News Update for 23 March 2022

Highlands is one of 17 Florida counties now in line for help due to the recent freeze. Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management yesterday announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s disaster designation for 17 counties and 10 contiguous counties impacted by the freezing temperatures that occurred from January 23 – 31.
The 17 primary counties eligible for USDA assistance include Highlands, Hardee, Polk and Okeechobee among others
The USDA disaster declaration allows farm operators to apply for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans.

A two-vehicle crash on the south end of Highlands County yesterday reportedly claimed a life. Apparently, the incident occurred on Highway 70 near County Road 29 and may have involved a car and a truck pulling a trailer. The roadway was closed for a time while law enforcement investigated the accident.
Earlier, Lake June Road at Cove Road was closed for a time due to a collision there – no word on the extent of injuries there.
There were no serious injuries when a pickup ploughed into the front of a house on Jackson Heights Drive in Sebring. Reportedly, the driver was having a medical incident at the time. No word as to his condition.

The dry season continues to take its toll with brush fire. Flames charred an estimated 5.5 acres off Harrell Road near Pollard Road.
Units from Placid Lakes and Sun ‘N Lakes South were joined by the Florida Forest Service turned out with a bulldozer to help contain the flames. No injuries were reported and there was no reported structure damage.
Cause of the blaze was not released. Officials continue to caution residents about outdoor burning and the use of combustibles until the spring rains start up again.