News for 6/1/18

Highlands County commissioners have taken the next step in the establishment of countywide fire protection – they’ve sent out a notice of the bill. Residents across the county are receiving letters informing them of the charges.
This year’s assessment has been set at $108, with a future maximum set for $115. Businesses will be assessed on a square-foot basis, depending on whether it’s commercial, industrial or institutional.
The levy is expected to raise just over $7.5 million dollars.

The Lake Placid Noon Rotary reportedly has created a scholarship in memory of slain Highlands County Sheriff’s deputy William Gentry.
The memorial scholarship is designed to send a cadet to the law enforcement academy at South Florida State College. Club President Mary Birge says the club has made a five-year commitment to fund the scholarship, and intends to continue it well past then.
The scholarship recipients will have to make a commitment to work in Highlands County for at least two years after graduation.
The presentation was made yesterday to Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman.

Florida Highway Patrol officials are investigating yesterday’s death of a trucker. Troopers say the semi-tractor-trailer rig being driven by Pedro Cruz was westbound on Highway 70, when it crossed the road several times, then ran into a fence.
They say the 53-year-old Tampa man was buckled up, and alcohol was not a factor. It remains unclear whether Cruz died as a result of the crash or had a medical issue.

A local man reportedly suffered a gunshot would to the leg overnight while camping. He showed up at Highlands Regional Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the calf.
The man explained to police he had gone to sit down on a cooler and accidentally knocked over a rifle – which discharged. He apparently was treated and released.