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5 Things To Know On Wednesday, August 25, 2021

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Posted at 7:08 AM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 07:08:00-04

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. Will Palm Beach County schools legally challenge DeSantis?
After mandating masks for students, the Palm Beach County School Board on Wednesday will discuss whether to file a legal challenge against Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order and emergency rules regarding face masks in schools.

Standing firm on face masks, School Board Chairman Frank Barbieri said that while the school board has not heard from the Florida Department of Education yet, he expects it's coming soon.

Just last Friday, the Florida Department of Education sent warning letters to school districts in Broward and Alachua counties, giving them 48 hours to comply with the executive order or have the salaries of certain school board members cut. Both districts refused to concede and said they're not changing their mandates.

Indian River County school board members voted 3-2 Tuesday to mandate masks for students in grades K-8.

Palm Beach County School Board 'will stand together' on mask mandate, chairman says

2. Speaking of legal challenges to DeSantis' mask mandate ban, parents' lawsuit wraps day two:
Among the final testimony for attorneys bringing the suit was mother and plaintiff Lesley Abravanel. The Boca Raton parent told the court she feared for the safety of her two 10-year-old twins, who are too young to get vaccinated.

Joining Abravanel on the stand were several Florida physicians. All of them testified they had seen COVID-19 cases among kids rising in their private practice as the more infectious delta variant continues to spread.

Attorneys for the governor countered with their expert, Stanford Medicine Professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. He's a controversial figure who has advocated herd immunity and dismissed masking.

Defense attorneys will offer further testimony Wednesday. The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. with closing arguments expected later that day.

Plaintiffs wrap up argument in Florida's mask lawsuit hearing

3. DeSantis' legal challenges don't end at the classroom, Disney and more cruise lines to require vaccines:
Disney Cruise Lines became the latest this week to make the COVID-19 vaccine a requirement to board a ship, even though DeSantis threatened to fine cruise lines $5,000 per instance for demanding proof of vaccination.

The policy changes are for ships heading to the Bahamas and coincide with the Bahamian government's requirement to have all cruise ship passengers and crews vaccinated against COVID-19. The declaration runs through Nov. 1.

Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line now require full vaccinations for guests 12 and older prior to sailing on any of its cruises, including its Florida ports.

Norwegian Cruise Line already insisted on vaccination requirements for its cruises, and took Florida to court. A federal judge blocked the Florida rule, but the state is appealing the decision.

Disney to require COVID-19 vaccination for cruises to Bahamas

4. On a lighter note, alliances being formed in Hunger Games of college football:
The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten Conference and the Pacific 12 Conference have announced they are forming an alliance.

News of the alliance comes a month after the University of Oklahoma and University of Texas joined the Southeastern Conference. They are set to join the conference in 2025.

According to the news release, the conference officials said one of the main points of the alliance between the conferences, would be to focus on a scheduling alliance among football and men’s and women’s basketball "to create new inter-conference games, enhance opportunities for student-athletes, and optimize the college athletics experience for both student-athletes and fans across the country."

Florida State Seminoles QB McKenzie Milton at 2021 ACC media day
Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton answers a question during a news conference at the Atlantic Coast Conference media days Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C.

5. Big decisions in DC from the Supreme Court and House:

House passes voting rights bill and budget blueprint

Today's Forecast
Hazy sunshine Wednesday as three disturbances churn in the tropics:

Latest Weather Forecast: Wednesday 5 a.m.

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On This Day In History
On August 25, 1944, Paris was liberated after more than four years of Nazi occupation.

German resistance was light, and General Dietrich von Choltitz, commander of the German garrison, defied an order by Adolf Hitler to blow up Paris’ landmarks and burn the city to the ground before its liberation. Choltitz signed a formal surrender that afternoon, and on August 26, Free French General Charles de Gaulle led a joyous liberation march down the Champs d’Elysees.

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."