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April 15, 2011

I-Team: Engines to the Enemy MIAMI (CBS4) – Four family members were indicted recently for trying to sell jet fighter engines here in Miami to eventually be shipped to Iran, a violation of federal law.The United States’ embargo against Iran prohibits exporting just about any goods from the US to that country, especially 22, F-5 fighter jet engines that the defendants allegedly advertised on the Internet and kept in a warehouse in Miami. At a warehouse in this out of the way group of legitimate businesses located in the 4400 block of NW 74th Avenue off the Palmetto expressway northwest of Miami International Airport, a federal Immigration and Customs or ICE undercover agent viewed the disturbing merchandise… 22 jet fighter engines built here in the US… now headed for Iran. We were shown pictures of General Electric made J-85 jet engines… similar to the ones the four men advertised for sale on the Internet. Engines, according to a federal indictment handed up Wednesday, the men had agreed

to sell for more than 300 thousand dollars… The men agreed to accept $151, 000 as a 50% deposit for the purchase and shipment of the engines from Miami to Panama, with the eventual destination– Iran. The indictment charges Felipe, Diego and Amparo Echeverri and Carlos Alfredo Pantoja-Coral, with five counts of various violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act forbidding the export of items such as these to countries such as Iran and North Korea that threaten the national security of the United States. These jet engines will fit and can be used by fighter jets that Iran builds. Clearly it is an issue of national security, the federal government doesn’t want American made military parts being used by a country listed as an enemy of the US such as Iran. Federal officials say the four defendants are all related, and live in New York state and

Bogota, Colombia. They made their first appearance before a federal magistrate in Miami on March 23rd. They could not be reached for comment on the charges.

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April 15, 2011


Dade Commission Sets May 24th As Special Election Date Special Election To Take Place May 24th MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami-Dade County Commissioners have formally decided on a day to hold a special election in the race for a new mayor and District 13 commissioner. The special election will take place on May 24th. Those looking to throw their hats into the political arena better do it quickly because the commission also decided to set a qualifying date for the race which is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday April 12th. Both the mayoral and District 13 commission seat were left vacant after a March 15 recall election in which 88 percent of those who voted said then Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natcha Seijas should be removed from office. Mayor candidates so far include Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina, former county transit director Roosevelt Bradley, former state Rep. Marcelo Llorente, County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, and 2

Live Crew front man Luther Campbell. Others who have expressed interest in running include former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas and former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez. The entire official field of candidates won’t be known until Tuesday evening, after the window for qualifying closes. So how much is this election going to cost? “Elections historically cost anywhere in the neighborhood of $4 to $5 million so it’s hard to tell at this point,” said Elections Supervisor Lester Sola. “But we are anticipating that it’ll fall anywhere between those ranges.” Sola explained it’s not cheap to run an election. “You have to consume certain resources, you have to prepare ballots, you have to print those ballots, you have to push those ballots to 829 precincts in Miami-Dade County.” Commission Chairman Joe Martinez said

it’s time to get these elections over with. “ Ta k i n g everything i n t o consideration, it’s time to s t a r t governing, we have to stop reacting and managing by crisis,” said Martinez. Also on the May 24th ballot will be half a dozen proposed charter reforms which critics have called self serving and weak. Perhaps one of the most vocal critics of the charter proposals is Miami auto tycoon Norman Braman who launched the campaign to have Alvarez recalled. Earlier this month he sent a letter to each of the 12 county commissioners in which he stated their proposed amendments to the charter “fail miserably to reflect the

public’s demand for reform of county government.’’ Commissioner Gimenez has said that commissioners should remove the ballot proposals regarding a 12-year term limit and ending the strong-mayor system, two items he voted against. Gimenez has said, however, that the other ideas — such as removing the notary requirement on ballot petitions and allowing two-thirds of a charter review task force to place items directly on the ballot — have merit and should go forward.

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April 15, 2011


Gas Prices Threaten Shaky Economy MIAMI (CBS4) – The summer tourism season is right around the corner, but this year’s tourism dollars may not be nearly what leaders originally forecasted thanks to gas prices heading towards record territory. For South Florida, whose life-blood is the tourism industry, this could spell big problems for the local economy. The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports in the last week, the price for regular unleaded in Florida has risen about dime to $3.76 a gallon. Last year at this time, the price for unleaded regular was hovering near $2.88 a gallon. According to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending at 140,000 gas stations across the nation, gas sales have dropped for five straight weeks. It was the first time a consistent drop had been seen for that long of a period since last November. MasterCard’s report shows drivers bought 2.7 billion gallons of gas last week, down 3.6 percent from the same period in 2010, when it was 80 cents cheaper. Many economists had expected the demand

to increase as the economic recovery picked up with more jobs. But, as gas prices approach prices not seen since the summer of 2008 when it peaked at $4.11. It’s creating a boom and bust environment for the automobile and gas industries. Drivers are starting to look at more fuel-efficient models, which is boosting car sales. Americans also appear to be turning to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars to save on gas. Sales of the Hyundai Sonata and Elantra soared 55 percent in March. Meanwhile, sales of Chevy’s Suburban SUV dropped nearly 24 percent. But, gas stations are seeing declines because drivers just don’t buy as much gas as they used to do when gas prices were cheaper. For South Florida, the jump in gas prices is going to hurt in several areas related to tourism. Airlines will begin to hike airplane ticket prices shortly. If gas reaches $5 a gallon as some analysts are predicting, the rise in airline prices will likely be dramatic. Also, cruise lines will also have to begin to raise prices to meet higher fuel costs.

With fewer people flying and/or driving, hospitality industries in South Florida will struggle. And as unrest in North Africa and the Middle East allow speculators to drive oil prices through the roof; the problem will only continue to be exacerbated. For drivers in South Florida, and across the country, high gas prices is going to make the need to carpool, combine trips, or simply give up some things a grim reality. And with public transportation in South Florida, severely lacking, some workers will have to face the reality of if it’s too expensive to get to a job. But, a drop in tourism runs a major risk to the coffers of South Florida cities and counties. Tourism brings in major revenue to help pay for things like the new Marlins Stadium. If the revenue drops, the money will still be owed and add to the possibility of major deficits. And just because you drive a fuel-efficient car, don’t think you will get away from the rise in gas prices unscathed. Many businesses are starting to hike prices in the store, and especially for delivery. The U.S. Post Office has started running ads that say while others are raising prices, they will charge their current price for delivery. If U.S. demand drops, even dramatically, it likely won’t impact gas prices. Global demand is expected to continue to rise, which will only further increase speculation on higher prices in the future.

The rise in gas prices also sets up a showdown between Democrats and Republicans. President Barack Obama and Democrats have proposed more fuel-efficient standards, high-speed rails, getting rid of oil subsidies, among other things to help with the fuel crisis. Republicans have pushed back against raising fuel standards saying it will hurt the current recovery. Their plans include reducing business taxes to help fuel the recovery. The GOP has also fought high-speed rail lines, most notably Florida Governor Rick Scott’s questionable decision to give the federal government $2.4 billion back that had been earmarked for a high-speed rail line in Florida. Democrats will portray their opponents as fighting a move towards more energy independence and saving money on gasoline. Republicans will counter saying that the Democrats plans will cost too much and negatively impact job creation. All the while, industries in South Florida, and across the nation, will be left trying to figure out how to price goods to sell, while meeting the rising costs of delivery. And Consumers will be left trying to figure out how to meet their rising gas costs and sustain their overall spending to help keep the recovery going.

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Michael Brewer Honored For Fight Against Teen Violence Brewer also spoke to CBS4’s Tiffani Helberg Saturday at a fundraiser to help him and his family pay medical bills.

TEEN VIOLENCE LAUDERHILL (CBS4) – When he sees a fight about to erupt in his neighborhood, Michael Brewer said he tries to stop it. He has a very personal reason to get involved. Two years ago, Brewer beat insurmountable odds after being doused with alcohol and set on fire over a year ago, allegedly by three other teenagers. On April 9th, the city of Lauderhill honored his courage by proclaiming it “Michael Brewer Day.”

“Wow, I never knew this could happen like the body just heals so fast and I just came so far from two years ago till today,” Brewer told Helberg. “I’m doing actually really good. I looked at my scars, I’m healing up really well.” Brewer was the guest of honor at the Inverrary Country Club where a golf tournament was held to help raise money. Mike Brady, golf sales director at the club, said he wanted to help after learning of Brewer’s story. “This kid has been through a lot. I have talked to so many celebrities and everybody is giving stuff,” said Brady. Brewer is now an example to many other teens.

“I walk around a couple days, ride my bike around I would see a couple kids about to fight and I’ll come over and break ‘em up and stuff and just try and make the world a better place,” Brewer said. While Brewer’s scars may have healed, his mother Valerie Brewer said her son still wakes up with nightmares. “His spirit is very good. Psychologically he’s got a long way to go yet. He still wakes up with night terror. I still wake up with nightmares over this,” Valerie Brewer said. (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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Disputed Fla. Pill Tracking System Gets Go-Ahead Legislation, though, has been introduced in the House to repeal the monitoring system. It has support there from House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, as well as Scott. Bondi said the tracking system “will enable law enforcement to act more quickly in identifying and arresting pill operators.”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBS4) -The Florida Department of Health on Friday announced it is going ahead with a disputed prescription drug tracking system to help close down “pill mills” that sell painkillers and other medications to drug dealers and addicts. Gov. Rick Scott wanted the database scrapped, questioning its effectiveness and arguing it would infringe on patient privacy, but Surgeon General Frank Farmer Jr., a Scott appointee, cleared the way for implementation by rejecting a contract challenge that has held it up for the last four months. Farmer cited a state law passed two years ago to create the monitoring system. Law enforcement officials say the lack of a database has made Florida the nation’s epicenter of prescription drug abuse, attracting buyers from across the country in what’s been dubbed the “Flamingo Express.” Attorney General Pam Bondi and Senate President Mike Haridopolos, both strong supporters of the electronic monitoring system, hailed Farmer’s order. “The database will provide `shock and awe’ in Florida’s efforts to end the criminal abuse of legal prescription drugs,” Haridpolos said in a statement. The Merritt Island Republican, who’s also running for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination, said a bill (SB 818) pending in the Florida Senate would strengthen the monitoring system and increase privacy protections.

Scott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The law creating the monitoring system failed to provide any money for it but established a foundation to seek private contributions and federal grants in conjunction with the governor’s Office of Drug Control. One of Scott’s first acts after taking office in January was to disband that office, but the state already has raised enough money to pay for the system for the first two years. That includes $1 million offered by Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, one of the most widely abused painkillers. The Department of Health awarded a contract to Health Information Designs Inc. of Auburn, Ala., but another bidder, Ohiobased Optimum Technology Inc., appealed. Farmer’s order adopts a hearing officer’s findings supporting the award to the Alabama company. He also rejected Optimum’s exceptions to those findings, including allegations one of the officials evaluating the bids was biased and that the competition had been compromised by Health Information’s failure to itemize costs.

April 15, 2011


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April 15, 2011


Barahona Caseworker: “I Did Everything I Could” her parents were charged with her murder. “Not a day, not a day past that I don’t think about those kids,” Fleary said. “People may look at me and think that I’m heartless, but every case that I touched, it stays with me.” None more so than the case of Nubia Barahona and her brother, Victor, twins found on February 14th in their adoptive father’s pick up truck.

MIAMI (CBS4) – Andrea Fleary, the Florida Department of Children and Families caseworker fired for allegedly botching the investigation the Barahona family abuse case, believes she did everything she could to investigate the charges. Fighting to regain her job, she told CBS4 News anchor Shannon Hori, in an exclusive interview, that she was a dedicated caseworker who did the best she could when the stopped at the home of Jorge and Carmen Barahona just before Valentine’s day. She had been sent to investigate allegations that their 10-year-old adopted daughter, Nubia, was being abused. She did not find Nubia, or evidence of abuse, but days later, Nubia was dead, and

Victor was alive, but convulsing and covered with chemicals. Nubia was in the back of the truck, covered with chemicals and dead. Andrea Fleary says the first time she heard of the Barahonas was four days before that gruesome discovery, Thursday, February 10th. A caller to the Florida abuse hotline said that children in the Barahona’s Southwest Miami-Dade home were tied by their hands and feet with tape and made to stay in the bathtub all day and night. Fleary says she went to the home that day but no one was there. She has been accused of not following through

“If you get an allegation that kids hands are being tied by tape and made to stand in the bathtub,” asked CBS4News anchor Shannon Hori, “that’s a pretty severe and specific allegation.” “Again, like I said, it’s an allegation,” Fleary said. “A lot of cases come in to the hotline with allegations as such.” She went back to the home on Friday, February 11th, and said the adoptive mother, Carmen Barahona answered the door. “Based on information that mother had provided me at that time, the children were safe, ok,” Fleary said Asked why, knowing how serious the allegations were against the parents, she didn’t ask to see the bathroom where the abuse had allegedly taken place, Fleary said she didn’t have the right. “I don’t have the authority to go in a person’s house without probably cause,” she said. Fleary says Carmen Barahona told her the twins were living with her husband, Jorge, at another location. Fleary’s been criticized for not using that information to continue the search for the children over the weekend over the weekend. She blamed DCF rules and regulations regarding overtime.

“I was not authorized to work on Saturday and Sunday,” she said. “I not been preapproved to work overtime.” She has heard the scalding criticism of her handling of the case, and the claim that she couldn’t be bothered to work on a weekend. She thinks it is unfair. “The public can say we are lazy,” she said. “I can’t see any investigator that works with the Department of Children and Families that’s lazy, none of us, cause we work hard.” When asked what she would say to Nubia now, if the murdered child could hear her, she answered through tears, “That I wish I could have saved her. I wish I would have seen her.” A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Families disputed Fleary’s claim that she could not have followed up on the case over the weekend. DCF said has she asked to work over the weekend that request would have been approved because that is standard procedure. Fleary said she wants her job back, and is appealing the decision to fire her. Carmen and Jorge Barahona have been charged with First Degree murder, and face the death penalty if convicted. Print Share 25

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April 15, 2011


Fla. Approves 18 Percent Rate Hike For State Farm In Miami-Dade and Broward, where State Farm has more than 65,000 policies, rate changes will range from a 9.8 percent decrease to a 64.3 percent increase, depending on the type of policy and exact area, Office of Insurance Regulation’s data show. The rate approval “is an important step for State Farm Florida to remain viable in this marketplace,” company spokesman Michael Grimes said. “We’ll continue to work with regulators and legislators to encourage market reform.”

MIAMI (CBS4)- If you’re with State Farm Florida Insurance you may see an increase in your bill. That’s because regulators approved an average rate hike of 18.8 percent for Florida homeowners covered by State Farm, according to state documents filed Friday. The higher rates, which are less than the 28 percent boost State Farm sought, will take effect July 1 for new business and beginning July 15 for renewals. Separately, Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty approved a 62 percent increase for State Farm’s commercial residential policies, which cover homes that are owned by a person or business entity and rented to others. While the rate increase was significantly less than it asked for, State Farm isn’t talking about pulling out of Florida, as it did the last time a major rate boost was turned down in its entirety, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

Florida has been spared a major hurricane for more than five years. But State Farm, the largest private insurer in Florida, maintains that it needs to boost premiums for its 632,000 policyholders because of rising costs unrelated to hurricanes. “Our financial condition has deteriorated over the last two years,” State Farm pricing manager Adam Swope told the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation during a February hearing. “Over the last almost three years, we’ve lost over $500 million of surplus. This company has lost a substantial amount of surplus in years with no hurricane events.” One of the biggest complaints from State Farm and other property insurers is that sinkhole damage claims are driving up costs, far exceeding the premiums relative to sinkhole exposure. They allege many of the claims are bogus. Attorneys representing homeowners say insurers are just trying to avoid living up to their obligations.

The Senate is considering a bill that would free insurance companies from a requirement to offer comprehensive sinkhole insurance. The approval comes as the state legislature moves forward with a measure that would let state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. increase premiums by up to 25 percent a year. Currently, under state law Citizens cannot raise rates more than 10 percent annually. Advocates say they want Citizens to return to its roots as an insurer of last resort, pushing people to get coverage on the open market. With support of the Republican-led Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott, the measure is likely to become law. Citizens, with a policy count of 1.3 million, is the only property insurer that trumps State Farm Florida. Last year, State Farm filed with regulators to let it cancel all its homeowners policies with sinkhole coverage and offer those customers a new hazards policy that includes catastrophic ground collapse, but would force customers to buy additional sinkhole protection. Grimes said that action is on hold as his company waits for the Legislature to act. McCarty, the insurance commissioner, has approved double-digit rate increases for a string of property insurers over the past two years in part based on rising sinkhole payouts.

Three years ago, State Farm threatened to pull out of Florida’s property insurance market. Under a deal struck with regulators in late 2009, it was allowed to drop some 125,000 homeowners across Florida to limit its exposure and raise rates an average 15 percent for those it kept. Regulators and consumer advocates were concerned that the purge plus this new round of higher State Farm rates would push more people into state-run Citizens Property Insurance, already by far the largest property insurer with more than 1.3 million policies. If Citizens is unable to pay claims from a major hurricane, all Floridians with an insurance policy could be assessed to help make up the difference. McCarty’s actions on Friday dealt with the average rate increase, meaning some policyholders may see little change and some may see rates go up substantially higher. During the February hearing, Belinda Miller, general counsel for the Office of Insurance Regulation, questioned if some customers would be surprised to see their premiums increase 40 to 50 percent if the rate passes. She asked Swope if State Farm considered capping rates to “prevent the shock in the marketplace.” The carrier did, he said, but decided against it. (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

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Downloading Music For Less under 10 hours month, it’s free.


Daytrotter offers free streaming and free downloads from every artist featured on the site. You pay per song for higher quality downloads and since they are often new artists, they appreciate the dollars. MIAMI (CBS4) — If you love music, you love having it at your fingertips. So how do you find it at a price you can afford? The music industry is leading the way in inexpensive digital delivery. The selection is good, prices are right and the music you want is available 24/7. Pandora offers 40 hours of music per month for free. Additional features and unlimited streaming only costs $36 a year. At Wolfgang’s Concert Vault, you get to explore great concerts out of the past for $48 a year but if you can keep yourself

There’s a real score at the Live Music Archive. It’s been around for years and has almost 90-thousand live recordings available, all for free. Of course, there’s iTunes, the king of music sites. Selection is great, prices on albums are good and you can pick and choose songs to save yourself from getting unwanted cuts. One other possibility is to check out your favorite bands website. More and more bands are offering samples and free down loads for fans.

April 15, 2011


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April 15, 2011


Researchers Find Sperm Counts On The Decline MIAMI (CBS4) — When a couple has trouble getting pregnant, they often assume it’s because there’s a problem with the woman but that’s not always the case. The leading cause o f

male infertility is low sperm count and researchers have found sperm counts on the decline. Dave and Teri have been trying to get pregnant since they married five years ago. They both assumed the problem was hers.

“It never crossed my mind that I was infertile or would have a problem with fertility,” said Dave.

Turek also said excess alcohol and hair loss medications can affect sperm count, along with illnesses, opiates and stress.

Male fertility specialist Dr. Paul Turek said men did not think about their fertility. He says guys are like cars. “Men are engines that run hard almost all the time. And you can poison the engine. Not poison it but give it diluted fuel, water it down, get it out of tune somehow.”

Do you keep a cell phone in your pocket? Use a laptop computer on your lap? Both can possibly raise testicular temperatures enough to hurt sperm production. Some pesticides mimic hormones that disrupt sperm growth and quality. And for the first time, studies show sperm can be affected by Bisphenol-A, a chemical contained in many plastic products.

Diluting the fuel is not something most men like to think about. However, according to studies in Europe and the United States, sperm counts and sperm quality have been dropping for the past 50 years. Guys typically have no idea how the environment or their own lifestyle can affect fertility. “You know you can bring a sperm count to zero by taking hot baths every other day for a month,” Turek said. “It’ll take you three months to recover. It’ll go to zero.” That’s only the beginning of his list of sperm killers. “Smoking, nicotine, tobacco, other recreational drugs are bad,” Turek said.

Dave and Teri are among more than 8 million couples in the U.S. with fertility problems. Nearly half the time the problem is partially or totally on the male side. “I’ve been on male birth control for 5 years and didn’t know it,” said Dave. Around the time of his marriage, Dave complained of low energy to his doctor, who prescribed testosterone treatments. Testosterone and other steroids can cause sterility.

“Having a family, which I do consider part of my identity, I think we’re stuck right now,” he said. “And that, that makes me angry.” Anger, disbelief, devastation; infertility is a diagnosis men don’t expect. “These are things that a death in the family would induce, or losing a limb, or getting told you have cancer,” Turek said. “These are the same emotional impact. And they just never thought about it. It came from the blue sky, so it knocks ‘em out.” Turek said male infertility is often curable. His advice to men — although he said most probably won’t listen — is to treat your body as well as you treat your car. He says while women get check-ups, men should get regular tune-ups. “The body wants to work really hard, it wants to be the best it can and you can hurt that. Take better care of yourself.”

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April 15, 2011


Quick Slim-Down Solutions up your diet with a clean out phase, get the mid-section nice and slim.”

changes to her diet and in less than a week she felt a big difference.

One of the ways that super slim celebrities do it is by adding certain foods to their diet, while subtracting others.

“I feel less bloated, and more energized,” Melissa said. “I don’t have that uncomfortable feeling that I usually have.”

Fiber is key, according to Pace. “Fiber will help the digestive sluggishness which is a real common cause of stomach bloating.”

MIAMI (CBS4) — Want to get back into your favorite pair of jeans or slinky dress by the weekend? Believe it or not, there are legitimate ways to lose inches off your problem areas quickly without having to starve or work out around the clock. “Be fit, be healthy in a hurry, it seems like it’s a paradox but actually, it’s not,” said nutritionist Nicolette Pace. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with tightening

High fiber foods, like certain breakfast cereals, have been proven to speed up digestion which is crucial to busting a gut. Potassium rich foods, like bananas, can actually help get rid of excess water weight and minimize your middle. If you think all those sugar substitutes are helping your diet, think again. Too much in your system can actually have the opposite affect and cause bloating and puffiness. Be careful of excess salt too. Melissa Roman says she made these small

But what if you don’t have a week? Another secret of the stars is the body wrap. It’s billed as a quick and easy way to lose some inches. It’s what Kasha Chikynowski’s is hoping for. She wants to slim down now, and this new kind of wrap promises a miracle in an hour.

fatty areas like the thighs even larger. “You need to stimulate that blood circulation and get the toxins moving in that area and that’s what this product does,” said Marina. First, Kasha is slathered with ingredients like ivy and sea water, that Marina says help draw out the toxins. Next, she’s wrapped in cellophane. Kasha says she was thrilled to find she lost over an inch from her waist, and three quarters of an inch from her hips, in just one hour. Kasha thinks it’s unbelievable.

“Overall, it would be about an inch and a half, enough to get into a dress,” said Marina Valmy, owner of a beauty school. Unlike traditional body wraps that remove excess water weight, the inventor of this wrap says it also targets toxins in fatty areas like the thighs. Marina says it works by removing toxins that build up around fat cells that can make

“You’ll be able to get into a dress really nicely and have lots of room to wiggle around, and have a few glasses of champagne,” said Marina. As you may have guessed, there a plenty of skeptics who say if the wrap does work the results probably won’t last, and those inches lost will return within days.

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April 15, 2011


National Ranking Rates South Florida Health Good, Not Great national health rankings for 2011, compiled by the County Health Rankings project. That place is held by Collier County, making it the healthiest of the state’s 67 counties. Miami-Dade makes the top 10, ranked at #8. Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties are in the top 20, ranking 10,11, and 15. The least healthy county in the state is tiny Union county, in north Florida.

MIAMI ( – If healthy living is important to you, you’re living in the right place. Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties have been ranked as among the healthiest in the state by a national health organization, but the director of Miami-Dade’s health department believes we have plenty of room for improvement. South Florida is not #1 in the state in the

Miami-Dade county did top the state in important health factors, beating the state averages for adult smoking, obesity, excessive drinking, sexually transmitted diseases and teen birth rate. Broward ranked #3, and Monroe ranked #15. But the picture for Miami-Dade moved to the other end of the scale when the project examined medical care, social, and economic factors. Miami-Dade moved to nearly the bottom of the list. Miami-Dade ranks 51st out of 67 for

clinical care. The project found 34% of the County’s residents under 65 had no health insurance, 7 points above the state average. The number of preventable medicare hospital stays per thousand residents hit 93, almost 30 above the state average, and far more than Broward or Monroe.

administrator of the Miami-Dade Health Department.

Miami-Dade also ranked poorly in social and economic factors. Statewide, the study found 65% of high school students graduated in 4 years. In Miami-Dade, it was just 55%. Monroe County bested the state average with a 70% graduation rate.

“There is no question that state and local governments are facing tough times in this economy,”she said. “Consequently, important services and programs that affect health are at risk.”

Statewide, 18% of children were found to be living in poverty. In Miami-Dade, it was 21%. Violent crime is considered unhealthy, and in Miami-Dade, the rate in 2011 was 956 per 100 thousand residents. That’s 250 per 100 thousand above the state average, and even further above the average in Broward and Monroe. “I believe its findings necessitate a “Call to Action” for Miami-Dade County residents to come together to improve the health of our community,” said Lillian Rivera,

In a letter responding to the rankings, she acknowledged the county’s#1 ranking in some areas, while pointing out areas where the county needs significant improvement.

Pointing to The Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade, a group of 160 partners including CBS4 and, she said there are ways to improve the county’s health situation without large taxpayer expense. “Having health insurance and good medical care are important, but much of what influences our health happens outside the doctor’s office—from access to healthy food and smoke-free air to breathe, to opportunities for physical activity, education and jobs”

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April 15, 2011


Weight-Loss Plan Pays S. Floridians To Shed Pounds advertising and sponsorships, claims it can save the health care system $1,150 in obesity-related costs for each person who slims down to a healthy BMI. But the plan is hardly an easy payout. Participants must enlist a physician who is required to call HealthyWage to verify the participant’s weight at the beginning and end of the challenge.

MIAMI (CBS4) – Many South Floridians lose weight to be healthier and feel better, but when you’re getting cold, hard cash to shed the pounds it can make the deal is even sweeter. Financial incentives are the latest wellness craze, inspiring Americans who are overweight or obese to try to ditch the potato chips and soda. But now an independent Web site is offering to pay South Floridians who drop a certain amount of weight over the course of a year. “That’s good motivation, extra money in your pocket, ” said Ana Avila who works out at Gold’s Gym on 8th street in Miami which serves as one of the weigh-in stations for contestants. Since launched in October of 2009, hopefuls have signed up for the site, which gets corporate sponsors to give a cash reward to obese users who during a specified time period move from an unhealthy to a healthy body mass index (BMI). And the program is extending that offer to South Floridians, with dozens of fitness clubs in South Florida who are part of the program serving as official weigh in locations. “It’s tough for people to get in the gym. It’s uncomfortable,” said manager of Gold’s Gym, Chris Corbo. “It’s a great motivator for people to start.” According to the site, join a team of 5, pay an entry fee of $60 (less if your employer sponsors you), lose weight and take home the $10,000 top prize. A few years ago, in an effort to cut overall health care costs, companies started dangling gift cards, free cruises and even cash prizes to employees who shed excess pounds.

The site features four weight loss challenges:

• BMI Challenge provides $100 from corporate sponsors to obese Americans (nearly one third of the nation) who lose weight. • SuperSizer challenges members to increase their chances of success by betting $150 or $300 that they will lose weight— with potential rewards of $450 or $1,000 for losing weight. • Top Motivator rewards $1 for each pound lost to the individual whose friends lose the most weight in the 2010 BMI Challenge. • Weekly Weigh-in encourages users to check in once a week, report their weight, share weight loss and health tips with a supportive online community—and earn rewards from sponsors. According to the site, HealthyWage incentive programs are designed after “academic research showing that cash rewards triple the effectiveness of weight loss programs; that people are more effective at losing weight when they have money on the line.” It has been proven, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that dieters who had a financial incentive to lose weight were nearly five times as likely to meet their goal when compared with dieters who had no potential for a financial reward. “I should have heard about this 8 weeks ago, that’s great,” said J.D. Arteaga who is currently involved in a weight loss challenge at his gym Peak 360 that does not offer money as an incentive. HealthyWage, which makes money through

Participants can also visit a fitness center registered with the program to help them meet their goals. HealthyWage advises participants to record their visits to the

health club in their journal and examine what impact visiting the gym has on their mental and physical health. They also advise participants to, “store your health club in your health record and share it with your friend and family so that they know where you work out and can join you at the gym.” Those enlisted in the program provide updates to their profile, which is created online. It may be a move that makes it tough for participants to cheat, which is a good thing for many who are serious about weight loss.

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Impact Of Gluten-Free Diet On Children With Autism “There’s a lot of worry and a lot of sadness, thinking they’ve got something you don’t know how to treat,” said Mitrani. Refusing to sit back and feel helpless Mitrani said she got to work on finding ways to her son’s life easier and help him deal with the disorder. One item that she found on the internet caught her eye because it dealt with nutrition.

MIAMI (CBS4) – April 1st kicked off Autism Awareness month. Twelve years ago Hilda Mitrani was devastated after learning her 4 year-old son David had been diagnosed with autism; a developmental disorder which affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills.

“Some parents were beginning to report all around the country, some success with the behaviors that their kids were doing after trying a gluten-free diet,” said Mitrani. A gluten-free diet basically means eliminating wheat, rye, oats and beans or foods that are high in gluten. Mitrani said she noticed a change within a couple weeks. “He started being calmer, he started sitting down and eating a whole meal instead of

jumping all around,” said Mitrani. Sitting down in his school cafeteria with his lunch from home, David told CBS 4’s Jawan Strader he tries to not eat anything with gluten because of what he fears will happen. “It might get us sick,” David said. Registered Dietician at the Miller School of Medicine Sheah Rarback said there’s no scientific evidence backing the gluten-free diet against autism, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. “The research is not strong in proving the benefits of this diet, but there are many parents who say that it’s helped their child and it’s up to the parent to get all their information and make their decision,” said Rarback. If parents decide to put their children on a gluten-free diet, Rarback said it’s important to consult with their pediatrician first.

April 15, 2011


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April 15, 2011


South Florida Fashion Phenom: Christopher Abella

DORAL (CBS4) – It’s safe to call 11-yearold Christopher Abella a child prodigy. He’s not only an accomplished artist whose sketches are more than impressive, but look closer. Christopher is a fashion designer. He creates elegant couture gowns, shoes, handbags and more. It all started at age 5, when he drew his mom in a white princess gown. “I was bored and I took out a paper and I started to draw and that’s what came out,” said aspiring young designer Christopher


lots of metals and key chains,” said Chris.

Now, after school this fashion designing fifth grader creates couture at the Doral Conservatory and School of the Arts. It’s a cultural center created to enhance kids natural talents in music, drawing, design and more.

In one dress and jacket combo, Christopher takes the styles of two different designers and creates a totally new look.

It’s here where he’s fine tuning drawing body proportions like an elegant strapless wedding gown he’s created for a family member… or a purple, form-fitting red carpet winner, complete with the va va voom factor. “ When she turns around and the wind hits it, it come out,” said Christopher, describing the full skirt of the dress. So who are Christopher’s fashion idols?

“This is a Fortune style dress, as he used a lot of pleats. Then I paired it with a Coco Chanel style square jacket,” explained Christopher. And then there are the shoes… shoes with fabric… with pearls and chains… and shoes with tassels… some with handbags to match. Mom Lissette knows her son is blessed. ” I think of him as a regular kid with a beautiful gift from God. But I definitely see him as a fashion designer down the road.” said mom Lissette Abella.

They include Valentino, Christian Dior, and of course, Coco Chanel.

So do those at the Doral Conservatory.

“This is a Coco Chanel gown I did with pearls. They are elegant pearls. She used

“You can consider him a professional. He’s an amazing talent. Ever since we saw him

for the first time we knew there was something different about him. His art is amazing!” Christopher earns high praises from Claudia Ahrens, spokeswoman for The Doral Conservatory. Christoper will be participating in a charity fashion show May 27th, where he will be creating several gowns. His mom is looking for sponsors. Each gown costs around $1,500 to make. If you are interested in being a sponsor, contact Lissette Abella at

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Facebook Fans’ Biggest Pet Peeves Facebook user Edith Kleiner. “What they’re cooking, what they’re eating, how they’re feeling… It’s there every step of the way,” said Acosta.

MIAMI (CBS4) – Are you a Facebook user that feels compelled to update your status according to how you feel, what you do, or to boast about your wonderful life? A recent survey shows that some of your social network friends may find you annoying. The daily deals site Eversave asked 400 women about the relationships they share with their Facebook friends, and many of them expressed that they are fed up with fellow users’ status updates. “It gets to a point where you don’t want to use it anymore,” said Facebook user Carl Acosta. “Everyone’s business is there.” The survey found that for many of the women on Facebook, their true feelings about some of their “friends” may be less than friendly. “I want to see your pictures once in a while, I want to be in contact with you but I’m not interested in every single second what group, photo you participate in,” said

The study found that 63 percent of the Facebook users asked agreed that their biggest pet peeve were the friends who complain via status update. Forty-one percent said the next most irritating status updaters were the ones who post their political views, and 32 percent find the braggers agitating. “What they’re cooking, what they’re eating, how they’re feeling… It’s there every step of the way,” said Acosta. But despite the complaints, the positive continues to outweigh the negative when it comes to why many continue to use the social networking site. “I have a lot of friends that I haven’t seen for a long time and sometimes I use it to see what they are doing. They have kids,” said Aura Gallego. So whether you’re the bragger, the whiner, the drama queen, or the proud mother, it seems your Facebook status says more about you than you think.

April 15, 2011


CBS4 Newspaper April 15, 2011 Edition

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April 15, 2011

Horoscopes provided by

Sagitarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

Gemini (May 22-June 21)

Don’t make large You may have a problem purchases or at work with a female investments. A change coworker. Concentrate on in position could be work or make changes to better than you thought. yourself. You will probably New romantic have to defend your mate. relationships will develop You may be tom between two through group activity related to possibilities. This has left you in a confused and uncertain state. Your luckiest sports events. Accept the inevitable. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday. events this month will occur on a Friday.

Don’t get upset. You have a real need to be vocal. You will enjoy events that lean toward theater, art, or music this month. Get involved in activities that will be fun for the whole family. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

Pisces (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 23)

Taurus (Apr. 21-May 21)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23)

You can make excellent investments if you are in the right place at the right time. You’re in the mood to spend money. You may have difficulties with someone close to you. Avoid friction with your mate. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Sunday.

You need to take a long, hard look at yourself and your personal situation. The emotional state of peers may cause a problem for you. You will have good ideas for home improvement projects. Don’t let someone you work with put words in your mouth. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Sunday.

Be cautious when dealing with coworkers. You might not accomplish all that you want to at home this month. You like to stay busy and now is your chance to do just that. You will impress new friends and acquaintances with your intellectual wit. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

Try to channel your energy into physical work. Don’t allow someone to do a job that was designated specifically for you. Coworkers may not be giving you all the pertinent information. You will be in a high cycle regarding work. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Friday.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 18)

Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 22)

Your involvement in groups You’ll find travel or will be favorable for involvement in large groups meeting new and gratifying. Look after financial transactions this exciting individuals. You month. You may not be as may think gifts will win well received in group their heart, but it could endeavors if you try to force add stress from lack of your will on others. Don’t let funds. Beware of your mate force you into individuals who are not that reliable or well known to making a decision that you you. You may want to plan physical activities that will aren’t ready to make. Your luckiest events this help burn off some of their excess energy. Your month will occur on a Saturday. luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

Moneymaking ventures may just turn your life around. Dazzle them with your intellectual conversation. Any intimate relationships with colleagues will lead to gossip that could easily affect your position. Travel and communications will not run as smoothly as you had hoped. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

You can utilize your versa tile mind and dazzle others with your speed and accuracy. In-laws or relatives may oppose your personal intentions. Take the time to do your job correctly or you may find yourself looking for a new one. Travel, although enticing, will cost more than you expect. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

2 7 3 9 1 8 6 5 4

4 9 1 2 5 6 3 7 8


6 8 5 3 4 7 2 9 1

7 5 8 6 2 9 4 1 3

L O C A L .

1 3 2 5 8 4 7 6 9

8 2 6 1 7 3 9 4 5

3 1 7 4 9 5 8 2 6

5 4 9 8 6 2 1 3 7


SUDOKU INSTRUCTIONS: Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square.

6 1 7 6 2


8 6 1 3 4 4

8 3 5 1 2


1 8 6 3 7 4

PRINTED IN THE USA, COPYRIGHT ©2011 BY MARCO G, INC. All rights reserved. The CBS4 Newspaper, a free publication, is published monthly by MARCO G, Inc. Material in this publication must not be stored or reproduced in any form without permission from CBS4. Requests for permission should be directed to 305-477-1699. CBS4 and its logo (s) are protected through trademark registration. The use of logos, content and/or artwork in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. For more information please contact 305-477-1699.


R E A L .

9 6 4 7 3 1 5 8 2

N E W S .

Sudoku provided by

You need to get out and have some fun to reduce tension. Take care that arrangements to spend quality time together are made in advance. Get rich quick schemes will not be successful. Be careful not to let friends or peers make you look bad. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Sunday.

April 1st Solution

Aries (Mar. 21-Apr. 20)

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April 15, 2011 Edition

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