News Update for 7/4/23

Be advised, it’s going to be another scorcher today. The National Weather Service in Tampa has issued a Heat advisory. It’ll be in effect from 11am until 7:00 tonight.
Feels like temperatures could be as hot as 110-degrees in the area. That includes a dozen counties including Highlands, Hardee, Desoto and Polk.

Today is July 4th – Independence Day and Avon Park will be celebrating in a big way. The City of Charm will host their inaugural Firecracker Festival starting at noon in Dondalson Park. In addition to food trucks and a number of booths and displays, there will be a pie eating contest, a donut eating contest, sack races and horseshoe tossing competition.
There will also be live music all day long as well as Miss Firecracker pageants in five different age categories.
The fireworks are set to go off over Lake Verona beginning at about 9pm.
As part of the festivities, the Avon Park Chamber of Commerce will conduct a collection of non-perishable foodstuffs for the Heartland Food Bank, who says their shelves are running low.
There also will be a fireworks display in Lake Placid – that one is sponsored by the Jaycees and will be set off over Lake June.
In Sebring the pyrotechnics will go off over Lake Jackson. During the day, the Highlands Lakeside Theatre will present their annual Patriotic Revue. The show is free, but there will be a barbecue to benefit their scholarship fund. Shows will be on the hour every hour from 11am to 3pm.

Local officials are warning citizens who plan to celebrate Independence Day with their own personal fireworks to celebrate safely. They urge residents to have a hose, a bucket of water, or a fire extinguisher nearby in case things go wrong.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is warning people not to fire their guns in the air – or anywhere else. Judd says it’s not unheard of to have a stray bullet land more than a mile away.
Firing weapons in such a manner is – illegal.

Fire rescue units from West Sebring and Desoto City, along with Florida Forest Service crews were called out late yesterday afternoon to quell a brush fire off Stream Avenue in Sebring.
Officials believe it was caused by a lightning strike. They got a bit of help from afternoon rains in extinguishing the flames.
The blaze charred about 1/4 to 1/2 acre before they got it out. Firefighters reportedly had it contained in about 20 minutes.
No structures were damaged, no injuries were reported in the incident.