News Update 8/1/.18

Good news for Highlands County, a new study from the internet site SmartAsset shows Highlands is in the Top-10 in the Sunshine State for people who hold the least credit card debt.
Highlands County is one of the most responsible, ranking seventh in Florida for per-capita credit card debt compared to their income.
Tops in the state for frugality was Sumter County.

After a 9-month probe, officials of the Florida Fire, Arson & Explosives Division say they could not come to a definitive conclusion on the cause of a blaze that destroyed the Heartland Entertainment Complex.
The flames swept the bowling alley on Highway 27 during the height of Hurricane Irma last September, making battling the fire all but impossible. Investigators say that so much was destroyed that they were not able to pinpoint the cause.
The fire now is listed as “undetermined.” Authorities say they know where it started – but not how.

Highlands County School Board members last night got an update on school safety procedures. Saying he did not want to give out too many details, Deputy Superintendent of Schools Andrew Lethbridge made the presentation, saying “school is the safest place to be.”
The plan is based on Pasco County’s methodology and uses the “A-B-C” philosophy, meaning first Avoidance, then Barricade and finally Countering. He called it “a major philosophy shift” for the schools.

Contrary to popular belief, Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies don’t spend all their time on the road. The Highlands Sheriff’s Office this week is hosting training sessions so detectives will have access to a new multi-agency intelligence system organized through The Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
They say the system is a vast improvement, allowing the detectives to search a number of different local, state and government databases.