Highlands County Teacher of the Year Kayla Jackson was up for statewide honors at the Florida Department of Education convention in Orlando last night, but lost out to Addriana Sweringen of Bay County for the top honors. In all, there were five finalists in the statewide competition.
Jackson was the first educator from Highlands to make the finals. A fifth grade math and science teacher from Memorial Elementary School, Jackson had been tapped as a high impact teacher for several years.
Highway 70 in Highlands County has been shut down twice in the past two days due to accidents. The road was closed just before noon yesterday because of a mishap on 70 just east of the Highway 27 intersection.
Early this morning, a collision between a semi tractor trailer rig and a truck near the Okeechobee County line shut the highway down again.
No injuries were reported in either accident.
Over a dozen people are suing for what their lawyer calls a catastrophic train derailment in Polk County. Fourteen plaintiffs filed suit yesterday against three trucking companies and a driver for last week’s crash in Lakeland. A semi-truck transporting cars from the three companies got stuck on the tracks on Canal Ave North and was hit by an Amtrak train.
The plaintiffs claim the semi-truck driver was not fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle, and the three companies named in the suit should have known he would be negligent. Morgan and Morgan is representing the plaintiffs, and lawyers say the driver’s negligence injured dozens of people, disrupted train service for thousands of customers and caused massive delays.