News Cast for June 19th:
The Okeechobee Sheriff’s office raided a Pioneer Estates home and found nearly 5 grams of methamphetamine. Jailed were Timothy Cox and Marian Cox after the operation on SE 59th Drive. Three children live in the home. Charges include possession with the intent to sell methamphetamine.
Glades County deputies have ruled a shooting in Buckhead Ridge a suicide from Monday night.
Archeologist Catherine Smith gave a presentation on the People of the Water, she said these people lived in our area many centuries ago and used canals to trade goods and fished to provide foods throughout South Florida. She is part of the museum of the Glades project in Belle Glade. She was asked what inspired her to do the research
Lake Okeechobee releases continue to ruffle feathers on the coast. Gary Ritter with South Florida Water Management District told city council last night that the Lake levels are close to 14 feet and that necessitates water flowing out the estuaries. A meeting of the Lake Coalition on Friday should address the lake levels issue.
City council last night honored city patrolman Ryan Holroyd for five years of service and firefighter Adam Crum for 10 years of service. They approved a street sweeping contract with a Stuart firm for just fewer than 25 thousand dollars annually, and approved plans for a parking lot on NE 6th Street and 1st Avenue for a new fitness center.
Sports Cast for June 19th:
Alex Estremera was named the Brahman Award winner for the Okeechobee high boy’s baseball team this year. Estremera will attend Indian River State college in the fall and play baseball. Estremera said the award vindicated the hard work he put in this year. Estremera said the team was disappointed with their record this year, 5-20, but really still got a lot out of their efforts. Estremera also got to play in the Treasure Coast Senior all-star classic this year.
The high school continues to look for a new baseball coach after the resignation of Jeff Blackstone after three seasons.
June 17, 2013
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s officials report that on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at approximately 9:42 p.m., a 911 call was received in reference to a man being shot. Deputies responded to the 1400 block of N.E. 7 Street. Upon arrival deputies found 28-year old Antoine McQueen Hill, who had been shot multiple times. The victim died at the scene.
Public Assistance is needed regarding this murder. If anyone has information about this incident they are urged to call the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office at 763-3117 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.
Sheriff Paul C. May said of this murder, “This incident has been under investigation since our deputies arrived on the scene and this investigation will continue until the person or persons responsible are brought to justice. There is no doubt that some citizens in the area have information that can help us greatly. Please call the Sheriff’s office or the tip number listed if you have any information about this incident. Even if you think it is trivial, please give the information to us and let us decide. If you prefer to stay anonymous we understand and will honor your wishes.”
This case is still under investigation. No further information to be released at this time.
Michele Bell, PIO
News Cast for June 18th:
Okeechobee deputies continue to investigate the homicide of 28 year old Antoine McQueen Hill that occurred Saturday night. Fire rescue responded to the scene and found the body shot multiple times. Hill was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting. A plea was put out by the Sheriff for information on this case. Crime Stoppers might also provide a reward. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
A 15 year old boy charged with burglary and resisting arrest after being found inside a home on North West 42nd Avenue on Saturday. Deputies were called when a neighbor spotted the boy climbing through a window of the home. He refused orders to come out of the home during about an hour standoff with sheriff deputies.
The New county manager for Glades county Thomas Corbitt is anxious to get to work. He says he’s excited about the vision of the county commissioners and the America’s Gateway Logistics Center planned near Moore Haven. Corbitt says he wants to see smart growth that keeps the small town atmosphere. He says agriculture won’t be negatively impacted by the proposed inland port. Corbitt has a military background since high school in Hialeah. He retired after 43 years as a full colonel.
Among arrests today, 48 year old Bruce Wright was charged with animal cruelty. Deputies say they found an extremely malnourished dog and a litter of puppies at a residence on NW 34th Street in April. Deputies say three puppies died from maltreatment.
Two strong armed robberies reported in Indiantown this weekend, one occurred on SW Carter Lane at Palm Beach Street Friday night, a second occurred on SW Osceola and Jackson. The victims in both robberies were Hispanic males
Sports Cast for June 18th:
Carley McCoin was named Most Valuable player for the second consecutive year for the Lady Brahman Basketball team this year. McCoin proved her value to the team in only half a season as she was injured in December and missed the rest of the season. McCoin was also named To the Florida Athletic Coaches Association All State team for this region for the 2nd straight year. McCoin said she appreciated the award. McCoin has been busy rehabilitating her knee injury and hopes to play two more years of high school basketball and earn a college scholarship. She said she intends to be as good as new next year.
Jonathon Crawford was assigned to the Tigers New York Penn League affiliate in Norwich Connecticutt and the team lost their opening game to Lowell last night 1-0. Crawford did not pitch in the game.
OHS wrestling Coach Robert Olive has resigned to take the coaching job at Bloomingdale High School in Tampa.
Scam Activity Heating Up
It’s not just the weather that’s heating up during the past few weeks! The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints from citizens regarding frauds of all sorts from tax refund and identity theft to check washing and fake IRS calls. There have even been calls to residents trying to convince them of winning a large sum of money. Unfortunately all of these are scams and the people behind them are prepared to relieve you of your identity and your cash.
Here are some steps to recognize a scam:
- First of all, if it’s too good to be true, it IS too good to be true. You have NOT won a million dollars in a sweepstakes you did not enter. You have NOT been chosen by the computer and your recently deceased relative did NOT enter a contest on your behalf. In these situations the target (that’s you!) is required to send an amount of money in order to claim your prize. Of course if you send a check, the thief will have your bank account number. If you wire the money, it’s gone for good. Gift cards, or green dot cards are also not traceable nor are they refundable. Please don’t call for this scam.
- Second, if there’s an element of secrecy to the deal, it’s a scam. This offer is NOT a secret and it’s NOT just for you, it’s for anyone who will fall for it! If you owe the IRS money, it’s no secret. They will come right out and tell you and they WILL expect your check, not a gift card or a green dot card. When approached by someone who expects you to keep a transaction confidential, TELL SOMEONE!
- Third, if the scammer expresses urgency in your response, it’s a fake. Take your time to research any offer you receive. Be sure to NOT give out personal information over the phone such as your bank account, credit card or Social Security Number unless YOU initiated the call in the first place. If there is a legitimate deal on the table, the seller will appreciate you taking the time to do research on the situation and probably will encourage you to do so.
Many of these scams and frauds originate outside the United States or are committed by a large group of individuals who operate over several jurisdictions. If you have questions about possible frauds, please call the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office at 863-402-7200 and speak to a deputy or crime prevention specialist before becoming a victim. If you believe you already have become a victim, please call for a law enforcement officer to come out and take a report. We are here to serve you!
Nell Hays, CPS
Public Information Officer
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office
Office: 863-402-7369 Mobile: 863-214-2533
Body Found in Lake June Identified
Highlands County Sheriff’s Detectives have identified the body of the young man who was found in Lake June in the vicinity of the Lake June ball fields last Sunday.
The body has been identified as that of Joshua Levy Holland, 19 years of age. Holland is said to be homeless, however, he does have family in the area. A wallet was found this week by Detective Sergeant Brian Kramer in the lake near where the body was discovered. With the information within the wallet, dental records were compared with the deceased and identification was positively made.
The cause of death is still to be determined by the District 10 Medical Examiner pending toxicology reports. Preliminary reports do not indicate foul play; detectives will continue the case as a death investigation at this time.
Anyone with information about concerning Mr. Holland is requested to call the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit at 863-402-7250. Anyone with information who wants to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS(8477), contact us on the internet at www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com or simply scan the QR code at right. Anonymity is guaranteed!
Nell Hays, CPS
Public Information Officer
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office
News Cast for June 17th:
A Brighton man was charged with felony murder Friday for allegedly supplying the drugs that killed an Okeechobee man in a drug overdose on May 25th. 26 year old Willard Millear was found in the restroom of a local convenience store, efforts to revive him failed. Okeechobee deputies say Emley was picked up last week on drug charges related to heroin. Deputies say several narcotic packages and drug paraphernalia were found in the restroom.
In the courts, Jessica Waddell pled no contest to charges related to identity theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and grand theft, originally charged with 22 different felony charges. She’ll be sentenced in September.
Releases began out of Lake Okeechobee this morning for the next 7 days into both the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. The lake level stood near 14 feet last week.
A person was killed in Glades County at the intersection of State Road 78 and Banana Grove Road Saturday morning. The victim’s name was not released. He was driving a 2008 Jeep that crossed the center line and struck a north bound Chevy Suburban. Three of the five people in the Suburban were hospitalized with minor injury including 20 year old Alejandro Sanchez Ruiz, 16 year old Ramon Martinez, and 36 year old Erika Alvallana. Troopers are looking for a third vehicle that may have been in the road and had collided with debris in the roadway. Authorities say it was a white vehicle, but it fled the scene.
The Detroit News reports the Tigers signed Okeechobee alumnus Jonathan Crawford to a contract worth just over 2 million dollars on Friday. He’ll be assigned to their minor league affiliates in the next few days.
Sports Cast for June 17th:
Kyla Hargraves was recently named All- Area in Flag Football by both Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and the Palm Beach Post. Hargraves ended her four year career holding most if not all the passing records for flag football at Okeechobee high school with nearly 5 thousand career passing yards. Kyla says it felt great to get recognized for the sport. Hargraves praised her coaches Jimmy Mills and Robert Coleman for helping her become a better Quarterback. She said holding all the school records is something she’ll remember. She’ll be attending Indian River State College next year and intends to become a nurse.
The Detroit News reports Jonathon Crawford signed a deal with the Tigers and will soon join their minor leagues. The deal was worth just over 2 million dollars.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced plans to increase the water releases from Lake Okeechobee as part of efforts to manage the rising lake level.
The release is being conducted in accordance with the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS), the master plan for water management of the lake. Today, the lake stage is 13.92 feet, which is within the Low Operational Sub-Band. Runoff from heavy rains in the area has prevented any discharges from the lake since June 6. As runoff subsides, lake water will gradually be released until target flows are achieved.
The Corps has developed a release schedule for seven days that will begin on Monday (June 17). The average target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary over the seven-day period has been increased to 2,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is 950 cfs, as measured at the St. Lucie Lock near Stuart. The target flows will include lake water, and any runoff that might be collected in the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie canal.
“Managing water in south Florida requires a well-coordinated response with our local partner, the South Florida Water Management District,” said Col. Alan Dodd, Jacksonville District Commander. “The Water Management District has maximized its capacity to send water to the south of the lake and we are working to ensure minimal flows are coming from the north out of the Kissimmee basin. ”
Additional increases in the discharge rate may be necessary if the lake continues to rise. The Corps will continue to monitor and make adjustments as necessary.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management page at the Jacksonville District website:
News Cast for June 14th:
Okeechobee commissioners voted to hire Independent Inspectors to handle their building department Thursday. The firm will provide plans review, inspections and permits for the county. There pay will be 85 percent of the fees they collect. Three existing employees have been recommended for hire with the firm but there are no guarantees. County Administrator Robbie Chartier endorsed the move. Architect Mark McCree supported the private concept saying it would take politics out of the building department.
The Miami Herald has written a number of stories about the Tri County Task Force between Bal Harbour Police and the Glades County sheriff’s office. The Department of Justice is investigating Bal Harbour, the fiscal agent of the task force for possible improper spending. Millions of dollars were seized from criminals, drug lords, and money launderers by police officers across the country funded by this task force. Reporter Daniel Chang says Bal Harbour has been shaken up with their police chief fired and the likelihood they will have to repay millions to the US Government.
Arrests today include 23 years old Quanearies Kerr of Indiantown was charged with selling 100 dollars’ worth of crack cocaine to an undercover Martin County deputy.
A Brighton man faces charges of felony murder in Okeechobee County for allegedly providing illegal narcotics to a man who later died of a drug overdose. Beau Emley was held in the death of 26 year old Willard Melear who died at the Town Star store on 70 west on May 25th. A detention deputy was one of those who found the man slumped over in the restroom and tried to revive him unsuccessfully. Emley was charged with possession of heroin charges earlier this week.
Sports Cast for June 14th:
Jonathan Crawford is excited to be drafted by the Detroit Tigers and he expects to sign quickly and become a member of their organization. He was drafted number 20 overall in the first round. He said he is really enthused to be joining the Tigers because of their history of success with pitchers. He expects to sign soon and go off to the minor league affiliate he’s assigned to. Crawford said he knew the Tigers were interested when he visited Comerica Park to pitch for their minor league scouts days before the draft. Crawford said he felt his performance this year for the Florida Gators was mediocre. He won three games with an earned run average of 3.82.
He said he looks forward to talking to Tiger pitching great Justin Verlander, the reigning “American League Cy Young” to learn more about pitching. The Tigers like Crawford’s arm and expect two to three years of minor league seasoning before he can join their big league rotation.
News Cast for June 13th:
The school board voted to take automatic step salary increases for classified employees in Okeechobee schools last night, saying they’d rather negotiate salary hikes each year at budget time. The vote was 4-1 with Malissa Morgan opposed. The near 2 hour hearing included throngs of financial documents and claims with the school board saying they want to be conservative and not run out of cash or spend more than they take in. The union says there is no financial crisis and the step increases for classified employees is not expensive and is deserved.
91 year old Doc Watford died Monday. He had been associated with Okeechobee Motor Company since 1946 and a resident of Okeechobee since 1924. He also served the nation in the US Army Air Corps during World War II. Services are Friday at the First United Methodist Church.
Among arrests today, 26 year old Samuel Medrano was charged with burglary, grand theft and burglary tools after a home alarm allegedly interrupted him during a burglary Tuesday on South West 7th Avenue.
47 year old Burlon Goodin of Palm City held on an Okeechobee warrant for burglary with an assault from a 2002 allegation. Bond was 50 thousand dollars.
56 year old Leon Moses Junior was charged with false imprisonment and battery after an alleged domestic dispute.
40 year old Robert Medina was charged with battery, false imprisonment and other charges. The special response team at the Sheriff’s office responded to a standoff in Four Seasons after a domestic incident that included an alleged car chase. Medina was just released from prison and is on probation until 2023. Medina was accused of battering the victim and then barricading her and a second woman in the home.
A 40 year old Lake Placid man, Jessie Shirley was killed in an airboat accident on Arbuckle Creek near Lorida on Monday.
Sports Cast for June 13th:
Former Brahman and FSU great Lonnie Pryor says he’s encouraged about his first mini-camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is now busy with conditioning and other training measures with the Jaguars. Pryor says he felt he has held his own so far. Coaches have told Jacksonville media that they like Pryor’s versatility and think he can be both a runner and pass receiver out of the backfield. Pryor says he’s gotten over the disappointment of not being drafted. He said it turned out pretty well for him in a great situation.
Will Ta’ufo’ou appears to be at the top of the depth chart at full back for the Jaguars. Maurcie Jones drew is the starter at running back but he has dealt with a foot injury in mini-camp which ends today.
News Cast for June 12th:
The school board approved a separation agreement and general release with the schools and former OHS Assistant Principal Traci Brown Tuesday. She had requested a hearing last month after she resigned her job following a misdemeanor arrest, that charge was later dropped. The school board also set a June 21st public hearing at 6 pm to consider recommendations from a citizens committee about random drug testing of students.
The board also honored seven employees with over 30 years of experience upon their retirement. Also retiring in July is Assistant Superintendent of Schools Mary Hurley. A reception was recently held to honor Hurley for 27 years of service to the school system. Among arrests today, 26 year old Corey Armelin of Indiantown was charged with cultivation of cannabis and held on 5 thousand dollars bond.
68 year old Javier Esquivel was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and burglary to an occupied structure for an alleged dispute with a neighbor. Esquivel was allegedly armed with a machete.
36 year old Jose Torres was charged with criminal mischief, resisting arrest on battery on law enforcement after a disturbance on North West 6th Street Monday night.
47 year old Ronald Allen of Kenansville was charged with possession of controlled substances and other charges in Osceola County.
Glades County commissioner Donna Storter Long reported the Florida commission on ethics found probable cause against her Friday that she committed an ethics violation. She told the commission Tuesday that she faces a fine of up to 10 thousand dollars. Long voted to rank a firm that employs her son during a county construction project request for proposals last September.
Glades County also was praised for providing 50 thousand dollars to the OUA to help in the cost of installing fire hydrants in Buckhead Ridge.
Sports Cast for June 12th:
Frank Adamo was named the most valuable player for the OHS boys track team this spring. The just graduated senior was able to excel in long distance running.
Adamo says the award was appreciated. Adamo thanked his coaches for the time and effort they put in to coach the team. His best event was the 400 meters. He will be able to continue his track career in the fall as he will attend a prestigious school in Pennsylvania, Adamo says he enjoys running and that he plans to enjoy college. He will study graphic design. He will compete in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track in college.
Joan Klostreich of Palm City and Tyler O’brien of Stuart won this year’s 7 mile run on Lake Okeechobee. Nancy Murr of Okeechobee won the female ages 55 to 59 divisions and Tim Murr of Okeechobee finished second in the male division ages 60 to 64.