New Headlines 10-23-20

After one day of early voting, turnout for the November 3 General Election in Highlands County looks already like the final tally in some elections. As of last night’s closing, almost 28 percent of eligible voters in Highlands County had cast ballots. First-day early voters in person totalled 3,374 … 15,083 mail-in ballots had been tallied. Democratic registered voters had a numeric lead in the number of ballots cast until the early voting locations opened up – after yesterday’s in-person turnout, Republican voters surged ahead by a margin of about 1,300 votes en toto.

Yesterday was a decidedly BAD day for Highlands County’s COVID-19 count .. the county reported an additional 21 confirmed cases of the virus and six new deaths related to the virus. Together with the two additional deaths reported Thursday, the death toll for the outbreak in our county is now up to 111 people, and 2,499 cases reported since the count began in the spring.

Tomorrow’s your chance to unload the stuff you can’t – or shouldn’t – put in your weekly trash pickup at the Highlands County Hazardous Waste Collection on Skipper Road south of Sebring. Crews will be on hand to take care of your paint, oil, batteries, pesticides and other chemicals, as well as your old end-of-life electronics and computers. It’s a secure way to unload that old computer, by the way – the machines will be mechanically destroyed. 8:30 till 2:30, at 6000 Skipper Road. Follow the signs. They do want to remind you, this is for residents – not businesses.

The Covid bug has taken out another annual event in the County; next February’s Lake Placid Arts and Crafts Fair has been cancelled.

Look out for bicyclists in and around Sebring this weekend. The GFNY Marathon series is in town Saturday and Sundaym with events both days. Saturday’s kids events will center on and around the downtown Circle … expect road closures through the morning. Sunday’s adult distance event will take riders from the sports complex out Arbuckle Creek Road to Lorida, then to Avon Park and back to Downtown Sebring.

Up to our north in Polk County, two county Fire Rescue battalion chiefs have resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct. Brian Golden resigned in September after several female employees made allegations of sexual harassment. Jeremiah Gilley also turned in his retirement papers. Deputy County Manager Joe Halman Jr. said both employees had been placed on suspension. Halman said, “both battalion chiefs resigned … prior to any disciplinary actions being taken against them. Had they not resigned employment they would have been terminated.”

Vice President Mike Pence is coming to Central Florida Saturday. Pence will hold a rally Saturday afternoon at the Lakeland Airport. He’s scheduled to speak at 3:30 p.m., according to a Trump campaign news release. This will be the first official campaign event in Polk or Highlands County for either of the major parties during the 2020 election.