News Update for 8/19/21

During a discussion of coronavius protocols at this week’s Highlands County School Board meeting, a number of parents came forward. They asked that board members listen to other voices on the disease, and that parents be allowed to bring forward medical experts with information the board might not have heard.
They pointed to pending policies for vaccinated and unvaccinated people as discriminatory and questioned differences in treatment of suspected coronavirus cases and other, similar, communicable diseases.

Starting today, curbside recycling in Highlands County is a thing of the past. Highlands County commissioners have inked amendments to the franchise agreement with hauler Waste Connections cancelling that service.
Instead, the county is planning to revive recycling drop-off points with large, manned bins that will be strategically placed throughout the county. Those locations have not yet been determined.
Until further notice, residents now can use both their county-issued containers as trash receptacles.

The Highlands County Health Department now reportedly is a new stand alone facility, and a new health officer has been hired. New Director Shane Lockwood has been imported from a facility in Connecticut to run the Highlands operation. He will start at the end of September.
Highlands and Desoto counties have shared a health department since 2012 with staff in place to respond to health-related matters in both communities. It remains unclear what the new stand alone designation will mean in terms of cost to the county.

A short-handed Sebring city council has tabled an issue that would have seen a 50-acre parcel annexed into the city. A steady stream of nearby neighbors came before the council, complaining about lack of notice of the action, and questioning whether or not there would be low income housing permitted there.
Council members voted to table the action until their first meeting in October, to give residents a chance to negotiate a buy-out deal with the current property owner.
The Harder Hall Golf Course was sold earlier this year, Another 50-acre tract already has been annexed under a “mixed use” zoning.