It’s Thursday, October 1st - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Fort Lauderdale's mayor has continued the trend of clarifying Florida's phase 3 reopening, issuing an emergency order on Wednesday which outlines new public health regulations for businesses.
Under mayor Dean Trantalis' order, businesses are still required to have employees and customers wear masks, despite Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis banning local fines for people who refuse to wear them under Phase 3. Trantalis says the masks are a "needed protection," that can still prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to the mayor, Fort Lauderdale has had an infection rate below 5% for the month of September. Trantalis' order does comply with the new rules, but maintains that restaurants keep six-feet of distance between tables and customers waiting in line. Restaurants are also allowed to operate until midnight.
No. 2 - Miami-Dade County and the nonprofit United Way will begin accepting applications for families needing help paying basic living expenses such as food, utilities, childcare and rent.
The relief assistance is funded by the federal CARES Act. Those who are interested in applying must be Miami-Dade County residents, must be first-time recipients of the aid, and must show significant loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will close automatically once the maximum number of applications is received and the application window opens at 9 a.m. Oct. 1.
No. 3 - Photos, exclusively obtained by NBC 6 Investigators, show the bruised eye of a 17-year-old after she says a sergeant hit her face early September at the Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
The child’s mother says she took the photos a week after the incident during a Zoom call with her daughter. According to the department’s incident report, the teen was evaluated by the facility nurse and was given “ice and medication for pain” the night she was hit on Sept. 2. But her mother thinks she should have gotten more immediate help. The sergeant told them “he did not lay one hand on her” but two days later, the Department of Juvenile Justice fired the sergeant. To hear why the child’s mother wants more to be done, click here for the exclusive report from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard.
No. 4 - LeBron James finally got an easy Game 1 in the NBA Finals. A very easy one, at that.
Anthony Davis scored 34 points, James had 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists and the Los Angeles Lakers rolled past the Miami Heat 116-98 on Wednesday night. The Heat left beaten and battered. Point guard Goran Dragic left in the second quarter and, a person with knowledge of the situation, said he was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot — which obviously jeopardizes his availability for the rest of the finals. And All-Star center Bam Adebayo left in the third quarter after apparently aggravating a left shoulder strain. Game 2 is Friday night.
No. 5 - Florida Power and Light is one of several utility companies that stopped shutting electricity off for people who haven’t been able to pay, but FPL is now sending final notices and announced it will resume shutting people’s power off in October.
FPL and other utility companies suspended disconnections when the pandemic began, but in October, FPL plans to resume disconnecting customers who do not pay their past due balance or do not contact the company to make payment arrangements. It’s a move civil rights groups are hoping to stop. To find out how and what the power company did in response, click here for the story from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, parts of South Florida will be under a flood watch through Sunday evening due to a stalled front dropping plenty of rain across the area. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.