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1. Tracking Tropical Storm Fred:
Tropical Storm Fred is currently moving over Puerto Rico and will push over Hispaniola throughout the day today. These tall mountains could tear Fred apart, or the storm could hold together. We'll know a lot more tomorrow.
The latest NHC track shows Fred holding on to its Tropical Storm status as it brushes by Cuba on Friday, then moving towards Florida over the weekend. Impacts will most likely start late Friday - weekend. The storm could bring us gusty winds, heavy rainfall and some tornadoes. Right now, there's a low chance of seeing tropical storm force winds.
WPTV First Alert Meteorologist Kahtia Hall said the system will then move toward Florida by Saturday morning.
2. Another Florida school district passes mask requirement:
St. Lucie Public Schools passed a mask requirement with an optional opt-out from parents during a school board meeting Tuesday.
Masks will remain optional but strongly recommended for staff.
Superintendent Wayne Gent said it will be decided in the next 48 hours how parents will be able to 'opt-out,' whether with a written note or online.
3. Busy week in the Senate with infrastructure bill, budget
The Senate approved a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Tuesday. Billions will go towards modernizing roads, bridges, improving the nation's electric vehicle charging stations to high-speed internet systems.
Senate Democrats took their first step toward passing a $3.5 trillion spending plan by voting 50-49 alone party lines. The measure directs committees to craft a bill that would spend up to $3.5 trillion on climate initiatives, paid leave, child care, education and health care.
Neither bill will pass for weeks or even months. The House will also need to approve a budget resolution before Congress can craft and pass final legislation.
4. Where Florida stands with COVID-19:
The CDC reported Tuesday that Florida had 15,322 additional daily coronavirus cases and 16 more deaths.
Also Tuesday, the state broke the record again for hospitalizations at 15,169 though the vaccination rate has reached 71.1%, just 0.1% behind the U.S., for adults with at least one shot. For weeks, the state was significantly below the national average.
For weeks, Florida has had the most daily deaths and cases in the nation. Florida had 30% more weekly deaths and 62% more deaths than No. 2 Texas.
5. A big thank you to Surfside first responders:
Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to Surfside Tuesday morning to deliver some of the $1,000 bonuses that the Florida Legislature approved earlier this year for first responders.
The bonuses are part of a massive package from federal funding to give the bonuses to qualifying teachers, firefighters, police officers and EMTs to honor their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Surfside emergency crews on Tuesday were among the first to receive those checks.
Increasing rain chances as Tropical Storm Fred approaches
Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.
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On This Day In History
A group of federal prisoners classified as “most dangerous” arrives at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop situated 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay, on August 11, 1934. The convicts—the first civilian prisoners to be housed in the new high-security penitentiary—joined a few dozen military prisoners left over from the island’s days as a U.S. military prison.
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