News Update for 7/9/20

Numbers released this morning by the Florida Department of Health show Highlands County has registered 16 new positive cases of the Coronavirus and 91 negative test results. The current report shows 10,331 tests have been done locally – of those, 9,841 have been negative with 473 positive cases.
The severity of those positive cases remains unknown. Florida Department of Health officials will reveal only that 81 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.

If you have any business at the Highlands County Courthouse, you might want to try and get it taken care of today. Due to Court funding being cut by $250,000.00 Court Services for Highlands will be closed each Friday beginning tomorrow.
The Board side of the Clerk’s Office will remain open for such things as official records, tax deeds and marriage licenses.
Emergency cases such as domestic violence, mental health and RPO cases also will be handled. Clerk of Courts Bob Germain says the 53-percent cut also may result in some layoffs and furloughs.

As revenues plummet due to the Coronavirus, Highlands County Commissioners are seeking citizen input on how to structure their budget for the upcoming fiscal year. A community meeting is set for the commissoiners chambers this evening at 6:00 to hear ideas from residents on how the spending plan is structured, where cuts should be made and where they think the county can get more money.

It’s going to be a busy day of training at the Avon park Air Force Range. Officials there say they first will be entertaining F16 fighter jets and H60 helicopters.
Later on this evening there will be activity by the big AC 130s. There has been quite a bit of activity at the range over the past few weeks.

Wondering what those big black tanks are on the side of the Lake Placid Dollar General? Reportedly, they’re part of the store’s fire suppression system. Each of the big cannisters reportedly contains 40,000 gallons of water.
Authoritites say there’s a pump system that restores the supplies if the water is used or evaporates out. Another such system is in place at another outlet just south of Sebring.