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5 Things To Know On Thursday, May 21, 2020

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Posted at 5:10 AM, May 21, 2020

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! You can watch the latest LIVE on WPTV here from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Remember, you can join Mike Trim and Ashleigh Walters every weekday on WPTV NewsChannel 5 beginning at 4:30 a.m.

1. Does it add up? Gov. DeSantis and DOH employee spar over coronavirus numbers.
A health department analyst claims she was removed from her position crunching COVID case data after she objected to censoring the numbers.

Gov. Ron DeSantis attempted to clear the record, but not without tearing into the employee, Rebekah Jones. He denied her allegation and brought up what he believed were her lack of qualifications, a criminal charge of cyber-stalking in 2019 and allegations that she dated a student while teaching at Florida State University.

Rebekah Jones
Rebekah Jones

2. Back to the tank, Shamu! SeaWorld Orlando hopes to reopen 'sometime in June.'
Gov. DeSantis said Walt Disney World, Universal, and SeaWorld can begin submitting their reopening plans to the state for approval.

Disney and Universal haven't released any concrete plans, but SeaWorld hopes to open sometime in June. Why are they chomping at the bait? It's no secret times have been tough for the marine life theme park. They tried to get a federal loan even after furloughing 95% of its workforce. Their last CEO quit just five months into the job and he was their third leader to depart in just over two years.

Safe to say, they could use a head start.

3. Did you get tested for coronavirus? Sorry, you may have to get that thing shoved up your nose again.
More than 1,700 COVID-19 tests in Florida were damaged, according to the Florida Department of Health. These tests were issued at drive-thru and walk-up test sites in May.

About 60 of the damaged tests came from Palm Beach County. About 30 from FITTEAM and 30 from the South County Civic Center. The tests were damaged in shipping.

If this impacts you, you'll be contacted and given priority for retesting.


4. A good sign for college football fans: NCAA allows football, basketball players back on campus beginning June 1
Football and basketball players will be allowed to participate in voluntary athletic activities on their campuses as soon as next month. Don't get your hopes to high yet! There are a couple of catches (some pun intended.)

Coaches won't be permitted to attend these voluntary workouts unless they are necessary for safety reasons. The activities must also be initiated by the student-athletes.

Florida State Seminoles forward Malik Obsorne celebrates in February 2020
Florida State forward Malik Osborne reacts after hitting a three-point shot against Louisville in the first half of a college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.

5. This story is about Mulligans, but it has nothing to do with golf being back
The owner of Benny's on the Beach in Lake Worth Beach is taking over Mulligan's Beach House Bar and Grill. The Grill is just a two minute walk from Benny's.

The owner plans on replacing it with a casual restaurant with strong Mexican and Latin American influences. It could open to the public as early as July 4.

Today's Forecast:
Hot, humid and stormy day ahead.

Latest Weather Forecast 11 p.m. Wednesday

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

On This Day In History
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to make solo, nonstop transatlantic flight on May 21, 1932.

Five years to the day that American aviator Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to accomplish a solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, female aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first pilot to repeat the feat.

Five years after that in 1937, she disappeared while trying to fly around the world. The U.S. Coast Guard picked up radio messages that she was lost and low in fuel–the last the world ever heard from Amelia Earhart.