Black Friday is officially in progress. After public pressure a couple years ago prompted most major chains to close on Thanksgiving Day, the rush began early this morning. Wal Mart stores posted their opening times at 5am this morning, Home Depot and Lowe’s stores opened at 6am. Down at Lakeshore Mall, Beall’s website posted a 6:30 opening and Belk’s said they’re open as of 7am. Nationally, economists are projecting this Holiday shopping rush to produce 3.5% to 4% more than last year.
A few sirens out there Wednesday night as Highlands County Fire rescue crews sent three engines up State Highway 17 North to a reported car fire, where they found a fully engulfed car with a ruptured fuel tank. No injuries reported, the fire doused down with foam – the car? It’s toast.
The County’s annual Christmas Parade season starts Monday in Avon Park at 7pm, down the mile-long mall on Main Street. The Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Hotel Jacaranda from 2 til 4pm, with Face Painting for the kids at the Chamber office from 4 till 6pm. Sponsors promise food trucks and vendors from 4-8pm, so take the afternoon and enjoy the charm/
By the by, just a reminder – if your County trash pickup day is normally today, yesterday moved the schedule back a day this week only, Thursday schedules this week move to today, and Friday pickups move to Saturday.
Sebring Police Detectives could use your help in solving a likely crime from last Saturday. Officers conducted a welfare check on an apartment at 2180 Lakeview Drive in Sebring last Saturday morning, and found 27-year-old Jessica Yazmin Phillips dead inside. Investigators say she was likely killed as the result of a domestic violence-related incident. Jessica’s boyfriend was named a person of interest – when located up in Sunrise, a police-standoff followed and Moore ended up deceased with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Anyone with information on events leading up to last Saturday, please call the Sebring Police Department at 471-5108. Anonymous tips can also go through Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226 TIPS.