News Update for 12/30/22

Crews have cleared the Carousel of Lights off the Circle in downtown Sebring and things are ready to ring in the New Year. Highlands County will greet 2023 with a big New Year’s Eve Party tomorrow evening starring Nashville recording artist Tommy Brandt.
There will be a car show from 4-6pm with a block party from 6pm until midnight. Featured there will be horse & carriage rides, games, dancing, food vendors and fire pits to keep warm.
Free hot chocolate and cookies also will be offered. The event is free and open to the public.

Highlands County Fire/Safety officials are reminding residents, while they can enjoy their privately purchased fireworks on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, come midnight Sunday night, they once again will be illegal and detonations need to cease.
They also encourage revelers to talk to their neighbors and indicate plans to set them off. They can prepare if they have skittish pets, or if there is someone nearby who is a veteran and may be suffering from PTSD.
And remember, keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of accidents.

A traffic stop in Sebring has resulted in drug charges for a Sebring man. Luther Jones jr. was pulled over just off the historic circle. K-9 Lady alerted to drugs in the vehicle.
A subsequent search found 30 grams of methamphetamine and another 25 grams of fentanyl. Jones was taken into custody and charged with counts of drug trafficking, possession with intent to sell, and felony possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was booked into the Highlands County jail.

A 20-year-old Avon Park man has been jailed in connection with a drive-by shooting incident Tuesday evening. Rohan Johnathan Coke jr has been charged with numerous counts, including attempted first degree murder. Authorities believe it was Coke who opened fire on a vehicle on Ezra Circle.
Two women and a year-old child escaped injury in the incident. Police say Coke eluded a traffic stop and search in the City of Charm, but later turned himself in.
He now is being held on $170,000 bond.

Two men are dead after a shooting in Polk County. It happened yesterday afternoon in Lakeland near US 92 East and Fish Hatchery Road. The two have not been identified. No arrest has been announced, and there’s no word on a motive.

The new year will bring some new equipment to a law enforcement agency in Polk County. Lakeland Police are getting body cameras, and some officers may be using them as soon as this weekend. The city council unanimously approved the purchase of 250 cameras this month.. The ten-year contract with Axon Enterprises will cost over nine million dollars. The LPD is the fourth law enforcement agency in the county to get body cameras.

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