news Update for 6/18/19

A new community bank is in the works for Highlands County. Reportedly John Shoop has left Center State Bank with an eye toward creating a new local financial institution. Shoop said a number of his management team has come with him to put together the “First Southern Bank.”
The institution currently is under review by the FDIC and could be in operation as early as August. It is slated to go in at the old Highlands Independent Bank location on Lakeview Drive across from the Sebring library.

At this morning’s Highlands County commission meeting, Highlands County Public Safety Director, Fire Chief Marc Bashoor this morning handed out certificates and awards to nearly a dozen residents who teamed up in May to save a local man’e life.
Lee Pearson reportedly was jogging in Sebring when he collapsed – reportedly from a cardiac arrest. A number of passers-by stopped and administered CPR until first responders could arrive.
Pearson regained his pulse and breathing and survived the attack. He was on hand this morning to help honor his rescuers.

One person was injured last night when they lost control of their vehicle and rolled over south of Sebring. The mishap occurred about 10:30 on Highway 27 near Sebring Lakes.
The driver reportedly was taken to Highlands Regional Medical Center. No name, condition or other details have yet been released.

An Avon Park man reportedly lost his life yesterday in a traffic accident near Frostproof. Polk County Sheriff’s officials say 40-year-old Jared Thompson was driving a work truck on old Avon Park Road when the big Ford flatbed went off the road, through a ditch, then overturned into an irrigation canal.
Authorities say Thompson may have had a medical episode, which could have incapacitated him. First responders attempted, but reportedly were unable to revive him.

Although results of an autopsy have not yet been released, Polk County Sheriff’s deputies say the circumstances surrounding a Sebring woman’s death near Lakeland are not adding up. First believed to have been a hit and run, investigators now say there were no car parts found near the scene – and abrasions found on the body of 22-year-old Kara Fay Hanvey do not appear to be serious enough to be fatal.
Although her body was found in the median of Highway 92 – her belongings were across the street. Deputies say they are looking for any witnesses to determine why Hanvey was in Lakeland and exactly what happened.