News Update for 3/3/22

A traffic accident late last night in Hardee County continued to cause problems this morning. reportedly, about 10:30 last night, a car, driven by a Sebring man, was westbound on State Road 66 near Oak Hill Ranch Road. He reportedly pulled out to pass slower traffic, and sideswiped a semi tractor-trailer rig carrying produce.
The semi overturned, spilling its load. FHP reports say neither of the drivers were seriously injured.
Motorists report that the traffic continued to be snarled significantly with a detour set up on Parnell Road.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials have reached the next of kin and have released the name of a woman found dead last week behind the Advanced Auto Parts store in Avon Park. Madeline Durning’s body was discovered by some passers-by.
The cause of death still has not been released.
Meanwhile, 50-year-old Carlos Martinez remains in the Highlands County jail. He has been charged with second degree murder in connection with the case.

Turns out, the woman critically injured in a Tuesday crash north of Sebring is the daughter of Avon Park Vice Mayor Jim Barnard. Florida Highway Patrol reports indicate the 46-year-old woman failed to yield the right-of-way at the intersection of Beacon Street and County Road 17 and collided with a heavy-duty pick-up pulling a trailer.
She was taken to an area hospital.

Today begins the 54th Annual Pioneer Park Days in Zolfo Springs. The Hardee County exposition features antique tractors, engines, farm equipment and other vehicles. As well as a car, truck & jeep show.
This year also will be the second annual Vintage Belle Market – the home of shabby chic, upcycled and hand-made items as well as antiques.
Several tractor parades are held through the grounds each day. The festival runs through Sunday.

The Lake Wales city commission has authorized funding for a land use study agreement. The idea is to evaluate land in the city’s utility service area, which surrounds Lake Wales in unincorporated Polk County.
The plan is to explore future expansion opportunities on the periphery of the city limits. Officials in the Crown Jewel of the Ridge call it a proactive measure. The engineering firm S&ME will conduct the study.