News Update for 9/7/21

Now that the fire assessment will be going up, Highlands County commissioners will be dealing with issues related to the countywide fire service. This Thursday, the county’s negotiating team will be headed into contract talks with the professional EMS & Firefighters union.
At today’s meeting, commissioners approved pumping another $94,000 into the construction of the Fire/EMS building.
In other action at today’s session, the commission voted to put a list of surplus items out to auction – ranging from some old fire trucks to a convection oven.

The Avon Park city council will discuss the draft of an interlocal agreement with the Highlands County Sheriff’s office for law enforcement protection at a special meeting tonight. The Sheriff came before the council last year, giving them notice that the costs will be going up significantly, reflecting the amount of service provided to The City of Charm.
The council also will take some time to discuss theiR budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Following the weekend death of popular Highlands County Supervisor of Elections Penny Ogg, officials in Frostproof have announced the city’s Utility Billing Manager, Sharon Bass, has passed away.
No cause was given and no arrangements have been revealed.
The flags in Lake Placid will be lowered to half-staff today in honor of the late Gary Nichols. The former Lake Placid mayor passed away August 31st.

Polk County investigators say they may never know why a Marine veteran killed a Lakeland family of four with whom he had no connection.
Suspect Bryan Riley reportedly now has confessed to killing a 40-year-old man, his 33-year-old girlfriend, their 3-month-old son and the woman’s 62-year-old mother.
An 11-year-old girl was critically wounded. Polk sheriff’s detectives say the 33-year-old suspect told them “You know why I did this.” But prosecutor Brian Haas said the only explanation so far is mental illness.