Pinnell, Gary

Highlands Today

Community enjoys Lake Placid Country Fair

Sunday, Feb 7, 2016 -

— The sign says, “Farm Fresh Eggs,” but they’re not white. They’re not even brown.

Where does our money go?

Saturday, Feb 6, 2016 -

Highlands County earned $382,000 in interest last year. Is that a little or a lot?

Snowmageddon: we don’t shovel snow in Highlands

Friday, Feb 5, 2016 -

— On Jan. 22, Don Elwell watched TV news and monitored the Weather Channel as an historic blizzard dumped up to three feet on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states.

Distemper problem at Sun N’ Lake

Thursday, Feb 4, 2016 -

— It’s not officially an outbreak, but 21 cases of distemper have been found during the past three seasons in raccoons and foxes in the Sun N’ Lake area.

Veterans benefits fair set for Saturday morning

Thursday, Feb 4, 2016 -

– Robin Carney, Denise Williams and Larry Roberts were talking one day about veterans’ health fairs in Highlands County.

End of the road for some specialty tags

Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016 -

Chances are, Gator fans who want a University of Florida license plate will always be able to get one. But maybe not for the Florida Institute of Technology.

Sebring airport updates plan to 2045

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016 -

Sebring International Raceway and U.S. Sport Aviation Expo are already major successes, each attracting international attention. But they’ll get bigger and better, ac...

Expo director resigns

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016 -

Jana Filip, director of the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo for past five years, resigned last week.

County health department keeps losing jobs

Saturday, Jan 30, 2016 -

Between 2007 and 2015, the Florida Department of Health in Highlands County lost more than 40 percent of its workforce.

DEP studies Lake Istokpoga algae

Friday, Jan 29, 2016 -

— Late last summer, Don Hatcher saw lots of dark water on Lake Istokpoga.

ER billing protection passes House, Senate committees

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 -

— In an issue watched closely by doctors, hospitals and insurers, the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, the Senate Health Policy Committee and the Senate Health and ...

Marshall: county commission should reflect diversity

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 -

Back in 1985, Highlands County commissioners were paid just $17,023 annually.

Is the foreclosure crisis over?

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016 -

In 2008 and 2009, Highlands County had 2,799 foreclosures — so many the state gave the clerk of courts’ office extra funding.

Are term limits for judges a good idea?

Sunday, Jan 24, 2016 -

A second House committee on Thursday approved a measure to limit Florida Supreme Court justices and appellate-court judges to two full terms in office, putting a constitutio...

They’re building homes in Highlands County

Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 -

For the first time in seven years, permits to build new homes in Highlands County will exceed 100.

CitraPac may hire first employees in March

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 -

— Unseasonably wet winter weather has delayed construction at CitraPac, president Gregg Harshman said Friday.

Just look at all those planes

Thursday, Jan 21, 2016 -

The parking lot Thursday at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo was like the License Plate Game: car tags from New Hampshire, Ohio, West Virginia...

Commercial space in shorter supply

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 -

The Heacock Building was constructed in 2008, but the second and third floors, and even some of the first floor, have been unoccupied for seven years.

Fines tacked to animal control laws

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 -

— Pardon the pun, but Highlands County commissioners have put some teeth into the animal control ordinance. Commissioners also heard an assessment of county fire and EMS servi...

How low can gas go?

Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 -

— Ever feel guilty when you fill up your tank at $1.90 per gallon?

Religion in school

Friday, Jan 15, 2016 -

SEBRING – At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Highlands County School Board is scheduled to hear complaints from Tom Barrett about a chapter on Islamism in the textbook “World History Ancient Civilizations.”

Thank El Nino for this weather

Friday, Jan 15, 2016 -

— Steve Jervey answered the telephone at 9:30 a.m. Friday, an early hour for the guy who also delivers Channel 8’s 11 p.m. forecast. A line of severe thunderstorms was ...

Court: Fla. death penalty system is unconstitutional

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2016 -

— Will two Highlands County defendants be retried? Or will their death sentences be commuted to life in prison?

Credit card feel heavier?

Monday, Jan 11, 2016 -

How much did you spend for Christmas? How much of that went on credit cards?

What’s on your phone bill?

Saturday, Jan 9, 2016 -

J.P. Fane examined his January bill from Sprint and found a curious item at the bottom. Under “Government Fees & Taxes” was “Sebring City-Comm Servi...

Baby, it’s warm outside

Thursday, Jan 7, 2016 -

— With a cool front behind us and another one the way Sunday, it’s an odd time to be contemplating about how warm this winter has been, but here we are.

Fiscally constrained county?

Wednesday, Jan 6, 2016 -

Highlands is officially a “fiscally constrained county.” But here’s the good news: if the housing economy keeps growing, it won’t be constrained ...

Commissioners take the reins on recycling

Tuesday, Jan 5, 2016 -

SEBRING — Enough, Highlands County collectively commissioners said Tuesday. We’ll do it ourselves.

Fansler throws hat into sheriff’s ring

Tuesday, Jan 5, 2016 -

SEBRING — An eighth candidate has filed for Highlands County sheriff.

Rowan files for sheriff

Thursday, Dec 31, 2015 -

— And that makes seven.

Highlands is in one Senate district in plan approved by judge

Thursday, Dec 31, 2015 -

— Highlands County would be part of a compact, rural Senate District 26 if a Leon County Circuit Court ruling holds.

It’s going to be a brand-new Taco Bell

Wednesday, Dec 30, 2015 -

— Now we know what’s going next to Olive Garden. (Drumroll, please.)

TDC approves golf marketing plan

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 -

SEBRING — The Tourist Development Council approved a $10,000 golf marketing plan from Greg Christovich of Highlands County Golf Club and consultant Tracy McCoy.

Ready for the primary?

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 -

SEBRING — OK, the subject is presidential politics. Ready to be confused?

Medical tourism

Thursday, Dec 24, 2015 -

SEBRING — About 30 percent of Newsom Eye & Laser Center’s business comes from medical tourists like a security company owner and his wife from the Virgin Islands.

Got a boat? Get a beacon

Thursday, Dec 24, 2015 -

Just this week, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued the occupants of two boats because they had emergency beacons.

Children in poverty

Thursday, Dec 24, 2015 -

– It’s getting better out there, government statistics tell us. Unemployment in Highlands County has been cut in half. Foreclosures are at a 10-year low. Population is ...

2015 was a bad year for panthers

Wednesday, Dec 23, 2015 -

— Florida set a record at the end of November: 36 panthers had been killed. Last week, another milestone was established: the 38th and 39th big cats have met their end.

Toys for Avon Park tots

Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 -

– About three years ago, Lt. Rob Remick and the fire department rescue squad received an emergency call on Christmas morning. A child was choking.

NTSB: Expo plane crash was pilot error

Monday, Dec 21, 2015 -

— Before Dennis Day of Groveland took off Jan. 16 from Sebring Regional Airport, he revved the Aventura II’s engine so hard, “the airplane tipped forward onto it...

Nu-Hope delivering Christmas goodies

Sunday, Dec 20, 2015 -

SEBRING — Volunteers are delivering Christmas baskets to fifty seniors with holiday needs, said Resource Development Director Laurie Murphy.

Hospital penalized by Medicare

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 -

Medicare has penalized 758 hospitals, including Highlands Regional Medical Center, because of high rates of patient safety incidents.

Coming to a theater near you

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2015 -

James Hawker, then 22, was in Austin in May 1977, about to graduate from the University of Texas, when he heard about a cool new movie from classmates.

County considers extending housing program

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2015 -

In March 2011, commissioners voted 3-1 to turn down a $1 million housing grant. In the succeeding three years, Highlands County systematically disassembled the seven-member ...

The tree and I

Monday, Dec 14, 2015 -

It’s a fair trade, the way Darrel Smith sees it: “They get a tree, and we get rid of these trees.”

WE WANT TO KNOW: What was your best New Year’s Eve?

Thursday, Dec 3, 2015 -

Where were you on your very best New Year’s Eve ever, and who were you with?

Can you text to 911 in Highlands County?

Saturday, Dec 12, 2015 -

A coordinator at a Florida 911 conference asked her son, “Can you text to 911?”

Kids flock to CookieFest 3

Saturday, Dec 12, 2015 -

More than 100 kids, moms and dads came during the first hour of Cookiefest 3, held Saturday in the Visual Arts Center in the Highlands Art League complex.

Unemployment claims down by two-thirds

Friday, Dec 11, 2015 -

— Unemployment insurance claims in Highlands, Hardee, DeSoto and Okeechobee counties are down 63 percent since the worst month of the Great Recession.

It’s more than just the food

Friday, Dec 11, 2015 -

— There’s a man in Lake Placid whose wife died several years ago, said Ingra Gardner.