Local News

Charles Murphy News 10/24

News Cast for October 24th:

Among arrests, 27 year old Stacey Vickers was charged with five counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and four counts of grand theft. She allegedly stole a credit card and used it multiple times at a store ATM to get 13 hundred in cash.

3 pounds of marijuana was seized on the Florida turnpike at the Fort Drum Service plaza. The Florida highway patrol says 23 year old Jose Bruno was charged with distribution and possession of marijuana. He was stopped for too dark window tint.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife took a dead, 3 year old male, Florida panther for an examination after it was located on the Florida turnpike just south of Yeehaw Junction this week. It appears the panther was struck and killed by a vehicle. 18 panthers have died on Florida roads this year.

The Okeechobee County commission approved a comprehensive plan amendment that could allow another 52 acres of commercial use on the west side of 441, just north of North West 36th Street Thursday. No specific plan is proposed.

Two housing projects were withdrawn from consideration after public hearings yesterday. Commissioners had concerns about the Bella Lakes senior citizen housing project proposed by the Southeastern Spanish District Assembly of God. 235 acres would be switched from agriculture to a rural activity center and 6 hundred homes could be built to accommodate an existing church retreat.   Commissioner’s worried residents would be upset with the nearby OK Corral Shooting Club. It would be built on a private road just west of Berman Road near Faith Farms.

The developer also withdrew an application to expand the Posey’s Corners rural activity center by adding another 555 homes.

The county also received a plan to build a cheese factory on North East 120th Street to grow El Salvador cheese using local dairy products.

Sports Cast for October 24th:

Okeechobee JV football overcame Clewiston last night 36-30. Janavious Futch scored on a 65 yard run, a 42 yard touchdown run, threw a 27 yard touchdown to Demetrius Clarke. Scoop Moreland scored on a 51 yard touchdown run, and Buster Mond recovered a fumble in the end zone for another Brahman score.

Jadan Thomas had a 40 yard touchdown reception and Jeremiah Boyd returned a fumble 88 yards for Clewiston.

JV players on win over Clewiston

Offensive linemen Nolan Campbell said Okeechobee wanted to avenge an early season loss at Clewiston and the line did their part with big plays. Mond said the defense played inspired football and used their instincts to make big plays. Adravious Stallworth forced a fumble and had an interception.   Jarrett Faulkner also had an interception for Okeechobee.

Jensen Beach pounded the Lady Brahmans 25-9, 25-8 and 25-8 for another district title last night. Okeechobee fell to (17-8) they still qualify for regional play next week.


OHS football at Palm Bay Bayside 7 pm

Labelle Cowboys at Moore Haven Terrier football 7:30 pm


OYFL cheerleading competition in Lakeland.

Letter From the President

Letter From the President

CAM00082 (1)In September, the students in Ms. Elisabeth Fox’s Teen Leaderships were tasked with writing formal letters to community, state, and national leaders. So far, three community leaders from Okeechobee have visited her students. Malissa Morgan, Bryant Culpepper,  and Noel Stephen visited on three separate occasions to talk about qualities leaders must possess and tips for public speaking. Mayor James E. Kirk is scheduled to visit on Thursday, October 23. One of the most surprising reply from a leader came from the White House. Gerardo Mojica wrote to President Obama, and Cole Tingle wrote to the First Lady. Superintendent Ken Kenworthy, Assistant Superintendent Joni Ard, Senior Administrator Carol Revels, Assistant Principal Bryan Van Camp, and teacher Elisabeth Fox gathered around anxiously as Cole and Gerardo opened the large envelope with a return address from The White House. Inside were two sets of signed photographs and a beautifully written letter from the President. The letter encouraged the students to continue their education and to dream big.


Seminole Casino Brighton to Host Job Fair

Seminole Casino Brighton to Host Job Fair

Monday, November 10

BRIGHTON, Fla. (October 23, 2014) – Seminole Casino Brighton will host a job fair on Monday, November 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the casino.

The casino is searching for talented, service-driven individuals, and will be holding on-site interviews for the following current or upcoming positions: chef, line cook, food and beverage supervisors and managers, bartenders, servers, human resource personnel, security staff and managers, Poker dealers and supervisors and phone operators.

Anyone with casino gaming experience or who is looking for part-time work is encouraged to apply.

Team members receive a generous benefits package, including health care benefits, competitive wages, 401K, tuition reimbursement, free uniforms and more.

Job fair participants must be 18 years of age or older and should bring a copy of their résumé to the job fair. For detailed information about available jobs, and to submit an application, visit www.gotoworkhappy.com

Charles Murphy News 10/23

News Cast for October 23rd:

This is fire prevention month in Florida. The American Red Cross is working to educate Floridians on the ways to prevent fire related deaths and injury. 23 hundred people die and nearly 13 thousand are injured in home fires annually in America. Red Cross Spokesperson Anne Marie Borrego says seven in 10 parents believe their children know what to do in the event of fire, but less than 20 percent had practiced fire drills at home and less than 50 percent have instructed them on fire safety.

In October life fire departments and the Florida forest service visit each elementary school to educate kids about fire safety.

A miniature horse worth 12 hundred dollars was chewed up by two wild dogs in the Viking Property on NW 262nd Street. The horse had to be put down. Animal Control is looking for the dogs involved.

Two Lakeport men charged with using metal pipes and wooden boards in an assault on Ted Beck Road last week. Glades Deputies say the 50 year old victim was treated at Raulerson Hospital. Charged are 33 year old Donald Mathias and 32 year old Hardie Driggers.

Okeechobee schools introduced archery at Yearling Middle School gym classes. Lynn Hawk with the Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation commission made a presentation to the school board earlier this month touting the program as a way to improve graduation rates, and improve academic performance of struggling students. She emphasizes the program is totally safe. It teaches students self-discipline and gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Lynn Hawk on archery in school

Okeechobee High School will be having their Veterans Day Ceremony on November 11th. During this ceremony a slide show will be presented that recognizes all known Okeechobee High School graduates that have served in any branch of the armed forces, active or reserve. The high school is requesting that anyone that graduated from OHS and served in the military, to submit their name, the branch in which they served, a picture (preferably in uniform), and the year they graduated from Okeechobee High School. These submissions can be emailed to Jim Lozano at ohsnews3@gmail.com or can be delivered to the high school.

Sports Cast for October 23rd:

Lori Harper-Kyle was named as the new girls’ soccer coach at Okeechobee High school. She is an English teacher at Okeechobee High School. Her husband Robert is a native of Scotland who has played soccer as an amateur and coached Pub teams in the past. He will assist her this season. She plans to have a disciplined that works hard and doesn’t make mistakes. She said interest is picking up for the sport

Lori Harper-Kyle on girls soccer

The team managed five wins and three ties last year as they were competitive in more matches.   Coach Kyle says she hopes to keep moving in that direction. Key players include Hannah Raulerson, Keirsten Bostwick, Jeri Sharpe and a transfer student from El Salvador Karina Diaz Argueta. There first match is next Monday at LaBelle. Their first home match will be on November 4th.

Girls bowling defeats Sebring 4-3 while the boys fell 6-1 at their senior day match Wednesday.

Jessica Olney had the high game, 190 for the Lady Brahmans and Adam Simmons, 199 for OHS.

JV football hosts Clewiston at 6 pm

Girls volleyball district championship match at Jensen Beach 7 pm.

Charles Murphy News 10/22

News Cast for October 22nd:

OFC Student's of the month: From left to right Rachel Helfinstine, Rico Mitchell, Princess Salva, Rodolfo (Rudy) Juarez, and Portia Rowe (not pictured).

OFC Student’s of the month: From left to right Rachel Helfinstine, Rico Mitchell, Princess Salva, Rodolfo (Rudy) Juarez, and Portia Rowe (not pictured).

This is school bus safety week in Okeechobee County and Florida. Transportation director for Okeechobee Schools Lois Piper said they had a number of bus driver retire in the past year but did a good job of filling those positions Piper says bus accidents continue to decline and none where the bus drivers were found at fault in the last year. She said safety is always the number one priority for drivers. One problem area is railroad crossings. She urges motorists to be alert when behind school buses.

Lois Piper on school bus safety

In the courts, 40 year old Felisia Hill entered into the pretrial diversion program on charges of scheme to defraud and grand theft of the Okeechobee school board. The tutor for Glades Extreme Tutoring allegedly falsified three contracts with parents for tutoring services that were never provided and billed the school board for over 19 hundred dollars. She will not face jail time.

Two felony charges were dropped in the plea deal. She still faces similar charges in Palm Beach County.

25 year old Codeine Wigfall received 18 months’ probation in a Brighton drug case, charges were all dropped except a failure to appear. She had faced animal cruelty and possession of cocaine charges originally.

Arson is suspected at the sports complex early Monday around 3 am. Three separate garbage cans in the bathroom areas were set on fire with paper products. 12 hundred dollars in damage was reported. Deputies also found a broken out window at the sports complex tower.

Chamber Luncheon Info

For more info on the Chamber Luncheon, go to our Facebook page.

Sports Cast for October 22nd:

Clinesha Wingfield won the MVP award for the Junior Varsity flag football team this past season. Wingfield was trained in football by her father Clinton Williams and said she really took to the sport. The junior varsity had a 500 record this past year and Wingfield led the defense in stops

Clinesha Wingfield on flag football MVP

OYFL had just one team advance in the playoffs Saturday, the senior team, and the league will host five playoff games next Saturday, November 1st at Brahman Stadium. The Pee Wee team fell 26-16 to Sebring and the junior team lost to Vero Beach.

On the sports schedule for Wednesday, Swim team district meet at Sailfish Splash Water Park in Stuart today.

OHS bowling hosts Sebring 3:30 pm

Girls’ volleyball district tournament against South Fork tonight at 5 pm at Jensen Beach.


Adam Putnam’s “Florida Grown” Bus Tour to Visit Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard County

Adam Putnam’s “Florida Grown” Bus Tour to Visit Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard County

Visiting Cities and Towns Across Florida, “Florida Grown” Bus Tour to Highlight Adam Putnam’s Vision for the Future of Florida

BARTOW, Fla. – To meet, greet and engage with as many Florida voters as possible before election day, Adam Putnam launched his “Florida Grown” Bus Tour. Adam Putnam and the “Florida Grown” Bus Tour will crisscross Florida through election day to make more than 50 visits to the state’s diverse cities – and their residents.

The “Florida Grown” Bus Tour’s public events for tomorrow are as follows:

Wednesday, Oct. 22:


Location: Harry and the Natives Breakfast Meet and Greet
Who: Adam Putnam

Representative Mary Lynn Magar

Sheriff William Snyder


Time: 8:00-9:00 a.m.
Address: 11910 SE Federal Highway

Hope Sound, FL 33455


Location: St. Lucie Republican Executive Committee Stop In
Who: Adam Putnam

St. Lucie County Commissioner Todd Mowery

St. Lucie County Commissioner Frannie Hutchinson

St. Lucie REC Chairman Bill Paterson

Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Address: 6835 South U.S. Highway 1

Port St. Lucie, FL 34952

Location: Wilke’s 14 Bones BBQ Meet and Greet
Who: Adam Putnam

Sheriff Deryl Loar

Representative Debbie Mayfield

Indian River County Commissioner Wesley Davis

Time: 12:45-1:45 p.m.
Address: 1500 South Highway 1

Vero Beach, FL 32960

Location: Fellsmere Shrimp Farm Tour
Who: Adam Putnam
Time: 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Address: 15369 CR 512

Fellsmere, FL 32948


The “Florida Grown” Bus Tour will showcase Adam Putnam’s priorities to:

  • Encourage economic prosperity
  • Protect our Second Amendment rights
  • Safeguard consumers from fraud
  • Foster academic success; and
  • Honor American veterans

For more information about Adam Putnam and his values, priorities and accomplishments, visit AdamPutnam.com.

Operation Safe ATV 10/25-26 & 11/1-2


On October 25th and 26th, and November 1st and November 2nd, 2014, between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office along with officers from Florida Wildlife Commission will be conducting Operation Safe ATV. This will take place on the Viking Properties, located in the northwest area of Okeechobee County, Florida.

The overall objectives for this operation will be to remind anyone that operates an ATV to exercise good common sense and to adhere to proper usage laws. The operation will also target the recent damage done in the area and inform everyone where they are allowed to ride.

The importance of using safety equipment, underage drinking, reckless usage, possession of weapons and open containers will also be addressed with riders. Those not in compliance, will be issued citations and or face being arrested.

Undersheriff Noel Stephen stated, “This operation is being conducted in a rural section of our county that has been increasing in population over the past several years.  We are experiencing some non-residents that want to bring their ATVs and operate them recklessly along the roadways in this area.  This type of activity is destroying property, roadways and creating havoc for those residents.  This operation will notify these individuals of the laws and that this type of activity will not be condoned.”

Michele Bell, PIO



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott announced today record funding to improve cancer care, increase the number of National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer centers and create a premier cancer research network in Florida. H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Florida Health Cancer Center will receive funding in the amounts of $25,490,638, $16,000,000 and $18,509,362, respectively. Governor Scott led the effort to increase cancer funding and research, resulting in Florida now investing $80 million in cancer research.

Governor Scott said, “Florida’s families deserve the best cancer care possible. This $60 million investment specifically for Florida’s cancer centers will allow them to provide the most advanced care through innovative and collaborative research outcomes. This milestone is a testament to Florida’s commitment to providing world class treatment to all cancer patients.”

As a part of this investment, $60 million dollars will be allocated annually by the NCI Cancer Center Program to promote research and assist Florida’s top cancer centers to meet the rigorous scientific standards required for the NCI designation. NCI-designated cancer centers provide the latest in medical discoveries to patients, serve the educational needs of health professionals and promote health equity throughout communities.

The other $20 million of cancer research funding is split between the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program and the William “Bill” G. Bankhead and David Coley Cancer Research Program, which both award competitive grants to promising cancer research projects.

State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong said, “Excellence in cancer research and patient care is a top priority for Florida. Thanks to the vision of Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, this funding will position Florida as a leader in cancer research and help us to achieve our goal of becoming the premier destination for cancer treatment, research and prevention.”

Dr. Alan F. List, President and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center, said, “We are pleased with Florida’s dedication to cancer research initiatives and delighted to receive funding that will allow Moffitt to continue working toward our mission to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. As we make strides in cancer research, Florida moves closer to becoming the nation’s destination for cancer treatment and research.”

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine and Chief Executive Officer, University of Miami Health System, said, “The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is proud to contribute to research initiatives that enhance treatment for Floridians with cancer, and applauds the state for its vision in allocating funds that will allow our cancer center to achieve NCI designation. This funding will be used to elevate Sylvester and the state of Florida to new heights, creating a top-tier research and treatment environment in our state to the ultimate benefit of all Floridians.”

David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., University of Florida senior vice president for health affairs and UF Health president said, “The University of Florida Health Cancer Center is encouraged by Florida’s devotion to research and treatment and proud to be recognized in our effort to help our state become a national leader in cancer care. This funding will help our cancer center reach our goal of generating tomorrow’s answers for today’s patients through state-of-the-art cancer treatment, prevention, control and education.”

Senate President Don Gaetz said, “In some form or another, cancer touches the lives of millions of Americans every year. Governor Scott and the Legislature share a passion for keeping Florida on the cutting edge of cancer treatment and research so that more cancer patients can become cancer survivors.  I look forward to learning about the good work these cancer centers are doing to bring us closer to a cure.”

House Speaker Will Weatherford said, “Cancer is a terrible disease that sadly affects too many people. Floridians should be thankful we have a Governor like Rick Scott and a principled state legislature that recognize the importance of making such a strategic investment in cancer research. These funds will pave the way for improved treatment and prevention strategies for years to come.”

Senate President-Designate Andy Gardiner said, “Cancer has taken a toll on Florida’s families for far too long. Governor Scott’s commitment to cancer research will yield positive results for the thousands of Floridians affected by this disease and position our state as the leading destination for cancer research and treatment.”

House Speaker-Designate Steve Crisafulli said, “Working together, we can make a meaningful difference in providing Florida’s families with the care and treatment they need. This funding is a monumental step in the right direction for cancer research in Florida, and I am grateful for Governor Scott’s strong leadership on this critical issue.”

Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto said, “We are fortunate to live in a state that strives to be a leader in cancer treatment and prevention. It was a pleasure to be a part of the team that passed this bill and I am thankful for Governor Scott’s longstanding support for cancer patients.”

Senator Denise Grimsley said, “The announcement of this $60 million to be shared among three top-tier cancer centers will help Florida continue on the path toward having more NCI-designated centers. Governor Scott has Florida on the right path to help more Florida centers achieve this rigorous designation.”

Senator Aaron Bean said, “As I’ve said before, our efforts to serve and care for people who are battling cancer demonstrate Florida’s commitment to do whatever is necessary to bring health and healing.  I am pleased to continue supporting Governor Scott as he leads the transformation of cancer research funding in our state.”

Senator Rene Garcia said, “Florida’s first-class cancer centers help people from all over the world beat this terrible disease. I am proud to stand in support of Governor Scott and this cancer funding.”

Senator Bill Galvano said, “Governor Scott is always looking for ways to help Florida lead the nation.  With this new cancer center funding, he has again positioned Florida to be a leader in the nation. I am proud to stand in support of this initiative.”

Senator Anitere Flores said, “Today’s announcement for the new cancer funding reinforces Governor Scott’s commitment to supporting cancer research in Florida.  This funding will make a difference in the lives of Florida families and I am proud to stand in support.”

Representative Marti Coley said, “Governor Scott’s efforts to promote Florida’s Cancer Centers should assure our residents that our state is committed to leading the way in finding an end to a disease that takes so much from so many.”

Representative Dana Young said, “I commend Gov. Scott for his leadership in making Florida a destination for cancer research and care.  This visionary program will give Florida based cancer centers the opportunity to earn the designation of ‘Comprehensive Cancer Center’ by the National Cancer Institute.  Moffitt Cancer Center is currently the only Florida based center with this most prestigious award. This program will improve the care, and most importantly the outcomes, for Floridians and the visitors who receive their care here.”

Representative Matt Hudson said, “This $60 million in cancer research funding will help Florida’s centers continue on their paths to making our state the cancer treatment destination. Governor Scott understands how terrible this disease is and through this funding he has demonstrated his commitment to creating healthier communities.”

Representative Richard Corcoran said, “Florida is a leader in so many industries and Governor Scott’s announcement of more than $60 million for funding cancer research will continue to propel our state forward with cutting edge research.”

Representative Jose Oliva said, “Governor Scott’s $60 million investment in cancer research has become a reality as funding has begun to flow to the three top-tier cancer centers in Florida. This funding will continue to help build the research enterprise and attract additional research dollars from outside the state.”

Representative Jose Felix Diaz said, “Sadly, most Floridians know someone whose life has been touched by cancer. This announcement by Governor Scott for cancer prevention and treatment should bring renewed hope to many Florida families.”

Representative Debbie Mayfield said, “Governor Scott’s budget invests in research, technology and state-of-the-art prevention, diagnosis and treatment makes Florida a leader in the battle against this terrible disease and a beacon of hope for countless families.”

Florida’s Intermodal Centers Help Increase Trade

Florida’s Intermodal Centers Help Increase Trade

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Florida is taking steps to handle more of the world’s multi-billion dollar trade industry by expanding its intermodal centers, according to the latest Economic Commentary from Florida TaxWatch. Intermodal centers are specialized facilities where goods are moved from one form of transportation to another, such as moving a shipping container from a ship to a train or from rail to truck.

“Florida is uniquely poised to move goods more efficiently than our neighboring states and other competitors,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of the independent, nonpartisan public policy research institute. “Expanding Florida’s intermodal points will allow the state to more efficiently transfer goods and even people between seas, roads, rails, air, and space.”

New and improved intermodal centers will result in lower freight prices for Florida consumers and businesses, due to more efficient and cost-effective shipping.

“Recent additions of new and improved intermodal centers will have a great economic impact on Florida’s economy and consumers,” said Jerry D. Parrish, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Florida TaxWatch. “The centers will add to Florida’s economy by providing high-wage jobs to Floridians, while also reducing the cost of goods purchased by Florida consumers.”

Florida began incorporating intermodal centers into the Florida Department of Transportation’s work plan in 2005, with the adoption of the Strategic Intermodal System Plan, which is required to be updated in December 2015.

As Florida expands its intermodal centers with new rail, road and sea- and air-port infrastructure development, the state can expect to transport more than goods. These centers can help move both Floridians and its nearly 100 million annual visitors around the state more efficiently, as well.


Read about Florida’s Intermodal Centers and their expansion plans.

Charles Murphy News 10/21

News Cast for October 21st:

Okeechobee city planners approved a petition for a drive through restaurant to accommodate a Sonic at 501 North East Park Street. Engineer Steve Dobbs says the company is yet to purchase the property and have some petroleum issues on site before they can proceed to construction. He estimated it might take some time. He said the board recommended some buffering so lights don’t bother residential areas.

The board also recommended rezoning 12 lots, about 2 and half acres between NE and 6th and 7th avenue and NE 3rd and 4th Streets. They also approved plans for a gym at 210 North West 5th Street.

Magna bond received approval on a lease extension and a larger building at the county industrial park this month. Owner Frank Miele praised the support Okeechobee has shown his agriculture business. The new building adds a large loading dock to accommodate tractor trailers. Their product is sold in 27 states and they hope to get into California to treat their large walnut crop. He expects 4 to 5 new jobs at the plant.

They also have done research with the University of Florida on citrus greening and canker trying to come up with a chemical that will solve those problems.

Sports Cast for October 21st:

Manny Gaona is excited about the cross country team this year and their chances to reach regionals and the state finals. The team will host districts next week at the Okeechobee Agri Civic Center. Gaona says he’s been very impressed with the younger runners. Gaona has a younger brother on this year’s squad and has been very impressed with his interest in the sport and how it’s rubbed off on other runners. Zach Hudson led Okeechobee with a 79 at the regional in Plantation.

Daniel Fulleda shot 88, Kyle Mullins 89, and Eli Finney 91. Okeechobee finished 8th out of nine schools, the regional champion was American Heritage Plantation.

The girls’ team shot 445 which were good for sixth place out of seven teams.   The regional champion was Arch Bishop McCarthy

On the sports schedule for Tuesday 10/21:

Cross country at South Fork Invitational

Osceola soccer at Gifford 4:30 in a makeup match

OHS bowling at Fort Pierce Central 3:30 pm

Girls’ volleyball districts versus South Fork 6 pm at Jensen Beach.

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