6 Things to Know: Florida Scales Back on Call Centers Aimed at Helping Unemployed

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It’s Monday, June 14th – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 – A man was arrested after he allegedly beat another man with a shopping cart along State Road 90 in Tamiami, leaving the victim with serious bodily injuries.

At about 10:30 p.m. Saturday night, the Miami-Dade Police Department and the FIU Police Department were on the scene blocking the roadway of State Road 90 heading eastbound.  Police detained the suspect, 36-year-old Dexter McQueen, who witnesses say was fighting with another male. Witnesses say that McQueen dragged the victim onto the roadway of State Road 90 and started stomping on the victim’s head. He then grabbed a blue shopping cart and hit his head about three times, an arrest report said. The victim has not yet been identified, but is possibly homeless, and is currently in critical condition at Kendall Regional Hospital.

No. 2 – A woman on an electric scooter was hit by two separate cars in Miami Beach early Sunday morning.

One car stayed on the scene, but police are on the lookout for a black sedan that fled. The woman was traveling southbound on Alton Road around 10th Street at around 3 a.m. Police say she was in the outside lane when she was struck by a vehicle from behind which knocked her from the scooter, and she landed on the inside lane. The victim was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

No. 3 – South Florida joined hands with Orlando residents to remember those who lost their lives in the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

Saturday marked the fifth anniversary of the tragedy, which at the time was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. At 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016, desperate calls started coming to Orlando Police about a gunman inside the Pulse Nightclub. The gunman, Omar Mateen, fired with multiple weapons and over 100 people were shot before he was finally killed by officers three hours later. In the 5 years since tragedy, the nightclub has transformed into a memorial where family, friends, co-workers and anyone who wanted to pay their respects could come to learn about those who died and the legacy they left for a community to follow. To hear the emotional words from those who came this weekend, click here for the story from NBC 6’s Willard Shepard.

No. 4 – President Joe Biden makes his entrance at a NATO summit aiming to consult European allies on efforts to counter provocative actions by China and Russia while highlighting the U.S. commitment to the 30-country alliance that was frequently maligned by predecessor Donald Trump.

The summit Monday comes as Biden tries to rally allies for greater coordination in checking China and Russia, two adversaries whose actions on economic and national security fronts have become the chief foreign policy concerns in the early going of the Biden presidency. Biden will use his time at the summit to underscore the U.S. commitment to Article 5 of the alliance charter, which spells out that an attack on one member is an attack on all and is to be met with a collective response.

No. 5 – Israel’s parliament on Sunday narrowly approved a new coalition government, ending the historic 12-year rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sending the polarizing leader into the opposition.

Naftali Bennett, a former ally of Netanyahu turned rival, became prime minister after the 60-59 vote. Promising to try to heal a divided nation, Bennett will preside over a diverse and fragile coalition comprised of eight parties with deep ideological differences. The vote, capping a stormy parliamentary session, ended a two-year cycle of political paralysis in which the country held four deadlocked elections. Those votes focused largely on Netanyahu’s divisive rule and his fitness to remain in office while on trial for corruption charges.

No. 6 – They helped people process their unemployment benefits, but now they are out of work.

Earlier in the pandemic, Florida spent over $100 million to hire call center workers, but the state is now scaling back on these contracts. The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) called the pandemic an “unprecedented stress test” for the state’s unemployment agency. According to a report released in February, Florida received more claims in nine months during 2020 than it had in the previous eight years combined. But as people wait for help, the agency has cut ties with most third-party contractors. To hear why, click here for the story from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.

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