BARTOW — A health advisory has been issued for swimmers in Polk County after a 10-year-old died of an infection of the central nervous system.
The health department reported Monday that the child died last month of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis — or PAM. It’s an infection caused by a naturally occurring amoeba.
The child had gone swimming in Lake Arietta. Health officials said tests confirmed that he suffered from a serious form of meningitis and encephalitis. Final tests were consistent with PAM.
FHP says 131 cars were involved in crashes
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TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol says a total of 131 vehicles were involved in crashes on Interstates 4, 75 and 275 in west Florida.
According to a news release, 14 people were taken to local hospitals with injuries that weren’t life-threatening following the crashes Sunday. FHP blamed the incidents on a series of chain reactions.
7 students get minor injuries in bus crash
KISSIMMEE — Seven students were being treated at a hospital with minor injuries after authorities say their school bus crashed into a ditch in Osceola County.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the bus driver told officials he felt the bus was having a mechanical issue — perhaps something with the axle.
The unidentified driver pulled off the side of the road in Kissimmee and struck a mail box, ending up in a small ditch near the highway.
The bus was carrying 35 middle school students. The injured students were transported to Osceola Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.
The other students were taken to school on a different bus.
Conductor hurt in opening-night orchestra fall
DESTIN — A Panhandle conductor is recovering after falling 14 feet into an orchestra pit on the opening night of an opera he had written.
David Ott fell Friday after the debut of “The Widow’s Lantern,” a full-length, original piece written for the Pensacola Opera. He broke nine vertebrae and dislocated his shoulder.
The accident happened when the lights were off and Ott tried to retrieve his music, not realizing the Pensacola Orchestra pit had been raised to stage level. He says he landed flat on his back on the concrete basement below and that he is lucky his injuries were not more severe.
Locomotive thief told to avoid railroads
MMIAMI — A 22-year-old South Florida man who took a locomotive on a joyride has been ordered to stay away from railroads.
A judge also told Brandon Dowdy that he must spend three years on probation and complete 100 hours of community service. Dowdy is scheduled to be released from jail this November.
Authorities say Dowdy and a friend climbed aboard an empty CSX engine in February and went on a seven-mile trip. The friend told investigators that they were headed to a local bar.
Police say rotting tree falls on car, injuring driver
ORLANDO — Orlando police say a man suffered serious injuries when a rotting tree fell on his passing vehicle.
According to a police report, the roof of Charles Bernard Walker’s van was crushed when the tree fell on it Sunday morning. Walker’s van continued to travel down the street after the rotting tree struck it, until it collided with another tree at the corner of an intersection. Walker was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
— Herald wire services