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News Cast for November 15th:

The Okeechobee County School Board met Tuesday night and one of the items on their agenda was honoring their achievement of the Gold Level award from the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation at the beginning of the school year. The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation is a non-profit group created by the state legislature to expand access to affordable child-centered health insurance. Okeechobee County Schools got the Gold Level award because of their going above and beyond when it comes to providing those health initiatives such as social and emotional learning, providing access to health clinics and a dental program. School Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says he’s pleased the district received this award and he’s found that if you take care of students’ health issues, chances are those students will do quite well academically. Kenworthy says the school district is well ahead of other districts in fostering policies for good student health because Okeechobee is a smaller district than most and the staff can focus more on fostering solid relationships with students, not to mention the fact they’re more approachable. This is the second time Okeechobee County has received this award.

Kenworthy-Healthy Kids Gold Award 1

Kenworthy-Healthy Kids Gold Award 2

The Okeechobee City Council took the time to recognize one of the city’s longtime employees at their meeting last week. Sue Christopher, the administrative assistant for the City Fire Department, received a service award from the council for her 20 years of service to the fire department and the city. Christopher has worked under former City Fire Chief Keith Tommy and now works for current Chief Herb Smith. Christopher says it’s great to be recognized and it’s nice to be appreciated by the council and she says the best part of her job is the people she’s worked with and continues to work with over these last two decades. Christopher, a Fort Pierce native, worked for several different businesses in Orlando and with the school board before answering an ad in the newspaper for this position with the Okeechobee City Fire Department. She calls Chief Smith the “best boss she’s ever had.”

Christopher 1

A vehicle fire caught the attention of Okeechobee County Firefighters early Sunday morning. Crews were called to the six thousand block of SE Highway 441 a little before 4:30 and arrived to find a motor home with a fire burning in the engine compartment. Crews got the blaze controlled in a few minutes with no one getting hurt and no other structures damaged. Investigators say the owner of the mobile home had been using it as a storage facility for a while. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A Clewiston woman is dead after a vehicle accident Wednesday night in Hendry County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 74 year old Judy Nell Vann was driving a Dodge Caravan north on Flaghole Road approaching the intersection of US-27 in Clewiston a little after 8:30, the same time a freightliner truck was going east on US-27 approaching the Flaghole Road intersection.  Vann failed to stop at a posted stop sign and the front of her vehicle collided with the right side of the trailer that the driver of the freightliner truck was towing. The impact sent Vann’s vehicle rotating and she was ejected from the vehicle and collided with the road and the vehicle collided with a guardrail. Vann was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. The freightliner truck driver was not injured. The accident is being investigated.

On the arrest report:

55 year old Robert Allen Pohl of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for driving on a suspended license and resisting arrest after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a one thousand dollar bond.

20 year old Jessica Alexis Camp of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during her hearing on past drug possession charges and failing to appear in court. She’s being held without bond.

48 year old Willard Heath Leitner of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop. His bond is set at three thousand dollars.