News Update for 7/16/20

New Coronavirus numbers released by the Florida Department of Health this morning show that there have been 29 new positive results and 130 negative cases. Of the 11,698 tests administered locally over the past four months – 11,028 have been negative with 656 positives. There have been 98 people hospitalized at some point during their illness and 13 deaths have been tied to the corona virus since numbers started being kept back in February.

It appears the city of Avon Park has been hampered by the Coronavirus. City Manager Mark Schrader has revealed a number of employees have been sent home due to exposure. One has been out for five weeks. Schrader said first family members had it – now the employee also has tested positive.
Several others – including two firefighters are off work with Corona-like symptoms.

There have been crimes against churches around the state and the nation involving damage, graffiti and theft. Now officials from Saint Catherine’s Catholic church in Sebring say somebody has taken their statue of the Virgin Mary – again.
Reportedly, this is the second statue stolen in the last month. Anyone with information is asked to call the church or local law enforcement. Church officials also are asking for prayer for the culprits.

A 46-year-old New Jersey man has been arrested after a high speed chase involving a stolen vehicle in Polk County. Benjamin Torres has been charged with Grand Theft Auto and Felony Fleeing to Elude.
Lake Wales police first attempted to stop the Ford Expedition that was reported stolen out of Virginia. The vehicle sped away leading officers on a pursuit. Torres allegedly later ditched the car and ran. He subsequently surrendered to a K-9 officer without incident.