News Update for 8/14/23

If you’ve had an ambulance ride in Highlands County, your data may have been compromised. Officials from EMS Management & Consultants say that Highlands County Fire Rescue was one of a number of entities that may have been affected by a data breach at the North Carolina-based firm.
More than 7,000 residents locally and almost a quarter million nationally may have been affected in the incident. It remains unclear who hacked into the system.
A class action suit already has been started against the company – which provides billing and collection services to emergency medical and other such services across the country.

Avon Park city council members are slated to start looking at the homeless problem in the City of Charm. The council is set to schedule a workshop on the subject when they meet tonight in regular session.
In other action, the council will look at a lease with the Avon Park Senior Activities Center for use of the shuffleboard courts on Main Street.

Highlands County school officials say their first day attendance numbers last week were down from the start of the last school year. But they note that many local youngsters don’t show up for the first day of classes. They look forward to counts this week and next week for an increase in the student census.
Keeping track of kids in class also is exacerbated by the increase in private, parochial and other schools, as well as an increasing number of parents who have chosen to homeschool.
Public school system funding from the state is based in large part on attendance.

Four people were injured in a weekend hit-and-run accident near Bartow. It happened yesterday morning on Ronald Reagan Parkway.
Florida Highway Patrol reports indicate a trooper tried pulling over a speeding Ford Mustang, but the driver kept going and crashed into a Sport Utility Vehicle.
The Mustang driver and a passenger ran off; however the passenger later was apprehended.
Polk County sheriff’s officials say the driver remains on the loose. He has been identified as Haines City 18-year-old Ramon Santiago-Garcia. Two Mustang passengers and a passenger in the SUV were taken to the hospital. There’s no word on their conditions. Troopers say the woman driving the SUV was also taken to the hospital and is in serious condition.