News Update for 1/17/19

Highlands County firefighters spent the early morning hours out in the cold, battling a blaze. Units from Highlands Lakes, West Sebring, Desoto City the City of Avon Park and even Polk County were called to the single story home on Esplanade Road.
The fire in the Avon Park Lakes neighborhood broke out about 2:00 this morning. No injuries have been reported. Cause of the blaze and damage estimates have not yet been released.

AdventHealth and the Sebring International Raceway have struck up a formal relationship. Formerly known as Florida Hospital Heartland, AdventHealth has expanded its partnership and now is the official provider of on-track medical services at the historic circuit for each of their events.
Reportedly, it is a multi-year agreement.
Plans are to have the AdventHealth team to begin providing comprehensive, on-site services in March at this year’s Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts.

Residents were treated to a drone’s eye view of Phase III of the Sebring Parkway at Highlands Commissioner Don Elwell’s Town Hall meeting Tuesday night. It appears most of the span has at least one coat of asphalt on it.
Residents of the Crystal Lake Club say thieves already are using it as a getaway path. They note several golf carts have been taken from the community and driven down the parkway as an escape route.
They are calling on commissioners to install the fence along the parkway as promised to cut off the route.

After years of budget cuts, Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman has been looking at saving cash in many different ways.
One is with the use of inmate labor.
Officials at the sheriff’s office say last year alone, the were able to save more than $635,000 through the use of inmate labor to do work inside the new Highlands County Sheriff’s Office complex as well as the jail facility.

The City of Avon Park will be signing a contract with the Boys & Girls Club of Highlands County for the use of the Martin Luther King Complex. Under terms of the agreement, the Boys & Girls Club will coordinate the use of the field and facilities with Avon Park Youth Football and any other entity who wants to use them.
Approval of any use would come by a request to the council itself.

Officials from Highlands County Animal Services say their auction yesterday was pretty successful. In fact, they re-homed all the livestock that was up on the block. That included 10 Yorkshire hogs, 12 rabbits, a lot of chickens, and a pair of geese among other animals.
There was no word on how much money was taken in. Officials say they hope to at least defray some of the expense of feeding and housing the animals while they are at the facility on Haywood Taylor Blvd.