News Cast for November 27th:
Thanksgiving is a time of year where we sit back and give thanks for all we have around us. All of us here at Healthy Start are so thankful to be a part of such an amazing non-profit organization in a community full of support where we are able to help our local mothers and children. For several years now, the St. Patrick Catholic Church of Palm Beach Gardens donates a gift card for us to assist some of our Healthy Start families with a Thanksgiving meal. Pictured are just a few of the 15 mothers who were able to receive a Thanksgiving package. We would like to thank St. Patrick Catholic Church again and wish you all a happy holiday. To find out how you can assist our Healthy Start mothers and children call us at 863-462-5879
- 63 year old David Belyea of Lake Placid was charged with DUI last night after allegedly falling asleep at a traffic light in the city. Three people banged on the door of the vehicle to try and wake him up for fear he had a medical condition before cops arrived.
- 28 year old Ashley Williams was also picked up on a warrant that charged her with two counts of child neglect in a city police case that dates back to January of 2 thousand 14.
Buckhead ridge residents can hope for better cell phone coverage now that a lawsuit over two cell towers has been resolved. The two companies can go ahead with their projects if no appeal is filed to the 2nd district court of appeals.
Commissioner Tim Stanely says the new Dollar General has also been a boost to the community. Stanley says Good Wheels has agreed to expand their service to Glades County with trips to Clewiston and Okeechobee for the transportation disadvantaged. The job training center has also been finished and is open near Moore Haven.
Sports Cast for November 27th:
Brahman wrestling Coach Bruce Jahner is optimistic about another strong year for the wrestling team. He said the group is young but has some experience with most of the kids freshmen and sophomores. Jahner expects to have several wrestlers compete for state finals berths.
There are 7 teams in the district this year with the top 4 in each weight class advancing to regionals. He admits he likesa mixture of youth, talent, and experience..
The Okeechobee varsity will not host a wrestling classic this year and will hold only two home matches.
Alex Bryan, Noah Torres, Justin Drawdy, Ethen Gonzalez, Royce Arnold, Matthew Garcia, Jacob Myers, Zachary Wharin, Peyton Hewitt, Andrew Bates, Hunter Wagner, Trevor Brady, Skylar Casian, Montavious Mills, Chris Lanning, Devon Scruggs, Lamar Williams, Layne Vargas, Drayton Billie, Giovanni Monter-Cruz, Kallen Pineiro, Tyler Sage, Brandon Smith, Alex Hernandez, Bakari Micco, Eric Cardenas, Austin Scee, Jarrett Mills, Nilo Martinez, Brian Sell, Zachary Jackson, Blake Everett, Disan Hernandez, Adrian Luviano, Dontavious Davis, and Patrick Covington.
The Moore Haven boys basketball team hosting a thanksgiving holiday tournament tonight and Saturday.
News Cast for November 25th:
No injuries were reported after a 20 foot travel trailer went ablaze at Four Acres Mobile Home Park Tuesday afternoon. Okeechobee county firemen reached the scene just after 2 pm and found the travel trailer and attached porch fully involved. One firemen suffered minor injury. The fire was under control in about 10 minutes. The State Fire Marshall will determine the cause.
In the courts 31 year old Craig Morgan of Okeechobee received four years and five months in prison and 10 years’ probation for a violent domestic incident last December 17th. Highlands’s county authorities say Morgan forced a woman to drive him to Okeechobee after beating the woman, slamming into the wall and putting a knife to her stomach. He pled no contest to charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.
Glades County commissioners expect better cell phone service now that a court battle between two cell tower companies was decided in circuit court. Judge Jack Lundy ruled both parties can go ahead with their plans for cell towers in Buckhead Ridge. No word on whether there will be an appeal. Commissioner Tim Stanley says cell phone reception hasn’t been good in his district.
Malissa Morgan was elected by her colleagues as chairperson of the Okeechobee school board this month. She said continued improvement of local schools and the construction of a new high school will be her top priorities in the next year. The district plans to apply for state funds in 2016 to construct the new high school.
A mad homeowner helped Glades county deputies run down an alleged burglar in Ortona. 30 year old Julius Wright was charged with burglary and grand theft for allegedly taking a piano and AC unit from a home on Ortona locks road. The incident occurred in April but Wright turned himself in last week on the warrant charges. Bond was 30 thousand dollars. He allegedly dumped the Piano at the Army Corps of Engineers boat ramp. He could face a federal dumping citation.
Four men were charged with felony trespass for hunting hogs on south Florida water management property near Indiantown. 18 year old Thomas Faferko, 24 year old Justin Thododeau, 49 year old Dwayne Thibodeau, and19 year old Stephen Kilgore of Palm Beach county. Three hunting dogs were also in the vehicle stopped on Citrus Boulevard Friday
Sports Cast for November 25th:
Lady Brahman soccer continued to show improvement in their last match, a 3-1 victory at home over LaBelle. Diana Ordonez, Marisol Solis and freshman Gisselle Leal all scored goals for Okeechobee. It was the coaching debut of Eric Swant who replaced Lori Harper Kyle earlier in the week when she resigned for personal reasons.
Swant said the girls played well under difficult circumstances.
Leal said the girls continue to play hard and she was glad to get a scoring opportunity. Brook O’Hagan had five saves in the Brahman net.
Okeechobee is (5-6-1) this season.
Yearling girls’ basketball has gone over a year without a victory and they lost their last game at the buzzer in Brighton 20-19 in overtime.
Janel Aponte led Yearling with seven points while Taylor Gibson added six points.
There are no sporting events scheduled today.
News Cast for November 24th:
A 58 year old Okeechobee man died in a crash on 710 at Tommy Clements Road Friday night. The Florida highway patrol says Codnie Levy was west bound in a 2002 Ford pickup when he tried to pass a tractor trailer driven by 56 year old John Diggins of Stuart that was making a left turn at the intersection. The pickup struck the cab of the truck went off the road struck a guardrail and overturned.
Local law enforcement is supportive of a bill in the legislature that would turn texting while driving into a primary violation where officers can pull over violators. Few tickets have been written against violators because they must be violating another law before a traffic stop. Okeechobee under Sheriff Noel Stephen says texting and driving is about as dangerous a factor as there is on the roads.
The Okeechobee school board will host the Florida Department of Education review team on December 10th as they consider Okeechobee’s application for special funding to build a new high school. The school board approved a new contract with classified employees that could bring the largest single raise these employees have ever received while under the schools employ. Each employee would receive at least 50 cent per hour and one step on the salary schedule. For example, most custodians will receive at least 75 cents per hour, data processors and secretaries 80 cents, general maintenance employees 85 cents per hour and mechanics and maintenance specialists 90 cents per hour.
The school board also approved a resolution that asks the state to suspend school grades for the 2014 and 2015 school year. They also want the state to use learning gains as one of the factors in determining a school grades. The current system is expected to lower most school grades in Okeechobee.
The board also approved 140 thousand dollars in paving projects for Osceola Middle School and North Elementary. They tabled action on a bid to repave the OHS track and would like to consider the costs of a rubberized track so local, district and other track meets could be held at Brahman Stadium.
Sports Cast for November 24th:
Okeechobee girls rallied from a first half deficit to win their district opener Monday, 54-41 to Jensen Beach.
Cheyenne Nunez had 22 points and Shyteria Ash had a double double with 15 points. Nunez said the 6-1 Lady Brahmans are a changed team this year. Ariana Gregg led Jensen Beach with 16 points.
Shooting guard Lahna Baker said the team showed determination when they erased the early Jensen Beach lead.
Coach Joe Smith said in most games his team jumps out on teams and takes control and this win was sweet because they had to work for it.
Boys’ basketball jumped out to a 27-7 lead and defeated Hardee County last night 86-71 to improve to 4- on the season.
Shaquoy Ferrol had 22 points and 16 rebounds and Demetrius Clark had 25 points. Five Brahmans were in double figures. Bubba Fludd had eight assists and five steals.
Have a “Fresh From Florida” Thanksgiving
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Floridians plan their Thanksgiving meals, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and Florida’s Culinary Ambassador Chef Justin Timineri are sharing several “Fresh From Florida” recipes that can be incorporated into holiday traditions. These recipes feature delicious products grown and harvested in Florida. Look for the products with the “Fresh From Florida” label at your local grocery store.
“For an authentic Florida Thanksgiving, enjoy Florida’s agricultural bounty and incorporate ‘Fresh From Florida’ products into your meal,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam. “This time of year, you can find cucumber, squash, tomatoes and many more products grown and harvested right here in Florida, just look for the ‘Fresh From Florida’ label when shopping.”
To find out what Florida crops are in season, browse for more recipes or learn about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.
Cut Your Own Florida Christmas Tree
Event Starts Saturday November 28, 2016
Frostproof, Fla. – A timeless Christmas family tradition of selecting a Christmas tree comes alive at Lake Wales Ridge State Forest. Explore a beautiful state forest, select a sand pine tree from the Arbuckle Tract and harvest your own Florida Christmas tree for ten dollars.
“You will need to bring your own hand saw and recommend gloves,” states District Manager Kawika Bailey, Florida Forest Service. “We invite you to meet our State Forest representative at the McLean Cabin prior to cutting your tree to ensure you obtain a special permit, adhere to tree size limitations and specific cutting locations.”
There are natural areas of scrub and sandhill ecosystems that contain dense sand pine saplings on the Lakes Wales Ridge State Forest and for five years the Annual Sand Pine Christmas Tree Sale has helped to thin out some of these stands on the Arbuckle tract. As part of management within these ecosystems, sand pine removal is desired in order to help maintain these ecosystems by not allowing sand pines to dominate these ecosystems.
Tree thinning is a term foresters apply to the removal of some trees from a stand to give others more room to grow. Trees spaced closely together compete for sunlight, water and nutrients. As these trees grow, each places increasing demands upon the site’s resources. The larger trees simply need more water, nutrients and sunlight than they did when smaller. Eventually, the site reaches a point where it can no longer support all of the young forest’s trees; weak trees die from resource limitations.
“You can help create a healthy forest and take home your own Florida Christmas tree,” explains Kawika
Please contact Lakes Wales Ridge State Forest for select dates and times
Lake Wales Ridge State Forest
851 CR 630 East
Frostproof, FL 33843
Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Sunny Grove Landscaping & Nursery Inc.
Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Sunny Grove Landscaping & Nursery Inc.
The Justice Department reached an agreement today with Sunny Grove Landscaping & Nursery Inc. (Sunny Grove), a landscaping company in Ft. Myers, Florida. The settlement resolves the department’s investigation of Sunny Grove for discrimination against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Under the settlement agreement, Sunny Grove will pay $7,500 in civil penalties to the United States and undergo department-provided training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. Sunny Grove will be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.
“The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting work-authorized individuals from discriminatory practices in the employment eligibility verification process,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. “We commend Sunny Grove for working cooperatively with the division to resolve this matter.”
The investigation found that Sunny Grove discriminated against lawful permanent residents by requiring them to produce permanent resident cards to prove their work authorization, whereas U.S. citizens were permitted to choose whatever valid documentation they wanted to prove their work authorization. Lawful permanent residents do not have to show their permanent resident cards when they start working. Like all workers, they can choose whatever valid documentation they want to establish their employment authorization, and many lawful permanent residents have the same work authorization documents as U.S. citizens.
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits, among other things, citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee; document abuse; retaliation; and intimidation.
For more information about protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); call OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); sign up for a free webinar at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/webinars.php, email email@example.com
; or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to: different documentary requirements based on their citizenship status, immigration status or national origin; or discrimination based on their citizenship status, immigration status or national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral, should contact OSC’s worker hotline for assistance.
Commissioner Putnam Provides Tips to Avoid Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–In advance of the largest shopping day of the year, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam encourages consumers to equip themselves with the knowledge they need to avoid scams and identity theft.
“While sales abound on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers’ enthusiasm to save a buck could cost them in the end if their financial information is stolen,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Consumers should visit FreshFromFlorida.com to arm themselves with the knowledge they need to avoid scams this holiday season.”
Consumers can help safeguard themselves from fraud by following these tips:
- Comparison Shop: A “sale” price is not always the best price. Some companies may offer a sale price on an item only for a limited time, while other stores may discount the same item every day.
- Beware of Recalls: Before shopping, find out which toys or products have been recalled. For more information on product recalls, visit gov.
- Know Your Rights: Recent changes to federal law prohibit gift card issuers from enforcing certain fees and expiration dates on gift cards.
- Know Return Policies: Each retailer sets their own policies, so understand each policy before making a purchase, especially a large one.
- Keep Good Records: Keep receipts for purchases, and ask for a gift receipt to include with gifts.
- When in Doubt, Check Them Out: When shopping online through an unfamiliar merchant, verify the merchant’s authenticity.
- Choose Credit Over Debit: Most credit cards have protection on them and are considered the safest method for online purchases.
- Look for the Security Lock: Never purchase anything or reveal personal information online from a website that does not have secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption installed. Check by looking in the browser box for “https://” at the start of the website (the “s” denotes a secure website).
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, protection and information. The call center is staffed with trained analysts who can respond to questions about programs and regulations under the department’s purview, provide information on a wide variety of topics or direct callers to the appropriate government agency.
Consumers who believe fraud has taken place can contact the department’s consumer protection and information hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832). A live chat feature is available for those who would prefer to communicate via computer. For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com
News Cast for November 24th:
Big O Hike is on! Hikers are making their way around the Northern parts of Lake Okeechobee this week. Sunday’s rain did not dampen any spirits. Photo by Paul Cummings. There were two hikes Sunday, an official one and “the Wimp Walk,” which is a shorter fee free walk for beginners. This years wimp walk was on the Rafael Sanchez Trail, “A beautiful little trail from Port Mayaka north,” says Paul Cummings, a Florida Trail Association volunteer hike leader and FTA Loxahatchee Chapter Board Member. Other chapter members and participants from the general public are camping out in the lake area and will be taking daily walks for the next few days. They finish by attending a group Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Hiking in paradise is truly something for which to be thankful, rain or shine!
City police reported a fatal wreck near the intersection of South Parrott Avenue and South West 7th Steet last Thursday. 31 year old Robert Alfano of Valrico was south bound in a Toyota sedan when he collided with a semi-tractor trailer making a left turn onto 441. Cops say Alfano was rushed to Lawnwood regional medical center where he died late Thursday. About 10 thousand dollars in property damage was reported to the truck operator, 68 year old Alberto Hernandez Vasquez of Snyder, Texas. Cops say they smelled marijuana coming from the sedan and also located a backpack that included some marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Glades County deputies served a warrant on 28 year old Adam Osceola of Brighton that includes alleged crimes from Okeechobee, Glades and Desoto counties last week. Osceola faces three counts of dealing in stolen property and three counts of theft of a commercial farm animal. It alleged Osceola sold stolen cattle on January 26th in Okeechobee, and February 11th in Desoto County. Bond was set at 1 hundred and 5 thousand dollars.
A 21 year old St. Petersburg man was killed in rural Highlands County near Lorida in a single vehicle crash Friday night. Troopers say Tylor McCue was west bound near the intersection of Pine Island Ranch Road, when he lost control of the Ford Taurus, it left the road and struck a utility pole.
Jobless rates continued to decline in October by half a percent in Okeechobee to 6 percent and to 6.6 percent in Glades county, reduction of point 6 percent. The state report showed 139,000 residents of Okeechobee collected benefits and 320 in Glades County. The report said 16,277 people had jobs in Okeechobee and 4,548 in Glades County.
The State rate dropped from 5.4 to 5.1 percent.
Around the big lake Hendry County had 9.4 percent, Palm Beach County 4.9 percent and Martin County 5.1 percent.
Sports Cast for November 24th:
Demetrius Clark had 25 points and Bubba Fludd had 12 points and 6 assists to lead Okeechobee to a 72-61 victory over Pahokee Friday night to push their record to 3-0 on the season.
Okeechobee played well in the first half as they built a 40-22 lead.
Coach Demetri Riles said his team’s defense slipped a little in the second half. Zachary Kielbasa had 11 points off the bench, and Shaquoy Ferrol had 10 points and five rebounds for Okeechobee.
Clark said the team holds each other accountable and really works on finishing ball games
Okeechobee also won the junior varsity contest 56-50 and the freshman contest as well.
Girls basketball won at Clewiston both varsity and junior varsity.
Osceola middle school broke a school record as they held Moore Haven scoreless in girls’ hoops last Thursday, in a 34-0 victory. LaFasia Smith had 22 points, 10 rebounds and six steals for Osceola. She said the team is improved over last year.
Brook Julian had nine steals, five points and five rebounds and Piper Hans added six rebounds, five points and four steals for Osceola.
Girls’ basketball hosts Jensen Beach at 6 pm tonight.
Boys’ basketball visits Hardee County with JV at 5:30 and varsity to follow
News Cast for November 20th:
A vehicle fire at 6805 North East 5th Street in Four Seasons is considered an arson fire. The owner of the Oldsmobile Delta 88 apparently had a fist fight with a suspect in the crime about an hour before the fire Wednesday evening. No one was hurt.
A 43 year old Port St. lucie woman, Luna Possey was charged with felony attempt to flee and elude police after she refused to pull over for an unmarked Martin County deputy near Indiantown. The chase lasted 2 miles before deputies forced her off the road Tuesday.
A drug bust in Kissimmee River estates as Highlands deputies search a home on Brynwood Lane. Charged was 26 year old Christy O’Berry, officers say they found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on Wednesday morning.
A Babson Park man accused of stealing three calves from Larson Dairy #3 in Okeechobee, received one year in jail and three years’ probation in Highlands County. 19 year Tyler Smeal allegedly hid the three calves in the trunk of the vehicle and a deputy heard them kicking in the trunk during a traffic stop on US 27 in February.
Retired judge, writer and historian, Bill Hendry won a dedicated service award at the 22nd annual Farm City week lunch Thursday. Local dairy farmer Ben Butler spoke on the technological advances farming has made.
Butler says with milk prices low, things are tougher in the dairy industry this year. Butler said more people will enter farming as it becomes more convenient and technology advances
Sports Cast for November 20th:
Jose Jaimes had three goals and Gustavo Mireles added three assists as Okeechobee defeated Fort Pierce Central in the boys’ soccer home opener last night. Coach Lonnie Sears said his team needs to work on passing and confidence but played a tough match against the Cobras.
Okeechobee played without top scorer Wilson Barahona. Mireles said the team played well in all facets of the game. JV soccer defeated Fort Pierce 3-1.
Okeechobee Girls basketball overcame Hardee last night 46-35.
Guard Lahna Baker said Hardee played tight defense but the girls were able to figure them out. The junior varsity also was victorious.
Yearling girls lost at the buzzer to Pemayetv Emahakv and the Brighton boys defeated Yearling easily Thursday.
Moore Haven Middle defeated Osceola boys 35-19. Javeon Tellech had 12 points. Veyon Washington had 7 points for Osceola.
Tonight, boys’ hoops host Pahokee, freshmen at 4:30, jv around 6 and varsity at 7:30pm
Girls soccer hosts LaBelle at 6 pm. Girls basketball visits Clewiston with Jv at 5 pm and varsity at 6:30
Gov. Scott: West Palm Beach Adds More Than 11,000 Jobs Over the Year
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the West Palm Beach area added 11,900 jobs over the year in October. The West Palm Beach area’s unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point over the year to 4.9 percent in October. Florida businesses have added 978,800 private-sector jobs since December 2010.
Governor Scott said, “We are excited that the West Palm Beach area added more than 11,000 jobs over the year. By cutting taxes and diversifying our economy, families across the state will be able to continue to find a great job and live the American dream.”
The industries with the largest job gains over the year were professional and business services with 5,000 new jobs and education and health services with 4,300 new jobs. The West Palm Beach area also had 21,929 job openings in October, including 5,482 high-wage, high-skill science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) openings.
Florida created 36,600 private-sector jobs in October, the highest one-month total for jobs added in ten years. Since December 2010, 978,800 private-sector jobs have been created in Florida. Florida’s statewide unemployment rate for October was 5.1 percent, the lowest in seven years. In October, more than 34,000 Floridians were placed in jobs by CareerSource Palm Beach and the state’s other 23 regional workforce boards.
To view the October 2015 employment data visit www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.