News Update for 2/6/24

Highlands County Sheriff’s Deputies continue to search for Herman Hernandez. He’s a suspect in a domestic violence incident.
Hernandez last was last shortly after 9:00 last night near Hall Road and SR 70.
He is described as a hispanic male with brown eyes and hair; with a moustache and stocky build. Hernandez was wearing jeans and a dark shirt when last seen.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Highlands County Sheriff’s office.

State Road 66 in Hardee County remains closed, while an investigation continues following a crash there. The accident reportedly was at the end of a high-speed chase that came out of Highlands County.

There was a shooting in Sebring yesterday. It happened sometime between 3:30 and 4:00 in the Washington Heights area. The victim was airlifted to a trauma center in Tampa.
Police say it is a very active investigation, and at this time, no arrests have been made.

By a 3-2 vote, Highlands County commissioners this morning voted to put a temporary hold on the construction of mobile home parks in Highlands County. The moratorium will be in place until July, while staff researches rules from other counties that regulate development standards for such facilities.
County Attorney Sherry Sutphen reportedly will bring back a draft resolution on the matter for further discussion.

It’s Day 5 at the Highlands County fair with another discount day. Prices have been shaved both for admission and arm bands for the Reithoffer Rides.
The Market Steer Show & Showmanship will be held in the livestock areana beginning this evening at 6:30.
The Commercial Heifer Show was held at the fair last night. Showing the Grand Champion was Grace Lynn Miller – who also took Intermediate Showmanship. Reserve Grand Champ was shown by Colton Crofton.
Stella Handly took the blue ribbon in Senior Showmanship, while Junior Grand Showmanship was awarded to Natliee McNabb.

There will be simultaneous prayer meetings tonight in Highlands County. Dubbed “Intersession for Life,” the gatherings will be held on the Circles in downtown Sebring and Lake Placid. The sessions are slated to run from 5:00-6:30.
The meetings come just before the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments to all a pro-abortion state constitutional amendment, sponsored by the Americn Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood to be placed on this year’s ballot.
Organizers say the amendment would allow unrestricted abortion-on-demand for any reason.

A Sebring man has been sentenced to better than seven years in prison on drug counts. Rafel Junior Morrero reportedly pleaded guilty last year to counts of distribution of methamphetamine.
In addition to the 100 months in jail, the 33-year-old Morrero will be under an additional three years of supervised release.

A convicted killer in Polk County could learn his fate as soon as today.
The penalty phase of Marcelle Waldon’s double-murder trial began yesterday.
He was found guilty last week of killing former Lakeland City Commissioner Edie Yates Henderson and her husband, David, in their home in 2020.
Prosecutors want the death penalty, but Waldon’s lawyers want life in prison. The prosecution made its case yesterday, but the 39-year-old Waldon declined to issue a defense. Closing arguments and jury deliberations are expected today.


Highlands County commissioners again will be discussing mobile homes and development standards when they meet this morning in regular session. Commissioners have gone back and forth over the proliferation of such manufactured homes – versus site built houses in the county.
The commission also will recieve a report from the Tourist Development Council. Florida officials already have been crowing about the record tourist count for the Sunshine State over the past year.

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