Local News Headlines 1-29-21

A wildfire that started Tuesday up at the Avon Park Bombing Range has grown to where County officials say it’s likely to be up near 3,000 acres by the time it’s contained. The Sherrif’s Department says you can expect smoke in the region for the next few days while crews work to contain the fire – again, they know about it, and it’s on the Bombing Range outside Avon Park.

If you’ve always dreamed of being a part of Florida history re-creation, the annual Cracker Trail ride across Florida is “on” for this year from February 12-20. The cowboys are due in Highlands County on the 16th – after camping near Country Club of Sebring, they’ll continue on toward Fort Pierce with a stop at Sebring’s Cracker Trail Elementary School for a short demonstration outside the fences this year to keep social distancing with the kids there on the 17th. Got a horse and ready for a historic experience? You can register through Sunday at floridacrackertrail.org.

Highlands County vaccinated another 480 seniors yesterday with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine’s first dose – that brings the week’s total past 1,100 and more than an entire week’s efforts earlier in the distribution. Appointments for Saturday at the Mall have already been booked – the County says they’ll hit the phones and the email lists again Monday and book next week’s appointments from the waiting list they started early in the month. Once they know how many doses we’ll get next week, staff can schedule the times. For what it’s worth, Florida IS toward the top of the list in terms of distribution so far, with 7.6% of the state now having received our first dose of the vaccines, meaning over 1,600,000 doses so far.

If you’re worried about your second dose, here’s the plan. The contact information you gave at the time you registered for your first shot … email or phone number … will be the way the County contacts YOU when it’s time for your second dose of the vaccine. Those calls are set to start next week, in the order the first shots were given. You do NOT need to call and get back on the registration list – they already have your information. In fact, the County asks that you NOT clog up the list with second-dose requests, since it’ll just slow down the calls for seniors waiting for their first dose. The CDC says that the recommended 28 day pause between first dose and the booster is not carved in stone – there IS some wiggle room within which the effectiveness will still be there for that second shot. So, don’t panic at 28 ½ days.

If you’re wondering who got stuck for the tab demolishing the old Nancessowee Hotel in Downtown Sebring last month, the answer is the Sebring Downtown CRA – but as of last week, not all of the tab. The Redevelopment Agency got word last week that it had been approved for a $25,00 grant to offset some of the $186,000 and change it cost to knock the old building down. The owners gave the seriously damaged building to the CRA in November.