News Update for 7/4/18

Highlands County officials say so far it appears to have been a safe & sane Independence Day celebration. There have been no reports of any fireworks-related injuries or fires here.
It appears last night’s professional display at Sun ‘N Lake went off without a hitch.

There was an accident shortly after midnight this morning in Highlands County. A car hit a tree on County Road 634. That’s theroad that runs through the middle of Highlands Hammock State Park.
Reportedly, the driver was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle. Florida Highway Patrol troopers reportedly are investigating the mishap. They have not released any names or other additional information.

It’s Independence Day – when the nation celebrates our heritage and the publication of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. A free Patriotic Revue is slated by the Highlands Little Theatre, with music, dance and oration. Those half hour shows will run from 11am until 3pm at the Lakeside Playhouse in Sebring.
A boat parade is scheduled for this afternoon at 5:30 along Lake Jackson. Organizers say there will be music and food vendors stationed at Pier Beach for the crowd.
There will be fireworks in Avon Park, Sebring and Lake Placid tonight. Those pyrotechnics all will commence at 9pm.
The boat ramp at the Lake Placid ball fields has been shut down and will remain closed until after tonight’s fireworks display there. A 300-foot buffer must be kept to set up the display and will be roped off with yellow tape.
Authorities ask that people not bring their own fireworks to alcohol to the event.

Highlands County commissioners yesterday got a look at the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and it appears that the county could be as much as $8 million dollars in the hole.
While staff recommended that commissioners boost the millage rate by .7 mils, commissioners instead suggested they need to sharpen their pencils to further cut costs.
Such an increase would take the tax rate for property owners to 9.25 – or $9.25 for each $1,000 of taxable valuation,

Lake Wales Police say a woman an her small dog dies following an accident on Thompson Nursery Road in the Crown Jewel of the Ridge. According to reports, a car driven by 69-year-old Donna Lee Laughton od Lake Wales went out of control and hit a Southwest Florida Water Management vehicle.
Both she and her dog died. The driver of the truck and a passenger were taken to Winter Haven hospital with non-life threatening injuries.