News Update for 4/17/19

Highlands County commissioners apparently are looking at provisions that could allow them to impose a new tax on residents here. Attorney for the board, Joy Carmichael reported to the commission yesterday that a so-called “Municipal Services Taxing Unit” or a “Municipal Services Benefit Unit,” could be a tool that commissioners could use to pay for stormwater drainage improvements countywide.
She told the board that development of a master plan for drainage could cost between $100 and $200,000 saying the creation of such a levy could help to pay for such a study.
They called on staff to bring back details on such a program.

Avon Park soon could have a new full-time attorney. City Councilman Stanley Spurlock was prepared to make a motion that they go ahead and hire Gerald Buhr, who has been serving on a contract basis.
Buhr, however. suggested the council go through a regular procurement process to hire a new legal counsel for the city – but indicated his willingness to take the post.
City Manager David Flowers reportedly will consult with the city’s labor attorney, Brian Koji, to set up a formal process.

NEWS 4/16/19 BF

Governor Ron DeSantis has called on state universities to approve resolutions that protect free speech on campuses. Officials from South Florida State College say they already have such a policy in place.
Their policy includes expressive activities covered under the First Amendment of the Constitution including peaceful assembly, protests, speeches, distributing literature, carrying signs and circulating petitions.
DeSantis’ announcement comes a month after president Donald Trump signed an executive order protecting free speech on college campuses.
Officials say the SFSC policy has been in effect for some time.

Florida Highway Patrol Troopers continue to investigate a hit and run crash that occurred on US 17 and Morales Road in Hardee County last Saturday.
A Dodge Ram pickup reportedly pulled from “La Tienda De Los Primos”, onto US 17 and into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. The Harley struck the left side of the truck. The rider of the ‘cycle, 82-year-old James Porter Berry of Winter Haven, was critically injured and transported to Lakeland Regional Hospital.
The driver of the truck reportedly fled the scene. Witnesses described the hit and run vehicle as a whote, Dodge Ram four-door pickup. He was described only as a Hispanic male.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Florida Highway Patrol.