Wednesday December 29, 2021

So you wake up with a cough, stuffy nose and a sore throat. Now you have to wonder: Is it the flu? A Cold? Or is it COVID? Medical professionals say it could be hard to tell, because there is overlap between each sickness. Obviously with COVID, loss of taste or smell is the biggest differentiator of the three. Symptoms of a cold include sore throat, cough, congestion, and stuffy or runny nose. Flu symptoms include all of those, minus sore throat, add fever and headache. And COVID symptoms include headaches, fever, sore throat, body aches and loss of taste or smell. Omicron symptoms include runny nose, congestion cough and fatigue. Doctors don’t want people who feel sick to self-diagnose. Instead, doctors encourage people to get tested.

The family of 14-year-old Vensly Maxime, who was found dead in a canal, has questions. A local news affiliate reports, the 8th greater, was originally reported missing on Wednesday. Neighbors say the family searched the area every day, but relatives believe not enough effort was taken by law enforcement to find the child. After a 3-day search, family members found the 14 -year old’s body in a retention pond near Sweet Bay Lane. Community members say they found the teen’s belonging a day prior to finding Vensly’s body but when deputies arrived at the scene, they could not find the teen. According to the Sheriff’s Office, they responded with drones as well as search and rescue dogs. The County’s Medical Examiner is still working to determine the cause of death.

A new study released by Rent Café, has found that the rental market grew so competitive in South Florida in the past year, that at least 20 prospective renters on average were competing for one apartment unit. In Palm Beach County, there was an average of 23 prospective renters competing for each space, while in Broward County, there were 20 and in Miami-Dade County there were 24. Out of the 50 most competitive metros for renters in the country, Palm Beach County ranked 15th, Broward County ranked 36th and Miami Dade County ranked 16th. Nationally, the average apartment stays empty for 28 days before coming off the market, with 95% of apartments being occupied. For every rental unit, 14 renters were competing for it. The rental market for single family homes and townhomes has also become more pricey for prospective renters in South Florida. A recorded example includes a home that was renting for $2,500 per month in 2017/2018 is now being offered at $5,000 per month.

Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne M. Gannon, in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases and to protect employees and the public, has reinstated the requirement for facial coverings and social distancing, for staff and for anyone needing to visit one of the Tax Collector offices, for in-person service. Gannon says her priority “remains focused on protecting the health and safety of her staff and the public, and she will keep this policy in place until further notice, and once it is determined that it is safe to eliminate the need for facial coverings.”

Charles Murphy of WOKC reports: Alligator hunters would be allowed to hunt all day long under a proposal before the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  A public hearing was held in Moore Haven this month to hear opinions about the plan.  Buddy Grimm told the FWC that private property owners should have more rights to hunt than the limited rights they have now. Dr. Brooke Talley of the FWC responded to concerns from tour boat operators, that don’t want tourists seeing alligators hunted on Lake Okeechobee. Last year hunters killed 82 hundred and 16 alligators in Florida.