Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:
Almost 450k Flood Insurance Policies to Increase in South Florida
Almost 450,000 flood insurance policies in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties will see an increase in premiums next year when FEMA moves to its new “Risk Rating 2.0” methodology. The new formula factors in sea level rise, flood risk, the amount of rainfall, the cost to rebuild, along with other aspects for properties.
The change is already in place for new policies and will kick in for renewals in April 2022. The change will impact South Florida because of the increasing threat of sea level rise and heavier rainfalls brought on by climate change.
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The change also shifts the financial burden to high-value properties, which are more expensive to rebuild. Leaders at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) argue lower value properties have been shouldering too much of the financial burden. That means around 125,000 policyholders in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties will see their premiums decrease. Those decreases have already taken effect.
According to an analysis of zip code data by NBC 6 Investigators, five of the top 10 Florida zip codes with the most premium increases are in Miami-Dade County. Thousands of premiums will go up for flood policies in zip codes 33175, 33186, 33157, 33032 and 33033. The majority of the increases will be up to $120 a year. Many of those policies could have seen increases under the old methodology as well.
Man Who Stopped Violent Abduction Attempt in Fort Lauderdale Receives Medal
A good Samaritan who intervened to help stop a man's violent attack and attempted abduction of a woman in Fort Lauderdale was honored by Broward County Thursday.
Broward officials awarded Edwin Zamora the county's Medal of Valor at a ceremony at the Broward Governmental Center.
Zamora said he did what anyone would have done when he came across the scene back on Sept. 9 on East Las Olas Boulevard.
"I guess I was at the right place at the right time, Zamora said.
Investigators said a suspect ran up behind the woman, grabbed and choked her, then slammed her to the ground and started to drag her.
Zamora, a construction worker at a nearby site, had arrived at work early that day.
"I heard the screaming and I looked down the side, and that’s when I
saw the stuff going on," Zamora said.
South Florida Uber Driver Says She Was Assaulted by Passenger
A South Florida Uber driver says she was assaulted and beaten up by an irate passenger Saturday morning.
Sumey Martinez Arzuaga said she had driven the passenger to a few places around Miami Beach, but later told him she couldn't drive him anywhere else because it was taking up too much time.
The passenger became enraged and allegedly punched Arzuaga in the face, she said. He then spit on her and took off.
The attack happened in Overtown around 10 a.m., Arzuaga said. The Miami-Dade Police Department filed a report about the incident.
NBC 6 has reached out to the Miami-Dade Police Department for further comment.
Miami Fire Rescue responded to the scene. Arzuaga said she went to Palmetto Hospital following the attack, where she received several tests and hospital scans.
Teen is 1st Pediatric Patient in Florida to Receive Life-Saving Heart Pump
Da'Realis Dennard is finally back home and feeling like himself again, but the 17-year-old almost died of heart failure, spending over three months in a South Florida hospital.
Dennard has a rare genetic condition called Kearns-Sayre syndrome, which can cause muscular issues, especially affecting the eyes and heart. Basically, his heart was too weak to work on its own and he was having severe heart failure.
"When we met him he was having a hard time walking and talking, eating and really doing all of the things we take for granted. Our evaluation was performed and we found that he had something called Left Ventricular Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy which is when the heart muscle doesn’t form well and doesn’t squeeze well," said Dr. Svetlana Shugh, a pediatric heart failure and transplant cardiologist at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.
After he was transferred from another hospital, Shugh stepped in and helped Dennard find a life-saving solution.
“We were able to use something called a heart mate 3 LVAD or heart pump to implant into his heart. It’s all inside and he just has a cable that comes out and connects to a controller and batteries. Essentially a power source," said Shugh.
The teen is the first pediatric patient in Florida to receive the small, implantable device. Dennard said he immediately noticed a difference in his quality of life and has been able to be home and go to the store and school.
‘You Took Her From Me': Sister of Woman Killed in Sunrise Crash Confronts Driver
Nearly two years after a crash in Sunrise took the life of a Miami mother, police have arrested a woman on vehicular homicide and other charges in the incident.
Matilde Perez, 60, was arrested Tuesday on one count of vehicular homicide and three counts of reckless driving in the February 27, 2020 crash that killed 41-year-old Clarice Toussaint.
Perez appeared in bond court Wednesday, where there was an emotional exchange with Toussaint's family.
"I just wanted you to know what you took from me, and my dad and her kids as well," twin sister Clarine Toussaint told Perez as she fought back tears. "It definitely was just not an accident, you took her from me and you took her from my dad and her kids, I don’t know if I could ever forgive you for that."
Perez also appears to cry and then starts to apologize.
The crash happened on Northwest 44th Street at Pine Island Road in Sunrise.
Investigators said Perez ran a red light at the intersection and slammed into Toussaint's car, and had been going 11 mph over the speed limit a second before impact.
"It's more than just the speed, it's that she allegedly ran a red light that had been red for 26 seconds," Judge Tabitha Blackmon said during Wednesday's hearing.
Both women were injured in the crash, but Toussaint, a mother of two children, later died from her injuries.
Woman Gives Birth to Son 1 Week After Husband Killed in Construction Accident
Exactly one week after a South Florida man was killed in a construction accident in North Miami, his wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy who will continue his father's legacy.
Gabriel Alvarez, 44, was killed Oct. 25 after a large piece of machinery fell on top of him at a construction site where he worked as a manager in North Miami near Florida International University's Biscayne Bay campus, according to a family friend.
"He put family first. He truly was a family man," said Luis Cuevas, a close friend of Alvarez.
Alvarez was excited to welcome his first son, Cuevas said.
His wife, Grace, gave birth to Gabriel Tomas on Monday at 1:05 p.m. — the exact time Alvarez took his last breath a week beforehand.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking into the incident and said they can’t discuss details of an investigation — but confirmed it initiated inspections at the worksite.