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. Into the Unknown: Tropical Storm Elsa forms and most of South Florida is in the cone of uncertainty
Elsa is now the earliest fifth named storm on record. The previous record holder was Edouard in 2020.
If the same track continues, Elsa would arrive in South Florida early Tuesday.
It's important to note that while some of the viewing area is outside of the cone, including Vero Beach, impacts can be felt even outside of the cone. Also, the chance of seeing tropical storm force winds at this point is low (less than 10%).
2. The latest on the Surfside condo collapse:
The death toll in the tragic and devastating Surfside condominium collapse has risen to 18 with 147 people still missing, authorities announced Wednesday evening.
Two additional bodies have been identified as children ages 4 and 10. A tweet from the Miami-Dade Police Department identified the children as sisters, Lucia and Emma Guara.
James Olthoff, the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), spoke at Wednesday evening's briefing and said his organization has established a team to investigate the collapse.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are scheduled to visit Surfside on Thursday to tour the damage and meet with the families of the victims and missing, along with first responders.
3. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs 94 bills, vetoes 4 others:
Bills to help juveniles expunge their arrest records, make changes to car insurance laws and create a new high school civics program were vetoed Tuesday by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
He also signed 94 bills ranging from a measure that seeks to prevent excessive force by law enforcement to legislation that overturns limits on cruise ships docking in Key West that the city’s voters approved last year.
You can see a full list of the bills he signed at the link above.
4. Big budget and many other new Florida laws set to take effect today:
A bunch of Florida's newest laws takes effect on Thursday. That includes the biggest budget in history, a trans-athlete sports ban, and drinks to go. You can see some of the biggest changes at the link above.
One law that won't be going into effect yet is the one that sought to punish large social media businesses like Facebook and Twitter if they remove content or ban politicians.
The law — which was supposed to take effect on Thursday — enabled the state to fine large social media companies $250,000 a day if they remove an account of a statewide political candidate, and $25,000 a day if they remove an account of someone running for a local office.
5. Where are the Hidden Gems of South Florida and the Treasure Coast?
Where do you like to go that most people don't know about? Where are the places you like to take out-of-town guests to show off where you live? Come explore the Hidden Gems of South Florida and the Treasure Coast.
We've compiled a list of 90 Hidden Gems, but now we're looking for you suggestions. You can nominate your favorite place at the link above.
Some of our favorites include the Underwater Snorkeling Trail, the Haunted Blue Anchor Pub, the Silverball Museum and much more.
Scattered downpours continue this week:
Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.
First Alert Traffic
Mobile users click here.
On This Day In History
On July 1, 1867, the autonomous Dominion of Canada, a confederation of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the future provinces of Ontario and Quebec, is officially recognized by Great Britain with the passage of the British North America Act. July 1 will later become known as Canada Day.
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."