Local News Headlines 8-17-22

Little traffic tieup on Highway 98 near Spring Lake yesterday morning. An overturned semi trailer dumped about 5,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer on the road after a head-on collision with an SUV driven by a 75 year old Sebring man at the intersection with Lakeview Boulevard. The highway was closed about four hours while Hazmat crews cleaned up the mess, and deputies and FHP personnel investigated the accident. The driver of the SUV was taken to the hospital with serious injuries – his passenger suffered minor ones, as did the truck driver.

By the way, if you smell smoke south of Lake Placid this morning, there’s a prescribed burn going on near the intersection of Highways 27 and 70 – it’s been going on since yesterday, so there could be a fair amount of smoke.

City of Sebring Police detectives say they could use your help in solving a downtown area shooting early yesterday morning. Cops were called to the area around Lemon and Virginia Streets about 4:30am where a male victim had been shot in the chest – he was transported by air to a regional trauma center. Police say they only have a sketchy description of the assailant. If you know anything about the incident that took place sometime shortly after 4am yesterday morning, call investigators at 471-5108.

The state’s homeowners’ insurer of last resort – is rapidly becoming the only resort for over a million Florida Homeowners. Citizens’ Property Insurance – created as an insurer of last resort – reported last month that it’s topped a million policies as Florida homeowners get dropped by insurance companies or their insurer is declared insolvent. The last time Citizens sustained a peak of over a million policies was in the wake of the 2004 hurricane season, when seven named storms made landfall here. The company briefly topped that number again in the spring of 2014.

Lest you wonder if the inconvenience of the DUI your friend got was overdoing it, the story could have ended far worse. Dalton Hooks was sentenced to an eight year prison term followed by seven years’ probation Monday in Circuit Court for the DUI manslaughter of 14 year old Andrew Stevens in 2018. Hooks’ pickup truck rolled on old State Road 8 near Venus and crushed Stevens. Hooks was 17 at the time of the wreck, but was charged as an adult.

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