News Update for 11/29/23

Highlands county officials have released a year-end “State of the County” video. The 15-minute presentation represents a review of many of the activities by the county. The offerings range fron the creation of a new department, the hiring of new employees and promotions, to various grants that were obtained for county projects.
Also included were mentions of activities such as participtation in the Highlands County Fair, the creation og a centenial mural and the promotion of tourist activities.
The video is available on YouTube.

A couple of traffic stops in Avon Park led Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies to a pair of drug busts. The first incident began on Alice Nelson Street in the City of Charm.
When driver Derrick Tarome Hawthorne began to walk away from the scene, he was detained. Inside the car, deputies found a pair of backpacks containing – among other things – fentanyl, heroine and a handgun.
The 25-year-old Hawthorne now faces drug trafficking counts and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
Later, deputies made a stop on Main Street on Memorial Drive, where they found 38-year-old William Louie Lockett. He already was wanted on a warrant so he was taken into custody.
Inside his vehicle was marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine. He was charged with drug trafficking counts. A passenger in the car, 30-year-old Victoria Lynn Dziedzic of Sebring was charged with cocaine trafficking.
All the suspects were taken to the Highlands County jail.

Polk County Sheriff’s officials now have released the name of that Sebring man who was killed in a two-vehicle accident near Lake Wales.
Deputies say 76-year-old Gary Blevins died when his GMC pickup ran into the back of a semi tractor-trailer rig.
Apparently, the 18-wheeler was making a U-Turn near Harbor Drive when Blevins’ Sierra pickup hit the back of the trailer.

Highlands County sheriff’s officials are looking for the owner – or owners – of a number of cows.
A small herd has been impounded and is being held at Animal Services off Heywood Taylor Blve. So far, the boarding fee is over $600 for the group, and the meter is running.
The animals are described as a solid black cow with a yellow ear tag, a cream yerling heifer, a black heifer with a large, white large dot on her face, black with white on the underbelly bull calf, a black heifer calf, 3 solid red cows, a red with white face cow with a red tag, a white cow, and a black cow.
If they’re not claimed by Friday, officials say they’ll be put up for auction.

There are cars on the track at the Sebring International Raceway as competitors begin test & tune sessions for this weekend’s Alan Jay Pistons & Props event. Historic Sports Car Racing are staging the last big race for 2023 out at the track.
More than a dozen different classes of cars – including vintage and historic vehicles – are on course today. Qualifying and racing begins tomorrow.
The event runs through Sunday.

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