It’s Tuesday, December 29th - and NBC 6 has your top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Coronavirus vaccinations are now available to the oldest residents of Miami-Dade County at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
The vaccine was previously only available to frontline healthcare workers and first responders, but as of this weekend, people aged 75 years or older can make appointments to receive initial doses of Pfizer and Moderna. People who would like an appointment can call Mount Sinai between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm during the week, and 8:00 am and 1:00 pm on weekends at 305-674-2312. The rollout comes after an executive order from Governor Ron DeSantis prioritizing the elderly over essential workers, defying recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No. 2 - The final food gift card giveaway from the city of Miami will take place Tuesday, giving out cards to residents valued between $100 and $350.
Residents who have signed up for the cards after showing hardships suffered during the pandemic can pick them up at West End Park, located at 6030 Southwest 2nd Avenue, from 8 a.m. to noon. Cards are limited to one per household and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The cards are available to locations including Publix, Winn Dixie, Sedano’s, Presidente Supermarkets and more.
No. 3 - President Donald Trump’s push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks now rests with the Senate after the House voted overwhelmingly to meet the president's demand to increase the $600 stipends, but Republicans have shown little interest in boosting spending.
The outcome is highly uncertain heading into Tuesday's session. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declined to publicly address how he plans to handle the issue. But Democrats, sharing a rare priority with Trump, have seized on the opportunity to force Republicans into a difficult vote of either backing or defying the outgoing president. As Trump spent days fuming from his private club in Florida, where he is spending the holidays, dozens of Republicans calculated it was better to link with Democrats to increase the pandemic stipend rather than buck the outgoing president and constituents counting on the money. Democrats led passage, 275-134, but 44 Republicans joined almost all Democrats in approval.
No. 4 - The city of Miami is temporarily suspending its motorized scooter pilot program. The suspension will be in effect Wednesday, Dec. 30.
Vendors and operators currently participating in the pilot program are required to cease operations by then. The city said in a news release that officials will be developing new safety regulations and requirements and will address recently reported incidents of underage riders. Vendors and operators "should anticipate changes to operating rules before the temporary pilot program suspension is lifted," the city added.
No. 5 - Can Miami become the next Silicon Valley?
COVID-19 brought more remote-working opportunities as well as an exodus of venture capitalists and tech entrepreneurs out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Many are considering a move to the Magic City while others have already packed their bags. Mayor Francis Suarez is seizing the moment and recruiting venture capitalists and entrepreneurs via Twitter to make the 305 the next global tech hub. To hear Suarez’s plan and why some companies have already made the move, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Laura Rodriguez.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, South Florida is in for a mild Tuesday with comfortable conditions before hot temperatures return to help say goodbye to 2020. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.