News Update for 11/7/18

It was a heavy turnout as Highlands County residents voted in droves this election cycle. Some 68-percent of the electorate cast their ballots either by mail, in early voting or at the polls yesterday.
There is one local race to report. There will be two new members on the Avon Park City Council. Maria Sutherland and Stanley Spurlock unseated incumbents Terry Heston and Doris Smith. Incumbent Vice Mayor Brenda Gray kept her seat.
In districtwide races, Greg Steube won Congressional District 17, Cary Pigman will go back to the Florida House from District 55 and Ben Albritton will be the new Florida State Senator for District 26.

Highlands County commissioners yesterday learned that a hydrology study slated for Lake Jackson is being scaled back. The program is designed to determine why water levels in the big lake fluctuate. Apparently, the study is being reduced in scope due to cost factors.
It’s now scheduled to be re-bid in January.
Highlands County has been recognized as County of the Year by the Guardian Ad-Litem program. A formal presentation was made at yesterday’s Highlands County commission meeting.

Sheriff Paul Blackman was joined by city and county officials as well as a cadre of law enforcement officers as the name of Deputy William Gentry was added to a memorial to Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies killed in the line of duty.
Gentry was gunned down this past May, after responding to a neighborhood complaint over a cat that had been killed.
The unveilling comes six months to the day since Gentry was slain.

An iconic Sebring landmark is up for sale, and Sebring city council members are considering purchasing it. The Sebring Women’s Club building is on the market. Council members said the structure is in good repair and the surrounding grounds could provide additional parking the nearby Veterans Beach.
The city deeded the property to the women’s club in 1959 for just $10. They believe the price might be a bit higher now.