TALLAHASSEE — For the second time, lawyers representing one of notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s numerous underage victims tried to persuade an appellate court Thursday that an agreement hatched by federal prosecutors and the late financier’s attorneys violated a victims’ rights law.

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SEBRING — Seventy-nine years ago Monday, more than 300 warplanes of the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Army and Navy bases at Pearl Harbor in a daring sneak attack which brought America into the already raging World War II. A large armada of Japanese aircraft carriers and other Japanese war…

AVON PARK — Ewart Saint Coghiel, 44, of Avon Park, was booked into the Highlands County Jail on Wednesday after being transferred from the Polk County Jail. Coghiel was arrested on Nov. 12 on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim under 12 and sexual assault on a victim under 12.

Highlands County road projects for which the Florida Department of Transportation has issued a road advisory:

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s business minister said Friday that U.K.-EU trade talks are at a “difficult” point, as British officials poured cold water on hopes of an imminent breakthrough — and France said it could veto any agreement it didn’t like.

BRUSSELS (AP) — As Brexit talks enter their decisive final days, there’s still a big catch: the fishing industry. It is holding up the trade deal between the European Union and recently departed Britain, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of euros in annual pr…

SEBRING — The Greater Sebring Chamber of Commerce and NU-HOPE Elder Services Inc., both of whose head executives have gone to work for the Highlands County Board of County Commission, will spend their time before Christmas finding successors.

It was a sobering day for Highlands County with the release of Friday’s COVID-19 numbers by the Florida Department of Health. FDOH shows the county saw a case increase of 56, bringing the total to 3,949 as Highlands continues toward the 4,000-case marker.

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SEBRING — The School Board of Highlands County, by a 4-1 vote, approved Superintendent Brenda Longshore’s recommendation to create a new principal position to oversee Highlands Virtual School.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a modern twist on old-fashioned war games, the U.S. military dispatched cyber fighters to Estonia this fall to help the small Baltic nation search out and block potential cyber threats from Russia. The goal was not only to help a NATO partner long targeted by its powerfu…

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly president opened the world body’s first special session on COVID-19 Thursday, calling it a historic and overdue moment of reckoning to forge a path to end the pandemic that not only ensures people everywhere have access to vaccines but mobilize…

AVON PARK — Often, organizations have times of the year when things “slow down.” There is one that hasn’t in seven years. One actually still has two events before the end of 2020.

ATLANTA (AP) — After weathering criticism for certifying President Donald Trump’s narrow election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, Republican officials in Georgia are proposing additional requirements for the state’s vote-by-mail process, despite no evidence of systemic fraud or irregularities.

SEBRING — This year’s Christmas parade theme is “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and is sponsored by the Sebring/Avon Park Jaycees.

SEBRING — The Florida Department of Health COVID-19 case report shows a significant increase in COVID-19 new cases on Wednesday, with a jump of 9,994 infections. That is a difference of 1,147 from the previous day. Wednesday’s daily increase is the highest it has been since Nov. 25.

AVON PARK — A warrant was issued for the arrest of Derrick Tarome Hawthorne Jr., 22, of Avon Park, after an attempted traffic stop near the Avon Park Walmart on Nov. 17.

SEBRING — Mark Blair Graham, 60, of Bridelwood Drive in the Kissimmee River Estates, Okeechobee, was taken into custody last week following an 11-month investigation by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office. At the time of his arrest, Graham was charged with six counts of felony possession o…

TALLAHASSEE — A new state Senate committee will review Florida’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and plan for future emergencies, President Wilton Simpson announced Wednesday as he made more leadership appointments for next two years.

TALLAHASSEE — In a legal test of remote court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic, a South Florida appeals court Wednesday rejected arguments that using Zoom technology in a probation-violation hearing would violate a defendant’s constitutional rights.

TALLAHASSEE — The death toll of Florida prison inmates from COVID-19 has reached 189, with two additional deaths listed Wednesday on the state Department of Corrections website. Since the start of the pandemic, 17,021 inmates and 3,845 corrections workers have tested positive for COVID-19, d…

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman who fled the United States for Mexico ahead of her sentencing in one of the biggest corporate fraud cases in decades is asking for early release from prison, citing poor health and fear of contracting the coronavirus behind bars.

LONDON (AP) — Britain authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for use Wednesday, greenlighting the first shot backed up by rigorous scientific review. The first vaccinations are expected within days — a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Amid the long-raging deadly strife in Indian-controlled Kashmir, another conflict is silently taking its toll on the Himalayan region’s residents: the conflict between man and wild animals.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel took a major step toward plunging into its fourth national election in under two years on Wednesday as lawmakers — supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main coalition partner — passed a preliminary proposal to dissolve parliament.

NEW YORK (AP) — Painter Guy Stanley Philoche, a star in the New York art world, had wanted to treat himself to a fancy watch after a hugely successful gallery show. Then the pandemic hit, and he feared for all the struggling artists who haven’t been so lucky.

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