News Update for 7/23/19

NEWS 7/23/19 BF

After talking with Highlands County Clerk of Courts Bob Germaine, Supervisor of Elections Penny Ogg and Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman about budget cuts, Highlands County commissioners this morning certified the county’s tentative millage at 9.0.
That would be about a half mil higher than the current assessment of 8.55. Commissioners say that will not be the final figure, and pledge to look for more cuts at a planned August 6th workshop session.

It took better than four hours last night – but amid a number of dust-ups, Avon Park city council members got some work done – and kicked some items down the road. They voted to leave the millage rate at .3 mils – or 30-cents per $1,000 of property valuation in the City of Charm.
However, they set a special meeting for next Monday night to consider whether or not to raise the city’s fire assessment. Initial indications are, between a $20 and $30 a year hike for homes with corresponding increases for businesses.

The issues continue between Avon Park City Councilman Stanley Spurlock and City Manager David Flowers. Contentious words were exchanged at last night’s city council meeting, with Spurlock calling Flowers a “liar.” The issue revolves around Spurlock’s desire to see rosters of city employees and their salaries.
Mayor Garrett Anderson opined that such review came dangerously close to meddling in day-to-day operations of the city – something council members are not supposed to do.

Florida Highway Patrol officials finally have released names and details of a 4-vehicle accident that sent a half dozen people to the hospital Sunday night.
Reportedly, a pickup driven by Nelson Adams of Zolfo Springs went left of center on State Road 70. He clipped two vehicles in the eastbound lane, then bounced back into the westbound lane and hit another auto.
Adams was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital. He faces a count of careless driving with other charges pending.

Sunday it was a boat fire – yesterday firefighters responded to a tractor fire. The big John Deere, pulling a fertilizer trailer, caught fire off Ulte Avenue in Lorida.
The green machine reportedly damaged to the tune of $100,000. No injuries were reported in the incident.

One of the last stores in the area to use the honor system has found there’s no honor among thieves. Officials at Struther’s Honey in Lake Wales say a trio of suspects stole an estimated $800 worth of honey products earlier this month.
The first theft occurred on Saturday, July 6 around 10:30 a.m., when security video captured footage of a man and woman grabbing several jars of honey, taking it back to their vehicle, and returning to the store twice to take more jars.
A similar incident occurred the next day with video showing a man doing the exact same thing.
Struthers is a family business – located along State Road 60 on the outskirts of Lake Wales.