LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami/AP) — We’re going to find out how big a part actress Roseanne Barr played in the success of the show bearing her name.
ABC, which canceled its “Roseanne” revival over its star’s racist tweet, says it will air a Conner family sitcom minus Barr this fall.
ABC ordered 10 episodes of the spinoff after Barr agreed to forgo any creative or financial participation in it.
In a statement issued by the show’s producer, Barr says she agreed to the settlement in order to save the jobs of 200 cast and crew members.
ABC said Thursday that the new series has the working title “The Conners” and will star John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert and other “Roseanne” co-stars.
The revival of the hit 1988-97 sitcom “Roseanne” was axed by ABC after Barr posted a tweet likening former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.”
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Congo is about as far removed from Cuba as you can get.
Yet in the 1960’s, Cubans squared off in a military confrontation that featured Fidel Castro’s troops commanded by Che Guevara pitted against a CIA force that consisted of pilots, ground troops and a small navy.
Jim Hawes was a Navy Seal and when he got to the Congo as a CIA contractor, his job was to put a working naval operation together to cut the supply lines that Russian and Chinese supported rebels had established on Lake Tanganyika that separates The Congo and Tanzania.
The CIA airlifted two Swift Boats from the Anti-Castro efforts in the Caribbean to the Congo.
Like the pilots and ground troops who were CIA contractors, the men who crewed the Swift Boats were non-U.S. citizen Cubans. Many had been involved in the Bay of Pigs operation or had been trained by the CIA for various anti-Castro operations. In the Congo, they were getting another shot at Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.
Recently, declassified documents allowed Jim Hawes to fully tell the story of the so-called Congo Navy in his book “Cold War Navy Seal, My story of Che Guevara, War in the Congo, and the Communist threat in Africa.”
The CIA backed Cuban Congo Navy put a big dent in the supply lines that crisscrossed Lake Tanganyika.
In the process, the Cuban Navy almost took out Che Guevara during a firefight in the middle of the lake. Guevara was said to be making a dash across the lake to safety as the Castro backed operation was eventually abandoned.
“Some people have said it was the most successful clandestine operation attempted up to that time in the history of the U.S. government,” Hawes told CBS4’s Hank Tester at a recent South Florida book-signing event.
Jim Hawes book signing event (CBS4)
Fidel Castro’s plan to create a foothold in Africa collapsed due in part to the presence of the CIA sponsored operation.
Of the Cubans under his command, Jim Hawes writes; “For the US government, they came with the political convenience of plausible deniability. None of them had US citizenship and many were stateless having filed through Cuba and entering the US without proper paperwork. They were proud professionals, loyal, dedicated and essential players in the US covert war in the Congo.”
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Broward Sheriff’s Office says longtime teacher Ronald Sherman downloaded child porn images of young children and spoke openly in at least one online chat about his intense desire to have sex with young girls.
BSO Sergeant Thomas McInerney told CBS4 News that BSO’s investigation of Sherman, who worked as a science teacher at Apollo Middle School in Hollywood, began in January with a tip from the website Tumblr.
Mugshot for Ronald Sherman, a former Broward County teacher who was arrested on child porn charges. (Source: Broward Sheriff’s Office)
“Once we had identified him as a suspect we found out he’s employed here in a local middle school as a science teacher, which obviously raises our concern because he’s in a position of authority, a position of trust, he has access to children,” McInerney said. “It’s a scary thing for us.”
According to the arrest report in the case, Sherman told detectives that any pictures they would find on his Tumblr site “were ‘not sexual’ and would be ‘considered art.'”
McInerney said that is definitely not the case.
“Not at all. It was absolutely of children, young children. It was absolutely not art. It was disgusting images,” McInerney said.
Also in the arrest report, BSO says Sherman chatted with another person on Tumblr talking openly and intimately about his interest in having sex with minor girls.
The arrest report reveals that Sherman spoke in graphic terms about sex with minor girls and made the following comments:
“I love em young! Delicious!”
“You have really great taste in little girls! I really love this!”
McInerney said that chat was horrifying to read.
“He references his desire to have sex with very, very young children, little girls and with his position as a schoolteacher, his position of authority and access to them that was very disturbing to us,” he said.
The Broward school district says Sherman taught science at Apollo Middle School since 2006.
The school district says he resigned his position sometime after BSO began its investigation back in January.
BSO says at this point they are not aware of any allegations that Sherman had inappropriate contact with children but BSO wants to hear from anyone with more information on this case.
SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Panthers are considered by many as a team on the rise, and the upcoming season is bringing high expectations along with it.
Florida finished the 2017-18 schedule as the league’s best team during the second half of the season.
After a rough start under new head coach Bob Boughner, the Panthers quickly got on the same page and the results speak for themselves.
Now Florida heads toward a new season with a clean slate and plans to re-claim the Atlantic Division title they won just two years ago.
On Thursday the NHL released the full schedule for the 2018-19 season.
For the second straight year, Florida will play their first game in Tampa Bay on October 6th.
Six of the Panthers nine games in October are on the road, but things even out a bit in November with eight games at the BB&T Center.
Starting in mid-March, Florida plays a stretch of eight out of 10 on the road before closing the season with a three-game homestand.
One big change this season are that the start time for almost every home game has been changed to 7 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m., which had been the norm for years.
According to the team, change is to “enhance the overall game experience for families and our fans, including pre and post-game activities. This was a decision we spent a lot of time and consideration on and took into account fan feedback, which we weighed heavily.”
The Panthers experimented with 7 p.m. start times last season, but only on weekends.
The team attributes “countless surveys and other fan conversations” that were “in favor of the change” as the main reason for the new start time.
It’s worth noting that last season 22 of the NHL’s 31 teams started weekday home games at 7 p.m.
Florida plays 28 games within the Atlantic Division this season with four games (two home and two away) against the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers will play 24 games against teams from the Metropolitan Division and 30 games (one home and one away) against the Western Conference.
HOCKEY NIGHTS IN SOUTH FLORIDA
The Cats will host a season-high 14 home games on Saturday this season, five on Sunday, three on Monday, four on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, eight on Thursday and five on Friday.
Opening the season on the road against their cross-state rivals in Tampa Bay (Oct. 6), the Panthers will face the Lightning at Amalie Arena once more on Nov. 21 before hosting them in South Florida for their final two regular season match-ups, on Dec. 1, and Feb. 10.
The Cats will face the Winnipeg Jets in two match-ups at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 2 as part of the NHL Global Series.
Florida will serve as the ‘home team’ on Nov. 1 and the ‘road team’ for Nov. 2.
LONG ROAD TRIP, LONGER HOMESTAND
Florida’s season-high six-game road trip is followed by the club’s season-high eight-game home stand. Over the Panthers stretch of six road games from Nov. 13-23 they will visit Philadelphia, Columbus, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Carolina.
The Panthers eight-game home stand from Nov. 24-Dec. 8 marks the longest stretch of home games the Panthers will play this season. Over the season-high eight-game home stand, the Panthers will host Chicago, New Jersey, Anaheim, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Boston, Colorado, and NY Rangers.
DEFENDING THE TERRITORY
Starting on January 21, Florida will play 12 of 13 games at the BB&T Center (a 5-game homestand followed by a 7-game homestand, separated by a brief trip to face defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington).
The month of February holds the most home games for the Panthers in the 2018-19 season. The Cats will play 11 of their 15 games at BB&T Center.
CELEBRATING 25 YEARS
In honor of the Panthers 25th anniversary season, each Friday and Saturday home game of the season will celebrate the history of the franchise with ‘Flashback Fridays’ and ‘Legacy Saturdays’.
Stay tuned to FloridaPanthers.com/promotions for more information.
Back by popular demand, each Thursday home game of the season will be ‘$5 Beer Thursdays’.
Major Panthers theme and promotional nights this season will include the return of fan favorites like Star Wars Night, Panther Conservation Night, Military Appreciation Night, Pride Night, Kids Takeover Night, as well as Hockey Fights Cancer Night and more.
NEW START TIMES / MATINEE MATCH-UPS
All Panthers home games will begin at 7 P.M. with the exception of five weekend games: Sunday, Nov. 11 vs. Ottawa (5 P.M.), Sunday, Feb. 10 vs. Tampa Bay (6 P.M.), Saturday, Feb. 23 vs. Los Angeles (5 P.M.), Sunday, March 3 vs. Ottawa (5 P.M.) and Sunday, March 10 vs. Detroit (5 P.M.)
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A U.S. Supreme Court decision expanding the ability of states to pull in tax dollars from online purchases could have a significant impact in Florida.
In a 5-4 ruling Thursday, the nation’s highest court upheld a South Dakota law that allowed the state to apply its sales tax to major online retailers, even if they had no physical presence in the state.
The decision sent share prices for Amazon, Overstock, Wayfair, Ebay and Etsy tumbling.
“A lot of uncertainty right now both for consumers, businesses and state tax authorities because they have to figure out what exactly they’re going to do, how to comply, who has to comply,” said Ilya Shapiro with the Cato Institute.
Before the explosion of internet shopping, the high court ruled in 1992 an online retailer only had to collect sales tax if it had a physical presence in the state.
But in 2016, South Dakota sued online retailers Wayfair and Overstock for the estimated $50 million a year the state said it was losing in sales tax revenue.
“We don’t know what exactly is going to happen,” Shapiro said. “This was about South Dakota’s laws. Other states might do it differently.”
Brick-and-mortar retailers in Florida and other states have long complained that allowing some online retailers to evade sales taxes creates a competitive advantage for the remote sellers.
Consumers were supposed to voluntarily pay sales taxes on remote purchases, although it rarely happened.
In his majority opinion Thursday, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited the expansion of internet commerce since the court’s 1992 decision, noting national mail-order sales totaled $180 billion at that point, compared to $453.5 billion in online sales in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“(The prior decision) puts both local businesses and many interstate businesses with physical presence at a competitive disadvantage relative to remote sellers,” Kennedy wrote. “Remote sellers can avoid the regulatory burdens of tax collection and can offer de facto lower prices caused by the widespread failure of consumers to pay the tax on their own.”
In a dissenting opinion citing the court’s prior ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts said federal lawmakers, not the court, should decide whether to tax remote sales.
“Any alteration to those rules with the potential to disrupt the development of such a critical segment of the economy should be undertaken by Congress,” he wrote.
The court decision was praised by Florida business groups.
“For years, online-only retailers have exploited this loophole that allows them not to collect sales tax, which has given them an unfair competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar stores,” said James Miller, a spokesman for the Florida Retail Federation. “This decision finally levels that playing field, and I think that’s all any business owner wants.”
The court decision could also be important in Florida because of the state’s heavy reliance on sales-tax revenue. Expected to generate more than $24 billion for the state government in the current fiscal year, the sales tax is the single largest source of funding for the state.
Dominic Calabro, president of Florida TaxWatch, a business-oriented advocacy group, said the ability to apply the sales tax to more internet sales will keep the state’s tax structure in sync with the evolving economy.
“The taxpayers of Florida really rely heavily on the sales tax. You’ve got to have a modern sales tax, so we don’t have to have any other kind of tax that people don’t want,” Calabro said. “So, by relying on a sales tax, you have to make sure it’s modern and up to date.”
The exact impact of the ruling on Florida’s sales tax collections is unknown but it could be significant.
Last November, the federal Government Accountability Office estimated that states could have collected between $8.5 billion and $13.4 billion in sales taxes in 2017 if they had expanded taxing authority. The estimate represented between 2 and 4 percent of total state and local sales tax collections in 2016, the analysts said.
In testimony before the Florida House Ways & Means Committee in January 2017, analysts gave a rough estimate of $200 million in potential sales tax revenue resulting from applying the tax to more remote sales.
In Florida, the sales tax has been applied to a wider range of internet sales over the last few years. In 2014, Amazon, the largest online retailer, began collecting the tax in Florida after it opened a series of “fulfillment centers” in the state. But the tax is not applied to “third-party” sales through the Amazon network.
And according to the Supreme Court case, some large online retailers do not collect taxes on their remote sales. Wayfair Inc., an online retailer of home goods and furniture that challenged the South Dakota law, had more than $4.7 billion in net revenue in 2017, according to the opinion.
But even with the court’s decision, not all remote sales are likely to be taxed. The South Dakota law only applied the tax to online retailers that had at least $100,000 of annual sales in the state or 200 individual transactions.
The News Service of Florida’s Lloyd Dunkelberger contributed to this report.
MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – The City of Miami Beach is one of three finalists for the location of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
Other cities being considered include Milwaukee and Houston. Denver also made the party’s short list but withdrew its bid due to scheduling conflicts.
Bids from Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco and Birmingham were rejected.
Miami Beach city officials plan to submit a formal proposal next week to the Democratic National Committee.
If selected, Miami Beach plans to host registration, meetings and other events at its convention center and speeches and voting to select a candidate would likely be held at AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami.
The host city is expected to be announced in early 2019 following committee site visits during the summer and fall.
Although Miami Beach is the lead host, the city submitted a joint proposal with Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami.
If Miami Beach is chosen, it would be the first time in nearly 50 years that the city will host a major political convention. Miami Beach was the site of the Republican convention in 1968 and both the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1972 which drew destructive anti-war protests.
The 2020 Democratic Convention will be held July 13-16, just before the 2020 Summer Olympics.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republicans have decided to postpone a vote on one of two immigration bills until Friday.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters as he left a leadership meeting Thursday afternoon that they postponing the vote on the comprise bill negotiated between conservative and moderate Republicans in the House.
The news came as lawmakers were scrambling to find the votes and answer an onslaught of rank-and-file member questions about what the compromise legislation does.
The bill would provide President Donald Trump with $25 billion in border security including wall funding in exchange for a path to citizenship for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump ended but has been held up in legal limbo. The bill was negotiated among moderates, conservatives, and leadership, but has caused heartburn among all flanks of the conference. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have expressed concerns with the bill as have members of the moderate wing.
Majority Whip Steve Scalise had made the case for delaying the vote Wednesday night and he lost the argument.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has known where the bill was headed. It wasn’t expected to pass and he wanted to have the vote and move on. But, after the first vote series of the day Thursday, it became clear that rank-and-file members were a mix of confused and uncomfortable with what they knew about the compromise bill. Scalise seized on that and took it back to leadership to make the case again, and the vote was moved.
The move does little to suggest that the bill will pass. It doesn’t have the votes, multiple aides have said.
“Doesn’t feel great,” Rep. Tom Cole, a member of the whip team and an ally of GOP leadership said about the prospects for passage.
News of the delay came at the same time the US House of Representatives failed by 193-231 to pass another, more conservative immigration bill, known as the Goodlatte bill after House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a conservative Republican from Virginia.
With no Democrats voting for the bill, Republicans needed enough of their own members to get to a majority but failed to cross that threshold.
Trump had said he would sign either bill that passes out of Congress.
On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order that temporarily ends the separation of families at the border, but it lasts only 20 days which gives Congress less than three weeks to find a permanent solution.
Trump expressed frustration with Congress Thursday morning, questioning what good it will do to pass an immigration bill in the House if it can’t pass the Senate. He once again called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to end the Senate filibuster rules.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a role in Alzheimer’s, scientists reported Thursday in a provocative study that promises to re-ignite some long-debated theories about what triggers the mind-robbing disease.
The findings don’t prove viruses cause Alzheimer’s, nor do they suggest it’s contagious. But a team led by researchers at New York’s Mount Sinai Health System found that certain viruses — including two extremely common herpes viruses — affect the behavior of genes involved in Alzheimer’s.
The idea that infections earlier in life might somehow set the stage for Alzheimer’s decades later has simmered at the edge of mainstream medicine for years. It’s been overshadowed by the prevailing theory that Alzheimer’s stems from sticky plaques that clog the brain.
Thursday’s study has even some specialists who never embraced the infection connection saying it’s time for a closer look, especially as attempts to block those so-called beta-amyloid plaques have failed.
“With an illness this terrible, we cannot afford to dismiss all scientific possibilities,” said Dr. John Morris, who directs the Alzheimer’s research center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He wasn’t involved in the new research but called it impressive.
The study also fits with mounting evidence that how aggressively the brain’s immune system defends itself against viruses or other germs may be riskier than an actual infection, said Alzheimer’s specialist Dr. Rudolph Tanzi of Massachusetts General Hospital. With Harvard colleague Dr. Robert Moir, Tanzi has performed experiments showing that sticky beta-amyloid captures invading germs by engulfing them — and that’s why the plaque starts forming in the first place.
“The question remained, OK, in the Alzheimer brain what are the microbes that matter, what are the microbes that trigger the plaque?” explained Tanzi, who also had no role in the new research.
The team from Mount Sinai and Arizona State University came up with some viral suspects — by accident. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, wasn’t hunting viruses but was looking for new drug targets for Alzheimer’s. The researchers were using complex genetic data from hundreds of brains at several brain banks to compare differences between people who’d died with Alzheimer’s and the cognitively normal.
The first clues that viruses were around “came screaming out at us,” said Mount Sinai geneticist Joel Dudley, a senior author of the research published Thursday in the journal Neuron.
The team found viral genetic material at far higher levels in Alzheimer’s-affected brains than in normal ones. Most abundant were two human herpes viruses, known as HHV6a and HHV7, that infect most people during childhood, often with no symptoms, and then lie dormant in the body.
That wasn’t unusual. Since 1980, other researchers have linked a variety of bacteria and viruses, including another type of herpes that causes cold sores, to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. But it was never clear if germs were merely bystanders, or actively spurring Alzheimer’s.
The new study went farther: Researchers used computer models to check how the viral genes interacted with human genes, proteins and amyloid buildup, almost like the viruses’ social media connections, Dudley explained.
“We’re able to see if viral genes are friending some of the host genes and if they tweet, who tweets back,” Dudley said.
They found a lot of interactions, suggesting the viruses could even switch on and off Alzheimer’s-related genes. To see if those interactions mattered, the researchers bred mice lacking one molecule that herpes seemed to deplete. Sure enough, the animals developed more of those amyloid plaques.
“I look at this paper and it makes me sit up and say, ‘Wow,'” said Alzheimer’s Association scientific programs director Keith Fargo.
He said the research makes a viral connection much more plausible but cautioned that the study won’t affect how today’s patients are treated.
If the findings pan out, they could change how scientists look for new ways to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s, said Dr. Miroslaw Mackiewicz of NIH’s National Institute on Aging. Already, NIH is funding a first-step study to see if an antiviral drug benefits people who have both mild Alzheimer’s and different herpes viruses.
Just having a herpes virus “does not mean you’re going to get Alzheimer’s,” Mass General’s Tanzi stressed. It may not even have penetrated the brain.
But in another study soon to be published, Tanzi showed biologically how both HHV6 and a cold sore-causing herpes virus can trigger or “seed” amyloid plaque formation, supporting the Mount Sinai findings.
Still, he doesn’t think viruses are the only suspects.
“The Mount Sinai paper tells us the viral side of the story. We still have to work out the microbe side of the story,” said Tanzi, who is looking for bacteria and other bugs in what’s called the Brain Microbiome Project. “The brain was always thought to be a sterile place. It’s absolutely not true.”
MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Fashion designer Kate Spade will be laid to rest Thursday in Kansas City, where she was born.
Services for Spade are planned for 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Church. Her father, Frank Brosnahan, says it’s the same church where Spade’s grandparents wed.
Spade was found dead on June 5 in her New York City home. She was 55 and had a 13-year-old daughter.
Spade was working as an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine when she launched her company with husband Andy Spade in 1993.
Andy Spade says she had depression and anxiety for many years. He said in a statement released earlier this month that his wife was seeing a doctor regularly and was taking medication to treat her disease.
He said he and his wife had been living separately in the 10 months before her death but saw each other or spoke every day. He said they were not legally separated and never discussed divorce.
Coach, now known as Tapestry, bought the Kate Spade brand last year for $2.4 billion. Kate and Andy Spade recently had started a new handbag company, Frances Valentine.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or a Kansas City animal shelter.