It’s Monday, August 23rd - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Just days after the school year started with in-person classes in Broward County, Miami-Dade County begins the 2021-22 year on Monday with a similar mandate requiring masks on campus.
Roughly 350,000 students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools are feeling trepidation mixed with excitement for the first day. Last Wednesday, the school board voted 7-1 to defy Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Board of Education by imposing a mandatory mask mandate for students and staff at its schools. A student can show a verified medical reason not to wear a mask. Miami city officials and the Miami Police Department have presented a simple message: plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get to school with classes back in session on campus.
No. 2 - Professional boxer Gervonta Davis says “God is good” after walking away from a plane crash Saturday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale.
Shortly after takeoff, the jet’s landing gear malfunctioned and caused it to run off the runway at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, according to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue. Officials said there were 14 passengers on board when the plane skid off the runway, including one child and two small dogs. Officials said one person was treated on scene with minor injuries.
No. 3 - President Joe Biden says the “hard and painful” airlift of Americans and tens of thousands of others from Afghanistan's capital is accelerating, but he would not rule out extending it beyond the Aug. 31 deadline he set before the Taliban's swift takeover.
In remarks at the White House on Sunday, one week after the Taliban completed their victory by capturing Kabul, Biden defended his decision to end the war and insisted that getting all Americans out of the country would have been difficult in the best of circumstances. Critics have blasted Biden for a grave error in judgment by waiting too long to begin organizing an evacuation, which became captive to the fear and panic set off by the government's sudden collapse.
No. 4 - Tropical Storm Henri socked the Northeast with strong winds as it made landfall Sunday on the coast of Rhode Island and sent lashing bands of rain westward, knocking out power to over 140,000 homes and causing deluges that closed bridges, swamped roads and left some people stranded in their vehicles.
The storm was downgraded from a hurricane before reaching New England, leaving many to breathe a sigh of relief, but the National Hurricane Center warned the slow-moving storm would continue dumping heavy rains on wide swaths of the region well beyond the weekend. Over two days, heavy, sustained rains flooded areas as far southwest as New Jersey, even as it took on tropical depression status. The storm threatened to stall near the New York-Connecticut border overnight, before pivoting east and moving out toward the Atlantic Ocean on Monday.
No. 5 - More health systems across the U.S. are offering monoclonal antibody therapy as a way of fighting COVID-19 infection, but how exactly do the treatments work, and how effective are they in reducing the effects of the virus?
The therapy is being touted by politicians like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis amid a concerning rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases across the state, fueled largely in part by the highly contagious delta variant. Experts stress that while antibody therapy is an option, vaccination remains the most powerful way to combat COVID-19 infection. Click here for more on what we know so far about monoclonal antibody therapy, how it works, and what health care systems are offering the treatment.
No. 6 - Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida eloped to Southern California, marrying his girlfriend Ginger Luckey on Saturday in a small ceremony on Catalina Island.
The controversial 39-year-old Republican, who is under investigation as part of a sex trafficking probe, announced the wedding on his personal Twitter feed. He exclaimed “I love my wife!” along with a photo of them together — he in a sport coat, she in a white dress. Vanity Fair reports that Sergio Gor, a former staffer for Sen. Rand Paul, performed the ceremony that was attended by about 40 people. The couple had previously announced they would marry next year. Gaetz is under investigation as part of a probe that led to the arrest and plea deal of his close friend, Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County tax collector.