News Update for 3/6/19

Firefighters from Sun n Lakes and Placid Lakes reportedly have joined units of the Florida Forest Service, in battling a brush fire north of SR 70, near Lightsey Ranch Road.
Authorities say the blaze appears to have started along the Duke Energy power-line right of way. Several poles are down and live power lines were down and arcing in the heavy/dense brush area.
At last report, the fire was approximately three acres and was being fed by the cold breezes with the weather front that came through.
Duke Energy crews also were dispatched to the scene to isolate and control the power.

By a 3-2 vote, Highlands County School Board members last night turned down an agreement with the Sebring Firemen Inc. that would have put Astroturf at the Firemen’s Field football stadium.
School Board Chairman Bill Brantley led the way, saying he was uncomfortable with the cost and committment to the $95,000 a year charge for the next 15 years. Noting that the system does not own the property.
He also pointed out that the amount spent on the Sebring facility outstripped the money spent in Avon Park and Lake Placid. Joining Brantley in the vote were board members Jill Compton-Twist and Isaac Durrence.

Officials at the Sebring International Raceway have announced that Alan McNish will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal. The champion Audi driver will oversee both the Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring as well as this year’s World Endurance Challenge 1,000 mile race.
Meanwhile, track officials say interest in this year’s race has been so great that they have had to print more tickets.

An Okeechobee man was critically injured yesterday in an accident that tied up traffic at the intersection of State Road 66 and US Highway 98. Florida Highway Patrol officials say 27-year-old Phillip McKinzie was crossing Highway 98 from the parking lot of the Circle K store and pulled his golf cart into the path of an oncoming Cadillac Escalade.
The big SUV hit the cart broadside, ejecting Kinzie. He was flown to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce. Charges in the incident are pending further investigation.

Volunteers from the Venus, Sun n Lakes South, Placid Lakes, Highland Park, and Lake Placid fire departments were called out to a blaze at the old asphalt plant on old State Road 8 yesterday.
Reportedly, the tank was being torch-cut, when the residual fuel and asphalt inside apparently ignited. Firefighters used foam to subdue the flames.
A large column of black smoke was visible off State Road 70 for a time.