It’s Friday, January 28th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - An investigation is underway after a Hialeah Hospital worker who became a TikTok star was killed in a hit-and-run Tuesday that was caught on camera.
Leonardo Gil, who worked as an endoscopy technician at the hospital, had just finished his shift and was on his motorcycle when he was struck and killed around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of East 8th Avenue and 21st Street. Police said the vehicle that struck Gil was a dark-colored SUV or van. The driver momentarily stopped but ultimately fled the scene. Gil, who had been working at the hospital since 2010 after arriving in South Florida from Cuba, had amassed a huge TikTok following with more than 100,000 followers.
No. 2 - The death toll from a suspected human smuggling boat that capsized in a storm off Florida with 40 people aboard reached five Thursday, as the active search for survivors was set to be suspended, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.
Capt. Jo-Ann F. Burdian announced at a news conference Thursday that four more bodies were found in the previous 24 hours in the search zone, which had expanded to an area the size of the state of Massachusetts. The death toll from the incident rose to five, with 34 other people still believed to be missing. Burdian said the active search was set to be suspended at sundown Thursday unless something was found that would extend it.
No. 3 - Surveillance cameras were rolling when a driver plowed her SUV right into a restaurant in Plantation on Thursday.
No one was hurt in the crash at La Belle Monique on State Road 7, police said. "I just heard a boom, an explosion," the restaurant owner said. Police said the driver was pulling into a parking space and accelerated as opposed to braking. The damage from the crash extended all the way to the back of the restaurant, right before the restrooms. Click here to see the wild video in a report from NBC 6’s Kim Wynne.
No. 4 - David Semmel had no idea that one day his relatives from decades ago would show up on his doorstep, opening a door into the past during World War II.
Silvia Espinosa Schrock had found the box of old photos in a closet at her parents' house. She had bought the box 32 years ago when she was an art student in New York City. Semmel has an online blog about his family history. Schrock noticed a particular name on one photo and it turned out to be the key to finding Semmel. These memories are important to Semmel and his family, especially on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Click here for the amazing story in a report from NBC 6’s Claudia DoCampo.
No. 5 - The best teachers always find ways to connect with their students.
“You cannot start your class with just book work, you have to reach the kids mentally before you can reach them academically,” said Renee O’Connor, who teaches global perspectives and African American history at Norland Senior High School. O’Connor is one of four nominees for Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year award. The winner will be announced next week. We don’t know who the winner will be. We do know their students are fortunate to have them. Click here to meet all four nominees in a report from NBC 6’s Ari Odzer.
No. 6 - Brace yourself, South Florida: the coldest weather in years is set to come through the area this weekend and bring temperatures in the 30s.
A cold front will rifle through South Florida Friday evening and you'll feel it this weekend. We are looking at lows in the low 50s Saturday morning with highs only reaching the low 60s. Saturday night will feature the coolest numbers in over 11 years as widespread 30s move in. Officials are advising residents to take safety measures to make sure children and the elderly are safe with the chilly temperatures. Click here for more in your First Alert Doppler 6000 forecast.
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