News Update for 5/18/20

Officials of the Florida Department of Health say numbers this morning show no new cases of Coronivirus here – but a number of new negative cases, Of the 2,460 tests administered so far, 2,354 have come back negative and 104 have registered positive. They do not say to what extent the illnesses have been.
That is 57 additional negative tests.
Currently, there have been 34 people hospitalized at some point during their illness and eight fatalities have been tied to the Coronavirus here.
For those wishing to be tested, another drive thru event will be held tomorrow morning from 9-11 at Camp and Conference Center in Lake Placid.

Some hard work for area firefighters yesterday. Units from Highlands Lakes joined Florida Forest Service crews in trying to corral a stubborn brush fire off North Devco Road.
Officials say the blaze off State Road 64 near Old Bombing Range Road may have been started by a lightning strike. The fire was about an acre. No injuries or property damage were reported.
Down near Venus, a brush fire charred about three acres. Units from Highlands Park, Placid Lakes, Lake Placid and Venus were joined by the Florida Forest Service to contain that one. No injuries – but several hunting camps reportedly were endangered.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials have made a couple of arrests in connection with last week’s accidental shooting death of a teen at a home in the Sun ‘N Lake Improvement District.
Charged in the incident were 20-year-old Lance Bleiweiss and 18-year-old Alexander Lloyd McGregor. Bleiweiss faces manslaughter counts while McGregor was charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition.
The 17-year-old was shot at a home on Cadagua Drive Thursday night.

Two people reportedly were injured when a car went into a canal. That incident happened yesterday afternoon. First responders arrived at the scene to find the vehicle nose-down in the water off West Martin Road near Lake Lelia.
One person was airlifted out to a trauma center, while another taken by EMS to a local medical facility. No names or other details have yet been released.
About 3:00 this morning a car went out of control and rolled down an embankment off the Sebring Parkway. The driver refused transport on that one.

It’s back to class today – at South Florida State College. But it won;t be for everybody. Those in AA degrees will continue distance learning and those in the workforce program reportdly will be staggered back in to classes.

Researchers from the Archbold Biological Station Lake Placid have rediscovered an “ultra-rare” metallic blue bee that hadn’t been spotted in years. In fact, it’s been so long that experts weren’t sure it still existed.
Florida Museum of Natural History researcher Chase Kimmel found a blue calamintha bee earlier this month. Since then, more of the elusive bees have been spotted, but efforts to research the insect have been curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The museum said it was the first time one had been spotted since 2016. The blue calamintha bee – or Osmia calaminthae – has unusual facial hairs that are used to collect pollen.