Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:
Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean to Require COVID-19 Vaccinations
Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have added a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for its passengers who want to board a ship.
For sailings to the Bahamas from Sep. 3 until Nov. 1, all passengers 12 and older must be fully vaccinated before boarding a cruise, Disney Cruise Lines said in an updated policy on its website. Guests must provide proof of vaccination to the cruise line or else they will not be permitted to board.
Royal Caribbean also updated its policy Tuesday. For cruises departing from certain locations including Seattle and the Bahamas, passengers ages 12 and older must present proof of vaccination, with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing.
Federal Collapse Probe So Far Finds No Safety Concerns Affecting Other Condos
Judith Mitrani-Reiser, an associate chief in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s materials and structural systems division, has more than a professional, passing interest in determining the cause or causes of the Champlain Towers South collapse.
"I grew up in Miami and the Champlain Towers South collapse site is a short walk from my late grandmother’s apartment in Biscayne Point," she said in a news conference Wednesday. "This is my hometown. Please know I am deeply committed to finding out why this building collapsed."
But, if history is a guide, it may take NIST years to release its findings.
"Our shortest investigation ever was two and a half years and our longest was six years," Mitrani-Reiser said.
But she did offer some good news for now for people who fear the collapse of the 40-year-old condo hinted at problems with other condos of similar age and design.
She said the agency would sound the engineering alarm if it found deficiencies that could suggest another collapse could soon happen elsewhere, especially at Champlain Towers North, which was built around the same time by the same companies as its doomed larger sister to the south.
61% of Floridians Believe COVID-19 Surge Was Preventable: Quinnipiac Poll
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge in Florida and the battle between Gov. Ron DeSantis and school districts across the state intensifies over mask mandates, Quinnipiac University's latest poll finds that concerns over the virus were palpable among those surveyed and a majority believe the surge was preventable.
Quinnipiac surveyed 997 adults in Florida from August 17-21 with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
The poll results, released Tuesday, show 60% of those surveyed support requiring students, teachers and staff to wear masks in schools, while 36% oppose it.
DeSantis — whose executive order gives parents the power to decide whether a child wears a mask to school — has threatened to withhold the salaries of school leaders who require masks. Twenty-five percent of those polled believe this is a good idea, while 69% say it's not.
Former Miami Hurricane Speaks Out for 1st Time After Arrest
A former University of Miami football player is speaking out for the first time after being arrested on domestic violence charges last month.
Last Friday, the Miami State Attorney's office dropped the charges against Avantae Williams, a once-promising UM Hurricanes' safety.
"I'm just happy that it's all over with and I'm huge on family first and being there for my family and being a family man I believe in women's rights, so I'm just happy that it's all over with now," he said.
Williams' girlfriend was 31-weeks pregnant at the time she told police he had roughed her up after an argument. But later she denied the allegations.
The state attorney's office couldn't go through without the alleged victims cooperation in the case.
"'The victim stated that she is not a victim and does not feel the defendant will harm her or her unborn child. The victim advised that she was in “emotional distress” when she spoke to the police," the office said.
Williams' attorney Michael Etienne says the focus now is getting back to UM.
‘Stand Your Ground' Denied for Man Who Pulled Gun on MLK Protesters, Shouted Racial Slurs
A judge denied the claim of self defense, using Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' law, by a man during an incident in Brickell back on MLK Day in 2019 where he was seen on camera pulling a gun on protestors and yelling racial slurs.
Mark Barnett will face charges for the incident after his claim was denied late Thursday night by Judge Alberto Milian.
"Disproving the self defense arguments of Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' law can be a very difficult hurdle for prosecutors to overcome," Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "Now that my prosecutors have done that, it is time to move this long-delayed case to trial."
Both Barnett and his fiance, Dana Scalione, testified Thursday they were actually the victims and that they were being held hostage when the mostly juvenile protesters were blocking traffic on the Brickell Avenue bridge.
The fiancé claimed she didn’t see Bartlett pull out a gun on the protesters.
NBC 6 & Telemundo 51 Are Ready To Clear The Shelters With Our 2021 Adopt & Donate Campaign
NBC 6 and Telemundo 51 are happy to announce that Clear the Shelters, our adopt and donate campaign is back for another year. Animal shelters in South Florida and across the country are once again teaming up with NBC and Telemundo stations to find loving homes for pets in need with our Clear the Shelters pet adoption and donation campaign.
The stations’ month-long “Adopt & Donate” effort will feature virtual pet adoptions and make it easy for people to donate online to participating shelters and rescues. The campaign runs from August 23 through September 19, 2021.
Below is a list of the participating shelters. There you can visit their websites, browse for a new pet, find out how the adoption process works and any other pertinent information. This is the first step in your journey to becoming a parent to an animal in need.