News You Should Know

6 to Know: Broward Congresswoman Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Former Opponent

It’s Friday, July 22nd - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day

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It’s Friday, July 22nd - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 - The Sunrise Police sergeant seen on body camera footage putting his hand on another officer's throat has been arrested on battery and assault charges.

Sgt. Christopher Pullease was arrested Thursday and was booked into Broward County's main jail, online jail records show. He avoided answering questions from reporters after bonding out later in the day. The Sunrise Police Department confirmed that Pullease faces charges of battery on an officer, assault on an officer, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, and assault. Pullease was relieved of supervisory responsibilities in January and was put under an internal affairs investigation following the Nov. 19 incident.

No. 2 - Surveillance footage showing the Parkland school shooter buying an Icee and chatting with a student in a McDonald's shortly after gunning down 17 people was played at his sentencing trial Thursday.

The footage, previously not released to the public, first showed gunman Nikolas Cruz casually walking into a Subway sandwich shop inside a Walmart not far from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. The video was introduced by prosecutors Thursday morning during testimony from Subway employee Carlos Rugeles. The gunman, wearing a New York Police Department hat and maroon Stoneman Douglas ROTC shirt, is seen ordering the Icee and leaving the store. Rugeles had no idea that he was serving the man who'd just killed 17 people and wounded 17 others in one of the deadliest school shootings in history.

No. 3 - With just over a month to go before Florida's Democratic gubernatorial primary, candidates Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist clashed on everything from abortion rights to affordable housing in their first and only debate Thursday.

The hour-long debate was moderated by bilingual journalists NBC 6 Anchor Jackie Nespral and Telemundo 51 Senior Political Reporter Marilys Llanos and aired on both stations in English and Spanish. Fried and Crist are in a competitive primary for the Democratic nomination to face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who's running for a second term. Fried, Florida's agriculture commissioner since 2018 and the only Democrat elected to a statewide office, frequently criticized Crist, who previously served as Florida's governor as a Republican but switched parties and is now a Democratic congressman.

No. 4 - U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick is taking one of her former opponents to court over allegations that he defamed her and accused the first-term Democrat of embezzlement to win the seat.

Cherfilus-McCormick filed a complaint in Broward County on Wednesday, asking for damages exceeding $1 million from former Broward County Mayor and current county commissioner Dale Holness, along with his aide Justin Porter. In the complaint, Cherfilus-McCormick says a text message from Porter on behalf of the Holness campaign claims she bought her seat in Congress. Cherfilus-McCormick also claims the two men have engaged in defaming her to the point of "damaging her reputation and inflicting great emotional harm," the lawsuit says.

No. 5 - Broward County Public Schools wants you to join their team.

The school district is on a hiring spree because it has 1,200 job openings, everything from teachers to bus drivers to custodians. “Currently we need 433 teachers, and that does sound like a lot,” said talent acquisition director Susan Rockelman. The shortage was even worse last year at this time, when the district had 550 teacher vacancies. Rockelman says there are several factors involved, including the starting salary of $47,500. The district is also looking to hire 174 school bus drivers, as soon as possible. Drivers make $16.50 an hour. Applicants must have a commercial driver’s license or permit. The district will help applicants obtain a license and then they will provide training.

No. 6 - The River of Grass is getting an upgrade thanks to the Biden Administration’s $1.5 billion investment in Everglades restoration, including $1.1 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“It is the largest federal investment in our River of Grass restoration effort ever," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D FL-23. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu have been working hand in hand to push for more funding for this unique ecosystem.  On Thursday, they were joined by environmental advocates in South Florida for an airboat ride through the Everglades showcasing the beauty of these wetlands. These funds will go towards specific construction projects to safeguard communities in the surrounding area from the effects of climate change, create more jobs, strengthen Florida’s tourism economy, and protect the critical ecosystem and water supplies of the Everglades. 

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