News Update for 8/24/20

The latest Coronavirus test numbers released by the Florida Department of Health show that there have been 5 additional positive tests and 75 negatives added to Highlands County’s ongoing count.
Of the 17,828 tests administered locally – 16,078 tests have been negative with 1,740 positive cases recorded.
There have been 189 people hospitalized at some point during their illness and 53 deaths have been tied to the corona virus since numbers started being kept.

Avon Park city council members will gather tonight for a special session. At issue will be the draft budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Tentative millage in the City of Charm was raised from .3 mils to 3-mils. The idea was to set it high and roll it back.
However, a number of fiscal challenges have come before the council in recent weeks – including refurbishing and repair to a number of municipal buildings. This will not be a virtual session, it will be held in the Avon Park city council chambers starting at 6:PM.

The Avon Park city council continues to try and sell the Brickell Building. The downtown structure has been a thorn in the side of municipal officials for decades. Once bought by the city and targeted for low income housing – council members have put it back on the market.
They have instructed City Manager Mark Scrader to come up with a Request For Proposals on the building to get it back on the tax roles. Provisions will include a tight schedule for improvements with an eye toward a for-profit business to purchase the structure.

A homeowner shot and killed a burglary suspect who tried to break into her Auburndale home. Polk County Sheriff’s investigators say, the fatal shooting took place on Ellie Road early Saturday morning.
Deputies said the homeowner shot Joshua Mathieu, 34, as he was reportedly breaking into the home, brandishing a tire iron.
Mathieu was pronounced dead at the scene, according to officials. They say he had a criminal history dating back a decade.