News Update for 9/12/23

Some heavy weather rolled through central Florida early this morning, with rain and lots of lightning. Apparently, it set off alarms throughout eastern Hardee, Southern Polk and Highlands County.
Authorities say despite the rain, thunder and lightning – no flooding or other damage has been reported.

Highlands County commissioners will hold a special workshop today to discuss homelessness and mental health services in the county. That session will be held in the Jack Stroup civic center at the Alan Altvader Cultural Complex on the shores of Lake Jackson in Sebring.
Up for discussion will be substance abuse, affordable housing, wages, veterans’ status and mental health in relation to the homeless population.
The session is slated to get underway at 1:00 this afternoon.

Avon Park city council members met for better than three hours last night, hammering out their final budget for the upcoming 2023-24 fiscal year. They voted to set the fire assessment at $154 per residential unit, up from the current $140 annual assessment, with corresponding hikes in other fees including industrial and institutional rates.
Council members got good news, with a big drop in insurance rates. They were able to keep their millage at 4.3681 – or $4.36 for each $1,000 of taxable valuation.
That’s the same as this past year.

One man was killed and several people were injured yesterday on Highway 60 east of Lake Wales. According to Polk County Sheriff’s reports, a car driven by a 15-year-old Lake Wales youth, turned into the path of an oncoming pickup.
Following the crash, a driver from Melbourne stopped to help the victims. He was killed when a van ploughed into the pickup, which then hit him. The good Samaritan was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities still are searching for the occupants of the van – who fled the scene.