It’s Tuesday, December 8th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - As coronavirus cases continue to rise across Florida and with more holiday around the corner, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said the city is cracking down on people breaking safety rules, especially when it comes to large gatherings or parties.
Suarez said the city follows up on complaints and has been doing regular checks. He said the Miami Police Department has a 39-member task force solely dedicated to these efforts. Police officials said that in November, officers performed 1,827 compliance checks with 27 closures as part of the new normal guideline enforcement efforts. Suarez said it's a balance for the city and they're looking for flagrant violations. Suarez said his hands are tied when it comes to enforcing the city's mask mandate. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an order preventing cities from collecting fines for mask violations.
No. 2 - Residents in the city of Miami will get their second chance to get their hands on a grocery gift card that many are in need of amid the ongoing pandemic.
Tuesday’s event will take place at the Little Haiti Soccer Park, located at 6301 Northeast 2nd Avenue, from 8 a.m. until noon. The city began handing out the $250 cards starting last Tuesday at Regatta Park. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was on hand for the event. The only requirements are proof of City of Miami residency and a signed affidavit that you've experienced financial hardship during the pandemic. Cards are limited to one per household and are available on a first come, first serve basis. For more info and to sign up, click on this link.
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No. 3 - British health authorities rolled out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, starting a global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more serums win approval.
The first shot was given to Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, at University Hospital Coventry, one of several hospitals around the country that are handling the initial phase of the program on what has been dubbed “V-Day.” As luck would have it, the second injection went to a man named William Shakespeare, an 81-year-old who hails from Warwickshire, the county where the bard was born. The first 800,000 doses are going to people over 80 who are either hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled, along with nursing home workers. Others will have to wait their turn.
No. 4 - Rebekah Jones, the former data scientist for Florida's Department of Health, posted a video on Twitter Monday showing armed law enforcement raiding her home.
In her tweet, Jones said state police entered her home to take all her "hardware and tech." She claimed officers had a warrant for her computer after the Department of Health filed a complaint. Florida's Department of Law Enforcement confirmed the raid and claimed it was part of a larger investigation into Jones. They say DOH claimed Jones had unauthorized access to the department's emergency alert system. Jones made headlines earlier this year after claiming she was fired from Florida's Department of Health for refusing to manipulate coronavirus data, casting serious doubt over the legitimacy of the state's reports.
No. 5 - It’s not just "Bad Boys" that had Miami Beach front and center. For years, the film industry has put Miami on the map and then a pandemic hit.
Now, a new program is trying to help production projects that are in the works in Miami Beach. The city has now rolled out the Film and Print Covid-19 Relief Grant. The production must have had a permit between June 8th and December 20, 2020. The reimbursement can be for anything from PPE to extra sanitizing. Director of Tourism and Culture Lissette Garcia Arrogante spoke to NBC 6 about the new grant. Click here for more on the program in her interview with NBC 6 anchor Sheli Muñiz.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, South Florida begins to feel the chill with lows in the 50s Tuesday morning and even cooler weather is on the way later in the week. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.