Local News

Charles Murphy News 10/30

News Cast for October 30th:

Okeechobee city imposed a moratorium on medical marijuana facilities just in case the referendum passes next week. This gives the city some time to set zoning and other regulations for these types of facilities. Mayor Jim Kirk has attended a few seminars on the proposal and says the proposal would loosen restrictions on marijuana.

Mayor Kirk on medical marijuana and Weiss

The office of inspector general found an Okeechobee inmates death due to burns to his feet was an accidental death that could have been avoided. 55 year old Theo Hall apparently did not get medical attention right away for the burns he received from a bowl of soup. He was serving a 40 year sentence for robbery in Miami.

FDLE is investigating the death of inmate, 70 year old Horace Wade that occurred June 26th and still has an open investigation in that case.

A search of a residence at 9326 South East 60th Drive results in the seizure of 54 grams of marijuana and over 6 hundred dollars in suspected drug cash. The Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force arrested 57 year old Marvin Lott on multiple charges including possession of marijuana with the intent to sell and possession of hydrocodone.

Veterans in Glades County will see improved health care as the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach is expanding a program to the county health department. A team of four including a physician will be spending half their time in Moore Haven and half in Clewiston by April 15th. The VA services will promote healthy lifestyles and disease prevention and improve the convenience for service veterans who previously had to drive as much as 1 hundred miles to the main Medical center for services.

A 14 year old Yearling middle school student was charged with possession of marijuana at school. He said he brought it for another student.

Sports Cast for October 30th:

Bethany Hardcastle of South Fork won the district cross country championship for the second time and Sam Geiman of Suncoast took the boys crown at the Okeechobee Ag Civic Center Wednesday.

Bethany Hardcastle on district crown

The Okeechobee boys’ squad finished second to qualify for regional again this year led by Daniel Shelley who took fifth place. Vernice Leon will represent the Lady Brahmans as she finished in seventh place. Hardcastle took control and ran going away in the girls’ race. She said conditions were pretty tough. Geiman was pushed hard by some of his teammates as he finished in less than 17 minutes. He said he liked the course and his second district crown in two years at Okeechobee.

Taylor Gibson rookie award for YMS basketball

Sam Geiman on district cross country title

The Brahman swim teams are working hard this week to compete at their regional swim meet Saturday in Miami.

Aubrie Reister is trying to become the first swimmer to make state from Okeechobee in a while as she is seeded 7th in the 2 hundred free styles. She says she is looking forward to the challenge Saturday.

On the sports schedule today, girls’ soccer visits Lincoln Park Academy at 4 pm. The girls fell to Labelle earlier this week, 7-1. Freshmen football players will play at Sebastian River at 6 pm.

South Florida Water Management District Speaks To Kiwanis (AUDIO INTERVIEW INCLUDED)

South Florida Water Management District Speaks To Kiwanis


Kiwanis President Ken Keller & South Florida Water Management District's Gary Ritter

Kiwanis President Ken Keller & South Florida Water Management District’s Gary Ritter

Gary Ritter from the South Florida Water Management District spoke at a recent Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee meeting. The main point of his presentation was informing the club of the flood management system works not only for Okeechobee, but all of South Florida. Okeechobee has had an above average rainfall this past summer which has created some challenges.

Lake Okeechobee at some point must discharge water to keep the level at a safe point in order to reduce flooding. The past few years there have been complaints from the east coast when water from Lake Okeechobee was discharged to the St Lucie estuary. SFWMD has not discharged water yet this season resulting in the water levels nearing sixteen feet.

Mr. Ritter says that the public can stay informed on water management decisions by logging onto sfwmd.gov or by listening in on a weekly stake holder’s conference call which is held on Tuesdays.



~ Watch out drivers, little ghouls are haunting the roads ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Everyone loves a good Halloween scare, but not when it comes to safety. Friday, trick-or-treaters will be out haunting the neighborhoods, and the Florida Highway Patrol is reminding motorists and pedestrians to use extreme caution and to safely share the road.

Parents and drivers should take extra care in safeguarding children. Low visibility and heavy pedestrian traffic can make Halloween roadways a bit “tricky;” These safety tips can help keep this holiday a “treat.”

• Pay attention and eliminate distractions; turn off the radio and put down the phone.
• Be patient and slow down. Costumes may impair a child’s ability to see and hear approaching cars, preventing them from getting out of the roadway quickly.
• Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks.
• Enter and exit driveways slowly and always check behind your vehicle before backing.
• Keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters who may suddenly dart into traffic from between parked cars.
• Remember that children will be excited and may forget to “stop, look and listen” before they cross the street.
• Be seen! Carry a flashlight, wear bright clothing, and put reflective tape on costumes and goody bags.
• Use sidewalks whenever possible. If sidewalks are not available, walk facing traffic as close to the curb as possible.
• Remind children to never run out into the street or cross between parked cars.
• Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
• Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t wear headphones or text while walking.
• Children under the age of 12 should not trick-or-treat unsupervised. Walk with your trick-or-treaters and hold the hands of young children. Review pedestrian safety with teens if they trick-or-treat without supervision.

For more Halloween safety tips, visit http://www.flhsmv.gov/fhp/misc/Halloween/.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Instagram at FLHSMV, Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook.



~ Florida Highway Patrol cracks down on impaired drivers ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Halloween is frightening enough without the added terror of drunk drivers on the road. This weekend, the Florida Highway Patrol will join thousands of law enforcement and highway safety agencies across the nation in enforcing Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. This safety campaign, which runs through November 2, is designed to discourage impaired driving through the use of targeted enforcement and increased visibility of law enforcement on the roadways.

During the 2013 Halloween weekend, Troopers arrested 653 impaired drivers. Statewide there were 181 crashes involving an impaired driver and 9 of those crashes resulted in fatalities.

“Halloween falls on a Friday this year which means there are going to be even more parties where alcohol will be served,” said Col. David Brierton, director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “If you drink, designate a sober driver or plan on taking a taxi. Otherwise, the Florida Highway Patrol will gladly give you a ride…to jail.”

To keep safe this Halloween, FHP recommends these tips:

  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and stick to the plan.
  • If you are a designated driver, do not drink. One drink is one too many.
  • If you are impaired—and did not designate a sober driver—take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to get home safely.
  • Walking impaired can also be dangerous. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
  • Remember, friends don’t let friends drive drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive impaired, take their keys and assist them with getting a safe ride home.

If you see an impaired driver, please contact the Florida Highway Patrol by dialing *FHP (*347) from your cellphone. You could save a life.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook.

Crosstalk a Non-Profit Organization Helping Women Incarcerated

Crosstalk a Non-Profit Organization Helping Women Incarcerated

Crosstalk is a non-profit organization under the direction of Donna Burk, that ministers to women in the local jail and prisons throughout Florida. We go in to the jail every week and communicate via mail.  We help with clothing and personal hygiene items also when the ladies are released from custody. We show these women who have been used, abused, and torn down that they are not worthless and life can change for the better. Everything we do is by donations and fundraising, which is why we are asking if we would be permitted to advertise on air asking for donations for our upcoming yard sale that we would like to advertise when it nears the event date.

Charles Murphy News 10/29

News Cast for October 29th:

In the courts, 40 year old Robert Bolling was not convicted of a crime as he pled no contest to felony battery for an alleged attack on a woman in her home at Lakeside RV Park near the Glades County line on February 24th. Authorities say Bolling became upset when the woman wouldn’t let him borrow money so he threw her through a glass window. He was sentenced to two year’s probation and charges of robbery were dropped.

An Okeechobee man remains in the St. Lucie County jail from charges this summer that he molested at least one child in Ft. Pierce. Bond was 1.5 million. 34 year old Tyrone Edison now faces 17 criminal charges. St. Lucie Sheriff Ken Mascara says his investigators suspect Edison has more victims and appealed to the public to come forward if they have information.

The Army Corps of Engineers expects no releases to the east out of Lake Okeechobee with the dry season just days away. The lake receded a bit to 15.9 feet this week. They are working on sending some water south of the lake.

The effort to save the canopy of trees along the Martin Grade continues. Organizers hope to have the road designated as a scenic state highway by the next year. Mary Dawson of Martin County says government has tried in the past to remove the trees.

An Everglades Elementary student, Ashliana Toussaint has entered a recipe contest through Uncle Ben’s Rice. Her recipe and video are now online and voting goes on until October 29th to decide a national winner. More information is available on the Everglades school Facebook page. There will be five winning schools which win 15 thousand dollars and one school will receive a 30 thousand dollar cafeteria make over.

Sports Cast for October 29th:

Sixteen Okeechobee high school swimmers will compete in the regional meet at Ransom Everglades High school in Miami Saturday, a record number for the team. Coach Stephen Neafsey says the swim team continues to improve and really met their goals this year. The team also set some school records at districts to build momentum for Saturdays regional

Swimmers to attend include Aubrie Reister, Neresa McLaren, Payton Byrd, Christina Orender, Jacqueline Orender, Morgan Bolan, Hunter Bosworth, Alyssa Howard and Trisha Lara. Boys to compete include Erik Gaitan, Lucas Penido, Cameron Whitlock, Ryan Daniel, William Castillo, Nathanael Bean and Michael Muros.

The Lady Brahman volleyball team advanced to the regional semifinals in Class 6 A last night with a 3-0 sweep at Pembroke Pines Charter School, 25-11, 25-22 and 25-12. They will face Jensen Beach on November 4th at 7 pm.

On the sports schedule today, the cross country team competes in their district meet at the Ag Civic Center in Okeechobee starting at 4 pm.

Charles Murphy News 10/28

News Cast for October 28th:

The Reverend Edward Weiss was honored with the key to the city last week by Mayor Jim Kirk. He has devoted his life to the ministry, while serving as a teacher and in the military. Members of his church were on hand to honor Reverend Weiss, but he praised one person in particular, his wife.

Edward Weiss on key to the city
Mayor Kirk pointed out the city doesn’t hand out too many keys but that this one was well deserved. He applauded Weiss for his contributions to the city and the ministerial association

Mayor Kirk on medical marijuana and Weiss
Among arrests, 59 year old Robert Frier was charged with purchase of cocaine and 52 year old John Davito Junior with possession and purchase of marijuana after an undercover drug sting in Douglas Park Friday. Several misdemeanor arrests were also made. Sheriff Deputies, Glades county officers and city police all took part.

4 Suspects Arrested for Burglary and Grand Theft Clearing 50 Cases
Additional charges were levied against 33 year old Absolom Henderson for allegedly selling heroin near the Herbert Hoover dike. He allegedly sold narcotics on three occasions in undercover operations. 25 year old Christina Santiago was charged with two sales of heroin and possession of heroin near a state park. Both tried to run from deputies last week causing a short chase in south Okeechobee and were charged with trafficking heroin and a host of other charges.

Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Is Investigating an Apparent Murder – Attempted Suicide
In the courts, 22 year old Jonathen Carter received three years in prison for a high speed chase through Okeecehobee in April that ran all the way to US 27 and Venus. Carter pled no contest. Speeds reached 105 miles per hour. His passenger, 20 year old Jeffrey Orys received four months in jail for resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.

Martin Fatal 10-25-14 Boatramp Blvd

St. Lucie Fatal 10-23-14 US-1 MC

Sports Cast for October 28th:

Jessica Olney finished third at the district tournament barely missing out on a run to the state tournament. She bowled 578 in the three games including a high game of 223.

The team finished sixth overall in the districts. Ashley Byrd rolled 455 in three games. The boys ended up ninth of 11 teams. Brian Chapman finished 12th overall as he rolled 624 with a high game of 234, Austin Walker had a high game of 215.

Taylor Gibson won the rookie of the year award for Yearling girls’ basketball last year as a sixth grader. She said she was glad to come out for the team. Gibson said she was inspired by her family to play the sport. Her father Cedric Gibson played in Fort Pierce. Gibson says she’s optimistic the basketball team will be more competitive this year.

Taylor Gibson rookie award for YMS basketball

OHS volleyball competes in the regional quarterfinal match tonight at Pembroke Pines Charter School in Broward County in a rematch of last year’s playoff game.



AAA wants you to Be Smart, Be Safe and Be Seen this Halloween

Tampa, Fla. (October 28, 2014) – Halloween can be one of the most deadly nights of the year for both pedestrians and motorists. With the increased number of pedestrians trick-or-treating and party goers that could be impaired behind the wheel, it makes for a scary combination. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that Halloween is consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In addition, NHTSA reported that 48% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities on Halloween night in 2012 involved a drunk driver.

“On Halloween, motorists need to be especially vigilant between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight when pedestrians are most vulnerable,” said John Pecchio, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Slowing down, watching for trick-or-treaters who might cross between cars or mid-block and using a designated driver may save a life.”

To help make the roadways safer this Halloween, AAA offers motorists a few easy tips:

  • Avoid neighborhood shortcuts. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present. When providing directions to a party, try not to route guests through neighborhoods unnecessarily.
  • Watch for children in the street. Watch for children walking on streets, medians and curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may not pay attention to traffic and cross mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Slow down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car traveling at 35 mph compared to 25 mph.  What seems like a small difference—just 10 mph—can be the difference between life and death
  • Drive sober.  Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about one-third of all motor vehicle deaths resulting in an average of one death every 45 minutes. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink. Visit www.PreventDUI.AAA.com to learn more.

A few simple steps can help parents keep their trick-or-treaters safe, too:

  • Trick-or-Treat together.  AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12.
  • Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Check costumes. Choose disguises that don’t obstruct vision and opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Check and adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping and add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible.
  • Buckle up.  If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate car/booster seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.

For additional tips to keep Halloween safe, visit AAA.com/PublicAffairs.

FWC offers hunter safety course in Okeechobee County

FWC offers hunter safety course in Okeechobee County

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will host a free hunter safety course on Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Okeechobee County.

Participants must successfully complete the online portion of the course prior to attending and bring the final Web report to the FWC course on Nov. 8. The form does not have to be notarized.

Students will learn about several topics, including hunting laws, safe gun handling and hunter ethics/responsibility before taking the final test. The course also includes live-firing instruction on a shooting range.

The class will be held at the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Shooting Range, 5025 S.W. 26th Avenue, Okeechobee.

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

Parents or legal guardians must accompany children under 16 years of age 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 10/27

News Cast for October 27th:

34 colleges and trade schools took part this year in college day at Okeechobee High school. Close to 8 hundred students, the junior and senior class took part in the event.

Most of the main concerns were costs, types of programs available, the campus lifestyle and proximity to home.

Noe Valdez says he’d like to pursue a trade and recently took tour on the Treasure Coast of a trade school for becoming a mechanic. He said this event helps to answer many of his questions.

Victor Nunez did some thought over the last year and at first wanted a law degree. Now he has switched his goals.

Trends continue to see more and more Okeechobee high school graduates go to college and more are deemed college ready when they leave campus. More and more workers are bullied at work according to a new study. Gary Namie with the work place bullying institute says many child hood bullies keep those habits in the work place. The study found 27 percent of workers reported being bullied by a coworker or boss.

Sports Cast for October 27th:

Bayside put up 3 hundred and 69 yards in offense and easily handled Okeechobee 43-19 to drop the Brahmans to 2-5 on the season Friday. QB Austin Evarts completed 17 of 29 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns and also added a rushing touchdown for Bayside.

Jajuan Cherry scored on a 52 yard touchdown pass from Brandon Shockley, Juanyae Ford rushed for a 14 yard touchdown and Zeke Matthews returned an interception 15 yards for a score to account for Okeechobee’s scoring.

Bayside Coach Bobby Willcox says his team played well on special teams, with a kick return for a score by Chris Hill, an onside kick recovery in the first quarter, and with other big plays.

Brahman Coach Chris Branham said his team only had 23 players available due to injuries but praised his kids for fighting in this game.

QB Brandon Shockley threw for a career high 144 yards in the game with 12 completions for Okeechobee.

This week Okeechobee plays at Jensen Beach.

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