News Update for 5/22/18

Despite all the wet weather, officials from the Florida Forest Service say there still are a half dozen active wildfires in the state and two of them are right here in Highlands County.
The Mini Ranch fire out by the Sebring International Raceway continues to smolder. That one has been burning since March and has charred an estimated 300 acres. An arrest has been made in connection with that one,
Meanwhile, the Jacks Creek Wildfire also continues to smolder, Forestry officials say the rain has helped to douse areas that could not be reached by their pumping program.
They say additional rainfall still is needed to put them out.

It appears another byproduct of the recent rains is the spring emergence of Love Bugs. Reports of the pesky creatures have been received in several areas – although there have not been a lot of them – yet.
Twice each year in Florida, Love Bugs become quite a nuisance. The Love Bugs emerge and mate en mass during two short cycles in Spring and then again in late Summer.
The insects swarm around roadsides due to high weeds and fumes from auto exhausts – meaning drivers end up with bug-coated windshields, grills and bumpers.

It was a prolific bake sale at the Kindergaqrden Learning Center, as students there raiswed some $3,500 a a “Back the Blue” promotion. The money has been presented to Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman and will go to help the faimly of slain Highlands County Sheriff’s Deputy William Gentry.
The idea reportedly came from young J.D. Sheipsmeier, a student in Mrs. Ashley Weldy’s kindergarden class. The whole school took part in the project – which was held last week.