News Update for 1/1/19

It’s a New Year – but no New Year’s babies in Highlands County. At Highlands Regional Medical Center, their birthing facility officially closed its doors as of midnight last night. They say there were no last minute Highlands countians to report.
Florida Hospital also had no new year’s arrivals – and no candidates to report. However, their new name, Adventist Health Systems took effect officially at midnight.
Despite all the hubbub – neither facility reports any serious fireworks injuries from the celebrations.

It’s New Year’s Day and that means local government facilities are closed for the most part – that includes the county landfill. Consequently, today’s pickup in the unincorporated areas of Highlands. will be tomorrow- then a domino effect with each day pushed back 24 hours. Friday’s pickup will be Saturday.
The County Commission was to have met today – they’ll come back for a meeting NEXT Tuesday.

A flood of 911 calls hit emergency operators in Florida’s Panhandle as Hurricane Michael roared ashore. The operators could only listen and take note of each caller’s address, because no first responders could be sent out into the storm’s fierce winds and catastrophic flooding. Over 200 calls for help made in Bay County during the peak of the storm recorded the destruction witnessed by those who did not evacuate their homes.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal level of $7.25 an hour. That includes 20 states where the minimum wage will be rising around the start of the new year. The last time the federal minimum wage was raised was in 2009.

Authorities say 18 people were injured at a Florida shopping mall when a crowd fled loud noises they mistook for gunfire. Orange County Sheriff’s Office Master Deputy Ingrid Tejada-Monforte said chairs hitting the ground during an altercation in the food court set off the panic Saturday afternoon at The Florida Mall in Orlando. Tejada-Monforte said a man and a woman had been physically fighting and knocked over the chairs.