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1. COVID-19 deaths in the US drop to their lowest levels since March 2020
The CDC reports that the seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths is at 567 a day as of Wednesday. The last time the rate of COVID-19 deaths was that low was on March 30, 2020 — the first days of coronavirus-related lockdowns.
COVID-19 deaths have been steadily declining since mid-January, when daily deaths peaked at more than 3,000 a day. As of Wednesday, 587,000 people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins.
Florida has led the nation for 25 of 28 days in coronavirus cases with the exception on three past Tuesdays, all by Texas.
2. House votes to create panel to probe Jan. 6 insurrection
The House has passed a bill to create an independent commission on the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, sending the legislation to the Senate.
Republicans have increasingly lined up against the bipartisan investigation and aligned themselves with former President Donald Trump, but 35 House Republican broke ranks and voted in favor.
Modeled after the investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the legislation would establish an independent, 10-member commission that would make recommendations by the end of the year.
3. All bets are on! Gaming compact clears Florida Legislature:
The Florida Legislature has signed off on a new gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe with a new 30-year deal that would allow the tribe to become a state hub for mobile sports betting and expanding its six current operations with craps and roulette. The compact also permits the construction of three more facilities on the Seminole Hollywood reservation.
Florida, meanwhile, is guaranteed $2.5 billion in the first five years and an estimated $6 billion through 2030.
The compact will next need the governor's signature, which is expected as he helped broker it. From there, it heads to the Department of the Interior for final federal approval.
4. Already, Ana? Area of low pressure could become subtropical storm:
Hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until June 1, but things in the Atlantic are already heating up.
A non-tropical low has developed ESE of Bermuda and may become subtropical storm Ana by tomorrow. It has a 50% chance of formation over the next two days and 80% over the next five days.
It might bring some heavy rains and gusty winds to Bermuda, but Sunday-Monday it pushes out to sea.
5. What changed at the Palm Beach County School Board? Not much:
Protests on both sides of the mask were held by parents outside the meeting beforehand. There was an enhanced police presence and security measures outside and inside the building, a move the district said was done in an abundance of caution.
Dr. Alina Alonso held a presentation at the beginning of the meeting outlining data that showed an increase in children ages 5 to 14 years old testing positive for COVID-19. The school board said there were more than 100 speakers on Wednesday's meeting scheduled for public comment, which lasted more than seven hours.
The school board did not vote Wednesday on updating or changing the district's mask guidelines. At around 12:15 a.m. board members came to a consensus that when outside students and teachers will not need to wear masks. Board members did not make a decision about masks being optional in summer school. There was no change to mask policy for the current school year.
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On This Day In History
In a victory for the gay and lesbian civil rights movement, the U.S. Supreme Court votes six to three to strike down an amendment to Colorado’s state constitution that would have prevented any city, town, or county in the state from taking any legislative, executive, or judicial action to protect the rights of gays and lesbians.
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