Huge DeSoto parcel sells

One of the largest contiguous parcels along Peace River, 850 acres, sold (Monday) Aug. 12. The sale price was around $3.4 million. The land is native wildlife habitats and untouched woods, hammocks and swamps. It has 3.5 miles of frontage on the bank of Peace River lying just south of the Nocatee Bridge. The buyer was Peace River Preserve, LLC, represented by Natalie Premock of Finite Realty, and the seller was the Susie Robertson Trust, represented by Durward Smith and Mac Martin of United Country Gulfland Real Estate.

Time to make the donuts (today)

Arcadia’s Dunkin’ Donuts franchise reopens early Thursday, that despite an ongoing dispute between its owners and a bank. According to paperwork filed with DeSoto County’s 12th Judicial Circuit Court, franchise owners Karen and Greg Daley were served notices from Northern Bank & Trust Co. on several occasions in late July, the document filed against GK Daley Realty Investments and other limited liability companies held by the couple, whose business address is listed in Palm Beach Gardens. Reasons are not in the documents.

The good news for those seeking hot liquids and doughnuts, however, is that the franchise opens at 5 a.m. today, the store’s general manager said. The Arcadia Dunkin’ Donuts is at 1329 E. Oak St. Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950 and has more than 8,500 US franchises in 41 states.

Former funeral director in court Aug. 22

Floyd O. Rice appears closer to a shot at freedom. The former director of the Ponger-Kays-Grady Funeral Home in Wauchula was arrested in October 2018 for alleged embezzlement of nearly $350,000 of company funds, according to Hardee County Assistant State Attorney John Kromholz. Rice over several years pocketed funeral expenses, Kromholz said, used the proceeds for personal items such as vacations and bills. A civil suit filed against Rice and wife Ginger Skinner-Rice, who live in Arcadia, was filed by Ponger-Kays-Grady ownership. A judgment of more than $1 million was granted. The criminal hearing targets Floyd Rice, charged with grand theft, a felony punishable by up to 30 years in jail. Kromholz said Rice must offer restitution or risk prison. “The offer is out there,” Kromholz said, “he accepts it, he accepts it. We won’t negotiate publicly.” The Aug. 22 hearing is before Hardee Circuit Judge Michael Raiden. Rice nor his defense lawyer, Ronald Toward, could be reached for comment.

DeSoto has fewer gas issues

The plunge at the pump continued last week. Florida gas prices declined nearly 10 cents, as global demand concerns keep downward pressure on the price of crude.

Florida drivers are paying an average price of $2.44 per gallon, an 8-cent discount from last week. The state average has declined the past 25 days, for a total of 26 cents per gallon. Sunday’s state average is 20 cents less than a month ago, and 37 cents less than this time last year. Pump prices are now 36 cents per gallon less than this year’s highest daily price of $2.80, set in April.

The price for a barrel of WTI crude settled at $54.50 Friday on the NYMEX, a discount of $1.16 per barrel from the week before.

Most expensive metro markets

Tallahassee ($2.62), Panama City ($2.62) and Gainesville ($2.55)

Least expensive metro markets

Punta Gorda ($2.34), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater ($2.35) and Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice ($2.35)

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