News Update for 1/7/19

Highlands County Commissioners are expected to take care of at least one hot-button issue at their first meeting of the year tomorrow morning. They are slated to consider a proposed ordinance that would amend the time of sales of alcoholic beverages on Sunday morning.
Currently, those in the unincorporated areas of the county have to wait until 1:00 Sunday afternoon to buy booze. Reportedly, the Tourist Development Council has endorsed the measure, saying it will belp increase tourism.

Apparently more information is coming out about an Avon Park woman accused in an extreme case of animal neglect & abuse.
66-year-old Jinece Elizabeth Loghery has been charged with 72 counts of animal cruelty after her Memorial Drive home was found littered with more than 70 malnourished and dead animals.
Now, the Highlands County Humane Society is circulating a story on social media saying this is not the first time. It says Loughry had been an animal control officer in Berwick, Pennsylvania when her house was found filled with 40 dogs and 24 cats in filthy conditions.
Loughry was booked into the Highlands County jail on the current charges but has posted bond.

Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies had their hands full overnight. A car hit a power pole on State Road 17 near Lake Letta Road shortly after midnight. According to reports, the vehicle rolled over and hit the pole, downing some power lines.
Reportedly, nobody was seriously injured in that mishap.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials worked a couple of accidents over the weekend. A van and an SUV collided about 5:30 last night at the intersection of State Road 70 and Placidview.
Reportedly, a number of people were transported from that one.
State Road 66 was blocked for a time Saturday when a semi-truck overturned near the Highlands County line.

A man in Polk County has been charged with vehicular homicide after a wreck that killed his 5-year-old son.
Polk County Sheriff’s authorities say 26-year-old Austin Cabanas was driving with his son and another child in the backseat of the car two days before Christmas when police tried to pull them over. Authorities said Cabanas refused to stop and was driving nearly 40 mph over the speed limit when he ran a red light before crashing into another vehicle and then a light pole.
His son Ayden died in the wreck. Police say the children were not in car seats or wearing seat belts. Authorities arrested Cabanas during a party at his home on New Year’s Eve. He’s being held without bond.
Sheriff Grady Judd said Cabanas was “reckless and negligent.

A Polk County stripper has been charged with threatening a mass shooting. Lakeland Police say 31-year-old Brien Basarich posted about her homicidal urges on social media under the username “taking-lives.”
According to an arrest affidavit, she said she had a vision of a bar or club with only one entrance and exit and that she planned to purchase an AR-15 “soonish.” Reportedly, she described herself as a great admirer of serial killers and mass murderers.
Basarich was charged this week with written threat to kill or injure and arrested at home.