Southern Broward

EXCLUSIVE: Video Shows Cat Being Slammed Against Wall At Miami-Area PetSmart

A Broward animal welfare organization is under fire after shocking video of one of its volunteers being rough with a cat emerged.

In the video, a unidentified volunteer for Cat Crusade is seen using a broom to forcefully push “Mocha”, a cat, against a wall divider.

The volunteer uses profanity and becomes visibly angry while shoving the broom at the cat.

“Get the fuck out!,” the woman says on video. “Go! Go! Come on! Move! Out! Out! Out Mocha!”

The video was taken by Nadia Sazonova yesterday at a Hollywood PetSmart.

She then sent it to RISE NEWS.

In a phone interview, Sazonova said that the incident occurred at the cat adoption section of the PetSmart.

She said that there were a number of cats in that area at the time of the incident.

She was at the store to pick up a leash for her dog when her attention was drawn to the cat adoption section.

“When I was passing by she was cursing,” Sazonova said. “When I came closer, I saw she had a broom and was hitting the cat, so I started to record.”

“Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of pets in our care,” PetSmart said in a statement to RISE NEWS. “As soon as we were alerted to to the incident with Mocha, we took immediate action to ensure that Mocha was unharmed. Additionally, the volunteer of our partner organization, Cat Crusaders, that committed the act was immediately removed from the store and will not be allowed to return.”

A PetSmart spokesperson told RISE NEWS that the pet chain works with over 4,000 different animal welfare organizations across the country, and even supplies space for their operations in its stores.

However, the spokesperson said that it is up to the individual partner animal welfare organizations to vet the volunteers who work out of space at PetSmart.

“It’s a unfornature incident that occurred with a volunteer,” the spokesperson said.

But for Sazonova, that response isn’t enough.

“I would like this woman not to work with pets anymore or for her to be charged with animal cruelty,” Sazonova said.

According to its website, Cat Crusade provides care for 50-80 stray cays per month in Broward County.

PetSmart said that they brought Mocha the cat to a veterinarian immediately after learning of the incident and that the cat is doing fine.

Cat Crusaders did not immediately  respond to requests for comment. We will update this story if they do.

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Dozens Arrested After Anti-ICE Protestors Shut Down Broward Intersection

What’s News In This Story?

– Dozens of protestors who shut down an intersection outside of a Miramar ICE facility have been arrested after a day of civil disobedience.

The protesters, who include an 18 year old girl were prepared to be arrested in order to make a point.

-They said that they were prepared to be arrested in order to draw attention to the plight of immigrant families who they claim are being mistreated at the Miramar ICE facility. 

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

Newly Reopened To The Public, Miami’s Iconic Freedom Tower Has Positioned Itself As An Ideas Hub

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The TV Weatherman Who Is Trying To Save Miami From Drowning

What’s News In This Story?

–John Morales is the chief meteorologist of NBC 6. He has also become one of the leading voices on climate change in South Florida. 

Morales is not afraid to use his platform to talk about climate change. 

–He frequently ties daily weather events to the broader context of what’s happening with climate change. Examples of this include the increasing frequency of “King Tides” in Miami and the increase in days that are good for mosquito development.

–Morales was born in upstate New York and raised in Puerto Rico. He studied atmospheric science at Cornell University and worked for the National Weather Service before getting into local tv in 1991.  

–He helped Miami’s Spanish speaking community get through Hurricane Andrew while he was at Univision- a job that he held until 2003. He then worked at Telemundo’s Miami affiliate for six years before scoring the chief meteorologist job at NBC 6 in 2009. 

 –Morales helped the American Meteorological Society increase its standards for broadcaster meteorologists- a move that some feel helped increase the number of tv weather people who believe that climate change is caused by humans. 

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

La Gringa For Miami: How A Special Election Is Changing Politics In South Florida

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Brutally Bullied As A Kid, She Never Thought She Could Be A Beauty Queen. But Now Miss Hollywood Has A Chance To Win It All

As a little girl Isabella Logins would have never dreamed of being Miss Florida.

She was just hoping that the pain would stop.

Viciously bullied as a child, Logins grew up fighting back self-doubt.

Over time, she learned to love herself and not pay attention to the opinions of others.

But it took time.

And it was painful.

“When I was little I was picked on all the time,” Logins said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “Kids were mean to me and would make fun of me for being ugly, annoying, or just because they felt like it.”

She said that the bullying had a traumatic impact on her.

“It made me feel really sad and it made me feel really bad about myself,” Logins said. “It took me a long time to get myself to not think about what they would tell me.”

A Miami native, Logins graduated from Alonzo and Tracy Morning High School in North Miami.

She’s now a 22-year-old senior at FIU and the reigning Miss Hollywood USA.

Quite a long way from that insecure girl who bullies loved to pick on.

Logins will be competing in the Miss Florida 2018 pageant December 14-17 in Tampa.

She took an interest in pageantry about two years ago for the career networking aspect, but found that competing has helped her grow in other ways. 

Reflecting on her experiences through elementary and middle school, she did not expect to ever be involved in pageantry

“I thought [pageants] were only for extremely beautiful women and when I was younger I didn’t feel extremely beautiful,” Logins said. “But I’ve had to grow into a more confident person.”

Read More: The Greatest Sign Spinners In The World Live In South Florida. Yes, That’s A Thing

Her pageantry career has been successful.

Logins’ first pageant was for the crown of Miss Florida Keys 2017, where she ended up winning the title.

That victory made her eligible to compete in the Miss Florida 2017 pageant, where she finished in the top 16. 

In the Miss Florida pageant this year, Logins will be representing the Global Children’s Rescue as her cause

A non-profit, Global Children’s Rescue works to educate the public on human trafficking, as well as helping in actively rescuing missing children and human trafficking victims.

Isabella Logins at a Global Children’s rescue event. Photo Credit: Victoria Salas/ RISE NEWS.

The group is made up of a team of former federal, state, local, and military investigators.

“[Logins] took it upon herself to find us,” John Rode, founder of the Global Children’s Rescue said in an interview with RISE NEWS

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, out of 18,500 endangered runaways reported in 2016, one out of every six of those children were suspected of being entered into sex trafficking.

Logins believes that child sex trafficking is an important issue because it is occurring in most communities, yet much of the public is totally unaware.

Logins uses her social media platforms to share statistics and information about how common of an issue human trafficking is.

In a recent post on her Instagram, Logins encouraged people to send their family members a picture of themselves occasionally.

This is to give police a more accurate photo to use in case a person goes missing.

“It’s something that’s always interested me,” Logins said. “Sometimes girls go missing and we don’t have a real photo [of them].”

On average, a missing child’s case costs $25,000 and solving a human trafficking case can cost up to $100,000 according to Global Children’s Rescue.

Logins uses her platforms to promote Global Children’s Rescue fundraisers and events.

Her aim is to also reach younger people who might not be paying attention to how common human trafficking is and hopefully prevent future tragedies. 

A broadcast journalism major at FIU, Logins one day wants to be a successful anchor for a news channel.

“I would love to win [Miss Florida 2018] not just for personal growth, but for the cause,” Logins said.

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to [email protected].


“Did this South Florida Entrepreneur Just Invent The Next Tofu?”

The Greatest Sign Spinners In The World Live In South Florida. Yes, That’s A Thing

What’s New With This Story: 

AArrow Sign Spinners is the world leader in “human directional” advertising. They are making a big push in the South Florida market and just opened a new office in Hollywood. 

-The company was founded by Max Durovic when he was in college. Durovic started the company with just $500. It now employs 2,500 sign spinners in 35 different global markets. 

-The South Florida market is run by two Jamaicans named Kadeem. They are also considered some of the top spinners in the world. 

Max Durovic is spinning mad.

And that’s a good thing.

Durovic, the founder of AArrow Sign Spinners sits at the top of an unusual advertising empire.

He doesn’t harvest people’s attention via television or on the radio, he does it using the human form on the side of the road.

Durovic reinvented the sign spinning form and turned it into a sport.

15 years after he founded the company, Durovic now has 2,500 sign spinners working for him across the world in 35 global markets.

He is also doubling down on South Florida, a market that he feels could soon rival his top earning areas.

The company recently opened a new office in Hollywood.

That office is managed by Kadeem Johnson and Kadeem Grant.

Both Johnson and Grant are Jamaicans who met Durovic while he was attending graduate school in Washington, D.C.

Both are also considered to be soon of the top spinners in the world.

Johnson is even a three time world sign spinning champion.

They have a world championship in Las Vegas every year.


This company fits right at home in South Florida.

Watch More: Did this South Florida Entrepreneur Just Invent The Next Tofu? 

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to [email protected].

Hollywood Hills QB Becomes First Girl In Florida HS Football History To Throw A Touchdown

History was made in Broward County on Thursday night when Hollywood Hills High School quarterback Holly Neher threw a 45 yard touchdown pass to receiver Alexander Shelton.

It was the first time that a girl had thrown a touchdown in the history of Florida high school football.

And it happened on Neher’s first ever snap.

She would finish the night with two completions and 66 total yards. Hollywood Hills lost to Hallandale High School, 21 to 7.


Pretty awesome!

Watch More: “Why Miami’s jail dog program has worked” 


LGBT In SoFlo? You Want To Live In Wilton Manors, Not Hollywood

The Human Rights Campaign released its fifth annual Municipal Equality Index, which measures the state of LGBT equality in 506 cities across the country.

The Index also measured 18 Florida cities on a series of 44 criteria that fall into five general categories.

1) Non-discrimination laws
2)Municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors
3)Inclusiveness of city services
4)Law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting
5)Municipal leadership on matters of equality

“This year, dozens of cities across the nation showed they are willing to stand up for LGBTQ people in their communities even when some state governments are not,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “This builds on a trend we have long observed: that local governments are at the forefront of our fight for equality.”

Here is how the 18 Florida cities fared on the list. South Florida cities are bolded.

  1. Orlando- 100%
  2. St. Petersburg- 100%
  3. Wilton Manors– 100%
  4. Gainesville- 98%
  5. Tallahassee-92%
  6. Miami Shores– 91%
  7. Oakland Park- 86%
  8. Tampa- 86%
  9. Fort Lauderdale- 80%
  10. Pembroke Pines- 78%
  11. Coral Gables- 61%
  12. Hialeah- 49%
  13. Jacksonville- 49%
  14. Miami- 49%
  15. Daytona Beach- 48%
  16. Hollywood- 43%
  17. Port Saint Lucie- 30%
  18. Cape Coral- 25%

Cover Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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