News Update for 6/15/21

Highlands county commissioners this morning took up the idea of fire assessments at their session. At the end, they kicked the can down the road voting not to set caps on any of the categories that are assessed, agreeing instead to take that up at a subsequent meeting in August.
Commissioner Kathy Rapp made a motion formulated by the county attorney. It passed on a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Arlene Tuck voting against it. Tuck had lobbied to leave things as-is for a year, pointing to damage caused to citizens by Corona and her pledge not to raise taxes.

After a few tweaks to their Request for Proposals, Avon Park city council members last night voted to set the Brickell Building out for bids. The two-story structure on Main Street has mixed zoning with residential upstairs and retail space downstairs. They’ll take bids for the next 60 days before starting the process of determining a winner and selling the building off.
The council also OK’d a list of street resurfacing and overlay and approved the annexation of 34 acres of groves which reportedly is slated to become a housing development.

An Avon Park student has scored a first place at this week’s FFA convention being held in Orlando. Addie Ferguson won the top slot in the Florida FFA State Discussion Meet.
The participants got into such topics as foreign labor in the field, climate change, the media’s effect on the perception of agriculture and influence in the current political environment.

A man from Intercession City and a Davenport woman have been arrested by Polk County sheriff’s deputies. Among other crimes, they are said to have rammed an officer, attempted to run over a K-9 and his handler and broke into the home of Haines City Mayor Morris West.
31-year-old Matthew Swett is charged with a long list of infractions including armed burglary, battery on a law enforcement officer, use of a deadly weapon on a police K9 and fleeing to elude.
While 32-year-old Kaila Ellig, 32, of Davenport faces counts of burglary of an occupied structure and resisting arrest.
Reports charge Swett intentionally rammed a Polk sheriff’s cruiser then led officers on a car and foot chase after being discovered at a construction site. The two were apprehended and taken to the Polk County jail.