Tuesday May 31, 2022

Sales Tax Holiday

On May 6, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7071 authorizing a Disaster Preparedness Supplies Sales Tax Holiday from May 28 to June 10, 2022. This tax holiday includes portable generators and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. The Florida Department of Health says Carbon Monoxide is an invisible, odorless, poisonous gas produced by burning fuels. “CO poisoning cases spike during and after tropical storms and hurricanes from misplacement of portable generators,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Carina Blackmore. “Proper placement of portable generators can help prevent CO-related hospitalizations and deaths.” Floridians can prevent CO poisoning by using portable generators safely and installing CO detectors/alarms on all livable levels near sleeping areas in every home. Watch the Portable Generator Safety Public Service Announcement and visit the carbon monoxide poisoning prevention webpage for additional information.

State Drowning Prevention

Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez discussed drowning prevention and boating safety. Lieutenant Governor Nuñez also presented Governor Ron DeSantis’ proclamation recognizing May as Water Safety Month in Florida. In 2021, 98 children were victims of drowning in the state. Recent data also indicates an increase in drowning fatalities occurring in short-term vacation rental properties. The DOH and the DCF have also partnered with Airbnb to ensure timely water safety messaging and tips are provided to vacation rental hosts and guests.

Some actions individuals can take include:

  • Supervise children in and around bodies of water;
  • Take swim lessons;
  • Learning CPR;
  • Making sure pool barriers and gates meet state law requirements;
  • Following life jacket laws; and
  • Checking local conditions before you head out to the water, such as weather conditions, rip tides, and marine life.

Drowning is preventable, and the State of Florida, and our communities around the lake, work to educate everyone on safe recreation around all bodies of water.

Harmful Blue Green Algae Alert

The Florida Department of Health in Glades County has issued a Health Alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins in Lake Okeechobee. This is in response to water samples taken on May 23, 2022. The public should exercise caution in the rim canal around the Alvin Ward Boat Ramp in Lake Okeechobee. For specific locations please visit https://floridadep.gov/dear/algal-bloom/content/algal-bloom-sampling-results

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

• Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.

• Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae, discolored water or smelly water. 

• Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.

• Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.

• Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.

• Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

Blue-green algae blooms can impact human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.

For additional information on potential health effects of algal blooms, visit www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins

Two people including a woman from Clewiston were killed Friday in a Single vehicle crash in collier county. Officials say the woman and her 28-year-old male passenger from Immokalee were traveling north of CR858 or Oil Well Road. When at around 11:10 pm her vehicle ran a stop sign passing through the intersection, hitting a tree. FHP Troopers say upon their arrival, both occupants were deceased. The crash remains under investigation.

Miss Florida USA: Local

Miss Florida USA was crowned over the weekend and, she’s a local gal. Ladies and Gents, the next time you’re traveling through Okeechobee County, say hi to your Miss Florida 2022 Taylor Fulford. Her home county took to their Facebook Page to send Taylor the following message: You are an amazing example of grace, determination and kindness. Glades County, the County in which she works as an educator at PECS, celebrated her as well. Ladies and gentlemen once again, your 2022 Miss Florida USA, Okeechobee’s own, Taylor Fulford.