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5 Things To Know On Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Posted at 7:04 AM, Jun 30, 2021

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. The latest on the Surfside collapse:
Officials said Tuesday evening there was one additional death in the Surfside condominium collapse, bringing the toll to 12 victims.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said there are now 149 people still missing.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Surfside on Thursday to tour the damage at the Champlain Towers South condominium building, spend time with the families of the victims and missing, and meet with first responders.

1 additional death brings number of victims to 12 in Surfside condominium collapse

2. The search for causes and consequences begins:
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said she will pursue a grand jury investigation to examine factors and decisions that led to Thursday’s collapse.

Residents of the Champlain Towers South are suing their condo board, claiming that the association was aware of, or should've been aware of, major structural issues throughout the building but failed to fix them.

A two-page letter sent to owners at Champlain Towers South in April 2021, informed them that a $15 million special assessment fee had been approved by their condo association board of directors to make needed repairs and pass a 40-year recertification.

Prosecutors will ask grand jury to probe Surfside building collapse

3. Hopefully Elsa can let it go or Florida could see a tropical system next week
The National Hurricane Center is watching two waves in the south Atlantic Ocean, but will one develop into Elsa?

Invest 95-L is predicted to fizzle out, but Invest 97-L has a better chance of becoming a tropical cyclone. It has a 50% chance of development over the next two days, but 70% for five days.

South Florida could be dealing with some of the effects of Invest 97-L in about a week with some models bringing it directly to Florida.

South Florida keeps watchful eye on tropical wave in Atlantic Ocean

4. Florida gets a new sales tax holiday tomorrow:
Aside from the disaster preparedness and back-to-school sales tax holidays, Floridians will have another sales tax holiday they can partake in this year.

"Freedom Week" will be from Thursday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 7, and will exempt qualifying admissions and items related to recreational activities from sales tax.

These items include tickets to events, sporting equipment and more. You can find a full list at the link above.

Florida gets a new sales tax holiday Thursday

5. Should manatees be back on the endangered species list?
The City of Stuart is pushing to put manatees back on the endangered species list.

According to data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 811 manatees have died in just six months across the state.
Only 59 have been linked to boats. The average number of deaths per year for the last five years is 326.

"What we're seeing is that more natural reasons for death and what that could be, could be cold water, it could be emaciation and starvation," said Ben Hogarth, Public Information Officer at the City of Stuart.

City of Stuart calls for manatees to be readded on endangered species list

Today's Forecast
Scattered downpours continue this week:

Latest Weather Forecast: Wednesday 5 a.m.

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

First Alert Traffic

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On This Day In History
On June 30, 1971, the three Soviet cosmonauts who served as the first crew of the world’s first space station die when their spacecraft depressurizes during reentry.

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."