Local News

Mexican National Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor

Mexican National Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Robert C. Hutchinson, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, announce that Timoteo Reyes-Perez, 35, of Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra to 20 years in prison.

Reyes-Perez previously pled guilty to sex trafficking of a minor, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1591(a)(1) and (b)(2).  Reyes-Perez, who was originally charged by authorities in 2008, was a fugitive until last year, when he was extradited to the United States from Mexico.

According to court documents, Reyes-Perez met and married his victim in Mexico when she was 14 years old.  Soon after, Reyes-Perez smuggled her across the border into the United States and proceeded to transport her to New York, Atlanta, and finally, the Southern District of Florida.  Reyes-Perez prostituted the victim at brothels in multiple locations, including West Palm Beach.  At times, she was forced to have sex with up to 30 men per night.  Reyes-Perez kept the proceeds of her prostitution.  At sentencing, the victim spoke about how Reyes-Perez had forced her into prostitution against her will, using physical and sexual violence to ensure her compliance.  She also spoke about the lasting emotional and psychological damage she sustained.

Five other defendants who were also charged in the same indictment pled guilty to sex trafficking of a minor and were sentenced in 2009 to terms of imprisonment ranging from 60 to 160 months.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Olivia S. Choe.

Human trafficking must stop. To report suspected human trafficking occurring in South Florida, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.


Charles Murphy News 6/20

News Cast for June 20th:

The Okeechobee school board has 613 involved in some kind of summer program this year.  That includes 57 third graders who need to take reading for promotion and 83 students in second grade reading. The district had 80 open teaching positions at the end of the school year. They expect to have 78 new educators hired by August. Human Resources Director Julie Reno and Superintendent Secretary Genia Arbogast were honored upon their retirements.  Both worked over 30 years for the system. Crews will be installing security cameras at several buildings, the Freshman Campus, North Elementary, Seminole, Central and the district office.

The school system was honored by the March of Dimes for their generosity in assistance of the March for Babies this spring.  Everglades elementary raised the most of any group in Okeechobee this year.  The community raised over 45 thousand for the cause.

The state will present nearly 70 thousand dollars in school recognition dollars for North Elementary this year.  Teachers and instructional employees will share 58 thousand and classified employees nearly 9 thousand dollars.

Transportation Department employee Loraine Watson was awarded the outstanding community service award for her assistance in various community fund raisers.

Seminole Elementary Principal Matthew Koff and Okeechobee High school guidance counselor Linda Koff resigned their positions. The board also approved their annual legal contract with Conely and Conely, PA for 60 thousand dollars.

In the courts, two men who allegedly caught freshwater turtles and sold them illegally, were fined 25 hundred dollars and sentenced to two years’ probation in Highlands County. 34 year old Gan Du and 35 year old Guisheng Lei pled no contest before Circuit Judge Peter Estrada to four charges that include unlawful buying, selling or transferring of wildlife, buring of selling or possession turtles for sale, unlawful purchase of freshwater turtles from the wild and dealing in stolen property.   Florida Fish and Wildlife officers led the undercover operation.

Beware of Scammers Seeking Donations to Assist Orlando Attack Victims

Sports Cast for June 20th:

Jacob Myers was named the rookie of the year for the Okeechobee Brahman wrestling team this year.

The incoming sophomore said a lot of the kids deserved the award but he was glad he stuck with the sport. Myers said he was kidded for his loud noises and grunts during matches but said it may have distracted his opponents.

Myers 1

He said his best match of the year was at Port St. Lucie. Myers wrestled at 106 pounds this year. He is working out in the off season with weight lifting. He said the team has the talent to be a factor again next year.

Myers 2


Governor Scott Announces SunRail to Operate Evening and Night Service for Community Vigil on Sunday

Governor Scott Announces SunRail to Operate Evening and Night Service for Community Vigil on Sunday

ORLANDO, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is operating SunRail trains Sunday, June 19, starting in the evening and into the night, for those traveling to and from a community candlelight vigil planned at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. This comes at the request of the City of Orlando.

The first train departs DeBary southbound at 5 p.m., making all stops on the way to the Sand Lake Road SunRail station. It then returns northbound from the Sand Lake Road station, making all stops to DeBary. There are five round-trip trains total, with the last southbound train leaving DeBary at 10 p.m. and then making a return northbound trip at 11:15 p.m. from the Sand Lake Road station. Service is expected to conclude with the last stop at the DeBary station after midnight. Regular fares apply. For a full schedule, please visit www.SunRail.com. Lake Eola Park is located on the near east side of downtown Orlando.


Indiantown Resident Sentenced to Maximum Penalty for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Indiantown Resident Sentenced to Maximum Penalty for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Today, an Indiantown resident was sentenced to the statutory maximum penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Carlos A. Canino, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Office, and William Snyder, Sheriff, Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), made the announcement.

U.S. District Senior Judge Paul Huck sentenced Andrew Cunningham, III, 32, of Indiantown, Florida, to the maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. On April 8, 2016, Cunningham was convicted by a Fort Pierce jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g).

According to the court record, including testimony at trial, on May 4, 2015, MCSO deputies responded to 911 calls reporting that Cunningham had broken a window at a cousin’s residence and threatened relatives after breaking another cousin’s truck window. During the early morning hours of May 5, 2015, Cunningham was brought to the Indiantown Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Station.  Cunningham had been shot in the abdomen while outside his residence, but refused to name his shooter. During the course of the shooting investigation, law enforcement responded to Cunningham’s residence. MCSO deputies received consent to search the residence for evidence of the shooting and discovered Cunningham’s bloody jacket, with a bullet hole consistent with his gunshot injury, inside his  bedroom. In the pocket of the jacket, MCSO detectives found a Ruger .357 revolver, wrapped in a bandana.  Cunningham was previously convicted of felony offenses and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Before pronouncing sentence, Senior Judge Huck stated that Cunningham obstructed justice by committing perjury during his testimony, which he found to be incredible and contradicted by numerous trial witnesses, who were members of Cunningham’s own family.

This case is the result of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is a Department of Justice nationwide initiative that combines traditional law enforcement activities with community-based support and intervention programs. The two primary goals of the PSN initiative are to reduce and prevent violent crimes and to help past offenders adjust and re-enter the community.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the ATF and MCSO for their work on this case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carmen M. Lineberger and Daniel E. Funk.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.


TICKETING AGGRESSIVE CARS AND TRUCKS

TICKETING AGGRESSIVE CARS AND TRUCKS

~ The Florida Highway Patrol is conducting an additional wave of TACT~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) today began an additional statewide enforcement period dedicated to the Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) campaign, which will run through June 30. The TACT campaign is aimed at highlighting the danger of aggressive driving behaviors, such as following too closely, unsafe lane changes and speeding, when interacting with large trucks on the road.

For more information about TACT, FHP’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement and No Zones, visit: http://www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/about-fhp/


IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams Relating to Orlando Mass-Shooting

IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams Relating to Orlando Mass-Shooting

IR-2016-89, June 17, 2016

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today issued a consumer alert about possible fake charity scams emerging due to last weekend’s mass-shooting in Orlando, Fla., and encouraged taxpayers to seek out recognized charitable groups.

When making donations to assist victims of last weekend’s terrible tragedy, there are simple steps taxpayers can take to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate charities. IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to quickly and easily check out the status of charitable organizations.

While there has been an enormous wave of support across the country for the victims and families of Orlando, it is common for scam artists to take advantage of this generosity by impersonating charities to get money or private information from well-meaning taxpayers. Such fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person solicitations.

The IRS cautions donors to follow these tips:

  • Be sure to donate to recognized charities.
  • Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. The IRS website at IRS.gov has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, through which people may find qualified charities; donations to these charities may be tax-deductible.
  • Don’t give out personal financial information — such as Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords — to anyone who solicits a contribution. Scam artists may use this information to steal a donor’s identity and money.
  • Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift.
  • Consult IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on IRS.gov.   This free booklet describes the tax rules that apply to making tax-deductible donations. Among other things, it also provides complete details on what records to keep.

Bogus websites may solicit funds for victims of this tragedy. These sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities in order to persuade people to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources.

Additionally, scammers often send emails that steer recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes.

Taxpayers suspecting fraud by email should visit IRS.gov and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.”

More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.”


Charles Murphy News 6/17

News Cast for June 17th:

Billy K-9 with McGee 22 Dixie Ranch Acres residents were charged after a DCF and Okeechobee deputy child abuse investigation.  27 year old Anastachia Williams was charged with child neglect and failure to report child abuse.  33 year old Curtis Beachum was charged with aggravated child abuse and child abuse.

The victims, two children ages 3 and 4, reportedly had black eyes, multiple bruises, and one had chunks of hair ripped out of their head.   The DCF took the children out of the home after the first report in February. Beachum allegedly struck the children with a belt.

Among arrests, 26 year old Hilliard gopher of Brighton was charged with fleeing and attempting to elude police and driving with a suspended license.  Deputies chased a vehicle with an expired tag from North West 18th Street.  Gopher originally stopped at US 98 and then took off.  Deputies say they arrested a passenger when they found cocaine and pills in the car.

20 year old Nathaniel Doctor, once charged with DUI manslaughter in the death of a local teen, was arrested on charges he violated his probation for wildlife charges in Palm Beach County.   City cops say Doctor fled them on April 29th when he was clocked going 92 miles in a 25 mile per hour zone, and then fled the vehicle on foot.  He was charged with driving while license suspended and resisting arrest.

52 year old Robert Pohl was charged with grand theft and held on 25 hundred dollars bond.

A 14 year old boy alleged head butted a deputy sheriff investigating a burglary complaint on South East 18th Terrace.  The boy had been reported as a runaway.  He faces charges of burglary, assault on law enforcement and disorderly intoxication.    The child was treated at Raulerson hospital for minor injuries.

62 year old Arcie Knight was charged with aggravated battery after he allegedly choked a female roommate who had recently undergone neck surgery.

In politics voters will get a choice of two candidates in the Glades County School superintendents race.  Incumbent Scott Bass, a democrat, is opposed by long time teacher and coach Andy Ringstaff of Moore Haven.  Ringstaff is running as a nonpartisan.  That election will be in November.   None of the three county commissioners up for re-election face opposition, Weston Pryor, Ted Beck, and Tim Stanley.

06 16 2016 Press News Release HCSO Mourns Loss of K-9 Member

Time Capsule Dedication Invitation

Suspect Arrested for 3 Counts of Capital Sexual Battery

Sports Cast for June 17th:

Bubba Fludd was named defensive player of the year for Brahman boys’ basketball, he set a new school record for steals, 96 this year. He broke the school record held by his father in the early 1990s. Fludd said he liked the trophy and his role on the team

Fludd 1

Fludd has gotten several offers as well to play college football and has been busy visiting college campuses this summer. Fludd expects to get even more offers during his senior season and is in no rush to make a college choice.

Fludd 2


REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN STATEMENT TO THE PRESS

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN STATEMENT TO THE PRESS

Dr. P. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Orlando, Florid

3:40 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Four days ago, this community was shaken by an evil and hateful act.  Today, we are reminded of what is good. That there is compassion, empathy and decency, and most of all, there is love.  That’s the Orlando that we’ve seen in recent days.  And that is the America that we have seen.

This afternoon, the Vice President and I had the opportunity to meet with many of the families here.  As you might imagine, their grief is beyond description.  Through their pain and through their tears, they told us about the joy that their loved ones had brought to their lives.  They talked about their sons or their daughters — so many young people, in their 20s and 30s; so many students who were focused on the future.  One young woman was just 18 years old.  Another, said her father, was a happy girl with so many dreams.

There were siblings there talking about their brothers and their sisters and how they were role models that they looked up to.  There were husbands and wives who had taken a solemn vow; fathers and mothers who gave their full hearts to their children. These families could be our families.  In fact, they are our family — they’re part of the American family.  Today, the Vice President and I told them, on behalf of the American people, that our hearts are broken, too, but we stand with you and that we are here for you, and that we are remembering those who you loved so deeply.

As a nation, we’ve also been inspired by the courage of those who risked their lives and cared for others.  Partners whose last moments were spent shielding each other.  The mother who gave her life to save her son.  The former Marine whose quick thinking saved dozens of lives.

Joe and I had the chance to thank Mayor Dyer, Chief Mina, Sheriff Demings, all who responded in heroic ways; the outstanding police and first responders who were able to, through their professionalism and quick response, rescue so many people. We also owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all the doctors, all the nurses who have worked day and night to treat the injured, save lives and prevent even more anguish.  As one of the doctors here said, “after the worst of humanity reared its ugly head…the best of humanity came roaring back.”  Let me get that quote more precisely — “after the worst of humanity reared its evil head…the best of humanity came roaring back.”

Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, if, in fact, we want to show the best of our humanity, then we’re all going to have to work together at every level of government, across political lines, to do more to stop killers who want to terrorize us.  We will continue to be relentless against terrorist groups like ISIL and al Qaeda.  We are going to destroy them.  We are going to disrupt their networks, and their financing, and the flow of fighters in and out of war theaters.  We’re going to disrupt their propaganda that poisons so many minds around the world.

We’re going to do all that.  Our resolve is clear.  But given the fact that the last two terrorist attacks on our soil — Orlando and San Bernardino — were homegrown, carried out it appears not by external plotters, not by vast networks or sophisticated cells, but by deranged individuals warped by the hateful propaganda that they had seen over the Internet, then we’re going to have to do more to prevent these kinds of events from occurring.  It’s going to take more than just our military. It’s going to require more than just our intelligence teams.  As good as they are, as dedicated as they are, as focused as they are, if you have lone wolf attacks like this, hatched in the minds of a disturbed person, then we’re going to have to take different kinds of steps in order to prevent something like this from happening.

Those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with a powerful assault weapon.  The motives of this killer may have been different than the mass shooters in Aurora or Newtown, but the instruments of death were so similar. And now, another 49 innocent people are dead.  Another 53 are injured.  Some are still fighting for their lives.  Some will have wounds that will last a lifetime.  We can’t anticipate or catch every single deranged person that may wish to do harm to his neighbors, or his friends, or his coworkers, or strangers.  But we can do something about the amount of damage that they do. Unfortunately, our politics have conspired to make it as easy as possible for a terrorist or just a disturbed individual like those in Aurora and Newtown to buy extraordinarily powerful weapons — and they can do so legally.

Today, once again, as has been true too many times before, I held and hugged grieving family members and parents, and they asked, why does this keep happening?  And they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage.  They don’t care about the politics. Neither do I.  Neither does Joe.  And neither should any parent out there who’s thinking about their kids being not in the wrong place, but in places where kids are supposed to be.

This debate needs to change.  It’s outgrown the old political stalemates.  The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense.  Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense.  They should meet with the Newtown families — some of whom Joe saw yesterday — whose children would now be finishing fifth grade — on why it is that we think our liberty requires these repeated tragedies.  That’s not the meaning of liberty.

I’m pleased to hear that the Senate will hold votes on preventing individuals with possible terrorist ties from buying guns, including assault weapons.  I truly hope that senators rise to the moment and do the right thing.  I hope that senators who voted no on background checks after Newtown have a change of heart.  And then I hope the House does the right thing, and helps end the plague of violence that these weapons of war inflict on so many young lives.

I’ve said this before — we will not be able to stop every tragedy.  We can’t wipe away hatred and evil from every heart in this world.  But we can stop some tragedies.  We can save some lives.  We can reduce the impact of a terrorist attack if we’re smart.  And if we don’t act, we will keep seeing more massacres like this — because we’ll be choosing to allow them to happen.  We will have said, we don’t care enough to do something about it.

Here in Orlando, we are reminded not only of our obligations as a country to be resolute against terrorists, we are reminded not only of the need for us to implement smarter policies to prevent mass shootings, we’re also reminded of what unites us as Americans, and that what unites us is far stronger than the hate and the terror of those who target us.

For so many people here who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, the Pulse Nightclub has always been a safe haven, a place to sing and dance, and most importantly, to be who you truly are — including for so many people whose families are originally from Puerto Rico.  Sunday morning, that sanctuary was violated in the worst way imaginable.  So whatever the motivations of the killer, whatever influences led him down the path of violence and terror, whatever propaganda he was consuming from ISIL and al Qaeda, this was an act of terrorism but it was also an act of hate.  This was an attack on the LGBT community.  Americans were targeted because we’re a country that has learned to welcome everyone, no matter who you are or who you love.  And hatred towards people because of sexual orientation, regardless of where it comes from, is a betrayal of what’s best in us.

Joe and I were talking on the way over here — you can’t make up the world into “us” and “them,” and denigrate and express hatred towards groups because of the color of their skin, or their faith, or their sexual orientation, and not feed something very dangerous in this world.

So if there was ever a moment for all of us to reflect and reaffirm our most basic beliefs that everybody counts and everybody has dignity, now is the time.  It’s a good time for all of us to reflect on how we treat each other, and to insist on respect and equality for every human being.

We have to end discrimination and violence against our brothers and sisters who are in the LGBT community — here at home and around the world, especially in countries where they are routinely persecuted.  We have to challenge the oppression of women, wherever it occurs — here or overseas.  There’s only “us” — Americans.

Here in Orlando, in the men and women taken from us, those who loved them, we see some of the true character of this country — the best of humanity coming roaring back; the love and the compassion and the fierce resolve that will carry us through not just through this atrocity, but through whatever difficult times may confront us.

It’s our pluralism and our respect for each other — including a young man who said to a friend, he was “super proud” to be Latino.  It’s our love of country — the patriotism of an Army reservist who was known as “an amazing officer.”  It’s our unity — the outpouring of love that so many across our country have shown to our fellow Americans who are LGBT, a display of solidarity that might have been unimaginable even a few years ago.

Out of this darkest of moments, that gives us hope — seeing people reflect, seeing people’s best instincts come out, maybe in some cases, minds and hearts change.  It is our strength and our resilience — the same determination of a man who died here who traveled the world, mindful of the risks as a gay man, but who spoke for us all when he said, “we cannot be afraid…we are not going to be afraid.”

May we all find that same strength in our own lives.  May we all find that same wisdom in how we treat one another.  May God bless all who we lost here in Orlando.  May He comfort their families.  May He heal the wounded.  May He bring some solace to those whose hearts have been broken.  May He give us resolve to do what’s necessary to reduce the hatred of this world, curb the violence.  And may He watch over this country that we call home.

Thank you very much, everybody.

END


Four Orlando Area Women Set to Compete for Miss Florida Title

Four Orlando Area Women Set to Compete for Miss Florida Title

Pageant Winner to Represent Florida at the 2017 Miss America Pageant

Lakeland, FL (June 14, 2016) – Forty-eight preliminary pageant winners from across Florida will be competing in the 81st Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant beginning June 26 at the Lakeland Center’s Youkey Theatre in Lakeland, FL.

The Miss Florida Pageant is a preliminary competition to the Miss America Pageant, which is the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women and one of nation’s largest achievement programs. On July 2 the newly crowned Miss Florida will be named and she will represent the Florida at the 2017 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, and will travel the state promoting her personal platform. Miss Florida also serves as a state ambassador for Miss America’s national platform partner, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and as an official spokesperson for protection and preservation of America’s Everglades.

MaryKatherine Fechtel, Miss Florida 2015, won her title last June when she competed with forty-seven other young women for the opportunity to represent the Sunshine State. MaryKatherine competed in the 2016 Miss America Pageant and she was named a Top Ten Finalist and Preliminary Swimsuit winner receiving an additional $8,000 in scholarships.

Forty-eight preliminary pageants have been held across the state since November, with the winners receiving a coveted invitation to compete for the Miss Florida Crown. The following are the local contestants that will compete in Lakeland, FL on June 28-July 2:

Eugenia Akins                Kissimmee, FL               Miss Gainesville

Arianna Beyer                Mount Dora, FL              Miss Apopka

Abigail Dawn Cunnane     Orlando, FL                   Miss Manatee River

Lexie George                 Oviedo, FL                     Miss South Florida

Schedule of Events:

Meet the Contestants Event  

Saturday 6/25 – 11:00 a.m.

Miss Florida Preliminary Competitions

Tuesday 6/28, Wednesday 6/29, Thursday 6/30 – 7:30 p.m.

Miss Florida and Miss Florida Outstanding Teen Final Competitions

Saturday 7/2                  4:00 p.m. Miss Florida Outstanding Teen Finals

8:00 p.m. Miss Florida Finals


SFWMD Highlights Progress on Caloosahatchee River Reservoir

SFWMD Highlights Progress on Caloosahatchee River Reservoir

Massive storage project will provide significant benefits for river and estuary
Fort Myers, FL – This month the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board heard a staff report highlighting the significant progress the District has made building the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir.
When completed, the reservoir will hold approximately 170,000 acre-feet of water from the Caloosahatchee River. During dry periods, this water will be used to maintain a desirable minimum flow of fresh water to the Caloosahatchee Estuary to balance salinity levels and maintain the health of the estuary. During the rainy season, the reservoir will capture and store excess stormwater runoff and regulatory releases from Lake Okeechobee, helping to prevent excessive freshwater flows to the estuary.
“This project is crucial to the District’s plan to restore the health of the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary,” said SFWMD Governing Board Member Mitch Hutchcraft.
Contractors have been doing preliminary site work for reservoir construction for the last several months. The work includes:
  • Demolishing existing agricultural features across the 10,000-acre reservoir site.
  • Constructing seven above-ground earth mounds to support future structures.
  • Moving approximately 1.8 million cubic yards of fill for the mounds.
  • Preparing the foundation to build a 16-mile dam surrounding the reservoir.
Earlier this month, the Governing Board also awarded a contract to build a pump station necessary for the operation of the reservoir.
The first phase of the reservoir project is expected to be completed by February 2021, and the District is working to expedite construction of the rest of the project.

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