News Update for 8/27/19

Highlands County Sheriff’s investigators have made an arrest over a threatening Facebook post. Authorities say they were alerted to a MEME, saying that individual “…so wants to go on a shooting spree…”
Under state law, “Written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism…” actually constitutes a threat and a second degree felony.
Arrested and charged with Intimidation and writing a threat to kill or injure was 34-year-old Charlene Russ of Lake Placid. She was booked under $75,000 bond.

Avon Park City Councilman Stanley Spurlock was at last night’s meeting – via telephone. Due to health issues, Spurlock could not be in attendance, but was on the speakerphone and voted on all the issues.
Council put off decisions on a number of matters. First, they want more time to study a measure that would require businesses in the City of Charm to install backflow check valves. That would prevent fluids running back into the municipal water supply.
Second, they took no action on a pending lawsuit by former employee Josh Turner. They say they’ll wait and see if he brings legal action in a dispute over back pay.

The Highlands County School Board will hold a special session this afternoon. They will take up a pending contract with non-instructional employees. At their last session, the board approved a contract with teachers, but turned back the support personnel pact on a 3-2 vote.
There have been intense negotiations on the measure, with officials saying “it’s not perfect,” and the situation could “take years to remedy.”

Highlands County commissioners had a budget workshop again yesterday. This time they wrestled with the Fire/Rescue budget. At issue is what they can and cannot due under current allotments.
Reportedly, the funding for fire protection in Highlands County has more than doubled since the fire assessment went into place this year. However, even with spending from their contingency fund – it’s not as much as recommended in a study by consultants.
Nevertheless, commissioners believe they will be able to meet the budget, without increasing millage.