News Update for 5/9/23

Declining attendance and rising costs have spelled the end of the Heartland Triathlon. Organizers have announced they’ve pulled the plug on this year’s event – which was to have run next month.
The triathlon involved running, swimming and bicycling competitions throughout the Greater Sebring area – causing swaths of downtown – as well as parts of the Alan Altvader Complex to be closed in favor of competitors.
The event had run for 18 years.

Avon Park city officials will be joined by representatives of Renaissance Planning this afternoon for another public information meeting on a plan to revamp Main Street in the City of Charm. Consultants last night introduced a plan that could significantly change the traffic patterns there.
Suggested were such things as traffic chicanes to slow vehicles and back-in angle parking along certain zones of Main Street. It’s all part of a planned Resurfacing, Restoration and Rehabilitation project.
The public information program will be held from 4 until 5:30 this afternoon at the Jacaranda Hotel in downtown Avon Park.

Highlands County officials are hoping to use social media to instruct citizens on the annual budget process. They will be sharing a 12-part series of educational posts on how the system works.
It’s called “a beginner’s look at how the process unfolds…”
Over the past few months, each director has met with department staff and Office of Management & Budget to review spending and cost control measures in developing a department budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Currently, County departments are in the review process.
Authorities say the entire series ultimately will be posted on the county’s Facebook page.

Two Haines City men were killed yesterday in a traffic accident in Lake Wales. Police say a 2017 Cadillac driven by Aljurme Brooks ran the traffic light at Highway 27 and Washington Avenue, slamming into a semi-truck like vehicle referred to as a “yard dog.”
Both Brooks and his passenger, Javacea Morton were pronounced dead at the scene. A third passenger was transported to the hospital.
The truck apparently is owned by the Florida Natural orange processing facility and is used to move equipment around the yard. It was driven by a Frostproof man. He apparently was not seriously injured.

Some sick horses are getting the help they need in Polk County. Seven horses seized from Tianvica [[tee-ahn-VEE-kuh]] Riding Academy in Bartow were sent yesterday to Hope Equine Rescue in Winter Haven. Sara Montijo-Lopez was the academy’s executive director, and she was arrested for allegedly mistreating the horses.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said if Montijo-Lopez goes to prison, she’ll be taken care of and fed, unlike what she did for the horses. The Tianvica Riding Academy is now closed.

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