News Update for 7/21/20

Coronavirus numbers released this morning by the Florida Department of Health show that there have been 31 new positive results and 86 new negative in Highlands County.
Of the 12,626 tests administered locally over the past four months – 11,804 have been negative with 809 positives. There have been 117 people hospitalized at some point during their illness and 16 deaths have been tied to the corona virus since numbers started being kept back in February.

Highlands County commissioners voted this morning to set the tentative millage rate at 9.0 – or nine dollars for each $1,000 of taxable valuation for homes and businesses in the county.
It is up from the current millage rate of 8.55 and the rollback rate of 8.32 – however, commissioners say they hope to reduce the rate back to the current 8.55 by the final hearings in September.
In other action, commissioners decided not to have a mask mandate in the county, but strongly urge residents to wear them.

For the first time in almost a decade, there will be no Sick Sideways team in the Mazda MX-5 Cup. Owner John Dean of
Sebring has announced they are pulling out of the series for this year calling it a “financial decision.”
Since joining the series in 2012, Dean has parlayed his effort into the the series’ most successful team to date – breaking more records, and scoring more wins & championships than anyone in series’ history
Their accomplishments include the most team wins, most driver wins, most team & driver podiums and most driver pole positions. Sick Sideways has eqarned three MX-5 Championships and has been Team of the Year three times.
Dean says he hopes to return to competition in 2021.

The Frostproof city council met last night. They voted to appoint Jon Albert as Mayor of the Friendly City with Austin Gravley to serve as Vice Mayor. Resident Tashana True was appointed to replace Martin Sullivan – he resigned from Council seat 4. She will serve the remainder of Sullivan’s term.

While Polk County sheriff’s detectives move to try and find out who killed three men Friday night in rural Frostproof – reward money continues to grow. Sheriff Grady Judd announced that there is as much as $30,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.
Judd said his agency has recieved more than 100 tips so far to help his deputies solve the case. He said he does not believe the murders were a “random act of violence.”