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6 to Know: Health Condition of Killer Whale Lolita Prompts Concerns

It’s Thursday, February 24th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day

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It’s Thursday, February 24th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 - A clerk at a Miramar gas station shot a burglar who attacked him Tuesday night, police said.

The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. at the Sunoco gas station at 7520 Pembroke Road. Miramar Police officials said the suspect, who wasn't armed with a gun, entered the gas station and attacked the clerk. The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Jeffrey John Philippe, hit the clerk multiple times with his hands then threw the clerk to the ground and continued to struggle with him, an arrest report said. The clerk, who has a concealed weapons permit, pulled a firearm from his waistband and fired several shots at Philippe, the report said. Philippe fled the scene but was found by police a couple blocks away. He was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.

No. 2 - Authorities are working to find out who's behind a shocking case of animal cruelty in Miami-Dade after a dog was discovered with bite wounds all over his body as well as injuries from being shot with a BB gun.

A neighbor called Miami-Dade Animal Services on Friday after finding the American Bulldog unable to walk in the area of Northwest 15th Avenue and Northwest 38th Street. The dog, who has since been named Chulo, is now in the care of a private veterinarian, but Animal Services still wants to know what happened. Labrada said Chulo had metal fragments in his chest that are consistent with being shot with a BB gun or pellet gun. Authorities are also trying to figure out if he was subjected to dog fighting.

No. 3 - Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched a military attack against Ukraine, with explosions and air sirens heard across the country, and leaders in the U.S. and European Union have announced that severe sanctions will come in response.

Russia and the West have been on a collision course since Moscow’s decision to formally recognize the independence of two Ukrainian breakaway regions largely held by separatists. Big explosions were heard before dawn in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa as world leaders decried the start of a Russian invasion that could cause massive casualties and topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy introduced martial law, saying Russia has targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure and explosions are heard across the country. Zelenskyy said he had just talked to President Joe Biden and the U.S. was rallying international support for Ukraine. He urged Ukrainians to stay home and not panic.

No. 4 - Lolita the killer whale has been thrilling crowds at the Miami Seaquarium for five decades, but these days, the orca known officially as Toki is taking it easy, out of public view, because she’s been ill. 

The Seaquarium would not allow NBC 6 on its property and did not agree to an interview, but did release a video statement, which featured two trainers discussing Toki’s health and care.  “We are feeling encouraged with her improving bloodwork, she’s interacting with her trainers, she’s interacting with her toys, she’s eating,” one of the trainers said.  In a written statement, the Seaquarium said in part, “Toki’s unprecedented longevity speaks to the quality care she receives … She continues to exhibit normal behaviors and activity levels and has maintained a good appetite." Click here for more in a report from NBC 6's Ari Odzer.

No. 5 - You can now get a mortgage with crypto.

It’s a new way of buying a home, but only if you’ve got the crypto for it. Milo, a financial technology company, will now allow people who own bitcoin to use it as collateral to take out a home mortgage. “We understand that crypto does have value, even though most conventional lenders don’t really consider that,” said Josip Rupena, the founder and CEO of Milo. For now, Milo will only accept bitcoin, but it’s working on eventually accepting other cryptocurrencies. Crypto expert Kurt Wuckert Jr. says while the idea is encouraging, it’s only a great product if you’ve got at least hundreds of thousands worth of bitcoin in your digital wallet. Click here for more in a report from NBC 6's Cristian Benavides.

No. 6 - City leaders in Miami Beach are shutting the party down ahead of spring break.

A new ordinance passed during a Wednesday night meeting that will force businesses to close at 2 a.m. from March 7-21. This applies to businesses south of 16ht Street, including West Avenue and Alton Road. City officials told NBC 6 the proposal is an effort to keep South Beach safe during the busy time after chaos erupted last year during spring break. The ordinance was sponsored by Commissioner Alex Fernandez. Bar and restaurant owners say their businesses would take a hit and their employees would suffer.

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