Local News Headlines 4-13-23

Just to put all the rumors to rest about what caused that fire at the old K-Mart in Lakeshore Mall Monday, County officials say the blaze was started by sparks caused by workers cutting through metal landing on some flammable debris on the floor of the building and setting it on fire. There already was a hole in the roof left over from Hurricane Ian, and the breezes sucked a column of smoke up through the hole and made the scene look far larger than it really was.

If you use West Stryker Road north of Avon Park frequently, you’re going to need another way to get where you’re going for a few weeks. Work crews will begin a water line replacement from North Highlands Boulevard to North Valencia Drive today. This isn’t going to be something you can sneak though – there’ll be a two-foot drop-off. Detours will be posted to get in and out of the neighborhoods around there, and the road itself is expected to be back to normal – or better – before the end of May.

There’s going to be some excitement in Lake Placid tomorrow morning – as well as a little this morning – and those involved want you to know, it’s only a test. The School Board, Sheriff’s Department, County Fire Rescue and Lake Placid Police will be running a – quote – Prom Promise vehicle crash re-enactment about 10am tomorrow morning at Roger Scarborough Field. It’ll include a LOT of emergency vehicle activity and a helicopter landing at the field. There are enough moving parts to this demonstration that they’re doing a practice run-through this morning about 11, so when you see all the activity around the stadium, don’t panic. By the way, because it’s a school event, all parties involved say they’re sorry, but the public’s not invited. The point will be to impress safety on the kids.

If you ever need a hand at home from emergency personnel, it may help them help you if they know there are special needs in the house. If a member of your household has issues that might affect communications or mobility in an emergency, the County has established a voluntary registry to let them know ahead of time if there’s something they can prepare for to save critical time trying to help you in an emergency. The registry is totally voluntary – you can link to the Diverse Needs Registry via the post of the County Sheriff’s or County Commission Facebook pages, or call 402-7600.

Most of us didn’t get anywhere near enough rain over the past couple days to negate months of dry weather, so a reminder – the County Burn Ban IS still in effect. Doesn’t take long for a quarter to a half inch of rain to soak in or evaporate off. Wildfires still happen when it “looks” like rain.

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