Local News

Rooney Named “Guardian of Small Business” Award Winner by NFIB

Rooney Named “Guardian of Small Business” Award Winner by NFIB

Washington, DC – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) this week recognized U.S. Representative Tom Rooney (FL-17) with the “Guardian of Small Business” Award for his voting record on behalf of America’s small businesses in 2013-14.

“I’m honored to receive this award, because building an environment where our nation’s small businesses can succeed is the single most important thing we can do in Washington to help grow our economy and create real jobs,” Rooney said. “I appreciate the NFIB’s support as we work to help small businesses in Florida’s heartland by getting rid of unnecessary and costly regulations, fixing our broken tax code, and expanding American energy production.”

NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner praised Rep. Rooney for “standing up for small business.” In presenting the group’s coveted Guardian of Small Business Award, Danner said, “The record shows that Rep. Rooney is a true champion of small business, supporting the votes that matter in the 113th Congress. This award reflects our members’ appreciation for supporting the NFIB pro-growth agenda for small business.”

Charles Murphy News 9/18

News Cast for September 18th:

In the courts, 29 year old Meguel Rodriguez was sentenced to 12 years for cooking met amphetamine at Town Center apartments last year. He entered a no contest plea to four felony charges this month including trafficking in met amphetamines, manufacture or production of meth and unlawful use of chemicals. He was caught in the act by neighbors who alerted police.

37 year old Augustus Rose reached a plea deal on kidnapping, and abuse of the disabled charges and will be sentenced on November 14th. Rose was allegedly involved in a domestic last October 7th and was accused of beating up the disabled man, pointing a gun at him, pulling the trigger on the unloaded gun and tying him up with duct tape.

Hendry Co SR 80 School Bus 9-17-14

50 thousand dollars in property damage was reported after a farm equipment fire at Larson Dairy at 4751 North East 224th Street early Wednesday. County fire crews say the loader was fully involved when they arrived just before 3 a.m. There were no injuries.

The county commission proclaimed this month as hunger action month in Okeechobee County. The Treasure Coast Food bank has been working to solve the hunger problem. Amber Flangus says many Okeechobee citizens are still in need. They work with churches, schools and pantries to help families. They work with the Healthy Start Coalition with their clients. Flangus says people would be surprised how severe the hunger problem is in American especially among children, senior citizens and veterans; she calls it a silent epidemic.

Amber Vlangus food month

Sports Cast for September 18th:

Pemayetv Emahakv ended Yearlings long home court winning streak Wednesday with a three game victory in Okeechobee, 25-11, 24-26 and 15-8. Seminole’s coach Kim Jackson says her girls really played a strong match. She said it is a good rivalry and a win on the road in Okeechobee is very rewarding.

Kim Jackson on victory over Yearling

Yearling Coach Kellyann Campbell says her team started off slow but grew in confidence as the match went along.

Kellyann Campbell on loss to Brighton

Lady Brahman volleyball won a marathon match at South Fork Tuesday 24-26, 26-24, 30-32, 25-16 and 15-8 to improve to 6-1 on the season. The Brahman JV also prevailed two games to one.

On the sports schedule today, Yearling volleyball and soccer visit Gifford at 4:30 pm. OHS bowling travels to Port St. Lucie at 3:30. JV football tonight hosts Jensen Beach at 6 pm. Boys golf takes on Port St. Lucie at the Saints Country Club at 3:30 pm.


Statement by Commissioner Putnam on U.S. Department of Agriculture Support for Growers Affected by Citrus Greening

Statement by Commissioner Putnam on U.S. Department of Agriculture Support for Growers Affected by Citrus Greening

Tallahassee, FL – Following the announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide financial assistance to thousands of citrus growers across Florida who have lost trees to citrus greening, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released this statement:

“I appreciate the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s support for Florida growers and our entire citrus industry, which contributes $9 billion to our economy and supports 75,000 jobs. Citrus greening is responsible for the loss of millions of trees across the state and the smallest citrus harvest in decades this year. This program will provide a boost to an industry that is on the brink as we work together to save iconic Florida citrus.”

According to the U.S.D.A, Florida citrus growers will be eligible for up to 50 percent of the cost of the removal of diseased trees and site preparation, 65 percent of the cost of replanting and labor, and 65 percent of the cost of seedlings. An estimated 4,500 growers could be eligible for the program.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.

Rooney: “Can’t Support a Losing Strategy”

Rooney: “Can’t Support a Losing Strategy”

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Tom Rooney (FL-17) today issued the following statement on today’s vote on the Obama Administration’s proposal to arm and train forces in Syria:

“I cannot support the losing strategy of arming the so-called Syrian rebels. Although I believe ISIS clearly poses a security threat to the Middle East, and potentially to the United States itself, handcuffing our strategy by restricting kinetic activity to air power alone is insufficient.

“Going to war is difficult for any Commander in Chief, but if this crisis is important enough to put our men and women in harm’s way, then it should be important enough to demand a winning strategy. I don’t believe this plan is anything close to a winning strategy, and I cannot support it. Accordingly, I must also oppose the continuing resolution, which includes this language as a poison pill.”

Rooney Announces New Funding to Combat Citrus Disease in Florida

Rooney Announces New Funding to Combat Citrus Disease in Florida

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Tom Rooney (FL-17) today announced that the USDA will be providing additional financial assistance for Florida citrus growers whose groves are afflicted with the citrus disease Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening.

“Citrus disease threatens to wipe out Florida’s citrus industry, taking away billions of dollars from our economy and tens of thousands of jobs,” Rooney said. “This funding for the removal of afflicted trees and replanting of healthy stock is another critical step in our coordinated effort to combat citrus disease. While we continue working to find a cure, this program will help bridge the gap.”

The funding, through the USDA’s Tree Assistance Program, is in addition to the $125 million for citrus research secured by Rooney in the 2014 Farm Bill. Florida citrus growers will be eligible for up to 50 percent of the cost of the removal of diseased trees and site preparation, 65 percent of the cost of replanting and labor, and 65 percent of the cost of seedlings. Losses must have occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2011.

Rooney noted that Florida’s citrus industry contributes $9 billion per year to the state’s economy and supports approximately 76,000 jobs. The value of the U.S. citrus crop declined 15 percent in 2012-2013, largely as a result of citrus disease.

FWC offering free bowhunter course in Palm Beach County

FWC offering free bowhunter course in Palm Beach County

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will host a bowhunter education course on Saturday, Sep. 27, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Palm Beach County.

Students will learn about safe and responsible tree-stand usage and big-game shot placement and recovery. The course will provide students with hands-on experience shooting a bow and arrow on the range. Students are encouraged to bring their own equipment.

The class will be at Gator Guns & Archery Center, 2154 Zip Code Place, #7, in West Palm Beach.

Participants can sign up at MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or by calling the FWC’s South Region Office at 561-625-5122. A statewide schedule of bowhunter and hunter safety classes is available at MyFWC.com/HunterSafety.

Parents or legal guardians must accompany children under 16 years old to all classes. To participate in live-fire exercises, children under 18 years old must present a parental release form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised).

Charles Murphy News 9/17

News Cast for September 17th:

Ralph Franklin was named the new Public Safety Director for Okeechobee County this month.

He comes from Citrus County where he served as Assistant Fire Chief. He also worked 22 years in Pasco County and has 34 years of experience as a paramedic and most recent as an administrator.

Franklin says he was excited when the job became available. He said he knows the challenges that face rural fire departments and also has experience dealing with hurricanes and emergency management issues.

Ralph Franklin new Fire Chief

An Okeechobee man recently turned himself in on murder charges in Clay County Florida. 29 year old Jarrod Romani is charged in the death of his friend, 41 year old Jason Kent who died after a third man allegedly stole chain saws and the victims caught him and beat him to death.

WOKC News Legal expert Rick Seymour, a former prosecutor, says it is rare for the state to file a charge like this. He predicts some kind of plea bargain in the case to get witnesses.

He noted a lot of things will have to be proved by the state Romani was held on 150 thousand dollars bond.

Rick Seymour on Romani murder case

Glades County deputies and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission discover a near 13 foot long python on route 720 east of Moore Haven Monday. The python apparently had been killed by a vehicle.

Python Found, pictures included

An Okeechobee man dies Tuesday in a single vehicle accident on route 70 at Fulmar Terrace in Highlands County. George Clayton was operating a 2002 Ford Explorer when it left the road and struck and embankment and overturned landing in a water filed ditch. Clayton was not wearing a seat belt.

Fatal Crash – Highlands County

OUA plans no rate hikes in 2014-2015.

Sports Cast for September 17th:

Osceola Middle School soccer improved to (2-0) with a 4-0 victory over Gifford Tuesday.

Alejandro Bucio had three goals for the Warriors.

Coach Jorje Botello is pleased with his teams’ strong start. Botello says he wants his reserve players to work harder in practice to earn playing time and wants his team to keep the peddle to the medal against opponents.

Jorje Botello on win over Gifford

Inside the volleyball team fell in two games to Gifford 25-17 and 25-10.

Brahman boys’ golf improved to 7-2 on the season with a victory over Westwood and Centennial.

Kyle Mullins and Zach Hudson shot 39, Daniel Fulleda 40, Jarrod Morgan 41, Eli Finey 44 and Mason Faulk 51. Okeechobee shot 159.

Westwood shot 208 and Centennial 248

On the sports schedule today, Yearling hosts Brighton for girls volleyball at 4:30 pm

Girls’ golf will travel to John Carroll at the St. James Country Club at 3:30 pm

Florida “Rolling Out the Red Carpet” for School Breakfast Week

Florida “Rolling Out the Red Carpet” for School Breakfast Week

Special Promotions Planned Sept. 15-19 to Increase School Breakfast Participation

Tallahassee, FL – It’s Florida School Breakfast Week, and we’re “Rolling Out the Red Carpet for School Breakfast.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is celebrating Florida School Breakfast Week from Sept. 15-19 to help increase participation in school breakfast.

“Research shows there is a direct connection between a good, healthy breakfast and improved academic performance,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Using creative approaches to promote breakfast, like Grab-and-Go and Second Chance Breakfast, we’re helping students get the fuel they need to succeed in school.”

Statistics show that 1 in 10 children skip breakfast in the morning, but breakfast is an important part of academic success. Research shows that students who eat breakfast have higher grades, better attendance and better behavior. Eating breakfast at school is a great way for students to get those valuable nutrients they may not have time for at home.

Research also shows that children who eat breakfast have a healthier weight than those who miss it. School meals are healthier than ever. Each child will receive whole grains, fruit, milk and more.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services assists Florida schools in increasing participation in the school breakfast program by promoting proven strategies such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab-and-Go or Second Chance Breakfast. The department also helps promote healthy options to students through advertising and events, such as the special promotions planned this week.

To celebrate Florida School Breakfast Week, the department brought together school food service employees and district administrators for a Florida School Breakfast Summit in Tampa on Monday. The agenda included items on how healthy eating leads to improved academic performance and best practices to increase participation of school breakfast.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.

Qualify to adopt an exotic pet from FWC

Qualify to adopt an exotic pet from FWC

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is looking for qualified people willing to adopt exotic pets through the Exotic Pet Amnesty Program. Adopters must be knowledgeable about the natural history, care and safe caging requirements of the exotic pets they are interested in adopting.

Exotic pets need new homes because they have been surrendered to the FWC by owners who can no longer care for them.

“The FWC invites people to consider becoming qualified exotic pet adopters,” said Liz Barraco, who coordinates the FWC’s Exotic Pet Amnesty Program. “It’s a great way to help prevent the release of nonnatives while providing these pets a home where they will be properly cared for and safely caged. The FWC is committed to promoting responsible ownership of exotic pets in Florida, which can do harm to native wildlife and habitat if released,” Barraco said.

Interested in adopting an exotic pet? Go to MyFWC.com/Nonnatives to download the applications. There are two forms to be filled out: Part 1 is the application to become an approved adopter and Part 2 identifies the applicant’s experience and knowledge regarding a specific type of exotic pet.

“People considering taking one of these animals home need to think about the level of responsibility and long-term commitment involved. Many exotic pets live for a long time, and some get quite big,” Barraco said. “While there are no adoption fees, people should be aware that caring for an exotic pet can be expensive.”

Qualified pet adopters will have opportunities to adopt animals at upcoming FWC Exotic Pet Amnesty Days, where owners with exotic pets can turn them in with no penalties or cost. But don’t forget that pet adopters must be qualified by the FWC in advance of these events:

At Exotic Pet Amnesty Days, which are free and open to the public, veterinarians examine each surrendered exotic pet, and every attempt is made to place healthy animals with qualified adopters. Additionally, live animals are on display, and experts are available to talk to people about proper care of exotic pets.

Can’t attend an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day to adopt a pet? The FWC keeps qualified pet adopters’ applications on file and can contact approved adopters throughout the year when an animal becomes available in their area.

For more information about adopting exotic pets, including application forms, visit MyFWC.com/Nonnatives and click on “How to become an FWC exotic pet owner.”

Charles Murphy News 9/16

News Cast for September 16th:

2014 Florida Statewide Competition this past weekend, Angela Marsaglia rocked it at the Spirit of the Suwanee! -TM

2014 Florida Statewide Competition this past weekend, Angela Marsaglia rocked it at the Spirit of the Suwanee! -TM

Among arrests, 25 year old Cory Jenkins was charged with borrowing and then selling a riding mower worth 5 hundred dollars from a residence in Kissimmee River Estates. Highlands County deputies arrest him on charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

An Okeechobee grand jury indicted three suspects on charges related to the murder of William Curry from July. Facing charges are 25 year old Travis Spencer and 22 year old Terrance Spivey, who face four felony crimes including first degree murder with a firearm, and 39 year old Latisha McBride, charged with two counts of accessory after the fact, allegedly driving the injured men to the hospital in Sebring. Authorities say drugs and money were the motive for the crime.

39 year old Victoriano Martin Rosa was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage after an alleged road rage incident on North West 46th Avenue. Two drivers had words and Rosa allegedly struck the rear of the other vehicle. He was also charged with driving without a license.

32 year old Jamie Wilson was charged with grand theft auto for allegedly stealing a homemade swamp buggy worth 5 hundred dollars and trading it for another vehicle. Deputies recovered the stolen buggy.

In the courts, charges of child rape were dropped against 51 year old Jimmy Hallett. He had been accused of assaulting a child between the ages of 7 and 11 over several years. The charges were dropped by the State Attorney two months after being filed.

34 year old Aurelio Torres received 23 months in jail time served for child abuse. Charges of sexual battery on a child under 12 were dropped. He allegedly assaulted a three year old child at a local dairy in 2012.

PB 9-15-14 Shooting I-95 and Blue Heron

Sports Cast for September 16th:

Elijah Finney was named the Defense MVP for the Brahman baseball team this past season. Finney played solid defense at short stop and also when he pitched for the district champions.

He said he worked hard to get this award. Finney takes over as the undisputed ace of the staff this coming year. He said he had a solid sophomore season and hopes that carries over this year. Osceola middle school soccer opened their season with a 6-0 victory over Oslo in a rain delayed match last Thursday. Alejandro Bucio had two goals.

Elijah Finney on defensive MVP for baseball

Yearling volleyball defeated Sebastian 25-9 and 25-11 to improve to 2-0 on the season.

OYFL teams won two out of five games versus Winter Haven on Saturday.   The Pee Wee won 44-0 and the Mitey Mites prevailed 20-6. The seniors lost 26-16, the flag 28-0 and the juniors 19-12.

On the sports schedule today, Yearling volleyball and soccer visit Oslo at 4:30. Osceola volleyball and soccer host Gifford at 4:30 pm. OHS bowlers host South Fork at 3:30 pm. OHS swimmers host Lake Placid at 5:30 pm. Boys’ golf meets Port St. Lucie and Westwood at a tri match at Fairwinds Country Club at 3:30 pm. OHS volleyball visits South Fork at 6 pm.

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