News Update for 4/5/23

Fire charred as much as 10 acres of land in the “bird streets” west of Sebring last night. Units from Desoto City and West Sebring were joined by Florida Forest Service crews in battling the stubborn blaze. At this point, they say it currently is 50-percent contained.

Reportedly, the flames came close to a number of homes and businesses, including the Bed & Biscuit Pet Resort. Early indications are that there were no injuries and no property damage.
Forestry crews will be back out again later this morning to finish containment and investigate cause.

Highlands County commissioners yesterday enacted a burn ban. It affects any kind of outdoor burning including yard waste, trash burning or fire pits in the county. 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 Independence Day.

There was an off year election for the Lake Wales City Commission yesterday. Keith Thompson took the Seat 3 race with 53-percent of the vote. Robin Gibson won Seat 5 with 64-percent of the ballots.

A Polk County Walmart employee is facing charges for what Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd calls a BOGO gone horribly and criminally wrong.
Judd announced this week that Raji Nair was arrested for stealing from the store she works at in Mulberry on Church Ave North.
The 36-year-old allegedly went through the self-checkout lane without ringing up all the items she bought.
Investigators say she did this 37 times between November and January and stole almost 400 dollars worth of items.
Judd says this super slow crime spree led to charges that include obtaining property by fraud.

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