News Update for 12/11/19

It appears the City of Charm is poised for some significant growth. Avon Park city council members have approved wholesale zoning changes along Highway 27. The action upgrades 73-acres of property along the county’s busiest thoroughfare to C-2, or what is termed “Highway Commercial.” Among other things, that will permit the construction of restaurants, stores, offices and multi-family residential projects.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office reportedly has nabbed 124 people in what’s being described as a six-day undercover investigation to combat human trafficking and child predators.
Dubbed “Operation Santa’s Naughty List,” the people arrested face human trafficking drug and other charges.
The sheriff’s office worked with the State Attorney’s Office, local police and anti-human trafficking groups as part of that sting operation.

Firefighters in Polk County rescued two people from an early morning house fire.
Officials said neighbors spotted the flames at the back of the home – located along Willis Road in Mulberry — around midnight, and dialed 911. Firefighters had to go inside and pulled the two people out.
No injuries were reported – cause remains under investigation. No names or other details have yet been released.

A Polk County man wounded last year in a shootout with deputies there has been sentenced to life in prison. 34-year-old Joshua Imhoff was convicted last month on seven counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer.
Investigators say Imhoff’s ex-girlfriend called 911 in January 2018 and reported that he sent her threatening messages and a photo of a gun. Deputies spotted Imhoff’s truck afterward on an interstate southwest of Orlando.
They say he shot at them during a chase but was eventually forced to stop. Deputies say Imhoff came at them with a knife, prompting one deputy to open fire.