News Update for 3/20/23

Another 12 Hours of Sebring is in the books – and it was another barn burner. So many fans packed the 330 acres of the Sebring International Raceway, officials cut off general admission parking on Friday. There still were plenty of spaces in the offsite lots and the raceway trams were running all day.
In the end, a late race crash between the leading GTP cars allowed the Whelen Engineering Cadillac to back into the Winners Circle for the 71st annual Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring.

It’s getting drier out there and that means more brush fires. Units from West Sebring were called out Saturday to quell a grass fire at a lot near White Pine and Northside Drives – near the Home Depot store. A Florida Forest Service crew also came in to help out.
About a three-quarters of an acre were charred before firefighters got it under control. There were no injuries and no cause for the blaze has yet been determined.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials are announcing another scam involving their office – and again, it’s pay-for-play. Local officials say nobody from the Highlands County Sheriff’s office is calling residents offering not to arrest people if they pay them not to execute a warrant.
Deputies don’t call people with warrants, they drop by for a visit. Anyone getting such a call is urged to just hang up.

Two men are missing after an apparent drowning in Polk County. The sheriff’s office announced yesterday that Winter Haven’s Orlando Ortiz and Auburndale’s Jeffrey Marrero went missing Saturday on Lake Eloise in Winter Haven. The two had rented a boat with Ortiz’ girlfriend and Marrero’s two young daughters. Deputies say Marrero and Ortiz jumped into the water to help Ortiz’ girlfriend secure the anchor to the boat. Ortiz’ girlfriend says the two men are not strong swimmers, though, and they went under. The sheriff’s office says its Marine Unit, the FWC and Seminole County deputies will search the lake 24/7 until both men are found.

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