News Update for 5/22/23

It will be a lot of housekeeping work for Avon Park city council members when they meet in regular session this evening. They’ll look at final approval for ordinances on docks, boat houses accessory structures and fences.
They’ll also hear a handful of requests for code enforcement lein reductions. In other action, new Avon Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kamela Long has asked to formally introduce herself to the council.

Lake Placid town council members took action to fill a couple of upcoming vacancies at a special Friday night session. They moved to make Lake Placid Police Captain Mark Schneider the new cheif when current chief James Fansler steps down at the end of the month.
They also appointed Assistant Town Administrator & Engineer Joe Barber to be the new town administrator with the retirement of Phil Williams. Council will revisit the appointments in August to see if they should be made permanent.

Highlands County officials say they are trying to fill out a number of committies. There are vacancies on Highlands County Health Facilities Authority, the Historic Preservation Committee, the Lake Istokpoga Management Committee, the Natural Resources Advisory Commission and the Dangerous Dog Hearing Board.
Applications are available through the county online, or by visiting the Highlands County Government Center in downtown Sebring.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials have made another arrest in connection with a shooting incident in Avon Park. Virgil Corey Cooper jr has been implicated in the incident along with co-defendant, 23-year-old Austin Tillman Demery.
Both are believed to have been involved in a May 14th shooting incident near Hawk’s Grocery on Hal MacRae Blvd. Apparently, Cooper suffered gunshot wounds and had to be flown to Tampa for treatment.

A multiple agency investigation has resulted in drug charges against a Sebring man. Nichiren Soshu Smith has been charged with possession of a structure where drugs are trafficked and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
Members of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Crime Suppression Unit, along with the Sebring Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement raided Smith’s Shirley Street Home.
They recovered cocaine, marijuana, cash and a stolen handgun. The 47-year-old Smith was booked into the Highlands County jail.

A man is facing charges after a shooting in Lake Wales. Darius Scarlett was arrested Saturday after the incident in the Crown Jewel of the Ridge.
Polk County Sheriff’s officials say the 33-year-old admitted to being in a rage before he shot the victim. Scarlett apparently told investigators the victim hit him when he tried to break up a fight between the victim and Scarlett’s cousins.
The unidentified victim is listed as being in critical but stable condition. Charges against Scarlett include attempted first-degree murder.

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