It’s Monday, December 14th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - For over nine months, healthcare workers in South Florida hospitals have put their lives on the line nearly every day in order to fight the pandemic. Now, with the arrival of the vaccines, some workers say they are feeling more optimistic.
Trucks filled with nearly 19,500 doses will be arriving to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, as well as Hollywood's Memorial Regional Hospital, as early as Monday. According to Broward County's Department of Health, some of the very first shots of the vaccine may be given at local nursing homes, with the help of Florida's National Guard. In Florida, the state's health department reported another 8,900 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 1,125,931.
No. 2 - A White House Coronavirus Task Force report for Florida recommended stricter measures for stopping the virus including mask wearing at all times in public, increased physical distancing by reducing capacity or closing indoor spaces at restaurants and bars and limiting gatherings outside of immediate households.
The Dec. 6 report obtained by the Center for Public Integrity also urged leaders to begin warning about the risks of gathering during the December holiday season. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ruled out further business restrictions or a mask mandate aimed at stopping the virus’ spread. At the same time, two newspapers last week sued DeSantis’ administration for failing to make public the weekly reports about coronavirus conditions in the Sunshine State put together by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
No. 3 - Two fugitives who escaped from a Tennessee correctional complex were arrested by police in Pompano Beach on Sunday.
According to Broward Sheriff's Office, at around 10:45 Sunday morning, deputies in Pompano Beach were alerted of a vehicle that held the two fugitives. After several hours, authorities were able to locate the two men at the 600 block of North Ocean Drive. Police say when they attempted to make contact, both men fled on foot. One of the fugitives, 36-year-old Robert Brown, was apprehended by officers. The second fugitive, 34-year-old Christopher Osteen, was apprehended just an hour later. One of the fugitives, 36-year-old Robert Brown, was apprehended by officers. The second fugitive, 34-year-old Christopher Osteen, was apprehended just an hour later.
No. 4 - A group of Fort Lauderdale firefighters had quite the surprise when a coyote wandered into their fire station Sunday morning.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue tweeted a photo of a coyote creeping in front of a fire truck parked inside their bay. Firehouse 29 is located in a "dense urban neighborhood about a mile from the beach," the department said. The FWC says that coyotes are curious but timid creature and will generally flee if challenged by loud noises or aggressive actions.
No. 5 - Just over two months after their surprise run to the NBA Finals ended in a heartbreaking loss, the Miami Heat will be back on the court tipping off the upcoming season.
The Heat play their first preseason game Monday inside the AmericanAirlines Arena, where they have not played a game since March, when they host the New Orleans Pelicans. Fans will not be allowed to attend. Miami will finish the preseason on the road Friday against the Toronto Raptors, who will play at least their first half of the season in Tampa. The Heat scheduled to open the season on December 23rd on the road against the Orlando Magic while Miami will tip off for the first time in the regular season at home on Christmas Day when they host the Pelicans at noon.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, South Florida could feel more like the summer than mid-December on Monday, but relief is in the forecast by the end of the work week. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.