News Update 8/9/23

When it comes to construction, it appears that the Sebring/Avon Park metro area is above the national average. A new study by Construction Coverage shows that 6.8-percent of the jobs here are in the construction industry – that’s nearly two percent above the national average.
In fact, there’s been better than a 13-percent uptick in construction jobs locally. Some 350 metro areas representing all 50 states were used in the survey.

More blue green algae to report in the water here. Highlands County officials have issued a health alert for the presence of the toxic algae in Lake Istokpoga. The stinky blooms are spawned by sunny days, warm water temperatures and excess nutrients – among other things.
Residents are urged not to drink, swim, wade or use personal watercraft where the algae is present. People also are urged to keep their pets out of the water there.

It no news that it’s hot outside, and local officials continue to warn residents to take precautions if they work out of doors. They urge people to know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and wear light and loose-fitting clothing when possible.
The National Weather Service again has an Excessive Heat Warning in effect for Highlands County and the entire Sunshine State.
Heat index values up to 112 degrees again are possible.

It’s back to school tomorrow for thousands of youngsters across Highlands County, and motorists are being reminded to be prepared for the start of classes. There will be dozens of the big yellow busses on the roads tomorrow picking up students, and school zones will be activated with their significantly lower speeds.

A suspect wanted in a January murder case in Hardee County is back in local custody. 36-year-old Matthew Scott Flores has been returned from Rutherford County, North Carolina. Wauchula police say that Flores has been charged with first degree murder, grand theft, and tampering with evidence in the death of Jose Carlos Martinez.
Flores was returned yesterday with the assistance of Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents. It took six months to extradite Flores back to Wauchula.

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