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. COVID-19 vaccine available to more groups starting today:
A new executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis allows for sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters, and K-12 school employees who are 50 and older to have access to the vaccine.
The way a Publix spokesperson simply put it to WPTV is that the governor’s order does not require those specific groups to offer any documentation to prove they are eligible.
Publix said that as of Wednesday, those specific groups 50 and older are now eligible to book an appointment online. Winn-Dixie pharmacies are making changes this week to implement a system without creating an "excessive burden of verification on pharmacy teams."
Walmart and Sam's Club sites have been updated to show the new eligible groups. The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County said those who now qualify for the vaccine can use the state’s appointment list to go on the county’s waitlist.
2. Flags in Florida will be at half-staff to honor "those who have died with COVID:"
As Florida's coronavirus deaths of residents passed 31,000, DeSantis announced that flags would be lowered Wednesday to honor COVID victims.
"We are saddened by the thousands of Floridians – and hundreds of thousands of Americans – who have died with COVID. And we sympathize with the family members who in many instances were not even permitted to see their loved ones in person, either in the hospital or in a nursing home," Gov. DeSantis said.
To honor those lives lost and recognize the "toll the virus has taken on family members throughout our state," all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds throughout Florida will lower flags to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on March 3.
3. Dr. Seuss Enterprises is done publishing certain books due to racist imagery
The business that preserves and protects Dr. Seuss’ legacy has announced it will stop publishing six titles because of racist and insensitive imagery.
The six books affected by the company's decision are “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” "McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
The decision follows months of deliberation.
4. Biden faces defeat in getting Tanden confirmed, withdraws nomination
President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he is withdrawing the nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Budget and Management, signifying that her confirmation likely would have come short of reaching 50 votes in the Senate.
The announcement comes a week after Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he would not vote to confirm Tanden.
Last month, Tanden faced sharp criticism from members of the Senate Budget Committee who questioned her for past tweets she sent about members of Congress.
ONLY ON 5. Jack and Barbara Nicklaus present this year's Honda Classic Lilly Pulitzer design
This year's sales of the line will benefit Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation in support of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
The Lilly Pulitzer print features, of course, bears, hearts, golf balls, flags, and tees.
Since the Honda Classic's inception, the tournament has raised $50 million for charity and helped 90,000 children last year.
Cooler weather by Thursday:
Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.
On This Day In History
On March 3, 1887, Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, later dubbed “the miracle worker,” remained Keller’s interpreter and constant companion until the older woman’s death in 1936.
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."