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Can restaurants provide different prices not listed on the menu? Do you get paid time off from work if you get the new COVID variant?




(WSVN) – The menu said the meal was one price, but the restaurant charged a different price. Can they do that? If you get the new COVID variant, do you get paid time off from work? Answers to these and other questions in tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Alexandria and her sister were running an errand, and decided to pick up lunch.

Alexandria Lindsay: “And we saw a little shop, and we’re like, ‘let’s go eat there, it looks really good.’”

The waitress gave them a menu. They ordered two caesar salads with chicken and an arepa to go, then handed the employee a credit card.

Alexandria Lindsay: “Well, on the menu, the caesar salad was about $10.99. The arepa was like $8.99, so in my mind, I’m thinking that I’m paying like maybe $35-$40.”

As they waited, the restaurant charged her credit card.

Alexandria Lindsay: “And then I get a text message from my bank saying that I paid $76 for my food.”

Needless to say, Alexandria was stunned.

Alexandria Lindsay: “$76 dollars for two salads. I was like, ‘this is ridiculous.’ I sat there, I looked at the menu again, trying to do the math of how it could happen.”

Based on the menu, it should have been about $40 dollars, not the $76 the restaurant charged her credit card, so Alexandria asked the waitress what was going on.

Alexandria Lindsay: “And she told us that the prices on the physical menu that she gave us are outdated, and the real prices are on their digital menu, but when I came inside, they never told me.”

As Alexandria and her sister talked about what to do, another customer came in, was handed the menu and also not told those prices were wrong.

Alexandria Lindsay: “I just want to know if this was actually legal or illegal or something.”

Patrick Fraser: “A simple question from Alexandria. Can you show one price on a menu and charge another price nearly twice as much?”

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “No, you can’t. The menu is legally an offer, and when you place your order, it’s a binding contract and they have to sell the food at that price.”

We will tell you what Alexandria did but first, a couple more questions.

Patrick Fraser: “A fellow who gets paid to work 40 hours a week usually works 50 hours, and he said he doesn’t get paid for the extra 10 hours. Legally is he entitled to get money for that overtime?”

Howard Finkelstein: “Yes. In fact, under federal law he may be entitled to time and a half for overtime. Other people are not entitled to overtime. The links to see if you should get paid overtime and what to do if you don’t are at under this Help Me Howard story.”

Patrick Fraser: “A viewer said they put down a deposit with a water company 10 years ago. They always pay on time and they now want that deposit back. Can they get it?”

Howard Finkelstein: It depends. If the utility is regulated by the state’s public service commission and you always pay on time, you get the deposit back after a couple of years. If the utility is run by a city or county, they make their own rules and can return it or keep it till the account is closed. It’s up to them.”

It wouldn’t be 2022 without a COVID question.

Patrick Fraser: “You’ve said your company can let you go if you refuse to get vaccinated. Can they do the same if you refuse to get the booster shot?” 

Howard Finkelstein: “Yes. Same rules, no difference.”

Patrick Fraser: “When COVID first hit, if you got the virus and had to quarantine you got paid. Is that still true with the new wave?”

Howard Finkelstein: “No, not anymore. You have to use sick days or vacation days or just not get paid if you can’t work because of COVID.”

Back to Alexandria, she told the waitress to cancel her order. She didn’t get lunch, but she did get a free lesson.

Alexandria Lindsay: “I will be going to more restaurants, but from now on, I’m definitely going to ask like, ‘how much is my bill,’ before I get, actually, order my food.”

Just ask, that’s a way to avoid or solve many problems, and if you get a problem you can’t solve, or a question you need answered, you know where to find us!



Reporter: Patrick Fraser at

Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN

Broward: 954-761-WSVN

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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US draws down Ukraine embassy presence as war fears mount




WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department on Sunday ordered the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country amid heightened fears of a Russian invasion.

The department told the dependents of staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv that they must leave the country. It also said that non-essential embassy staff could leave Ukraine at government expense.

The move came amid rising tensions about Russia’s military buildup on the Ukraine border that were not eased during talks Friday between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.

State Department officials stressed the Kyiv embassy will remain open and that the announcement does not constitute an evacuation. The move had been under consideration for some time and does not reflect an easing of U.S. support for Ukraine, the officials said.

In a statement, the State Department noted recent reports that Russia was planning significant military action against Ukraine. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry has accused NATO countries of escalating tensions around Ukraine with disinformation.

The State Department added: “The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Miami-bound Crystal Symphony changes course, docks in Bimini after US judge orders seizure




MIAMI (AP) — A cruise ship that was supposed to dock in Miami has instead sailed to the Bahamas, after a U.S. judge granted an order to seize the vessel as part of a lawsuit over millions of dollars in unpaid fuel.

Cruise trackers show Crystal Symphony currently docked in the Bahamian island of Bimini.

Passengers were taken by ferry to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.

“We all feel we were abducted by luxurious pirates!” passenger Stephen Heard Fales posted on Facebook.

It was unclear how many passengers were aboard, with one news outlet reporting 300 and another, 700. According to the company website, the vessel can carry up to 848 passengers.

The ship was scheduled to arrive in Miami on Saturday. But a federal judge in Miami issued an arrest warrant for the ship Thursday, a maritime practice where a U.S. Marshal goes aboard a vessel and takes charge of it once it enters U.S. waters.

Passengers and entertainers said on social media they were surprised to find out about the legal case. One guest posted a letter on Facebook from Crystal Cruises Management that said the change in itinerary was due to “non-technical operational issues.”

The lawsuit was filed in a Miami federal court by Peninsula Petroleum Far East against the ship under a maritime procedure that allows actions against vessels for unpaid debts. The complaint says Crystal Symphony was chartered or managed by Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises, which are both sued for breach of contract for allegedly owing $4.6 million in fuel.

Crystal Cruises announced earlier this week that it was suspending operations through late April. Besides Crystal Symphony, it has two other ships currently cruising, which end their voyages on Jan. 30 in Aruba and on Feb. 4 in Argentina.

“Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward,” the company said in a statement earlier this week.

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Federal Government’s N95 Masks Distribution Starts Monday




MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Starting Monday, courtesy of the federal government, you’ll be able to get your hands on an N95 mask for free.

The Biden administration announced a week ago that 400 million masks were being shipped to pharmacies and community health centers nationwide.

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Americans can get up to three N95s free of charge. However, only adult-sized N95s are expected be available when the distribution begins.

The expectation is that most pharmacies that are part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 vaccines will participate in the mask distribution.

In Florida, this would mean:

  • CVS Health
  • Walgreens
  • Publix
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Fresco y Más
  • Harveys Supermarket
  • Walmart
  • Sam’s Club
  • Costco
  • Kroger

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CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald was able to confirm Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarket pharmacies are participating. Walgreens and CVS told the Miami Herald they plan to have free N95s in the coming weeks.

As for a participating community health center, the Health Resources and Services Administration has created an online locator tool.

The Florida Association of Community Health Centers also has it’s own locator website.

Kenneth Ray swears by the N95 masks after working in the mechanical insulation field and being exposed to asbestos and other toxins.

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“Whatever we can do to control the spread, it’s good for everyone,” he said. Team

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