News Update for 5/20/21

Highlands County commissioners have given their blessing to a plan that could spend more than a quarter of a million dollars in tourist tax money to bring a Spartan Race and Tough Mudder Event to Highlands County.
Tourist Development Council representatives told the commission the county would get a million dollars worth of advertising and $3.7 million dollars in economic impact over the next three years.
They say there will be as many as 10,000 participants and another 3,000 spectators at each of the events. The first one is slated to run this December.

Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a couple of Miami men in connection with the placing of skimmers on local gas pumps. Charged with possession of a counterfeit credit card, identity theft and use of a scanner device to defraud were 36-year-old Rilan Moreira Vales and 33-year-old Luis Rajiv Pulido Robaina.
The pair were arrested after an alert employee at a Sebring gas station noticed them tampering with one of the pumps there. Deputies spotted the suspect vehicle, got it stopped after a short pursuit then took the pair into custody.

An elderly man was knocked off his bicycle as he pedaled along the sidewalk in Avon Park yesterday about noon. Reportedly a car hit him in an alley-way that joins Highway 27 just north of the Main Street intersection.
The force of the impact knocked the cyclist onto 27. He reportedly was transported to a nearby hospital for observation. No names or other details have been released.

Polk County Sheriff’s officials now have identified the men who died in a Lake Wales traffic accident. Killed were 27-year-old Billy Burgess of Bartow and 35-year-old Thomas Snipes of Winter Haven.
According to reports, the pair were on Highway 60 near West Lake Wales when Burgess lost control of the Chevy pickup, which spun, then flipped several times and hit a utility pole. Authorities say the truck then broke in half.