Wednesday November 25, 2020

A plan the state hopes will lower prescription drug prices for Floridians is now one step closer to reality; people with chronic illness, including HIV/AIDS, will be among the first to benefit. On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office announced that the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) officially submitted a proposal for Florida’s Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program. In a statement the Governor said, for too long prices have been far too high too high. The plan now is to get things up and running.  FDA rules regarding approvals will be final on Nov. 30. This article first appeared at Florida Politics

As we’ve been discussing for the past few weeks, we are on the eve of Thanksgiving and under normal circumstances it is the busiest travel time of the year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, circumstances are anything but normal. AAA officials forecast fewer Americans will be traveling this holiday than they have in the last decade, mainly because of health concerns and unemployment, both due to the pandemic of course. AAA officials say there may be 50 million Americans who’ll travel but the expectation is much lower than that. Most will drive but some will fly as they have already, as three million people have traveled by air since Friday. Palm Beach area travel agent Laura Reece says despite the pandemic, it’s still one of the busiest travel days, but Reece says people have had second thoughts. AAA officials recommend making sure your vehicle is in good working order before traveling and take every precaution to protect yourself and family. Plan ahead and contact local authorities to learn about any restrictions. Despite the pandemic, there are more people traveling by air this week than at any time since mid-March.

A local man has been arrested after being accused of killing three animals and throwing them into a garbage can. On Monday, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in Lehigh Acres after receiving a call about animal abuse. A witness said she found 46-year-old Jose Ortiz, covered in blood and cleaning the remains of a duck off the back patio. She said she approached him and he became violent and started strangling one of his dogs. Ortiz then grabbed a garden hose, according to a witness, and began to drown the animal. She immediately grabbed his other dog and ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911. Deputies say they saw Ortiz’s back patio was soaking wet, and during their search, found a dead dog, duck, and cat inside a trashcan. Detectives say Ortiz drowned two animals and bludgeoned the third. He faces three counts of aggravated animal cruelty and remains in the Lee County Jail on $50,000 bail.

The need for SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, has gone up 380 percent in the state of Florida, according to the United Way. That increase began in February, as shut downs began due to COVID-19. The United Way is trying to spread the word on who qualifies for SNAP and how to apply for it. They’ve been going to local colleges to help students get SNAP, as well as reaching out to the elderly. Besides giving SNAP guidance, the United Way is trying other ways to give access to food for those in need on their website.