News Update for 2/1820

Voters in Highlands County and across the Sunshine State have until the close of business today to register or switch their party affiliation if they want to vote in the March 17 Democrat presidential primary.
Florida has closed primaries, which means anyone not registered as a Democrat by today will be unable to vote to choose the party’s nominee.
Some areas, such as Orange County, had extended hours this weekend to accommodate new registrations and party switches.
Two million vote-by-mail ballots are also going in the mail. Early voting begins at the beginning of March and lasts through the weekend before the primary.

As they prepare for this year’s Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring, officials at the Sebring International Raceway have announced they have become a National Hot Rod Association Member Track,
That means all drag racing activities at the track now will be governed by NHRA rules. It represents the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing.
Each Spring and Fall, the raceway uses the front stretch as a drag racing facility and hosts several large-scale events, including the “Battle of the Bridge.”

The Cracker Trail Riders are headed for Highlands County. About 100 riders on horseback and in wagons are expected to make their crossing of Highway 27 at US 98 and State Road 66 – marking the half way point in their ride tomorrow at noon.
They are spending the night tonight in Hardee County and should be making a stop tomorrow at their namesake Cracker Trail Elementary School tomorrow morning before the half-way ceremony.
The Cracker Trail Ride will wind up this weekend in Fort Pierce.

A SWAT team has fatally shot a murder suspect after a long standoff. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says it began with another shooting earlier Sunday night.
The office says 40-year-old Rudy Arenas fatally shot Orlando Rivera and seriously wounded Rivera’s wife before fleeing into a relative’s home. A SWAT team negotiated with him for hours.
He finally came out with his hand in his pocket, so they shot him with beanbags. That knocked him and his gun to the floor. Sheriff Grady Judd said his “last bad choice” was to grab the gun and point it at deputies, who fatally shot him.