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5 Things To Know On Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Posted at 7:00 AM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 07:00:16-04

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. Half the adult population in U.S. now fully vaccinated against COVID-19
According to the CDC, more than 131 million people over 12 have been fully vaccinated.

This comes just six weeks before President Joe Biden's goal of having 70% of the U.S. adult population with at least one shot by July 4.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, more than 33.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 590,000 deaths were reported in the U.S.

Vaccines distributed to 12-15 year olds in Martin County

2. 'White advantage' statement causes controversy in Palm Beach County schools
School board members approved a new Equity Statement on May 5 that outlines the district's goal of "dismantling structures rooted in white advantage" and "elevating under-represented voices, sharing power, recognizing and eliminating bias, and redistributing resources to provide equitable outcomes."

Officials said the new statement was created, in part, because of "glaring disparities" in student performance, suspension rates, attendance, and more. You can see a full break down of those statistics at the link above.

However, members of the community have taken issue with the "white advantage" phrasing. As a result, the school board will hold a workshop today to potentially revise and amend the "white advantage" phrasing in the Equity Statement.

'White advantage' statement causes controversy in Palm Beach County schools

3. Biden Administration urges Florida use bolstered weather resiliency program
White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy said last year alone, U.S. cities suffered 22 separate weather or climate-related disasters. Losses exceeded $1 billion in each. The total price tag nearly $100 billion.

To lower future costs, McCarthy urged Florida to make use of the recently bolstered BRIC (Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities) program. The now billion-dollar pot awards states and cities FEMA funds to better protect against flooding, strong storms or wildfires.

The adviser said Florida could use it to harden shorelines, strengthen warning systems, even better train emergency workers.

Biden Administration urges Florida use of bolstered weather resiliency program

4. Manhattan DA reportedly convened grand jury to hear evidence in Trump criminal probe
According to The Washington Post, two anonymous sources who are “familiar with the development,” said the panel was recently convened and will sit for three days a week for six months.

CNN reported that Cyrus Vance Jr. has been investigating the possibility of a bank, tax, or insurance fraud by former President and the Trump organization for the last two years

In February, Trump said the probing by James and Vance Jr. was a witch hunt and denied any wrongdoing, calling the investigation a "new phenomenon of ‘headhunting’ prosecutors and AGs."

Manhattan DA reportedly convened grand jury to hear evidence in Trump criminal probe

5. Retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson set to pilot private mission to space
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has spent 665 days in space during her record-breaking 22-year career and now at 61, she is doing just that, but this time, she’s flying private.

Whitson will pilot a mission dubbed AX-2, courtesy of Axiom, which arranges commercial flights to space. John Shoffner, an entrepreneur, race car driver, and pilot, will join Whitson as a tourist on the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space station.

Shoffner and Whitson will live on the ISS. No word on when they will leave earth, but AX-1 plans to land among the stars in 2022.

Space Champ Retires
FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2016 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Peggy Whitson poses for a photo in the cupola of the International Space Station, with the Earth in the background. (NASA via AP)

BONUS: Did you miss the Super Blood Moon and lunar eclipse? Check it out:

Today's Forecast
Warming trend through the weekend:

Latest Weather Forecast: Wednesday 5 a.m.

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

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On This Day In History
The first copies of the classic vampire novel Dracula, by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appear in London bookshops on May 26, 1897.

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."