News Update for 12/16/22

You may think the area is growing quickly – but apparently, not by national averages. A new study by the Inspection Support Network, looking at the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States, found that the Sebring-Avon Park area grew by 1.2-percent over the study period.
That’s about half the national average of 2.8-percent during the same timeframe. The numbers were gleaned from US Census bureau reports.

Officials of the Highlands County Tourist Development Commission are crowing about record tourism numbers – but the reasons behind the figures are a bit tougher to find. It remains unclear how much of the increase is due to higher hotel & motel room rates, and how many longer-term stays may have been funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for those whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Ian on the state’s west coast.
Apparently, the largest month for tourism here was in March – during the annual Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring.

It appears that fatal traffic accident reported yesterday east of Lake Wales was a hit-and-run.
Polk County sheriff’s officials say a passerby saw the man’s body laying along Highway 60. The victim apparently was a 42-year-old Lakeland man.
Authorities say there was limited lighting in the area at the time of the crash. It appears the victim may have been struck by a large commercial vehicle, and the driver may not have realized he or she hit a pedestrian.