Thanks for listening to WOKC Okeechobee's True Country!

True Country WOKC

Photo by Dobo on Lake Okeechobee, June 2018.

News Cast for June 22nd:

A bond hearing for an Okeechobee woman accused of allowing a spider monkey to hurt people in public featured testimony from members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife and one of the spider monkey’s victims but the accused was not present. An Okeechobee County Court judge yesterday ruled that bonds totaling $29 thousand dollars should be set against 56 year old Tina Darlene Ballard for charges including maintaining captive wildlife in a neglectful manner and culpable negligence causing harm when her spider monkey named Spanky attacked someone at Home Depot on June 4th. Prosecutor Ashley Albright says it was not a surprise to him that Ballard didn’t show up for her court appearance. The judge also ordered Ballard to not be allowed to have the monkey in her possession from now until her next court appearance on July 16th. Attempts to contact Ballard’s attorney, Alex Weintraub, for a comment were unsuccessful.

Bond Hearing Results 1

Bond Hearing Results 2

The Okeechobee County School Board met this past Tuesday night for a special workshop on the possibility of changing start and end times of certain schools in the district. Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says this workshop was done to determine if later start times for schools may be more beneficial for students in terms of achievement in school, academically and for extra-curricular activities. Kenworthy says results of a survey taken by high schoolers say it’s time for a later start time. No changes were made at the workshop for this upcoming year’s school start and end times but there will be another workshop on the issue and Kenworthy says it will include input from principals and students themselves. The next workshop on the issue will be in January.

School Times Workshop 1

School Times Workshop 2

School Times Workshop 3

School Times Workshop 4

The Okeechobee County School Board met this past Tuesday night for a special workshop on the possibility of changing start and end times of certain schools in the district. Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says this workshop was done to determine if later start times for schools may be more beneficial for students in terms of achievement in school, academically and for extra-curricular activities. Kenworthy says results of a survey taken by high schoolers say it’s time for a later start time. No changes were made at the workshop for this upcoming year’s school start and end times but there will be another workshop on the issue and Kenworthy says it will include input from principals and students themselves. The next workshop on the issue will be in January.

Di Pasquale 1

Di Pasquale 2

Okeechobee County firefighters had a report of a vehicle fire to contend with Wednesday. Firefighters were called to the 29 hundred block of East Center Street just after 12:30 and arrived to a garbage truck where there had been a fire but apparently was extinguished by the time they arrived. No one was hurt but there was some hydraulic fluid that leaked on the ground. Crews cleaned it up with some oil/dry. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies have an Okeechobee man in custody on several charges after an incident early Wednesday morning. Deputies say 54 year old Jesse James King went into the Racetrac gas station and store on the 15 hundred block of Route 70 east shortly after 3:45am even though he was barred because of previous incidents. Deputies arrived and tried putting handcuffs on him but King resisted arrest and had to be held down by a deputy. He still resisted as the deputy was reaching for a taser and King ran off before he was tased and then tried running again before he was tased once more. King was arrested and booked into county jail on charges of trespassing, possession of marijuana, resisting arrest and escape. His bond has not been set.

An Okeechobee woman is in county jail for battery and other charges after an incident Wednesday morning. Sheriff’s deputies say 23 year old Kayla Jasmine Corrales went into the home of her biological sister just before 11am and reportedly began hitting and choking her while Corrales’ sister was holding her infant son. Deputies say Corrales asked for some Adderall and after Corrales’ sister saw her holding a small clear bag with a white powder in it, Corrales’ sister asked her to leave and Corrales asked her sister to take her someplace but she refused and that’s when Corrales began hitting her sister. Deputies arrested Corrales and charged her with aggravated battery and child abuse. Her bond has not been set.

An Immokalee man is in serious condition after a vehicle accident early Wednesday morning. Florida Highway Patrol officers say 26 year old Jesus Martinez was driving a Toyota Camry west on Route 840 in Ft. Myers just before 8am when he failed to negotiate a left curve properly and he drifted into the opposite lane and collided with an oncoming dump truck. Martinez was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment and he will be charged with careless driving and driving on a suspended license.

On the arrest report:

48 year old Dawn Michelle Morris of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on several counts of violating probation. She’s being held without bond.

37 year old Matthew Shane Tate of Okeechobee was arrested on several warrants from Highlands County for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.

39 year old Casey Torria Casen of Okeechobee was arrested for burglary with assault and criminal mischief. His bond has not been set.

24 year old Miranda Brooke Rexroad and 54 year old Dwayne Allen Rexroad, both of Okeechobee were arrested for aggravated battery. Both were released after posting a $10 thousand dollar bond.

37 year old Donald Kirk McDonald Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.

55 year old Debra Thomas Arnold of Okeechobee was arrested for failing to appear in court for battery charges. She’s being held without bond.

Okeechobee’s Upcoming Events 6-12-18

Looking for a place to volunteer?    Come check out the Okeechobee Blood Roundup as volunteers meet Monday, June 11, to begin planning for the 13th annual Roundup to be held November 17th and 18th.  Find out how you can help save lives while having a lot of fun and satisfaction.  Come at 9 am to Room 21 at 1st United Methodist Church, 202 NW 2 Ave., behind Walgreen’s.  For more information, call Raye at 863-467-2557.

Ms. Kim is excited to announce that the “Summer Reading Camp” will be every Wednesday at 10:30 am. beginning on Wednesday, June 20th through July 25th. (no program on July 4th as the library will be closed). The ages are for 8 years old and under. If they have a sibling that is older, they may attend as well (they can be helpers). PARENTS MUST ATTEND!!

Tai Chi at the Senior Center – Beginning July 9th, Okeechobee Senior Services will again be offering Tai Chi classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9:30 – 10:30 at the Lottie Raulerson Senior Center. Tai Chi offers many potential benefits to seniors such as relieving the physical effects of stress, reducing bone loss in menopausal women, improving lower body and leg strength, reducing arthritis pain and reducing blood pressure. Tai Chi is also known to increase energy by releasing endorphins, increase mental capacity and concentration, improve balance and stability by strengthening the ankles and the knees, and promote faster recovery from strokes and heart attacks. This is a great opportunity to do something good for your mind, body and soul, and who knows, you may make some new friends along the way. These classes are offered to beginners and the experienced at no cost. The Lottie Raulerson Senior Center is located at 1690 NW 9th Avenue, just south of the IRSC campus. For further information, please call Senior Services at 863-462-5180.