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News Cast for December 11th:

Okeechobee County School Board members meet tonight for the last time in 2018 and they will be looking at the expenditure of school recognition funds for Osceola Middle School and they will also be looking at a five year district facilities work program. The meeting will be held in the school board office beginning at six o’clock.

The trial for an Okeechobee man charged with a host of offenses, including first degree murder, will unfortunately have to wait a while. An Okeechobee County court judge yesterday declared a mistrial in the case of 49 year old Mark Glen Deschamps because an issue came up during the jury selection. Prosecutor Ashley Albright says a prospective juror blurted something out while being questioned by the judge which was not supposed to be revealed, prompting the mistrial. Albright says it turned out to be a rather frustrating day in court. Deschamps is being charged with the murder of his girlfriend and attempted murder of the man Deschamps believes his girlfriend was seeing behind his back two years ago. A new jury will be selected next month. Deschamps’ attorney, Donald Chinquina, declined to comment for this story.

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Okeechobee Police arrested a local man Saturday afternoon on charges of strong armed robbery in connection with an incident that happened last Thursday evening. Police arrested 50 year old Charles Alton Stratton Junior after he reportedly snatched the purse of 76 year old Janice Allen of Okeechobee from an area on the four hundred block of NE Park Street a little after 8:30. Police say Allen chased Stratton to his vehicle and she tried to get her purse back through the driver’s side doorway but Stratton backed up his vehicle, causing the door to knock her to the ground, injuring her. Police Sergeant Bettye Taylor says Stratton fled to Deltona where he eventually turned himself in and detectives brought him back to Okeechobee to be arrested and charged. Taylor says residents and social media were instrumental in Stratton’s arrest. Allen, who was hospitalized for her injuries, is now recovering at home. Stratton is charged with sudden snatching, grand theft and aggravated battery. He’s being held without bond. It is still under investigation.

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A traffic stop turned into a drug related arrest for a Sebring man Sunday afternoon. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies stopped the driver of a Nissan passenger car on the thirty block of Highway 98 North just after 2:30 for not stopping at a red light. Deputies say the driver appeared nervous and shaky as she was giving the deputies her license and registration. Deputies then asked the driver and her passenger, 31 year old Michael John Allen, to exit the vehicle for a search of any illegal substances. A search of the trunk turned up several capsules of a white residue on them which were proven to be heroin and they belonged to Allen. Allen was arrested and charged with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia. He was booked into county jail and his bond is set at just over $20 thousand dollars. The driver of the car was not arrested.

On the arrest report:

22 year old Austin Shane King of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for fleeing and eluding law officers, grand theft auto and driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. His bond is set at $40 thousand dollars.

19 year old Johnny Arnett Jones of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of aggravated battery. He’s being held without bond.

31 year old Eric Richard Bronson of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and a field sobriety test. His bond has not been set.

Okeechobee Community Events 12-6-18

Tai Chi at the Senior Center –  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.