News Update for 3/8/19

Drivers and racing machines from Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, Tennessee and Georgia are already here and more competitors are on the way from the Carolinas as the Snowbird Nationals lawn mower races get started in earnest today in Avon Park.
The gates will open this morning at 10:00 at the Avon Park MowerPlex. Racing begins at 3:00 and will run well into the night. As many as 80 racing lawnmowers are expected in for this sixth annual national race.

A 19-year-old Avon Park man has been arrested after leading Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase in and around the City of Charm.
According to reports, lawmen tried to stop a blue Ford Escape that reportedly had been taken without permission. The vehicle took off, reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour before deputies deployed stop sticks. The car finally went off the road where deputies arrested Miguel Angel Gonzalez.
He has been charged with Grand Theft Auto, Fleeing to Elude and Resisting Arrest. He was booked into the Highlands County Jail.

A Lake Wales woman was arrested on multiple charges after eating at the Denny’s in the Crown Jewel of the Ridge, then allegedly using counterfeit cash to pay for it. Police say Nekecia Lloyd first told the restaurant manager that her cousin the cook was going to pay for the table-full of food.
When that didn’t pan out, she reportedly produced a pair of $20-dollar bills, determined to be fake. She was later picked up and charged, then taken to the Polk County jail.

Legislation to require all Florida public high schools to offer elective courses on the study of the Bible has been approved by a state House committee.
The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Kimberly Daniels of Jacksonville cleared a House Education panel Thursday on an 11-3 vote. Daniels said the intent was not to teach a specific religion in school but rather to emphasize the Bible’s role in history, culture and the founding of the U.S. government.
Opponents raised concerns that such Bible classes might be subject to lawsuits over the constitutional separation of church and state. Others said the course should also teach holy books from other religions, such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Daniels said 10 other states currently offer similar Bible courses in public schools.