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5 Things To Know On Thursday, March 31, 2022

Posted at 7:20 AM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 07:20:27-04

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. Lake Worth Beach overpass 'safe for use' after crack is spotted
Transportation officials said Wednesday the 10th Avenue North overpass bridge at Interstate 95 in Lake Worth Beach is safe to use after a large crack was spotted and caused concern for drivers.

The Florida Department of Transportation inspector determined the "crack was, in actuality, a standard joint opening," the FDOT said in a written statement, adding there are "no structural concerns with the bridge or hazards to the public."

The transportation department told WPTV that routine maintenance work is ongoing on the 10th Avenue North overpass. The work includes removing concrete and placing fill material in the bridge's expansion joints.

10th Avenue North overpass 'safe for use' after crack is spotted, transportation officials say

2. Ready to set sail? CDC lifts COVID-19 risk advisory for cruises
The Centers for Disease Control removed its COVID-19 Cruise Ship Travel Health Notice (THN) on Wednesday.

The CDC says while the risk of contracting COVID-19 on a cruise ship is not gone, but the agency believes travelers can make their own risk assessment.

The CDC said it will also continue to provide guidance to the cruise ship industry to make sure the environment is safe for travelers and crew members.

CDC lifts COVID-19 risk advisory for cruises

3. President Biden plans to tap oil reserves to control US gas prices
President Joe Biden is preparing to order the release of up to 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve in a bid to control energy prices.

That's according to two people familiar with the decision who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview it. Prices have spiked as the U.S. and allies have imposed steep sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

If fully enacted, the White House plan could release up to 180 million barrels from reserves. There are currently about 550 million barrels in the reserve, and it has a reported total capacity of 714 million barrels.

President Biden plans to tap oil reserves to control US gas prices

4. 211 launches special needs hotline in St. Lucie County
211 has a new hotline in St. Lucie County to help families with children who have special needs.

The 211 special needs hotline was launched in March to help families navigate services that help their children- a process that can otherwise be daunting, confusing, even overwhelming for families.

211 can help you navigate things like the best insurance, the best doctors to see for someone’s unique needs, how to get therapy, how to prepare children for school, how to get access to resources they will need in school, and so much more.

211 launches special needs hotline in St. Lucie County

5. Officials searching for missing Florida mom last seen Sunday
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office says Cassie Carli, 37, was last seen Sunday evening in Navarre Beach near Pensacola.

Sam Porter, a friend of Carli's, told WEAR-TV she was scheduled to meet with her 4-year-old daughter's father Sunday to exchange custody.

According to Porter, Carli's father received a text message from Carli's phone saying she was having car and phone trouble about three hours later. That was the last time her family heard heard from her.

Cassie Carli

Today's Forecast
Wind Advisory issued for Martin, Indian River, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties

Latest Weather Forecast: Thursday 5 a.m.

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

First Alert Traffic

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On This Day In History
On March 31, 1959, the Dalai Lama began his exile. The Dalai Lama, fleeing the Chinese suppression of a national uprising in Tibet, crosses the border into India, where he is granted political asylum.

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."