News UPDATE FOR 11/8/19

It was a successful kickoff to this year’s Thanksgiving in the Highlands yesterday. Members of the Highlands Radio Group took in more than $500 in cash and checks, as well as a van-load of cans and non-perishable foodstuffs.
All the proceeds will go to the New Testament Church & Mission for their activities during the holiday season, and to help stock their foodbank,
The drive will continue next Thursday, when they move the effort to Avon Park.

Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Officer Nell Hays has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award. That came earlier this month at the Florida Crime Prevention Association meeting
Hays served as a public information officer and currently works with the neighborhood Watch and Seniors & Law Enforcement Together programs.
Her current project is to offer special training for managers and staff of local businesses in an effort to make Highlands a “Dementia Friendly” county.

It is going to be jam-packed weekend in Highlands County. On tap tomorrow is the Civilian Conservation Corps Festival at the Highlands Hammock State Park. In downtown Sebring, teams will gather on the Circle for the Rotary Club’s annual Crazy Pepper Chili Cookoff. At the Sebring Civic Center, the Business to Business organization will be hosting an expo to show off their members goods & services.
The Sebring International Raceway will be the site of the Second Annual Michelin Encore Challenge, while there will be even more racing Saturday night at the Avon Park Mowerplex for their lawn mower racing Movember Event.

A 33-year-old orangutan granted legal personhood by a judge in Argentina is settling into her new surroundings at the Center for Great Apes in Hardee County.
Patti Ragan, director of the center in Wauchula, says the female is “very sweet and inquisitive” and adjusting to her new home. She was born in Germany and spent 25 years at the Buenos Aires Zoo before arriving in Florida earlier this month.
In 2015 Judge Elena Liberatori ruled that the Orangutan is legally not an animal, but a non-human person with rights. She remained at the zoo, which closed in 2016, until leaving for the U.S.
The center is home to 21 orangutans and 31 chimpanzees rescued or retired from circuses, stage shows and the exotic pet trade.

Authorities in Polk County say a man and a woman are dead following a Florida motorcycle crash in Lakeland. 24-year-old Phillip Mouser and his passenger, 22-year-old Tayler Rozelle, died Sunday night at the scene.
Lakeland Police say Mouser and Rozelle were traveling through an intersection when a car made a left turn in front of them. The motorcycle hit the car, throwing the riders.
No injuries were reported to the driver of the car.