It’s Friday, August 13th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - All eyes in South Florida are on what is now Tropical Depression Fred, which could bring plenty of rain to the area starting Friday afternoon.
The National Hurricane Center says the system has winds of 35 miles per hour as it sits 370 miles east-southeast of Key West, moving to the west-northwest at 10 miles per hour. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida Keys and Florida Bay, while a tropical storm watch extends from Bonita Beach to Englewood. Fred is forecast to move just north of Cuba on Friday and make landfall in the Keys on Saturday before moving up the west coast of Florida on Sunday, possibly as a tropical storm. Between three to seven inches of rain could fall across the Keys and parts of South Florida, causing flooding concerns for the area.
No. 2 - U.S. regulators on Thursday said transplant recipients and others with severely weakened immune systems can get an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to better protect them as the delta variant continues to surge.
The late-night announcement by the Food and Drug Administration applies to several million Americans who are especially vulnerable because of organ transplants, certain cancers or other disorders. Several other countries, including France and Israel, have similar recommendations. It’s harder for vaccines to rev up an immune system suppressed by certain medications and diseases, so those patients don’t always get the same protection as otherwise healthy people — and small studies suggest for at least some, an extra dose may be the solution.
No. 3 - The delta variant of COVID-19 is different, more contagious, and it is fueling a record-high wave of virus in Florida that is rapidly impacting its children.
Florida's plight was a top item on Thursday's agenda of the White House COVID Response Team. Both Florida and Texas are led by Republican governors who champion their opposition to government-imposed public health precautions, including by banning mask mandates in public schools. Gov. Ron DeSantis often trumpets his hands-off policies in what he calls the "free state of Florida" and has referred to measures supported by the nation's leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, as "Faucism," a play on words on "fascism." Thursday, the governor conceded things are worse than expected. Click here for what he said in a story from NBC 6 investigator Tony Pipitone.
No. 4 - The mask-wearing controversy extends beyond schools.
One downtown Miami resident told NBC 6 he was fined $100 by his condo board for not properly wearing a mask in a common area of the building. Jose Estrada says he knows of at least six other residents that have been fined. In a letter from the association to Estrada, The Loft Downtown Condominium Association said he had an opportunity for a hearing before the association’s appeals committee. The notice also says the association will move forward with legal action if non-compliance is a recurring problem. Click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Laura Rodriguez.
No. 5 - Fort Lauderdale Police aren’t backing down on their search for a young couple.
They say Kimani Brown and Shaniyah Kressin have been on the run for 10 months after Brown shot and killed a man inside a crowded Broward County bus terminal. Newly released surveillance video shows a crowd of people dispersing and running for their lives at the bus terminal on Oct. 17, 2020. According to Fort Lauderdale Police, Brown shot and killed 28-year-old Davonta Gaines. Two innocent bystanders at the terminal were also shot, and the entire situation unfolded in broad daylight. Click here for the cold case story from NBC 6 News.
No. 6 - A body positivity advocate vacationing in Miami said she was denied service at a party bus that didn’t allow plus size women.
The party bus was supposed to take Fallon Melillo and her friends from South Beach to DAER Dayclub at the Hard Rock Hotel – but as Melillo and her friends were about to board the party bus, she says she was told she couldn’t – and that an online invite she found said, "Sorry! No big girls for this party." To hear why, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Cristian Benavides you’ll see Only on 6.
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