News Update 1/28/20

Avon Park city council members last night decided to ditch the process of finding a city manager and voted just to offer the job to former Highlands County Undersheriff Mark Schrader. It wasn’t unanimous, it came by a 3-2 vote.
Councilman Jim Barnard and Mayor Garrett Anderson lobbied to go through the process of reviewing and interviewing a field of candidats – some vetted by a citizen’s committee. Stanley Spurlock led the way making a motion to offer the job to Schrader, with Brenda Gray and Maria Sutherland joining him.
Schrader will be offered the post at $90,000 a year with a $5,000 increase after a six month probation period. He was given a week to decide whether or not to accept the post.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials say they still are looking for assistance in their search for a missing Highlands County woman. 81-year-old Margaret Helen Becker was last seen in her 2018 Blue Chevrolet Colorado on January 16.
Authorities say they have tried to ping her cell phone repeatedly without success and have not been able to find the vehicle through use of the auto’s GPS system.
She last was seen at the Southgate Plaza at Sebring wearing a blue checked shirt and knee length blue pants. Family members speculate she may have been the victim of a carjacking.
The Chevy Colorado has Ohio license tags. Anyone with information is asked to call the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.

Highlands County law enforcement officials are looking into a threat made at the Avon Park Middle School. Apparently, there was a message left in one of the restrooms indicating the school might be quote “shot up.” That information subsequently was shared a number of places on social media.
It caused a massive absenteeism on Monday, with nearly 350 youngsters out of class. Things reportedly have returned pretty much to normal today, with no other incidents reported.
Detectives now are working to determine who might have left such a threat and how it subsequently was dispersed.

An Okechobee man has been killed in a Glades County accident. Florida Highway Patrol officials say 60-year-old Dale Reiss was riding his motorcycle on Gun Club road. He slowed to make a turn and was hit from behind by a second Harley Davidson.
Reiss was killed, the rider of the second bike, 77-year-old James Thomas Ruttan was taken to Lawnwood Regional in serious condition. Charges in the incident are pending.