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5 Things To Know On Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Posted at 7:13 AM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 07:16:51-05

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. 800,000 people in the US have now died of COVID-19
The U.S. surpassed yet another grim milestone amid the COVID-19 pandemic: 800,000 deaths attributed to the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers marked the moment with a moment of silence on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

The U.S. surpassed the marker just days after recording 50 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. Both totals lead all other countries.

One in 10 lung transplants now go to COVID-19 patients.mp4

2. 2 hit-and-run crashes reported in West Palm Beach in 2 days
The first incident, which occurred Sunday, left a 4-year-old boy critically injured.

Investigators said the 4-year-old boy was with his father and three other children, attempting to cross the eastbound lanes of Okeechobee Boulevard near Rosemary Avenue when he was hit by an unidentified driver.

The second incident involved Raymond Alexander who was on his way home and was forced to crawl to safety after being hit.

2 hit-and-run crashes reported in West Palm Beach in 2 days

3. WPTV, American Red Cross help victims of devastating tornadoes
WPTV has teamed with the American Red Cross to provide help to the victims of the devastating tornadoes that killed at least 88 people across five states.

The heartland tornado relief telethon will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at WPTV. The number to call is 855-678-GIVE.

Donations can also be made online through the American Red Cross website.

WPTV, American Red Cross help victims of devastating tornadoes

4. NASA craft 'touches' sun for 1st time
A NASA spacecraft has officially “touched” the sun, plunging through the unexplored solar atmosphere known as the corona.

The Parker Solar Probe actually flew through the corona in April during the spacecraft's eighth close approach to the sun.

The spacecraft was 8 million miles from the center of the sun when it first crossed the uneven boundary between the solar atmosphere and outgoing solar wind.

Space Touch the Sun
FILE - This image made available by NASA shows an artist's rendering of the Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun. On Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, NASA announced that the spacecraft has plunged through the unexplored solar atmosphere known as the corona in April, and will keep drawing ever closer to the sun and diving deeper into the corona. (Steve Gribben/Johns Hopkins APL/NASA via AP)

5. House votes to hold Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress
Mark Meadows has contended that he cannot comply with the House's deposition because the former president asserted executive privilege.

However, the committee noted that Meadows has written a book and already turned over documents, so he should be able to discuss non-privileged information.

The resolution voted for in the House will go to the Department of Justice, which will determine whether Meadows is criminally charged with contempt of congress.

House votes to hold Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress

Today's Forecast
Scattered on-and-off rainfall with breezy winds this afternoon

Latest Weather Forecast: Wednesday 5 a.m.

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On This Day In History
In a ceremony held in Baghdad on December 15, 2011, the war that began in 2003 with the American-led invasion of Iraq officially comes to an end.

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."