News Update for 12/7/22

It appears there’s an afternoon problem with kids on the Circle in downtown Sebring. City council members last night heard reports of middle schoolers running rampant in the area after classes let out. They reportedly have terrorized store owners, broken bottles and have stood in traffic to watch cars dodge around them on Circle Drive.

Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said his department is doing the best they can do with the resources they have available. He currently is down four officers and has called in resource officers from area schools to help with the problem.

A 25-year-old Avon Park man has been apprehended and charged in connection with a shooting incident. It apparently occurred yesterday afternoon on Peel Street in the City of Charm.
Highlands County Sheriff’s reports say Leon Devincey Kerney III had become involved in an argument with a man and his grandmother. Apparently, Kerney fired several shots in their direction – but did not hit anybody.
He fled the scene, but later was taken into custody. Kerney has been charged with attempted murder, firing a weapon in public, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, improper exhibition of a firearm and firing a weapon into a vehicle or building.

It’ll be back to the drawing board for Highlands County school officials in regards to their planned health & sex education curriculum. The issue was pulled from last night’s Highlands County School Board agenda, following concerns over apparent Sunshine Law violations.
Superintendent Brenda Longshore’s select committee now is being called to reconvene to again vote on what kind of curriculum to recommend to the board, and new school board Chair Donna Howerton called for a school board workshop on the subject.
No dates have yet been set, but it appears none of that will occur until after the first of the year.

Lori Hurner now is the Highlands County Administrator. Highlands County commissioners yesterday approved the contract with Hurner to officially take the post.
The job comes at $160,000 annually plus benefits – which reportedly is less than what could have been paid to an outside candidate.
Hurner worked her way up through the ranks, starting out as the county’s Ag agent. She had been serving as the interim county administrator.

A local welding company will be getting some help with what was described as a “tiny marketing budget.” Patriot Welding Supply of Sebring has been declared a winner in the Melio’s “Florida Shop Sweepstakes.”
Reportedly, Patriot Welding was selected due to their impressive growth in a tough economic environment.

Information continues to trickle out about that Monday accident at State Road 64 and Lake Olivia Drive. Apparently, it was a van that hit a car at the intersection just east of Avon Park.
Officials now report that five people were transported from that crash. The Florida Highway Patrol has released no details on the incident.

A Lake Wales student has been charged after allegedly showing up at the bus stop with a handgun, The 13-year-old reportedly told his friends he thought the Glock 23 actually was a BB gun.
Police say it appears the youngster did not take the weapon on the bus, but instead hid it in the bushes before heading off to class. It apparently had been taken from a relative’s home.
The youth has been charged with possession of a firearm on school property and possession of a firearm by a minor.

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