Local News 11-25-20

If you’re in the habit of putting your trash out on Wednesday evening, the County’s trash hauler wants you to know Thanksgiving Day is one of the days they DO take off. Rural County trash, lawn waste and recycling pickups get moved back a day starting tomorrow – Thursday pickups will come Friday, Friday’s will be on Saturday.

The Highlands County Commission held a special meeting yesterday, taking care of a number of budget adjustments to end this year and prepare for next year’s spending. Commissioner Arlene Tuck hinted she’d like to see a “naughty or nice” list for departments who were over and under budget.

County websites and Facebook accounts have been busy warning everyone to have a safe Thanksgiving weekend while giving thanks. Part of the reason is that Central Florida Counties are starting to spike upwards at a rate approaching the Midwest. With another 74 fresh cases reported yesterday, Highlands County has reported another 151 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since last Friday, and six more death reports involving the virus including 32 and 58 year old females, and 34 and 61 year old males. Hospital facilities are feeling the crunch, too, with over 60 locals in hospitals for Covid treatment daily now for more than a week. To our north, Polk County has notched another thousand cases in the last week.

The Highlands County Education Association has ratified a new contract with the School Board for a new contact. The union voted almost 90% in favor of the deal that raises base pay for a teacher in the County up to $44,200. Support staff hasn’t yet reached an agreement on a new contract – they’re still negotiating.