It’s Monday, July 18th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Opening statements are set to begin in the sentencing trial for the man who killed 17 people and wounded 17 others in the Parkland high school shooting more than four years ago.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys will begin to make their cases Monday morning to jurors who will decide whether Nikolas Cruz will be sentenced to death or get life in prison for the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 14 students and three staff members dead. Cruz, now 23, pleaded guilty in October to those murders and 17 counts of attempted murder, so the jurors will only decide his punishment. They must be unanimous for Cruz to get the death penalty — if at least one votes for life, that will be Cruz's sentence. Click here to find out why some legal expert expects ‘34 mini trials' in a report from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard.
No. 2 - NBC 6 cameras were there as a masked Kodak Black was released from the Broward County jail Saturday and escorted to an awaiting SUV by his security team.
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The South Florida native and famous rapper was arrested again on Friday, this time in Fort Lauderdale, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Black, 25, was traveling south on Northwest 31st Ave, in the area of West Cypress Creek Road, in a purple Dodge Durango with window tints that appeared darker than the legal limit, according to FHP troopers. A record check of Black's vehicle tag also revealed that the registration was expired. A probable cause search was conducted and Troopers located a small clear bag that contained 31 white tablets, later identified as Oxycodone, as well as a total of $74,960 in cash.
No. 3 - Nearly 400 law enforcement officials rushed to a mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school, but “egregiously poor decision-making” resulted in more than an hour of chaos before the gunman who took 21 lives was finally confronted and killed, according to a damning investigative report released Sunday.
The nearly 80-page report was the first to criticize both state and federal law enforcement, and not just local authorities in the South Texas town for the bewildering inaction by heavily armed officers as a gunman fired inside two fourth-grade classrooms at Robb Elementary School, killing 19 students and two teachers. Altogether, the report amounted to the fullest account to date of the one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history. But it did not satisfy all parents and relatives of the victims, some of whom blasted the police as cowards and called for them to resign.
No. 4 - Major traffic impacts are expected when Fort Lauderdale's Henry E. Kinney Tunnel closes Monday for a construction project.
The full closure of U.S. 1 between Southeast 7th Street and Broward Boulevard is scheduled for Monday, July 18, through Friday, July 22. All traffic will be rerouted away from the tunnel and directed to alternate streets, according to a traffic advisory issued by the city of Fort Lauderdale. Las Olas Boulevard will be fully closed to traffic between SE 5th Avenue and SE 8th Avenue on Wednesday, July 20, with Thursday, July 21, reserved as a contingency closure date if needed Click here for information on the detours and alternative routes.
No. 5 - While the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season has remained relatively quiet, the most important weeks are still ahead.
With the onslaught of forecasts pointing to an above-average season, one may be wondering just when the season will show its face. Although that question is valid, it’s no secret that the most important part of the season is just ahead of us. Following the progression of an average season, click here for a great illustration from NOAA of the Atlantic Basin ramping up through August, peaking in early to mid-September from NBC 6 First Alert meteorologist Ryan Phillips.
No. 6 - The city of Hallandale Beach Police rolled out 13 new Tesla Model Y vehicles on Thursday as they make an effort to become an environmentally-friendly police force.
"We're thrilled to be rolling out the largest deployment of electric police vehicles in the state of Florida and to get these EV's on the road," said City Manager Dr. Jeremy Earle. Twelve of these 13 vehicles will be used by detectives, while one is being tested out as a patrol vehicle. The purchase was made possible through a mix of funds including surplus money from the American Rescue Plan law signed in March 2021.