It’s Friday, July 16th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Protests across South Florida do not seem ready to end as thousands of people took to the streets Thursday night in Hialeah – the latest protests by members of South Florida’s Cuban American community hoping for change and freedom in their homeland.
Officers attempted to keep the protesters from entering the nearby Palmetto Expressway while allowing the large group to have their voices heard during the fifth night of continuous protests. The group called on the United States to intervene, like it does with other countries facing humanitarian crises. More protests are scheduled Friday to take place in both the city of Miramar and in front of the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami.
No. 2 - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is telling demonstrators who are protesting in support of the Cuban people to stop blocking traffic on the state's roadways.
DeSantis' comments came after two Florida men were arrested during a protest and were facing charges related to the state's new anti-riot law. Julian Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 30, Maikel Vazquez-Pico, 39, were among those arrested Tuesday night as a group of protesters attempted to take over an exit ramp at Interstate 275 and Dale Mabry Highway, which is a major thoroughfare in Tampa. Protesters blocked the Palmetto Expressway near Hialeah for about 30 minutes Wednesday night, news outlets reported. On Tuesday, they blocked the same highway for hours during the rainy rush hour.
No. 3 - A post from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation on Instagram weighing in on the crisis was condemned by some as saying it missed the mark.
The post -- which is getting lots of backlash from Cubans -- states in part: "Black Lives Matter condemns the U.S. federal government’s inhumane treatment of Cubans and urges it to immediately lift the economic embargo." It later states: "The U.S. government has only instigated suffering for the country’s 11 million people, of which 4 million are Black and Brown." NBC 6 spoke with a leader from Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward about the statement. She says her group is not officially affiliated with the national BLM organization and thinks the post misses the point.
No. 4 - Over 30 residents were evacuated from a northwest Miami-Dade apartment building Thursday after a portion of the roof overhang collapsed.
The building is located at 17350 NW 68th Avenue. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the three-story apartment building at around 4 p.m. Footage from Chopper 6 shows a portion of the roof overhang in pieces on the ground below. The damage happened to only the exterior of the building. Crews evacuated residents and assessed the structural integrity of the building. There are no reports of injuries so far. It's unclear why the roof collapsed.
No. 5 - The recovery efforts for a South Florida condo building that collapsed last month might be coming to an end soon.
Miami-Dade police identified four more victims of the Surfside condo collapse Thursday, meaning that 90 of the 97 confirmed dead have been identified as the recovery enters a final stretch. Among the four victims identified Thursday was a 14-year-old girl. County officials have been able to account for 240 people connected to the building, with eight people still classified as missing, or “potentially unaccounted for.” If seven of those missing are matched to the seven still-unidentified remains, search teams would be looking for one more missing person, though officials have not confirmed that scenario nor said when the search would be complete.
No. 6 - The teenager who was pulled from the rubble of the collapsed Surfside condominium was reunited with the first responders who helped rescue him.
New photos show Jonah Handler meeting with the first responders who came to his rescue shortly after the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South. His father, Neil Handler, posted the photos on a GoFundMe page. Dramatic footage showed the 15-year-old being pulled out of the rubble of the beachfront condo building. His mother, 54-year-old Stacie Fang, was killed in the collapse and the first victim to be identified.