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It’s Tuesday, August 3rd – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 – Florida is seeing some big numbers in this new wave of coronavirus — including most cases, second most cases per capita behind Louisiana, and most hospitalizations per capita — but it’s a Greek letter, Delta, that has experts very concerned.
On Monday, the University of Miami announced 90 percent of the current COVID patients at UHealth and Jackson Health systems hospitals are infected with the Delta variant. That is a 50 percent increase from two weeks ago and more than triple what it was two weeks before that. Broward County’s mayor is urging people to wear masks and get vaccinated as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to spike in South Florida. Speaking at a Monday morning news conference, Mayor Steve Geller said that Miami-Dade and Broward counties are leading the nation in hospitalization rates. “This is horrifying,” Geller said.
No. 2 – It’s been a scary few weeks for the family of Raymond Burdier, the owner of Pizza en Fuga, a popular local food truck spot.
Right now, he’s intubated in a South Florida hospital fighting COVID-19. His sister, Belkys Diaz, thinks he got the virus over the Fourth of July weekend. The family went out to dinner, and the group started feeling sick afterward. But Ray was the only adult in the group not vaccinated, she said. He’s been in the hospital for three weeks now. To hear the message from his family, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Alyssa Hyman.
No. 3 – Five Miami Beach police officers are facing criminal charges after the rough arrests of two men at a hotel last week that were caught on camera, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said Monday.
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said the five officers are facing first-degree misdemeanor battery charges in the July 26 incident at the Royal Palm Hotel. They were identified as Sgt. Jose Perez, Officer Kevin Perez, Officer Robert Sabater, Officer David Rivas and Officer Steven Serrano. Fernandez Rundle released officer body-worn footage and footage from the hotel lobby that showed officers kicking a handcuffed suspect and repeatedly punching another man who was filming the first man’s arrest on his cellphone. The incident began when officials said officers approached 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup for parking a scooter illegally on 9th Street and Ocean Court.
No. 4 – A Miami Police Department supervisor who claims she was demoted unfairly is now taking legal action against the police chief and the department alleging discrimination.
Former Major Keandra Simmons is using the state law to get protections as a whistleblower so she can keep her job at the Miami Police Department. She said she’s blowing the whistle on what she calls the discrimination she’s faced, after being demoted following a high-profile investigation. Simmons, 41, was demoted from a major to lieutenant last week and said the demotion is uncalled for and sends the wrong message to a community that needs more officers who look like her. To hear Simmons’ side of the story, click here for a report from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard you’ll see Only on 6.
No. 5 – The federal eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and Congress was unable to extend it. The focus for many people facing eviction is to find rental assistance programs to help.
NBC 6 spoke with Denise Belanger back in March. At the time. she had less than a week to vacate her townhouse due to an eviction. She is now in a much better place after being pre-approved for three months of rental assistance help through a Broward County program. With the federal eviction moratorium expired, she considers herself lucky as many others now look for help. Congress approved $46 billion in rental assistance to be distributed by the states, but at a state level these funds have been slow to go out. Click here for more on that story from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.
No. 6 – Simone Biles made a dazzling return to the Olympic stage – and Olympic podium – on Tuesday.
The GOAT of gymnastics won a bronze medal in the balance beam final after missing a full week of competition in Tokyo. On her routine, Biles scored a 14.000 — 7.900 execution and 6.100 difficulty — just behind China’s duo of Guan Chenchen (14.633) and Tang Xijing (14.233). Her second medal of the Tokyo Olympics, Biles now has seven career medals, tied with Shannon Miller for the most in American women’s gymnastics history. It’s the second straight bronze on the balance beam for Biles.