Local News 12-14-20

A two-vehicle wreck near the corner of Lake June Road and Highway 27 in Lake Placid claimed a life just before 10pm Saturday night. Lake Placid officers say according to witnesses, a 2014 Dodge pickup was traveling south in the northbound lanes of US 27. A 2015 Chrysler heading north in the northbound lane and got hit head-on. The truck rolled over and the car ricocheted across the southbound lanes coming to rest in the grass near the Citgo station north of the intersection. The driver of the truck was declared dead at the scene; the car’s driver was transported to a local hospital and later released. Names aren’t being released yet pending notifications of kin.

Stanley Spurlock, the Deputy Mayor of Avon Park passed away unexpectedly over the weekend – word is, from a massive heart attack. Spurlock had been elected to the Council in 2018 and took the Deputy Mayor’s position last year.

The Avon Park city council has a heavy agenda for their last session of 2020 tonight. After respects paid and appointments made in the wake of Spurlock’s passing, the council is due to hear a Florida Attorney General’s opinion on the city’s law enforcement requirements. County Sheriff Paul Blackman has announced plans to cancel his contract with Avon Park for law enforcement and the Council wanted to know its options and obligations as a city. In other matters, it looks that the city has been hit by a computer virus and the municipal computer system might be held for ransom.

It was another not-good weekend in the Covid-19 case count for Highlands County. We logged another 56 confirmed cases of the virus across Saturday and Sunday, and another two more neighbors died from complications of the virus. Highlands County’s daily rate of infection has been running near – and often above – the daily rates of our midsummer spike for the last week or two. Local hospital spokespeople say we could see some of our local healthcare first-line employees getting their first vaccine doses from the new Pfizer vaccine within a week – distribution in this part of the state is centered at Tampa General Hospital. Moderna’s vaccine is going before the FDA this week for emergency use authorization and is likely to expand the 180,000 vaccine doses currently in the state.