WOKC Okeechobee’s True Country


3936 SE 18th Terrace Okeechobee, Florida

View from Billy Dean’s boat on Lake Okeechobee, two years ago with Taylor Marie. Photo taken by Taylor.

News Cast for July 22nd:

Okeechobee Commissioners meet again this morning in day three of the 2019-20 fiscal year budget workshops. They will listen to budget presentations from the Supervisor of Elections, Public Defender and Solid Waste Department. The workshop will be held in the Historic County Courthouse beginning at nine o’clock.

Okeechobee County Commissioners re-convened again Friday in day two of the budget workshops. Among those budgets discussed was economic development. Frank Irby of the Economic Development Council (EDC) says his budget for this fiscal year will be about $350 thousand dollars, but he says there’s some money from last year’s budget still unused in reserves because Irby says they didn’t start using last year’s budget funds until this past May. Irby says he hopes the commissioners accept his budget because he knows that economic development in Okeechobee is a long term process. Other budgets discussed on Friday include Senior Services, Parks and Recreation, Tourism and Mental Health Services.

Wal-Mart in Okeechobee opened its doors to the public once again. On Friday, Wal-Mart officials held a grand re-opening of the store after three months of renovations and construction. Residents from all around the community gathered to witness the re-opening. Store manager Landon Moore addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support and patience while the renovations were going on. Moore says customers will be treated to new attractions such as “Electronics of the Future,” “Tool World” and “Apparel Re-Invention.” Moore says the renovations will contribute to an overall more enjoyable shopping experience. Leah Suarez from Our Village was on hand for the festivities and for the second straight year, she received a check for five thousand dollars from Wal-Mart for their “Back to School” Expo next month. Suarez says she’s “really happy” to receive this donation and she says the purpose of the Expo is a two-fold process. Mayor Dowling Watford was on hand to cut the ribbon in front of the store, symbolizing Wal-Mart’s grand re-opening. The “Back to School” Expo takes place August 3rd.

An Okeechobee man is in county jail at this time on a host of charges in connection with two separate incidents that happened on Thursday at different times of the day. Deputies were called to the Sun Trust Bank on the eight hundred block of South Parrott Avenue for a “be on the lookout” for 33 year old Rolando Ryan Pena. Deputies say earlier in the day, Pena was at his home with his wife and they were arguing about him wanting to get money from the bank and she wouldn’t do it. Pena grabbed a shotgun and shot the washing machine in their home. Pena was later arrested for forging checks written out to him and to his estranged wife later in the day. He was also arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He was taken to county jail and his bond is set at a hundred thousand dollars.

On the arrest report:

31 year old Jeremy Leland Carney of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on a local warrant for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.

44 year old Andrew Jermaine Jackson of Okeechobee was arrested on a local warrant on charges of possession of controlled substances with intent to sell within a thousand feet of a church. His bond is set at $30 thousand dollars.

35 year old Tonya Louise Collins of Okeechobee was arrested for disorderly conduct. Her bond is set at five hundred dollars.

39 year old Amanda Lee Olivas of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at eleven thousand dollars.