Local News Headlines 1-13-23

State’s attorneys are batting .500 after two trials ended a bit – differently – this week. Jimmy Lamar Ford Jr. was convicted this week on second-degree homicide counts in connection with the 2020 murder of 29-year-old Alexander Antonio Nowell. The altercation was at The Joint in Avon Park, on South Delaney Avenue. Ford will be sentenced at a later date and still faces charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon related to this case. On Monday, another attempted murder defendant, Derwin Callahan Junior, had to be sent home on probation after both the victim declined to testify and a co-defendant in a 2021 Highway Park beating and shooting incident didn’t show up to testify.

Get ready for the possibility of some traffic-flow changes in Downtown Avon Park. The City Council this week had representatives of the Florida Transportation Department in their meeting, discussing the idea of closing a lane on either side of Main Street through the Downtown, which would allow horizontal parking and more spaces for parking in front of businesses on the mile-long mall. It’d slow traffic through downtown, but allow for more cars to stop and shop. Nothing’s carved in stone – it’ll be discussed at a public workshop before anything gets firmed up.

While we’re in Avon Park, the Jacaranda Hotel is sporting some new décor in one of its historic suites. The hotel retained Designed Kelly Griffin Cosgrave from Griffin’s Carpet Mart to design the project – the custom made items in the suite are all locally available – like the couch, from Tuner Furniture and accessories from other local retailers. The suite on the 3rd floor will be marketed as a locally-available fun night away.

The track’s hot at Sebring International Raceway this weekend. The SCCA’s Hoosier Racing Tire Winter Vacation Season Opener. Yeah, there are tickets for sale, but the track also announced a dozen-camera live stream of the race at Drivers’ Eye Live, debut’ing this weekend at Sebring.

Monday is Martin Luther King Junior Day, and the City of Sebring wants you prepared for a few traffic re-routings during the day’s observances. There’s a noon parade through Downtown Sebring, so the Circle Drive will be closed to through-traffic starting at 11:45am … many of the spoke streets will also be closed. Things are expected to be re-opened by 1pm-ish. By the by, trash collection in the County is on schedule for next week. No changes – if you’re due for pickup on Monday, plan on Monday!