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5 Things To Know On Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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Posted at 7:02 AM, Sep 14, 2021

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. DeSantis threatens more fines in latest COVID-19 battle:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said any cities and counties in the Sunshine State that mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for public government employees will be fined $5,000 per worker for breaking the newly passed SB 2006.

However, a closer look at the language of the law doesn't specifically mention anything about vaccine requirements for government employees, only customers who do business at government facilities:

"A governmental entity as defined in s. 768.38 may not require persons to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the governmental entity’s operations in this state. This subsection does not otherwise restrict governmental entities from instituting screening protocols consistent with authoritative or controlling government-issued guidance to protect public health."

The governor promised to work with the Florida Legislature and hinted at pursuing legal action to provide protections for Floridians from required vaccinations.

Florida cities, counties that mandate COVID-19 vaccine for employees will face fines, governor says

2. Have you seen Gabby? Vero Beach father searches for missing daughter:
From his Vero Beach home, Joseph Petito says he needs help finding his daughter, 22-year-old Gabby Petito.

Petito says Gabby and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie drove from Florida across the country. At first she kept in constant contact with her parents, but she hasn't been heard from since Aug. 25.

Petito didn't want to speak about his daughter's boyfriend Brian Laundrie. But it's been reported that he's lawyered up and isn't speaking with authorities.

Gabby Petito: 'My only daughter is missing,' father says

3. Florida universities top higher education rankings:
U.S. News and World Report released the publication’s annual list of best colleges and universities in the country and the state of Florida was well-represented.

The University of Florida ranked at number five for public universities and Florida State University ranked at 19.

In general, UF ranked at 28th for best overall and FSU came in at number 55 overall among national universities, which tied it with the University of Miami.

Florida universities top higher education rankings

4. California heads to the polls:
Tuesday marks just the second recall election in California's history and could result in the ousting of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

On Tuesday, Californians will be asked two questions: 1.) Should Newsom be recalled, and 2.) If he is recalled, who should replace him? Those voting do not need to answer both questions.

If more than half of voters answer "yes" to the first question, the leading vote-getter on the second question will be named the state's new governor.

Everything you need to know about California's recall election

5. Secretary Blinken testifies on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan:
The hearing marked the first time lawmakers have been able to question a member of the Biden administration about the withdrawal.

In his opening statement, Blinken praised the evacuation of Americans and other foreign nationals as "an extraordinary effort," pointing out that 124,000 people were airlifted out of Afghanistan before U.S. troops left on August 31.

The secretary is scheduled to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday.

Secretary Blinken Testifies On Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Today's Forecast
Morning coastal rainfall followed by afternoon inland showers and storms:

Latest Weather Forecast: Tuesday 5 a.m.

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On This Day In History
On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort M'Henry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812.

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."