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5 Things To Know On Wednesday, December 9, 2020

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Posted at 6:42 AM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 06:42:33-05

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. Florida's coronavirus latest: Gov. DeSantis appointee quits over raid, waiting for vaccine
Ron Filipowski, a man appointed to a commission that recommends judicial appointments to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has resigned citing the search warrant served on Rebekah Jones, a former Department of Health employee who has criticized the state's COVID-19 data.

Jones has questioned the state COVID-19 dashboard that she helped create and has since created her own. Since her firing, she has lit up social media with posts criticizing Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and his state agencies.

Palm Beach County's health director is expecting COVID-19 cases to continue climbing locally throughout the holiday season and into next year as it'll likely be between April and June before the general public has access to a vaccine.

Florida agents raid home of ousted COVID-19 data curator

2. Does that mean SunFest is happening? Seems like it.
Plans are in the works to bring Florida’s largest music and arts festival back in 2021.

The plan that will be submitted to the city of West Palm Beach calls for an event without gates. The two concert venues will be capped at 50% capacity in light of state and local coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

The event's footprint will expand up Clematis and Datura Streets as far west as Rosemary Blvd. In these areas, festival organizers plan to offer free music performances by local performers and attractions like the Art Show and Craft Markplaces.

3. Where's that second stimulus check? In process, but smaller than you want.
A week ago, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on behalf of the Trump administration that talks of direct payments to Americans were dead as part of another round of economic stimulus.

But now, it appears, Mnuchin has reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposing $600 direct payments to Americans as part of the stimulus package.

The bill would provide $300 in additional unemployment benefits for up to 18 weeks, $288 billion to go toward support for small businesses, $160 billion earmarked for state and local governments and $45 billion allocated toward the transportation industry, most notably for airlines.

Dems respond to Trump’s call for direct stimulus checks to Americans

4. Other government tidings: Supreme Court rejects Trump's bid, student debt forgiveness, defense bill

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

5. Former Israeli officials says aliens are real, but they're not ready to meet us yet.
A former Israeli government official says extraterrestrials have been in contact with Earth, and that President Donald Trump is aware of an agreement between the U.S. and the aliens.

Haim Eshed, the former head of Israel’s Defense Ministry’s space directorate, described a kind of galactic federation that had signed agreements of cooperation. He claims there is an agreement between the U.S. government and the aliens to conduct experiments.

A spokesman for NASA told NBC News that one of the agency’s key goals was to search for signs of life in the universe, but that they had yet to find any.

Today's Forecast
Frost Advisory for Okeechobee County.

Latest Weather Forecast: Wednesday 5 a.m.

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

On This Day In History
On December 9, 1979, a commission of scientists declare that smallpox has been eradicated. The disease, which carries around a 30 percent chance of death for those who contract it, is the only infectious disease afflicting humans that has officially been eradicated.

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