It’s Monday, January 4th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Shortly after Florida Department of Health officials relaunched the Broward County COVID-19 vaccination portal, the website appeared to be offline again after experiencing outages earlier in the week.
Officials announced the portal was up and running again on Sunday, thanking residents for their patients in a press release, but moments later NBC 6 received multiple reports from residents unable to access the site. The portal is meant to allow residents ages 65 and older to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine at no cost. Prior to going offline Sunday, it had offered regular as well as drive-thru vaccination appointments. The website had first gone live on Wednesday, and all available slots were quickly booked out through February before the portal began experiencing intermittent outages.
No. 2 - Police are investigating two separate shootings in Miami-Dade County that left 12 people - including a 16-year-old - with injuries.
The first shooting occurred in Little River Park at 7:07 p.m., authorities said. Authorities said family members were enjoying a day at the park when two unidentified gunmen started shooting at them near a basketball court. Eight people were injured, six critically. Just after police responded to the shooting in Little River Park, officers received a call about another shooting in Allapattah, authorities said. Four people were left wounded in the Allapattah shooting, according to City of Miami police. The victims were transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital Ryder Trauma Center in stable condition.
No. 3 - Three popular South Florida bars and restaurants were shut down by the City of Miami Beach for "violating a sound order" this weekend.
Thomas Donall, owner of Palace Bar in South Beach, said his venue was just starting to make up for lost business when they were asked to shutter their doors. A spokesperson for Miami Beach Code Enforcement said that officials had been forced to ask Palace, Cafe Milano and Clevelander, all on Ocean Drive, to close. Palace Bar's manager Miguel Blanco told NBC 6 he believed the venue was complying with all COVID-19 rules and regulations. He and Donall added that the bar has installed sanitization stations, and expanded tables to encourage social distancing.
No. 4 - President Donald Trump pressured Georgia's Republican secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden's win in the state's presidential election, repeatedly citing disproven claims of fraud and raising the prospect of “criminal offense" if officials did not change the vote count, according to a recording of the conversation.
The phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday was the latest step in an unprecedented effort by a sitting president to pressure a state official to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election that he lost. The president, who has refused to accept his loss to Democratic president-elect Biden, repeatedly argued that Raffensperger could change the certified results. Georgia counted its votes three times before certifying Biden's win by a 11,779 margin, Raffensperger noted: “President Trump, we’ve had several lawsuits, and we’ve had to respond in court to the lawsuits and the contentions. We don’t agree that you have won."
No. 5 - Entering Sunday's Week 17 of the NFL season, the Miami Dolphins knew there was just one scenario that could take place that would keep them out of the playoffs. Thanks in part to their own issues, the Fins find themselves now getting to spend the next eight months wondering how that scenario actually took place.
A 28-point second quarter by the Buffalo Bills was more than enough to give them a 56-26 win over their longtime divisional rivals, giving Buffalo (13-3) the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs starting next weekend. The Dolphins' chances of making the postseason ended when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars late Sunday evening, becoming the seventh team to qualify for the postseason in the AFC. Miami's playoff drought now goes back to the 2016 season, with the Dolphins making the playoffs just three times in the last 19 seasons.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, cooler temperatures arrive in South Florida to start the work week with cloudy conditions keeping slight morning shower chances around. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.