It’s Thursday, August 26th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Michael Wakefield remembers his nephew, 21-year-old Dustin Wakefield of Colorado, as a loving father and talented self-taught guitarist.
Dustin was shot and killed Tuesday night at an Ocean Drive restaurant in Miami Beach. Witnesses say the suspected shooter, 22-year-old Tamarius Blair Davis of Georgia, appeared to dance over Dustin's body after the shooting. Investigators tell NBC 6 it was Davis' second shooting in a matter of minutes. Video obtained by the Miami Herald, and shared with NBC 6, appears to show Davis shooting at another man shortly before killing Dustin. That man was unharmed. Police say Davis targeted the men at random and admitted to being high on mushrooms at the time of the shootings. Davis told police the drugs made him feel empowered.
No. 2 - A man who has been attempting to bring his maskless daughter to school was arrested Wednesday for shoving a student while protesting Broward County Public Schools' mandatory mask policy.
His attorney is now asking why the student who started the incident isn’t also facing charges. Over the past few days, Dan Bauman, 50, has been recording his attempts to get his daughter into Fort Lauderdale High School without a mask. In one video, he's heard telling a school official that his daughter "has a right to go in" and that "this is illegal what you’re doing." According to the report, a student was heard saying, "I've had enough for four days," and walked up to Bauman. She attempted to grab his cellphone while he was recording. Bauman then pushed the student by the shoulder and grabbed her hand, twisting her arm. Bauman was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse, according to online jail records. If convicted, he faces a maximum 30-year sentence and a $10,000 fine.
No. 3 - Police are investigating after a young child drowned in a river in Fort Lauderdale late Tuesday night.
Fort Lauderdale Police say officers arrived at the scene of the 700 block of Southwest 4th Court shortly after 10 p.m. after reports of the child missing. A relative told NBC 6 that the child's grandmother was watching him that night. The toddler snuck out of the house, and surveillance footage shows him walking to the marina and edge towards the dock. The toddler's mother devastated by the loss of her son, Cormel Willie Bullock. To hear her emotional words and find out how you can keep your child safe, click here for the interview with NBC 6 reporter Julie Leonardi you’ll see Only on 6.
No. 4 - Johnson & Johnson's says a study shows a booster shot of its vaccine provides a rapid and robust increase in COVID-19 antibodies. These results are coming in ahead of J&J's two-dose vaccine trial.
The White House is dialing up the pressure, calling on private employers to mandate vaccines after the FDA fully approved Pfizer's vaccine. On the other hand, Governor Ron DeSantis has been vocal about opposing mask and vaccine mandates. In April, he signed an executive order banning vaccine passports. Wednesday, the governor opened yet another monoclonal antibody treatment site in The Villages. For more on the continued back and forth on both sides, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Laura Rodriguez.
No. 5 - About 112,000 students attend public charter schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, but there is no unifying mask policy among these schools.
Charter schools operate independently from the public school districts, so they are free to set their own standards on a variety of issues. For example, the Aventura City of Excellence K-8 School, known as ACES, has adopted the Miami-Dade County Public Schools policy of requiring every student to wear masks unless they have a medical exemption. Across town at the Somerset Academies, it’s a different story. Masks are optional. To find out how each school came to each division, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Ari Odzer.
No. 6 - A lawsuit looking to bring back a federal boost in weekly unemployment benefits is going before a judge this week.
The battle over Florida’s participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC) comes down to this: "The question we’re here on is, is Florida required to accept that or not," said Judge J. Layne Smith of the second Circuit Court of Florida as the hearing kicked off Wednesday morning. Attorneys representing the group of Broward County residents who filed the lawsuit, argued state law requires Florida to accept the federal funds. The federal program is set to expire September 6 and provides a weekly $300 federal boost to unemployment benefits. An attorney representing the people who filed the lawsuit says she believes at least 150,000 Floridians could be impacted by this case. Click here for more on this story from NBC 6 consumer investigator Alina Machado.
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