Breaking Highlands county news, local sports and events, and weather from Highlands Today | | Highlands Today
Tuesday, Oct 13, 2015

Pinnell, Gary

Highlands Today

Eight new businesses open in Highlands

Friday, Oct 9, 2015 -

— Apparently, 2015 is the year of the new business. Dozens have opened this year in Highlands County.

Highlands drops to fourth in citrus production

Thursday, Oct 8, 2015 -

— It’s a sign of the times that Doug Karlson is producing trees developed by the United States Department of Agriculture and the University of Florida.

Property values finally back in black

Wednesday, Oct 7, 2015 -

County commission chair Ron Handley was in the building official’s office Tuesday, and liked what he saw.

Commissioners question need for Parkway Phase 3

Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015 -

— After listening to tea partiers and the public about the lack of need for Sebring Parkway Phase 3, Highlands County commissioners backed away from a $600,000 contract with H...

Hundreds of bikers ride in for Avon Park event

Sunday, Oct 4, 2015 - By noon on Friday, perhaps 500 bikers had parked on Main Street, and the first Autumn Bike Fest was roaring through town. The free three-day festival concludes Sun...

Emails reveal why SNL supervisors were charged

Saturday, Oct 3, 2015 -

SEBRING — What did the three Sun ‘n Lake supervisors email that caused the state attorney’s office to file complaints in Highlands County Court?

How much does it cost to raise an athlete?

Friday, Oct 2, 2015 -

SEBRING — Which is more expensive, raising a football player or a band member? A cheerleader or a dancer? A baseball player or a runner?

Report: three of 10 kids drink

Friday, Oct 2, 2015 -

In a 2014 study, middle and high school students identified alcohol, marijuana and prescriptions as their drugs of choice.

Is our tax burden high? Survey says Highlands County is in the middle

Thursday, Oct 1, 2015 -

SEBRING — Highlands is in Florida’s heartland, and it’s right in the middle of tax burdens as well, according to, a New York financial technology company.

Yard waste is limited

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 -

There’s a limit to how much yard waste can be piled on front lawns for pickup by Progressive Waste Systems, John and Judy Egizi found out last week.

Highlands has a suicide problem

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015 -

The last time Linda Starcher tried suicide, her heart rate went down to three.

Environmental deputy having success finding illegal dumpers

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 -

SEBRING — Deputy Donivan Cooper has taken 67 reports of illegal dumps from July 8, the first day he took the position of environmental deputy, through Aug. 26, when he reported to the Highlands County commissioner...

Voting machines to be replaced soon

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 - After the Bush-Gore debacle in 2000, Florida became proactive. Punch cards and hanging chads were replaced with optical scanners.

3 SNL supervisors due in court Sept. 30

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 -

— Three Sun ‘n Lake of Sebring supervisors are scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 30 on misdemeanor charges of violating Florida’s Government in the Sunshine laws.<...

Mixed results on LPN, RN student exams

Saturday, Sep 19, 2015 -

SEBRING — LPN students from two local nursing programs scored well on their graduate exam, but both schools fell below the 2014 national average on the RN exam.

Housing crunch develops for low-income buyers

Thursday, Sep 17, 2015 -

SEBRING — In future years, Highlands County residents may point back and say 2015 was when two crunches began: a shortage of affordable homes, and a dearth workers to build those houses.

3 SNL supervisors charged

Friday, Sep 18, 2015 -

SEBRING — Three Sun ‘n Lake supervisors have been charged with violating Florida’s government in the sunshine laws.

County passes 2016 budget

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 -

SEBRING — What if Highlands County passed a $138,129,099 budget and nobody came to the 20-minute public hearing?

Commissioners approve curbside recycling

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 -

SEBRING — Commissioners still have to sign the contract in a few weeks, but after that formality, Highlands County citizens will be recycling in February.

Highlands County has no untested rape kits

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 -

— Attorney General Pam Bondi has asked state lawmakers, law enforcement and victim advocates for broad support in testing Florida’s unprocessed sexual assault kits.

Expanding the herd

Saturday, Sep 12, 2015 -

Highlands County cattle producers are making choices. How many heifers should be sold? How many heifers should be kept? Should an older cow that didn’t produce a calf...

SNL fires public works director

Friday, Sep 11, 2015 -

When fire is good news

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 -

SEBRING — Florida is home to the most active prescribed-fire program in the nation, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said.

SFSC ranks in top 5% nationally

Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015 -

AVON PARK – No one is thrusting 30 fingers in the air, but South Florida State College is proud its designation last week: it was ranked 30th among 670 state, technical and community colleges. North Florida Commun...

‘Boomerang’ buyers purchase new homes

Tuesday, Sep 8, 2015 -

— Three years ago, her husband lost his job, and Mary Ford quit two part-time jobs to take care of her mother, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

No child without a family

Friday, Sep 4, 2015 -

— Some choose to remain childless, but eight is not enough for others.

County budget will be $139 million

Friday, Sep 4, 2015 -

SEBRING — It’s almost official.

Commissioners watching pennies

Friday, Sep 4, 2015 -

— Highlands County commissioners were watching pennies Tuesday and making certain that projects continue to move forward.

South Sebring Wendy’s closes, AP Taco Bell to reopen

Friday, Sep 4, 2015 -

— Taco Bell in Avon Park will be reopened at the end of September.

Couple pays county to fix potholes

Friday, Sep 4, 2015 -

— About five years ago, Highlands County paved the whole neighborhood. Except for Bella Avenue.

County pays $2,500 per month to get local gas

Tuesday, Sep 1, 2015 -

— Should Highlands County offer a 5 percent preference to local fuel vendors?

Best Places to Retire

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 -

SEBRING — Highlands County didn’t make the list of the 150 Best Places to Retire, but local officials said it should have.

29 people jailed in multi-county drug bust

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 -

SEBRING – Fifteen people were indicted and 29 arrested in a drug bust that included Highlands, Glades, Indian River, Polk and Okeechobee counties.

Erika keeps changing her mind

Friday, Aug 28, 2015 - So far, Erika is acting like a typical storm. On Thursday morning, the tropical storm was tracking to skirt Florida’s east coast. On Friday morning, the possible hurricane had shifted west, and the eye was...

With Erika bearing down on Florida, emergency managers get ready for a storm

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 - SEBRING — On Thursday, the National Hurricane Center projected Erika would skirt Florida’s east coast. It could make landfall in Miami as early as 8 a.m. Monday. Whether a hurricane comes here or vee...

John Hawthorne to retire from Habitat

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 -

SEBRING — John Hawthorne and his wife haven’t spent more than two weeks together since they’ve been married.

Without herbicides, Lake Istokpoga would be a marsh

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 -

SEBRING — Without constant herbicide treatments, prescribed burns, aquatic plant removal and replanting, invasive species would overtake native grasses, and Lake Istokpoga would become Istokpoga Marsh.

Last chapter written on HRMC lawsuit against county appraiser

Monday, Aug 24, 2015 -

— The final chapter was written last Tuesday in Highlands Regional Medical Center’s lawsuit with the Highlands County Property Appraiser.

Children’s museum reopens with Outback exhibit

Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 -

— A year ago, Kenneth Carter walked into the Children’s Museum of the Highlands and saw the restaurant exhibit. “This could be better,” he thought.

Sheriff candidates discuss their flawed pasts

Saturday, Aug 22, 2015 -

— Jason Hunter was not convicted for a domestic dispute with his common-law wife, but he has threatened to shoot “every future police officer that tries to falsely arre...

County budget gap whittled down to $3 million

Thursday, Aug 20, 2015 -

SEBRING — Highlands County’s budget gap, which started $4.6 million in the hole, is down to $3.1 million.

Divided Legislature adjourns without congressional maps

Friday, Aug 21, 2015 -

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Legislature ended its 12-day special session without agreeing on maps for the 27 congressional districts.

TRIM notices went out Monday

Thursday, Aug 20, 2015 -

— Truth in Millage notices were mailed Monday, Property Appraiser Raymond McIntyre said.

44 apartments to be built

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 -

— Construction is due to commence by Oct. 1 on 44 single family homes. Highlands County commissioners approved the $7.8 million project in a Tuesday night meeting.

Count all the bees in the hive

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 -

— The truth, according to David Austin, is that no one really knows what’s causing colony collapse, or if bee colonies are really collapsing.

Sheriff’s candidates discuss their pasts

Saturday, Aug 15, 2015 -

Editor’s Note: The remaining three candidates will be reported on in next Sunday’s Highlands Today.