News Update for 3/12/21

Teams from as far away as New Jersey and Mohio ane descending on the Avon Park Airport for the Eighth Annual Snowbird Nationals. It’s the biggest event of the season for the lawn mower racers here, and Avon Park is the mecca for such competitiors
The MowerPlex, on the far west end of the airport is the oldest for-purpose mower racing facility in the United States. More than 100 mowers are expected for the two-day event – which starts this evening.

Highlands County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested four men from Polk County in connection with an organized shoplifting ring. The group reportedly targeted ULTRA Beauty stores throughout central Florida.
Acting on a tip, Highlands Sheriff’s deputies got tyhe quartet. They allegedly had just boosted thousands in cosmetics from the Sebring store.
Arrested were 30-year-old Ashley Nicole Harris of Lake Wales, Tarques Ricardo Williams, 26, of Winter Haven, 25-year-old Takeira Carter of Haines City and Javontae J. Holton 23, of Winter Haven.

Local authorities reportedly are ramping up the search for a missing Tennessee girl who may be in the area. Daphne Westbrook was reported missing after she did not return home from a 2019 trip to visit her father.
Reportedly, Westbrook has sent a message to her sister, allegedly saying she planned to harm herself. Westbrook’s sister lives here in Sebring.
At last report, The 17-year-old Westbrook and her father had been traveling by car throughout the Southeast and could be headed for Highlands County.
The father, identified as John Westbrook, reportedly has an outstanding charge of aggrivated kidnapping pending against him.

Highway 27 north of Sebring was tied up for a time when a car and a camper collided. Reportedly, a couple was test-driving the camper when the accident occurred.
Florida Highway Patrol officials have not released a report on the incident, but apparently a couple of people were injured in the mishap.