Local News Headlines 3-21-24

The Highlands County Commission wants to know what it can do help bolster the County’s retail business – and what it can do to recruit new businesses. The Commission voted this week to accept a $40,000 grant from Competitive Florida to study the topic. In other actions, the Board also approved a waiver for tipping fees at the County Landfill for the Highway Park Neighborhood’s Great American Cleanup event running through this Friday and recognized Natural Resources Manager Dawn Ritter receiving her designation as a Certified Lakes Manager from the North American Lake Management Society. She is only the 8th person in Florida to receive this certification..

Over in Hardee County, a Zolfo Springs man is in custody after a domestic battery call turned into a multi-gun fight in a Zolfo Springs back yard Tuesday. 29 year old Morgan Miguel Garcia reportedly was involved in a no-contact order violation including battery on a victim in the home – when officers arrived Garcia was found in the back yard, armed with an AR15 rifle. He allegedly shot at a deputy, who returned fire. Garcia fled into the woods and was the subject of a multi-agency manhunt involving Hardee, Highlands, DeSoto and Polk County officers and K9’s. A phoned-in tip yesterday afternoon finally led authorities to Garcia and he was arrested without incident. He’s been charged with ten offenses including assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer.

It was raining people in Lake Wales Monday afternoon. Around 3:00pm, Police responded to the downtown area after reports of skydivers landing off course. Three skydivers parachuters made uncontrolled landings along Scenic Highway in town – one of the skydivers was able to land without incident, two others made hard landings, with non-life threatening injuries. The skydivers were among a group of 14 people practicing crew formationsout of the Lake Wales Airport. A few other skydivers landed a little off course in nearby pastures, but there were no other injuries reported.

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