News Update for 9/29/20

Over the past six months or so, 89 deaths have been tied to the Coronavirus and 231 people have been hospitalized at some point here in Highlands County. There have been more than 21,000 tests administered with better than 19,000 coming back negative.
To date, there have been 2160 positive tests – however, health officials have not indicated how severe the symptoms have been, At last report, there were 62 additional negative tests and ten positives.
Governor Ron Desantis has moved the state into Phase III of recovery and lifted many restrictions on restaurants, bars and other businesses.

By a 3-2 vote, Avon Park city council members last night voted to raise the milage in the City of Charm. It will go from .3-tenths of a mil to a full mill. Or from 30-cents from each $1,000 of valuation to a dollar for each $1,000 of valuation.
That comes out to a 232-percent increase – which council members say will be around $50 for the average homeowner. After a three hour session, the council hammered out just over $18.3 million dollars in expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year.

The furor over approving loans in Highlands County for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money apparently has subsided. Officials from the county commission say that time provisions for approving loans have been relaxed – meaning that the county will be eligible for $13-million more in relief aid.
To date, the county has cut nearly 500 checks to individuals for a total of almost three-quarters of a million dollars, another 230 checks have gone to to businesses for about the same amount as well as nearly $135,000 to community service groups.
The first blush of money for Highlands was set at better than $4-million.

A 40-year-old Avon Park man faces nearly a dozen counts after Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies found him with enough Fentanyl to kill nearly 40,000 people.
Authorities say deputies pulled over a car driven by 40-year-old Ruben Ramirez Rivera for a traffic infraction. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed the fentanyl, plus a cache of heroin, cocaine, oxycodone and Xanax.
Value of the drugs was set at $40,000, Rameriez Rivera was charged with multiple counts and booked into the Highlands County jail.