Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Meisel, Jay

Highlands Today

Prosecutor: Principal suspects in Doty slaying won’t face death penalty

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 -

— It was on June 9, 2012, that Aaron Doty attended a party hosted by Kenneth Felipe Jr. and Jonathan Ray Rodriguez.

Inmate expressed no desire to commit suicide, sheriff says

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 -

— A man found deceased in the Highland County jail Monday morning had asked to be isolated from other prisoners, Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton said Tuesday.

Agero to increase workforce to around 600 during the next year

Monday, Jul 21, 2014 -

—A business that takes calls from people who need roadside assistance plans to hire 100 more employees during the next year, its local director said Monday.

Events succeeded in bringing people to downtown, organizers say

Friday, Jul 18, 2014 -

— For most downtown store owners, there’s simply not enough time to operate their businesses and plan events, said Beverly Branam, owner of Galleria 301.

Lake Placid man recalls being an engineer during the Apollo 11 mission

Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 -

— When Apollo 11’s lunar module landed on the moon to the excitement of people all over the United States, it was the culmination of years of hard work by many peo...

Man accused of burglarizing business

Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 -

AVON PARK — Surveillance video led to the arrest of a suspect in the burglary of an Avon Park business on June 9, according to a report released Wednesday.

Sheriff’s office arrest man for suspected grow houses

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 -

— After deputies found 37 marijuana plants and $8,000, the wife of a man arrested said that as far as she knew her husband earned a living by cutting lawns, according to an arr...

Some criticize timing of a planning director layoff

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 -

— For most of the past three decades, George Hensley sat in front in the Sebring City Council meeting room, as either a councilman or a mayor.

Suspect’s statement regarding murder led to upgraded charge

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 -

— When authorities first arrested a suspect in connection with the death of a former Avon Park High School star football player, the intention was to charge him with second-de...

Grand jury indicts two on murder charges

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 -

— A Highlands County grand jury has indicted two men in connection with different murder cases.

Man charged with neglect of infant

Monday, Jul 14, 2014 -

— Earlier this year, authorities arrested a man and his girlfriend after Florida Hospital reported they brought a 4-year-old boy with injuries to the medical facility.

Doty trial scheduled for January

Monday, Jul 14, 2014 -

— Prosecutors will seek to try together the two principal suspects in the murder of Aaron Doty, Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin said Monday.

City eliminates planning director position as of Oct. 1

Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 - SEBRING — Sebring Planning Director Jim Polatty’s vacation may end with an unwelcome surprise.

New children’s museum director chosen

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 -

— When Cheryl Matthews becomes director of the Children’s Museum of the Highlands in September, she’ll have some big shoes to fill, she acknowledged Friday.

Mother charged with neglect of infant

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 -

— A mother was charged this week with neglect of an infant boy, three months after being accused of neglecting a 4-year-old boy who was discovered to have stomach injuries, ac...

Veteran unhappy with VA medical care services

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 -

— After an Avon Park resident served from 1984 to 1988 at the U.S. Air Force at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, she said, she began to feel a lot of pain.

Manager accused of stealing money from restaurant

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 -

— A manager of a Lake Placid area restaurant, who apparently felt he was underpaid, has been accused of stealing nearly $30,000 from the eatery during a 13-month period, a...

Cases of children dying in cars raise concerns

Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 -

— When Christopher King arrived home in Highlands County during a day in September 2012, he entered his house and soon went to sleep in his bedroom.

Man accused of doing work without having a license

Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 -

— A woman’s unhappiness over a project to demolish two homes and a garage led to an Avon Park man being accused of doing construction work without having a license, a...

Florida is known for more than just its sun

Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 -

— In a state known as the lightning capital of the United States, misconceptions can be dangerous, according to the National Weather Service.

Woman accused of fraud at restaurant

Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 -

— It might have appeared that a waitress at a Lake Placid restaurant was doing an extraordinary job.

Woman accused of feeding bears declared incompetent

Monday, Jul 7, 2014 -

— An elderly woman repeatedly arrested for illegally feeding bears has been declared incompetent to stand trial.

Authorities say one gun thief hit another with a gun

Monday, Jul 7, 2014 -

— When one suspected thief tried to sell stolen goods to two other men, he ended up being hit over the head with a gun and robbed, according to an arrest report released Monda...

100 fire hydrants to be painted pink

Saturday, Jul 5, 2014 -

SEBRING — For those not too familiar with Sebring’s fire hydrants, they may not realize the hydrants have a variety of colors, yellow on the main part of it and either red, orange, green or blue on the top....

Justice for victims

Thursday, Jul 3, 2014 -

– Every working day, Richard Castillo’s focus is on accused murderers, child abusers, rapists and thieves.

Sebring gives initial support to Project Nitrogen

Thursday, Jul 3, 2014 -

— The Sebring City Council gave preliminary support this week to efforts to bring a new industry to the Sebring Airport.

Fireworks dealers predict good year

Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 -

— Although it was a slow Wednesday morning at a fireworks stand outside Boom Boom’s Guns and Ammo, one of the owners said the Fourth of July business will be good this ...

Children’s ministry coordinator charged with molestation of juvenile

Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 -

— A children’s ministry coordinator at a Sebring church has been placed on administrative leave after being arrested on a charge of lewd/lascivious molestation i...

Bear sightings increase in Highlands County

Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014 -

— As Bam Bam Ammons looked out his back window in Highland Park Estates Tuesday, he saw what he says is increasingly common on his property, a black bear.

When it comes to specialty plates, University of Florida leads the pack here

Monday, Jun 30, 2014 - — For Brook Shaffer, paying extra dollars to buy a specialty license plate is not a new idea.

Suspect arrested after chase

Monday, Jun 30, 2014 -

— A man who fled Highlands County deputies last week was finally arrested after he also tried to flee from Sebring police officers, according to a report released Monday.

Report: Man hit another with toilet lid, cut him with knife

Monday, Jun 30, 2014 -

— In an alleged robbery attempt, a Lake Placid man hit another on the head with a toilet tank lid and stabbed him, according to an arrest report released Monday.

Two years later, neglected children making progress, aunt says

Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 -

— In a Highlands County courtroom earlier this month, jurors saw a photo of then 4-year-old Kairi Jackson after she was removed in 2012 from an apartment in Avon Park. That ...

Construction moves ahead on kennels at Humane Society

Friday, Jun 27, 2014 -

— For the dogs at the Highlands County Humane Society, next summer may be a bit more pleasant.

Woman pleads guilty in death of child left in car

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 -

— Two Highlands County women who were either convicted of or plead guilty to charges they caused the death of a child through neglect will be sentenced Sept. 15.

Highlands County to get new circuit criminal judge

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 -

— When Circuit Judge J. Dale Durrance first was assigned to Highlands County from 1986 to 1987, the situation was different, he recalled Wednesday.

Former president, treasurer of AP youth baseball association arrested

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 -

— The former president and treasurer of Avon Park Baseball Inc. were arrested Tuesday by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office and charged with individually stealing ...

Man charged with murdering uncle claimed to be Jesus Christ

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 -

— Although a man was shot first by his uncle, that didn’t make it self defense when he shot his uncle execution style numerous times from behind, according to a...

Building increases slowly in Highlands County

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 -

— During all of 2013, Ken LeBlanc built four new homes in the Covered Bridge subdivision southwest of Sebring.

Jury convicts mother in child death case

Friday, Jun 20, 2014 -

— A mother accused of neglecting her four children to the point where one died of malnutrition was convicted Friday of aggravated manslaughter of a child and three counts of n...

Child hadn’t consumed food in two days, witness says

Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 -

— At the time 9-month-old Milo Rupert was found dead in his crib on July 7, 2012, he hadn’t digested any food in two days, an associate medical examiner testified Thurs...

City Hall named after former mayor

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 -

— When former Mayor Smith Rudasill Jr. visited schools, he would always tell students about his government salary of $1 per year, his widow recalled Tuesday.

Trial begins for mother accused in baby’s death, neglecting children

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 -

— Jurors in the case of a mother accused of neglecting her four children may have been surprised Wednesday when during opening statements both the prosecution and the defense ...

15th annual Juneteenth festival to feature history, music and food

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 -

— For the 15th year, Robert Saffold and other Sebring residents are organizing the annual Juneteenth Festival this Saturday, which will celebrate the freedom of Texas s...

Program helps those who care for people with dementia

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 -

— During the past several years, Lois, who did not want her last name used, has become as much a caregiver as a spouse to her husband.

Device has speeded up identifications

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 -

— When deputies found the body of a man on June 9, one of the most important jobs that lay before investigators was to find out his identity.

Woman scheduled for trial in child death case

Friday, Jun 13, 2014 -

— Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in Highlands County Circuit Court for a mother accused of allowing to her son to die of malnourishment and her three daughters to...

Woman accused of stealing money from trust for elderly couple

Friday, Jun 13, 2014 -

— A woman accused of exploiting an elderly couple by stealing nearly $300,000 in combined alleged credit card misuse and money from a trust intended to help the elderly couple...

Report: Shooter’s wife tried to exorcize his ‘demons’

Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 -

— In the weeks and months leading to when Floyd Gene Hodge Jr. shot at neighborhood houses, he acted increasingly bizarre, his wife, Lisa, told authorities in March, according...

CRA wants to convince people to move to downtown

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 -

— As Sebring’s Community Redevelopment Agency looks toward the future, the emphasis is likely to be on promoting the residential section on the business distric...

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