News Update for 2/1/21

Highlands County will be shutting down the online portal for coronavirus inoculation appointments for frontline healthcare workers and individuals 65 and older starting today. Instead, they will be refereed to the statewide per-registration system.
County officials say they will continue to schedule appointments for the vaccine from the waiting list the county has compiled, until they reach the end of that que.
Once appointments are available, individuals will be contacted by phone, text or email and will be assisted in making an appointment.
Those needing additional information may call 866-200-3858.

Units from multiple agencies here in Highlands County were called out Saturday to work a five-acre brush fire in the Venus area. The fire spread quickly as it was fanned by afternoon winds.
No structures were endangered and no injuries were reported. Apparently, it was started by agricultural equipment.
Florida Forest service units also helped in containing the blaze.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials say they have received their second round of bicycle lights thanks to the Florida Department of Transportation.
Starting this morning they will be giving them out while supplies last. Officials say they are easy to attach to the bike, with a white light for the front and a red one for the rear.
The action comes in response to a bicyclist’s death in Avon Park last month. Officials warn cyclists to wear reflective clothing and have safety lights on their bikes while riding at night.

Frostproof city council members are expected to honor former President Donald Trump at their meeting this evening. Vice Mayor Austin Gravely will introduce a motion to name the first week in February as Donald J. Trump Week in the Friendly City.
In other action the council will look at plans to re-zone 10 acres of property at Fort Meade Road and the South Scenic Highway. The plan is to switch it from agricultural to commercial and low density residential.

A Plant City youth was killed and several other people were seriously hurt in a weekend crash near Mullberry, According to reports, 42-year-old Andreas Oresco was in a pick-up, towing a trailer and pulled into the path of an oncoming car driven by Mario Martinez.
The vehicles collided, causing the truck to flip ejecting 12-year-old Joel Oresco and another youth to be ejected. Oresco was taken to Tampa General where he expired from his injuries.
Several others also were seriously injured. Martinez has been charged with Driving Under the Influence in connection with the incident.