Local News

Charles Murphy Weekend News 2/5

Weekend News 2/5:

A 20 year old Okeechobee man was in critical condition after a single vehicle rollover crash Thursday evening on state route 78 west. Darwin Santos was a passenger in a Ford 25 hundred pickup that left the road and crashed into a power pole.  He was flown to Lawnwood in Ft. Pierce. The driver, 36 year old Aureliano Cantorio faces charges, he suffered only minor injury.

Among arrests, 41 year old Pankaj Dhillon was charged with selling contact lenses illegally out of a convenience store in Okeechobee Thursday.  The state Department of health and the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco allegedly conducted an undercover sting and an agent was able to purchase the contact lenses on January 14th   and January 19th..  The sale allegedly violated state statutes regarding unlicensed practicing of a health care professional.

A 25 year old man died at US Sugar in Clewiston, Jeremy Mullins was washing down sugar when he was crushed by an A Frame.

Okeechobee high school received a golden helmet for the 50th anniversary of the super bowl because Jimmie Jones played in two super bowls for the Dallas Cowboys.  Jones said his team defeated Buffalo twice but he had a lot of respect for the Bills. Jones touchdown on a fumble recovery was listed as one of the top 50 plays in Super Bowl history.

Charles Murphy News 2/5

News Cast for February 5th:

Be on the lookout for a stolen 4-wheeler! -TM

Be on the lookout for a stolen 4-wheeler! -TM

Among arrests,56 year old William Walton of Indiantown was charged with striking a man with a machete in the forearm while he was standing in a shower.  The charge is aggravated battery.

33 year old Natrone Martin of Indiantown said people were after him so he carried a loaded pistol even though he’s a convicted felon.  Martin was jailed after a traffic stop in Stuart on the weapons charge, carrying a concealed firearm, giving a false name to law enforcement and possession of marijuana.

The US Supreme Court ruled this month that a decision that prohibits juveniles from being sentenced to life in prison should be applied retroactively.

Nate Balis with the Annie E. Casey Foundation says the ruling represents a positive step in the juvenile justice system and recognizes most kids have the capacity to change and rehabilitate.

Two Okeechobee men will get new sentences in murders when they were 17 years old.

January Rainfall Release

Economic development appears to be on the rise in Okeechobee. John Gurney, Economic Development Director for the Chamber of Commerce says a truck stop could be in the works. The Okeechobee Town Center project on South Parrott Avenue could one day include a Marshalls, Bed, Bath and Beyond, and a high end book store. He said Aegea is also working on a 27 thousand acre development that would impact four counties including Okeechobee.

Gurney 1

Gurney 2

Stolen 4-Wheeler Press Release

Sports Cast for February 5th:

Okeechobee High school was honored by the NFL this week with a golden helmet for the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl game. Jimmie Jones of Okeechobee won two super bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.

He had three fumble recoveries in Super Bowl 27 and his touchdown play was named one of the top 50 plays in super bowl history by USA Today.

Jones said he could have gotten more fumbles that day. Jones was also involved in the famous play where Don Beebe knocked the ball away from Leon Lett as he headed for a sure touchdown after a fumble recovery in that game.

Jimmie Jones on superbowl memories

Raw video, no sound of the Jimmie Jones Visit

As for this year’s game, Jones predicts Carolina will defeat Denver in a close defensive battle.

Brahman boys and girls tennis teams lose Thursday to Martin County 7-0.

Brahman boys’ basketball tonight regional semifinals at Eau Gallie at 7 pm.

Moore Haven boys’ basketball tangle with South West Florida Christian in the district championship game, their first in 10 years.

OHS softball Saturday is home against Moore Haven, they lost Wednesday, 4-3 to Sebastian River, JV at 2, the fund raiser ball drop at 4:30 and varsity game to follow.  OHS varsity wrestlers visit Lake Placid for a tournament and junior varsity visit Jensen Beach on Saturday.

Corps to maximize flows from Lake Okeechobee

Corps to maximize flows from Lake Okeechobee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will further increase flows from Lake Okeechobee this weekend in an effort to stem the rise in water level brought about by recent heavy precipitation.

Starting Friday (Feb. 5), the Corps will remove specific target flows and release as much water as practical through Moore Haven Lock (S-77) located on the west side of the lake, and the Port Mayaca Lock (S-308) located on the east side of the lake.  Flows will vary based on downstream conditions in the Caloosahatchee River/Estuary and the St. Lucie Canal/Estuary.

“Even with the discharges that started last week, the lake continues to rise,” said Col. Jason Kirk, Jacksonville District Commander.  “With additional rain in the forecast, we believe we must further increase flows to reverse the upward trend of the lake.”

Today, the lake stage is 16.25 feet, the highest since Dec. 12, 2005.  Depending on runoff and other factors, the Corps could achieve flows from the lake up to 9,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the Caloosahatchee basin and up to 7,600 cfs in the St. Lucie basin.  However, water managers will continue to give priority toward using those basins for accumulated runoff to reduce potential for flooding of nearby property owners.

For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx.

Charles Murphy News 2/4

News Cast for February 4th:

A permanent home for the children special needs park was found by county commissioners, in the city limits. Courtney Moyette with the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee said the plan is to remove playground equipment located near North West 6th Avenue and 2nd Street. Moyette said there shouldn’t be any worries about child safety.

Moyette 1

Moyette 2

Among arrests, 18 year old Robert Fudge was charged with resisting arrest with violence after he allegedly refused to tell Brighton Seminole Police his name during a traffic stop on Reservation Road.  Fudge was tased when he tried to run from the traffic stop.

23 year old John Harlow was charged with escape, resisting arrest, and drug possession after he apparently injured a sheriff’s detective in the jails cement court yard.  Harlow allegedly tried to jerk away from Detective Ted Van Deman, and caused him to fall on his head.  Van Deman suffered a concussion and scrapes and cuts and was treated at Raulerson Hospital.

25 year old Tiffany Brothers and 22 year old Thomas Seals were charged with two counts of child abuse and marijuana possession after an investigation by DCF and deputies.  It’s alleged the two smoked marijuana in front of an infant and a small child.  The children were placed in protective custody.

The resentence hearing for convicted killer Kevin Cutts was continued Tuesday.   The Florida Supreme Court has ruled minors can’t be sentenced to life in prison.  Cutts received life for shooting Elisabeth Hatfield back in 1995.

Drain and Cover Press Release

2016 Communications Officer of the Year press release

2016 Corrections Officer of the Year press release

OkeeSchool’s Out Spring Break16

Sports Cast for February 4th:

Demetrius Clark broke out of a recent shooting slump with 19 points and Shaquoy Ferrol provided 18 points and double digit rebounds to lead Okeechobee to a district tournament win over Jensen Beach 63-52 last night in Melbourne.

Coach Demetre Riles said the program took another step forward and his players are not ready for the season to end. Okeechobee jumped out to a double digit lead in the first half and never trailed after the first quarter.

Riles 1

Ferrol said he didn’t like how it felt to lose to Jensen Beach last time.

Ferrol 1

Clark said the team played tough teams so they would get ready for this tournament and simply found themselves and played together.

Clark 1

Okeechobee moves on to take on the host school Eau Gallie on Friday night at 7 pm.

South Fork defeated Bayside 61-50 in the other game; they will meet Sebastian River on Friday.

Okeechobee high school did not have any football players sign letters of intent to play college ball on national signing day.

On the sports schedule today, Brahman tennis travels to Martin County at 3:30 pm

Governor Rick Scott Appoints Two to Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council

Governor Rick Scott Appoints Two to Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the reappointments of Reece Parrish and Mark Llano to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

Parrish, 62, of Fort Pierce, is a senior detective with the Florida Department of Financial Services Fraud Division. He is reappointed for a term beginning February 3 2016, and ending October 1, 2018.

Llano, 47, of Lake Worth, is the president and chief executive officer of Source One Distributors. He is reappointed for a term beginning February 3, 2016, and ending October 1, 2018.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate

Charles Murphy News 2/3

News Cast for February 3rd:

Cary Lambrix won’t be executed on February 11th. The Florida Supreme Court granted a stay Tuesday after a hearing over a recent ruling which found the Florida death penalty procedure was unconstitutional because judges not juries have the final say. Lambrix was due to die for the 1983 murders of Aleisha Bryant by strangulation and Clarence Moore by beating. Legal experts predict 60 of the 390 people on Florida’s death row could be impacted by the recent ruling

Justice Charles Canady said he doesn’t think this opinion should be retroactive to old cases. Lambrix attorney says all inmates on death row should not receive life in prison.

About 1 thousand dollars in property damage was done after a bedroom fire sparked by a candle at 3455 North West 16th Avenue.  Smoke damage was extensive according to county fire rescue.   The American Red Cross came to the aid of Patricia Dunn and her family.  A 12 year old went to the emergency room for treatment of smoke inhalation.

No new details released Tuesday in the suspicious death investigation of 77 year old Earl Eugley on Saturday.  He was found in a back yard in the 12 thousand block of North East 26th Avenue.

Glades County deputies able to locate a missing 82 year old Miami man at an RV park on Monday.  The man appeared confused and was knocking on doors in the park.

Among arrests, 25 year old Sandra Thaxton of Clewiston was charged with grand theft and dealing in stolen property.  Glades county deputies claim she helped to rustle three cows in a pasture in Muse in November.   They were sold at a livestock market.  A champion PBR Bull worth 35 thousand dollars also was missing but was located a few miles away by deputies.

Wettest January

Sports Cast for February 3rd:

Okeechobee baseball has optimism again this year despite playing in one of the toughest districts in South Florida.  Okeechobee is joined by Martin County, South Fork and Jensen Beach this year.

Coach Eric Kindell likes his pitching staff and thinks the defense is improved.  He said the question will be how well the team hits. He said every player will have to work to keep their jobs.

Eric Kindell on OHS baseball season

Eli Finney and Jarred Morgan already signed scholarships to pitch for Indian River State College.

Kindell also purposely made the schedule tough, with every team on the schedule with the exception of one, qualifying for the regionals last year.

The team will also play at a spring break tournament in Sanford against some of the best teams in the region.

On the sports schedule today, OHS tennis opens up their season at Lincoln Park Academy at 3 pm.  OHS softball opens up with a game at Sebastian River, JV at 5 and varsity at 7.  OHS boys’ basketball tonight meets Jensen Beach at the district tournament at Eau Gallie at 4 pm.  OHS wrestling visits Sebastian River at 5:30 pm.

Charles Murphy News 2/2

News Cast for February 2nd:

Deputies looking for the public’s help in what they describe as a suspicious death.

77 year old Earl Eugley was found deceased in his backyard in the 12 thousand block of North East 26th Avenue. Detective Marty Faulkner is the lead investigator, he can be reached at 357-5330.  Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers might also create a reward in this case for information.

Among arrests

28 year old Chad Garner was charged with possession with intent to sell oxycodone in a controlled buy in Douglas Park that nearly went awry on Friday.  Deputies said Garner recognized a camera on the confidential informant’s clothing and busted it before running off.

39 year old Alfonso Rivera of Moore Haven was charged with burglary to an occupied dwelling and battery.  Glades Deputies said he forced his way into a residence on Avenue E and grabbed a female resident.  Alcohol was apparently a factor.

In the courts, 34 year old Jeremiah Bokoras was sentenced to five years in prison for six charges which include child abuse and delivery of drugs to a minor.   Okeechobee deputies said Bockoras allowed two girls, ages 13 and 14 to stay at his home last October 20th and provided them whiskey.

Federal prosecutors are building their case on the alleged leader of a major methamphetamine ring that worked in Okeechobee county. Stephen Hall has agreed to testify against Stephen Oakes of Polk County should the case go to trial in March. Hall’s attorney Tom Garland said his client admitted to be the major supplier of methamphetamine to Mr. Oakes. 13 of the defendants were sentenced last month to terms of imprisonment that ranged from 4 years to over 15 years.

Garland 1

Garland 2

Press News Release Robbery Suspect Located and Arrested

Press News Release Shooting Victim Identified

Identity Theft Is an Ongoing Concern and on the IRS Annual

Sports Cast for February 2nd:

Jordan Lawlis signed a letter of intent to pitch for Eastern Florida State College in Brevard County. Lawlis begins her senior year as the undisputed leader of the Lady Brahman team whose season begins tomorrow at Sebastian River. Lawlis family and friends joined her for a party last month to celebrate her accomplishment. Lawlis played a lot of travel ball with the Martin County Cruisers to get the attention of college coaches.

Lawlis 1

She visited the campus and liked it and was offered a full scholarship for the next two years. She said the college made her feel wanted.

Lawlis 2

Lawlis plans to study sports training and physical therapy.

There are no sporting events today.

Governor Rick Scott Selects Three Inductees for Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Governor Rick Scott Selects Three Inductees for Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the selection of Jesse McCrary, Jr., Earl Johnson, and Rutledge Henry Pearson to the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Governor Scott chose these three from a list of 10 distinguished nominees selected by the Florida Commission on Human Relations for making significant contributions to the improvement of life for minorities and all citizens of the great State of Florida.

Jesse McCrary, Jr. (1937-2007), formerly of Miami, was the first African American to serve as Secretary of State in the Florida Cabinet since Reconstruction as well as the first African American assistant attorney general. As a student at Florida A & M University, McCrary helped organize sit-ins in Tallahassee against racial discrimination. After graduation, he served in the United States Army and received an honorable discharge as a First Lieutenant. McCrary went on to become the first African American lawyer to argue before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a southern state. He later became the first African American in the south to be appointed to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals. During his life, McCrary argued many landmark state and federal cases including Neil v. State, which prohibited the dismissal of jurors solely on the basis of race. In 2002, the Florida A & M College of Law founded the Jesse McCrary, Jr. Chapter of National Black Law Students Association and in 2013, the Little River Post Office in Miami was dedicated and renamed in recognition for his work as a civil rights pioneer.

Earl M. Johnson (1928-1988), formerly of Jacksonville, was the first African American to become a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association. Johnson also served as chair of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and was instrumental during the Consolidation of Jacksonville through his service on the Local Government Study Commission as Secretary. Johnson was committed to fighting inequality and segregation throughout his life and distinguished himself by representing many civil rights activists including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ambassador Young. His cases helped to desegregate many public places in Florida including schools, parks, water fountains, and hospitals. The Earl M. Johnson Memorial Park in Jacksonville was created and named in honor of his work for the civil rights movement.

Rutledge Henry Pearson (1929-1967), formerly of Jacksonville, was an American history teacher, civil rights leader, and human rights activist who focused on empowering his students to become involved in the civil rights movement and promote nonviolence. Pearson first became involved in the civil rights movement as a baseball player when Jacksonville park officials chose to close the park rather than allow organized baseball to become integrated. In 1961, he was elected President of the Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP and later elected President of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP. Under his leadership, peaceful demonstrations against segregated hotels and restaurants were held and membership grew. Rutledge H. Pearson Elementary School in Jacksonville is named in his honor.


~ Florida’s Students and Schools are the Beneficiaries ~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Lottery announces it reached $716 million in ticket sales for the month of January, an all-time record high.  This reflects a 32.75 percent increase over the previous sales record of $539 million achieved in March, 2015. The Florida Lottery is expected to transfer $213 million to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) for the month of January, an increase of 41% over the highest monthly transfer record of $151 set in May, 2013.This contribution to education was driven in large part by record sales that were generated from the series of rollovers that resulted in the January 13, $1.5 billion POWERBALL jackpot.  In addition however, this was also the best January on record for Scratch-Off sales, with more than $333 million in total sales for the month.

“The Lottery’s sole mission is to sell tickets to generate additional funding for education.  We are extremely proud that this unprecedented sales record will assist in furthering that goal,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie. “For the past 28 years, Lottery dollars have benefited Florida’s students and schools, and we are confident that this year will prove to be the largest contribution yet.”

Florida Lottery contributions represent approximately six percent of the state’s total education budget. Lottery funds are appropriated by the Florida Legislature and are administered by the Florida Department of Education.


The Florida Lottery is responsible for contributing more than $29 billion to education and sending more than 725,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery reinvests 97 percent of its revenue back into Florida’s economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers and transfers to education. Since 1988, Florida Lottery games have paid more than $48.5 billion in prizes and made more than 1,800 people millionaires. For more information, please visit www.flalottery.com

South Florida Records Wettest January Since 1932

South Florida Records Wettest January Since 1932

January was also the wettest of any dry season month since March 1970

West Palm Beach, FL — Widespread January rainfall set a record with 476 percent of average for the dry season month across the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), District meteorologists reported today.

A total of 9.18 inches of rain fell District-wide in January, representing 7.25 inches above average. Rainfall statistics included:

  • January was the wettest January since record keeping began in 1932.
  • January 27 was the wettest dry-season day in 25 years.
  • January 22 through 28 was the single wettest week District-wide since Tropical Storm Isaac in August 2012.
  • November through January, the first half of the dry season, was the wettest for this period since record keeping began in 1932.

All basins in the SFWMD’s 16-county region received significantly above-average rainfall for the month. Nearly all basins received more than 300 percent of average rainfall. Above-average rainfall is expected to continue for the next week.

Dry Season Forecast

Among the National Weather Service forecast highlights for the 2015-2016 South Florida dry season:

  • Above-normal rainfall
  • Above-normal storminess/severe weather
  • Below-normal temperatures and below-normal freeze of at least one this dry season
  • Average of 5-10 more days with measurable precipitation

More information is available at:

Climate Prediction Center Precipitation Forecast

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