News Update for 3/14/22

Highlands is one of four counties declared under a state of emergency by Governor Ron Desantis after heavy weather moved through the area on Saturday causing damage – especially in south Sebring and Spring Lake. Aluminum was blown off some signs and a number of mobile homes and power lines were downed by the severe winds.

Three wooden power poles were sheared off in the storm disrupting power for several hours around Lorida. It remains unclear if the weather involved small tornadoes, microbursts or straight-line winds.
No injuries were reported and no dollar damage estimates have yet been released. One of the biggest problems apparently were gawkers after the storm, shooting phone videos and pictures in the hopes of going viral.
Under the state of emergency, the counties listed will be able to receive assistance from the Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund. Clay, Marion and Putnam counties also were named in the declaration.

Avon Park city council members are expected to take action making it easier for businesses who want to locate in the City of Charm. At tonight’s session they’ll hear the second reading of an ordinance that will drop connection and capacity fees for water and sewer services.
In other action, the council will look at a draft agreement that would transfer the ownership of the Brickell Building to Daniel Sauls Real Estate to begin development of the Main Street structure.
Initial plans call for a gym, a coffee shop and Sauls’ own real estate agency to be the primary tenants with future commercial development planned for the upstairs space.
Sauls told the council he’d like to have things well underway within nine months of closing the deal. The council is expected to take it up again at their next session.
Members say they hope the news would spawn additional commercial development in the downtown area.

A sad start to the beginning of Race Week. Former Sebring winner Vic Elford has lost his long battle with cancer. He was 86.
In addition to being one of racing’s best all-round drivers, he also was known for helping other promising young racers – including drivers like Mika Duno.
Race Week picks up tomorrow with the Fan Fest in Downtown Sebring, and the gates opening at the Sebring International Raceway.