True Country WOKC

Sunrise on Lake Okeechobee, photo by Kerry English. -TM

News Cast for January 21st:

The first Okeechobee City Council meeting of 2019 took place last Tuesday night and besides new members on the council in Bobby Keefe and Bob Jarriel, there were other new things, including a measure that will now allow councilmembers to make comments on issues concerning them at the end of each formal council meeting. Jarriel, who wanted council comments implemented at the end of each meeting, says it’s very important to have that because councilmembers are limited to what they can discuss in a meeting and under the Sunshine Law, they cannot discuss anything with councilmembers away from a formal meeting. Jarriel says this presents an opportunity to bring up issues and it’ll solve problems. The measure passed by a four to one vote, with newly re-appointed Mayor Dowling Watford dissenting.

Council Comments 1

Council Comments 2

An Okeechobee man is facing some serious charges following a vehicle accident this past early Wednesday morning. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 14 hundred block of SE 40th Avenue a little after 1:30 and discovered a silver colored Toyotas passenger car off the roadway with heavy damage to it. Deputies say they found a woman in the car who was unresponsive but breathing and the driver of the car, identified as 21 year old Jose Marcos Jimenez-Slone, was being tended to by emergency medical personnel for injuries he sustained. Deputies say Slone was slurring his speech when asked questions and his breath smelled of alcohol. A field sobriety test proved Slone was intoxicated and had been driving drunk. Slone’s vehicle reportedly collided with a railroad track arm holder and hit a ditch. The estimated damage is valued at over $200 thousand dollars. Slone was arrested and charged with drunk driving and having open containers in his car. His bond has not been set. Slone’s passenger was taken to Raulerson Hospital for treatment.

Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies have an Avon Park woman in custody after she was arrested on 72 counts of animal cruelty earlier this month. Spokesperson Scott Dressel says deputies arrested 66 year old Jinece Elizabeth Loughry on January 4th after it was discovered she had 72 animals in her home, which measures only a thousand square feet. Dressel says authorities responded to an anonymous tip and once a search warrant was obtained, officers entered the home and found the animals, 23 of which were dead and had been in such advanced states of decomposition it was hard to determine if they were dogs or cats. However, Dressel says there is a happy ending to this story once the living animals were rescued. Dressel says while Loughry’s heart may have been in the right place, it’s still no excuse to have that many animals living in such poor conditions. Loughry was a volunteer for the Hardee Animal Rescue Team (HART). She was booked into Highlands County Jail and her bond is set at $72 thousand dollars.

Dressel-Animal Cruelty 1

Dressel-Animal Cruelty 2

A Belle Glade woman is dead after a vehicle accident Wednesday morning. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 34 year old Sana Mohamad was driving a Mazda four door passenger vehicle northbound on Route 27 near Palm Beach County just after 10:30 when she changed lanes and the front of her car struck the trailer of a Mack truck. The impact caused both vehicles to end up on the outside lane. Mohamad was pronounced dead at the scene. The Mack truck driver, 57 year old Rafael Garcia of Clewiston, was not injured. FHP is investigating the accident.

On the arrest report:

69 year old Walter Richard Yates of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for battery on his girlfriend during a domestic dispute. His bond has not been set.

21 year old Nicolas Ramos of Okeechobee was arrested for battery and child neglect during a domestic dispute. His bond has not been set.

24 year old Brian Lucius of Okeechobee was arrested for giving false information to a law officer after a traffic stop and an out of county warrant from Broward for violating probation on past charges of criminal mischief. He’s being held without bond.

Okeechobee Community Events 1-7-18

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.