News Update for 6/5/23

It appears the dry season may be over. The Keech-Byrum drought index has dropped to about 200 out of a maximum 800.
Both Hardee and Polk Counties already have rescinded their burn bans. Highlands County commissioners may take up the issue at their meeting tomorrow.
Rain is expected again today. That’s part of Tropical Storm Arlene, that has been dumping water here for the past several days. No flood or other damage has been reported in connection with this latest weather event.

A number of people, displaying mexican flags, have been demonstrating in Avon Park. They were showing their displeasure with a new Florida law addressing the problem with illegal aliens in the Sushine State. Among other things, the measure mandates the use of the E-Verify program to ensure that employees in businesses here are in the country legally.
It also enhances penalties against human traffickers.

A weekend drug bust in Sebring. Units of the Highlands County Sheriff’s office served a warrant on a Lincoln Avenue address and arrested four people.
33-year-old Nicholas Keyontay was charged with trafficking in MDMA, possession of drugs with intent to sell and other charges. 31-year-old Sharry Tiasha Smith and 34-year-old Renee Malcom were charged with possession of a controlled substance, and 32-year-old Quentin Arseieno Leveridge was charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
During the search deputies recovered MDMA, as well as other drugs – plus a rifle and ammunition.

Frostproof city council members will discuss a new ordinance when they get together tonight for their first meeting in June. The measure would provide for the annual inspection of rental properties. Staff members in The Friendly City say they want to implement an annual inspection of rental properties by the Fire Chief to confirm the buildings are up to code.
In other action, Vice Mayor Austin Gravely wants the council to discuss the furture possibilities of the unfinished west wing of the Frostproof City Hall.

A Polk County woman was injured in an Orange County hit-and-run crash. It happened yesterday morning at SR 408 and Chickasaw Trail.
FHP says a Haines City woman ran a red light while trying to turn left and hit a car. She lost control, went off the road, over a curb, onto the sidewalk and then flipped over.
Bystanders pulled the 71-year-old from the SUV just before it caught fire. Troopers say she was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition. The other driver left the scene. It’s described as a small white car with damage to its front left headlight.

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