News Update for 11/8/22

As Tropical Storm Nichole wends its way toward Florida. Highlands County has declared a state of emergency in advance of the storm’s arrival. In a report to the commission, Interim Emergency Manager Mark Ellis told commissioners that Nichole will be basically a rain event, with most of the activity kept to the North of Highlands County.
At its current trajectory, the storm is expected to begin impacting Highlands County tomorrow night, with the bulk of the weather moving through the area on Thursday morning.
Currently, sandbags are available at the Road & Bridge Department on George Blvd in Sebring, with sand available on South George Blvd in Sebring, the intersection of Old Bombing Range Road & County Road 17 East in Avon Park and at County Roads 621 & 619 in Lake Placid.
Officials remind residents to bring a shovel and a friend to help load their bags.

It’s the day candidates have been waiting for – election day 2022. Polling places across Highlands County will be open until 7pm as residents vote on statewide candidates, judges, constitutional amendments and one county commission seat.
Voters in Avon Park will look at a race for city council and the mayor’s post.
About a third of the electorate in Highlands County already have cast their ballots either in early voting or by mail.

Apparently, there’s a pretty big fire going on in Highlands County. Florida Forest Service officials say the "Placid View Drive Fire" Southwest of Lake Placid is 30% contained at 80 acres. The flames have been charring a wooded area along Placid View Drive.
Florida Wildlife Commission crews on scene with a number of Highlands County firefighters. So far, they say there are no threats to buildings or other property.

Polk and Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies teamed up to arrest a man who allegedly had been shooting towards people and pointing a rifle and laser at a Polk sheriff’s helicopter.
Polk County Sheriff’s reports indicate 48-year-old Kenneth Massey was arrested near Avon Park. Sheriff’s officials say Massey told detectives that he did everything because he was “being stupid.”
Massey now faces counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful use of a laser device and discharging a weapon under the influence of alcohol.
He was booked into the Polk County jail.