Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:
Miami Beach to Roll Back Last Call During Spring Break
City leaders in Miami Beach are shutting the party down ahead of this year's spring break.
A new ordinance that will force businesses to close at 2 a.m. from March 7-21 was passed during a commission meeting Wednesday night. The ordinance applies to businesses south of 16th 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.
“There are people living in areas around our community where what’s happening in their front yard is just something that nobody would have to endure, it’s just that simple," Mayor Dan Gelber said.
Ukraine Invasion Sends Shockwaves Throughout ‘Little Moscow' Community, Including Schools
Sunny Isles Beach is often called Little Moscow, but it’s also Little Kyiv and Little Odessa and Little Minsk — a haven for refugees from the old Soviet Union and for Russians who are here on tourist visas.
Many of their kids go to school at Sunny Isles K-8, and the shockwaves from the invasion of Ukraine are reverberating throughout the community.
“It’s gonna be incredibly painful and difficult for the children of our community who are gonna have a hard time grasping, as adults, we’re gonna have a hard time grasping what’s happening,” said Larisa Svechin, the former vice mayor of Sunny Isles Beach.
Svechin was born in Belarus, came to the United States as a refugee from the former Soviet Union, and now volunteers at her kids’ school. She said she’s seen Russian and Ukrainian students arguing with each other.
10 Years After Death, Trayvon Martin's Legacy Lives On In Spirit and Activism
Ten years ago, Trayvon Martin took a trip to a convenience store in a Sanford, Florida neighborhood to buy Skittles and a drink. It was a trip that ended his life and helped spark a fire that ignited the Black Lives Matter movement.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the country – including Martin’s parents – protested and pleaded for justice after a neighborhood watch volunteer killed the unarmed 17-year-old boy.
Charges were brought against the shooter, George Zimmerman, but he was later found not guilty.
A lot has transpired over the course of 10 years - from Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin to Benjamin Crump to BLM. Here's how his spirit lives on, and a look at the people involved in the tragedy that took place on February 26, 2012.
Hammocks Homeowners Fight HOA Fee Hike
Thousands of residents who live in the southwest Miami-Dade community of The Hammocks say they were blindsided by a massive hike in HOA fees and will now have to pay hundreds more a month.
“I got really upset, I got mad. We paid $88 dollars a month and now this month we have to pay $355,” said resident Eliana Sanchez.
Earlier in February, neighbors gathered to sign a petition to oppose the increase. This was after residents say they weren’t allowed to vote in board elections. On Thursday, dozens of Hammocks residents gathered to find a solution.
“It’s absurd, we’ve got to fight. I want to do something about it,” said Alfred Santamaria.
Pandemic-Related Factors Contribute to Rise of Violence at Schools Nationwide
The National Association of School Resource Officers says violence is on the rise at schools nationwide.
Multiple videos have been shared with NBC 6 in recent months showing violent brawls on and off school grounds in Miami-Dade and Broward.
"We really started seeing the uptick around the early fall of this year," said Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers.
Law enforcement experts say the increased violence in schools was expected due to pandemic-related factors such as remote learning, isolation, and struggles with parents at home.
Miami-Dade Attorneys' Billings Under State Scrutiny, Burdening a Teetering Death Penalty System
A state commission has recently taken action against seven Florida defense lawyers — all hailing from Miami-Dade County — as part of an investigation it says has uncovered fraudulent billing practices, referring some lawyers to law enforcement, the NBC 6 Investigators found.
With some defense attorneys suspected of submitting questionable billings now blocked from getting state funds for new cases and a shortage of eligible attorneys to take on death penalty cases, stakeholders say the death penalty system in Miami-Dade is “broken” and at risk of a “constitutional crisis.”
Since 2020, NBC 6 found the Justice Administrative Commission (JAC) in Tallahassee has suspended or blocked seven attorneys statewide from being appointed by judges to new criminal cases as part of its investigation into billings.
The NBC 6 Investigators found all seven are Miami-Dade defense lawyers, including several who’ve handled some of the county’s most notorious murder cases.