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. House committee advances bill to ban assault weapons
The House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to ban some assault weapons on Wednesday in a 25-18 vote.
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 aims to prohibit the sale, manufacture, transfer and import of all semi-automatic rifles, if those rifles can accept a detachable magazine and have a pistol grip.
It also places restrictions on semi-automatic rifles with fixed magazines that can fit more than 10 rounds, bump fire stocks, high-capacity feeding devices that can hold more than 10 rounds, and semi-automatic shotguns with specific features.
2. Former Parkland students, teacher describe being 'ambushed' by Nikolas Cruz
Eyewitnesses to the killings of 17 people by Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz are giving heart-wrenching testimony at his penalty trial.
A teacher on Wednesday said the students scrambled to find safety behind furniture, but didn't panic and acted with bravery and maturity as they waited to be rescued. Three students were wounded in her class and two were killed: Dworet and Helena Ramsay, both 17.
Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty in October to 17 counts of first-degree murder for the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre. The jury must decide if the former Stoneman Douglas student should be sentenced to death or life without parole for the nation’s deadliest mass shooting to go before a jury.
3. Officials: Starvation threat not over for Florida manatees
Fewer manatee deaths have been recorded so far this year in Florida compared to the record-setting numbers in 2021, but wildlife officials cautioned Wednesday that chronic starvation remains a dire and ongoing threat to the marine mammals.
Between Jan. 1 and July 15, about 631 manatee deaths have been confirmed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. That compares with 864 during the same period last year, when a record number of manatees died mainly from a lack of seagrass food, which was decimated by water pollution.
The five-year average of manatee deaths in that time frame is 481.
4. New nursing contract for the School District of Palm Beach County
The School District of Palm Beach County requested registered nurses in all their schools last school year. It didn't happen.
Board member Dr. Debra Robinson said said it's unclear which schools will get an RN or a certified nurse assistant. She said it potentially creates gaps in coverage for students who are diabetic.
Why vote with all those unanswered questions? The district felt under pressure to get something done with the new school year looming on August 10. The new contract begins on August 1st.
5. Loxahatchee horse farm, animal sanctuary in danger of shutting down
A Loxahatchee horse farm and animal sanctuary is falling on hard times and is in danger of shutting down by the end of the year if it doesn't get a big boost.
Non-profit Delmar Farm takes care of dozens of rescued animals that otherwise would have nowhere to go.
Delmar Farm owner Claudia Campbell is hoping for a big donor or some continuous support to keep the farm up and running. Otherwise the animals and their young fans may have no place to go.
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On This Day In History
On July 21, 1925, schoolteacher John T. Scopes is convicted of violating Tennessee’s law against teaching evolution in public schools. The case debated in the so-called “Trial of the Century” was never really in doubt; the jury only conferred for a few moments in the hallway before returning to the courtroom with a guilty verdict.
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