News Update for 7/6/20

Numbers released by the Florida Department of Health this morning show Highlands County has registered 11 new positive cases of the Coronavirus and 51 negative test results. The current report shows 9,999 tests done locally – of those, 9,567 have been negative with 405 positive cases.
The severity of those positive cases remains unknown. Florida Department of Health officials will reveal only that 70 people have been hospitalized locally at some point in their illness. Since numbers started being kept, 12 fatalities in Highlands have been tied to the Coronavirus.

Highlands County commissioners will convene tomorrow at the govrnment center for thier first meeting of July. They will get an update on money headed this way from the Coronsvirus Aid, Releif and Economic Security Act. Reportedly there will be two phases, the first for $4.6 million, with a subsequent payment of a much as $13.8 million.
The commission also is set to receive a preliminary budget report for the upcoming fiscal year. Projections are set for money lost from sales tax, gas tax and tourist taxes over the past four months due to the Coronavirus situation.

Highlands County commissoner Don Elwell will hold his 20th, and possibly final, town hall meeting tomorrow night at South Florida State College. Due to Coronavirus concerns and suggested distancing, 400 chairs have been marked off for the event in the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts.
The college also is mandating that masks be worn for anyone planning to attend the event.
Among other things, Elwell will discuss the upcoming budget, money coming from the CARES Act and other community concerns. That will be held tomorrow evening beginning at 5:15pm.

Highlands county firefighters were busy over the weekend. Units from Lorida, Desoto City and the Florida Forest Service were called out yesterday to extinguish a blaze off White Oak Road in Lorida. Officials say it apparently was started by a lightning strike. No injuries were reported and there was no structure damage.
Two vehicles were destroyed Friday when one tried to pull another out of the mud near Lake Damon in Avon Park, Heat from underneath the cars started a brush fire, which consumed both of the vehicles. No injuries were reported in that incident.

It appears the Independence Day celebrations went off in Highlands County without a hitch, Fireworks shows were put on in Avon Park, Sebring and Lake Placid. There was also a boat parade in Lake June Saturday afternoon.
Local law enforcement officials say it appears despite the cannonade of fireworks over the weekend, nobody lost any fingers or toes.

It’s getting down to the last few hours, and officials of the Sebring International Raceway are calling on everybody to get their votes in. Sebring has been voted as the Number One Motorsports Event on the USA Today’s 10best list. Although the leaderboard has been concealed, at last report, Sebring was in line to maintain their Number One spot.
Voters can vote once on any of their devices including desktop and laptop computers, tablets and smart phones. A link to the vote is on any of our Facebook pages.