News Update for 5/31/23

Highlands and Hardee County sheriff’s deputies combined last night to recover a stolen car and arrest a suspect. Picked up in connection with the incident was Jimmy Ray Jackson. According to reports the 41-year-old Avon Park man was at the wheel of a stolen car that was spotted at the CVS drug store at Highway 27 and State Road 64 in the City of Charm.
Speeds reportedly reached 100 mph during the pursuit. It ended at Old Town Creek Road, when Hardee Deputies deployed stop sticks.
Jackson was charged with Fleeing to Elude and booked into the Hardee County jail.

South Florida State College presidential candidate Fred Hawkins is winding up his visit to the school today. Yesterday, Hawkins got the grand tour of the campuses and had a community reception.
Today is packed with meetings. This morning, Hawkins had an open session with faculty, staff and students. This afternoon it’s a series of meetings and intervews with Foundation and Trustee members for some more focused question-and-answer.
The Board of Trustees will meet next Wednesday to vote on a successor for current SFSC President Thomas Leitzel.

Avon Park may soon be beefing up their code enforcement efforts. Vice Mayor Jim Barnard has called for the revision of the city’s “hard costs” when it comes to enforcing building and other codes in the City of Charm. In many cases, the council has reduced fines, but retained so called “hard costs,” such as visiting and inspecting sites.
Barnard says he wants that to reflect true costs such as employee hours, vehicle and other charges in the execution of code enforcement activities.

Two children are hurt after a hit-and-run in Polk County. It happened Monday in Wahneta. The sheriff’s office says an eight-year-old and a six-year-old were on an ATV when they were hit, head-on, by another ATV driven by Guy Kolmel.
He allegedly fled the scene on foot and ran to his home.
When deputies arrived, they say Kolmel refused to come out, so deputies went in and arrested him. He’s facing charges that include leaving the scene of a crash with injury. The kids were taken to the hospital. They’re expected to survive.

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