Breaking Highlands county news, local sports and events, and weather from Highlands Today | | Highlands Today
Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015

Meisel, Jay

Highlands Today

Pilot in airplane crash identified

Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015 -

SEBRING — When Donald Adams’ experimental aircraft crashed 40 feet from a Spring Lake Home Monday, it may have been Adams’ experience as a pilot that allowed him to avoid striking any one of numerous...

Majority of Sebring council favors Harder Hall offer

Monday, Mar 2, 2015 -

— A majority of Sebring City Council members say they like the $2.5 million offer to buy Harder Hall, although it would leave the city with about $900,000 in debt.

Plane crashes in Spring Lake backyard, pilot killed

Monday, Mar 2, 2015 - UPDATE: The deceased pilot of a fixed wing single engine experimental airplane that crashed Monday in Spring Lake has been identified as 76-year-old Donald Adams by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.

Man accused of selling calves he didn’t own

Monday, Mar 2, 2015 -

— A man charged in connection with the theft of three horses last year now faces accusations he sold cattle he didn’t own, according to a warrant released Monday.

Court denies killer of state trooper a new trial

Saturday, Feb 28, 2015 -

— If Joshua Altersberger had been sentenced by a jury for murdering a state trooper, jurors may have heard testimony that at a party Altersberger laughed at the way Florida Hi...

Sebring High School’s theater program is on the move

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 -

Those who think that Sebring High School theater students only perform traditional plays on a stage at the school would be wrong.

Judge refuses to lower sentence for convicted dog fighter

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 -

— A judge on Thursday stuck by his decision to sentence a convicted dog fighter to 25 years in prison plus 30 years probation.

Killers of Aaron Doty sentenced to life

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 -

— After calling the two convicted murderers of Aaron Doty hypocrites, cowards and cheaters, Circuit Judge J. Dale Durrance on Thursday sentenced them both to two consecutive t...

Sebring makes list of beautiful towns

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 -

— When a London-based web site contracted Jensen Beach resident Audra Clemons to write about the 10 most beautiful towns in Florida, it didn’t take long to think about ...

Crime dropped, but murders increased in 2014, sheriff says

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 -

— It took more than a week for authorities to identify a man with a head injury who was found on a dirt trail last March behind Lupita Grocery Store south of Lake Placid.

Firefighter wins award third year in a row

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 -

— In the more than 17 years a Sebring firefighter has been recognized as firefighter of the year, no one had received the award twice.

Man sentenced to 25 years on dogfighting, animal abuse charges

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 -

— For Brooke Ferguson Kent, a 25-year-old prison sentence issued Tuesday for a Highlands County man convicted of animal cruelty and dog fighting is merited.

Local residents use web site to raise money for many causes

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 -

— When the trial of two men accused of murdering Aaron Doty in 2012 was moved to Bartow last month, his family had to deal with the cost associated with going to Bartow, along...

A sometimes lonely job

Saturday, Feb 21, 2015 -

— As Highlands County Deputy Steven New drove east on Highway 70 recently, he passed few homes, with the scenery being mostly farm land.

Local home builders say sales are improving

Friday, Feb 20, 2015 -

— As Brad Milsaps stood in the living room of a new model home in Highlands Ridge subdivision, he touted the modern design inside, roomy bathrooms and a view onto a golf cours...

American Legion program helps returning vets

Friday, Feb 20, 2015 -

— When veterans return from distant places where they have served their country, they may have challenges finding a place to live or a job and dealing with medical issu...

Man arrested in Sebring for 20-year-old Texas murder charge

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 -

Nearly 20 years ago, a Round Rock, Texas, man reported that he found his wife not breathing in a hot tub at their residence.

Defendant in Doty murder case gets probation

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 -

— More than two and a half years after Aaron Doty was brutally beaten and then burned alive, the Highlands County Circuit Court cases surrounding the killing are coming to an ...

Mom says injured toddler may be partially paralyzed

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 -

— A 23-month-old girl who authorities say is the victim of abuse may be partially paralyzed, her mother said Tuesday.

Officer recognized for patience, commitment

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015 -

— When a mentally disturbed woman thought people were involved in a conspiracy against her, Sebring police officer Tommy Haralson didn’t just dismiss her concerns.

SO: Couple arrested after child suffers head injury, bite marks

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 -

— A man and a woman were arrested after a 23-month-old girl suffered a head injury, bruising and bite marks, according to a warrant released Monday.

Sheriff won’t seek re-election

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 - — When Susan Benton started working at the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office about 34 years ago, women weren’t allowed to be patrol deputies, she recalled ...

Cyclists test the limits of their abilities

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 -

SEBRING — Even though he’s a colon cancer survivor, he is 63-years-old and has only two joints in his knees, Bob Thornton isn’t satisfied with having traveled 191 miles on his bicycle 12 hours...

Florists prepare for biggest day of their year

Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 -

— It was still two days before Valentine’s Day, but Chris Ray couldn’t wait any longer to buy nature’s beauty to show love for his girlfriend.

Father, daughter, do their part in fighting crime

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2015 -

— Eleven years ago, Richard Morey, who is a Lake Placid police captain and South Florida State College’s law enforcement training coordinator, didn’t think i...

Avon Park contestant wins pageant

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015 -

— Considering that no one else in the family has competed in a pageant, and Monday night was Jenson DeWitt’s first try, her mother, Jennifer DeWitt, didn’...

Hobby turns into full-time pursuit for artist

Monday, Feb 9, 2015 -

— When Kathryn Obidzinski was 6 years old, she sat outside for three hours at her Michigan home and did not make a sound.

Father-daughter team nabs suspect in Lake Placid burglary string

Monday, Feb 9, 2015 -

— A suspect in a string of burglaries of Lake Placid businesses and churches surrendered peacefully early Saturday morning after he was surrounded by a Lake Placid Police ...

Roaring 20s Festival to be held

Friday, Feb 6, 2015 -

— When Sebring holds its Roaring 20s festival Feb. 13 and 14, there will be music and dress from that era, but there won’t be prohibition.

Judge sentences men involved in shooting of deputy marshals

Thursday, Feb 5, 2015 -

SEBRING — When St. Lucie County deputy Paul Pearson Jr. was shot in the shoulder on Nov. 20, 2013, in Highlands County, he was bent over, trying to get in the door of the residence of suspected drug dealers, Pears...

New outdoor sculptures coming to Sebring

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015 -

— These days at the age of 71, sculptor Glenn Zweygardt finds that his “short-term memory is starting to slip a little bit,” the New York-based artist said Wedne...

Child says that man hit her feet with a hammer

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015 -

— A 3-year-old girl told authorities that the man babysitting her hit her feet with a hammer because she didn’t go to sleep and that his wife told her to lie about what...

No evidence exists to charge partygoer, prosecutor says

Tuesday, Feb 3, 2015 -

— When Kenneth Felipe Jr. and Jonathan Rodriguez brutally beat Aaron Doty in 2012 at a party, fellow partygoer Cody Kennedy was on hand to video record it on his cell phone.

GUILTY: Jury convicts Felipe and Rodriguez of murdering Aaron Doty

Monday, Feb 2, 2015 - — A Polk County jury, after deliberating about five hours, convicted Kenneth Felipe Jr. and Jonathan Rodriguez of murdering Aaron Doty on June 10, 2012.

Defense expert says Doty died acccidentally

Friday, Jan 30, 2015 -

BARTOW — A defense expert witness said Friday that Aaron Doty died accidentally, although one of the defendants accused of murdering Doty said that he punched Doty in the head and agreed that his body should be bu...

Defendant denies he intended to kill Aaron Doty

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 -

Kenneth Felipe testified Thursday that he punched Aaron Doty in the head and agreed hours later that Doty’s body should be burned but maintained that he never intended...

Felipe to testify in Doty murder trial

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015 -

— Kenneth Felipe Jr. , one of two defendants accused of murdering Aaron Doty, will testify during his trial, it was announced late Wednesday afternoon. But his co-defendant, Jo...

Kennedy: Suspects dragged Doty’s body down a trail, burned him

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 -

A witness testified Tuesday that he saw two men accused of murdering Aaron Doty drag Doty’s body down a trail in the woods and then set it on fire.

Witness says Doty tried to goad him into a fight at a party

Monday, Jan 26, 2015 -

— A witness in the trial of two men accused of murdering Aaron Doty testified that Doty tried to goad him into a fight, but that he refused.

Prosecutor: Desire to see a fight led to murder

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 -

— A beating that led to the murder of Aaron Doty stemmed from the desire of two men accused of killing him to see a fight at a party, a prosecutor told jurors Friday.

Jury selection continues in murder trial

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 -

— In the fourth day of jury selection for two men accused of murdering Aaron Doty Thursday, attorneys edged towards selecting a jury, but had trouble finding the final three ju...

Day 3 of jury selection begins

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 -

At the end of the day yesterday, 11 jurors were seated preliminarily.

Jury selection will resume tomorrow

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 -

As of 5:30 p.m., 11 jurors have been preliminarily been seated.

Jury selection plods along in Doty murder case

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 -

— Jury selection in the trial of two men accused of murdering Aaron Doty seemed to be moving at a backwards pace Wednesday afternoon.

The process is slow today

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 -

Jury selection seemed to be moving at a backwards pace Wednesday afternoon.

Afternoon developments

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 - Two more seated jurors have been struck. The woman who became ill was sent home, but will return Thursday.

Court on recess for lunch

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 -

Court is at lunch. No new jurors have been seated.

Courtroom happenings

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 -

Two bailiffs helped a seated juror leave the courtroom. She appeared to be ill.

Status of jury selection

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 -

Attorneys have preliminarily seated one more juror. Right now, 10 have been preliminarily seated: eight women and two men. Preliminarily seated jurors can still be struck.

Questioning of jurors continues

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 -

Yesterday’s panel of prospective jurors has been used up. Defense attorney’s are asking whether jurors automatically think the defendants, Felipe and Rodriguez, are guilty after hearing the indictment.