It’s Friday, March 26th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - All Florida residents over the age of 18 will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 5th, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday.
DeSantis made the announcement in a video released from the Governor’s office, saying the eligibility age would be lowered to 40 and older starting Monday before lowering it to all adults the following week. Florida is set to receive its largest dose of vaccines next week, with nearly 700,000 expected according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Included in that increase is 122,900 doses of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine, up 24,000 doses from last week.
No. 2 - Broward Mayor Steve Geller said he has begun to draw up plans to loosen coronavirus restrictions in the county as more residents become vaccinated.
Geller said he has sent a proposal to Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is waiting for them to give the green light. His plan to lift the restrictions in three phases with phase 1 coming when half the county population has been vaccinated, and the community's virus positivity rate has been at 5% or lower for more than 10 consecutive days. For more on the proposed plan, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Kim Wynne.
No. 3 - South Beach's curfew went into effect once again Thursday night, and city officials and some tourists are hoping it will curb the unruly behavior that led to chaos in the days before.
Videos of the chaotic scenes from Miami Beach have gone viral recently -- the stampedes, the brawls, and restaurant workers complaining about people leaving with paying. City Mayor Dan Gelber says over 100 people had weapons on them when arrested. The curfew will go into effect Thursday through Sunday at 8 p.m. and last until 6 a.m. The causeways will be closed eastbound beginning at 10 p.m. — only residents, workers, and beach hotel guests can pass. Drivers will be allowed to make restaurant deliveries.
No. 4 - Gail Gardner was raped in 1988 by a stranger inside her own home. She reported the crime.
She went to the hospital and a rape examination was conducted. Then she waited. Her rape kit sat untested for three decades. In 2020, her case was concluded. The man who violated her, she learned, was a serial rapist. He had been in jail for most of the time she lived afraid. She doesn’t want other rape survivors to live that way. That’s why she’s hoping “Gail's Law” will become law. It would require the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to create and maintain a statewide database for sexual assault evidence kits. To hear how her efforts are one step closer to passing, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Stephanie Bertini.
No. 5 - Kyle Lowry stayed with the Toronto Raptors, and the Miami Heat got Victor Oladipo instead at Thursday’s trade deadline.
Miami was one of the biggest pursuers for Lowry, who they may still target as a free agent later this year, wound up adding Oladipo from the Houston Rockets. It didn’t cost Miami much: Kelly Olynyk was on an expiring deal, and Avery Bradley has barely played for the Heat this season because of COVID-19 and then a calf injury. The deal also included pick swap in 2022. The Heat made another deal prior to the Oladipo one being struck, landing Nemanja Bjelica from Sacramento for little-used forwards Maurice Harkless and Chris Silva.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, South Florida will have a hot end to the work week Friday with the higher temperatures sticking around for the entire weekend. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.