News You Should Know

6 to Know: Tragedy in Miami-Dade After Teachers Die From COVID-19

It’s Thursday, September 2nd - and NBC 6 has your top stories for the day

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It’s Thursday, September 2nd - and NBC 6 has your top stories for the day.

No. 1 - Residents of an apartment building in Bay Harbor Islands were ordered to immediately evacuate Wednesday night after the structure was declared unsafe, officials said.

The 56-year-old, multi-story residential apartment building is located at 1080 93rd Street. Residents from 24 occupied units were told to evacuate. Inspectors from a third-party engineering company indicated in a report to town officials that the building had "significant structural defects." Officials said the building has been repeatedly cited by the town, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade's elevator safety section for numerous violations in the past. The tragic condo collapse in Surfside back in June has forced building officials across South Florida to take a closer look at older structures. Inspections across the region have prompted evacuations at many residential structures since then.

No. 2 - Three educators from Miami-Dade County Public Schools have died within a week due to COVID-19, the teachers union confirmed.

Karla Hernandez-Mats, the president of the United Teacher of Dade, said Wednesday that it appears the teachers got sick before the start of the school year but is still waiting to confirm that. They were not vaccinated. Among those who passed was beloved math teacher Abe Coleman, who had been with the district for more than 30 years. He was also a mentor with the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the MDCPS school board and superintendent sent a letter to Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran in response to his threats to get rid of the district’s mask requirement. To hear that response and the message from Hernandez-Mats, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Alyssa Hyman.

No. 3 - Florida will start issuing $5,000 fines to businesses, schools and government agencies that require people to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier this year that banned vaccine passports. The fines will start Sept. 16 if people are asked to show proof of a vaccine. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the state's only statewide elected Democrat and a candidate hoping to challenge DeSantis for governor next year, was critical of the fines. COVID-19 infections in Florida have skyrocketed over the summer as the state has been one of the hardest hit areas of the U.S. from the delta variant. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reported more than 15,000 patients are currently hospitalized in Florida, up from about 1,800 in June.

No. 4 - The Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to grant some security service contractors paid sick leave. The vote was 11-1.

The ordinance will apply to county contractors such as Metrorail and Miami International Airport workers. Commissioner Oliver Gilbert was the official sponsor behind the legislation. The ordinance would give county contracted workers one hour of earned paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava backed the ordinance and hopes to expand it. County contracted employees have been working through the pandemic without paid sick days. That means if they need to take a day off because they’re sick, they don’t get paid.

No. 5 - A proposed land swap to allow for an on-site memorial to the victims of the deadly Surfside beachfront condominium collapse will be examined for financial viability, a judge ordered Wednesday.

Many survivors and victim family members of the Champlain Towers South collapse oppose a memorial at a nearby Miami Beach park. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the 12-story building to collapse, killing 98 people. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman, who is overseeing lawsuits filed in the collapse aftermath, told a court-appointed receiver to investigate the proposed swap. The proposal would work this way: a new Surfside community center containing a Champlain memorial would be built on the collapse site. In exchange, land on which the 10-year-old community center now sits would be sold to provide compensation to survivors and victim family members.

No. 6 - For weeks, we’ve seen images of Americans and Afghans clamoring at a Kabul airport to evacuate a country now being governed by the Taliban.

Among those evacuees was 10-year-old Noman Mujtaba. But to get on the plane— Noman had to get past Taliban security. It took two attempts. On the first, he was denied entry. Bahaudin, Noman’s adoptive father, is also Afghan and a U.S. citizen. He lives in Broward County and is a professor at Nova Southeastern University. Bahaudin was on pins and needles waiting to hear that his son was safely out of Afghanistan.  Twelve days and two stops in two countries later, Bahaudin finally reunited with Noman, who also met his adoptive mother — Bahaudin's wife — for the first time. Click here for his incredible story in a report from NBC 6’s Jamie Guirola.

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