Local News 6-24-20

The noon update from the state department of health reports Highlands County with 270 total confirmed cases of the Covid-19 infection, up another 12 from yesterday. Polk County is up to 2,454 confirmed cases, DeSoto County reporting 513, Hardee 334 and Glades County with 143 cases of the virus. Adults from 45 to 64 years old are still our hardest hit demographic locally. Florida’s 3,297 new cases yesterday brings us up to 103,514 cases statewide.

The Brickel Building in Avon Park is going on the block – and the City Council wants it gone. At this week’s Avon Park City Council meeting, the Council directed the City Attorney to draw up a plan to unload the building through either bids or auction. After water leakage from Irma back In 2017 and the mold and mildew that followed that, a 17-day cleanup effort in February and March was said to have done some good, but Council was told air quality issues inside the old building still remain. The building on East Main Street was built in 1921 – it’s appraised at $285,000.

We know you REALLY wanted to be reminded of this, but in addition to a pandemic, it’s also hurricane season. And if you need to use the County shelters during a storm, you may want to listen especially carefully for instructions when the time comes. County Emergency Government officials say there may well be some changes this season if shelters need to be used – the spacing requirement per person has tripled under Covid-19 guidelines, and that MAY mean changes including a move of special needs shelter from the Agri Civic Center up to the Alan Jay Arena at the Fairgrounds, in addition to adjustments on capacity numbers for the other shelters in the area.

The Highlands County School Board’s third “Town Hall” meeting on re-opening the schools this fall is tomorrow night at Sebring Middle School. There’s a fifty-person cap on in-person attendance, but they’re webcasting and interacting on Zoom – phone numbers and web links are on the School Board’s website and Facebook page, and re-posted on the sheriff’s department Facebook page.

File it under pizza toppings only offered in Florida. State inspectors found an 80-pound iguana stashed in the freezer at a local pizza joint. Pizza Mambo in West Palm Beach was forced to close for a day last week following the inspection by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The restaurant could not be reached for comment, but an employee said the reptile was given as a personal gift to the owner. Non-native iguanas are multiplying so rapidly in South Florida that a state wildlife agency has been encouraging people to kill them. Males can grow to at least 5 feet long and weigh nearly 20 pounds and female iguanas can lay nearly 80 eggs a year. The reptile is considered a delicacy by some. Maybe not on your pizza, though.