Big news from the Sebring International Raceway. NASCAR Champ Richard Petty will be at the track next month for the Trans-Am series. Petty will serve as the grand marshal for the event and give the start engine command for the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers feature race.
Petty has experience in Trans-Am, racing in the series inaugural season – which began at Sebring. Petty’s grandson Thad Moffitt will be making his first career start in the February 25 race.
It appears that the lawn mower racers could pick up competitions again this year. At last night’s Avon Park city council meeting, the board gave the group the go-ahead, as long as they provide pollution insurance documents to the city attorney.
Operations at the mowerplex – which is on the grounds of the Avon Park airport – were halted last year, when there were reports that something like methane had been smelled at the former landfill facility.
The group already carries a 5-million-dollar insurance policy, and now is working on a pollution rider for the coverage.
It appears that visitors last year spent more locally than the entire Highlands County budget. While county operations last year cost taxpayers some $168 million dollars, tourists reportedly spent more than $245 million.
The numbers, apparently from Visit Florida’s economic impact report, reflect what they term direct, indirect and induced impacts. That includes some $82 million in salaries and more than $23 million in tax revenue.
Officials from Duke Energy reportedly have identified two locations in Highlands County for their "Site Readiness" program. The Avon Park Airport and Industrial Park as well as the Lake Placid Business and Industrial Park both have made the cut.
Duke officials say the program prepares high-potential sites to be fully ready to market to industrial prospects that are looking to expand or re-locate operations.
Residents in the Lake Glenada area take note. The Florida Department of Health has issued a health alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algae there.
The warning comes in response to a water sample taken earlier this month. They say people should exercise caution in and around Lake Glenada.
Among other things; people should not drink, swim, wade or use watercraft – especially if there is a visible bloom.
If you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water – wash both skin and clothing with soap and water. And keep pets away from the area.
Officials say a bloom may occur when rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that emit a stinky smell.