A new report shows that when it comes to production – this area is at the bottom. The new analysis by Smartest Dollar found that the that out of all small US metro areas surveyed, the Avon Park-Sebring area has the lowest Gross Domestic Product per capita.
The local figure of $28,000 per resident is dwarfed by the national average of over $70,000 per person. The GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in an economy.
The survey showed that the personal income per capita here is over $41,000 while nationally it tops $64,000.
While Highlands County school officials look to fill dozens of teacher vacancies, local union officials are warning upper management of the low morale in the system. Highlands County Education Association representative Jean Frederico told the board and Superintendent of Schools Brenda Longshore, that there are teachers deciding not to return to the classroom because they feel "battered," and "nobody is listening."
Parent and local businessman Jesse Sapp had previously given a similar warning – noting the results of a recent teacher survey.
Heavy weather again rumbled through Highlands County overnight. Local law enforcement officials say they got calls from some frightened residents, however, other than some lawn furniture and other outside stuff being blown about – there were no injuries or serious damage reported.
Those who rely on a Polk County flea market for extra income are feeling the impact of a storm earlier this week.
Rain and hail fell Wednesday in Lake Wales at the Sunshine Flea Market. Some vendors say all their merchandise was destroyed.
The property owner says it could take a week or two before the market can reopen. One vendor is trying to be optimistic. She says they’re starting over from nothing, but with God’s help, they’ll be able to rebuild.