News 3-4-2020

Another person in Florida has presumptively tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the state to three, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday. The latest case is the sister of a woman who earlier was confirmed positive for the virus after returning from Italy, a hotspot for the disease also called COVID-19. The United States had 105 cases of COVID-19 in 12 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. DeSantis’s announcement Tuesday came after two cases were confirmed Monday involving patients in Hillsborough and Manatee counties. Test results are pending in another 16 cases, according to the Florida Department of Health. Twenty-four people had negative test results. And another 247 people were being monitored by the health department. DeSantis ordered Department of Health Secretary and state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees to issue a public health emergency Sunday night after the first two cases emerged. One case involved a woman in her 20s who had traveled to northern Italy and the other case was a man in his 60s who was a patient at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota. DeSantis said Tuesday that four Doctors Hospital staff members who had been in close touch with the COVID-19 patient have also been tested for the virus.

A Davie woman that was high on laughing gas was arrested after she was holding up traffic in Clewiston. 38-year-old Bricole Reincke, was driving on SR80 at nearly half the speed limit. There were about 12 cars behind her truck that couldn’t pass her since it was a no-passing zone. Deputy Bone of the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office pulled Reincke over to check on her, according to an arrest report.  He noticed that she couldn’t keep her eyes open, was laughing, and couldn’t figure out how to roll the window down. Sgt. Krasinskas saw red nitrous oxide cartridges in the center console. Reinecke admitted to him that she inhaled nitrous oxide. The Sergeant noticed a box of nine unused nitrous oxide cartridges and a used canister on the seat. Later on in the investigation, Reincke tried to ditch two small clear bags containing a white substance. She denied they were hers but was still placed under arrest and taken to the Hendry County Jail.  When Reincke arrived at the jail, Deputy Taylor asked if she had anything that was not allowed in the building, she said no.  When she got to the jail, Reincke she was trying to hide two clear bags that held drugs. Later, Investigators found $7,051 cash in the center console. 

On February 24, Independent We Stand, a national small business movement kicked off its fifth annual America’s Main Streets contest to help consumers, small business owners and Main Street organizations reward a deserving Main Street with $25,000 in cash and sponsor-related prizes. LaBelle Downtown Revitalization Corportation in LaBelle is among this years nominiees. The first round of voting in the contest has begun and runs through April 19. All nominations and voting takes place on Mainstreetcontest.com.  

For the first time during this dry season, members of the Florida Forest Service, along with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the South Florida Water Management District, will be conducting a prescribed burn beginning today in the west-southwest areas of Lake Okeechobee. Miguel Nevarez of the Forest Service says these prescribed burns are needed to eliminate the dead, dry fuels that accumulate in the area and they serve as a feeding source for wildfires. Nevarez says over 35 thousand five hundred acres will be burned and something like that would normally take more than just a day or two, but it’s only two days because the Water Management District will be doing aerial ignition burns. The prescribed burns will take place beginning at nine o’clock and take place from Grass Island to Cochran’s Pass near Clewiston today and burns at Moore Haven Marsh will be conducted tomorrow. Residents in those areas are advised to bring pets inside, cover pools and close windows to prevent drift smoke from entering your home. The burn will be monitored by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The burn was to begin yesterday but crews were doing mostly assessment of the areas before starting the burn.