Local News Headlines 10-17-22

Florida State Patrol investigators were dispatched to the corner of Sparta and Orday Road last night a little after 8pm to handle a one-car fatal accident at one of the sharp turns in the road midway between Highways 27 and 66. FHP hasn’t released the details, but Sparta Road was shut down most of the night for investigations to continue.

Highlands County Emergency personnel had some problems over the weekend with the County’s 911 service – Saturday, the word went out that Centurylink customers were having problems getting through on their landlines to the emergency number. If you EVER have trouble getting through to 911, the Sheriff’s Department asks that you call the non-emergency line – 402-7200, then press “1” to get to the dispatchers.

The word from FEMA is … yes, they’re here! The Federal Emergency Disaster offices will be open 9am-6pm, seven days a week at the Agri-Civic Center at the corner of George Boulevard and Highway 27 south of Sebring, seven days a week. FEMA says they’ll be open till the job’s done, and they want you to know – if you’re sheltering up here from the Gulf Coast Counties where Hurricane Ian did its worst damage, they can help you as long as the home you need help WITH is in a disaster zone county. So no, you DON’T need to drive home to place a claim.

Florida Citrus growers are still reeling from last week’s Federal estimate confirming what grove owners already knew … this season’s crop is projected to be down by at least a third from last year after Hurricane Ian strafed through our local groves. Growers in Hardee and Desoto Counties were stil reporting groves under water at the end of last week as swollen rivers and streams collecting runoff from almost 20 inches of rain during the storm.

If you’re wondering when you can get back to your normal route back to work in the morning, County Road and Bridget workers SHOULD be finishing up the last two major road closures left over from Hurricane Ian early this week. Work begins today on new culverts on South Lake Boulevard in Avon Park and on Golfview Road in Sebring. South Lake COULD open up at the end of the day today – Golfview by 5pm Wednesday if all goes according to plan.

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