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News Cast for July 18th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners will begin their first of six workshops for the $111 million dollar county budget this afternoon. The first workshop will cover budgets for the Okeechobee County Attorney, Supervisor of Elections, Agri-Civic Center, Veteran Services and the Sheriff’s Department. The workshop will be held in the Historic County Courthouse beginning at one o’clock.

Okeechobee Police are investigating a robbery that took place this past Sunday evening. Police say two African-American men came into the One Stop Food Store on the twelve hundred block of NE Park Street just before nine o’clock and robbed the store of several hundred dollars’ worth of items. One of the suspects reportedly fired a gun inside the store. Police Sgt. Betty Taylor says the store employee who was there at the time was pretty lucky. One male subject was slender wearing a white hat with a dark shirt and jean shorts, carrying a large caliber semi-automatic pistol. The other male was heavier with a black shirt with dots and red stripes, with dark pants. The bigger male suspect had something covering his face and both subjects had gloves on. If you have any information about this incident, call Crime Stoppers at 800-273-8477 or the Okeechobee Police Department at 863-763-9783.

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Another court hearing for an Okeechobee woman accused of allowing a spider monkey to hurt people in public was scheduled for Monday and once again she was not present. An extradition order was filed for 56 year old Tina Darlene Ballard who has been in North Carolina since last month after she didn’t attend her bond hearing on June 21st. Ballard is charged with maintaining captive wildlife in a neglectful manner and culpable negligence causing harm when her spider monkey named Spanky attacked a Home Depot employee on June 4th. Prosecutor Ashley Albright says Ballard will appear in circuit court when she arrives with an added charge of tampering with evidence. Ballard is expected to be returned to Okeechobee in the next two to five days. She is facing a maximum of five years in prison if she’s convicted.

Okeechobee County Commissioners approved the appointment of Okeechobee resident Scott Doran to the Agri-Civic Center Advisory Board at their meeting last week. Doran, a 4H Club leader and member of the OYS Livestock Committee, says he wanted to be on this board because he was personally asked by Agri-Civic Center manager Matt Dorriety and he’s very interested in the future of the Agri-Civic Center as it pertains to the youth in this community. Doran says he expects there will be a new showbarn facility for the 4H and FFA Youth Livestock Show and he’s excited about the prospect of that for the kids of this community. Doran, who is the owner of SSB Landscape and Design, says his desire to get involved also stems from his belief that the more you put into a community, the more you get out of it.

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A traffic stop resulted in a drug-related arrest for an Okeechobee man Monday night. Sheriff’s deputies stopped a red Pontiac passenger vehicle on the 28 hundred block of NW 1st Street a little after ten o’clock, driven by 28 year old Cory Ray Jenkins for a traffic violation. Deputies say Jenkins looked very nervous and a search of the vehicle was then conducted with a K-9 unit. A plastic baggie with methamphetamine residue was found. A search of Jenkins’ pockets turned up a plastic cellophane wrapper with amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, both controlled substances. Jenkins was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, controlled substances without a prescription and drug paraphernalia. He was booked into county jail and is being held without bond.

On the arrest report:

38 year old Javier Perez Careaga of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on warrants from St. Lucie County for charges of damaging property in an accident where he was driving drunk. He’s being held without bond.

27 year old Michael Ronald Holmes of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on previous burglary and theft charges. He’s being held without bond.

31 year old Candice Nicole Nesby of Okeechobee was arrested for failing to appear in court on previous charges. She’s being held without bond.

50 year old Dawn Ashlee Hartzke of Okeechobee was arrested for damaging property after driving recklessly. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.

37 year old Daniel Markese Nesby of Okeechobee was arrested for failing to appear in court on previous battery charges. He’s being held without bond.

30 year old Laura Anne Grace Zamora of Okeechobee was arrested for violating a pre-trial release condition from a domestic violence charge. She’s being held without bond.

Okeechobee’s Upcoming Events 7-16-18

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.