While you were sleeping, we compiled the biggest stories of the day in one place. Each story has a quick and easy summary, so you're prepared for whatever the day brings. Just click on the links if you want to know more!
1. Ryan Rogers stabbed to death by 'homeless drifter' in 'completely random act,' police say
Semmie Williams Jr., a homeless drifter accused of fatally stabbing a 14-year-old boy in Palm Beach Gardens, traveled from Miami to Palm Beach County on the same day of his random encounter with Ryan Rogers, a probable cause affidavit revealed Thursday.
A probable cause affidavit from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department details how DNA evidence collected at the crime scene and found on a bloodstained bandana in the suspect's possession led police to Williams.
Williams is being held without bond at the main Palm Beach County jail.
2. Ex-Epstein staffer testifies teen accusers visited mansion
Juan Patricio Alessi, a former housekeeper, is testifying that two women who have accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexually abusing them as teens were repeated visitors to his Palm Beach mansion and that they were summoned by Epstein or his associate Ghislaine Maxwell.
The case against Maxwell stems from four now-adult women who said she recruited them into being sexually abused by Epstein.
Maxwell denies the allegations, and her lawyers say prosecutors are going after her because they can’t try Epstein. He killed himself in 2019 while jailed on sex trafficking charges.
3. President Biden announces new plans to fight COVID-19
President Joe Biden laid out a nine-prong campaign Thursday to combat COVID-19 and the new omicron variant as winter approaches.
"[The plan] doesn't include shutdowns or lockdowns but widespread vaccinations and boosters and testing," Biden said.
The president said the U.S. is strengthening international travel rules to the U.S., including having everyone provide a negative COVID-19 test 24 hours before their departing flight. The rule was previously 72 hours. There is still no testing requirement for domestic flights.
4. Senate passes stopgap funding bill, avoiding shutdown
The Senate has passed a stopgap spending bill that avoids a short-term shutdown and funds the federal government through Feb. 18.
The vote in the Senate came after Republicans failed to pass an amendment that would have stripped funding for vaccine mandates.
The House had approved the bill earlier in the day.
5. Your Weekend: Holiday Boat Parade, Spamilton, botanical light displays
Some of South Florida's true holiday treasures are back this weekend so it's time for us to have fun and make some great memories.
On Saturday, watch hundreds of boats twinkling with Christmas lights, Santa Hats, and your favorite holiday decorations at The Marine Industries Association of 'Palm Beach County Holiday Boat Parade.'
Learn about more shows, light displays and more at the link above.
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On This Day In History
On December 3, 1967, 53-year-old Louis Washkansky receives the first human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.
Remember, you can join Mike Trim and Ashleigh Walters every weekday on WPTV NewsChannel 5 beginning at 4:30 a.m. And you can always watch the latest news from WPTV anytime on your favorite streaming device. Just search for "WPTV."