna website.

Neighborhood resident John Perry said he noticed his neighbors “were looking up in the sky and I see a plane going straight down, it was going down in a corkscrew fashion, it was really slow, I couldn’t hear an engine,” according to CNN affiliate WAGA.

FAA spokesman Rick.Breitenfeldt said the FAA will investigate. The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the crash.

Follow this story

Woman of ‘cop gets pulled over for speeding’ video gets restraining order against union president

With some 1.28 million views, Claudia Castillo’s YouTube video embarrassed a Miami-Dade police officer. When she asked him to stop, the polite police officer said he thought she needed help. But instead, she told him she was stopping him for speeding.

In the January 2016 video, Castillo said she followed him from Kendall to downtown Miami on the Palmetto Expressway. She accused him of pushing 90 miles per hour and said it was important that police officers “lead by example.”

In response to her daring request, Miami Police Department Lt. Javier “Javi” Ortiz used social media to target her as a “wanna be cop” and “cop hater.” The police union president said it was to show his support for MDPD.

The doxxing incident was about a year ago. The department relieved him of duty with pay on Friday. 

Castillo claims that when Ortiz started to face consequences over the social media attacks, she was afraid and filed a request for a restraining order on Wednesday. After Ortiz got served with the restraining order, the department reassigned Ortiz with pay pending an April 5 hearing.

Castillo first filed a complaint  against Ortiz on Feb. 3, 2016. The official investigation revealed that after her video went viral officers from both MPD and MDPD requested her record from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle. Ortiz shared it on social media.

Ortiz also posted a picture of her business card on his Facebook account asking his friends to “feel free” to contact her.  He also posted a picture of her at the helm of a boat with an unknown drink can in her hand and wrote “let her know drinking and driving on a boat isn’t safe.”

An internal affairs investigation first accused Ortiz of “discourtesy and improper procedure” and submitted their report to the city’s Civilian Investigative Panel Dec. 16. The panel recommended on Tuesday that “harassment” be added to the official list of violations.

Ortiz who was hired on March 22, 2004 has 29 citizen complaints, one driving complaint and 17 use of force incidents, according to the CIP record. Ortiz was involved in the 2011 beating of Jesse Campodonico at the Ultra Music Festival. He was cleared of wrong doing. But he was reassigned just in time to avoid another encounter at Ultra this year. 

Follow this story

Former Penn State President Spanier convicted in Sandusky case

The man who ran Penn State amid allegations that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys may now face jail time.

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was found guilty Friday of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. No date has yet been set for Spanier’s sentencing. His conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The jury in the Dauphin County courthouse acquitted Spanier of more serious allegations, including conspiracy charges and a felony count of child endangerment.

“There are zero excuses when it comes to failing to report the abuse of children to the appropriate authorities,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Friday in a press conference after the trial. “No one is above the law. Especially when it comes to the welfare of children.”

Spanier’s attorney, Sam Silver, said in a written statement that the former president intends to appeal the verdict.

“While we are disappointed with the jury’s verdict, we are gratified that it was of only a single misdemeanor count. We certainly respect and appreciate the jury’s hard work,” he said. “There always have been substantial questions in this case that need to be reviewed and resolved by the appellate courts, and we fully intend to pursue an appeal.”

Speaking to reporters after the verdict was announced, lead prosecutor Laura Ditka called the conviction “a major victory.”

Spanier’s conviction follows last week’s guilty pleas from former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment.

Asked if she was disappointed by Spanier’s acquittal on felony endangerment charges and failure to make a report, Ditka said no.

“There’s been a conviction of Jerry Sandusky, a conviction of Graham Spanier, a conviction of Tim Curley and a conviction of Gary Shultz,” she said, “I’d be foolish to be disappointed.”

Penn State responded to the verdict in a statement posted on the university website.

“Penn State has extraordinary expectations of our leaders, who must set and maintain the example for reporting, ethics and compliance that reflect best practices,” it reads in part. “In the view of the jury, with respect to Spanier, and by their own admission, as to Curley and Schultz, these former leaders fell short. And while we cannot undo the past, we have re-dedicated ourselves and our University to act always with the highest integrity, in affirming the shared values of our community.”

Since the arrest of Curley and Schultz in 2011, and that of Spanier in 2012, questions have been raised about how officials handled multiple reports that Sandusky was acting inappropriately with young boys at Penn State facilities. Some reports alleged rape, some alleged nothing more than strange behavior.

Spanier made a name for himself in the world of academia by successfully raising millions of dollars and transforming Penn State into one of the most well-respected state institutions. He was also a fascinating character: He studied sociology and wrote papers about mate-swapping and extramarital behavior, which made for entertaining reading for students. He played the washboard at a local bar in town, and spent a night each semester sleeping in freshmen dorms.

But he was also notorious for his ego. Critics say he had a misperception of the world outside of his bubble and did not understand the implications of the Sandusky scandal when it broke. He didn’t appear to understand that the world was watching, telling people the news vans would soon leave campus and things would go back to normal in a few days.

He was wrong. Four days after Sandusky’s arrest on November 5, 2011, Spanier was fired, along with Paterno.

By the end of the following year, he’d been arrested and charged.

He has always maintained his innocence.

Follow this story

Saving Obamacare is now up to Trump

Next move on Obamacare? It’s up to President Trump.

Minutes after House Republicans shelved their bill that was supposed to save the nation’s health care, Trump repeated that Obamacare was on the verge of collapse.

“Bad things are going to happen to Obamacare,” said Trump, calling out the large premium increases and insurer defections that plagued the exchanges this year. “There’s not much you can do about it. It’s not sustainable.”

While Trump is trying to shift the responsibility to the Democrats, it’s his administration that will largely have to decide whether 20 million people who gained coverage under the sweeping 2010 health reform law will remain insured.

It’s not at all clear that Obamacare is in a death spiral, but there’s no question the program is troubled. Insurers have found themselves with sicker and costlier customers than they expected, forcing them to raise rates and exit certain markets.

But carriers say it’s now largely in the hands of the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers as to whether they will participate next year. Over the past several months, insurers have urged officials to provide clarity on several key measures that they say will help shore up the exchanges.

“If Republicans want to stabilize the market, they have the tools to do so,” Dr. Mario Molina, chief executive of Molina Healthcare, which has just under 1 million exchange enrollees in nine states, told CNNMoney. “If they don’t act, they can’t say Obamacare exploded. They made the decisions that led to people losing their coverage. They can’t shift the blame anymore.”

Insurers must decide in coming weeks whether they’ll participate on the exchanges next year. At least one, Humana, has already said it won’t. Molina said he will decide in May.

Among the top priorities is having Congress fund the cost-sharing subsidies that reduce the deductibles for millions of low-income enrolleee. Lawmakers have delayed their decision at least until April.

Also, insurers want the Department of Health & Human Services to clamp down on special enrollment periods so that people can’t sign up when they become sick. And carriers want the agency to continue the Obama administration’s efforts to bolster the risk programs that insulate them from costly policyholders.

“There’s still a lot that can be done for market stability,” said Kristine Grow, spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, a main trade association for insurers.

Trump officials have already started taking steps to stabilize the market, which they have had to do to fulfill their pledge not to have millions of people lose coverage as they tried to move to the Republican plan.

HHS is already working to tighten enrollment periods and require enrollees to pay any back premiums they owe before signing up again. The agency is also giving insurers a little more latitude in how much their policies must cover in the individual market. This proposed rule, which should be finalized soon, addresses several industry concerns.

Also, Health Secretary Tom Price has made it clear he is open to giving states more flexibility in how they administer their exchanges and their Medicaid programs.

Asked for a comment about the agency’s next steps, an HHS spokeswoman pointed to a recently-created website titled “Providing Relief Right Now for Patients.” It lists the measures HHS is taking to address Obamacare — originally intended to be one of a three-prong effort to overturn the law.

“Within what the law allows, HHS is taking action to stabilize the individual and small group insurance markets (the markets most affected by the ACA) so that they work better for everyone,” the site reads.

At the same time, some of the administration’s moves — and certainly the Republicans’ rhetoric — have damaged Obamacare.

Enforcing the individual mandate, which remains the law of the land since the GOP repeal bill failed, is one of the keys to keeping younger, healthier consumers in the market. The Internal Revenue Service has loosened its oversight slightly, citing Trump’s executive order to lift Obamacare’s financial burdens on Americans where possible.

Whether to step back more on the mandate is up to Trump.

“It’s a decision that can be traced directly to the White House,” said Molina, whose company is one of the few to have prospered in the exchanges.

Follow this story