Meisel, Jay

Highlands Today

Convicted murderers of Aaron Doty lose appeal

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 -

Two of the most notorious killers in recent Highlands County history have lost their appeals of their convictions for killing Aaron Doty.

Man charged with child abuse back in jail

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 -

A man who faces multiple counts of child abuse was back in jail Tuesday after some confusion regarding his bond status.

Some elementary schools beef up dress code

Monday, Aug 22, 2016 -

— In Shonda Zimmerman’s second-grade class at Sun ‘n Lake Elementary School, all the students Monday wore solid color clothing.

School paraprofessional provided alcohol, cigarettes to students, authorities say

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 -

— In the latest of a string of incidents involving accusations of inappropriate relationships between school employees and students, a middle school paraprofessional is accuse...

Plans coming together for sheriff’s office move

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 -

— Last week, those who stopped in the new Highlands County Sheriff’s Office being built across the street from the existing headquarters in downtown Sebring may have ha...

School superintendent candidate gets cited for driving a school bus

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 -

— A Republican candidate for Highlands County schools superintendent has been issued a citation, charging him with violating a state law on operating a school bus for a non-sc...

Forestry agents help prevent wild fires

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016 -

In the western part of Sebring Hills, there are lots of trees, virtually no residents and a few bumpy dirt roads.

Council selects new police chief; extends sale contract for Harder Hall

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016 -

— The Sebring City Council approved Tuesday evening promoting Sebring Police Lt. Karl Hoglund to police chief, as of Jan. 1, 2017.

How to survive during a mass shooting?

Tuesday, Aug 16, 2016 -

— Highlands County resident Marlene Ramos, who obviously hopes she’s never in a mass shooting situation, nevertheless said she feels more prepared to respond to one...

Sebring plans for more than $1 million in projects next fiscal year

Monday, Aug 15, 2016 -

— At Veterans Beach, the riprap that protects the shore from the currents is eroding.

Harder Hall buyers seek another contract extension

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 -

— Although the buyers of Harder Hall are seeking another extension before closing on the property, city officials were optimistic Friday the deal will be completed.

Precautions and testing ensure fair election, official says

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 -

While presidential candidate Donald Trump has suggested that the Nov. 8 general election may be rigged, plenty of precautions exist to prevent that from happening in Highlan...

New program offered at jail helps inmates beat drug addiction

Wednesday, Aug 10, 2016 -

For Brian Pearce, the path to becoming a drug addict came through his friends.

New Kona Ice franchise raises money for school

Wednesday, Aug 10, 2016 -

At Avon Park High School Monday night during open house, attendees could buy an ice treat.

Sebring, Lake Placid still studying recycling options

Tuesday, Aug 9, 2016 -

— Residential recycling in Highlands County is scheduled to begin in February, but don’t expect to see it start then in the city of Sebring or the town of Lake Placid.<...

Filling positions, warrants and an auxiliary unit are issues in sheriff’s race

Monday, Aug 8, 2016 -

— Hiring more deputies, creating an auxiliary and tackling more warrants are issues that candidates for Highlands County sheriff are emphasizing.

Former Arizona sheriff endorses Fansler

Friday, Aug 5, 2016 -

— Lake Placid Police Chief and sheriff candidate James Fansler Friday stuck behind previous comments he made, that if necessary, as Highlands County sheriff he would meet fede...

Committee recommends lieutenant for Sebring police chief

Thursday, Aug 4, 2016 -

— Sebring Police Lt. Karl Hoglund would run the department with openness and would emphasize developing community relationships, he said Wednesday.

Lakeview Drive project causing some headaches

Wednesday, Aug 3, 2016 -

When customers travel from U.S. 27 to Jimmy’s Greek American Restaurant on Lakeview Drive, it’s a straight shot.

Concealed-and-carry drivers should follow instructions

Tuesday, Aug 2, 2016 -

— The incident involving Philandro Castile and a police officer earlier this month in Minnesota began as a routine traffic stop.

Authorities believe man making video posed a danger to cops

Monday, Aug 1, 2016 -

— Michael Stanley Johnson Jr. apparently thought a new internet video, “Murder on a Cop,” would gain him and others some fame or notoriety.

Company reopens plant in Sebring

Friday, Jul 29, 2016 -

In possibly a sign of an improving economy, an Ohio-based corporation has reopened after several years a manufacturing plant near the Sebring airport.

Sheriff attends Democratic convention

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016 -

As the Democratic and Republican national conventions approached, the National Sheriff’s Association looked for sheriffs who would convey the needs of law enforcement...

DOT approves changes to AP intersection

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016 -

At the age of 18, Dillon Joseph Strickland was undecided about his future plans, his father recalled earlier this year.

Deputies say racial tension not a significant problem in Highlands County

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016 -

When Tyrone Tyson, who is black, was growing up, he became acquainted with two Highlands County Sheriff deputies, Howard Godwin and Darryl Scott.

Walmart customer service manager charged with shoplifting

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016 -

A Sebring Walmart customer service manager charged with shoplifting at a Walmart in Lake Wales told authorities that he also stole items from the Sebring Walmart, accordi...

Efforts underway to collect school supplies

Monday, Jul 25, 2016 -

— Highlands County residents have been generous this year in supporting back-to-school drives, those involved said Monday.

Life-changing events

Friday, Jul 22, 2016 -

— For Donna Bryant, May 15 started out as a great day.

New businesses open in Highlands County

Friday, Jul 22, 2016 -

— For a couple of years, Oscar Jaramillo has operated Chula Vista, a Mexican restaurant near the Residence Inn on U.S. 27.

Sebring councilor to build on two city-owned lots

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016 -

— More than a year ago, in a bid to spur residential development in Sebring’s downtown area, the city agreed to give away six city-owned lots.

City property taxes won’t increase for Sebring residents

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 -

— Sebring residents could see a property tax rate increase in the future, but it won’t happen in the next year, the City Council essentially decided Tuesday.

Former utility director remembered as war hero

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 -

— Decades before Sebring resident Marty Roepstorff became the city’s utilities director, he risked his life landing behind enemy lines in Vietnam to rescue comrades.

Law enforcement ups vigilance; makes some changes

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 -

— Local law enforcement has made some changes in the wake of fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., but Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton said ...

Council favors adding new firefighters positions in next year’s budget

Friday, Jul 15, 2016 -

— Sebring City Council members gave preliminary approval Thursday night for the Sebring Fire Department to hire three more firefighters.

Sometimes, the strangest things help authorities

Friday, Jul 15, 2016 -

— In one case, a suspect’s mother unintentionally pointed authorities to her son as a suspect in a crime, and in another unrelated case a man left evidence behind tha...

Woman led effort to help abused and neglected children

Thursday, Jul 14, 2016 -

— More than 20 years after Sebring resident Ann Hamilton led a campaign to build a temporary shelter, she still has a photo of Bradley McGee.

Lake Placid should split from TDC, chamber says

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016 -

— Business owners in Lake Placid want to remove the town from the Highlands County Tourism Development Commission and begin their own efforts to attract tourists.

Children’s museum could reopen by the end of the year

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016 -

— People involved with the Children’s Museum of the Highlands hope to reopen the facility by the end of the year.

Coming together as one

Monday, Jul 11, 2016 -

— Showing love and respect toward others are some ways to improve relations in the community, some said Sunday, during a town hall discussion convened after two recent shootin...

Home for traumatized teenage girls closing

Saturday, Jul 9, 2016 -

Hansen House, a facility that has helped children removed from abusive and neglectful family situations for 22 years, will close later this month.

Love and determination: Woman walks 15 miles to coax rescued dog home

Friday, Jul 8, 2016 -

— During May, as April Hartseil drove by an orange grove near Highlands Regional Medical Center she saw a black lab running free.

Murder suspect dies

Thursday, Jul 7, 2016 -

A man accused of murdering an elderly neighbor in 2015 has died, authorities said Thursday.

Sebring looks to raise fire rate

Wednesday, Jul 6, 2016 -

Increased expenses of operating the Sebring Fire Department justify raising the fire assessment fee, two Sebring City Council members said Wednesday.

Convicted dog-fighter maintains innocence

Friday, Jul 1, 2016 -

— At his home in Sebring, James Reed on Thursday gathered his grandchildren around him. “This is what I missed the most,” he said.

Man killed other man while he was sleeping, authorities say

Friday, Jul 1, 2016 -

— A secretly passed note to a service plaza employee in Broward County helped lead to an arrest in connection with a Sebring area killing that had occurred hours earlier, acco...

K9 dog Billy honored at funeral service

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 -

— For Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dusty McGee, K-9 Billy was a lot more than just a dog.

Sheriff’s Office investigates homicide

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 -

A man fatally shot his roommate at their residence near Sebring and then dumped the body in the Everglades in Broward County, authorities said.

Sebring looks inward for new police chief

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016 -

— Sebring Police Lt. Karl Hoglund, a 23-year-old veteran of the department, could become Sebring’s first new police chief in nearly 20 years.

Fourth of July comes with a bang this year

Monday, Jun 27, 2016 -

— This year, there is no shortage of Fourth of July-related fireworks displays in Highlands County, whether they be on July 2, July 3 or the actual day itself.