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5 Things To Know On Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Posted at 7:02 AM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 07:02:32-04

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. Florida governor suspends all local COVID-19 emergency orders
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order that suspends all local coronavirus mandates right away, and will also invalidate all remaining local emergency COVID-19 orders effective July 1.

In addition to the emergency order suspending local COVID-19 mandates, DeSantis on Monday also signed a new law that says the governor can invalidate any local emergency order if it "unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties," the new law states.

The governor cited the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines as a prime reason why Floridians should be free of any local mandates, but Florida's coronavirus cases continue to be the highest in the country.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at St. Petersburg restaurant

2. FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for young adults age 12 and older by next week, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year.

Pfizer said a clinical trial involving 2,260 12-to-15-year-olds showed an efficacy of 100%, and they tolerated it well.

The FDA action would be followed by a meeting of a federal vaccine advisory committee to discuss whether to recommend the shot for 12- to 15-year-olds.Then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would act on the committee's recommendation.

FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week

3. Trying to prep your pool for summer? It might be harder than you think
A nationwide chlorine shortage is being felt across South Florida causing consumers to stock up at supply stores.

"It really started when hurricane Laura, I believe, the explosion in Louisiana was a tablet factory where they make all the tablets," said Morningside Pools Manager in Charge Fiona DeTura. "Of course, it's just been a ripple effect with COVID. The factories closed down obviously when COVID began."

Pools Maintenance Inc. owner Donnie Mahuron said the supply of liquid chlorine remains at a surplus but that prices are starting to rise.

Chlorine prices soar in South Florida as nationwide shortage squeezes demand

4. The pools aren't the only things turning green! Florida's algae problems continue:
Potentially toxic blue-green algae was spotted Monday afternoon on the canal side of the Port Mayaca Lock.

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County issued a health advisory last month near the lock because of the presence of algae.

Satellite imagery taken nine days apart shows how much more algae currently covers the lake.

Algae levels on Lake Okeechobee on April 22 and May 1, 2021 from NOAA satellites
Satellite images show how much the algae on Lake Okeechobee has grown from April 22, 2021 (left) to May 1, 2021 (right).

More algae blooms popping up on Lake Okeechobee

5. Meteor shower from Halley's comet to be seen tonight
If you enjoy light shows, there's one in store this week, thanks to Halley's comet.

NASA said debris from the famous comet, known as the Eta Aquarids meteor shower, will reach its climax on Tuesday night, heading into the early morning of Wednesday.

According to Accuweather, this marks the first of three significant astronomical events in May.

Spain Comet
Stars seen as streaks from a long camera exposure are seen behind a mountain during a summer night near to the small town of Finestrat, south-east Spain, Thursday, July 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Today's Forecast
Near-record heat this afternoon:

Latest Weather Forecast: Tuesday 5 a.m.

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

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On This Day In History
On May 4, 1994, in a groan-inducing moment on the floor of U.K. Parliament, a lawmaker uses a pun that will spawn its own holiday far, far away from the halls of government.

“May the 4th is an appropriate date for a defense debate. My researcher, who is a bit of a wit, said that it should be called ‘National Star Wars Day,’” said Harry Cohen, then a Member of Parliament from Leyton, an area of East London. “He was talking about the film Star Wars rather than President Reagan's defense fantasy, and he added, ‘May the fourth be with you.’ That is a very bad joke; he deserves the sack for making it, but he is a good researcher.”

Cohen, of course, was referring to “May the Force be with you,” the guiding principle of the heroes in the wildly popular Star Wars movies, a franchise which was then just three films.

The pun (which may or may not have been original to Cohen’s staff) has been repeated countless times since, to the extent that May 4 is now recognized as Star Wars Day by Lucasfilm, Disney and fans around the world.

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."