News Update for 9/30/20

Highlands County will have a new clerk of the courts beginning tomorrow. Current Clerk Bob Germaine reportedly will retire effective at midnight tonight. Clerk-elect Jerome Kaszubowski was sworn in earlier this morning and will take over duties begnning tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Kaszubowski says repairs to the courthouse have been all but finished, and operations will resume there as of next Monday, October 5th.
Several of the clerks operations – including some courtroom proceedings had to be moved after a water main break that flooded the building earlier this year.

The Highlands County Tourist Development Council reportedly is in line for a grant of nearly $47,000 from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The money will be used for improvements at Lake Istokpoga Park and Windy Point Park. Officials say the work will improve facilities used by fishing tournaments in the area.
The TDC already had allocated better than $287,000 in tourist tax money for the work – which will include boat trailer parking, the construction of a floating mooring dock and construction of pavilions among other things.

The city of Avon Park reportedly may be getting ready to get tough on code enforcement. City Attorney Gerald Buhr has given city council members suggestions on policies and procedures for collecting fines and leins enacted by the city in response to code enforcement violations.
The council reportedly will take action on what Buhr termed “A Complex Policy,” at their next regular session.
This coming Monday, the council will look at regulating food trucks in the city. Buhr told the council that ability has been clipped to some degree, due to new state laws.

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.