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. Rep. Alcee Hastings, longtime South Florida congressman, has died
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., a civil rights activist and the longest-serving member of Florida's congressional delegation, has died.
Hastings, who announced in January 2019 that he was undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, was 84.
His death further narrows Democrats' already-tenuous House majority. It will be up to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to determine when a special election will be held to fill Hastings' vacant seat.
2. Palm Beach County reopening online COVID-19 vaccine appointment portal
Beginning at 9 a.m., residents can book appointments for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
To schedule an appointment, click here. Appointments will be available for all Floridians 18 and older.
Individuals who are 16 and 17 years old can also set up an appointment for the Pfizer vaccine only. A parent or guardian must be present at the appointment of those who are 16 and 17 years old.
3. Smiles won't be hidden for much longer at Disney World
Starting Thursday, visitors to the theme park resort will be able to remove their masks temporarily for outdoor photos.
The change announced Tuesday tweaks a requirement that all workers and visitors age 2 and up wear masks except when they are actively eating or drinking, provided they are socially distanced and not moving about.
In other theme park news, Universal Orlando resort has says it's new and highly-anticipated Jurassic World VelociCoaster will open June 10, 2021.
4. Mask mandate repealed in St. Lucie County
The mask mandate has been repealed in St. Lucie County with a 4 to 1 vote. The mandate has been in place since July.
For the last six weeks, St. Lucie County's COVID-19 positivity rate has remained below 10 percent.
The decision will only apply to government-owned spaces. Private businesses can still require masks.
5. Florida bill banning 'disability abortions' heads to House floor
Florida is moving closer to banning "disability abortions."
A House panel sent HB 1221 to the chamber floor Tuesday afternoon on a 12-8 vote.
If approved, physicians face a second- or third-degree felony for knowingly performing an abortion solely because a fetus had a physical, intellectual or mental disability. Doctors could also be charged if they "should have known" the purpose of a disability abortion.
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On This Day In History
On April 7, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower coins one of the most famous Cold War phrases when he suggests the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a “domino” effect in Southeast Asia. The so-called “domino theory” dominated U.S. thinking about Vietnam for the next decade.
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