News update for 1/18/24

Highlands County commissioners met this morning in a session that was pushed back two days, due to the observance of the Martin Luther King jr. holiday. They systematically dissolved a number of special benefit districts, created to underwrite volunteer fire units throughout the county.
However, with the consolidation of units into a single county-wide unit, the districts no longer are needed. They emphasized the action did not dissolve the fire units, nor did it have any effect on the countywide fire assessment, which will continue to be levied on citizens.
In other action the commmission rezoned a 14-acre tract of land from agriculture to a planned unit development to allow a housing project on the property.

There were some tense moments when a Sebring Middle School student was hit by a car. Reports indicate the youngster was peddaling a bicycle across the intersection of South Commerce Avenue and the Sebring Parkway yesterday morning when he was were clipped.
The youngster was taken to the hospital with what were described as minor injuries.

Polk County Sheriff’s deputies are conducting a death investigation at this hour. It is at the Shell gas station on Highway 60 across from Saddlebag Lake Resort in the Crown Jewel of the Ridge.
No details are available, save witness reports that it seems to involve a a white sport utility vehicle.

Parents in Polk County can now volunteer to review books that are being challenged by others. The school district announced this week it’s looking for volunteers to review challenged books.
Parents, guardians, teachers, guidance counselors, certified media specialists and high school students all are eligible for the program.
Applicants will be randomly selected and notified by February 2nd. A similar effort has been tried in Highlands County with limited success.

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