News Headlines 12-31-18

One of the two unidentified victims in that fiery crash north of Brighton last Sunday has been identified, and the final name is being held pending notification of kin. The head-on wreck killed four people, and one of the two vehicles was so badly wrecked and burned that the only thing Troopers could tell at the outset was that it was a Buick of some kind, and two people had been inside it. We now know that the passenger was 46 year old Maggie Lara of Okeechobee. Evidence at the scene indicated the 2011 Buick Lacrosse Lara was riding in was trying to get around other westbound traffic and crashed into an oncoming Toyota, killing all four persons involved.

Happy New Year! The last day of the year will be a bit of a patchwork as far as who’s open and who’s not on the government front. As if the Federal government’s partial shutdown isn’t confusing enough, last-minute business with the County may not happen – most County Departments are closed for the day, except the Clerk of Courts’ office, where they hew to the whims of the judges. The City of Sebring announced last week that city offices WILL be open today, as will Avon Park.

Shouldn’t be a big surprise, but the regular first-Tuesday of the month County Commission meeting won’t happen tomorrow. The County Board posted notice that they’ll meet NEXT Tuesday, and again on January 22nd this month. Regular first-and-third Tuesday will resume in February. According to Commissioner Don Elwell, the topic of whether or not to repeal the County’s ban on Sunday morning on-and-off site beer, wine and liquor sales is due on the agenda soon, and he’s been asking opinions on his Facebook group page. Currently – except in Lake Placid – grocery stores and package good outlets can’t sell adult beverages till after 1pm on Sundays, and restaurants with liquor licenses can’t serve you a beer, wine or a drink with your Sunday brunch till after 1pm.

And, a reminder – this is another holiday trash pickup schedule out in the County. Pickup contractors will be on the usual Monday runs, the take tomorrow off. The rest of the week will be one day out of synch – Wednesday, they’ll do Tuesday pickups, Thursday will be Wednesday and so forth. It’s bulk waste week – that means your live Christmas tree will have to wait till next week, but yeah, they’ll take it if it’s chopped into manageable pieces.

New Year’s Eve is one of the night when neighborhoods around the County get lit up by home grown fireworks … the State Forest Service wants to remind you that while we had our share of rain a week or so ago, we’re entering wildfire season in Florida and stuff can get real dry, real fast. If you must celebrate with a bang, know your local ordinances, light fireworks only in a cleared area free of vegetation and debris; never, NEVER try to make ‘em yourself and don’t let kids light or handle them. Have a source of water handy, too, in case a spark goes where you didn’t expect it. Be smart, and make it a safe New Years’ Eve.