Sad word comes today that former Florida State House Representative and citrus pioneer Bert Harris jr has passed away. A longtime local representative, Harris may best be known for the property rights act that bears his name. The Bert Harris Private Property Rights Protection Act was adopted by the Florida Legislature in 1995.
In 2008, Highlands County commissioners named the county’s Agri-Civic Center in Harris’ honor. Harris reportedly passed away yesterday. He was 99.
Fires kept local volunteers busy yesterday here in Highlands
County. Units from Highlands Lakes and West Sebring Volunteer Fire Departments were called to a brush fire endangering structures on North Bowden Road, just south of West County Line Road.
Officials say it was controlled burn that got away from a homeowner.
In another incident, volunteers from the Leisure Lakes and Desoto City fire departments were aided by two dozers and a brush truck from the Florida Forest Service in putting down a brush fire deep into a ranch property off of Clark Road.
That one reportedly sparked by a downed power line.
There was a three car accident yesterday south of Venus, but one of those cars was on a trailer. Reportedly, a vehicle towing a car was stopped along Highway 27 to change a tire. The rig was clipped by a third vehicle – which then ricocheted off into a nearby orange grove.
There were no injuries reported. A passing military member stopped, then joined a Venus volunteer firefighter to help finish changing the tire for the citizen.
A Lakeland driver was critically injured and a Fort Myers man was killed in a Hardee County traffic accident just east of the Hardee Correctional Institution. Florida Highway Patrol reports indicate a car driven by the Lakeland man had pulled out to pass traffic on State Road 62, and pulled into the path of an oncoming pickup.
A passenger in the truck, 60-year-old Jose Corbina was killed, the injured driver of the car has not been identified. Charges in the incident are pending.