News Update for 2/17/22

Despite a stream of residents asking them not to do it, Sebring city council members vote 4-1 to approve the concept of a multi-million dollar waterfront district where the Alan Altvader cultural complex now sits. Councilman Lenard Carlisle, the lone dissenting vote, said he was unhappy that there were no firm budget numbers attached to the plan.

In making the motion, councilman Mark Steward said he wanted the council to have final say over final plans, that would see the Jack Stroup Civic Center knocked down in favor of an open entertainment area along the lake.
There’s no word on when council might see those plans again.

It was a contentious discussion at the Avon Park city council meeting as they mulled over the idea of using convicts to do mowing and other labor in the City of Charm. Councilwomen Bernice Taylor and Shelly Mercure blanched at the idea, saying that city workers were not qualified to oversee crews of inmates doing such work.
City staff responded that they have had success with the program in the past and has been used to rehabilitate some of the men.
By a 3-2 vote, council voted to re-start the program on a limited basis.

Firefighters from Desoto City, West Sebring and Lorida were called out again yesterday afternoon to extinguish another brush fire. This one was off Putter Court and Quail Avenue west of Sebring.
It charred about 20 acres before they got it knocked down.
According to reports, no buildings or other structures were threatened – and no injuries were reported. No cause for the blaze has been listed.
It’s the dry season, and officials are asking residents to avoid any outside burning on windy days.

An inmate who bolted from Florida Hospital yesterday reportedly caused a controlled campus to be imposed at Sun ‘N Lake Elementary School.

Highlands County school officials say there was not any danger, but they took the action as a precautionary measure.
Sheriff’s officials say the unnamed patient needs to be returned to receive treatment. They describe him as a 30-year-old white male; 5-foot-10, 180 pounds. when last seen he was wearing blue scrub pants, no shirt and no shoes.

City commissioners in Lake Wales have accepted an $800,000 grant which will go to improve the airport there. The public transportation grant money is slated to be used to construct a new fuel farm at the airport.

Officials in the Crown Jewel of the Ridge say the construction would allow jets to fly in at the municipal facility.