News Update for 3/23/21

Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman made a visit to the Avon Park city council last night. He asked about a pending contract for his office to provide law enforcement in the City of Charm. It has been 150 days since the sheriff came before council to say his office would be leaving unless a new contract would be struck.
Council members assigned City Manager Mark Schrader to enter into talks for what could be a multi-year pact between the city and the Sheriff’s office.

Fire ripped through a home on River Road yesterday morning south of Sebring. Units from Desoto City and Leisure Lakes arrived to find flames coming through the roof in what was described as a “well advanced” fire.
The occupants of the home were not at the residence at the time, and no injuries were reported. Damage estimate to the structure was set at $150,000. Cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Highlands County officials say more residents now are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine locally. Governor Ron Desantis has announced that those 50 and older now can sign up for the inoculations.
Authorities say those folks now may register for the shots through the Highlands County commission web page.
Once appointments are available, individuals will be contacted by phone call, text or email and will be assisted in scheduling an appointment.

Three former Polk County Sheriff deputies are facing charges after several hundred dollars seized during an arrest went missing.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd has announced that John Raczynski, Jamal Lawson and Garrett Cook resigned following their arrests late last week. The three deputies were involved in the arrest of a woman on drug charges in December.
Reports indicate the deputies seized $723. Judd says Raczynski logged the money into reports but never submitted the money into property and evidence.
The incident apparently came to light when the woman contacted the sheriff’s office about the return of her cash and cell phone.