News Cast for October 15th:
Manuel Navarro’s statement to police was read into evidence as his 2nd degree murder trial continued Tuesday afternoon. Navarro admitted he had done wrong by cutting his roommate 29 year old Francisco Soto, but added he only did it because Soto was assaulting him and would have beaten him up. A 4 inch knife was used in the assault in a residence on North West 16th Avenue last August 31st. Two nearby witnesses, asleep, said they didn’t hear anything until they were awoken by a knock on their bedroom door by Navarro. Detective Javier Gonzales read Navarro’s statement to the jury. The jury is expected to begin deliberations around midday today.
90 marijuana plants, 150 pounds of the drug, a total value of 270 thousand dollars, were seized Monday at 2124 North West 252nd Street. Charged was 50 year old Alexis Horta on charges of trafficking in marijuana, possession of a structure known to traffic in drugs, and theft of electrical services.
A drug case in Four Seasons thrown out of court for violation of the civil rights against illegal search and seizure. Charges against 57 year old Edward and 43 year old Mary Hamilton were also dropped. There was also a civil case where the sheriff was trying to take their home. Circuit Judge Sherwood Bauer found the search warrant issued did not include enough probable cause. He noted it didn’t mention information where the drugs were located, where they were purchased, where on the property the transaction took place, or further details.
Sports Cast for October 15th:
Bryan Pinon had two goals to lead Yearling to a hard fought 2-0 victory at Osceola, sweeping the season series with their rival school, and keeping Yearling undefeated.
Pinon scored on a penalty kick in the first half and then received an assist from Christian Isidro when the Warriors made a mistake on a goal kick in the first half. Pinon says the team and his school were very excited. Goal keeper Bobby Gomez had his second straight shutout against Osceola. He faced very few shots on net in the match. Glades Day defeated Moore Haven 3-1 in high school girls’ volleyball.
OYFL teams took three of five games against the Central Florida Saints on Saturday to finish the regular season. The flag team fell 21-20. John White had two touchdowns, the mighty mites prevailed 26-18 as Aundre Baker had three touchdowns. The senior team fell 26-7, the Pee Wee won a blowout 36-0 and the juniors won 32-7 as Veyon Washington had three touchdowns.
On the sports schedule today.
Yearling volleyball and soccer at Sebastian Middle 4:30 pm
PECAS at Clewiston Middle 5 pm. Boys’ golf district tournament at PGA 9 am.
Rooney Demands Answers on Ebola; Calls for Swift Action
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Tom Rooney (FL-17) today sent a letter to President Obama and Cabinet officials demanding answers on the United States’ response to the Ebola Virus, and called on the President to work with Congress to take further action to stop the spread of the disease.
“The United States now faces two very different but grave national security threats – the spread of Ebola from West Africa and the growth of ISIS in the Middle East,” Rooney said. “President Obama should present comprehensive response plans and authorization requests to combat these crises to Congress and the American people, and we should return to DC promptly to debate and vote on them.
“My constituents are afraid, and few have confidence that the Administration’s response has been sufficient. What’s the next step to prevent exposing Americans to the disease? Why isn’t the Administration at least restricting tourist travel to and from Ebola-stricken countries? How do we account for individuals that aren’t stopped for screening or pass airport screening procedures because they’re not yet exhibiting symptoms? No one wants to stop humanitarian and medical assistance from reaching West Africa, but I fail to see any national security or humanitarian reason for allowing high-risk individuals – like Mr. Duncan – to enter our country for purely tourist reasons while the disease is uncontained.”
In a letter to President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden, Rooney asked for a justification on the approval of B-2 tourist visas for individuals from countries hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak. Rooney also asked how each agency is responding to the approximately 21-day gap between when individuals contract the virus and when they begin to show symptoms, particularly as it pertains to individuals entering the United States from West Africa.
“Rather than issuing an outright refusal on further travel restrictions to and from West Africa, the U.S. should explore every feasible and available option to restrict all non-essential travel,” Rooney wrote.
U.S. Sugar Contributed $10,000 for Clewiston High School’s Athletic Programs
Clewiston, FL ––October 13, 2014–U.S. Sugar contributed $10,000 to Clewiston High School’s Athletic Programs to help provide equipment, supplies and facilities needed for Clewiston High School to maintain its competiveness in varsity athletics.
“Student athletes are an important part of our schools and our communities, and U.S. Sugar is proud to help support their efforts both in school and on the playing field,” said Judy Sanchez, senior director of corporate communications and public affairs.
“Our students and our school benefit in many positive ways from U.S. Sugar’s contributions,” said Clewiston High School Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Pete Walker. “The support from U.S. Sugar is dispersed throughout our athletic department, funding the needs of many programs.”
Walker said that meeting financial needs is always a challenge in running a school’s athletic programs, but it is particularly true in a small county like Hendry, where monies received through traditional means are often not sufficient.
“We trust that we will continue to warrant the support that has been afforded us by U.S. Sugar Corporation for so many years,” Walker said.
Sanchez said that U.S. Sugar’s community involvement has long centered on the area’s students, with the company playing an active role in support of youth, school and recreational activities in the Lake Okeechobee region.
Celebrate My Drive The Focus At Recent Kiwanis Meeting
Maurisa Tremain, from Gretchen Robertson’s State Farm office was a guest at a recent Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee meeting promoting State Farm’s national Celebrate My Drive campaign in which schools and communities compete for grant dollars while promoting safe driving awareness for teen drivers. This is the second year that Gretchen Robertson’s State Farm Office has participated in the program.
Along with promoting safe driving tips and recruiting the community to the Celebrate my Drive website, Tremain will visit the High School and Freshman Campus to promote safe driving.
The campaign ends October 24th. To make your commitment go to celebratemydrive.com. The grand prize is a community concert from The Band Perry and a $100,000 grant. Ninety $25,000 will also be awarded.
News Cast for October 14th:
Close to 6 hundred Okeechobee 4th graders took part in Ag Venture last year at the Ag Civic Center the County Commission agreed to let the Ag Center host the event again in November. Volunteer Mariah Anuez says the facility has been great for this event.
Among arrests today, 37 year old Lenton Bloodsaw of Moore Haven was charged with battery on a jail guard at the Glades County jail, allegedly taking a swing at him last week.
30 year old Aysia Browdy was charged with credit card fraud, allegedly skimming the credit card number from a customer at Okeechobee fast food restaurants and then using the numbers on three occasions to purchase 370 dollars in various merchandise.
Martin county deputies are looking for a robber of the Town and country laundry mat on Lincoln Street which occurred last Wednesday night at 8:20 pm. A 55 year old female was alone working in the laundry mat and was robbed of 8 hundred and 50 dollars at knife point.
Okeechobee deputies are investigating the disappearance of two valuable Great Pyrenees dogs, one male and one female from a home in the 34 thousand block of North West 21st Avenue, both went missing Friday.
A Glades County woman says her two golden retriever dogs saved her life after a fall at her home. 76 year old Judy Muhe broke her shoulder and hit her head when she fell in the kitchen. She lives by herself and has Parkinson’s disease. She drifted in and out of consciousness for two days and her dogs lied by her in the kitchen and kept her warm. A neighbor went to check on her and found her in the kitchen area.
Sports Cast for October 14th:
Osceola won a season sweep over Yearling in volleyball as they rallied from a 20-9 deficit in the first game to defeat the Bulls 25-22 and 15-13.
Aubrie Hataway scored 11 straight service points in the first game to get the Warriors back into the match.
Coach Lauren Throop was pleased with how her team responded from an early deficit. Two kills and an ace by Ashley Snyder gave the Warriors the first game and they controlled the second game for the most part. Snyder admits the team gets nervous when it plays at Yearling The win also insured Osceola of a winning season this year.
Yearling coach Kellyann Campbell said her girls played at their highest level of the year in the opening game but couldn’t bounce back after the comeback.
On the sports schedule today
OHS swim meet vs Centennial for senior night 5:15 pm
Yearling volleyball at Glades Day 4:30 pm
PECS at West Glades 4:30 pm
Clewiston at Moore haven volleyball at 7 pm
Lady Brahman golf district tournament at Sail Fish Point CC 10 am
OHS bowling at Treasure Coast 3:30 pm
OHS volleyball hosts Lake Placid for senior night 5/6:30 pm
News Cast for October 13th:
Experts are reminding Floridians to be on alert as October has been a common month for major storms. It has now been nine years since Florida has been touched by a major hurricane. Daniel Nyquist with Fema says the concept of out of sign and out of mind can make people forget about preparedness, now is a good time to evaluate your supplies and emergency plans.
A 34 year old Indiantown man was charged with firing a gun into a home in Booker Park. Ferrall Singleton hit 30 year old Andrew Cunningham in the shoulder as he stood by his front door. Singleton faces two felony charges.
In the courts, 66 year old William Paull of Okeechobee received 18 months in prison for child abuse. A charge of lewd and lascivious touching was dropped in the case. He was accused by the child’s grandmother of a lewd act.
Among arrests 42 year old Jacob Eighner of Moore Haven was charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a deputy in Glades County.
He allegedly walked off from a traffic stop on Avenue K in Moore Haven for a broken tail light and armed himself with a five foot long bamboo stick and a metal chair and told the deputy to leave his property.
Sports Cast for October 13th:
Bubba Fludd rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns to lead Okeechobee to a 20-14 victory over Port St. Lucie on Friday to celebrate homecoming.
Jarrett Mills added two field goals of 34 and 37 yards to account for Okeechobee’s scoring.
Port St. Lucie scored on a blocked punt in the Brahman end zone and a nine yard pass from QB Jeremy Russell to Christian Goodwin.
Okeechobee held the Jaguars to just 94 yards in offense.
Brahman Coach Chris Branham says Fludd sparked the team when he entered into the game in the second quarter.
Jajuan Cherry had an interception return of 45 yardsa dn added 50 yards in offense for Okeechobee. He said the coaches have emphasized doing your assignments and the team hasn’t gotten discouraged by a slow start.
Drayton Billie added 57 yards rushing for Okeechobee as Okeechobee put up 2 hundred and 81 yards in offense. Fludd says he sees light at the end of the tunnel for the Brahmans.
This week the Brahmans host South Fork for senior night in another key district matchup.
Defendant Pleads Guilty for Role in Brutal Sex Trafficking Ring
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2014
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer for the Southern District of Florida and Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division announced today that Rafael Alberto Cadena-Sosa pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiracy and one count of holding a person in involuntary servitude. Cadena-Sosa faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. Sentencing is scheduled to occur on Jan. 27, 2015, before United States District Judge Jose Martinez. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the parties will recommend the maximum sentence of 15 years and over $1.26 million in restitution to the victims.
Cadena-Sosa, a 45 year-old Mexican national, pleaded guilty to holding the victim, a young, undocumented Mexican national, in involuntary servitude from 1996 to 1997, using beatings, rapes, threats of harm toward the victim and her family and threats of arrest to compel her to engage in prostitution to pay off a smuggling debt. Cadena-Sosa also pleaded guilty to conspiring with other members of the Cadena organization to commit additional offenses in connection with the scheme.
Sixteen defendants were charged in a superseding indictment filed in 1998. Cadena-Sosa was arrested in Mexico and extradited to the United States in November 2013. Four other family members have been convicted, including Cadena-Sosa’s uncle, Rogerio Cadena, who pleaded guilty in 1999 and was sentenced to 15 years; Cadena-Sosa’s brother, Abel Cadena-Sosa, who was convicted in Mexico and sentenced to 24 years, and two other brothers, Hugo and Juan Luis Cadena-Sosa, who pleaded guilty 2002 and 2008, and were sentenced to 5 years and 15 years, respectively. Six other defendants have pleaded guilty in federal court in connection with the scheme, and one was convicted in state court for a murder outside a Cadena-run brothel.
According to court records, the defendant and other members of the Cadena organization recruited young women and girls, some as young as fourteen, in Veracruz, Mexico, and lured them to the United States on false promises of legitimate jobs. The defendants then smuggled the victims into the United States, imposed heavy smuggling debts, and compelled them into prostitution for twelve hours a day, six days a week, using brutal assaults, rapes and threats to control the victims and punish those who attempted to escape.
“Undoubtedly, sex trafficking is one the most serious crimes prosecuted by our Office and the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Ferrer. “The heinous acts committed against these young women and girls by the Cadena organization simply cannot be tolerated, and we will continue to identify, arrest and prosecute those who seek to profit at the expense of the suffering of others. The victims here are survivors and today’s plea represents one more step towards closure in a case that has taken them down a long road to justice.”
“No human being should have to endure the atrocities these young women and girls suffered at the hands of the Cadena organization,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Moran. “These violations of the victims’ individual rights and freedom are intolerable in a nation founded on rights, liberty, and the rule of law. The Department of Justice will continue in its relentless efforts to bring human traffickers to justice and restore the rights and dignity of the courageous survivors of this crime.”
“Rafael Alberto Cadena-Sosa is a brutal criminal who threatened and coerced young victims into prostitution to pay off smuggling debts,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge George L. Pira of the FBI’s Miami Office. “He is now behind bars in large part due to the diligence and dedication of our many law enforcement partners who helped bring this case to justice.”
U.S. Attorney Ferrer and Acting Assistant Attorney General Moran commended the collaborative efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the investigation and prosecution, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, West Palm Beach Police Department, Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Pierce Police Department, Avon Park Police Department, Boynton Beach Police Department and Lee County Sheriff’s Office. They also thanked the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs for its assistance with the extradition. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Adam McMichael and Trial Attorney Matthew Grady of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
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 http://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 http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.
Commissioner Putnam Announces 2015 Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame Honorees
Program Recognizes Contributions to Agriculture in Florida
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation announced today six honorees who will be inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame for 2015. These individuals have made outstanding contributions to Florida’s agriculture industry and mentored future leaders in this field.
“Each of these men left an indelible mark on the history of Florida agriculture,” Commissioner Putnam said. “Not only are they leaders in their respective fields, but they’ve also influenced agriculture industries in other parts of the world. I’m proud to honor these Floridians for their contributions.”
The honorees are:
- Peyton (Pat) Turner Wilson of Frostproof was president of the Latt Maxcy Corporation and owner of Crooked Lake Ranch for more than three decades. The well-known citrus grower and cattle rancher was a two-term president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the National Cattlemen’s Association, among many other boards and associations. He was the largest Polled Hereford cattle breeder in Florida. As Chairman of the Board of Citizen’s Bank and Trust in Polk County for almost four decades, he assisted many agricultural business owners. He also volunteered his time for FFA and 4-H to help the younger generation prepare for the challenges facing farmers of the future. He also served his country in the United States Navy during World War II. He was a leader and role model until his death in 2008.
- Alvin Warnick of Gainesville is a leading reproductive physiologist at the University of Florida who transformed the cattle industry through his research on reproduction and by implementing new breeding techniques. He co-authored three books and more than 300 scientific publications on scientific research to improve beef cattle in Florida and throughout Central and South America. From 1942-45, he served the country with the United Stated Air Force. He became a professor at the University of Florida in 1953 and was named a Professor Emeritus in 1990 after teaching there for almost four decades. In his 90s, he is still active at the university and continues to educate the next generation of Florida cattle ranchers.
- Robert Blake Whisenant of Parrish is a pioneer of Florida agriculture. He was the first to use Integrated Pest Management, among the first to utilize micro-irrigation and has worked with Mobile Irrigation Labs to improve irrigation techniques. He is the inventor of the Earthbox, a self-contained system for growing almost any crop with less water and less impact on the environment. The system has spread across the globe, where international organizations use the Earthbox to provide an effective way to teach families how to grow nutritious food with minimal input. The box has been used in Italy with commercial farmers and in Ghana as a research project with the World Food Bank. He is committed to conservation, and his farm is used as a regular tour stop for members of the public, politicians, environmentalists and regulators to observe soil and water conservation practices and research.
- Edward D. Duda, Ferdinand S. Duda and Joseph A. Duda of Oviedo represent their family’s collective ownership in the agriculture and real estate business known as A. Duda & Sons as President, CEO and Chairman of the Board, respectively. The company was one of the first to minimize the use of pesticides, including crop rotation and field flooding. Best management practices implemented include micro-jet irrigation and water retention systems to conserve and reuse water. The three men have been involved in dozens of boards and associations over five decades. During their leadership, the company continued to diversify its agriculture commodities and established a celery breeding program that is considered the world’s largest and most prolific.
The award winners will be honored at next year’s Ag Hall of Fame Dinner. For tickets, or more information about the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame, go to http://floridaaghalloffame.org/category/2015/. For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services First State Agency to Hire Former Foster Youth As Part of Legislative Pilot Program
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services First State Agency to Hire Former Foster Youth As Part of Legislative Pilot Program
Six Young Adults Who Aged Out of Foster Care Employed in Tallahassee
Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has hired six young adults who have aged out of Florida’s foster care system as part of a pilot program created by the Florida Legislature.
“We’re proud to offer these bright, young ladies and gentlemen the opportunity to explore a career in public service at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
The program was developed as a priority of Rep. Ben Albritton, who worked with the Florida Guardian ad Litem program, the Department of Children and Families and other legislators to implement and fund the pilot.
“I am so very thrilled that FDACS has again proven to be a dependable, thoughtful partner in the goal of supporting our current and previous foster kids,” said Rep. Albritton. “My friend Commissioner Putnam and his entire staff have shown that they aren’t going to just ‘talk the talk’ about enhancing foster kids’ futures, they have enthusiastically and without hesitation ‘walked the walk!’”
Former foster youth often struggle to find entry-level employment due to lack of experience, education, or stability. The state’s Guardian ad Litem program, which provides advocates for children in foster care, partnered with Rep. Albritton to help place former foster youth in state government jobs.
“We appreciate Rep. Albritton’s enthusiasm and commitment to make a real difference in the lives of youth who have aged out of foster care,” said Alan Abramowitz, director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem program. “This partnership shows that if we all work together, we can provide each of these young adults with a path to a successful future.”
The pilot is in coordination with the state’s new “It Can Be Done” outreach campaign, which seeks to open career opportunities for former foster youth and is managed by the Department of Children and Families. It was developed in partnership with former and current foster youth who hope to engage local businesses, organizations and communities to play a pivotal role in empowering foster youth to achieve the level of success we hope for all of our children.
“The professional skills these young adults are learning on the job will pave the way for successful futures,” said DCF Interim Secretary Mike Carroll. “We thank Commissioner Putnam, his department and the Legislature for giving these young people the opportunity to expand their horizons and discover ‘it can be done.’”
The new employees are:
- Brian Williams, telecommunications specialist in the Office of Agriculture Technology Services
- Kenisha Anthony, clerk specialist for the Florida Forest Service
- Sacha Koval, lab tech in Agriculture Environmental Services
- John Glen Fair, program specialist in Food, Nutrition and Wellness
- Samantha Rogers, marketing specialist in the Division of Marketing
- Julia Schaffer, clerk specialist in the Office of the General Counsel
For more information on the “It Can Be Done” campaign, visit MyFLFamilies.com/itCANbedone.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.
News Cast for October 10th:
County commissioners imposed a 60 day moratorium on impact fees so they can develop a policy to eliminate the fees and consider how to repay almost 1.6 million dollars to the community. They also considered spending down the landfill trust fund on projects since Waste Management in on record they have the insurance to cover costs of closing the facility. They will ask the state legislative delegation to support a change in the sheriff’s budget appeal process so that administrative hearing officers and not the cabinet would decide the merits of an appeal. They also request the state to clarify who should be legally responsible to operate the county jail if the sheriff is appointed chief corrections officer.
They also will seek grants for storm water and drainage and also for a hurricane shelter at the Ag Civic Center. The Youth Livestock Show also indicated they would like a contract with the county and not the fair board to operate their program in March. The county is also interested in considering a purchase of 40 acres owned by the Okeechobee Utiltiy Authority for use in the east west flowage canal project.
A 1 million dollar bond was set against 46 year old Conrad Thitchener, extradited back to Okeechobee from Poughkeepsie New York to face six felony charges including rape.
Two Okeechobee men were charged with cocaine counts for allegedly selling crack near Alderman Park, 25 year old Earl Ryan and 51 year old Gilbert Pickens.
The Kiwanis Club helped the Okeechobee pregnancy center raise 15 hundred dollars at their annual baby shower. Director Donna Summerall said they are a free service which assists young mothers with their pregnancies.
Sports Cast for October 10th:
Yearling played a stifling defense and shut out Osceola 3-0 in a battle of unbeaten soccer teams Thursday at Yearling middle school. Osceola didn’t get many good shots on net by the Bulls defense. Coach Erick Rios said his team had confidence it could win and that was a big factor in the match. David Solarzano said they passed the ball well and tried to keep Osceola off balance. He said the win meant a lot to the team. The two squads meet in a rematch on Monday afternoon at Osceola Middle School.
The Lady Brahman swim teams split a tri match as they defeated John Carroll but fell to South Fork this week. The boys’ team swept defeating both the Rams and Bulldogs. Nathanael Bean, Michael Muros and Erik Gaitan won races for the boys.
The homecoming football game is tonight as the Brahmans host Port St. Lucie, the Jaguars come in at (0-4) Okeechobee is (1-4)
On the sports schedule this weekend, Moore Haven travels to First Baptist of Naples at 7:30 pm. OHS cross country teams compete at a meet at Disney on Saturday. OYFL teams will host the Central Florida Saints for five games on Saturday at Brahman Stadium.