SEBRING — This Through With Chew Week, Feb. 16-22, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County and the SWAT Chapter (Students Working Against Tobacco) are encouraging smokeless tobacco users to set a quit date. Each year, Through With Chew Week raises awareness about the dangers of smok…

SEBRING — Belt buckles, boots and 10-gallon hats were the dress code at Cracker Trail Elementary School on Wednesday in anticipation of the arrival of the Cracker Trail riders. The school’s administration let the kids break dress code and rearranged lunch schedules so they could line around …

SEBRING — Nearby residents and Sebring City Council members agreed they would like to see redevelopment of the Lakeview Terrace Apartments; but they also believe the proposed plan does not include enough parking and the zoning for the property should not be changed.

TALLAHASSEE — In a sign that negotiations are underway, a Senate health-care panel on Tuesday approved House Speaker Jose Oliva’s top priority of the 2020 legislative session: independent practice for advanced practice registered nurses.

ARCADIA — Duck Wallow Lane, the Trail Dogs and the Heartland Jam Band are the featured Bluegrass bands scheduled to perform at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the next Heartland Bluegrass Bash. This Bluegrass concert is hosted every month by the Heartland Bluegrass Association at Craig’s RV …

1. Carnelian is the modern word for the stone translated as sardius in the King James Version of the Bible.

SEBRING — For years, decades even, Highlands County residents living on county-maintained shell roads or non-county maintained unpaved roads have begged to get their roads paved. The question always came down to money: “How much and who would pay for it?”

TALLAHASSEE — A proposed law that would establish parents’ authority to have more direct control over their children’s education and health care was approved by a Senate panel on Monday.

TALLAHASSEE — In a new sign of problems in Florida’s property-insurance industry, tens of thousands of homeowners will be shifted to a different insurer this spring because of a company’s financial troubles.

SEBRING — The annual Cracker Trail Ride will make its way across Highlands County today. Current plans have the riders of the historic journey heading east around 9 a.m., making their traditional stop at Cracker Trail Elementary School around 11 a.m. and crossing U.S. 27 at State Road 66 aro…

TALLAHASSEE — A key Republican lawmaker who is pushing to require all Florida employers to do federal immigration background checks on new hires said Tuesday his bill has become a “mockery” of what the proposal should be.

AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — A half-kilometer (1,640-foot) brick wall has been hastily erected in India's Gujarat state ahead of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, with critics saying it was built to block the view of a slum area inhabited by more than 2,000 people.

BEIJING (AP) — As a mysterious new virus enveloped central China’s Wuhan early this year, Liu Zhiming mobilized all the resources of his hospital in the city’s Wuchang district to deal with the thousands of sick people arriving daily, threatening to overwhelm the local health care system.

NEW YORK (AP) — Jurors at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial began deliberating Tuesday in a case pitting accusers’ often-harrowing testimony against the defense’s contention that the acts were consensual, surrounded by friendly, flirtatious emails and further meetings with the film producer.

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has qualified for the upcoming Democratic presidential debate, marking the first time he’ll stand alongside the rivals he has so far avoided by bypassing the early voting states and using his personal fortune to define himself through television ads.

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad congratulated his forces Monday for consolidating control over the entire province of Aleppo in northern Syria, pledging to press ahead with a military campaign to achieve complete victory “sooner or later.”

1. There are over 1,300 species of acacia worldwide, primarily in Australia and Africa, and to a lesser extent in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

The following people were arrested on felony charges and booked into the Highlands County jail on Feb. 10:

LAKE PLACID — The Highlands County Road and Bridge Department will be closing Nichele Boulevard between Highlands Lake Drive and Marshall Avenue. The road closure will begin Wednesday, Feb. 19, at approximately 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. There will be no through traffic. All temporary traffic co…

The following people were arrested on felony charges related to sexual offense violations and booked into the Highlands County Jail from Feb. 11 through Feb. 16. Non-arrest sexual offender registrants are also listed for the same time frame.

BEIJING (AP) — China said Monday it may postpone its annual congress in March, its biggest political meeting of the year, as the military dispatched hundreds more medical workers and extra supplies to the city hit hardest by a 2-month-old virus outbreak.

SEBRING — It has been four weeks since Margaret “Helen” Becker’s husband Fred, or anyone for that matter, has seen her. The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office has officially called off the search for the 81-year-old woman who disappeared on Jan. 17.

SEBRING — William Streiff, 51, of Sebring, was released from jail Sunday morning after making bail. He was charged with disturbing the peace and carrying a concealed weapon, a knife — both misdemeanor charges, according to the arrest report.

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — Two charter flights carrying cruise ship passengers from Japan landed at military bases in California and Texas overnight, starting the clock on a quarantine period to ensure passengers don’t have the new virus that’s been spreading in Asia.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Days and days of heavy rain have created a dilemma for authorities managing dams along swollen rivers in Mississippi and Tennessee. The water has to be released eventually, worsening the flooding for people living downstream.

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AVON PARK — Hemp4Water Founder W. Steven Edmonds Jr. said nobody else in the country is studying how hemp could be used to remove metric tons of nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients that can cause problems at high levels in rivers and lakes.