Local News

Charles Murphy News 11/19

News Cast for November 19th:

A local man continues to recuperate at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center after being struck by a car last week. City police say 71 year old David Hamilton was struck by a north bound Ford truck driven by Iyana Smith of Douglas Park. No citations were issued.

A reward was increased to 1 thousand dollars for the person who stabbed a Tennessee walking horse mare in a pasture in Okeechobee on August 22nd or early August 23rd. The horse owner Patti Lee says there have been no arrests in the case and she hopes the reward might spur some leads in the case.

She said the horse has been recovering physically but will have lifelong scars. More information on the attack can be found at Net Posse.com and on Facebook

Patti Lee update on horse attack

Okeechobee deputies looking for some vandals that hit two homes in the Viking Prairie. One home on North West 2 hundred and 84th street was shot up when the vandals stole a 12 gauge shotgun, and shot out windows, into the walls, ceiling, home furnishings and the air conditioning unit. The second home on North West 280th Street saw about 10 thousand dollars in damages to the carpet and walls.

Pickering burglaries

Retired Judge Bill Hendry gave the oath of office to newly elected Okeechobee school board members Jill Holcomb and Dixie Ball last night.  Joe Arnold was also sworn in for a fourth term on the board. Michael Muros was honored for having a perfect score on FCAT 10th grade reading. Osceola math teacher took home the quarterly Golden Mouse Award for use of technology in the classroom.

On the roads, an 18 year old Port St. Lucie girl was killed on 441N near Yeehaw Junction Monday. The highway patrol says Sierra Rasmussen lost control in a 2003 Dodge pickup while north bound on 441 and left the road striking a tree. She was not wearing a seat belt.


Operation Outdoor Freedom Press Release

Roger Azcona on Navarro sentence

Sports Cast for November 19th:

Taylor Trent #5 is defended by Kayman Robinson of Clewiston

Taylor Trent #5 is defended by Kayman Robinson of Clewiston

Immokalee jumped out to an 11 point lead after the first quarter and defeated Okeechobee 62-55 last night in boy’s hoops action. Demetrius Clark had 15 points and Bubba Fludd added 12 points for the Brahmans. Osceola girls’ hoops opened with a 36-16 home defeat to Oslo last night. Judele Root led the Lady Warriors with 8 points in the contest.

Brahman soccer goal keeper Fernando Perez says he doesn’t mind having to pull more of the load this year as the defense and goal keeping will have to keep the team in matches.

Fernando Perez on boys soccer season

Monday they battled Jensen Beach to a scoreless tie.

Perez says he feels it’s his job to stop shots. Perez predicts the team will return to regional play this year. He said as a senior it’s his role to pick up and encourage his teammates

Travis Lagon and Virginia Villarreal on Clewiston hoops win

On the sports schedule today, Lady Brahman basketball will host Fort Pierce Westwood with JV at 5:30 and varsity at 7 pm.

Girls’ soccer will host Westwood at 5 pm.

Lonnie Sears on tie with Jensen Beach

Missing boater’s body found on Lake Okeechobee

Missing boater’s body found on Lake Okeechobee

PAHOKEE, FL (WFLX) – Officials on Tuesday afternoon found the body of a boater who has been missing since Sunday night near Pahokee.

Florida Fish and Wildlife and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies spent all day Monday looking for Matthew Morgan Jensen, 62, of Boynton Beach.

Jensen is a band director at Emerald Cove Middle School. He has been with the school district for more than 40 years. Counselors have been made available at the school.

Officials said Jensen’s family has been notified. The body has been taken to the medical examiner’s officer.

Investigators said Jensen’s boat was spotted going in circles with no one onboard around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday near Tree Island.

Investigators used GPS to track the boat’s final movements.

Jensen’s wife said he was fishing by himself and wearing a white fishing shirt and blue jeans. “We have an idea where the boat took its last directed turn and there is a small stretch of area and then the area we found the boat, so the area between those is where we are focusing at this point,” FWC Spokeswoman Liz Barraco said.

Barraco said the idling boat was not damaged.

A Coast Guard helicopter joined in the search Monday afternoon.

Area fishermen remind everyone to wear a life jacket and also use a kill switch, which connects the life jacket to a switch that cuts power to the engine if someone falls off a boat.

Charles Murphy News 11/18

News Cast for November 18th:

Taylor Trent #5

Taylor Trent #5

An Okeechobee woman was flown to Holmes regional in Melbourne after a traffic crash involving a tractor trailer on route 441 in Kenansville last week. The Florida highway patrol says 21 year old Andi Baker ran a stop sign on Canoe Creek Road and travelled into the path of the south bound semi driven by 40 year old Carlos Rivera Carrasquillo of Orlando. Baker’s Chevy Blazer caromed into the Kenansville country store parking lot and struck a parked vehicle.

Among arrests, 36 year old Toni Brown was charged with burglary, loitering and prowling and other charges after a neighbor spotted suspicious people in a residence on South West 2nd Way.

The search continued for a missing boater on Lake Okeechobee near Pahokee last night. The Florida Fish and Wildlife and Palm Beach deputies used sonar equipment to try and find the boat captain. The boat was found Sunday evening north of Rardin Park.

An appeal will be filed for 51 year old Manuel Navarro, who was sentenced to 15 years last week for manslaughter in the stabbing death of his roommate, 29 year old Francisco Soto-Herrera in Basswood. Defense counsel Roger Azcona filed the necessary paper work after a hearing Friday. Azcona argued his client was forced to defend himself and should have received a lesser sentence.


Operation Outdoor Freedom Press Release

Sports Cast for November 18th:

Gabriel Hernandez #23

Gabriel Hernandez #23

Virginia Villarreal came off the bench to score seven points in the fourth quarter and Kiana Hardy hit both ends of a 1 and 1 with 15 seconds left to lead Clewiston to a 45-43 victory over Okeechobee in girls’ hoops last night. Sha’Daija Williams and Taylor Trent both had 13 points for Okeechobee.

Villarreal scored some big buckets in the final two minutes near the hoop that kept the Tigers ahead. Okeechobee had the last possession but couldn’t get a shot off as the final three seconds ran off the clock.

Clewiston Coach Travis Lagon wasn’t pleased with his team’s execution but was glad to leave Okeechobee with a victory.

Boys’ soccer last night ties Jensen Beach 0-0 at windy Brahman Stadium. Both teams had their opportunities to score but couldn’t capitalize. Brahman Coach Lonnie Sears was pleased with the teams’ unselfishness and passing but still is looking for some goal scorers.

JV soccer lost to Jensen Beach 2-1. JV girls’ basketball fell to Clewiston, 42-34.

On the sports schedule today, Osceola hoops host Oslo at 4:30 for girls, 5:45 for boys. Okeechobee high boys’ hoops open the regular season at Immokalee tonight, JV at 5:30 and varsity at 7 pm. Yearling hoops host Sebastian today at 4:30 and 5:45. Girls’ soccer visits Fort Pierce Central at 4 pm.

Combat Veterans Find Solace in Hunting

Combat Veterans Find Solace in Hunting

Glades County, FL – Florida Forest Service and Lykes Ranch recently hosted two hunts for wounded American veterans in Glades County. These hunts provided a stress-free, relaxing time to foster camaraderie and rehabilitation. Sponsors provided funding for food, lodging and transportation for the participants, as well as deer blinds, camouflage, binoculars and any other equipment needed to ensure the success of the hunt.

“These two hunts were established to be therapeutic,” says Danny Callahan, Senior Forest Ranger, Florida Forest Service. “You are trying to outsmart the opponent in the woods,” Callahan explains, “this time it was wild hogs.” The tension builds, then comes a sudden rush of adrenaline, all while sitting next to a man with a weapon, whom you trust to make the right decision. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for the combat veterans to enjoy the outdoors and tell war stories in the woods or around a campfire. Combat veterans can find solace in sharing their stories with others combat veterans.”

The two hunts (November 4 & 12) were a great success and the four hunters came back with a harvest of wild hogs, from the Lykes Ranch’s hunting grounds, where the harvest was processed and distributed amongst the warriors.

“We are grateful for the donations to host these hunts,” says Callahan “this is a healing experience that creates lasting memories and new friendships”. For information on how you can donate to this worthy cause, please go to www.operationoutdoorfreedom.com.

Charles Murphy News 11/17

News Cast for November 17th:

Among arrests, Glades County deputies arrest 20 year old Darion Cohens for aggravated battery on a pregnant woman charges. He allegedly bit the woman multiple times during an argument in Moore Haven.

42 year old Johnny Carswell was charged with resisting arrest, cocaine possession marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession in Washington Park.

44 year old Scott Phillippi of Buckhead Ridge was charged with criminal mischief, grand theft, and drug possession after the report of a reckless driver on Hunter Road and Linda Road pulling out road signs.

In the courts, 51 year old Manuel Navarro received 15 years in prison for manslaughter Friday in the slaying of his roommate, 29 year old Francisco soto-Herrera in Basswood. Navarro was convicted at trial last month of stabbing his roommate to death during an argument. Alcohol was a factor.

Local authorities continue to search for a 21 year old murder suspect from Desoto County. Word came last week that Antonio Wesley could be hiding out in Okeechobee County or in the Tampa area. He is charged in the murder of a 15 year old boy back in May in Arcadia.

Okeechobee county fire rescue putting out a trailer fire at Oakley’s Trailer Park at 8041 highway 441 south east early Saturday morning. One person from an adjacent trailer was treated at Raulerson Hospital. Fire crews say the one trailer was a total loss and two others suffered minor damage. None of the trailers had a working smoke alarm. The State Fire Marshall will investigate the cause.

Press News Release Jail Escape Plan Foiled

Fire at HWY 441 Lot #7

Highlands Fatal Report

Press News Release Two Shooting Suspects Arrested
Sports Cast for November 17th:

The Centennial Lady Eagles rolled in the second half to a 60-23 victory over Okeechobee, dropping the Lady Brahmans to 0-3 Friday. Centennial outscored Okeechobee 31-8 in the second half. Miranda Davis had 11 points and Jasmine Holder added 10 points for the Eagles. Cheyenne Nunez led Okeechobee with six rebounds. Dymond Wiggins and Taylor Trent both had five points.

Coach Joe Smith said the team played well in the first half but made youthful mistakes in the second half. He says he expected some growing pains this season.

The Lady Brahmans host Clewiston tonight, with Junior Varsity at 5:30 and varsity to follow.

Varsity boys soccer opens their season tonight at home against Jensen Beach at 7 pm.

Sebring Expo to Take Aviation’s Center Stage in January

Sebring Expo to Take Aviation’s Center Stage in January

Pilots and aviation enthusiasts from around the world will descend on Sebring, Florida, from January 14-17, 2015, to participate in the 11th annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. The event will be held on the Sebring Regional Airport adjacent to the Sebring International Raceway.

Demo Flights, Manufacturer’s Showcases, and Educational Forums

The Sebring Expo is a great place to learn more about aviation and affordable flying. Attended by nearly 20,000 people in 2014, the Expo showcases affordable aircraft—including ready-to-fly light-sport aircraft, homebuilt aircraft kits, refurbished production aircraft, gyroplanes, ultralights, powered parachutes, and weight-shift trikes. Other exhibitors offer a variety of aircraft-related accessories, such as headsets, avionics, and more.

Aircraft exhibitors offer demo flights continuously throughout the event, and manufacturers’ showcase flights will be held twice daily to give visitors an opportunity to view aircraft in flight. Educational forums that discuss the various aspects of owning and operating affordable aircraft will also take place daily along with hands-on workshops.

Daily Speakers

Every day at 1:30 p.m. a noted aviation speaker will give a presentation in the Aviators Hot Line Show Center tent. On Thursday, January 15, a panel of aviation experts will discuss the various affordable aircraft options available for pilots. On Friday, January 16, retired astronaut and entrepreneur Story Musgrave will discuss his 30 years as an astronaut, including his six spaceflights, and his life after space. On Saturday, Col. Richard Graham, USAF (Ret) will recall his time as a SR-71 pilot and as the first commander of the Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron.

Sebring EAA Chapter Dinner

Col. Graham will first speak at EAA Chapter 1240’s annual fundraising dinner on Friday evening, January 16, at the Chapter 1240 Aviation Development Center on Sebring Regional Airport. A social hour begins at 6 p.m., with dinner served at 7 p.m., followed by Col. Graham’s presentation, “Dinner at Mach 3+, Flying the SR-71.” Proceeds from the dinner support the Chapter’s youth outreach activities. For more information, visit www.sebringeaa.org.

Homebuilt Aircraft Welcome

As it did last year, the Expo is excited to welcome homebuilt aircraft owners and their aircraft. The Expo team has designated a special area for homebuilt owners to park during their visit, including an area for homebuilt pilots to camp overnight. Arriving homebuilt pilots should advise Air Traffic Control if they wish to park in either of those areas.

Seaplane Splash-In

On Friday and Saturday during the Expo, a Seaplane Splash-In will take place on Lake Jackson adjacent to the Sunset Shores Restaurant on Highway 27. Local residents are invited to stop by to watch seaplanes land and take off and learn more about the fun of seaplane flying.

Private Aircraft for Sale

For the first time, the Expo will host an Aircraft Sales Lot, managed by Aviators Hot Line. Owners with an aircraft to sell may display it in this special area. More details will be announced soon on the Expo’s website, www.sportaviationexpo.com.

Volunteers Needed

Lastly, the Expo is successful each year because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers who assist the Expo team. Expo Director Jana Filip welcomes anyone interested in volunteering, saying, “Volunteers are a key component of the Expo’s success, and we look forward to talking with anyone interested in volunteering.” She noted that volunteering at the Expo is a great way to meet new friends and learn more about aviation. All volunteers receive a complimentary four-day event pass, including parking, and an invitation to the After Expo Volunteer Picnic.


Filip will host an annual Call to Volunteers meeting on Thursday, December 4, 2014, at the Sebring Civic Center, beginning at 6 p.m. Volunteers will also find a volunteer registration form online at www.sportaviation.com/volunteer.

Expo Hours and More

The Expo will be open daily, Wednesday through Saturday, January 14-17, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with convenient parking, including special areas for disabled visitors. Scootaround carts and wagons are available for rent on a pre-reservation basis only. Learn more about the rentals and secure a reservation online at www.sportaviationexpo.com/disability-assistance.

A variety of food concessionaires will be located adjacent to the Show Center tent, allowing visitors to spend a day at the event reviewing the aircraft and associated exhibits, enjoying lunch, and listening to the daily speaker. Members of the Flying Musician’s Association will also entertain Expo visitors daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Show Center tent.

Complete details about the Expo, including discounted online tickets, are available at.www.sportaviationexpo.com.


Photo availability:


Images from recent Sebring Expos are available here: http://sportaviationexpo.com/public/


Photo credit: U.S. Sport Aviation Expo/Jim Koepnick Photograph


For more photo assistance, please contact Mary@editetc.com


Charles Murphy News 11/14

News Cast for November 14th:

Martin county deputies investigating a sexual battery of an Indiantown woman that occurred on November 9th in the Booker Park neighborhood.

Troopers in highlands county looking for a tractor trailer that sideswiped a school bus on route 66 Thursday and fled the scene. Three students suffered minor injury.

Among arrests, 52 year old Robert Newton was charged with child neglect, resisting arrest and breach of the peace after a disturbance at Blue Cypress Wednesday. Deputies say a 6 year old child was present when they tried to calm the suspect down. Alcohol played a role in the incident. He allegedly placed the child between himself and the deputies when he threated to tase him for repeated verbal abuse.

32 year old Justin Simmons was charged with assault on a police dog and resisting arrest. Deputies were trying to serve an arrest warrant on fraud and identity theft charges when Simmons fled on foot and hid under a nearby home on South East 22nd Court.

Glades County employees and commissioners gave awards to Commissioner Russell Echols who retires after 10 years on the county commission.

Echols says he hopes the community supports the new commissioners and give them assistance where they can. Echols said he thinks the moonshine marsh project, better known as the Moore Haven canal, should become a reality. He also served as chairman for a time of the Lake Okeechobee Coalition.

Russell Echols on retirement from BOCC

Sports Cast for November 14th:

Raven (Raveen) Gobourne had 20 points and Quenisha Williams added 18 points to lead Lake Placid to a 60-41 win over Okeechobee in girls’ basketball last night. Cheyenne Nunez led Okeechobee with nine points. Dymond Wiggins added eight points. The Dragons got a lot of easy baskets on transition and on put backs inside. Gobourne said the team expected a physical game and got one. Qwana Williams added nine points for Lake Placid.

Baylee Farless grabed 11 rebounds for Okeechobee.

Lake Placid won the junior varsity tilt 42-23 with Dontaysha Gobourne leading the way with 22 points.

Sebastian Fulleda on OHS wrestling

On the sports schedule tonight Lady Brahman basketball host Centennial with varsity tip at 4:30 pm

The annual powder puff football game is also played at Brahman Stadium at 7 pm

Big Lake Area high schools in the football playoffs tonight include Clewiston hosting Orlando Jones in Class 4A. Glades Central will host Gulliver Prep in 4A. Glades Day will host Dade Christian in 2A.

The Chobee Wildcats play in two championship games in the Tri County youth football league tomorrow in Indiantown at Timer Powers park starting at 10:30 am.

Two Suspects Arrested for 10 Counts of Child Pornography in Independent Investigations

Two Suspects Arrested for 10 Counts of Child Pornography in Independent Investigations

Osceola County – Today, Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives, with the assistance of the Kissimmee Police Department, served search warrants at two residences on Montana Avenue in St. Cloud. Two suspects were arrested in unrelated child pornography investigations.

Jerry Wayne Abbott resides at 1400 Montana Avenue in St. Cloud. An investigation that began in early October identified a computer located at his house with an IP address that was linked to child pornography. Abbott was taken into custody and cooperated with the investigation. Based on his statements, he was arrested and charged with 10 counts of Child Pornography. The investigation is on-going with additional charges pending.

Brian Albert Smith lives at 1407 Montana Avenue in St. Cloud. An investigation that began in early August identified a computer located at his house with an IP address that was linked to child pornography. Smith was taken into custody and cooperated with the investigation. Based on his statements, he was arrested and charged with 10 counts of Child Pornography. A search of his computer revealed multiple child pornography images. The investigation is on-going with additional charges pending.

Although the houses are adjacent, the suspects did not know each other, nor were they sharing the same child pornography images. The investigations were conducted independently.

Jerry Wayne Abbott (DOB 5/20/54), 1400 Montana Avenue, St. Cloud

Brian Albert Smith (DOB 11/17/66), 1407 Montana Avenue, St. Cloud

Moore Haven Lions Club Invites Local Veterans to Join Club

Moore Haven Lions Club Invites Local Veterans to Join Club

The Moore Haven Lions Club is offering local U.S. veterans a special opportunity to serve their community.

The Involve a U.S. Veteran program is a nationwide initiative sponsored by Lions Clubs International that offers qualified U.S. veterans an entrance fee waiver of up to $30 when joining a local Lions club. The waiver is available to the first 5,000 U.S. veterans, and the program runs through June 30, 2015.

Eligible veterans include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard personnel who are retired or were honorably-discharged from these services. National Guard and Reserve personnel who were called to active duty for other than training (persons may still be enlisted in these services) and other personnel the U.S. services consider a veteran are also eligible.

To learn more about the Involve a U.S. Veteran program or the Moore Haven Lions Club, contact PCC Richard Werkmeister at 812-459-4788. Call now and become a CHARTER MEMBER of the Moore Haven Lions Club.

Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. Its 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs are serving communities in over 200 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit lionsclubs.org.

Charles Murphy News 11/13

OHS Veteran's Day Celebration, video footage on our Facebook page.

OHS Veteran’s Day Celebration, video footage on our Facebook page.

News Cast for November 13th:

This is adoption awareness and runaway prevention month in Okeechobee County. Frank Avila with the childrens home society on the treasure coast says runaways are definitely a problem in Okeechobee. They have the Wave Crest shelter for a dozen teens and also help to operate the safe place program. He says local teens have a place to go if they are in crisis. He thanked the Okeechobee businesses that have the safe place program.

Frank Avila on adoption and runaway month

Picture of Joseph Mather

Picture of Joseph Mather

Gary Ritter of the South Florida water management district service center gave a recent report on the rainy, rainy season we’ve had to Okeechobee Kiwanians.   The lake has hovered around 16 feet for much of the last month. Ritter says the dry season came just in time this year. He says it can be a challenge satisfying 8 million south Floridians and the water needs they desire. Ritter retired this month as Okeechobee Service Center Director. Glades County Commissioners honored Ritter with an award on Wednesday for his service to their county as well.

Gary Ritter at Kiwanis

11 12 2014 Press News Release Missing Endangered Adult

Sports Cast for November 13th:

Brahman Boys' Basketball

Brahman Boys’ Basketball

Okeechobee got 12 points from Demetrius Clark and eight points from both Lashawn Mosley and Chris Epps as they defeated Desoto, 61-41 at the Brahman preseason classic last night. Okeechobee played much better on defense and on the boards, limiting the Bulldogs to only 14 points in the first half.

Demetrius Clark on win over Desoto

Brahman Coach Demetre Riles says he knew his team had an advantage and wanted to insure his team executed the game plan. Clark hit an early three point basket and the Brahmans had 11 different players score points in the game.   He said the effort was there from his teammates. Shawn Brown led Arcadia with 13 points. Clewiston defeated Lake Placid 53-43 in the other game.

Demetre Riles on win over Desoto

Demetre Riles after loss to Lake Placid

Kaetwon Lowe on winning shot over chobee

Boys’ soccer lost at Fort Pierce Central 2-1 in their season opener last night.

Moore Haven girls’ soccer is off to an (0-2) start with a 5-1 loss to Jupiter Christian and a 4-1 loss to Lake Placid.

The Okeechobee Wildcat youth football will have two teams 7-8 and 11-12 play in the Tri county Youth football league championship games Saturday morning in Indiantown starting at 10:30 am at Timer powers Park.

On the sports schedule today, Lady Brahman basketball visits Lake Placid with JV at 6 pm. Moore Haven boys’ soccer visits South West Florida Christian at 4 pm.

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