News Update for 9/13/18

Florida apparently keeps setting records on the number of tourists headed to the Sunshine State – what remains in question is – how many of them show up in Highlands County?
Governor Rick Scott yesterday announced that an estimated 65.5 million tourists came to Florida during the first six month of the year – nearly six percent more than last year.
However, while the local Tourist Development Commission has been handing out money to organizers of area events, their effect on the local economy remains unclear.

Avon Park city council members have revamped their special events ordinance, to allow exemptions that would permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages on municipal property – but it wasn’t a unanimous vote. Councilman Jim Barnard noted that under provisions of the measure, the city manager could grant the exemption.
He asked that it be changed so that council could hear and consider the request. On a 3-2 vote, council members Dora Smith, Terry Heston and Vice Mayor Brenda Gray voted to give the power to the city manager.

Traffic and electric service was interrupted for a time yesterday in the Caladium Capital when a wide load apparently clipped a utility pole near Florida Hospital Lake Placid.
According to reports, Duke Energy crews along with police and fire units were summoned to after the wires were spotted sparking on the ground. Emergency Medical Service traffic was diverted for a time as the repairs were made. It took the crews about a half hour to get things back in order.

A pair of Frostproof men are facing multiple counts following an incident just outside The Friendly City. Polk County Sheriff’s officials have charged 19-year-old Jose “Pepe” Serna and 16-year-old Mohammed “Mo” Ibrahim with Attempted First Degree Murder, robbery and armed kidnapping.
The victim told deputies he had arranged to smoke marijuana with the pair, but when he got into the car they robbed him instead. The 23-year-old man was able to escape – but they took pot-shots at his as he ran. The victim was uninjured. Authorities have not released his name.