It’s Wednesday, January 19th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - 5G service is slated to be on Americans' phones by Wednesday, but major airlines flying out of Miami and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airports say the rollout is a major safety risk and will impair plane signals.
Verizon and AT&T had already delayed their launch of 5G that’s advertised to make a world of difference in the quality of cellphone calls, internet and download speeds. But airlines claim that the interference it causes to landing systems could shut down airports and strand thousands of passengers. Click here to find out what you need to know in a report from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard.
No. 2 - Free at-home rapid COVID test kits were slated to be available for order through a government website starting Wednesday, but many users reported being able to place their orders late Tuesday morning.
A White House spokesperson confirmed the site was launched in a "beta phase" Tuesday and was "operating at limited capacity ahead of its official launch," which remains scheduled for Wednesday. Click here for what to know about the website and how you can order your tests.
No. 3 - The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting next week, now that federal officials are emphasizing their better protection against the omicron variant of COVID-19 over cloth face coverings.
The White House announced Wednesday that the masks will come from the government's Strategic National Stockpile, which has more than 750 million of the highly protective masks on hand. The masks will be available for pickup at pharmacies and community health centers across the country. They will begin shipping this week for distribution starting late next week, the White House said.
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No. 4 - Brightline is not only looking to add more commuter trains and stations to South Florida, but is now in talks with Miami-Dade and Broward counties about a localized commuter train service called the "Coastal Link," said the Florida Department of Transportation.
As a result, the city of Fort Lauderdale voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of a resolution expressing support for a train tunnel, rather than a bridge, to cross the New River into downtown as a method of needed infrastructural improvement necessary to withstand the additional train traffic. The resolution urged FDOT to eliminate bridges as proposed options for infrastructural improvement at the New River and requested FDOT to reevaluate the feasibility of a tunnel.
No. 5 - Uber says it is seeing an uptick in scams targeting drivers and passengers, and the ride-sharing company says it's working hard to prevent fraud on its platform.
James Carvalho tried to get a quick ride to the airport from Miami using Uber. Instead, he ended up going in circles after being hacked. Carvalho says he received a text with an Uber PIN after giving the driver his phone number through the app. He then got another PIN via email that the driver also asked for. That’s when Carvalho was locked out of his account. Click here to find out what happened next and how you can avoid being scammed in a report from NBC 6’s Jamie Guirola.
No. 6 - When 59-year-old Carlos Argueta lost his sight five years ago, he thought his ability to enjoy a live soccer match, which is a passion of his, was also gone.
So since going blind, Carlos hasn’t attended a game until now. Cellphone video shows him celebrating a goal from Honduras this past weekend at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Cesar Daza, through his boards and his hands, is able to interpret sports for those who can no longer see or hear. He learned the skill back in his native Colombia, where he would interpret local soccer matches. Click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Cristian Benavides.
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