It’s Friday, October 8th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for your day.
No. 1 - Fort Lauderdale Police are searching for a man who they say was caught on camera attacking and trying to kidnap a woman as she was walking on Las Olas Boulevard.
The incident happened shortly before 6 a.m. back on Sept. 9, as the woman was walking in the 500 block of East Las Olas toward the beach, Fort Lauderdale Police officials said. Investigators said the man ran up behind her, grabbed and choked her, then slammed her to the ground and started to drag her. The victim screamed for help and even tried to give the suspect money so she could escape, police said. A witness intervened and the suspect ran away and fled the scene on a bicycle before officers arrived. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 954-828-6559.
No. 2 - It was all done on a conference call, and the outcome was pre-ordained.
The Florida Board of Education voted unanimously to penalize eight school districts, including Miami-Dade and Broward, which Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran, said are guilty of mandating masks instead of making them optional. Each superintendent had five minutes each to make their case to the Board. All of them said they were guided by science and the state constitution, which gives locally-elected school boards the power to regulate their own schools. The state says the Parents Bill of Rights law, along with an order from the state’s new surgeon general, compel school districts to allow parents to decide whether their children need to wear masks in schools.
No. 3 - Four South Florida law enforcement officers are off the street as federal agents look into their potential involvement with loan money intended to aid workers impacted by the pandemic.
The officers have not been on the street since early June. While the FBI would not comment to NBC 6, we learned the probe involves the Paycheck Protection Program — or PPP — which aids business workers and employees who took a financial hit due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, the City of Opa-locka's payroll records show its Deputy Chief Nikeya Jenkins made an application for a PPP loan and that she did see a reduction from more than $20,000 in off-duty pay in 2019 to $10,000 dollars in 2020, and $7,500 so far this year. Jenkins did not respond to multiple attempts to speak with her Thursday. A spokesperson for Opa-locka said she has repaid the full amount.
No. 4 - Members of the the Miami Police Department are watching closely as their boss navigates his way forward amid an ongoing conflict with some city commissioners.
Chief Art Acevedo is in reset mode less than six months into the job. The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that a plan is in the works to try and fire the chief, but at least one city commissioner, Ken Russell, said he has not heard that. Acevedo signed on to be chief in March with a $315,000 annual salary. His benefits move the total compensation package to over $400,000. If a departure deal is in the works, the agreement says that if he’s terminated by what's called "for cause," which could include a finding of misconduct, neglect of duty or malfeasance, then he would not get any severance pay. The same goes if he resigns.
No. 5 - A Hollywood man says his pickup, trailer and equipment were stolen from his driveway — a theft he says is impacting his livelihood.
Surveillance video from Tuesday morning shows someone breaking into Boris Carmona's pickup truck and trailer before driving away. The losses are painful and expensive to Carmona, who uses the tens of thousands of dollars of equipment for his landscaping company, Carmona Lawn Service. The video also shows a dark-colored car Carmona believes may be involved. He’s taken his case to the Hollywood Police Department but hopes someone out there who sees his story can help reunite him with his trailer. Anyone with information is asked to call the Hollywood Police Department at 954-764-4357.
No. 6 - More than 55,000 Floridians have died from COVID-19. As with the number of cases, deaths are starting to trend downward, but local funeral homes are struggling to keep up with the demand.
The funeral director at St. Fort's Funeral Home says around March 2020, the demand for funerals more than doubled. At St. Fort's they went from having about five funerals a day to 10 to 15 per day. Funeral directors and staff have been on the front lines the entire pandemic. They say it is a tough balancing act between helping families find closure, staffing constraints, and overall availability. Click here for more on this story in a report from NBC 6’s Laura Rodriguez.
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