News Update for 6/4/19

Highlands County commissioners this morning gave final approval to three so-called “postcard murals.” One each are slated to go in at Avon Park, Sebring and Lake Placid.
Designed to lure people into the downtown areas of the communities as a “photo opportunity,” the paintings received cool receptions in at least two cities.
In fact, controversy over the painting in Avon Park caused Vice Mayor Jim Barnard to remove himself from the Tourist Development Council.

It appears the city of Avon Park now has some help in staffing their airport. Lauren and Shannon Michaels, who run the Four Winds PPG paramotor training school have offered to help run the Fixed Base Operation there.
They told council they already are at the airport on a regular basis and would do the work for a trade-out on their hangar rental fees.
The council also approved an agreement with Ag Flying Services. The crop-dusting company made headlines a few years ago in a dispute over the dispersal of pesticides and aviation gas.

Demolition has started on another Highlands County landmark. Work has started to take down the buildings at the Sunridge Baptist Church. The church sold the land at the intersection of Highway 27 and Valerie Boulevard across from Sun ‘N Lake, with the idea of building another facility nearby.
In its stead, a new WaWa gas station and convenience mart will be going up on the property.

Sebring police are looking into what appears to be a drive-by shooting. Apparently, somebody opened fire on a house on Wolf Avenue around 3:00 this morning.
There were no injuries in the incident. Police officials say the incident remains under investigation.

For better than a year, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office has been pushing a 9pm routine. That encourages residents to stop at 9:00 each evening to make sure their house, car and other doors are locked.
Now, they say, a weekend burglary of several cars has netted thieves a cache of weapons. Taken were five handguns, two AR-15’s and a taser.
The worst part – the vehicles were left unlocked.

One person was injured yesterday when a car hit a tree. The accident happened at Olivia Drive and Metuchen roads in the Avon Park Lakes community.
The driver, who was not identified, reportedly was entrapped for a time. After being freed by Highlands Lakes firefighters the victim was flown out. No word as to their name or condition.