News Cast for December 5th:
The Bassmaster Elite Series wild card tournament began today on Lake Okeechobee, weigh-ins will be each day at 3 pm at the Scott Driver Boat Ramp.
Among arrests, 29 year old Melissa Smith arrested by Brighton police on charges of burglary, grand theft, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and possession of methamphetamines. 2 hundred and 36 pills were seized along with five grams of amphetamines. Brighton Police interrupted a burglary in progress.
Among arrests, 22 year old Waltorian Jacksonw as charged with fleeing the scene of an accident, resisting arrest and other charges for traffic crash in Douglas Park last month.
59 year old Donald Hayes was charged with grand theft by city police for allegedly stealing over 3 hundred dollars in clothes out of a local laundry mat.
Okeechobee sheriff deputies are searching for an alleged con woman and gypsy that allegedly robbed a Treasure Island woman of a large sum of cash. She allegedly offered to help the woman with spiritual issues and came to her home unexpectedly. A photo of the woman was placed on our news website wokc.com
30 year old Santiago Gomez Jimenez of Moore Haven was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for allegedly cutting another man with a machete. A dispute between roommates on South West Avenue N apparently sparked the violence. Glades Deputies say Alcohol played a factor. The victim treated at Hendry regional medical center for a chin and face injury.
Convicted killer Trevares Wesley lost his latest appeal with the 4th district court of appeals. Wesley is serving a life sentence for killing David Concepcion of Okeechobee outside the former Angus Night Club back in 2001.
The division of forestry battled a near 60 acre brush and flat woods fire near Ortona on route 78 and Cemetery Road Wednesday. Several volunteer fire companies and Glades County firemen were on the scene, with dozers and equipment for much of the afternoon.
Sports Cast for December 5th:
Okeechobee to an exciting 39-38 win over Moore Haven last night. Nunez hit the game winning shot in the final seconds. She said it was unbelievable. Seminole Darlah Cypress led Moore Haven with 23 points. Lady Brahma Coach Morgan Ungerott was glad her team escaped with a win in Glades County. The boys’ team defeated Moore Haven 53-34 with a strong second half of the game. Tyrell Taylor played big inside for the Brahmans.
The boys’ soccer team improved to 6-0 with an 8-3 wipeout of Port St. Lucie last night. Lady Brahman soccer defeated Westwood 1-0. Brianna Nunez had the only goal of the match for Okeechobee. Yvette Vega praised her teammates for their team work and passing in the home win.
Video interview on our Facebook page.
On the sports schedule tonight, girls’ basketball visits Jensen Beach at 6 pm. Osceola basketball travels to Gifford for games at 4:30 pm. Yearling will host Oslo today for basketball at 4:30 pm.
IRSC FIELDEN INSTITUTE REACHES OUT TO WOMEN INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT PERSONAL FINANCES
The Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning at Indian River State College, invites women interested in learning how to make sense of the financial marketplace to register for two upcoming offerings, “Affairs of Estate” and “Women on Wall Street,” beginning in January at the IRSC Dixon Hendry Campus, Williamson Conference Center in Okeechobee. Both offerings are $60 each.
“Affairs of Estate” is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 4-5 p.m. and will explore and explain the legalese around estate planning and associated documents, such as power of attorney, last will and testament, living will and living trust in easy to use and understand terms. “Affairs of Estate” will help empower women through education to better understand their own circumstances and the value of estate planning to them and their loved ones. The offering meets January 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30.
“Women on Wall Street” will be offered on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:30 a.m. beginning February 24, 26, March 3, 5, 10, 12, 17 and 19. Topics will include stocks, bonds, U.S. government securities, mutual funds, annuities, retirement planning and estate planning.
Peer leader Mel Ratcliff has volunteered to lead women on this journey of educational empowerment. Ratcliff has more than 25 years of professional experience in the financial services industry. He has enabled more than 10,000 women to achieve and maintain their own financial security by voluntarily sharing his knowledge through a series of “Explore and Explain” programs. According to Ratcliff, he believes that while all education creates equality, financial education also empowers. His “graduates” are among the membership of the Fielden Institute and have highly recommended Women on Wall Street.
Hosted by IRSC, the Fielden Institute is a membership program offering more than 40 different peer-driven opportunities designed for men and women age 50 and better to come together on shared topics of interest and learn something new, simply for the joy of learning. A membership with the Fielden Institute is required to register for the “Affairs of Estate” and “Women on Wall Street” offerings. The offerings of the Institute are non-credit and do not apply to any IRSC degree program. Membership and registration fees vary. The IRSC Dixon Hendry Campus is located at 2229 N.W. 9th Ave., Okeechobee, FL 34972. For more information or to register, phone 772-462-7880 or visit us and register online at www.irscfoundation.org.
Spread holiday cheer with manatee, sea turtle decals
Those searching for a meaningful holiday gift should consider choosing one that helps protect Florida’s manatees and sea turtles.
With a $5 donation, people can receive a manatee or sea turtle decal from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
This year’s decals celebrate the presence of manatees and sea turtles (los manaties y tortugas marinas) 500 years ago in Florida when Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon landed on this peninsula and named it La Florida, land of flowers.
People can order the decals online at MyFWC.com/ManateeSeaTurtleDecals or ask for them at local county tax collectors’ offices. Decal donations support conservation of manatees and sea turtles, including research, rescue, rehabilitation and management efforts.
“The FWC’s manatee and sea turtle decals illustrate how these species have been interwoven with Florida’s history for 500 years as part of our rich natural heritage,” said Carol Knox, the FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Section leader. “With a $5 donation per decal, people can be part of the effort to keep manatees and sea turtles as part of our wildlife legacy for at least 500 more years.”
Manatees and sea turtles were among the native wildlife seen by Ponce de Leon and his crew. Ponce de Leon also designated a cluster of islands 70 miles west of Key West as Las Tortugas, because of the many sea turtles nesting there. As with other Florida beaches, the islands of Dry Tortugas National Park still have loggerhead and green turtles coming back year after year to lay their eggs.
Today, the manatee is the state’s designated marine mammal, and the loggerhead sea turtle is the state’s saltwater reptile.
Purchase of a “Save the Manatee” or “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” license plate is another way to celebrate the holidays while protecting these imperiled species. Go to BuyaPlate.com.
For more on manatees, go to MyFWC.com/Manatee.
For more on sea turtles, go to MyFWC.com/SeaTurtle
FLORIDA FOCUSES ON KEEPING SENIORS SAFE AND MOBILE
~ One in five Florida drivers are age 65 or older ~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida leads the nation with more than 17 percent of its population age 65 years and older, and that number is expected to continue to grow in the years to come. Access to transportation is important to many older Floridians who cherish their independence. With such a large resident population of senior drivers and many more who vacation here during the winter months, it is fitting that Florida observes Older Driver Safety Awareness Week to help ensure seniors can continue to enjoy their freedom while doing so in a safe manner.
“More than 3 million of our almost 16 million drivers in Florida are age 65 or older,” said Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Julie L. Jones. “Being able to remain active and productive members of their communities is important to our older residents, and by highlighting the importance of driver safety, we hope they can continue to safely enjoy this freedom.”
FLHSMV offers these tips to assist older drivers:
- Plan your day so that you do most of your driving when visibility is greatest and traffic is lightest, such as mid-morning and after lunch.
- Plan the route to your destination to minimize left turns.
- Look twice both ways before making a turn or entering an intersection.
- Minimize lane changes. When you change lanes, be sure to use your signals.
- Turn the volume on your radio down or turn off the radio completely.
- Have your vision and hearing tested annually.
- Heed warning labels on medications. Even prescription drugs can impair driving and judgment.
- Consider alternative transportation options.
For more information and additional resources to help older drivers remain mobile and independent, visit the Safe Mobility for Life Coalition’s website at www.safeandmobileseniors.org. FLHSMV is an active member of the coalition.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about FLHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on YouTube at FLHSMV, Instagram at FLHSMV, Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook.
News Cast for December 4th:
Okeechobee city fathers and community welcomed in the Christmas season with the annual tree lighting ceremony last night. That the voices of the all-county choir who performed several Christmas carols, there was also a visit from Santa Claus, delivered on a fire truck. City Councilman Dowling Watford said this is a special time of year when we can pause and count our many blessings.
For video footage of the lighting ceremony, go to our Facebook page.
On the arrest list, 57 year old Terris Sims of Indiantown faces several charges including burglary with an assault and kidnapping for allegedly breaking into an old flames home in Port St. Lucie, beating up her boyfriend, and trying to choke the female. The boyfriend was taken by ambulance to St. Lucie Medical Center for injuries to his face and chin.
54 year old Robert Harris of Fort Drum was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly threatening a couple with a crowbar during an argument. One of the victims armed himself with a cross bow and convinced Harris to leave the property.
Several met amphetamine arrest, 45 year old Bobbi Jo Register of Buckhead Ridge was charged with possession after a traffic stop by the narcotics task force. 40 year old Roland Long and 48 year old Lisa Osceola of Clewiston were charged with possession of chemicals used to manufacture met amphetamines. Bonds were 30 thousand dollars. Both were stopped after a traffic violation on South West 4th Avenue.
Sports Cast for December 4th:
Sebastian Middle School defeated Osceola 46-11 in girl’s basketball last night. Jaleah Bellany had 23 points in the first half and ended with 26 points. Alexandria Ducott led the Lady Warriors with five points. Sebastian Coach Bill McCarthy said his teams full court pressure led to a lot of early turnovers as the lady Cowboys jumped out to a 16-2 lead and were never threatened. He praised Osceola for their intensity and hustle. Jada Rainey added 13 points for Sebastian.
Sebastian held off a valiant Warrior comeback in the boys’ game defeating Osceola 42-36. Juan Cherry had 16 points to lead Osceola. Evan Neal added 12 points.
Coach Demario Coleman said his team worked hard with full court pressure and were able to rally in the second half. Osceola cut a 10 point deficit to one point in the final minutes behind a couple buckets by Darius Houze. He said the team seemed to have the momentum but couldn’t keep it in the last two minutes. Corbin Gibson had 21 points to lead Sebastian.
Brahman boys’ basketball lost to South Fork last night 74-54.
On the sports schedule today, girls’ soccer hosts Westwood at 6 pm. OHS wrestling hosts Port St. Lucie with JV to start at 5 pm and varsity to follow. Boys’ soccer visits Port St. Lucie. Boys and girls basketball will travel to Moore Haven with the girls to tip at 5:30 pm.
FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL LOW VISIBILITY ADVISORY
Southwest Florida: Visibility can change within seconds, so use extreme caution when driving within smoke and fog. To make sure drivers know what to do when you encounter smoke and fog, the Florida Highway Patrol urges the motoring public to travel with caution anytime there is reduced visibility. Wildfires, smoke, fog and heavy rain can all lower visibility on the roads so is important for motorist to drive as safely as possible in these conditions.
- DRIVE WITH LIGHTS on low beam. High beams will only be reflected back off the fog and actually impair visibility even more. Your lights help other drivers see your vehicle, so be sure they all work. Keep your windshield and headlights clean, to reduce the glare and increase visibility.
- SLOW DOWN – and watch your speedometer – before you enter a patch of fog. Be sure that you can stop within the distance that you can see. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding. Speed is a major factor in fog-related crashes.
- WATCH OUT for slow-moving and parked vehicles. Open you window a little and listen for traffic you cannot see.
- REDUCE THE DISTRACTIONS in your vehicle. Turn off the radio and cell phone. Your full attention is required.
- USE WIPERS AND DEFROSTERS liberally for maximum visibility. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if poor visibility is due to fog or moisture on the windshield.
- USE THE RIGHT EDGE of the road or painted road markings as a guide.
- BE PATIENT. Avoid passing and/or changing lanes.
- SIGNAL TURNS well in advance and brake early as you approach a stop.
- DO NOT STOP on a freeway or heavily traveled road. You could become the first link in a chain-reaction collision. If you must pull off the road, signal (people tend to follow tail lights when driving in fog), then carefully pull off as far as possible. After pulling off the road, turn on your hazard flashers (hazard lights should only be used when you pull over to show that you are parked on the side of the road). Move away from the vehicle.
News Cast for December 3rd:
A candle light vigil was held to remember the two young women tragically killed in Okeechobee early Sunday. A traffic homicide investigation will continue into the deaths of 21 year old Elizabeth Renteria and 21 year old Hilda Medrano. Sheriff Deputy 46 year old Joseph Gracie remained in critical condition but sheriff officials said it appears he will survive his injuries that include broken bones and internal injuries.
Sgt. Mark Wysocky of the Florida highway patrol says it’ll take at least a month to complete the investigation. He maintains they will handle the investigation objectively and get to the truth. Eye witnesses say the deputy was speeding before the crash at North East 4th Avenue and state road 70. Sheriff officials say the deputies were responding to a domestic quarrel reported two minutes earlier.
Among arrests today, 43 year old Carlos Carrasco was charged with battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest after an alleged domestic dispute.
31 year old Joseph Arbelo was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after another domestic incident Saturday afternoon.
In the courts, 33 year old Tomas Hiligua was sentenced to 10 years in prison for charges of assault and aggravated battery. A count of attempted murder was dropped. Hiliguar cut Herminia Santiago in the neck with a knife during an assault on May 24th of 2012. A friend of the victim scared him off with a sword in the incident on North West 12th Avenue.
A 35 year old Okeechobee resident received 15 years in prison for conspiracy to traffic in Oxycodone at a Palm Beach medical office. Shay Chandler pled guilty and agreed to a 50 thousand dollar fine on a charge of dispensing prescriptions without a license. Chandler allegedly sold at least 1700 prescription pain pills in Okeechobee, to 23 residents.
Sports Cast for December 13th:
Kiana Hardy hit two late free throws as Clewiston held off Okeechobee 55 to 51 in Girls basketball action last night.
Clewiston led by as many as nine points in the second half as Hardy had 28 points in the game. Tianna Thomas added 21 points. Hardy said she had to make those free throws. Cheyenne Nunez led Okeechobee with 20 points. Bethany Stuart added 12 points.
Okeechobee Coach Morgan Ungerott said her team had spurts of good play but have to play the full game to win. Taylor Trent added nine points and Baylee Farless added 8 points for Okeechobee, which fell to (2-5). Clewiston improved to (4-3).
Martin County defeated Okeechobee 5-2 in girls’ soccer action Monday night.
Rosa Borja and Kierstin Bostwick scored goals for Okeechobee.
Coach Sonya Smith said her team played hard and have made some huge improvements. Jessica Levy had three goals and two assists for Martin County which improved to 9-3 on the season. Okeechobee is now 2-6 on the season.
On the sports schedule today, Osceola hosts Sebastian Middle for basketball at 4:30 and 5:45 pm, Yearling hosts Storm Grove at 4:30 and 5:45, and boys’ basketball visits South Fork with Junior Varsity at 5:30 and varsity at 7 pm.
B.A.S.S. to Host Bassmaster Wild Card Tournament Presented by Star Tron
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Nov. 22, 2013— B.A.S.S. will host the inaugural Bassmaster Wild Card tournament presented by Star Tron, Dec. 5 – 7, on Lake Okeechobee in Okeechobee, Fla., an event that will determine the final competitor in the 2014 Bassmater Classic field.
Bassmaster Elite Series and Bass Pro Shop Bassmaster Opens anglers will have one last opportunity to qualify to compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic to be held Feb. 21-23 in Birmingham, Ala., with fishing on Lake Guntersville.
From watching the first boats launch at 7 a.m. on Thurs., Dec. 5, and the final weigh-in at C. Scott Driver Boat Ramp on Saturday at 3 p.m., to participating in sponsor activities planned throughout the tournament, all aspects of the event are free and open to the public, including:
Thurs., Dec. 5
7 a.m. The full field of anglers launch on Lake Okeechobee. Public launch viewing is available from C. Scott Driver Boat Ramp.
3 p.m. Official weigh-in takes place at C. Scott Driver Boat Ramp.
Fri., Dec. 6
7 a.m. The full field of anglers launch on Lake Okeechobee. Public launch viewing is available from C. Scott Driver Boat Ramp.
3 p.m. Official weigh-in begins at C. Scott Driver Boat Ramp.
Sat., Dec. 7
7 a.m. The Top 12 anglers launch for the final day of Bassmaster Wild Card competition.
12 p.m. – 6 p.m. B.A.S.S. sponsor activities and demonstrations.
3 p.m. Official final weigh-in for the 2013 Bassmaster Wild Card winner starts at C. Scott Driver Boat Ramp.
B.A.S.S. sponsor representatives will be on site throughout the tournament with activities for attendees. Companies such as Livingston, Power-Pole, and Rigid will have booths and demonstrations. The host organization for the event is the Okeechobee County Tourist Development Council.
2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats
2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsor: Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Luck-E-Strike, Power-Pole, Ramada, Shimano
2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Proud Partner: Mustang Survival
For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. For more information, visit www.bassmaster.com.
Cara Clark, B.A.S.S. Communications Manager
205-313-0955, ext.149 (office), 205-612-7197 (cell)
Heather Miller, Full Circle Public Relations
864-672-4994 (office), 864-607-7922 (cell)
News Cast for December 2nd:
Two young women were killed and a deputy critically injured early Sunday in an accident on route 70 east at North East 4th Avenue. 21 year old Elizabeth Arellano, the driver, and 21 year old Hilda Medrano were in a 2 thousand Ford Focus that attempted to turn left into the McDonalds parking lot and turned directly into the path of a west bound Okeechobee Deputy cruiser. 46 year old Deputy Joseph Gracie was flown to Lawnwood in critical condition. A second passenger in the Focus, 20 year old Isamar Jaimes was in critical condition at Raulerson Hospital.
Crime rates in the first six months of the year went down over 15 percent in Glades county but went up nearly 5 percent in Okeechobee County. Burglary and larceny was the most common crime. Okeechobee had eight forcible rapes, four robberies, two murders and 76 aggravated assaults. Glades County reported 219 arrests down 27 percent over last year’s numbers. Okeechobee had 1231 arrests, an increase of 20 percent over 2012 numbers.
The appeal of former basketball coach and social studies teacher Joel Huddleston failed last week before the 4th district court of appeals. The yearling middle school employee was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 15 years’ probation for inappropriately touching a 12 year old girl he was trying to adopt.
A 35 year old Okeechobee man, David Retalic, was charged with possession of methamphetamines after a retail theft complaint and the discovery of a rolling meth lab by St. Johns County Deputies.
Sports Cast for December 2nd:
Bethany Stuart is pleased with how her senior year as begun for girls basketball. While the team has been mostly competitive, Stuart has improved in her scoring, rebounding and defensive work for the Lady Brahmans. She said despite a lack of experience and explosive talent, she felt the girls have been making up for their shortcomings with effort. Stuart has scored in double figures in a couple games this year.
She said she is expected to grab a lot of rebounds and be the team leader. Stuart intends to enroll at IRSC next year and then attend the University of Florida. She wants to major in sports medicine and become an orthopedic surgeon.
On the sports schedule today, Girls basketball will host Clewiston at 5:30 pm. Lady Brahman soccer will host Martin County at 6 pm.
News Cast for November 29th:
Charges of organized fraud were dropped against 51 year old Billy Rolen, the former line supervisor for Glades Utilities services in Highlands County. He had been accused of fraudulently obtaining over 60 thousand dollars in a fraud involving FEMA grants from damage done by Hurricane Wilma. Three others were prosecuted in federal court including the former general manager in an alleged kickback scheme. Rolen’s case had been pending since 2 thousand 10 and was scheduled for a deferred prostitution, restitution agreement this month.
A 48 year old Kenansville man pled no contest to charges he molested a 13 year old girl in a wooded area of Osceola County on April 28th. A 2nd victim allegedly came forward after the arrest and 10 felony charges were ultimately filed against Brian Shaw. Nine of those charges were dropped in Osceola Court.
53 year old William Flanigan of Moore Haven was sentenced to 18 months’ probation for failure to register as a sex offender in Glades County. Authorities say Flanigan was living at Meadowlark Shores Campground. He was also wanted for two counts of failure to register in Oakland County, Michigan.
57 year old Ralph Wolfenbarger received 18 months in prison for possession of a controlled substance in Glades County. He was originally charged with trafficking back on March 4th.
Carol Reno of Okeechobee became the first woman to win a power boat racing series this year. She said it meant a lot to her. Reno was consistent throughout the year and was able to win one race. The boats travel 85 to 90 miles per hour average speed.
She thanked Everglades Seasoning, and her other sponsors.
Sports Cast for November 29th:
Devin Jimenez would like to follow up his defensive player of the year award last year with another district title and a state title for Okeechobee soccer this year. The Brahman boys are off to a great start this month with a record of 4-0.
Jimenez said he is very impressed with the talent level shown by his teammates so far. Jimenez says the younger players are really pushing the older players this year because they come in ready from day one. Jimenez has led a stronger defense this year.
Five Brahmans will play in the South Central Florida Football all-star game in Sebring next Saturday.
Adrian Minondo, Cody Walker, Cory Vickers, Khalil Smith and E.J Neal will play and Coach Chris Branham will serve as an assistant coach in the game at firemen’s field.