News Update for 1/20/20

Two Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies and a trainee reportedly are on administrative leave and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been called in to investigate following a weekend shooting incident.
A man identified as 43-year-old Dustin Alexander Nealis was shot and killed in the incident at a residence on Bridle Path, south of Sebring.
Not many details have yet been released, however, it is known that the deputies were called to what has been described as a possible domestic disturbance during the pre-dawn hours yesterday.

Highlands County law enforcement officials still are in search of a local man. They would like to talk with Arthur “A.J.” Sterling in reference to an arson investigation.
Authorites are probing aa fire on North Summit Avenue. The incident occurred early yesterday morning and apparently was out when firefighters arrived at the scene. No injuries were reported, but the State Fire Marshal’s office was called in to investigate the cause.
Anyone knowing Sterling’s whereabouts is asked to call the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.

Highlands County is losing a couple of community leaders. According to reports, Nell Hayes will be leaving the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office after a quarter century of service.
Once the public information officer, she currently serves in the Crime Prevention Unit. Apparently, she plans to step down at the end of the month.
Eileen May also is retiring as the Executive Director of the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce. She replaced Joel Lowman almost two decades ago. Reportedly, administrative assistant Jennifer Bush will take over as Acting Executive Director.

There was no school in Highlands County today, due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday observance. Motorists are cautioned to watch for youngsters who may be out and about during hours when they normally would be in class.
Some may have participated local Martin Luther King observances held throughout the county today.

A federal appeals court will consider a dispute over the movement of a Confederate soldier from a prominent town square park in Lakeland to a veterans memorial park.
The Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Save Southern Heritage, a self-described history and heritage group.
An attorney for the group says oral arguments are set the week of April 20 before the court. Lakeland officials decided to move the 109-year-old statue from the city’s Munn Park to the veterans memorial in March of last year, sparking the lawsuit.