News Update for 12/28/19

Officials of SunTrust Bank and the SunTrust Foundation, reportedly now have joined with the National Compassion Fund in an effort to provide resources and financial support to the victims of last week’s shooting incident at the SunTrust Bank location off Lake Jackson.
The “Sebring Strong Survivors Fund” was established as a way for people to donate, with 100-percent of the contributions going to victims’ families. The goal is a million dollars.
The page is found on the GoFundMe site at “Sebring Strong Survivors Fund.”

Nearly a thousand people showed up at the Highlands County Fairgrounds last night to honor the five victims of last week’s shooting at the SunTrust Bank. Speakers in the 40-minute service included Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund, Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman and Tim Williams – brother-in-law of Ana Pinon-Williams – one of the bank employees slain in the shooting.
Governor Ron Desantis had been slated to appear, but was kept away by the bad weather. The governor has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff because of the tragedy.
Meanwhile, SunTrust Bank officials say the building will not be re-opened as a branch, but will be re-designated to another purpose.

One person was killed and the Northbound lanes of Highway 27 near Sun ‘N Lakes South were closed for a time last night when a vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian.
Florida Highway Patrol reports indicate 62-year-old Howard Davis of Lake Placid was walking in the highway along a curve, when he was hit from behind by a sport utility vehicle.
Neither the driver of that vehicle, 78 year-old Carl Saron nor his passenger were injured.
No charges have been filed in the incident.

It looks like a long agenda for the Avon Park city council tonight. Among other things, the board is scheduled to get an update on that disputed generator for City Hall.
They also are slated to mull over the economic development of the downtown area and its historic buildings, talk about parks & recreation, employee training and diversity and will look at the city’s alcoholic beverage policy. The county has passed a measure which now allows people to start purchasing and consuming alcohol Sunday mornings at 7:AM.
In other action, the council will look at a proposed payment plan from Classic Caladiums for their property taxes and will hear a presentment from the Avon Park Senior Activities Center.

Did former Avon Park City Attorney Glinda Pruitt and Deputy Mayor Brenda Gray work outside the bounds of their city positions? That’s a question in a letter from new councilwoman Maria Sutherland.
Based on her observations and conversations with city residents, Sutherland says she has created a timeline of records and emails charging that Pruitt used city-paid time to conduct personal affairs and business on behalf of Gray – and Gray’s employer “The Heartland Coalition for the Homeless.”
Sutherland said that during Pruitt’s employment with the city, she was the subordinate to Gray, while Gray simultaneously served as a subordinate to Pruitt on the Homeless Coalition Board.
Sutherland has asked current city attorney Gerald Buhr to review the matter.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials and units from the West Sebring Volunteer Fire Department were called out to a Schlosser Road address and invesitgate a suspicious package. They found nothing more than a suspicious package. They called the box – a cylinder with two end-caps and no labeling “a poor choice of packaging,” but determined it was not illegal.
Apparently, it was a mass-mailing of an advertisment for a car tent-sale by an out-of-town company.