News Update for 2/6/19

The Chateau Elan Hotel & Conference Center has a new name. IMSA Properties and the Shaner Hotel Group have announced the popular lodging facility now will be known simply as “Seven – Sebring Raceway Hotel.” The name reflects Turn Seven, also known as “The Hairpin” wher4e the hotel is located.
In addition to the 123 rooms, the hotel will have two restaurants – one known as APEX, the other dubbed “Sunrise at 7.” They say the full re-branding will come just in time for Race Week.

Officials from South Florida State College reportedly plan to establish an “Electronic Warefare Program” at the school. It will be the first of its kind in the country and will be in partnership with the United States Air Force. The program will be housed both at the college and the nearby Avon Park Air Force Range,
The funds for that program – and others – will come from a $2.3 million dollar Florida Job Growth Grant. The plan is to use some of the money to create a construction institute to provide training to help sustain and expand the housing industry.
They also plan to expand and enhance the school’s manufacturing curriculum for industrial maintainence jobs.

The Highlands County School Board spent the bulk of their meeting last night discussing school safety. Deputy Superintendent Andrew Lethbridge gave a report following an inspection of the local facilities by the Director of the Florida Office of Safe Schools Damien Kelley.
Lethbridge revealed plans to put guard buildings at the three high schools to monitor the comings and goings from campus. He said many of the recommendations – such as locking doors and ability to lockdown facilities, already are being done here.

Making local governmental meetings available on the internet has hit a roadblock. Those who tuned in last night for the Sebring city council session were disappointed. They did not stream live and all their archives have been pulled down.
Highlands County Commissioners yesterday discussed, but took no action on streaming their regular meetings. Commissioners took down their archives after being contacted by a Daytona Beach man who said his reader could not decipher the sessions.
Identified simply as “Joe Price,” the man apparently has no phone number or email address. He reportedly has asked that documentation for the years 2016,2017 and 2018 be made available on the county’s web site.
Commissioners have instructed their staff and attorney to research the situation to see what can be accomplished.

A Polk County inmate has been sentenced to another 30 years in prison for a 1998 fatal shooting.
44-year-old Patrick Chambers received his new sentence Monday, but it won’t begin until after he finishes a 32-year term for an unrelated 2003 conviction. He was convicted last week of manslaughter with a firearm and attempted armed robbery involving a death.
Authorities say 48-year-old Carter Lee Evans was sitting with friends outside a Lakeland home when Chambers and another man approached the group. Chambers shot Evans, who managed to stumble several blocks home before collapsing and dying.