It’s Friday, April 30th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - A private school in Miami that discouraged teachers from getting the COVID-19 vaccine and said it won't employ anyone who received it held a meeting with parents Thursday, where the co-founder clarified the policy but still stuck to the debunked side effects of the vaccine on fertility.
The Centner Academy sent a notice to parents on Monday informing them of a new policy for its two campuses for about 300 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Teachers or staff who have already taken the vaccine were told to continue reporting to school but to stay separated from students. Co-founder Leila Centner told employees in a letter last week that she made the policy decision with a “very heavy heart." Centner asked those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine to wait until the end of the school year, and even recommended holding off. To hear why some parents are supporting Centner, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Jamie Guirola.
No. 2 - A confrontation with a Miami Beach police officer ended with two people tased and on the ground Thursday in the middle of South Beach.
According to arrest reports, Catrina Jones and Kevin McMiller started arguing with the officer after McMiller allegedly threw a glass liquor bottle at the officer’s squad car. The report states that the couple got within inches of the officer’s face and threatened to beat him up. At one point in the cellphone video, the officer is seen pushing McMiller, then the suspect turns around and walks away. That’s when the officer tases him. To see the entire video, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Kim Wynne.
No. 3 - The Broward County School Board will vote next week on a severance package for its superintendent who offered his resignation after a grand jury investigating the circumstances surrounding the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School indicted him on a perjury charge.
Broward County School Board Chairwoman Rosalind Osgood said during a Thursday morning meeting that she “will move as expeditiously as possible," but stressed that she wants a “clean and fair process." The board may also determine at the special May 6 meeting whether Superintendent Robert Runcie will stay on for 90 days to help guide the transition until a replacement is named. Runcie has overseen the district, which is the nation's sixth largest public school district, for nearly 10 years. He offered to step down Tuesday night hours after he vowed in a video statement that he would be vindicated of the perjury charges that grand jurors leveled against him earlier this month.
No. 4 - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they are "committed" to allowing cruise ships to resume passenger operations in mid-summer, the agency said in a Wednesday letter to the cruise industry.
The letter, sent by Aimee Treffiletti with the CDC’s Global Mitigation Task Force, said the CDC has been holding meetings twice a week with cruise line representations to discuss developments impacting the agency's Conditional Sailing Order issued last year. Earlier this month, the state of Florida filed a lawsuit against the federal government demanding that cruise ships be allowed to start sailing immediately. In announcing the lawsuit, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the no-sail order is outdated and hurts the state as the industry generates billions for the economy and employs tens of thousands of Floridians.
No. 5 - Sitting in the middle of Biscayne Bay, sea level rise threatens the small community of Palm Island.
The city of Miami Beach spent $40.9 million elevating the island’s roads and putting in drains and pumps to prevent flooding in the lower areas. City photos show and neighbors told NBC 6 Investigators the project is working but we found it was difficult to get there. A report from the Miami Beach Office of the Inspector General found the project, at times, didn’t have the proper permits, went over budget, and took longer than originally planned. To see what neighborhoods are in the path of potential disaster, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.
No. 6 - For the first time in franchise history, the Miami Dolphins held the sixth pick in the first round of the NFL Draft - and used that pick to help in the push toward a return to the postseason.
The Dolphins selected wide receiver Jaylen Waddle from Alabama with the pick, reuniting him with his former college teammate in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The 5'10" firecracker was explosive in his three seasons with the Crimson Tide, scoring 13 touchdowns in his first two seasons and had just over 550 yards in his first four games of the 2020 season with four touchdowns. The Dolphins used the 18th pick to take the University of Miami's Jaelan Phillips. The 6-6, 260-pound Phillips was the first edge rusher drafted. Phillips' career was nearly derailed at UCLA by concussions, but he returned to football with the Hurricanes last year and had eight sacks and 15 1/2 tackles for a loss.