News Update for 9/17/18

A couple of Highlands County residents have been caught up in out-of county traffic accidents. Florida Highway Patrol troopers say 39-year-old Dallas Gross of Lake Placid was eastbound on State Road 64 in Manatee County, when a Honda Accord turned in front of him. His Dodge Ram pickup hit the car broadside. His passenger, 12-year-old Ayla Gross was critically injured. The two teens in the car were killed.
A 22-year-old Sebring man was killed in a Pasco County accident. Troopers say Dillon Wade Anderson was on the old Lakeland highway when his car hit another auto and both burst into flames. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bat droppings are being blamed for causing breathing problems that made 13 workers ill at the Hredee County Courthouse.
Workers at the courthouse complained of coughing, itchy and scratchy throats, chest burning, red eyes, and itchy skin. Two people were treated and released from Florida Hospital Wauchula.
About 1,500 bats had infested the third floor of the courthouse, but were removed last month, the droppings cleaned up and the courthouse reopened.
Circuit Court Judge Marcus Ezelle has ordered the closure of the floor and court proceedings have been moved temporarily to the Board of County Commissioners building next door.
Holly Ober, an associate professor at the University of Florida, says if bat excrement is improperly swept then the droppings can become airborne.

It was a rough week for Florida’s beaches, with a resurgence of red tide on the Gulf Coast and returning feces-related problems in South Florida. Red tide returned to beaches on Saturday along Pinellas County on the Gulf Coast, bringing with it countless dead fish. . In South Florida, the Florida Department of Health in Miami last week raised the number of no-swimming alerts to seven beaches because of elevated levels of bacteria that can lead to urinary tract infections and other problems.

Police are trying to find out why a young child was wandering alone in a northeast Florida city. Neptune Beach police tweeted on Monday morning that they’ve found the girl’s parents. Now they’re trying to find out why the girl was found alone.

At least 17 deaths are blamed on Florence. The National Weather Service says nearly 34 inches of rain fell from Thursday through Sunday in Swansboro, on the North Carolina coast, and rivers are still rising. The mayor of New Bern, North Carolina, says his city has 30 roads still unpassable and about 4,700 homes and commercial buildings damaged.