Pinnell, Gary

Highlands Today

What’s a troubleman?

Sunday, Aug 28, 2016 -

Those who were around during the 2004-’05 hurricanes will remember that moment — that feeling of exhausted relief — when the power came back and the air...

He looked like a soldier

Saturday, Aug 27, 2016 -

The spirit of charity was in front of Publix on Friday. Before they went into the grocery store or after they left, customer after customer pitched a dollar or two in a gall...

TDC: CountryFlo to receive $10,000 grant

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 -

— Despite protests from Lake Placid chamber officials and the Heartland Cultural Alliance, the Highlands County Tourist Development Council granted the CountryFlo Music Festiv...

Blackman leads campaign contributions for GOP sheriff’s race

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 -

There’s the primary election on Aug. 30, and then there’s the money race.

Voting is heavier this primary

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 -

— It’s two days into early voting week, and more than 10 percent of voters have already cast ballots for sheriff, county commission and U.S. senator.

Lake Wales musicfest wants $30,000 TDC grant

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 -

— A music festival that’s booked in Lake Wales is seeking a $30,000 grant from Highlands County Tourist Development Council. Also, the TDC director’s annual contrac...

Volunteers seek training, insurance, retirement

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 -

If Highlands County is going to pay firefighters, the current volunteers want to get in line.

Long anticipated Sebring Sam’s Club still on hold

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 -

– Sam’s Club didn’t come in 2010, 2011 or 2012, so three guesses as to whether it’s coming here in 2016.

Early voting starts today

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 -

SEBRING — Election time is here for the early birds.

What’s up with Taco Bell, Popeye’s?

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016 -

So why hasn’t Taco Bell opened yet? And what’s up with Popeye’s, Senor Jalapeno, and Oscar’s Family Restaurant?

VisitSebring.com logo adopted

Tuesday, Aug 16, 2016 -

— One day, Highlands County will have four full-time, 24-hour fire stations. Commissioners also agreed to change the tourism logo to VisitSebring.com. Those decisions, however...

County to take 4,000 lots for back taxes

Sunday, Aug 14, 2016 -

SEBRING — County Attorney Ross Macbeth has an ambitious plan to escheat – take for back taxes – 4,000 properties in Highlands County. The properties, mostly in the Sun ‘n Lake district, would ...

An old-fashioned grape stomp

Sunday, Aug 14, 2016 -

— Folks from as far away as West Palm Beach — mostly women, actually - lined up Saturday for the 16th annual Grape Stomp at Henscratch Farms Vineyard. They attempted ...

County unlikely to privatize EMS, libraries

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 -

– A push to transfer 10 county departments to private employers began in 2013 when Positive Mobility’s Ron Layne suggested ambulances for hire should transport non-emer...

Getting an education behind bars

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 -

SEBRING — Carrie Ashby, 29, has been in jail 15 times, she said Wednesday afternoon.

Highlands to remain fiscally constrained

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 -

In the last legislative session, Sen. Denise Grimsley said Wednesday, the limit for fiscally constrained counties to apply for solid waste grants was bumped from 100,000 to ...

County budget: new vehicles, roads, roofs, A/C

Wednesday, Aug 10, 2016 -

One of the first items Tim Mechling mentioned Tuesday was the Lake Jackson Watershed Hydrology Investigation. Locals wanted to know why the lake goes low during droughts, an...

Grant may bring mental health unit to Highlands

Friday, Aug 5, 2016 -

Troubling numbers were revealed at Tuesday’s county commission meeting: Bartow drug treatment and mental health non-profit Peace River Center served 447 adult and 432...

Engineer’s grievance denied

Friday, Aug 5, 2016 -

SEBRING — Highlands County will not act on the grievance of Elius Nortelus.

Tourism council chooses embattled logo

Thursday, Aug 4, 2016 -

— After more than a month of controversy, the Highlands County Tourist Development Council went back to a logo it has proposed before.

Commissioners have cut little from budget

Wednesday, Aug 3, 2016 -

If the annual budget was a baseball game, the commissioners would be 0-2 after Tuesday. They’ve taken a few swings, but haven’t hit a home run with next year&#...

County mulls over bad roads

Tuesday, Aug 2, 2016 -

— Highlands County may have solved one or two road problems in Tuesday’s commission meeting.

Kids count: Florida ranks low in child wellbeing

Saturday, Jul 30, 2016 -

Florida ranks 47th in child health, 44th in child economic wellbeing, 35th in the family and community category, and 30th in education. That’s according to the 2016 A...

Assistant engineer files grievance

Friday, Jul 29, 2016 -

In June, Assistant Engineer Elius Nortelus was offered the job of county engineer, along with a $96,000 salary. He asked for $104,000.

Popeye’s files plans for Sebring store

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016 -

When the snowbirds return to South Sebring, they’ll see a new Popeye’s and a new Publix.

Absentee ballots are in the mail

Wednesday, Jul 27, 2016 -

On Tuesday, Penny Ogg mailed more than 8,000 ballots.

Highlands County’s top 50 vendors

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016 -

SEBRING — Last year, Highlands County paid $1,288,191 to Duke Energy and $124,707 to Glades Electric.

No wrong door

Saturday, Jul 23, 2016 -

Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton read the day-shift report at 6:40 p.m. Friday. In the past 12 hours, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office had been called about...

Citizens want to pay to pave road, but county can’t get it done

Friday, Jul 22, 2016 -

Highlands County has about 700 miles of unpaved roads, Road and Bridge Supervisor Kyle Green said in a meeting two weeks ago. In the past, the county has paved residential streets if homeowners paid half. But it’s...

TDC relents on ‘VisitSebring’ logo

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016 -

– After arguing for more than a month, the Tourist Development Council tentatively compromised Thursday on four counts: the “VisitSebring” logo will go back to t...

Solid waste assessment to be 50% more?

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 -

A notice to be mailed to Highlands County residents on July 27 may say the $130 solid waste assessment will go to $195.

‘Visit Sebring’ logo approval tabled

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 -

— Lake Placid Greater Chamber of Commerce officials may have gotten what they needed Tuesday, but it wasn’t what they wanted.

Clinton Howerton is new county engineer

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 -

— An engineer who has been working with Sun ‘n Lake and Polston Engineering has been hired as the next Highlands County engineer. Clinton Howerton Jr. of Avon Park will...

It’s our county, let’s walk it

Friday, Jul 15, 2016 -

Four years ago, while curating the South Florida State College Museum of Florida Art and Culture, Mollie Doctrow had an idea to honor plants. “I wanted to create an outdoor artwork installation out there where peo...

Sun ‘n Lake cases winding down

Saturday, Jul 16, 2016 -

— Prosecution of the last of the three Sun ‘n Lake supervisors accused of violating the open meetings law will be deferred 90 days.

Asphalt plant was controversial

Thursday, Jul 14, 2016 -

— When Highlands County bought an asphalt plant in 2007, the move was controversial to commissioners, the two asphalt plant owners in the county and a citizen’s group. ...

AP Bombing Range added to Sentinel Landscape Partnership

Wednesday, Jul 13, 2016 -

— More than $8 million has been committed to enhance 1,926 acres at Avon Park Air Force Range. On Tuesday, the 105,000-acre base in Highlands and Polk counties was named one...

Low-cost rides for disadvantaged

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016 -

— The budget to transport Highlands County’s disabled children and adults has nearly tripled over the past four years. And because the Avon Park-Sebring population has ...

‘Mr. FFA,’ Gary Lee, mentor to generations, died Thursday

Friday, Jul 8, 2016 -

Four new restaurants open

Thursday, Jul 7, 2016 -

The name of the business is Authentic Cuban Food. So, says Jacquelin Lazo, that’s what to expect.

Housing market expands

Wednesday, Jul 6, 2016 -

Two years ago, Highlands County residences averaged half the year on the real estate market.

County budget: $131 million

Tuesday, Jul 5, 2016 -

— Commissioners got their first chance on Tuesday to discuss a proposed $130.9 million budget that would be $7.7 million smaller than the current year, but would raise employe...

Best and worst states for teen drivers

Monday, Jul 4, 2016 -

It may relieve parents to know that Florida rates first in quality of roads and eighth in the number of teen DUIs.

County continues to buy easements

Friday, Jul 1, 2016 -

Since 1995, Highlands County has collected more than $1.1 million in fees to buy easements around the Avon Park Air Force Range.

Property values are up

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 -

— It’s time for some good, hard, economic news in Highlands County, and Raymond McIntyre has it: property values are up 2.8 percent.