The Latest: VA nursing homes in Florida to let non-vets stay

The Latest on Hurricane Irma (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

Federal officials say that nursing homes normally reserved for veterans will be opened up to non-veteran nursing home residents if space is available, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had agreed to open its nursing homes following eight deaths at Florida nursing home. Florida has seven nursing homes throughout the state that are available to residents who were veterans.

Multiple nursing homes and assisted living centers in Florida have evacuated their residents after losing electric power.

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin said in a statement that available beds will be offered to non-veterans, although the agency would continue to focus on its primary mission of assisting veterans.


2:45 p.m.

Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga has begun issuing orders extending legal deadlines in state courts due to Hurricane Irma. Under Florida’s court rules, the chief justice has authority to extend deadlines on a county-by-county basis or by appellate district when an emergency like Irma hinders public access to the courts system.

The first orders posted Thursday on the court website cover Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties. The chief judges of the local courts are continuing to request these orders, and the requests are being processed as they come in.

Each order extends time limits to the close of business on the day the local court fully reopens, giving everyone an extra full day to meet their deadlines. In addition, anyone who has encountered a special hardship in the storm can ask the local court to make additional accommodations.

The orders are being posted on this website:


1:45 p.m.

Authorities say carbon monoxide poisoning is the likely cause of death for another Florida resident using an electric generator for power after Hurricane Irma.

The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department reported Thursday that 26-year-old Elvin Milian was pronounced dead one day earlier at a hospital. He had been found by emergency responders at his home near Hialeah, where a generator was running.

The medical examiner is awaiting toxicology results before making a final determination on the cause of death.

Previously, Florida had reported at least six carbon monoxide deaths since Irma.

When used improperly, generators can trap toxic fumes…

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