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1-year-old died after being left in a daycare vehicle during a heat wave in Nebraska

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) – Hot weather that affected almost 100 million people across a large section of the United States on Tuesday caused schools and outdoor workers to race to acclimatize — and claimed the life of a 1-year-old girl who was left in a Nebraska day care center’s vehicle on one of the warmest days of the year.

Officers and medics were sent to Kidz of the Future Childcare in Omaha on Monday afternoon for an unconscious infant inside the vehicle, according to police.

Temperatures reached the top 90s (mid-30s Celsius) during a heat wave.

According to authorities, Ra’Miyah Worthington, the toddler, was declared dead at a hospital.

According to court papers, her body temperature was 109 degrees Fahrenheit (42.8 degrees Celsius). Her parents were perplexed about why her disappearance from childcare had gone unnoticed.

“She loved, loved, loved her family,” Sina Johnson, her mother. “She adored her father.” She was her father’s little daughter.

On Tuesday, prosecutors charged the 62-year-old van driver, Ryan Williams of Omaha, with felony child neglect resulting in death, which carries a four-year jail term.

According to court records, he told authorities he was distracted by a small kid who didn’t want to leave the van when unloading the car and inadvertently forgot the girl inside. A second staff member arrived to assist with the boy’s retrieval, and Williams closed the van without doing the vehicle sweep that he stated he regularly conducts.

Williams’ bail hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday morning. Online court records did not immediately show a counsel who could speak on his behalf, and the phone number listed was disconnected.

“He was the one who brought those kids in,” said Douglas County Chief Deputy Attorney Brenda Beadle. “That little girl was in that van for five to six hours while the temperature outside reached nearly 100 degrees.”

According to state authorities, the daycare will stay shuttered until the girl’s death is probed.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued heat advisories for portions of 22 states, spanning from the Midwest and Great Plains to the Gulf Coast.

High temperatures were forecast to be up to 20 degrees above normal in various states, including Nebraska, Iowa, and sections of South Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. Higher nocturnal temperatures and high humidity were likely to amplify the impacts of the heat, which was forecast to last through Thursday and potentially into Friday, according to the weather service.

In Missouri, firefighters assisted with removing 117 residents from a skilled nursing home when the air conditioning failed due to the hot heat. According to officials, the majority were transferred to other nursing institutions, save for seven people who had COVID-19, and were sent to nearby hospitals.

Schools throughout the Midwest made modifications in response to the heat, putting recess inside and delaying sporting activities from South Dakota to Indiana.

The Taste of Iowa City event has been relocated from Thursday to next Tuesday to avoid temperatures forecast to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius).

Schools in the Chicago suburbs pushed out the start of sessions to Friday or switched to online instruction and early release. Chicago Public Schools, one of the country’s most extensive systems with more than 340,000 pupils, did not publish any schedule changes, raising worries among parents about the weather and previous troubles with certain window air conditioners.

Organizers rescheduled a demonstration for workers’ rights outside the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee because of the forecasted high temperatures of around 100 degrees on Wednesday. The march to the discussion was scheduled to take place, but comments by U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and others were shifted inside an air-conditioned venue.

Even in Florida, which is used to temperatures over 90 degrees in August, forecasters issued heat warnings in certain cities, including Tallahassee. According to the National Weather Service, the heat index in the Panhandle was forecast to peak at roughly 105 (40.5 Celsius) on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The main concern will be the heat this week.” “Remember to practice heat safety by staying hydrated and taking breaks while outside,” the weather agency said on Tuesday on X, previously known as Twitter.

The Midwest’s heat is reminiscent of what places in the Southwest have experienced. Metro Phoenix, which saw some of the warmest weather in the United States this summer, has recently seen unexpectedly cool temperatures of around or below 100 degrees Fahrenheit after scorching through much of July with highs of or over 110 (43.3 degrees Celsius). Because of the cloud cover, the maximum temperature at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Monday was just 91 degrees Fahrenheit (32.8 degrees Celsius).

That will change by the weekend when a high of 109 (42.8 Celsius) is expected.

In south Texas, 22 days of 100-degree heat ended Tuesday in the Brownsville region when Tropical Storm Harold provided some respite, according to weather service meteorologist Joshua Schroeder. The meteorological service predicted that temperatures would stay in the low to mid-90s for the week.

The storm also delivered substantial rain — up to 6 inches (15 cm) in certain parts — to a drought-stricken region, according to Schroeder.

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Written by Anthony Peters