News Update for 8/5/20

The latest Coronavirus test numbers released by the Florida Department of Health show that there have been 15 additional positive tests returned and 57 new negatives conducted in Highlands County.
Of the 15,409 tests administered locally over the past five months – 14,085 tests have been negative with 1,311 positive cases recorded.
There have been 148 people hospitalized at some point during their illness and 30 deaths have been tied to the corona virus since numbers started being kept.

It’s back to school today for hundreds of Highlands County school teachers. Things will look a bit different this year as all non-essential furniture has been moved out to make room for the so-called “social distancing” of students.
At least some students are slated to be back in the classroom next Friday. A percentage of parents have opted to use distance learning and the Highlands County Virtual Schools.

Highlands County Public Safety Director Marc Bashoor yesterday gave Highlands County Commissioners a third quarter update on the status of the Fire Rescue Divison. He explained capital outlays saying that three new fire trucks on order and hinted at the purchase of a fourth.
As fire services are consolidated into a single county department, Bashoor said he envisioned five full time stations sprinkled around the county. He told commissioners some people said they could not afford it – he asked the board to consider what they couldn’t do without.

Florida Highway Patrol officials still have not identified the man killed Monday when their pickup truck hit a semi-tractor trailer rig.
Troopers describe the driver only as a 29-year-old Ormond Beach resident, Reportedly he was towing a utility trailer, and was attempting to turn onto Ben-Hill Griffin Road, when he struck the back of the semi-trailer.
The semi then overturned and caught fire. It sparked a subsequent brust fire that kept the roadway closed for more than 12 hours. Volunteer firfighters and the Florida Forest Service were called in to extinguish the blaze.

A teacher from Okeechobee County is the state’s new Teacher of the Year. State officials named Krista Stanley as the 2021 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year.
She is a sixth grade teacher at Yearling Middle School in Okeechobee. Stanley will receive a $20,000 check and an $8,000 scholarship to present to a student of her choice.
Stanley was chosen from among more than 176,900 Florida public school teachers.