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ICYMI: Top ‘Florida Man' Stories of 2020, Thousands Waiting for Enhanced Unemployment Benefits

Here are some of the top stories from the last week from NBC 6 News

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Here are some of the top stories from the last week from NBC 6 News:

Dinosaurs, Drugs and Bad Driving: Top ‘Florida Man' Stories of 2020

Not even the coronavirus pandemic could slow down Florida Man in 2020.

While much of the world was locking down, socially distancing and laying low for most of the year, Florida Man still found time to deliver the wacky and wild stories he's known for.

Without further ado, here are the most Florida Man and Florida Woman stories of 2020.

Thousands Waiting for Enhanced Federal Unemployment Benefits to Roll Out

For Delfina Dumaine, the process of applying for unemployment benefits has not been easy. “It’s frustrating,” she told NBC 6 Responds. “We’re in a pandemic. I’m out of a job. I need this help and I’m not getting it and it’s just crazy for me.”

The 28-year-old said she lost her job with a music studio days before Thanksgiving and quickly applied for benefits through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s CONNECT site.

Delfina is among the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who lost their jobs during the pandemic. If she ends up qualifying for benefits, she could also receive an enhanced federal unemployment payment of $300 a week through March 13, 2021, under the CARES Act Extension signed into law Sunday. The relief package will also provide those eligible with additional weeks of benefits.

NBC 6 Responds talks to a woman who lost her job a few weeks ago – and is still waiting for answers and help – as thousands of others in our state wait to learn more about the rollout of the newly passed federal unemployment benefits.

South Florida Teachers Wonder When They'll Be Next in Line for Vaccine

Government officials at every level have been saying it since the pandemic started: teachers and school staffers are essential workers. 

“And yet there is zero talk of teachers being high on the list to actually receive the vaccines, that doesn’t make sense,” said Jen Kaelin, who teaches at Jose Marti MAST Academy in Hialeah. “Either we were essential workers then, which means we’re essential workers now, or we were never essential workers and the schools shouldn’t have opened.”

Schools are open, and teachers who are back in the classrooms are, of course, instructing students in person. There’s a certain amount of risk involved with being in that environment. 

With a nationwide vaccine rollout poised to begin, a debate is underway about who should be given priority access. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says teachers are essential workers who play a vital role in our communities and should be near the front of the line.

Grinding Your Teeth? Dental Injuries Increasing Due to Pandemic

Have you noticed you are grinding your teeth at night? You aren’t alone.

Dentists say they’ve seen an uptick and the pandemic is to blame. NBC 6 anchor Sheli Muñiz spoke to Dr. Rick Mars with The Dental Care Group.

“This is huge. Think about it. Everybody is under more stress than they were nine months ago, and it shows in people's stress and people's sleep and that's what people do they clench and grind while they're sleeping at night,” said Dr. Mars.

Have you noticed you are grinding your teeth at night? You aren’t alone.

South Florida Homeless Advocates Brace for Wave of Evictions

As South Florida continues to reel from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, one local leader is warning residents about another crisis on the horizon.

“There is a crisis looming greater than the pandemic itself,” said Ron Book, who heads the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. “It’s January. It’s February. It's coming and it's playing in a theater near you and it's a horror show.”

Book and other homeless advocates are working to deal with what they say are a massive number of incoming evictions.

Local leaders are bracing for more evictions in the New Year, as more people struggle to make ends meet amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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