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6 to Know: Partially Paralyzed Victim of Stolen U-Haul Crash Speaks

It’s Thursday, January 20th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day

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It’s Thursday, January 20th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 - Former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo has filed a lawsuit against the city, three commissioners and the city manager claiming he was fired as retaliation for reporting alleged corruption and wrongdoing by the officials.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court, names commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex Diaz De La Portilla and Manolo Reyes, as well as City Manager Art Noriega and the city itself. The suit claims commissioners used police resources to carry out "personal agendas" and that when Acevedo reported the alleged misconduct to Noriega, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, the FBI and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, the commissioners pressured Noriega to suspend Acevedo before the commissioners voted to fire him.

No. 2 - A South Florida teacher was driving back to campus after getting a gift for a student when a stolen, out-of-control U-Haul crashed into her car in Fort Lauderdale. 

“I do not recall the actual accident itself,” said Shanna Smith, who is a teacher at William Dandy Middle School. The crash happened 11 days before Christmas. Not only was she unable to spend the holidays with her loved ones and three children, but she was also left paralyzed from the waist down. Police say Michael Livingston was behind the wheel of the stolen U-Haul that crashed into Smith. Click here to find out why she forgives him in a report from NBC 6’s Ryan Nelson you’ll see Only on 6.

No. 3 - University of Miami's nursing school is sending nurses to South Florida hospitals amid shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting next week, dozens of UM nursing students will begin clinical rotations at five hospitals across Miami-Dade and Broward, starting with Palmetto General Hospital. If the hospitals have their way, the students will choose to stay. Dr. Nichole Crenshaw, Associate Dean for UM's undergraduate nursing program, hopes the new partnership between UM and Steward Health will help alleviate nursing shortages that have strained area hospitals since the start of the pandemic. Click here for more in a report from NBC 6’s Marissa Bagg.

No. 4 - A bill pushed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that would prohibit public schools and private businesses from making white people feel “discomfort” when they teach students or train employees about discrimination in the nation's past received its first approval Tuesday.

The Senate Education Committee approved the bill that takes aim at critical race theory — though it doesn't mention it explicitly — on party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. Democrats argued the bill isn't needed, would lead to frivolous lawsuits and said it would amount to censorship in schools. They asked, without success, for real-life examples of teachers or businesses telling students or employees that they are racist because of their race.

No. 5 - Florida gas prices have remained steady over the past month but experts are warning that $4 a gallon could be in the near future.

The average for a gallon of regular gas in Florida was $3.217 Wednesday, slightly below the average one month ago of $3.230, according to the American Automobile Association. One year ago, Florida's average was $2.353, according to AAA. Florida's average price is about 10 cents below the national average of $3.316. AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said the cost of crude oil is continuing to surge, and some are warning it could get to $100 per barrel in a few months.

No. 6 - And then there were three. Tuesday afternoon, the Miami-Dade County School Board narrowed its list of candidates to replace outgoing Superintendent Alberto Carvalho to three applicants: Jose Dotres, Rafaela Espinal and Jacob Oliva.

A final decision will be made at an upcoming board meeting.  At this point, Dotres appears to have the inside track. He is currently an assistant superintendent in Collier County but has a long history in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Last month, the board called him back to give him a lifetime achievement award and showered him with praise. At least one board member already has his mind made up. Click here for more on all three candidates in a report from NBC 6’s Ari Odzer.

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