News Update for 05/16/24

Several Downtown Bowling Green residents and businesses are now the proud recipients of generous Facade Grants. In an initiative to enhance the exterior appearance of properties and to contribute to the beauty of downtown Bowling Green. Grants were awarded during the Community Redevelopment Agency’s Tuesday meeting, after an application deadline of May 6th. Initial proposed grant amounts were $5000 but were later increased to do more for the downtown area. New award amounts ranged from $10,000 to $20,000. “We needed to think outside the box,” City Manager Pamela Durrance said, “We needed to give back to do better and make our downtown CRA area more vibrant.” The recipients were Gloria’s Restaurant, Hills Auto, Sunny South Vending, Hill’s Towing, Hill’s Automotive, and three private citizens.

There was another brush fire in an area south of Camp Sparta in Sebring yesterday afternoon around 1:14PM. Reports indicate that Station 15 and Station 19 responded to a rural piece of land off Sparta Road where a 30×30 foot area was actively burning. Units successfully extinguished the fire. This brush fire incident comes on the heels of a small brush fire yesterday morning and Tuesday’s devastating 318 acre brush fire off Bluebird Avenue in Lake Placid. The Florida Forest Service said the drought index for Highlands County is in the high 500s. Residents are urged to remain vigilant and use caution.

On Monday, an Avon Park man was sentenced to nine years in The Florida State Prison and six years probation after entering a plea of guilty to one count of aggravated child abuse by torture, malice, punish and caging. Rueben Prince Jr., a 33 year old male, was first charged in July 2020. According to the Highlands County Sheriff Office’s July 23rd, 2020 arrest report, deputies were dispatched to Prince’s Fairview Terrace Apartment because of a neighbor complaint that he was abusing a child.

In new findings, its reported that drugs could be a factor in the deadly Tuesday crash near Dunnellon, in Marion County, that killed 8 people. Bryan Howard is facing eight counts of DUI manslaughter and was denied bond. FHP says Howard failed a field sobriety test that was done about six hours after the crash, but a breathalyzer test for alcohol came back negative.

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