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. Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz's trial moves forward after weeks of delay
Rare normalcy has returned to jury selection for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz at his penalty trial.
All five of his lawyers were present Tuesday, a day after the illness of one led to hours of arguments between the judge who wanted to proceed without him and Cruz's lead attorney.
Still to be decided is a defense motion to delay the trial because of the school shooting in Texas that left 21 dead. Cruz's attorneys argue that has resurrected emotions in Broward County.
2. Florida's watchdog finds state undercounted COVID cases, deaths
Case data that was incomplete or inaccurate. COVID deaths that were reported late or not at all and contact tracing that was, simply, never done. These are among some of the findings documented by Florida’s Auditor General in a new report critical of how the state tracked and reported COVID-19 and how its failures could have impacted the state’s ability to control the virus’ spread.
In response to the undercounting of COVID-19 deaths, FDOH leaders explained how the Auditor’s conclusions were based on a flawed system and misunderstanding of how death counts are classified by the state’s COVID-10 surveillance systems versus vital statistics.
FDOH also pointed blame at laboratories for testing inaccuracies, delays in results, and missing or erroneous patient information.
3. Martin County bans sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits from pet stores
Martin County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to change local ordinances to prohibit the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits, joining nearly 80 other counties or cities across the state to enact similar bans.
Animal rescue organizations praised the county’s decision, saying locally they have seen sick dogs that have come from dog stores. They also say the ban will help with pet overpopulation.
Nationwide, five states have passed total bans on the sale of dogs. Florida has not been able to pass a similar ban.
4. Man who defaced Delray Beach LGBTQ+ crosswalk sentenced
The man who vandalized a gay pride intersection in Delray Beach was sentenced Tuesday to two years probation, 100 hours of community service, a mental health screening and must pay $774 in court costs.
Alexander Jerich, 20, pleaded guilty in March to criminal mischief and reckless driving.
State Attorney Dave Aronberg said last year that Jerich was originally arrested on a hate-crime charge, but prosecutors did not move forward with it under the letter of the law.
5. Matthew McConaughey makes impassioned plea for 'responsible' gun ownership
Matthew McConaughey met with President Joe Biden on Tuesday and made an impassioned plea for "gun responsibility."
"As divided as our country is, this gun responsibility issue is one that we agree on more than we don't. It really is," McConaughey said during the daily White House press briefing. "This should be a non-partisan issue."
McConaughey, who is from Uvalde, Texas, spoke about his interactions with those who knew the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. His wife, Camilla, showed the shoes of one of the children who was killed.
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On This Day In History
Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress, visits Alabama Governor George Wallace, perhaps the single most famous supporter of racial segregation in modern history, as he recovers from an assassination attempt on June 8, 1972. The two were both seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.
Chisholm’s unexpected visit to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring lasted roughly fifteen minutes. The congresswoman recounted that she told Wallace “I wouldn’t want what happened to you to happen to anyone,” and that the governor “cried and cried” in response. She added that, despite their profound disagreements on fundamental issues like racial equality, she agreed with Wallace’s criticisms of “the domination of corporate institutions…and unresponsiveness of the Government to the people.”
Two years later, Wallace threw his support behind Chisholm’s bill to give domestic workers the right to a minimum wage, marshaling enough support from Southern Democrats to get the bill passed.
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."