It’s Thursday, October 7th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Police have made a second arrest in connection with a mass shooting at a northwest Miami-Dade banquet hall that left three people dead and 20 injured in May.
20-year-old Warneric Buckner was arrested Wednesday and charged with three counts of first-degree murder and 20 counts of attempted first degree murder from the May 30th incident. According to an arrest report, Buckner identified himself as the front right passenger in the Nissan Pathfinder caught on camera as being at the scene of the shooting. The shooting took place just after 12:30 a.m. on May 30 at a release party for a local rap artist at El Mula banquet hall, located at 7630 Northwest 186th Street. The Miami-Dade Police Department said two people initially died at the scene and another died later at an area hospital.
No. 2 - Newly released video shows the family of Miya Marcano confronting the man authorities said was the prime suspect in her killing shortly after she went missing in Orlando and before he killed himself.
The video was released Wednesday by the attorney for the Marcano family, as new details emerged about how her body was discovered and the suspicious things family members found in her apartment. At a news conference Wednesday evening, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Marcano's mouth was covered with duct tape and she was bound with duct tape on her wrists and feet when her body was discovered Saturday in a wooded area in central Florida. He said the shirt Marcano had been wearing was found in her purse, but said she had on jeans, a bra and a robe, and there was no indication there had been a sexual assault of any kind. Click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Jamie Guirola in Orlando.
No. 3 - The preliminary stage of jury selection in the trial of the Florida school massacre suspect on charges that he attacked a jail guard concluded Wednesday, but not before attorneys clashed over whether Nikolas Cruz should be allowed to draw using colored pencils to avoid getting upset.
More than 100 prospective jurors over two days said they could fairly try Cruz on charges that he attacked Sgt. Raymond Beltran in November 2018, nine months after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 dead. The fight over the colored pencils started when a prospective juror in Wednesday's first group of 32 cried after seeing Cruz in the courtroom — the third time that's happened over the two days. That made Cruz, 23, visibly upset and one of his attorneys brought him the pencils and a piece of paper. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer ruled that Cruz cannot be given colored pencils after her courtroom's lead security deputy told her for safety reasons he is only allowed the pen his guards issued him.
No. 4 - Miami-Dade County Public Schools announced a change in its quarantine policy Wednesday. Starting Monday, middle school students will be under the same rule currently used for high school students, but despite pressure from the state, the district will not be relaxing its mandatory mask mandate.
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Wednesday that data shows the district’s COVID prevention protocols are working, and school administrators tell us they’ve received almost zero pushback from parents. Carvalho also vented about a missing chunk of money. The federal government had earmarked $2.3 billion to Florida in the American Rescue Plan. Miami-Dade Public Schools was supposed to receive $800 million of that grant, to be used for enhanced mental health services, to fight the “COVID slide” of academic regression, and to upgrade school buildings and their HVAC systems. However, the state hasn’t even applied for the free money. Click here for more on that story in a report from NBC 6’s Ari Odzer.
No. 5 - In true Miami Beach fashion, dozens packed Mango's Tropical Cafe on Wednesday to protest — in the form of a celebration — the rolled back last call for alcohol to 2 a.m.
The city passed the 2 a.m. rollback earlier this year to slow down crime but stopped enforcement this summer after a judge’s ruling. Voters will make their voices heard on the issue in a November referendum. Some say it won’t curb crime but feel it would curb business. Other Miami Beach business owners, like Mitch Novick, disagree. Novick says this is the reality of late-night alcohol sales and feels the rollback is overdue. Click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Ryan Nelson.
No. 6 - It’s the culmination of a seven-year, million-dollar project: teams with the Department of Agriculture and the Division of Plant Industry worked to capture giant African land snails and eliminate them from communities across Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
The first giant African land snails since the 70's were discovered near Douglas Park in Miami back in 2011. Now, after over 168,000 snails were collected, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried came back to Miami to declare they’ve been eradicated. The giant African snails ballooned in population after being discovered in Miami back in 2011. That's when state officials started working on getting rid of the snails. Click here for the story in a report from NBC 6’s Cristian Benavides.
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