It’s Thursday, September 9th – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Multiple arrests have been made in the identity theft cases that targeted victims of the Surfside condominium collapse, authorities said.
At a news conference Wednesday, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said three "cyber grave robbers" targeted at least seven of the collapse victims, including five who were killed. Reports of identity theft cases began popping up just days after the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo, which killed 98 people. Fernandez Rundle said the suspects posed as the victims to order replacement credit cards that were mailed to alternate addresses. Once they had the credit cards, the suspects made a number of purchases and wire transfers, Fernandez Rundle said. All told, the suspect stole at least $45,000 worth of goods and attempted to steal more than $60,000 more, Fernandez Rundle said.
No. 2 - It’s mask up, for now, without state punishment for Florida public school districts that want to impose mask mandates.
A Leon County circuit judge on Wednesday ruled that his order preventing the state from enforcing its ban on mask mandates in schools should take immediate effect. Enforcement of the order, issued two weeks ago, had been delayed after the state appealed Judge John Cooper’s decision to the First District Court of Appeals. For the stay, as it’s called, to remain in effect, the state would have had to show two things: a likelihood of success on appeal and that delaying the ruling would not irreparably harm the plaintiffs. Cooper said the state failed on both counts.
No. 3 - Miami’s Police Chief, Art Acevedo, is taking some heat for his choice of words: “Cuban Mafia.”
Fraternal Order of Police President Tommy Reyes posted a statement on Twitter talking about how at an officer roll call meeting last month, Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo said, “Miami is run by the Cuban mafia.” In an interview on Wednesday, Reyes said maybe the chief was making a joke. The Chief’s position is that his comment was harmless humor. Click here to see what else Acevedo had to say in an interview with NBC 6 reporter Steve Litz you’ll see Only on 6.
No. 4 - Dogs that can detect COVID-19 are now being used at Miami International Airport as part of a pilot program.
Some employees have to go through a checkpoint before heading to work. As of now, it's just limited to some American Airlines employees who pass through two airport checkpoints as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus. Four dogs were trained. Researchers at FIU trained the dogs to detect COVID-19 by using face masks from COVID patients. Click here to see how the pups are helping sniff out the virus in a story from NBC 6 reporter Cristian Benavides.
No. 5 - On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, when a plane crashes into one of the world’s tallest buildings, word spreads quickly — especially among first responders.
“I remember getting a call from the Urban Search and Rescue Captain saying, hey, you guys got to turn on the TV. One of the buildings at the World Trade Center got hit by a small plane,” former Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Dave Downey said. Downey, who back then was a special operations Miami-Dade Fire Captain, watched the images coming from New York. It took several days for Downey’s team from South Florida to make it to New York. Downey recalled what it was like the first time he walked up to ground zero. Click here to hear how his experience with the team helped nearly two decades later in Surfside in a report from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard.
No. 6 - The NFL is finally back with a mix of familiar feelings and new touches.
The 2021 NFL season opener pits the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. Fresh off his seventh championship, Tom Brady begins his 22nd NFL season and second in Tampa Bay. For Dallas, Dak Prescott will take the field at Raymond James Stadium after a leg injury cut his 2020 season short.