Local Headlines 1-31-19

Highlands County’s professionally-centered fire service system took another step forward this month. Public Safety Director Marc Bashoor told the County Commission last week that he’s got crews doing full shifts on duty at Sun N Lakes South and as of yesterday, fulltime staffing at DeSoto City. One 24 hour shift includes two firefighters and a supervising Leutenant, backed up by volunteers.

A local mechanic got sentenced to three years in state prison yesterday after being convicted on a collection of charges stemming from two now-defunct local repair shops. — Kevin Ray Barber was sentenced to three years in state prison followed by 12 years of probation. He was arrested in March of last year. Barber owned South Side Auto and Diesel in Sebring and formerly owned Kevin’s 4-Wheel Drive in Lake Placid. He pled no contest Tuesday and found guilty on one bad check count and 12 of varying degrees of theft.

There are enough news stories the residents of Highway Park south of Lake Placid would rather NOT have come out of that neighborhood south of Lake Placid – here’s one they do. For the third time in four years, the neighborhood has received the President’s Circle Award from Keep America Beautiful. The award will officially be presented in February at the Keep America Beautiful conference in Maryland. Highway Park has an active residents association working to preserve the neighborhood atmosphere and keep watch for safety in the area.

And there’s a new look on the walls to one of Downtown Sebring’s old friends. Mae Lee’s Deli in downtown Sebring has a new a mural on the side of its building showing scenes from Sebring’s heritage including citrus, racing, bears, cattle and native wildlife. Mae Lee’s applied for a facade grant from the Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency. The CRA approved the facade grant for $3,461.25, approximately half of the cost of the mural.