News Update for 1/13/21

Highlands County Superintendent of Schools Brenda Longshore says local youngsters are beginning to filter back into the classroom, following the suspension of the “Innovative Learning Environment.”
That program provided the opportunity for youngsters to take classes via computer. However, it was discontinued after reports that a third of students were failing at least one class and a quarter of the studentry was failing two classes.
Longshore says there still are about 1100 youngsters taking their classes virtually.

The city of Avon Park is working on a new website. The idea is to make municipal information more available to citizens in an easier format. Council members voted 3-1 to go with the Muny-Code company to do the work.
They have agreed to make the site more mobile-friendly and also ADA compliant. The $4800 program could be operational as soon as July.
Meanwhile, the city still is trying to extricate itself from a computer hack. They were the victim of a ransom-ware attack that has locked up their internal systems.

A Lake Wales man has been killed in a motorcycle accident. Police in the Crown Jewel of the Ridge say 25-year-old Matthew Gnas was westbound on the Mountain Lake Cutoff Road and apparently ran into the rear of a car driven by 32-year-old Austin Gladney.
Gnas was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say he hit the car at a high rate of speed. No charges have been filed in the incident.

A pair of Hardee teenagers have been arrested and charged in connection with what authorities are calling a per-meditated murder. According to reports, deputies were called to an area near Steve Roberts Special east of Zolfo Springs.
There, they found a person who apparently had been shot and killed. An investigation led detectives to 18-year-old Ernesto Angel Campos-Ramirez and 17-year-old Gabriella Graciela Garcia.
Both have been charged with numerous counts – including first degree murder. Investigators say the victim apparently had been summoned to the location to assist with a disabled vehicle. After arriving on the scene, the victim was shot and personal items were stolen.

Polk County Sheriff’s deputies reportedly arrested a Kathleen Middle School teacher on drug charges, after she was found asleep in a car with drug paraphernalia on a school night.
Robin Ramos apparently was found asleep behind the wheel of a car at a Lakeland gas station. Inside the car, deputies found a syringe and a metal spoon which tested positive for methamphetamine.
Ramos, reportedly a 6th grade math teacher, has been charged with possession methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was booked into the Polk County jail.