News Update for 2/17/21

Today is Highlands Radio Group Day at the Highlands County Fair. That means residents can get in for all the fun and activities for just half price. In addition to the booths, exhibits and displays, the Ridehoffer rides will be running, there’s also the Grizzly Experience and Scott’s World of Magic.
The Meat Goat Show & Showmanship will be held this evening in the Livestock Arena.

The Cracker Trail riders are mark the halfway point in their annual cross-state trek today. The riders and wagoneers are slated to make the ceremonial crossing of Highway 27 here in Highlands County.
They are hoping for clear skies – the crossing has been cancelled in the past due to inclement weather. According to their schedule, they’ll spend tonight at the Smith Ranch.
The troupe usually makes a stop at Cracker Trail Elementary school for a history lesson about Florida Cowmen and some demonstrations on whip cracking. They reportedly were a bit late in their stop this morning, setting the schedule back.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials say deputies have arrested a Polk County shoplifting ring operating here. Apparently, the crew was at an Avon Park drug store when they were detected. A worker at the store called deputies. Apparently the group had been in the store previously and were suspected of theft.
The five reportedly all live in the town of Davenport. They are listed as 47-year-old Robert Jason Lee, 20-year-old Rebecca Evangeline Lee, 23-year-old Johnny Yanille Machado, 18-year-old Nichole Charlotte Malam and 22-year-old Zachary Colin Wills.
Apparently the Avon Park store was not the only one they had visited. They were charged with counts of theft and conspiracy in the incident.

Officials from Duke Energy Florida are continuing with their solar efforts in the Sunshine State. The company is investing an estimated one billion dollars to construct or acquire 700 megawatts of solar-generated power.
The solar farm in Lake Placid is up and running, while another facility is planned in Hardee County. The Charlie Creek plant is scheduled to go in in some 600 acres. The 75 megawatt operaton will consist of 235,000 solar panels.
The output would power some 23,000 homes a year.