News Update for 8/18/21

According to Highlands County commissioners, the county is in good shape – financially. In receiving their budget report yesterday, officials from the county’s Office of Budget and Management told commissioners that through work with the county’s constitutional officers, they were able to trim a little over one percent from the budget, to get it down to $157 million dollars.
The first public hearing on this year’s budget is slated for September 9th at 5:30.

The Champion for Children’s Theater on the Circle in downtown Sebring is getting a new manager and already he has big plans for the place. Local musician Harry Havery will be taking the reins of the historic building come the end of September.
He says he is in search of retired entertainers for a new series. Havery says the singers, musicians, dancers, humorists and those with other such skills will be used for a vintage entertainers showcase.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials are on the lookout for Ellis J. Walton. According to reports, the 34-year-old Walton had been out of jail 5-days, when his ankle monitor was removed and he disappeared.
His last known location was somewhere around Oak Park Avenue near Lake Pioneer in Avon Park last night. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Ellis Walton is asked to call the Highlands County Sheriff’s office.

Lake Wales got a new interim city commissioner last night as Rev. Jack Hilligoss took the oath of office and his seat at last night’s commission meeting. The Pastor of Highpoint Church takes the place of Commissioner Kristin Fitzgerald who stands accused of threatening an 11-year-old with a firearm.
There was no small debate over who would fill the seat, but they chose Hilligoss before a special election would have been required.
If acquitted of charges, Fitzgerald could be re-instated to her seat.