News Update 2/5/20

Following a three hour public hearing last night, Highlands County commissioners acquiesced, and passed two resolutions. One was showing support for the United States Constitution and the constitution of the State of Florida. The other was more specific, a resolution in favor of the Second Amendment, and declaring that Highlands is a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.
Highlands now joins 26 other counties – including Polk and Okeechobee in making the non-binding resolution. It wasn’t unanimous – both measures passed by a 3-2 vote.
Many counties have taken the action in response to Florida’s so-called Red Flag Law.

Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies and Florida Wildlife Conservation agents spent the day on the Kissemmee River yesterday in search of Margaret Helen Becker – but apparently had no success. The 81-year-old Sebring woman was last seen alive on January 16. A gate guard at the Avon Park Bombing Range reported she drove through his checkpoint without stopping.
Her truck was found in the river this past Saturday – she was not in it. Some contents of the truck reportedly were found down stream – however, Becker remains missing.

According to reports, Tom Kristensen has been tapped as the Grand Marshal for this year’s running of Super Sebring 2020. Kristensen, who has the most wins of any driver at America’s Premier Sports Car Endurance Race, will wave the green flag to start both Friday’s World Endurance Championship race and Saturday’s Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring.
Kristensen, who boasts six wins at Sebring, also has a turn – Kristensen Corner – designated on the Sebring circuit.

A Polk County man has avoided the death penalty for his role in the shooting deaths of three people in 2016. 29-year-old Jamaal Smith was sentenced yesterday to mandatory life in prison.
Smith was convicted of first-degree murder last week. Prosecutors say one of the shooting victims had been buying drugs from Smith and other men in Miami.
He and two other people allegedly broke into a home in 2016 and carried out the fatal shooting.
Smith apologized to the families of the victims in court. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Smith but the jury could not come to a unanimous decision.