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Nursing home where 12 died after Hurricane Irma lays off all employees

The Florida nursing home where 12 patients died in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma has laid off all of its 245 employees.

>> Read more trending news

The layoffs include nurses, physical therapists and doctors at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

Nursing home residents were subjected to overly hot conditions in the days after Hurricane Irma when a tree fell on a transformer powering the air conditioning system. Twelve patients died when they were not evacuated after the storm passed.

State officials later suspended their license and the facility closed permanently.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

All living former U.S. presidents to attend hurricane relief concert

All five living former U.S. presidents will attend a newly announced hurricane relief concert at Texas A&M University on Oct. 21.

>> Read more trending news

“Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal” will feature Alabama, the Gatlin Brothers, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Yolanda Adams and several other music acts, according to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation. Country music star Lee Greenwood will emcee the event.

>> Related: Former presidents join forces for hurricane relief

The former presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter — recently launched One America Appeal to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Read the full story on mystatesman.com

Hurricane Irma: Birds typically from Caribbean found in rough shape in Northeast Florida

With the waves and wind from Hurricane Irma, and more rough conditions from the recent nor'easter, BEAKS founder Cindy Mosling said they’ve taken in dozens of birds.

“Probably about 100 or more birds have come in,” Mosling said.

She said many of them, like Sooty Terns, were in rough shape.

>> Read more trending news

“They’re tired, starving, worn out, exhausted and caught in the surf,” Mosling said.

She said these birds are rarely seen flying around northeast Florida.

“We never get them unless there’s a storm,” she said

She said they’re usually found closer to the Florida Keys.

“And out toward the Bahamas in the Caribbean area, they often get blown in and it does say once they get well, they go back home,” Mosling said.

She said a handful of birds will likely be released Thursday because they’re finally strong enough to fly.

Caribbean hurricane evacuees arrive in Florida on cruise ship

More than 3,800 hurricane evacuees arrived in South Florida on Tuesday courtesy of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

>> Read more trending news 

The bulk of the evacuees aboard Adventure of the Seas were from Puerto Rico, with almost 900 from St. Croix and St. John and almost 700 from St. Thomas, according to WTVJ

While in Puerto Rico, the ship also picked stranded cruise crew members and tourists to bring them home, according to WSVN

Yaima Escobar was one of the relatives waiting at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades to welcome six relatives from Puerto Rico.

“They are very sad,” Escobar told WSVN, “very sad to leave the house and leaving everything back, not knowing when you’re going back -- if you are going back.”

Disaster relief centers for the evacuees have been set up at international airports in Orlando and Miami, as well as one at Port Miami. 

Royal Caribbean canceled another cruise so it could take part in this relief mission, WSVN reported. 

Read more at WTVJ or WSVN

’We’re dumbstruck,’ brother of suspected Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock speaks out

Eric Paddock broke down in tears to WFTV’s Nancy Alvarez when he started thinking his brother Stephen Paddock was allegedly responsible for the mass shooting in Las Vegas. 

>>WATCH: Brother of Stephen Paddock speaks to WFTV's Nancy AlvarezAt least 50 people were killed and hundreds more were injured Sunday night when a gunman opened fire on more than 22,000 people gathered near the Mandalay Bay Casino for a country music festival.

>> Read more trending news Police said the suspected gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Authorities found him dead in his hotel room, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.“There’s nothing I can say. My brother did this. It’s like he shot us. I couldn’t be more dumbfounded,” Eric Paddock told Eyewitness News.

>>WATCH: Brother of Stephen Paddock speaks to WFTV's Nancy AlvarezEric Paddock said he last heard from his brother after Hurricane Irma. He said his brother texted to make sure his family was OK.Eric Paddock said he found out about the mass shooting when Las Vegas police called him.“I don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense,” Eric Paddock said.

>>WATCH: Brother of Stephen Paddock speaks to WFTV's Nancy Alvarez

Meanwhile, another person who claims to be the niece of Stephen Paddock posted to Facebook a short time ago.

The poster, who is identified as Nicole Paddock, says that Stephen Paddock is her uncle whom she didn’t see often. 

The woman who lives in Orlando claims that, “Sometimes I would see him in Las Vegas when I was there vising other family, but these encounters were casual and infrequent. I cannot speak to what possibility motivates someone to do something like this nor what his specific motivations may have been. He never came across as religious or political.”

Fire ants attack 85-year-old man; causes rollover accident in SUV

A fire ant attack on a Florida man while he was driving caused the 85-year-old to overturn his SUV on a highway in Madison County.

>> Read more trending news

The ants had taken refuge in Louis Marino’s Ford Explorer during Hurricane Irma, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Marino, of Tampa, felt the insects biting his legs and lost control of his vehicle, rolling over on Interstate 10 just over a week ago.

>> Related: Fire ants: One more danger lurking in waters of flood-ravaged Texas

Marino had parked his SUV in storage for Hurricane Irma and left food in his car. He said he didn’t notice the ants on the floorboard when he got into the SUV, the Democrat reported

After the ants attacked, Marino ran off the road, then overcorrected as he tried to regain control, causing the rollover accident.

>> Related: Snake shocks Florida woman while driving

Luckily he suffered only minor injuries in the accident.

Gatorland to loan 60 alligators to Texas park damaged by Hurricane Harvey

Gatorland is loaning 60 alligators to a Texas park that lost about a quarter of its population when Hurricane Harvey hit the state. 

The owners of Gator County Adventure Park and Sanctuary in Beaumont, Texas, arrived at Gatorland Saturday to pick up the 60 5- to 6-foot-long American alligators. 

>> Read more trending news

Watch: 2,000 alligators prepped for Hurricane Irma at Gatorland

"We are just so fortunate that Gatorland was not heavily damaged and we did not lose any alligators in the storm," said Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland. "But even before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, we saw the devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey and began looking for ways we could help.”

Read: GATORLAND is new home to 70 animals from closing theme park

According to the owners, Gator Country received a record 52 inches of rain during Hurricane Harvey and lost about 40 of their alligators to the floodwaters. 

Gator County owners Gary and Shannon Saurage hope to breed the alligators and yield about 100 babies in a year.

"I think this relationship between us will really set a precedent for alligator parks to come together and help one another,” Shannon Saurage said. 

12th Florida nursing home patient dies after Hurricane Irma

A 12th elderly patient at Florida’s Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center died Thursday night after being taken from the overheated nursing home that had no air conditioning for three days after Hurricane Irma hit, according to the Broward Medical Examiner.

>> Read more trending news

Dolores Biamonte, 57, had the same symptoms as the other patients who were brought to Memorial Regional Hospital. An autopsy will be preformed on Biamonte Friday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Biamonte’s death comes after eight patients died on Sept. 13, and three more died last week. The ages of the first 11 who died ranged from 78 to 99, according to The Associated Press

Since the hurricane, all patients have been removed from the home and the state has revoked its license, but the home has filed a lawsuit to overturn the state’s decision, according to the AP.

Read more at the Sun Sentinel and The Associated Press

Beyonce donates proceeds from ‘Mi Gente’ remix to Puerto Rico hurricane relief

Beyonce is using her talent to assist with relief efforts for Mexico, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean islands affected by earthquakes and hurricanes.

In three Thursday Instagram posts, the singer posted a series of photos with audio of her singing a new song called “Mi Gente.”

>> Read more trending news

Originally by J. Balvin and Willy William and released in June, the version with Beyonce’s feature is a new addition. The singer said she is donating her paycheck for the gig to others.

“I am donating my proceeds from this song to hurricane relief charities for Puerto Rico, Mexico and the other affected Caribbean islands,” the post said.

Beyonce has previously visited her hometown of Houston with her BeyGOOD Foundation and has made donations to Bread of Life, Inc., and the Greater Houston Community Foundation. She also sponsored a luncheon for hurricane survivors and served food to community members.

Listen to the song on Beyonce.com or YouTube.

Florida man’s missing dog finds way home after surviving gator attack

A Florida man is thankful his dog is alive after it was attacked by an alligator.

The dog, an 11-year-old West Highland White Terrier named Capone, disappeared while the owner, John Thall, was working to remove debris left behind by Hurricane Irma, the man said.

“I was on my roof cleaning hurricane debris and I had my blower going so I didn’t hear anything,” he said. “Then I noticed him and one of my other dogs was missing.”

>> Read more trending news

He and his neighbors searched for Capone for hours in Fruitland Park, Florida.

“When I came off the roof, I went looking. By the time I had circled around the block calling for him and got back home, the one dog had returned and was inside the house soaking wet with his tail between his legs,” Thall said. “I knew something bad was going on.”

Thall and his neighbors searched some more, but Thall was giving up hope.

“My one dog that did come back likes to swim in the canal. He must have brought (Capone) with him,” he said. “(I) came to the conclusion he was gone and a gator got him and he wasn’t coming back. We went to bed thinking we were never going to see him again.”

But at 5 a.m. the next day, Thall’s wife heard a familiar sound.

“My wife heard a bark and went outside. She saw him doggy-paddling in the canal, trying to get out. I don’t know how he managed to survive the night,” Thall said.

Capone had severe wounds and was rushed to a veterinarian.

“He came back to us. We got him to the vet. They cleaned the wounds and (he) was on an IV for two days,” Thall said.

Capone underwent surgery Monday and there’s still fear of an infection, but Thall said the dog will recover.

Thall said he has an electric fence in his yard, but it hadn’t been working.

A video report with photos is below.

Warning: graphic images.

Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z among performers at Tidal hurricane, earthquake benefit concert

Dozens of musicians are performing at Tidal X: Brooklyn in October for a benefit raising funds to help people recover from a number of natural disasters this year.

In an emailed news release, it was announced that Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Fifth Harmony, Daddy Yankee, Willow Smith, A$AP Ferg, Cardi B, Chris Brown, Remy Ma and others would be in the lineup for the October show. Angie Martiz will host and actors Rosie Perez and Lin Manuel-Miranda will make special appearances.

Despite a previous report, Beyonce is billed as a performer at the event.

>> Read more trending news

Tidal, a music streaming service owned in part by Jay-Z, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and other artists, is joining with Bacardi to donate 1.3 million to charities assisting with disaster relief.

All money from ticket sales for the concert will go to organizations that are assisting with recovery efforts after hurricane Irma, Harvey and Maria impacted the Caribbean, Southeast United States and Texas, and earthquakes impacted Mexico.

“One hundred percent of ticket proceeds will be donated to organizations including: The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico, Global Giving, All Hands Volunteers, Kids in Need Foundation, Direct Relief, One America Appeal, Greater Houston Community Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union, Miami Community Foundation, Habitat for Humanity in Puerto Rico, and more,” the news release said.

Donations can also be made at the Tidal website.

Jennifer Lopez and Daddy Yankee have previously donated money to relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Lopez announced Sunday that $1 million of sales from her Las Vegas residency show will go toward the island’s recovery. In an appearance on CNN, Yankee said he donated $100,000 each to the Red Cross and Feeding America.

Tidal X: Brooklyn will take place Oct. 17 at Barclays Center in New York. Fans can get tickets at Ticketmaster.com.

Father Charged With Fatally Punching Baby Daughter

Father Charged With Fatally Punching Baby Daughter

 Father accused of fatally punching baby daughter when she wouldn’t stop crying

A Florida father has been arrested and faces charges in the death of his 6-month-old baby, Orlando police said.

>> Read more trending news

Dekari Rashard Castell, 22, was arrested Monday evening after his infant daughter was found unresponsive in an Orange County home, the same house where another accused killer, Markeith Loyd, hid from law enforcement for nine days.

Loyd alledgedly killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December, and later gunned down Orlando police Lieutenant Debra Clayton, investigators said.The baby’s mother called 911 on Sept. 13 to report her daughter was not breathing.

The baby was taken to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital and test results showed she had “bilateral parietal skull fractures with associated subdural hemorrhages resulting in compression of the ventricular system,” according to the police report.

>> Related: Baby abandoned on road with $5,500 stuffed in car seat rescued by church group

Castell denied ever hurting the child, but later admitted he dropped the baby girl on the back of the head after she squirmed out of his grasp on Sept. 11, investigators said.Castell said he never told anyone what happened to the child and was at his mother’s home, where he was found, after his home lost power during Hurricane Irma.When questioned a third time about what happened to the baby, Castell said she was standing on the television in the main bedroom before she fell onto the floor, investigators said. He changed his story a fourth time and said he was lying down while he threw the baby up in the air and she veered off and fell onto the baseboard three feet away, police said.Castell later admitted he was stressed that he didn’t have power from the hurricane and the child wouldn’t stop crying, so he punched her twice in the head and she became quiet, investigators said.

>> Related: Chinese mother tries to mail baby to an orphanage

Investigators also said Castell’s 4-week-old son was admitted to the hospital in September 2016 with a broken femur bone. Castell said his son squirmed out of his grasp, began to fall and that he grabbed his son’s leg, which caused the fracture. 

Investigators suspected child abuse, but, charges were not filed due to lack of a probable cause, investigators said.

Puerto Rico farmers hit hard by Hurricane Maria

While recovery has started in the island U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, one industry could take more than a year to bounce back after being decimated by not one but two hurricanes in recent weeks.

The farming industry took a major hit from Hurricane Maria. Some are estimating that the Category 4 storm took out 89 percent of crop value on Puerto Rico, The New York Times reported.

Carlos Flores Ortega, Puerto Rico’s secretary of the Department of Agriculture, said Maria was one of the costliest storms in the island’s agricultural history.

>>Photos: Hurricane Maria slams Caribbean

Estimates of loss are as high as $780 million.

In 1998, Hurricane Georges took out 65 percent of crops. Hurricane Irma destroyed about $45 million in agriculture production.

Farmer José Rivera said that every tree on his plantain farm, 14,000 of them were down. He said that his yam and sweet pepper crops were also destroyed.

“There will be no food in Puerto Rico. There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico. And there won’t be any for a year or longer,” Rivera told the Times.

>>Hurricane Maria: Live updates

Hardest hit were not only plantain crops like Rivera’s, but also banana and coffee growers, Flores Ortega said. Also destroyed were dairy barns and industrial chicken coops.

Prior to the storms, Puerto Rico imported about 85 percent of its food, The New York Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

But the places from which the island gets its food didn’t get through the hurricanes unscathed.

The Dominican Republic, Dominica and St. Martin, which all export food to Puerto Rico, were all damaged by Maria and Irma.

Félix Ortiz Delgado, a foreman on another farm, said, “I have never seen losses like these in any of my 80 years.” He was tallying the loss of the coconut trees he harvests from. Each would yield $100 a month. Ortiz Delgado said that a dozen were broken in half and all of the seedlings were blown away.

“Those palms take about 10 years to grow. I’ll be dead by then,” Ortiz Delgado told The New York Times.

>>Jennifer Lopez donating $1M to aid hurricane relief in Puerto Rico

It isn’t only the obvious destruction that is hurting farmers.

A dairy farmer had to throw away some of what his cows produce because dairy trucks can’t get to his land to collect gallons of milk. Stores are closed. Power is out. So trucks haven’t been able to make their pickups, The New York Times reported.

Efrain M. Robles Menendez said, “Since Wednesday, I have thrown out 4,000 liters of milk a day.”

>>How to help Hurricane Maria victims: Where to donate, how to volunteer and more

But there is a glimmer of hope in the long run.

Some say that the destruction will lead Puerto Rico to modernize the industry.

The techniques used, according to Flores Ortega, were not efficient and wasted water. Federal funds will be available to rebuild and could help make it more profitable for farmers, The New York Times reported.

Man wants dogs back; county claims he left them during Irma

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control took away Joseph Licata’s three dogs two weeks ago, alleging he abandoned them with Hurricane Irma approaching.

Licata, desperate to get his dogs back, argues he didn’t abandon them. Rather, he was on vacation in London, a trip he planned for a year, and enlisted a friend to give them food and water and take them inside if the storm got close.

>> Read more trending news

“I did make a stupid mistake,” he conceded: He parked his car in front of the door to protect the house, not realizing it was too close for the caretaker to let the dogs in. He also gave her the wrong key, so even without the car she wouldn’t have been able to bring in the dogs, which usually live outside in his yard.

She was there before the storm when, alerted by a neighbor, Animal Care and Control took Pretty the Chihuahua mix, Carla the boxer mix and Rusty the Malinois mix after seeing the caretaker had no way to get into the house.

Licata hasn’t seen his pets since his return.

They’re “kind of like a small, medium and large,” as he describes the dogs, which he got from a shelter 12 years ago.

“We love them dearly,” he said. “They’re about 15 years old. They’re like kids for me.”

Animal Care and Control sees it differently. They’re dealing with dozens of pets abandoned during the hurricane. The agency and the nearby Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League have so many homeless pets on hand, they’re waiving all pet adoption fees through Oct. 14.

In Licata’s case, meanwhile, “there’s a criminal investigation and his scenario is, he is very likely to face criminal charges,” David Walesky, operations manager for the county agency said Friday. “He evacuated the country and left three geriatric dogs in his yard. The caretaker had no means to put the animals away during the winds.”

Licata faces civil and criminal actions, Walesky said. Within 30 days there’ll be a civil hearing in which a judge will decide whether Licata can get his dogs back. Even if he does, he still could be hit with criminal charges.

Licata said he’s beside himself.

“I haven’t been able to eat or sleep,” he said.

He’s grateful the agency took the dogs in to protect them, given the circumstances, but he can’t understand why they’re accusing him of abandonment.

He works for the U.S. Postal Service, where employees pick their vacation days far in advance, last November in his case. He bought his plane tickets and arranged for a longtime friend to look after the dogs.

He didn’t get the agency’s phone message right away because he didn’t have service in England. When he finally got through and said he would pick up the dogs Friday, Sept. 15, “some lady there said, ‘To pick up your dogs you have to speak to an officer, because they were picked up under suspicious circumstances.’”

He went in, told them his story. They wouldn’t let him see the dogs.

“They looked at me and they were very cold, very unconcerned. One of the officers said, ‘So you’re admitting that you blocked the door.’ I said, ‘Not deliberately.’ I said, ‘I admit I made a mistake and didn’t leave enough room to let them in.’”

“They said, ‘We’re going to go for custody of your dogs…. Conversation’s over.”

“The moral of the story is, they’re 15 years old and they want custody of them. What does that mean? They’re going to try to have somebody adopt them? Nobody’s going to adopt them. They’re going to be destroyed. I don’t know what they’re accomplishing. Now they’re pent up in a little cage, when they’re used to being free. They haven’t seen me in three weeks.”

But the officials told him that if an owner leaves the premises without taking the dogs, that’s abandonment, Licata said. He argued that, if he had children and left them with a babysitter, that would be abandonment?

“They don’t deserve to be destroyed and I don’t deserve to be tortured like this,” he said. “Not for an accidental thing I did wrong.”

Katrina victim says FEMA demanded money back 7 years later

A Florida woman said she was forced to pay back thousands of dollars she received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Katrina.

>> Read more trending news 

Deborah Campbell said the IRS came after her seven years after she got the money.

"We were guaranteed that this was not needed to be repaid," the Jacksonville resident said. 

But Campbell said that guarantee didn’t last with FEMA.

"Five years ago I was transferred to Florida with my job and that's when everything started," Campbell said. 

Campbell was living in Louisiana with two other roommates in a quadplex when Hurricane Katrina hit and their place flooded, so they looked to FEMA for assistance.

"We were each given monies for our own personal possessions, which we had to prove," Campbell said. 

And over a nine-month period, she said she got a total of $12,000. Then in 2013, she said she was expecting her income tax refund in the mail.

“I get no income taxes, but I got a letter from IRS that FEMA directed them to take my income tax to reimburse them," Campbell said. 

She said her paychecks were garnished and she didn’t get income tax refunds for three years. 

"They're saying that they paid multiple people in the same household although there could only be one head of household, although we were all on the lease and had individual bills," Campbell said. 

FEMA said that payment could only go to one person per household and it goes to the person who pays taxes on that piece of property. 

"I really worry about these people in a hurricane situation now, in a roommate situation," Campbell said. 

And now, after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Campbell is now fearful this could happen to someone else. 

"Please, please just watch because I don't want this to happen," Campbell said. 

Campbell said she finally paid everything off, but now the same thing is happening to her former roommate 12 years later.

A spokesman from FEMA said a notice should have been received about an overpayment. 

Floridians may qualify for food benefits after Irma

Floridians struggling with the aftereffects of Hurricane Irma could be eligible for help buying food.

>> Read more trending news 

Officials say households that may not normally be eligible under SNAP rules may qualify for two months of benefits through USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

To be eligible, a family's income must be under the disaster limits and they must have qualifying disaster-related expenses. 

Applicants must have been living in the declared disaster area at the time of the disaster. If eligible, recipients will receive disaster food assistance benefits that will be accessed using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. 

D-SNAP eligible households will receive two months of benefits equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size to meet their food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. 

To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must have lived or worked in an identified disaster area on Sept. 5 when mandatory evacuation orders began, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria. 

The D-SNAP announcement is the latest in an ongoing series of USDA actions to help Florida cope with the storm and its aftermath.

This includes the early release of September benefits to all current SNAP participants prior to the storm’s impact, a waiver to allow SNAP participants to buy hot foods and hot food products with their benefits at authorized SNAP retailers statewide through Sept. 30, and mass replacement of 40 percent of household SNAP benefits to current participants in 52 counties. 

Details on Florida’s D-SNAP program, also known as Food for Florida, is available at the Food for Florida website.

FedEx airlifts barbecue meals to Irma victims in Florida Keys

Hurricane victims in the Florida Keys are receiving fresh barbecue meals from Operation BBQ Relief thanks to an airlift program by FedEx, USA Today reported.

>> Read more trending news

FedEx began airlifting more than 10,000 meals a day from Fort Myers to the Keys, following through on a request from one of its aircraft mechanics, Scott Guy. FedEx assigned two feeder aircraft to transport 3,700 pounds of food each day to residents affected by Hurricane Irma from Sunday through Wednesday, USA Today reported.

Guy is a member of Operation BBQ Relief, which was formed to feed the hungry after a tornado struck Joplin, Mo., in 2011. The organization served 371,760 meals over 11 days on the Texas Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey, then shifted its focus to the Florida region hit by Hurricane Irma, USA Today reported.

Daycare workers wanted for taunting, abusing autistic boy, police say

Law enforcement officials are looking for two Florida daycare workers who they say berated, taunted and threw a backpack at an 8-year-old autistic boy.

>> Read more trending news

Winter Haven police, in Central Florida, retrieved a Snapchat video of the alleged abuse at Our Children’s Academy in Winter Haven.

The three-minute video, investigators say, shows Kaderrica Smith, of Haines City, and Alexus Henderson, of Dundee, harassing the child.

The boy, who is diagnosed with autism, ADHD, obsessive defiant disorder and severe outbursts, is seen and heard in the video crying and hiding under a table while the women taunt him.

Investigators say the duo yelled at him and threw shoes and a backpack at him while he was trying to hide. They also purposely knocked him over by doing a leg sweep, which caused him to fall on his back. 

>> Related: 6th grade teacher suspended, apologizes for profanity-laced homework assignment

In initial interviews, Smith and Henderson said they acted appropriately and did nothing wrong, according to the police news release. The daycare academy fired them, and their certifications allowing them to work with children were placed on hold.

Further investigation led to criminal charges being filed. Smith is charged with battery and child abuse. Henderson is being charged with child neglect.

>> Related: Abandoned meth lab discovered in Miami after Hurricane Irma

Since charges have been filed, police have been unable to find the women

Oops! FEMA mistakenly tweets number for sex line, instead of disaster relief

While offering help to Florida residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the Federal Emergency Management Agency accidentally tweeted a phone number for a sex line.

>> Read more trending news

According to the Consumerist, FEMA Region 4’s Twitter account instructed people who needed disaster relief to call 1-800-ROOF-BLU for their program called “Operation Blue Roof,” which helps homeowners repair damaged roofs. 

Twitter users quickly caught the mistake, and tweeted out that the phone number was directing them to a sex hotline. 

“Callers who dial that number, however, are greeted by an automated message welcoming callers to ‘America’s hottest talk line,’ where ‘hot ladies’ are purportedly waiting to talk to guys, and women can talk to ‘interesting and exciting guys’ for ‘free,’” the Consumerist reports. 

FEMA posted a new tweet with the correct phone number, which is 1-888-ROOF-BLU.

>>Related: FEMA opens Boynton center as Florida aid tops $106 million

The Consumerist reports that once they tried to contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA, the incorrect tweet was taken down, but neither agency verbally responded to the media outlet. 

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