News Cast 10/6

News Cast for October 6th:

Summit held to fight growing crime problem 

Florida must have a united front if we are to beat human trafficking. 

That the statement of Attorney General Ashley Moody. 

Cases continue to increase in the sex trade and farm labor. 

Lisa Thelwell is a prosecutor for the US Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. 

She spoke at the annual summit on human trafficking. 

She said nurses and health care professionals are an important part in finding victims. 

“More than half of them had access to health care while they were victimized.  85 percent received treatment from health care during their exploitation, either an emergency room or a clinic.  They made contact with health care providers.” 

State Rep. Toby Overdorf of Palm City advocates for tougher penalties against those involved in human trafficking. 

“Unfortunately, although Florida is a champion against human trafficking, we are still number three in the entire country for these incidents.” 

Highlands County commissioners sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis asking him to appoint Karen Healy as supervisor of elections. 

They requested the appointment last through 2024. 

Healy has 18 years of experience in the office. 

Healy thanked the commissioners for the letter of support.
“Thank each and every one of you.  I am humbled and deeply grateful for your support, not only of me, but for our office.” 

Penny Ogg died over the summer.  

Highlands also had an record amount of rain, 16 inches over four days in September.  That led to many complaints about drainage problems in residential areas. 

Chairman Scott Kirouac defended the response of county crews. 

“There are a lot of drainage issues state wide because of older neighborhoods, and platted communities that weren’t built to county standards.  We had unprecedented rainfall events in September.” 

Democratic candidate for Florida Governor Charlie Crist said he’ll give another crack at trying to buy US Sugar if he’s elected. 

His administration purchased about 30,000 thousand acres from the sugar giant when he was governor before. 

Crist said the economy at the time scuttled much of the deal 

“When you govern during a great recession it is challenging to make expensive purchases.  Hopefully in 2022, with a new administration and legislature, that really cares about the middle class and working people, that gives you a better opportunity to take another stab at something as audacious and bold as the land purchase with U.S. Sugar.” 

Crist said he will support other land conservation and preservation measures to help Lake Okeechobee water quality. 

A former Glades County science teacher was labeled a sex offender and sentenced to three years in prison. 

Lee county deputies said Taylor Austin Harris solicited two minors, one a former student of his at West Glades School.  He will also serve 15 year’s on probation. 

Harris sent inappropriate phots and texts to the children using Snapchat. 

He resigned after the arrest last summer. 

He pled guilty to two felony charges.