News Update for 1/1/2024

So far, Highlands County’s population has not grown in 2024. Officials at AdventHospital Sebring report no New Year’s babies as of Midnight. There was one tax deduction for last year with a baby girl born Saturday morning. Baby, mother – and dad – all are doing fine.
Despite the plethora of fireworks, officials say there were no pyrotechnic-related injuries to report from New Year’s Eve.
However, Hardee County Sheriff’s officials apparently made several arrests for people who were discharging firearms to celebrate the new year.

A 76-year-old Sebring man reportedly was the last traffic-related death in Highlands County for 2023. Florida Highway Patrol reports the man was riding his bicycle on State Road 66, and made a left turn in front of an oncoming pickup.
The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man is dead after a motorcycle crash involving a teenager in Polk County. It happened Saturday night near Lakeland at Deeson and Greenfield roads in Kathleen. The sheriff’s office says a Lakeland man was riding his motorcycle when an SUV driven by an 18-year-old Lakeland woman turned into his path.
Deputies say witnesses told them the motorcycle may not have had its lights on. The two collided, and the man was thrown off his bike. He was taken to the hospital where he passed away. He was identified as 41-year-old Larry Varnum. The teenager was not hurt, but her 18-year-old passenger was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

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