News Update for 4/7/23

Today is Good Friday, one of the Holiest Days on the Christian Calendar. Many government and other offices will be shut down for the observance.
A number of local churches will be holding Good Friday services.
Bible Fellowship and Heartland Christian Church will hold their observances this evening at 6pm, Highlands Community Church will host services at 6:30.

The fifth annual SodaFest gets underway today in downtown Sebring. Although the festivities don’t officially start until 2:00 this afternoon, the streets on and around Sebring’s Historic Circle were shut down this morning at 9:00 to allow the more than 80 vendors to set up and get ready for the thousands of soft drinkers expected in for the event.
On tap for today will be a Kid’s Fun Zone, food, live music, plus Soda Pop Princess and Pre-Teen pageants. Bubble parties will be held this evening.
The festival runs through Saturday.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials are in search of a couple of dogs. The pair, described as pit mixes, are being sought in connection with the death of multiple animals at Park Elementary School in Avon Park this week. Killed there were goats, a chicken and a duck.
Despite repeated sweeps of the area, deputies have not been able to find the dogs.
Apparently, this is not an isolated incident. Citizens are reporting that free-ranging dogs have killed chickens in the Highlands Park community south of Lake Placid.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Highlands County Sheriff’s office.

Hardee County officials have joined Highlands County in enacting a burn ban. Outdoor burning of trash or debris is not allowed – and no bonfires, campfires, or fire pits are permitted.
The only exceptions are enclosed gas or charcoal grills. The burn bans will remain in effect for at least 90 days, till the summer rains begin, or they are repealed by the respective commissions.
There are very dry conditions throughout the state. Firefighters have battled over a thousand fires so far this year. That’s almost half what Florida had all of last year.

A man is wanted for carjacking a ride-share driver in Polk County. The Polk sheriff’s office says Robert Lee Williams stole the driver’s car Sunday in Lakeland.
Chris Dunnells was with his 11-year-old son when he picked up Williams on Skyview Drive and Goodyear Ave. They drove for about ten minutes when Williams allegedly pulled a gun and ordered Dunnells to stop and get out.
Deputies say Williams took Dunnell’s car, phone and wallet before abandoning the car in Hillsborough County. The 27-year-old Williams is described as white, about six-feet tall with red hair and a bunny tattoo on his leg. Anyone with information on where he is is asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

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