There is a second “pandemic” or “virus” that has infected Highlands County that is being ignored by its citizens and by the paper just as much as the COVID-19 was originally ignored. I would hate to see the source of my information disappear but since the first day the sheriff's department's “On Line Booking” report first appeared every morning for 20 or so years I check the bookings. Originally, it came with my job to be one step ahead of my boss.

Methamphetamine: On June 30. There are 10 or 11 individual arrests for methamphetamine-related crimes. 15 months earlier, March 30, 2019, the Highlands News Sun reported a “international ring” busted.

This is an assumption on my part. During the COVID-19 lockdown there were “limited arrests.” The booking site strongly suggests: battery, DUI, and methamphetamine … with everything falling aside. Oh, the occasional child abuse and child oornography.

In 1990 to 1992, methamphetamine was rare in Highlands County. Yet, in 1993 in the adjacent Hardee County, methamphetamine was rampant. It is strange walking into a "filthy" house with kids and being told they use "meth" because it helps them keep the house "clean."

So, what went wrong? March 2019 to June 2020. Originally, Polk County was the methamphetamine capital. What went so wrong to make Highlands County the methamphetamine capital?

Edward Hummell