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5 Things To Know On Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Posted at 6:59 AM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 06:59:34-04

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. Miami police looking for parents of toddler dropped off at hospital
Miami police officers are looking for the parents or guardians of a toddler who was left at Mercy Hospital.

According to police, a woman left the girl with an off-duty police officer on Tuesday telling him she was going to the restroom, but she never came back for the girl.

Officials say the child appears to be around 2 years old and is in good health. She is currently in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

Girl abandoned at Mercy Hospital in Miami
Police say this girl, believed to be about 2 years old, was abandoned at Mercy Hospital in Miami.

2. Coroner determines Gabby Petito's cause of death
Dr. Brent Blue, who conducted the autopsy on the remains of Gabby Petito, said Tuesday that he had determined her cause of death to be a homicide by strangulation.

Blue added that he believed Petito had died between three and four weeks before her body was found on Sept. 19, placing Petito's time of death between Aug. 22 or Aug. 29. He also confirmed that law enforcement had collected DNA samples from Petito's body.

Federal authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie, who returned to the couple's Florida home in the van without Petito on Sept. 1.

Coroner says Gabby Petito's cause of death was strangulation

3. Florida issues $3.57 million fine for defying vaccine mandate ban
State officials notified Leon County by letter on Tuesday of a massive $3.57 million penalty for defying Florida's vaccine mandate ban under new state law.

It comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed last month to use new state law, SB 2006, to hit local governments with fines for requiring employees to get COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Leon County was cited $5,000 for each of its more than 700 employees. Fourteen were fired after failing to prove vaccination status.

Florida issues first fine for defying vaccine mandate ban

4. William Shatner ready to boldly go to space today
William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on "Star Trek," was scheduled to fly in a Blue Origin rocket on Tuesday, but forecasted winds pushed the targeted launch date back to today at 10:00 a.m ET.

The rocket, which will launch from Texas, will be carrying four crew members, including Shatner.

At age 90, Shatner will become the oldest person to reach space.

William Shatner ready to boldly go to space today

5. House sends debt limit hike to Biden, staving off default
Members of the House have approved a short-term hike to the nation’s debt limit with a vote Tuesday evening.

The vote ensures the federal government can continue fully paying its bills into December. The legislation next goes to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law.

A default would have had immense fallout on global financial markets, and routine government payments to Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans and others would have been called into question.

House sends debt limit hike to Biden, staving off default

Today's Forecast
Storms around, but tracking west through the day:

Latest Weather Forecast: Wednesday 5 a.m.

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On This Day In History
On October 13, 2010, the last of 33 miners trapped nearly half a mile underground for more than two months at a caved-in mine in northern Chile, are rescued. The miners survived longer than anyone else trapped underground in recorded history.

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."