Local News Headlines 11-5-21

A brief statement put out by our Sheriff’s Department this morning – quote, “Rumors are circulating about a threat made by a student at Hill-Gustat Middle School. The incident in question was investigated, and a threat assessment was conducted and determined there was no basis to the reported threat and no danger to students or faculty.”

Another busy weekend ahead in Highlands County. Tops on the social calendar is the Highland Art League’s 54th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival in Downtown Sebring. The show features arts and crafts of all sorts on and around the Circle, music onstage and more. The Circle’s spokes will include Culinary Street and the return of Children’s Street. The show runs from 9am till 4pm tomorrow. Setup for the show is going on today – expect road closures and detours tomorrow if you have designs on going THROUGH town, so plan on a stop anyway.

The Circle Theatre will be jumping tonight and tomorrow night – Manager Harry Havery hosts the debut of his “Sebring Tonight” variety show onstage tonight – a takeoff on TV’s “Tonight Show” format, including magic from Nelson Pacheo, Toby’s Clowns and dog tricks from Brooke Lefkowitz and her dog. Tomorrow night, the Lee Alcorn Band is on stage with a concert at the theatre.

Local Rotary Clubs are looking for volunteers to clean up Lake Jackson tomorrow morning. They say they need folks to walk, boat and even dive into the lake to pick up trash littering the shoreline. The operation starts at eight tomorrow morning at Veterans Beach off Lakeview Drive, just north of the intersection with 27. You bring your energy, they’ll provide the trash bags. Mayor John Shoop and son JC Shoop are kicking in with a hot dog cookout for volunteers around the noon hour expected quitting time.

It’s redistricting time for state and congressional districts – that’s always a contentious process. But smaller political divisions also get re-evaluated whenever the census comes out, and the Highlands County School Board and Commission are no exception. The County Commission plans to vote on proposed changes to the local maps either on November 16 or December 7th, after the School Board makes its thoughts known. County staff has prepared some District changes based on attempts to get all areas annexed into the County’s cities into the same districts as the rest of the city or town, while still keeping the “natural landmarks” standard for overflow into rural areas intact. District 1, represented by Commissioner Kevin Roberts, looks to be one of the larger gains in “turf” – his current District’s population is a good 5% lower than an even one-fifth of the County’s population.

If you need an infusion of monoclonal antibodies to treat a case of Covid, today’s the last day of operations for the state-supported site at the County Health Department. That site closes after today. Treatments will continue to be available at Highlands Regional Medical Center and Advent Health Sebring.

And, a reminder to bump those clocks BACK an hour and grab an extra hour of sleep Saturday night. As of Sunday morning, we go OFF Daylight Saving Time and back to Standard time until spring. Why don’t we stay on one time or another all year? Write your Congressman. The state legislature passed a resolution asking to stay on Daylight Time 12 months a year a few years ago, but that takes Congressional approval. If we wanted to stay on Standard Time all year long, we could do THAT on our own.