News Update 2/5/19

Tomorrow will mark two weeks since a shooting incident at the SunTrust Bank building on Lake Jackson that claimed five lives. Citizens plan to mark the occasion with a gathering in the parking lot there at 12:30.
Since the incident, hundreds of flowers and other tributes have been left at the property. A Go Fund Me web Page also has been established for the Sebring Strong Survivors’ Fund, it now stands at better then $76,000 for victims’ families.
Organizers are calling for a moment of silence tomorrow afternoon at 12:36 – the time the shootings occurred.

Highlands County Commissioners this morning discussed, but took no action on streaming their regular meetings. Commissioners took down their archives after being contacted by a Daytona Beach man who said his reader could not decipher the sessions.
Identified simply as “Joe Price,” the man apparently has no phone number or email address. He reportedly has asked that documentation for the years 2016,2017 and 2018 be made available on the county’s web site.
Commissioners this morning asked their staff and attorney to research the situation to see what can be accomplished.

Members of the Heartland Cultural Alliance came before the Avon Park city council at their special meeting last night. They are in search of a ten year lease for control of the upper portion of the city’s community center as well as permission to run the bottom portion of the building.
The HCA currently gets the upper floor, for $200 a year and says they can get a state grant to fund it. Council members say now is the time they begin to rent the place at market value.

Avon Park city council members have received some good news about the Brickell Building downtown. New City Manager David Flowers said a recent tour of the city-owned structure leads him to believe the mold problem might not be as bad as first thought.
Flowers and a mold mitigation specialist plan to meet this morning for another walk thru and an assessment of the facility. Flowers also told the council that their insurance carrier appears to be ready to “work with the city” in funding the effort.

Highlands County Sheriff’s Deputies have broken up a cock fighting ring and arrested three people. Apparently they found the operation on Twilight Drive in Lake Placid following an anonymous tip.
Most of the participants fled when lawmen arrived at the scene – however they did arrest two – 71-year-old Jose Alvarez of Arcadia and 22-year-old Giovanni Hernandez of LaBelle. The owner of the property – 39-year-old Antonio Garcia also was charged with multiple counts.
Animal Services officers collected all the live chickens.