News Update for 1/19/24

A housefire had safety services busy this morning. The blaze broke out at a home on Cocoa Palm Drive shortly before 5:AM.
Units from Desoto City and West Sebring were among those responding to the call. One person was taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation.
Authorities say some animals at the home were rescued – one chicken reportedly died in the incident.
Cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Highlands County fire assessment got a shot in the arm from taxpayers yesterday. As Highlands County commissioners systematically dismanteled a series of special taxing districts, they took more than $870,000 in delinquent funds from the districts and tranferred them to the county’s ongoing fire assessment.
Commissioners were quick to point out that despite the elimination of the districts, neither the fire departments, nor the county’s fire assessment would be going away due to their action.

Highlands county crews were called out again yesterday to clean up hundreds of nails and screws that were dumped near the bridge on Arbuckle Creek road. Apparently, there’s a bump there, and those with loads of construction & demolition debris – as well as other refuse – hit the rise, and leave some of the junk that is loose.
Residents in the area say it’s not a new problem, they suffer constantly from trash and other rubble left along the road from what they contend are uncovered loads.
County officials remind residents that loads headed for the landfill must be covered, and should have a tarp underneath to contain the rubbish until it’s ready to be dumped.

Folks may see some activity on the historic Circle in downtown Sebring today, as local Rotarians get ready for the 12th Annual Crazy Pepper Chili Cookoff. The event will commence tomorrow with food trucks, live music, a car show and plenty of chili.
Organizers say there are nearly 20 contestants this year, but a few spots still are open for some last minute teams.
Cooking starts tomorrow morning at 9am.

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