Chinese student sentenced to prison for taking photos of US military installation in Florida

A Chinese man who was arrested in September and admitted to illegally taking photos of a U.S. military installation in Key West, Florida, was sentenced to a year in prison on Tuesday.

Zhao Qianli, 21, pleaded guilty to one count of photographing defense installations. In addition to his prison sentence from a federal judge, Zhao must complete a year of supervised release.

Zhao was arrested on Sept. 26 at the Joint Interagency Task Force South at Naval Air Station Key West. Prosecutors said Zhao was seen taking pictures of sensitive parts of the air station and “associated military hardware” after walking around a fence into a well-marked restricted zone.

Zhao’s attorney insisted he was merely a tourist who got lost and wandered onto the base. But investigators say he had only base photos on his cellphone and camera, and no familiar tourist locations in Key West.


Zhao was in the U.S. to study musicology as part of a summer exchange program from North University of China. The FBI said he was in the country legally, but his visa ran out a week before his arrest.

Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More than 16,000 fish will be released into Florida waters to help restore wildlife slammed by red tide

Thousands of fish, sea turtles and manatees were killed by the red tide which stuck around Florida coasts for months.

Thousands of fish, sea turtles and manatees were killed by the red tide which stuck around Florida coasts for months.

(CNN)More than 16,000 redfish will be released into southwest Florida waters starting Tuesday in an effort to recover the thousands of animals killed by red tide, the Coastal Conservation Association of Florida said.

“We’re extremely excited to begin releasing these fish now that the waters are determined to be safe,” CCA Florida Executive Director Brian Gorski said in a statement. “Between these releases, encouraging anglers to catch-and-release and promoting conservation, we’re going to see this fishery improve, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”
More than 2,000 tons of marine wildlife washed ashore as a “red tide” algae bloom choked Florida’s Gulf Coast for months last year. Red tide results from toxins released by dead algae blooms. The toxins, which can be steered by wind and water currents, are deadly to wildlife, including fish. Red tide also may cause irritation to people’s skin and lead to respiratory problems, especially for those with asthma.
CCA, in partnership with Duke Energy and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will release more than 1,000 fish through five counties along the southwest coast, which has been determined safe, the association said in a news release.
    Duke Energy donated all the redfish to help preserve Florida’s natural environment, a spokeswoman told CNN.
      “We are permitted by FWC to release up to 16,000 juvenile and up to 250 adult redfish,” Peveeta Persaud said. “We plan to release up to our permitted number in total, so 16,250 redfish.”
      By late 2018, the state had spent more than $ 8 million in cleanup costs and tourism-reliant businesses had lost tens of millions of dollars because of the red tide algae bloom.

      Florida woman caught stealing lots of dough from local Little Caesars

      A Florida pizza shop manager was allegedly not making enough dough at her job at a local Little Caesars — and she’s now accused of swiping nearly $ 16,000 from the business.

      According to Boynton Beach police, the owner of the eatery spotted Jenay Marie Evans on surveillance footage allegedly stuffing what appeared to be $ 300 in bills into her purse.

      He went on to review more than 160 hours of video, which allegedly showed Evans make “no sale” entries to open the cash register multiple times and even failed to move cash from the register to a safe as often as her other co-workers did.


      The business owner determined that Evans, 25, had swiped about $ 15,963 from the eatery while she worked there from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30 last year, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

      Further video showed Evans taking the money and either placing it in her purse, a bank bag or concealing it another way before taking it outside the store, officials said.

      Evans was fired, and she was arrested Feb. 2 by the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. She was released on $ 6,000 bond.


      Evans faces charges of organizing a scheme to defraud, less than $ 20,000 and grand theft.

      Florida woman arrested after allegedly throwing frozen pork chop at boyfriend

      A Florida woman was arrested after she allegedly got into a bizarre fight with her boyfriend, ultimately hurling a frozen pork chop at him.

      Jennifer Brassard, 48, and the boyfriend got into the spat around 9:45 p.m. on Friday in Brooksville, north of Tampa, WFLA reported. The fight escalated before Brassard allegedly threw the meat at her beau.

      The pork chop hit the man in the face, and left a half-inch cut on his eyebrow, investigators said. Other circumstances surrounding the fight were unclear.


      Brassard allegedly took off, and was arrested Saturday.

      Brassard was charged with domestic battery, according to online records from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

      Fire at Florida wildlife sanctuary kills 33 animals, birds

      Thirty-three animals and birds perished in an overnight fire Monday at a Florida wildlife sanctuary.

      Several snakes, turtles and exotic birds, four giant tortoises and three pet dogs died in the 1:30 a.m. house fire at the Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary in Orange County, home to about 240 animals, according to reports.

      Owner Jim Bronzo escaped the fire after screaming peacocks on the property woke him up, FOX35 Orlando reported.

      “I looked out the window and saw the orange flames…I had no clothes on. I had no phone,” Bronzo told the Orlando Sentinel. “I screamed out, ‘Somebody help me, somebody please help me.’ I felt so helpless.”

      Authorities reported that the owner of the Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom when he was awakened by his peacocks.

      Authorities reported that the owner of the Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom when he was awakened by his peacocks. (Orange County Fire Rescue)


      Bronzo rescued a dog name Yoshi as he fled.

      Bronzo usually shares his bed with Yoshi, the three dogs who died, and a small raccoon named Camille, the paper reported.

      He feared Camille died but the critter turned up eight hours later, fur singed but safe, according to the paper.

      Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary's Jim Bronzo cradles dog named Yoshi he rescured from fire.  

      Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary’s Jim Bronzo cradles dog named Yoshi he rescured from fire.   (Orand County Fire Rescue)


      Bronzo appeared last week at an Orange County Commission meeting to complain about a neighbor with whom he has been squabbling, the Sentinel reported. The neighbor, Brian Ramphal, waved firefighters onto his property Monday to fight the blaze.

      The cause of the fire was under investigation.

      Trump golfs with greats Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus at his Florida club

      President Trump said he had a “great morning” golfing with pros Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods Saturday at his private club in Florida.

      Trump arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, on Saturday morning after escaping the cold and snow in Washington, D.C. a day earlier.


      Trump tweeted a photo of him with the two golf greats smiling on the green.

      “Great morning at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods!” the commander in chief wrote.

      The trip is Trump’s first to his Florida home and properties since Thanksgiving. The president had limited his travel during a record, 35-day partial government shutdown. He ended the shutdown last week.


      Both Nicklaus and Woods are regular golf partners for Trump. Nicklaus even designed the club’s 18-hole course, according to the website.

      In September, Woods won the PGA Tour. Meanwhile, Nicklaus, also known as the Golden Bear, is the “oldest winner in Masters Tournament history” at the age of 46, according to the World Golf Hall of Fame.


      The Associated Press contributed to this report.

      ‘Wide neck’ man known for viral mugshots is arrested again in Florida

      A Florida man is up to his neck in mugshots after the viral sensation found himself back in jail for a third time Tuesday when the state revoked his bond for a prior arrest, a report said.

      Charles Dion McDowell, 31, had his bond revoked — relating to charges of fleeing and eluding police, possession of meth and cocaine, and other drug offenses — from an arrest last year in Escambia County, the Pensacola News Journal reported.


      Records showed he had paid the $ 57,000 bond and was released from jail Nov. 19.

      Charles Dion McDowell, whose first two mugshots went viral, was arrested again.

      Charles Dion McDowell, whose first two mugshots went viral, was arrested again.

      But McDowell was arrested a second time just two days later in Alabama for allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase. He was charged with eluding police, second-degree marijuana possession, driving with a revoked license, reckless driving, and improper lane usage. He was released — after posing for a new mugshot and posting a $ 5,400 bond.

      McDowell’s mugshot became a viral sensation when the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office posted it on its Facebook page in November. The ensuing popularity not only spawned a slew of neck jokes on the internet, but made McDowell “internet famous.” His Instagram account “damnwideneck” boasts 1.3 million followers.


      McDowell must now remain behind bars until he faces trial for the charges from his Florida arrest last year, the News Journal reported. His next court date was scheduled for Feb. 21.

      A post on his Instagram regarding the incident reads: “When all this is over with this last case, you have his word that’ll he’ll never go back to jail again!”

      Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang and Katherine Lam contributed to this report.

      NTSB to investigate deadly Florida church van crash

      The federal agency responsible for investigating major crashes and accidents is sending an eight-member team to Florida to investigate a fiery crash that killed two semitrailer drivers and five children riding in a church van.

      The National Transportation Safety Board announced the investigation Wednesday on Twitter. The post says the recent government shutdown prevented them from investigating sooner.

      Florida Highway Patrol says the crash occurred Jan. 3 on Interstate 75 near Gainesville. A tractor-trailer and a car heading north smashed into each other and then burst through a metal guardrail, slamming into another semitrailer and the southbound van. A fifth car, unable to avoid the chaos, hit people who were thrown from the van.

      The van had been coming from a Pentecostal church in Marksville, La., for a visit to Walt Disney World.

      Officials say eight others were injured.

      A sinkhole turned out be an underground tunnel to a Florida bank

      Public works employees discovered a tunnel leading toward a Chase bank in a Pembroke Pines, Florida.

      Public works employees discovered a tunnel leading toward a Chase bank in a Pembroke Pines, Florida.

      (CNN)Public works employees in Florida stumbled upon something they don’t see every day: a small “claustrophobic ” tunnel leading to a Chase bank, according to the FBI.

      The Pembroke Pines public works employees responded to a report of a possible sinkhole near Flamingo Road on Tuesday night and discovered the tunnel, which was about 50 yards long, with a power cord near the tunnel leading to a small generator, the FBI said Wednesday.
      “It’s approximately 2-foot, maybe 3-foot in diameter. It’s very small, it’s very claustrophobic,” FBI Miami Special Agent Michael D. Leverock told reporters.
      The tunnel was near a wooded area south of the bank. It didn’t reach the bank, which is across the street from the tunnel’s entrance, the FBI said. The FBI is investigating the discovery as an attempted bank burglary. No arrests have been made.
        “They’re heading towards the ATM. I don’t think they were doing that for any other reason,” Leverock said.
        A power cord was found near the tunnel.

        A power cord was found near the tunnel.

        The tunnel appeared to be a scene straight out of a movie. Or not.
        “I would like to say I saw something like this in the movies, however, this hole is so small that … it’s unique,” Leverock said.
        He added: “You would not be afraid of small places for sure if you were doing this.”
        Authorities believe more than one person likely dug the tunnel, apparently using pick axes, Leverock said. A winch and a small wagon used to haul away dirt, debris and rocks was found, he said.
        “This is truly a unique case here,” he said.
        Authorities don’t know where the tunnel ends yet or when it was abandoned, Leverock said. Rainfall over the past few days may have caused it to collapse, he said.
        The Pembroke Pines Department of Public Works declined to comment, referring questions to the FBI. The FBI released photos of the wagon and generator, hoping the public could help authorities track down the digger — or diggers.
          Authorities want to talk to them.
          “So, if somebody’s been bragging about this, somebody’s seen this wagon, seen a generator and some folks who are talking about a tunnel, certainly give us a call.”

          No charges filed in deaths of 3 Florida children found ‘trapped inside’ of a freezer: authorities

          No charges will be filed following the deaths of three children who passed away earlier this month after getting stuck in a freezer while playing outside, the sheriff’s office said.

          The decision announced Friday came roughly two weeks after the “tragic” Jan. 13 fatalities of Dawlton Lee Delbridge, 6, Kaliegh Mae Meeks, 19 months, and Brooklyn Leigh Jackson, 4, who died at a home in Live Oak after they were found “trapped inside of a chest freezer,” the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.

          The sheriff’s office had given their investigation’s findings to the Third Judicial Circuit of Florida State Attorney’s Office, which arrived at the conclusion.


          “Third Judicial Circuit of Florida State Attorney, Jeff Seigmeister, after reviewing all the evidence, the totality of the circumstances leading up to the children entering the freezer, the actions the adults took upon discovering the children missing along with the actions they took upon finding the children unresponsive has decided that no criminal charges will be filed in this case,” the office wrote on Facebook.

          The sheriff’s office provided the letter from Seigmeister with the decision, which said that there was “no evidence of foul play” and “nothing to suggest the deaths resulted in any intentional or malicious act.”

          Brooklyn lived at the residence with her mother and Dawlton and Kaliegh lived there with their grandmother, according to The Associated Press.


          On the day of the incident, the three children had been playing outside. One of the women had been watching the kids before going inside “for a relatively short amount of time,” Seigmeister said in the letter. Upon realizing that the kids were missing, the two began searching and found them “in a freezer in the yard,” the letter said.

          “All three children died due to a lack of oxygen in the freezer,” Seigmeister said.


          Following the incident, it was determined that “when the children entered the freezer, and the lid closed, the hasp fell shut, trapping the children inside,” the sheriff’s office previously explained.

          The freezer on the property was being temporarily stored in the yard until the women could get help moving it inside the home, Seigmeister wrote in the letter, later adding that neither woman had tested positive for drugs.

          Fox News’ Madeline Farber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.