News Update for 5 April 2022

The Highlands County School Board will meet tonight in regular session. Word is, although it is not on the agenda, board members may be looking at cancelling the contract with the "I Make A Difference" sex education program.
The iMAD program has been a hot point of controversy in recent weeks – and had spawned a workshop to be called for next Monday at the Sebring Middle School.
School officials say if that contract were to be cancelled, that workshop would be called off. Instead, a committee could be appointed to decide on the schools’ policy for sex education for students.

Heavy weather brought wind and hailstones to Sebring and Avon Park yesterday, wreaking heavy damage throughout the area. So far, there are no reports of any injuries but there have been countless reports of broken windows, screen rooms, siding and roof damage. Downed tree limbs and power lines have been reported as well.
Many vehicles were dented, some with windshield damage.
In addition to businesses and residences, Highlands County officials, Highlands County Schools and South Florida State College authorities say they also suffered storm damage.
Some hailstones were said to be as much as four inches in diameter. There also have been reports of possible tornado or microburst-type winds. Longtime residents say they have never seen the kind of hail that rained down on the area yesterday.

At least one person was injured last night when two vehicles collided. The mishap occurred shortly before 7:PM at the intersection of Highways 27 & 70.
Witnesses said the crash involved a truck and a shuttle bus. One person reportedly was taken to an area hospital.

The local ballot continues to fill up, with another candidate filing to run for office. Parent Jeremy Daugerty turned in paperwork yesterday to run for the District One seat, currently held by first term incumbent Issaac Durrance.
In his first statement, Daughtery said it was time for a change – and promised to stand up for teachers, staff, students and parents.
Two other school board members remain unchallenged at this time.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials say a suspect wanted in connection with a shooting incident now is in custody. Apparently, 30-year-old Jamaacus Donte Wooden has turned himself in at the Highlands County Jail.
Wooden is wanted on counts of attempted first degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a November 2021 shooting incident that occurred near the intersection of Delaney Avenue and Hal McRae Blvd. in Avon Park.

Highlands County commissioners will look at getting more property back on the tax rolls when they meet this morning in regular session. Staff is looking to put another 145 county-owned lots up for sale.
In other action commissioners will look at terminating a lease with the city of Sebring for the Girl Scout House property – clearing the way for the Medal of Honor Society to move the Florida Medal of Honor Park there.
They’ll asl hear the county’s annual comprehensive financial report for 2021.