Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County has been the epicenter of the opioid crisis in Florida. But data from the county’s state attorney office shows opioid deaths decreased 41 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Palm Beach County is eliminating solitary confinement for juveniles in adult jails.

The change comes after Palm Beach County's Sheriff's Office reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit that alleged the practice violated the civil rights of it’s youngest inmates. 

The School District of Palm Beach was also mentioned in the lawsuit. 

The county’s sheriff office did not respond to WLRN’s requests for comment.

A prominent cardiologist's daughters are suing the hospital where he worked for decades, claiming a series of medical mistakes after his back surgery left him in a vegetative state.

The recent Red Tide outbreak in Palm Beach and Miami Dade county this week drew concern of another devasting bloom in Florida's waters, but some scientists say that the appearance of red tide on the east coast of Florida is not a rare occurrence.

Dr. Gale Gawlik, a biology professor at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), says this recent outbreak is nothing out of the ordinary.

George Hodan (Public Domain Pictures)

An appeals court Wednesday agreed with the Florida Department of Health that a state program should not shield a doctor from potential liability in a medical-malpractice case stemming from the death of a patient. 

A Palm Beach Post investigation has uncovered Florida's role in igniting the country’s heroin epidemic in 2011.

 

The state’s repeated failure to control its own prescription drug problem would eventually lead to more addicts turning to heroin not only on Florida, but in other states around the country. 

Ten years ago, before the financial crisis hit the state, there were 579 publicly funded beds for substance abuse treatment in Palm Beach County. Today there are around 179, and in the coming days that number will go down even further, according to Alton Taylor, the executive director of the Drug Abuse Foundation in Delray Beach, the county's largest provider of publicly funded substance abuse treatment beds.

People living in Palm Beach County have a new way to reach 911 in an emergency: by text message.

Anyone in the county with a cell phone can send a text to 911 describing their emergency. The message will immediately begin a text conversation with an operator - just like a call.

“We will be able to text back and determine what the emergency is and get you the appropriate resources - police, fire, paramedics,” said Natalie Heneks, communications supervisor at Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

WMFE

An appeals court Wednesday upheld the second-degree murder conviction of a man who said he should be shielded from prosecution under the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law in a 2014 shooting in a car in rural Palm Beach County. 

Following a rabid raccoon attack, the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County is advising residents to be careful around wild animals.

The raccoon in question scratched and bit a worker in the community of Breakers West last week. The attack was reported to the county. A local trapper caught the animal, which then tested positive for rabies.

The victim of the raccoon attack started a five-shot course of rabies vaccines.

This is the fourth confirmed rabid animal case in Palm Beach County this year.

Palm Beach County is the first county in Florida to ban conversion therapy for minors.

County commissioners voted 5-2 Tuesday to ban the controversial form of treatment that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation.

Opponents say the practice is pseudoscience dangerous to gay, lesbian and transgender youth. The American Psychiatric Association also opposes the practice and calls it unethical.

But supporters of conversion therapy argue the ban will infringe on free speech, religious freedom and parental rights.

Law enforcement has been cracking down on corruption in South Florida’s drug treatment industry. State and federal officials have arrested more than 30 people for running scams in rehab centers or sober homes in the past year.

But the facilities are often filled with recovering drug users from out-of-state. And when the homes shut down, the residents frequently wind up on the street.

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission hosted the National Beep Baseball Association's World Series this past weekend, which brought between 400 and 500 blind and visually impaired athletes from across the U.S. as well as Canada, the Dominican Republic and Taiwan to Wellington, Florida.

Addiction treatment is big business in Palm Beach County.

According to research conducted by the Palm Beach Post, it brings in more than $1 billion a year, making addiction treatment the county’s fourth largest industry – only behind tourism, construction and agriculture.

Florida officials announced a new locally transmitted Zika case Wednesday—this time in Palm Beach County. It’s the second case stemming from local mosquitos in the county, but officials say the two cases aren’t connected.

TB Hospital Buyer Seeks Refund Over Land Estimate

Jul 29, 2015
Associated Press

A development company that acquired the site of the former A.G. Holley state tuberculosis hospital last year in Palm Beach County wants a $1.29 million refund from the state because the property has less land than advertised.

However, state officials contend that while the advertised acreage was an estimate, the Lantana property was sold under "as is, where is" terms.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet will be asked next Wednesday to decide whether to approve the requested refund for Lantana Development LLC.

Flickr Creative Commons

More rules and licensing requirements could be coming for in-home caregivers in Palm Beach County, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. 

Florida doesn't require licensing or certification for care aides who aren't providing medical care, but as the need for home aides grows, elder advocates say more regulations are needed to protect seniors even on the local level, the Sun Sentinel reports. 

Jupiter’s Scripps Research Institute is considering partnering with the University of Southern California, but says it won’t affect its research center in Florida, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

A partnership is being considered between the region's biggest hospital system, Baptist Health South Florida, and Palm Beach County's Bethesda Health network, according to the Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal.

Three more potential victims have surfaced in the case of an HIV-positive police officer who was charged last week on two counts of criminal transmission of HIV, a first-degree felony.

Two people are dead and a third is hospitalized following a shooting at a West Palm Beach medical office. The suspected gunman had a meeting at Doctor’s Choice Medical Center Thursday, when he got angry, shot a woman and a man, who died, the Palm Beach Post reports. The gunman also shot and killed himself. This is the fifth homicide in Palm Beach County since Monday.

 

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

A Delray Beach man convicted of scamming the elderly out of thousands of dollars will remain free a little longer -- until his antibiotic-resistant infection has healed, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. One of the con man’s attorneys persuaded a judge it would be a hazard, since his client occasionally has pus seeping from his fingers.

A soldier who threw a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy around may have been afflicted with “excited delirium,” a rare brain disorder.  It took at least six officers and two sets of handcuffs to hold Stephen D. Hauss, who was exhibiting “superhuman strength,” according to the Palm Beach Post.

In a move perceived as a victory for several Palm Beach County medical facilities, a state administrative law judge has recommended against Tenet Healthcare’s application to build a hospital in Palm Beach Gardens, the Palm Beach Post reports.  Judge James H. Paterson III says there are already too many empty beds in the area.

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, the sheriff in Palm Beach County wants to launch a violence-prevention unit that includes a hotline staffed by deputies and mental health personnel, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg says he’s never heard of someone running a scheme like this one. Police say Suzanne Kraus used the name of her dead dog as the “patient” at the pharmacy to get painkillers, the Palm Beach Post reports.  

 

A Palm Beach County nonprofit run by a former hospice nurse has a warehouse full of used medical equipment that those in need can have for free.

The Palm Beach County Health Care District defended the $5,000-per-day rate but conceded it had not followed its own rules.