News Update for 4/4/23

Highlands County commissioners this morning enacted a burn ban for the county. It affects any kind of outdoor burning including yard waste, trash burning or fire pits. Exempted are charcoal grills or gas grills.

The emergency ordinance will be in effect for the next 90-days, or until the summer rains begin. Highlands County currently ranks over 600 on the Keech-Byrum drought index, making it one of the driest in the state.
Commissioners joked that residents should be free to burn by Independnce Day.

An upcoming public hearing for median modification safety improvements for Highway 27 has been pushed back. It was to have been held this evening, but has been rescheduled for May 16.
Florida Department of Tranportation officials want to meet with the public to introduce proposed changes to five areas from north of Avon Park to north of Lake Placid that have become, what they term, “trouble spots.”
The solution to most of them, is to close the pass-through cut outs and make them left-turn only. There’s no indication why the meeting was postponed.

A 43-year-old Avon Park man was killed yesterday in a Lake Placid traffic accident. Florida Highway Patrol reports say the biker was riding north on Highway 27, when a dump truck pulled from County Road 17 and into his path.
The motorcycle hit the back of the truck, throwing the rider off the bike. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers say he WAS wearing his helmet.

One person is dead and ten others were injured yesterday morning a crash in Polk County.
That one occurred in the community of Fort Meade at US 98 East and Adams Road. Polk County sheriff’s officials say a bus crossed the center line and hit a semi-truck. The bus was carrying 38 strawberry farm workers on their way to Plant City.
One of them died. Nine others in the bus and the truck driver were taken to the hospital, but there’s no word on their conditions. There’s also no word on what caused the driver to move left of center.

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