News Update for 4/18/19

A three-vehicle accident this morning south of Lake Placid reportedly has sent four people to the hospital. According to reports, the two vehicles collided at the crossover in front of the Winn Dixie shopping plaza.
Multiple ambulances and helicopters were dispatched to the scene with some victims having to be extricated from their car. Florida Highway Patrol officials have not released any names or an accident description.

Officials at the Highlands County School Board say that at the end of the school day day yesterday, two students were taken into custody at Avon Park Middle School. Apparently, a teacher alerted law enforcement of a possible plan to harm others off campus.
Board officials say they released the report “in and effort to prevent any incorrect information from circulating.” They said all families involved have been contacted.
Highlands County schools will be closed for students tomorrow for a previously scheduled “Teacher Work Day.”

The Avon Park airport is hosting some very special aviators. The Old Farts Flying Club touched down this morning. When they landed, they met the city’s new intern, Lance Lopez. He has been manning the desk at the Fixed Base Operation there. The group was shuttled to the Hotel Jacaranda for lunch.
Officials there said they had better than 70 people in for the event. The group picks a different destination each Thursday to meet up in a wide array of private and vintage aircraft.

If you live on Social Security – you’ve come to the right place. Officials from the website SmartAsset have listed Highlands County as one of the top places in Florida for such a living situation.
Their survey shows that Social Security goes farther here. Their projections indicate while annual Social Security payments here are roughly $20,000 – the cost of living is about $18,500 a year.
That gives Highlands an index of 82.4 – third in the state behind Sumter and Indian River counties.

Cities in central Florida are some of the fastest growing in the U.S. last year.
The U.S. Census Bureau say the Lakeland-Winter Haven area had the nation’s fourth-largest growth rate at 3.2 percent.
Metro Orlando grew by 60,000 people from mid-2017 to mid-2018, giving it the fifth-biggest increase in pure numbers of any metro area in the nation.
The Tampa metro area grew by 51,000 residents, placing its numeric increase at No. 9. All are in the Interstate 4 corridor.
Only Texas grew by more people than Florida last year. That explosive growth also helps Florida’s chances of getting additional congressional seats – and presidential electors – after the 2020 Census.