News Update for 10/4/19

It looks like Avon Park City Clerk Kimberly Gay will be running the City of Charm – at least for the foreseeable future. The city council last night promoted her to interim city manager after Mark Schrader turned down the post.
Council had offered the former Highlands County undersheriff the interim position after they dismissed former city manager David Flowers.
Scrader said he planned to apply for the position on a full time basis, and did not want to have an unfair advantage over other candidates when the selection process occurs.
The council also gave Gay the nod to promote Danielle Phillips to interim finance director in the wake of the resignation of former finance director Ricky Helms.

There was an accident overnight on Highway 27 in Sebring. Two semi-trucks came together at the Flare Road intersection in front of the Gate Station. According to reports, a refrigerated tractor trailer failed to stop and clipped another semi that was at the traffic light there.
The second vehicle tried to take evasive action, but the trailers clipped, opening the side of the refrigerated vehicle.
There were no injuries. Crews reportedly spent the better part of the overninght hours switching that load over to another trailer.

Members of the Highlands County Economic Development Department came to the Sebring city council meeting to lobby on behalf a proposed Bernie Little beer distribution facility. The 70,000 square foot plant has been suggested to go in just outside the city limits.
A number of people turned out at the council meeting to oppose the move. Former councilman and member of the Central Florida Regional Planning Council Jeff Carlson pointed to a number of alternative locations the facility might locate. Also lobbying against the move was former Highlands County administrator Carl Cool.
Council members took no official action on the suggestion.
Development Director Ben Dunn pointed out the tax increases the county would enjoy by the relocation of the plant. The move was turned down by the county’s planning & zoning board on a 5-1 vote, but is slated to be brought before county commissioners at their October 15th session.

A Polk County man has been sentenced to life in prison for beating his father to death with a ball-peen hammer.
27-year-old Vincent Moccia was sentenced Thursday after a Polk County jury found him guilty of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors say Moccia went into 52-year-old Anthony Moccia’s bedroom while the older man was sleeping in November 2015 and struck the older man in the head multiples times. Vincent Moccia then grabbed his puppy and left. He crashed his truck into a utility pole not far from the Lakeland home.
Defense lawyers argued that Moccia experienced a psychotic break. Jurors deliberated less than an hour before returning their verdict.