It’s Wednesday, April 20th - and NBC 6 has the top stories of the day.
No. 1 - James Garcia is still healing from the physical and emotional pain of a brutal attack.
He says he was attacked out of nowhere on Easter morning. He was walking his dog at the time near his Fort Lauderdale condo. “I turned around and before I could react, this person walked up to me and asked me, 'Are you gay?' and then punched me,” Garcia said. Too bloody to call for help, a neighbor helped him dial 911. He was taken to the hospital. Fort Lauderdale Police confirmed they’ve arrested 36-year-old Maurice A Charles. He's now facing aggravated battery. He says he’s sharing his story to raise awareness that crimes like this still happen. Click here for his story in a report from NBC 6’s Alyssa Hyman.
No. 2 - A special session by the Florida legislature to approve a new congressional map will also be considering terminating a special district for Disney's property in the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday.
DeSantis said the special session, which was set to begin Tuesday, will also be considering terminating all special districts enacted before 1968, which includes Disney's Reedy Creek Improvement District. Reedy Creek was created in 1967 and allows Disney to act as its own government within the outer limits of Orange and Osceola counties in Florida. The Republican governor has clashed with Disney over a bill he signed last month that limits instruction in the state's public schools on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
No. 3 - After a federal judge in Florida vacated the Biden administration's national mask mandate for planes and other forms of public transportation on Monday, face masks are no longer required at Miami and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airports.
Other transportation systems across South Florida are adjusting their mask policies as well. South Florida's Tri-Rail announced on their website that mask-wearing will now be optional on Tri-Rail trains effective immediately. "Miami-Dade will follow federal guidelines and at this time. As the TSA will not be enforcing any mask policy, we will follow suit for all transit including the airport," said Miami-Dade Transit Special Projects Administrator Luis Espinoza. Although masks are no longer required on the Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover, they are still recommended for passengers with underlying conditions, anyone feeling symptomatic, or anyone who has tested positive. For a complete breakdown, click on this link.
No. 4 - A South Florida doctor says he was at the right place at the right time when he stepped in to help a man bleeding out on the side of the highway over the weekend.
Dr. Miguel Ribe, an emergency medicine resident at Jackson Memorial, said he was driving with his fiance Saturday night when they noticed the man on Interstate 95 in Miami-Dade. "It was kind of just instinct to pull over," Ribe told reporters Tuesday in front of Ryder Trauma Center. "There was no one there to give him attention." The ER doctor said his training immediately kicked in. Ribe kept talking to the man and keeping him alert until paramedics showed up. Ribe says the man had been cleaning a bus and fell through the doors as it was moving, hitting his head on the pavement. Jackson Memorial couldn't provide an update on the man's condition as of Tuesday.
No. 5 - Landlords across South Florida have raised rent prices to historic levels, pushing many people out of neighborhoods. And as a recent NBC 6 investigation revealed, more people are reporting discrimination when applying for housing in Miami-Dade County.
It’s an issue that caught the attention of Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. Miami-Dade County has a specific office dedicated to fighting housing discrimination – the Commission on Human Rights. Levine Cava told NBC 6 she is looking into expanding the office’s resources and wants people to file complaints if they feel they’ve been wronged. Click here for more in a report from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.
No. 6 - Jimmy Butler walked off the floor when his night's work was complete, lifted his arms in the air and heard a sold-out arena serenade him with screams.
Butler scored a playoff career-high 45 points, including a personal 7-0 run down the stretch to decide the game, and the Heat held off the Atlanta Hawks 115-105 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Tuesday night. Butler was 15 of 25 from the floor, 11 for 12 from the line and 4 of 7 from 3-point range. As such, the top-seeded Heat are going to Atlanta with a 2-0 lead. Tyler Herro scored 15 for Miami, while Max Strus scored 14 and Vincent added 11 for top-seeded Miami. Game 3 is Friday in Atlanta.