It’s Wednesday, July 14th – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - South Florida's show of support for the Cuban people continued Tuesday with demonstrators shutting down a section of a major Miami-Dade highway for hours following massive protests on the island nation.
A large group of demonstrators gathered at Coral Way and Southwest 87th Avenue early Tuesday afternoon to support the Cubans who took to the streets in cities throughout Cuba over the weekend as they face the country’s worst economic crisis in decades. Dozens of South Floridians waved Cuban flags as they gathered at the intersection and chanted "Libertad" and other messages. The group eventually made their way to the Palmetto Expressway, which had to be closed down near Coral Way as demonstrators sat down and began blocking traffic.
No. 2 - Video from Cuba shows protesters throwing objects at Cuban police cars and others join in -- just part of the uprising taking place on the island.
But, how far will Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel go when it comes to using military forces? Brian Fonseca, the director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at Florida International University who spent eight years in the U.S. Marines, is an expert in the Cuban military and police operations. He said the Cuban government’s plan to quell the demonstrations operates on multiple fronts. To hear what those on the island nation could see in the coming days, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard.
No. 3 - Breaking overnight, police have arrested and charged the mother of two young girls who were found dead inside of a Lauderhill canal late last month.
Lauderhill Police say they have charged Tinessa Hogan with two counts of first-degree murder in the June 22nd incidents. She is being held at the Broward County Jail at this time. The bodies of Destiny Hogan, 9, and Daysha Hogan, 7, were discovered just hours apart on June 22 in the canal in a residential neighborhood along Northwest 59th Way. Investigators identified the girls’ mother as a possible person of interest shortly after the incident. Tinessa Hogan had been taken into custody, but no criminal charges were initially filed until Tuesday night.
No. 4 - The death toll in the Surfside condominium collapse climbed to 95 Tuesday as officials said more than a dozen others could still be missing in the rubble.
At a news conference Tuesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said 14 people remain potentially unaccounted for in the June 24 collapse of Champlain Towers South, an oceanside condo building in Surfside. Of those 14, 12 are from missing persons reports, while two others still need to be verified by detectives, Levine Cava said. Levine Cava said 85 of the victims have been identified but "the process of making identifications has been made more difficult as time goes on.” Miami-Dade Police released the identities of five more victims, including 1-year-old Aishani Gia Patel, believed to be the youngest victim of the collapse.
No. 5 - As South Florida cities continue to take a closer look at older buildings, some buildings have been flagged and evacuated for safety concerns.
Crestview Towers in North Miami Beach remains empty after city officials ordered a mandatory evacuation. On Monday, City of Miami Beach officials posted an evacuation notice at 6881 Indian Creek Drive, stating the property needs to be vacated by Monday, July 19. For those impacted by evacuations, it can be an inconvenience at an unexpected time. But some say insurance coverage could help during government-issued mandatory evacuations. Click here for more on that story from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.
No. 6 - A new line of merchandise from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is creating quite a stir on social media.
From a koozie emblazoned with the message "How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?" to a T-shirt reading "Don't Fauci my Florida," the products show a clear disdain for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading health expert, as well as skepticism over stringent coronavirus regulations. DeSantis has not made a formal announcement about a 2024 presidential run, but is being cited as a potential challenger to former President Donald Trump. Democrats have steadily criticized the governor, saying DeSantis has failed to protect Floridians during the worst of the pandemic.