‘Thank God they’re not dead,’ says Plantation resident who pulled man, daughter from van in canal

A morning commute for a Plantation man turned into a heroic rescue when he pulled a driver and young girl from a van that had plunged into a roadside canal.

The Plantation Fire Department is crediting Jephtah Thomas, 58, for jumping into the canal and rescuing the two after their car careened off Sunrise Boulevard near Northwest 46th Avenue about 7:15 a.m. Friday.

Thomas said he was heading to his job at the Lifetime Athletic Club in Boca Raton, where he repairs fitness equipment. He didn’t see the car drive off the road, but heard the splash — and it was enough to make him stop and look.

“You could hear the crack,” he said. “When I looked I saw the vehicle sinking. I had to stop. I called 911 right away.”

Drug bust turns dicey for cops in Sunrise; suspected gangster later nabbed in Hollywood

A suspected gang member is accused of trying to sell molly and marijuana to a confidential informant in Sunrise and then fleeing after nearly striking two detectives with his car.

Andres Hernandez, 26, of Hollywood, faces more than a dozen charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, fleeing and eluding law enforcement and multiple drug charges.

According to a Sunrise police report, Hernandez on Wednesday was set up to meet with the police informant during a drug bust attempt at the 7-Eleven at 9998 Sunset Strip.

Hernandez, a convicted felon, is known to carry a handgun and is suspected of being an active member of the Latin Kings gang, police said.

[email protected] or 954-356-4543 or Twitter @epesantes

Two men distract woman, 92, steal her wallet while she shops, deputies say

The Broward Sheriff’s Office is searching for two men who are accused of snatching an elderly woman’s wallet out of her purse while she was shopping at Publix — a crime that was caught on video.

Deputies said the two men were at the Publix in Cooper City, at 10018 Griffin Road, at around 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 28. The men used a distraction technique to grab the wallet out of the woman’s purse, which was in her shopping cart.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the 92-year-old woman was looking at the pharmacy section when one of the men approached her and asked her a question. The second man came up to the cart, took the wallet and then walked away.

They got away with the woman’s driver’s license, credit cards and $40 in cash. The suspects used one of the woman’s cards to buy an Xbox One at a nearby Best Buy later that day, deputies said.

One of the men was wearing a black shirt with red shorts and the other wore a white shirt with black stripes and jeans. The second man also was wearing glasses.

The sheriff’s office released surveillance video on Wednesday of the two men targeting the woman in Publix, as well as footage showing the pair using the woman’s credit card at the Best Buy store.

Deputies are asking anyone with information to call Broward Sheriff’s detective Glen Gainey at 954-435-2200.

[email protected], 561-243-6547 or Twitter @katejacobson

Traffic resumes near cut gas line in downtown Fort Lauderdale

The smell of gas was a hint why traffic in Fort Lauderdale’s business district was blocked from traveling along East Las Olas Boulevard at the end of rush hour Tuesday morning.

“It’s related to the Icon construction,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Capt. Gregory May about a gas line on Southeast Fifth Avenue, south of the boulevard, next to where the luxury condominiums are being built.. “A high-pressure, two-inch gas line was cut in the street.”

Traffic had to detour because firetrucks blocked the streets in surrounding blocks; the rigs remained in place until 11:30 a.m., when normal traffic flow could resume.

“The scene was turned over to Teco gas, and they are completing the repair,” May said.


[email protected], 954-356-4233 or Twitter @LindaTrischitta

Marine Fisheries Monthly August 2014 – FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management

From FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management

Red Snapper – Gulf, Workshops

Action: Recreational workshop Aug. 11 in St. Petersburg

Information: The public is invited to attend the Aug. 11 Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper workshop in St. Petersburg. Discussions will include state and federal management of recreational red snapper and potential future approaches to managing this fishery. The workshop is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 3rd floor conference room, 100 Eighth Ave. SE, St. Petersburg.

Links for more information:   Workshops [MyFWC.com]


Action: Management changes effective Aug. 1

Information: Lionfish are invasive species that negatively impact Florida’s native wildlife and habitat. Several management changes go into effect Aug. 1 that will help the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) combat the growing problem by making it easier for lionfish hunters to remove the spiny predators and limiting further introduction of these species into the waters.

Changes include:

  • Prohibiting the importation of live lionfish;
  • Allowing lionfish to be removed when diving with a rebreather, a device that recycles air and allows divers to remain in the water for longer periods of time (currently, you cannot harvest any fish when using a rebreather); and
  • Allowing participants in approved tournaments and other organized events to spear lionfish or other invasive species in areas where spearfishing is not currently allowed (such as certain state parks). This will be done through a permitting system.

Links for more information:  Lionfish [MyFWC.com]

Greater Amberjack – Gulf

Action: Season opens Aug. 1

Information: Recreational harvest of greater amberjack opens Aug. 1 in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters.

The minimum size limit is 30 inches when measured from the lower jaw to the fork of the tail and the daily bag limit is one fish per person.

Links for more information:  Greater Amberjack [MyFWC.com]

Gray Triggerfish – Gulf

Action: Season opens Aug. 1 in state waters

Information: Recreational harvest of gray triggerfish opens Aug. 1 in Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles). Gray triggerfish remains closed to harvest in Gulf federal waters through Dec. 31.

The minimum size limit is 14 inches when measured from the lower jaw to the fork of the tail and the daily bag limit is two fish per person when the season is open.

Links for more information:  Gray Triggerfish [MyFWC.com]

Spiny Lobster

Action: Season opens Aug. 6

Information: Spiny lobster opens to recreational and commercial harvest in state and federal waters Aug. 6.

The daily recreational bag and possession limit is six per person.

Spiny lobster must be measured before they are removed from the water and must have a carapace larger than 3 inches. The carapace is measured beginning at the forward edge between the rostral horns, excluding any soft tissue, and proceeding along the middle to the rear edge of the carapace. (see illustration)

Harvest is prohibited in Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary, Dry Tortugas National Park and the no-take areas of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Links for more information:

Blue Crab

Action: Trap closures slated for Aug. 10-19 and Aug. 20-29

Information: In an effort to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab traps, the FWC has established regional blue crab trap closures. These closed seasons only apply to standard blue crab traps. The harvest of blue crabs by other gear, such as dip nets and fold-up traps, is permitted during the closures. Traps that are attached to private property such as a dock are not included in the closures.

All waters of Brevard through Palm Beach counties, excluding the St. Johns River system, will be closed to the use of blue crab traps from Aug. 10-19.

All waters from the Georgia/Florida state line, excluding the St. Johns River system, south through Volusia County will be closed to the use of blue crab traps from Aug. 20-29.

Links for more information: Blue Crab [MyFWC.com]


Action: Season reopens Aug. 1 in Special Permit Zone

Information: Harvest of permit inside the special permit zone reopens Aug. 1. The daily bag limit is one fish person and two per vessel and the minimum size limit is 22 inches fork length inside this zone. The Special Permit Zone includes state and federal waters south of Cape Florida in the Atlantic and south of Cape Sable in the Gulf.

The harvest of permit from areas north of the Special Permit Zone is open year-round with bag limit of 2 fish per person and size limit of not less 11inches or more than 22 inches fork length.  

Links for more information:  Permit [MyFWC.com]

Provided by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Captain Dana Banks – Florida Grouper Season

Grouper Season is Officially Open, but here are the rules to be aware of:

Updated: January 3, 2011

New regulations for several grouper, snapper, and tilefish species in federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean take effect January 31, 2011.

Closed season: from January 1 through April 31st.
Closed season in Atlantic waters applies to shallow-water grouper (Gag, Black, Red, Scamp, Rock Hind, Red Hind, Coney, Grasby, Yellowfin, Yellowmouth, and Tiger).

Size Limits and Bag Limits

State and Federal Waters of the Atlantic (Including All State Waters of Monroe County)*


68B-14.0039 Recreational Grouper Seasons.
(1) In all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, except in all waters of Monroe County, the closed season for the recreational harvest and possession of gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, rock hind, red hind or scamp shall be from February 1 through March 31, each year.

(2) In all state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including all waters of Monroe County, the closed season for the recreational harvest and possession of gag grouper, black grouper, red grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, rock hind, red hind, scamp, coney, graysby, and tiger grouper shall be from January 1 through April 30 each year.

Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History-New 1-6-09, Amended 8-27-09, 1-19-10.

For more information:

Captain Dana Banks
The War Bird Sportfishing Charter Boat
Key Largo, Florida
(305) 394-7420

Deep Sea Fishing – Reef Fishing – Wreck Fishing – Florida Keys