News Update for 2/8/19

The latest edition of the Highlands County Fair will debut this evening at Firemen’s Field in Sebring. In addition to a field-full of rides from Reithoffer Shows, there will be a miniature version of the annual Ag-Venture program set up at the Livestock Pavilion – which now has been re-branded as the Ag-tivity Building. “Scott’s Crazy Comedy Show” and the “Tricky Dogs Show” will perform at the Sebring Firemen Stage.
Tonight will be the Junior Miss Highlands County Pageant in the Convention Center. The Miss Highlands County and Little Miss Highlands County pageants will be held there tomorrow.

Highlands County officials will release the latest in the investigation into last month’s shooting at the SunTrust Bank building on Lake Jackson that claimed five lives. State Attorney Brian Haas is slated to give a media conference on the incident later this afternoon.
New State Attorney Ashley Moody has pledged the services of her offices and Governor Ron Desantis directed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to help in that probe as well.

Residents of the New Testament Church & Mission in Sebring had a chance to sample some emergency food. County officials recently donated better than 700 “Meals Ready to Eat” to the facility for the homeless and downtrodden.
The microwaveable MRE’s were excess from relief efforts after Hurricane Irma. Authorities say more will be shared as their expiration dates come up.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to give nearly 45,000 teachers a bonus of more than $9,000 in the coming year.
DeSantis yesterday visited a Hillsborough County high school where he announced plans to help the state recruit and retain teachers. He wants the Florida Legislature to set aside $422 million for the program that would also offer bonuses to principals as well.
Florida currently gives bonuses to highly-effective teachers who also scored well on their college entrance exams. DeSantis wants to eliminate the college entrance exam requirement from the “Best and Brightest” program.
DeSantis’s proposal would cost the state more than double the current bonus program. The governor also wants $10 million to pay the college tuition of teachers who agree to teach in Florida for five years.

The mystery of a barnacle-covered wooden cross that washed ashore along Fort Lauderdale beach may have been solved. A woman now believes the cross was one that had been erected on an island off North Carolina in 2016 in memory of her brother who disappeared while on a solo hunting trip in Hatteras Inlet.
Robin Stowe apparently came forward after reports surfaced about the 20-foot cross, which has been captivating tourists who dragged it from the water’s edge at Fort Lauderdale’s beach last weekend.
After Stowe’s brother disappeared, a bunch of friends put the cross on the inlet. She says it likely was swept away during Hurricane Michael last October.