It’s Friday, May 14th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Hialeah police say one woman is the mastermind behind a rental scheme that lasted from October 2020 to May 2021.
Kenia Robles, 38, faced a judge for some 70 counts. Hialeah police say they have been working this case for two months before making the arrest. They also say she has an active warrant out of Marion County for a similar scam. Police have found 19 victims and believe she scammed about $20,000 from them. NBC 6 reached out to an attorney representing Robles but has not received a comment back yet. To hear more about what police say Robles did, click here for the story from NBC 6 anchor Johnny Archer.
No. 2 - A Broward judge ruled Thursday that two deputies who were fired for inaction during a high school mass shooting in 2018 should be reinstated with back pay.
Circuit Judge Keathan Frink concluded that arbitrators last year were correct in ruling that the fired Broward County deputies, Brian Miller and Joshua Stambaugh, should get their jobs back, with back pay plus other benefits. That includes accrued sick and vacation time, overtime and off-duty detail pay, among other benefits that they would have been paid had they not been fired. A state investigative commission found that Stambaugh was working an off-duty shift at a nearby school when he responded to reports of shots fired at Stoneman Douglas. He got out of his truck, put on his bulletproof vest and took cover for about five minutes after hearing the shots, according to body camera footage. Stambaugh then drove to a nearby highway instead of going toward the school.
No. 3 - In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated. The CDC and the Biden administration have faced pressure to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated people — those who are two weeks past their last required COVID-19 vaccine dose — in part to highlight the benefits of getting the shot.
No. 4 - Police body cameras show the late-night arrest of 37-year-old Nichiren Rugeles Ogando after detectives responded to “a suspicious incident.”
In custody, a Coral Springs Police detective asked Rugeles Ogando about a call the department received the day before, accusing him of secretly recording his girlfriend and her two children. Evan Tannenbaum from Spy Spot Investigations told NBC 6 smoke detector cameras are among the most popular hidden camera products along with clocks and wall plug chargers. Tannenbaum said hidden cameras and products to find them have become more common with the rise of short-term rentals because people want to know what’s going on in their property and visitors want to know if they’re being watched. To hear why it may not be against the law, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.
No. 5 - Florida restaurants will be able to sell cocktails along with delivery and takeout food orders even after the coronavirus pandemic ends under a bill signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday.
DeSantis lifted restrictions on alcohol to go early in the pandemic as a way to help restaurants when they were temporarily ordered to not seat customers. Later capacity restrictions were put in place before all restrictions were lifted. But alcohol to go continues under an emergency order DeSantis signed and the idea proved popular with customers.
No. 6 - Harvey. Irma. Maria. Florence. Michael. Dorian. Laura. Iota. These names are seared into our memories. Each one seeming to do something never before seen. And each one happening within the last five years.
There is now overwhelming evidence that a warmer planet means worse hurricanes. Last year, NOAA Atmospheric Scientist Jim Kossin was part of a team that researched the connection between climate change and hurricanes. Kossin actually found that a category three, four or five hurricane is now twice as likely in the Tropical Atlantic. But it’s not just about overall strength. A warmer atmosphere means more available moisture which means more rain. But it’s even more complicated, according to Kossin. Click here for his thoughts in a report from NBC 6 meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin.