News Update 10/14/19

It’s Columbus Day. Remember, there is no school for students in Highlands County today. Motorists are urged to watch out for kids walking, playing and riding their bicycles during school hours. Classes will resume tomorrow morning.

Avon Park city council members tonight will continue work on developing a citizen’s committee, charged with helping to vette a new city manager. Currently the panel is set for seven seats – but no members have yet been named. Meanwhile, the city has received more than 70 applicants for the city manager’s post.
In other action, the council will vote on giving themselves the same health insurance offered to employees in the City of Charm and look at the second and final reading that will allow for medical marijuana facilities throughout Avon Park. A public hearing will be held as part of that process.

Highway 27 was blocked just south of the Polk County line last night for about an hour due to a traffic crash. The accident reportedly occurred about 10:00 just south of County Line Road.
Early reports indicate an All Terrain Vehicle hit a pickup truck, causing multiple injuries. At least one person had to be airlifted out.
No names or other details have yet been released.

Units from the Highlands Lakes and West Sebring fire departments were joined by Florida Forest Service crews yesterday in battling a brush fire of Somerset Road near Avon Park.
Despite heavy ground fuel, firefighters were able to get ahead of the spreading 1/2 acre fire, stopping it just feet away from three structures that were threatened.
Authorities say the fire was caused by a homeowners burn pit getting out of control. No injuries were reported.

Polk County Sheriff’s deputies have announced a second fugitive has been nabbed. Taiwan Blandin reportedly has been picked up by the Atlanta Police Department in Georgia. The 30-year-old Frostproof man is being held in the Fulton County jail on Carjacking Escape, Aggrivated Assaut charges.
He is wanted here on First degree murder, arsoin, armed kidnapping and battery counts among other things. Deputies believe he may have been involved in the September murder of Peggy Shiering at her home in Frostproof.