News Update for 11/17/20

Highlands County got four new county commissioners this morning as Scott Kirouac, Kathy Rapp, Christopher Campbell and Kevin Roberts took the oath of office. The new group took care of a full agenda, including approval of a 10 acre lot that will permit the construction of a Recreational Vehicle storage and repair facility.
Board members also were given current commission priorities and projects and asked to look at what committee liaison assignments they want.

The Highlands County School Board has a new chair. In their re-organizational session this morning, bard members selected Jan Shoop to wield the gavel for the upcoming fiscal year. She takes over from former chair Donna Howerton.
In other action, the board discussed the problems involved in the purchase of nearly two dozen new school busses. State auditors recently ruled those vehicles could not be paid for by monies generated by the new half-cent sales tax,

One person reportedly was injured yesterday in a fire in the North of Lake Placid. According to reports, some electrical components overheated and set a couch on fire in a home on Woodside Drive.
Although the homeowner was able to douse most of the fire by the time units arrived on the scene, one of the residents was transported with burns and smoke inhalation. A second person and several cats were not hurt.
Officials say that a smoke alarm called units to the scene. Damage was set at $4500.

Two teenage brothers from Lake Wales have been arrested in connection with the murder of a 21-year old man. The body of Danne Frazier was found in an orange grove near there on Tuesday.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 18-year-old Angel Lobato and his brother, 19-year-old Jo “JoJo” Lobato, both of Lake Wales now are in the Polk County jail.
Frazier had been reported missing to the Lakeland Police Department earlier this month. His mother told authorities her son got off work from the Lakeland Publix warehouse location, but had not been answering his phone all day.
She also reported suspicious activity on his bank account.

A Lakeland man was arrested yesterday in Hillsoborough County by Florida Highway Patrol Troopers after he allegedly tried to pick up a downed utility pole. According to reports, 71-year-old Douglas Hatley had strapped the huge pole to the top of his Toyota Camry using telephone wire and was headed for a recycle facility
Troopers stopped him on I-4 just east of the I-75 interchange after being called by concerned motorists. Hatley has been charged with grand theft in the incident.