It’s Wednesday, September 15th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that he will ask the Legislature to drop the current annual standardized testing in public schools and replace it with assessments taken throughout the year to better gauge individual student progress.
The Florida Standards Assessment are given at the end of each school year to assess students' gains in English, math and other subjects. The Department of Education website says the tests “help Florida students succeed” and “serve Florida students by measuring education gains and progress.” But DeSantis said the system has flaws, including identifying students' weaknesses at the end of the year, instead of being able to help them during the current school year. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the district "applauds" the announcement.
No. 2 - Surfside’s commission meeting Tuesday night saw emotional pleas from the victims and families of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South.
Affected loved ones called for an on-site memorial to honor the 98 lives lost. Many who spoke proposed a memorial by way of a land swap with Surfside’s community center. If approved, it would mean Surfside trading the community center property to whoever buys the Champlain Towers South site. Then, a new community center and a memorial can be built where Champlain Towers South once stood. Not all Surfside residents agree with the land swap proposal, saying the community center belongs where it is today. Surfside commissioners, and Mayor Charles Burkett, say the land swap is not a viable plan.
No. 3 - Since the beginning of the pandemic, prescriptions for Ivermectin have risen twenty-four fold what they were, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Ivermectin is a Nobel-prize winning drug to fight off parasites but a version of it is used to remove heartworms from large animals like horses. NBC 6 reporting partners at Politifact looked into it. NBC 6 first reported on Ivermectin in April 2020 when doctors at the Broward Medical Center said they saw positive signs from using the drug. The doctors used Ivermectin as part of the cocktail of drugs they used early on to treat the virus. Click here to see the results in a report from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.
No. 4 - Gov. Gavin Newsom cruised to victory in the recall election and will stay in office, saying he's humbled and grateful for voters who threw their support behind "all those things we hold dear as Californians."
As early returns were released Tuesday night, the question of whether Newsom should be recalled was met with a resounding "no," with nearly 70% of early ballots rejecting the move. As more returns were tallied, Newsom maintained support of roughly two-thirds of voters. Every major network and news organization quickly called the race over less than an hour after polls closed. Newsom, appearing weary from weeks of intense campaigning, spoke to supporters in Sacramento and claimed victory, saying the resounding "no" vote was in support of democratic and progressive ideals and a rejection of cynical divisions.
No. 5 - One of the hazards of online dating is that the person you are corresponding with may not be the person they really are. This was the case for Susan Rizzo.
Rizzo exclusively told NBC 6 Tuesday about her financial loss and her journey on a dating site that began with a man who posted a handsome photo in June that went by the name Nicholas Shawn Wells Edwards. NBC 6 cannot determine if the photo is legitimate or if the name is real. Rizzo told NBC 6 the man she put her hopes on later told her he spent all his funds getting out of Afghanistan and was in the Middle East and needed money to get to her in Florida. That’s when she followed his directions and transferred $25,000 into his bank account. Susan got suspicious though we he came back asking for $300,000 as part of a business deal for them. Click here to find out what happened next in a report from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard you’ll see Only on 6.
No. 6 - Comcast RISE, an initiative aimed at empowering small, minority-owned businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be offering $10,000 grants to eligible businesses in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the company announced Tuesday.
In total, the Comcast RISE Investment Fund will be committing $1 million in grants to small, minority-owned businesses in Miami-Dade and Broward. The company will be selecting 100 small businesses across both counties to receive the monetary award. Miami is one of six metropolitan areas Comcast RISE is offering grants to as part of the nationwide initiative. Interested small businesses can submit their applications at www.ComcastRise.com. Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of WTVJ-TV / NBC 6.
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