News Update for 8/22/19

Sebring might want to change their name from “City on the Circle” to “The City of Parties.” City council members have given their blessing to a trio of events there in the next several weeks.
Leading off is a September 21st concert by the Veterans 1st organization. The group will be staging the show on the Circle in downtown Sebring. November second will be the re-branded Art, Wine and Jazz festival downtown. A third event is slated for November 16. That’s the Sebring Craft Beer Festival. That event is a fundraiser for the Children’s Museum of the Highlands and also sports a new name.
Council granted approval to all three without comment.

Highlands County commissioners have approved a large scale change to their comprehensive plan. That request came from Black Bear Citrus to convert some 200 acres along Highway 70 near old State Road 8.
It will change the land use from agricultural zoning to a mixed use designation. Although the zoning allows for residential development, no plans were revealed for the property.
Officials from the Archbold Biological Station lobbied against the plan, saying they had “significant concerns” about hydrology and other issues.

Highlands County school board members got an update on safety measures this week. Reportedly, crews spent the summer installing new fencing around a number of facilities, and more work is planned in upcoming weeks. Guard shacks are online at many of the schools and officials are working at installing video systems and getting phone apps ready in case there’s a situation.
Nevertheless, a student at Avon Park High School was able to bring a loaded gun on campus there earlier this week. He was arrested without incident after another student reported him.

Florida is joining 29 other states already part of an electronic network intended to maintain the integrity of voter rolls.
Florida has had a history of high-profile election controversies. Elections officials say the network known as the Electronic Registration Information Center could help local election officials more easily verify registration records and detect any duplicate registrations.
Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement Wednesday in Orlando and expects the state to join the program ahead of the 2020 elections.
Florida, with more than 13.4 million registered voters, would become the largest member of the electronic network.
DeSantis made only passing reference to election security and did not address it directly.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Russians hacked the electronic voter registration records kept by two Florida counties.

The fall drag racing season gets underway Saturday as the Sebring International Raceway will hold “The Battle at the Bridge.” It is an opportunity to let local straight-line racers show their stuff on the front stretch of the iconic raceway.
In addition to bragging rights, there will be cash purses in a number of different divisions. They expect cars from all over the state to be there as well.
In addition to the drags there will be drifting competitions, a car show. Gates will open Saturday at 2pm, with racing to start at 6:00.