News Update for 2/19/19

Highlands County Fire Rescue Shift Batallion Chief Billy Kingston has been honored as one of this year’s Outstanding Young Floridians. The award was handed out by Junior Chamber International this past weekend in Cocoa Beach.
Kingston, who was promoted last month from his post as assistant chief of the West Sebring Volunteer Fire Department, was awarded by the JCI for his exceptional service. Kingston has better than two decades of experience in the fire service here.

Valentines Day is over and locally, eyes now turn to this year’s festivities around the Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Advanced Auto Parts. At tonight’s Sebring City Council meeting, Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Kristie Vasquez will be asking for permissions for the second annual Fan Fest.
To be held on the Circle in downtown Sebring, the event again will feature a transporter parade, with the big rigs carrying race cars moving through the city on the circle – before heading out to the track.
Also planned is an autograph session and a meet-and-greet with some of the drivers. It’s all slated for March 12.

Seven rare right whale calves have been spotted so far this winter off Florida’s Atlantic coast. Researchers say each new calf spotted this year is an encouraging sign for the critically endangered whales. No newborns were spotted during the last calving season, and just five calves were counted during the previous year.

U.S. immigration authorities have detained two brothers from Ecuador wanted in the South American country for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from a now-defunct bank. William and Roberto Isaias were arrested Wednesday in Miami and detained pending deportation. Ecuador’s government has sought the brothers’ extradition for years.

A Florida firefighter fired for a positive drug test got his job back after arguing the cocaine in his system was from a tea made with coca leaves. Public records show Orlando firefighter Kevin Reynolds told investigators he brought a box of coca tea home after hiking Machu Picchu in Peru. The tea is used in South America to fight off altitude sickness.