It’s Friday, October 15th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - A last-minute court hearing is set Friday for Nikolas Cruz, the man police said has confessed to the 2018 massacre of 17 people at a Parkland high school.
The hearing in Broward County Circuit Court was scheduled abruptly Thursday and does not describe the purpose. But some local media reported without citing sources by name that Cruz would plead guilty to all 17 murder counts against him. The Broward County state attorney’s office issued a statement Thursday night saying Cruz's lawyers would have to comment on any possible guilty plea. NBC 6 reached out to the families of two victims, who said they had not been approached about a plea agreement.
No. 2 - Miami city commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to fire Police Chief Art Acevedo after a short and stormy tenure in which he clashed with city officials and members of his own police force.
The five commissioners took the step following a trial-like hearing in which he was criticized for offending fellow Cuban-Americans and losing the trust of his officers, while his attorney argued that the city’s politicians wanted him gone because he accused them of corruption. Acevedo, who took office in April after leaving his post as Houston police chief, did not testify at the meeting. At the time of Acevedo's hiring, Miami's mayor hailed the veteran police official as the Michael Jordan and Tom Brady of police chiefs. Acevedo’s attorney John Byrne said at Thursday's meeting that there was not enough time to build a case to properly defend Acevedo with the meeting scheduled four days after he was suspended by Noriega.
No. 3 - A woman has been charged with extortion, making threats, and resisting an officer without violence after police say she tried to extort a man out of $1,500 by claiming he raped her.
Maria Orceromartinez appeared before a Miami-Dade County Judge on Thursday. According to the arrest report, Orceromartinez told police that she invited the victim to her apartment on Sept. 25. She claimed the victim drugged her, performed oral sex on her, then raped her. She told police she was unconscious until 9 a.m. the next morning. But the victim said it was consensual, according to the police report. He provided police with a WhatsApp message that he sent to a friend that night. Police say the suspect could be heard in the background in a joyful voice saying, “He can’t go with you, because he’s with me.” Click here for the story in a report from NBC 6’s Kim Wynne.
No. 4 - Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized in Southern California Thursday with a non-COVID-19 related infection, his spokesman confirmed to NBC News.
The 75-year-old was hospitalized at University of California, Irvine Medical Center in Orange County. It wasn't immediately clear why Clinton was hospitalized beyond that he had an infection, but his spokesman said he was in "good spirits." His spokesman, Angel Ureña, tweeted that Clinton was on the mend. Ureña later tweeted that the former president was receiving antibiotics via an IV, and after two days of treatment, Clinton's white blood cell count was trending down.
No. 5 - The debate about closing time for bars in Miami Beach has moved from a street rally Wednesday to dueling economic studies Thursday.
So how much will rolling back closing time from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. cost? That depends on whether you believe the economic impact study commissioned by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce or the city’s own cost-benefit analysis, and the two are wildly different. According to the city’s study, when you factor in all the money spent on police activity in the entertainment district, the city loses about $6 million a year. The Chamber of Commerce study says if bars have to close at 2 a.m., the city will lose $14 million in tax revenue a year, and local businesses will lose $227 million in sales revenue over three years, and it predicts more bad outcomes. Click here for more from NBC 6 reporter Ari Odzer.
No. 6 - When Carol O'Brien walks out to the seawall behind her condo building on the Intracoastal just north of Sunrise, what she sees is a massive home that looks abandoned.
O’Brien is one of those living in one of South Florida’s top-flight communities who say their property values are taking a hit due to a home in disrepair that’s unbelievably been like this since Hurricane Wilma. The 6,600 square foot home worth $1.3 million took a major hit when Wilma struck South Florida on Oct. 24, 2005. O'Brien has been leading the charge to get it fixed. She says anyone’s patience would run thin after this long. Click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard you’ll see Only on 6.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.