News Update for 10/13/22

Avon Park city council members continue crafting their boards, authorities and commissions as they look at making the City of Charm more business and resident friendly. Former Avon Park city council woman Brenda Gray was up for an appointment to the city’s housing authority Monday evening.
However, council members decided to hold off, saying they wanted to find out if there are other citizens who’d like to serve. They are advertising the post for the next month and a half to find out if there’s any interest.

There’s good news for Highlands County residents who have not yet registered for disaster relief. A FEMA disaster recovery center is slated to open here tomorrow. It will open Friday morning at 9am in the Bert J. Harris Agricultural Civic Ceneter.
Those wishing to apply in person must bring an insurance determination letter, proof of occupancy or ownership and identification.
They also need to bring photos of damage to the home, and a list of damaged or lost items. Registration still may be accomplished online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.

County Road 621 was closed near the intersection of Godwin Road in Highlands County last night due to a traffic crash. Early reports indicate at least one person was killed in the incident.
Florida Highway Patrol officials worked the accident but have released no names or other details on the mishap.

Hardee county residents will be seeing some increased air traffic over the next few days – but it has nothing to do with the bombing range. Instead of jets, there will be small planes, flying low in straight, repetetive lines.
Those aircraft will be doing mosquito control in various parts of Hardee – especially places that were hit by flooding caused by Hurricane Ian.
Standing water provides a breeding ground for the biting bugs, and local officials don’t want to see a boom in the mosquito population.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating another deputy-involved shooting. This one occured in the community of Davenport.
According to reports, the deputy was shot in the chest, but the bullet was stopped by his bullet-proof vest. The suspect, 41-year-old Gabriel Batista was not injured, and was arrested.
Deputies were responding a family disturbance when the incident occured..
The deputy who was shot was taken to the hospital and may be released later today.

Alcohol is suspected in a crash that killed a child in Polk County. A pickup truck went off the road early yesterday near Polk City and hit some trees. The sheriff’s office says a 22-month-old boy who was not in a car seat was ejected and died at the scene. A five-year-old boy suffered a fractured neck. Polk City’s Guadalupe Najera Santana was arrested on charges that include DUI manslaughter and driving with an expired license. Deputies say the 30-year-old had a blood alcohol level almost twice the legal limit. She was not hurt. The Mexican national is in the country on an expired work visa, and ICE has been notified