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News Cast 1/22

News Cast for January 22nd:

The Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters was the place to be Friday. The Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony there just after noon with many Okeechobee residents and local leaders coming to visit and take part in the event. Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters owner Mike Kraus says the goal of his business is to be family oriented and local oriented. The store was established in 1983 and Kraus’s partner bought the building and the property ten years ago and re-opened last September after he and his partner took over the business. There was a grand opening on Saturday.

Kraus 1

Kraus 2

Nearly two dozen people are in jail in Highlands County, thanks to “Operation Dealer Fold.” Highlands County Sheriff’s officials say 23 people have been arrested since January 11th for possession of or dealing methamphetamine and/or other opioids. Spokesperson Scott Dressel says he hopes these arrests make a statement. Dressel says the arrests were the results of months of video surveillance and undercover work by Highlands County Narcotics officers and officers from the DEA’s West Palm Beach office and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office.

Dressel-Drug Arrests 1

Dressel-Drug Arrests 2

An Arcadia woman is in serious condition after a traffic accident Thursday morning. Florida Highway Patrol investigators say 28 year old Cecelia Montero had stopped her Lincoln Continental at a stop sign at an intersection on Routes 761 and 17 in Desoto County and began to drift into the opposite lane when she didn’t see an oncoming vehicle. The oncoming vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, struck Montero’s car on the left side. Montero was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment. The Jeep driver, Jenna Lynn Shackleford, also of Arcadia, was not injured.

On the arrest report:

24 year old Jer’Marcus Bradley of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for disorderly conduct. His bond is set at $1000.00.

29 year old Matthew Neil Herndon of Loxahatchee was arrested for failure to appear in court on charges of driving on a suspended license. His bond is set at $1000.00.


News Cast 1/19

News Cast for January 19th:

Okeechobee County School Board Representatives gave the green light in their meeting this week to apply for grants for education of migratory and neglected and delinquent students. These grants, according to Superintendent Ken Kenworthy, have been quite successful over the years, specifically when it comes to graduation rates of these students. Kenworthy says applying for the grants is a mere formality for the most part. Kenworthy says these grants will be in the neighborhood of $150,000.00 to $500,000.00.

Kenworthy-Grants 1

Kenworthy-Grants 2

Okeechobee County will be striking a pose tomorrow afternoon. The Chamber of Commerce will be holding their first annual “Fashionable Afternoon With The Chamber.” This fashion show will feature twenty male and female models to help promote several businesses in the area. Chamber Executive Director Paulette Wise says this event will help pave the way for future events. Ron Hayes, an original voice of WOKC and current director of the community theater, will be the emcee of the event. It will take place at Silver Palms Resort on the 41 hundred block of 441 South and it will begin at 4pm. The entry fee is $20.00. Some businesses represented include Hope Chest, Beautiful Mess and Andrea Noelle.

Wise-Fashion Show 1

Wise-Fashion Show 2

Okeechobee County Firefighters were in action very early yesterday morning. Crews were called to the 86 hundred block of North Highway 441 just after 2:30 am for a fire on a semi-truck. Investigators say the blaze was contained mostly to the trailer itself which contained vegetables and the driver noticed sparks flying from his rear tires on the driver’s side, causing the driver pulled over and his trailer then caught fire. Firefighters arrived just before 3 am and used nearly 25 hundred gallons of water to extinguish the blaze. Crews needed about 10 to 15 minutes to get the blaze under control with no one getting hurt. The tires, trailer and the vegetables in the trailer were all destroyed.  Total damage is estimated to be about $50,000.00. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

On the arrest report:

37 year old Zachary Wayne Yocum of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on an underage girl. His bond is set at $200,000.00.

48 year old Drexel Kennon Williams of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop. His bond has not been set.

37 year old Nicholas William O’ Rourke of Okeechobee was arrested for an out of county arrest warrant for failure to appear in court on previous charges. He was released to Port St. Lucie authorities’ custody.

24 year old Bryan Lee Walburn of Okeechobee was arrested for knowingly driving on a suspended license. He was released after posting a $250.00 bond.

27 year old Alanda Hunsinger of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to appear in court on felony burglary and criminal mischief charges. She’s being held without bond.

39 year old Armando Baltazar of Pahokee was arrested for burglary and assault and battery. He’s being held on a $100,000.00 bond.

62 year old Peter Leyva of Lorida was arrested for two counts of cruelty to animals. He was released after posting bond.

35 year old Mose Tolliver the Third was arrested for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.


News Cast 1/18

News Cast for January 18th:

Okeechobee City Councilmembers Tuesday night gave the okay to the police department to enter into an agreement with an outside company for door security equipment for several doors in the police department building. Police Chief Bob Peterson says these doors will have electronic locks on them and they can be opened via a computer chip attached to an ID card that employees would receive, much like the doors of a federal building. Peterson says the company that will be installing this equipment is called Security 101 out of Coral Springs. Peterson says there will also be a badging printer provided to make the ID cards. In all, the equipment will cost just over $16,000.00.

Councilmembers also approved a request by the County Fire Department for a Boot Drive at the main intersection of routes 70 and 441 on February 3rd and 4th to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and approved a request by the Okeechobee Christian Academy to temporarily close SE 2nd Avenue from SE 6th Street to SE 7th Street for a Field Day.

In an effort to save lives from those who are victims of the opioid epidemic, some officers of the Florida Highway Patrol are now being equipped with NARCAN to help those who are overdosing on some opioid such as cocaine. When NARCAN is given, it usually takes seconds to revive an overdose victim. Officers from other police and sheriff’s departments in the state have also been recently equipped with NARCAN. Major Kevin McGinley of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department is one of them and he says while NARCAN can save the life of someone who has overdosed, it’s not always a definite savior. McGinley says NARCAN will have no effect on someone who is not overdosing on an opioid.

On the arrest report:

26 year old Ryan Matthew Sheldon of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation when the drug THC was found in his urine. He’s being held without bond.

47 year old Dennis Wayne Maynor of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. He was released after posting a $1000.00 bond.

41 year old John David Meara of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.

39 year old Armando Baltazar of Pahokee was arrested for violating his pre-trial release for domestic violence charges. He’s being held without bond.

29 year old Benjamin Donald Dunnam of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to appear in court for burglary and petty theft charges. He’s being held without bond.

 


SFWMD Continues to Lead with Science Under Gov. Rick Scott’s Restoration Strategies Plan

SFWMD Continues to Lead with Science Under Gov. Rick Scott’s Restoration Strategies Plan

District begins process of updating Science Plan to keep Gov. Scott’s ambitious initiative to restore Everglades water quality on track

West Palm Beach, FL – The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) prides itself on following the science to get the water right. As evidence of that, SFWMD staff briefed the public and Water Resources Analysis Coalition during its January meeting on its efforts to update a Science Plan that is a crucial component of Gov. Rick Scott’s Restoration Strategies Plan to restore the water quality of the Everglades.

“Our latest data shows that Gov. Scott’s plan is working, as the District’s efforts have yielded tremendous improvements to Everglades water quality,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Dan O’Keefe. “Restoration Strategies was built on sound science, and these results are proof. By updating the research projects laid out in this Science Plan, the SFWMD is keeping Restoration Strategies current and on the right path to further progress.”

About Gov. Scott’s Restoration Strategies Plan

To fully meet water quality standards for the Everglades, SFWMD has built and will build additional projects as identified in the Restoration Strategies Plan. Based on detailed scientific and technical collaboration between the State of Florida and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, projects in the plan include 6,500 acres of Stormwater Treatment Area (STAs) expansions and 116,000 acre-feet of water storage through construction of three flow equalization basins (FEBs).

Construction began in 2016 on a 4,700-acre expansion of Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West (STA-1 West) in Palm Beach County, which is expected to be completed by December 2018. A second planned expansion of STA-1 West will add another 1,800 acres of treatment capacity, for a total expansion of 6,500 acres. STAs are filled with a mixture of emergent aquatic vegetation, such as cattail, bulrush and spike rush, and submerged aquatic vegetation, such as hydrilla and southern naiad. These wetland plants absorb phosphorus for their own growth and store it in their roots, stems and leaves. Even after the plants die, sediments in the STAs retain phosphorus from the decaying plant matter.

The A-1 FEB in Palm Beach County – the largest of the three basins – has been a resounding success since construction was completed in June 2015. The L-8 FEB in Palm Beach County recently began operating in June  2017 and aided the District during Hurricane Irma, as well as other rainfall events during the year. FEBs are crucial to Gov. Scott’s plan because they provide a steady flow of water to the STAs, helping to maintain water levels needed for plants to achieve optimal water quality treatment performance.

About the Science Plan

More than 35 SFWMD scientists and engineers drafted the Science Plan in coordination with technical representatives from several state and federal agencies. The Science Plan was developed to identify studies that investigate the critical factors that collectively influence ultralow treatment performance and phosphorus reduction in the STAs.

Results from Science Plan studies are being used in the design and operation of these ongoing water quality projects aimed at achieving water quality standards for the Everglades. Data and information gathered from the studies will also be incorporated into the development and refinement of SFWMD’s modeling tools.

The Science Plan was originally published in June 2013, and as SFWMD staff conveyed to the Analysis Coalition, work is already underway to update it by the summer of 2018. Updates to the research work being conducted as a part of the Science Plan will be reported in the annual South Florida Environmental Report (SFER).

Learn more about SFWMD’s Restoration Strategies Science Plan

Learn more about Gov. Rick Scott’s Restoration Strategies Plan

Learn more about the science and data that goes into all SFWMD water management decisions


News Cast 1/17

News Cast for January 17th:

The Okeechobee City Council met last night for the first time in 2018 and the meeting began with an award presentation to their leader. Mayor Dowling Watford received an award for his 35 years of longevity service to the city. Watford says he was “very humbled” by this award and understands the responsibility that goes with that and he’s proud to represent the city. While he’s been serving on the council since 1981, with a two year break in between then and now, Watford’s political career began long before that. Watford says growing up in Okeechobee, politics was a constant topic of conversation in his home and that got him ready for a career in that field.

Award-Watford 1

Award-Watford 2

Thanks to an approval by the city councilmembers at last night’s meeting, there will soon be a new sculpture display in Park 6. Councilmembers approved the request for a new butterfly sculpture display in the Butterfly Garden of the park. County Arts and Culture Director Bridgette Waldau says Okeechobee Main Street and Public Works, will begin to build the display in about two weeks. Waldau says this display will be more than just for aesthetic beauty. Waldau also hopes that the display will yield economic results too by attracting people to businesses in the area. Councilmembers also approved the creation of a mural of Chief Osceola on the Osceola Building but that also necessitated a letter of approval from the Seminole tribe.

Butterfly Display-Waldau

Okeechobee City Councilmembers approved an ordinance approving the locating of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Councilmembers approved it by a slim 3 to 2 vote, with Mayor Dowling Watford and Councilmember Mike O’Connor being the dissenting votes. Watford says he was surprised over the fact no one from the public spoke about this controversial subject, considering there was a public hearing on it. Watford voted against it mainly because local government has no way to control these dispensaries as put forth by the state government.

Marijuana Dispensaries 1

Marijuana Dispensaries 2

Okeechobee County Firefighters had their hands full with a couple of fires on Monday. Crews were first called to the 21 hundred block of SW 22nd Circle just before noon for a small kitchen fire where the homeowner was awakened by the smoke detector. Crews arrived and found the stove had been turned on and it apparently heated the above microwave and a cutting board nearby and that ignited the flames. Crews got it under control in about 25 minutes with no one getting hurt. Total damage, including smoke, is estimated to be about $5000.00.

Firefighters were later called to a business the 23 hundred block of south 441 for a smoldering blaze in a ceiling by a florescent light fixture. Crews arrived shortly before 7pm and secured the power before using water from an extinguisher to cool off the hot spots and removed the ceiling panel and put out the burning insulation. The fire was under control in about an hour with no one getting hurt. Total damage is estimated at around $6000.00. Both fires are under investigation.

On the arrest report:

19 year old Jordan Lee Cutler of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for two counts violating probation. He’s being held without bond.

33 year old Benjamin Leyva of Okeechobee was arrested for aggravated battery on a pregnant woman during a domestic dispute. His bond is set at $25,000.00.

46 year old Frank James Stalans of Okeechobee was arrested for DUI and causing an accident with injury and leaving the scene of the accident. His bond is set at $6000.00.

45 year old Victor Lawrence Perdue of Okeechobee, a sex offender, was arrested for loitering at Kiwanis Park. His bond is set at $500.00.

26 year old Jonathan Harris Sills of Okeechobee was arrested for battery on his girlfriend after a domestic dispute. He was released after posting bond.

56 year old Miles Alexander Mason Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to appear in court on charges of trespassing. He was released after posting bond.

41 year old Franklin Heath Everhart of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license and having knowledge of it. He was released after posting a $250.00 bond.

31 year old Patrick Robert Youngclaus was arrested for petty theft at Wal-Mart. He was released after posting a $500.00 bond.


News Cast 1/16

News Cast for January 16th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners last week got to hear a presentation by liaisons from FEMA and the County Emergency Management Center, regarding developing a program here called The Long Term Recovery Group. This is group is designed to help take care of unmet needs for those who suffered loss and damages from Hurricane Irma and are not able to get any help from FEMA and/or any kind of insurance. FEMA volunteer liaison Teresa Ranciattovili says this developing group is open to anyone. This is a group that actually got its start after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and there are currently similar groups in Immokalee and Hendry County.

Last week, Okeechobee County residents held two separate ceremonies honoring an Apopka fisherman who was found dead in Lake Okeechobee last week. Residents honored 38 year old Nik Kayler in a candlelight vigil at Scott Driver Park Wednesday night and a “Light Up the Dike” ceremony at Lake Okeechobee Dike Sunday night. Kayler’s half-brother Anthony Llanos, says both ceremonies were a testament to the kind of person Kayler was. Kayler’s body was found Wednesday morning near the Clewiston Water Tower in Lake Okeechobee following a week long search after his boat crashed an capsized during a fishing tournament. An autopsy is pending.

A Moore Haven man is in serious condition following a vehicle accident Friday in Hendry County. Florida Highway Patrol investigators say 77 year old John Hollingsworth was driving a Dodge Durango west on Route 27 when for an unknown reason, he drifted onto the median, crossed it and into the opposite lane, right into the path of an oncoming Volvo sedan, hitting it on the side. The collision caused a rupture in the Volvo’s fuel tank and propelled Hollingsworth’s car onto the median where it overturned. Hollingsworth was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment while the Volvo driver was not injured. The accident is under investigation.

On the arrest report:

30 year old Harrison George Eaton of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for providing false information to an officer. He’s being held on a $1000.00 bond.

68 year old Cheryl Thompson Starbuck of Okeechobee was arrested for DUI after she was causing a disturbance near a residence. Her bond has not been set.

29 year old Esteban Arellano of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of marijuana and introducing it into a detention facility and failure to appear in court on previous charges of driving without a license. He’s being held on a $5750.00 bond.

18 year old Zachary Seth Gopher of Okeechobee was arrested for disorderly conduct at a convenience store. He’s being held on a $250.00 bond.

29 year old Freddy Lee Mott the Third of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to appear in court on charges of driving on a suspended license. He’s being held on a $6000.00 bond.


News Cast 1/15

News Cast for January 15th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners gave the green light Thursday to enter into an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for the design and construction of the resurfacing of Highway 68, otherwise known as Micco Bluff, from Kissimmee Cattle Company all the way to the Dead End. County Engineer John Howle says the project will take about two years to complete but with regard to traffic there, it shouldn’t be a great concern. The project will cost just over 2.6 million dollars to complete.

John Howle-Micco Bluff Resurfacing

With the unseasonably cold temperatures we’ve had recently and the forecast showing similarly cold temperatures coming up this week, officials from US Sugar and their farmers are making preparations to limit impact on the crops. Public Affairs Director Judy Sanchez says they are bringing up the water levels in the canals around the sweet corn, sugarcane and citrus as well as other crops. Sanchez says another tactic they use is flying a helicopter over the crops, mainly the sweet corn. While the temperatures for this week will not be as cold as earlier this month, there are at least one or two nights where it’s forecast to get down to as low as 32 degrees.

Sanchez-US Sugar

Recently, the residents of Sebring got to witness a real life hero in action. Sgt. Jeff Fennell of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Department was awakened from his home by his neighbor during the early morning hours of December 29th because of a fire at a home nearby where the occupant was and 82 year old man who could not walk and confined to a mobility scooter. Fennell ran into the burning house and got the man out safely with no injuries. Fennell says while people did call him a hero after that, it’s not something he’s comfortable with. Fennell was a firefighter for eight years before joining the sheriff’s department.

On the arrest report:

19 year old Gabrielle Doctor of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for defrauding a pawnbroker. She was released after posting a $2500.00 bond.

26 year old Nikki Lynne Taylor of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. She was released after posting a $2500.00 bond.

26 year old Justin Lee Jarriel of Okeechobee was arrested for dealing in stolen property and providing false information to a pawnbroker. He’s being held on a $20,000.00 bond.

27 year old Bryan Daniel Corwin of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to appear in court on charges of resisting arrest. He’s being held without bond.


News Cast 1/12

News Cast for January 12th:

A lot of Okeechobee County residents were in attendance yesterday for the first County Commissioners meeting of 2018. People who live near the intersection of SE 32nd Street and SE 18th Terrace voiced their concerns over the planning board considering making the property a commercial area from its previous distinction as “planned development.” Many spoke directly to the commissioners in the public hearing, asking them to deny the allowance of the property becoming a commercial property, receiving applause after they were finished speaking. One resident, Dean Irvin, says the big issue is traffic. Commissioners voted against the property becoming a commercial area by a vote of 3 to 2. Commissioner Bradley Goodbread was one of the dissenting votes.

Property 1

Property 2

Property 3

Commissioners yesterday also chose to waive the Bleacher Rental Fee of $150.00 dollars for the Mobile Bleacher Unit used for the Martin Luther King Day activities at the Douglas Brown Community Center. Shirlean Graham of the Okeechobee County Community Improvement Association could not be happier with the Commissioner’s decision. As part of “Unity in the Community,” there will be a whole weekend of events in recognition of Martin Luther King Day, beginning with “Culture Night” at the Douglas Brown Community Center tonight and a parade tomorrow and a banquet Sunday.

Shirlean Graham-MLK events

Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee Wednesday night was the site of a candlelight vigil in honor of an Apopka man who was found dead in Lake Okeechobee this week. Many people gathered, in the park, family, friends and countless others to remember 38 year old Nik Kayler. Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper was one of those who attended and he says the atmosphere was one to behold. Kayler was fishing with a friend when he disappeared last week after his boat crashed and capsized.

Bryant Culpepper-Kayler Vigil

Okeechobee City Firefighters had their hands full with a house fire Wednesday. Crews were called to the eleven hundred block of SE 9th Avenue just before 3pm for a house that had a fire burning in the stove area of the kitchen. Crews arrived and put out the fire within minutes. No one was hurt. Investigators say the homeowner was asleep at the time of the fire and the smoke detector did not go off. Total damage is estimated to be about $3000.00. The incident is under investigation.

On the arrest report:

38 year old Frederick Charles Holechek of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after he was found asleep in his car in a store parking lot. He’s being held on $5500.00 bond.

43 year old Robert Russell Bolling of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to appear in court for a charge of driving on a suspended license. He’s being held without bond.

22 year old Rosa Jane Urbina of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. She’s being held without bond.

27 year old Bryan Daniel Corwin of Okeechobee was arrested for resisting arrest without violence after being questioned about a burglary. He’s being held on a $500.00 bond.

29 year old Cherise Marie Lawrence of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license. She’s being held on $1000.00 bond.


News Cast 1/11

News Cast for January 11th:

The search for a missing Apopka man, missing since last week has come to an unfortunate, tragic end. The body of 38 year old Nik Kayler was found yesterday morning near the Clewiston Water Tower on Lake Okeechobee. Kayler and his friend, Bill Kisiah were fishing in a tournament Thursday night when their boat crashed and capsized near Pahokee. Officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission led a nearly week long search for Kayler through bad, sometimes freezing weather, in the 36 mile lake. FWC Spokesperson Carol Lyn Parrish says those involved in the search wish the end result could’ve been better. Kisiah, of Louisiana, was treated for hypothermia after he was found. Members of the US Coast Guard, Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office and Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office all participated in the search. An autopsy is pending to determine cause of death.

Kayler Found 1

Kayler Found 2

Okeechobee County Commissioners met yesterday morning for a special workshop to discuss road work priorities and drainage system maintenance in the county. Road Maintenance Division Director Pete De Pasquale discussed several roads in the county in need of work, the most specific one being Berman Road which he says is in terrible shape. De Pasquale will be creating a list of roads that will have top priority to present to the commissioners at the beginning of next month.

Workshop 1

Workshop 2

Okeechobee County Commissioners will meet again this morning in their first regular meeting of 2018 to discuss among other things an agreement for designing and construction of resurfacing Highway 68 near Kissimmee Cattle Company. The meeting begins at 9am in the Historic County Courthouse.

On the arrest report:

23 year old Oscar Felix Tinajero and 27 year old Esteban Garcia, both of Okeechobee, were arrested by sheriff’s deputies for trafficking marijuana into the city after an on-going narcotics investigation. Both were released after posting bonds of $5000.00, respectively.

49 year old Derrick Fennell of Okeechobee was arrested for battery on his girlfriend after a domestic dispute. He’s being held without bond.

25 year old Samantha Reed of Ft. Pierce was arrested for burglary and petty theft after breaking into someone’s truck. She is being held on a $6250.00 bond.


News Cast 1/10

News Cast for January 10th:

Yesterday was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It’s a day for people to thank and show support and appreciation for the men and women who serve their respective communities as law officers. Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen says this day is special because law enforcement officers here go about their business in the community with respect and they give that respect back. It’s something that in this day in age, it’s not always the case in other communities, specifically with young people. Stephen, who began his tenure as sheriff just over a year ago, has been in law enforcement for over 30 years.

It was a busy day Monday for Florida Highway Patrol. A Lorida man is dead and a Sebring man in serious condition after a vehicle accident yesterday in Highlands County. Investigators say 53 year old J. Reyes Hernandez was driving west on Highway 98 near Thunder Road near Sebring when he was approaching a driveway at the same time as 69 year old Patrick McGinty was when another driver was in front of Hernandez’s car and Hernandez tried to pass him but he didn’t see McGinty’s car approaching and collided with his Jeep head on. Hernandez’s car went off the road into a tree line, McGinty’s Jeep overturned. McGinty was later pronounced dead at Highlands Regional Medical Center while Hernandez is currently being treated there for his injuries. The accident is being investigated.

A Clewiston man is also dead after a vehicle accident Monday. FHP investigators say 76 year old Clifton Brown was driving a Lincoln Town Car east on Georgia Avenue near 12th Street when he reportedly had a medical condition while driving, causing him to go off the road and collided with a canal. Brown was transported to Hendry Regional Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. The accident is under investigation.

Finally, a Lehigh Acres woman is in serious condition after an accident Monday. FHP investigators say 34 year old Rochae Castel had stopped her school bus at a traffic signal on Route 884 and Lee Blvd. when 30 year old Robert Call of Ft. Myers driving a Dodge Grand Caravan came up from behind the bus and didn’t stop, rear-ending the bus. Castel was taken to Lehigh Regional Medical Center for treatment while Call was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital respectively, for treatment. There were no children on the bus.

Police in Lehigh Acres are looking for a woman who is accused of trying to pass a stolen check in Okeechobee. Police say the woman, a white female, was driving a gray Toyota Camry, not older than 2014, and came into Mid Florida Credit Union in Okeechobee and later in Lake Placid to pass the check on December 27th, both times being unsuccessful. An alert was placed on the victim’s account. If you have any information on this woman, please contact the Lake Placid Police Department.

Okeechobee County Commissioners will meet this morning in a special workshop to discuss current plans for roads that need to be resurfaced and areas that need system drainage maintenance, plus funding for the work. The workshop begins at 9am in the Historic County Courthouse.

On the arrest report:

63 year old Richard Elmer Welsch and 30 year old Jarrod Barkley Butterfield, both of Okeechobee, were arrested by sheriff’s deputies for dumping two piles of trash in different areas of the city. Both are being held on $2500.00 bond apiece.

54 year old Sharlene Theresa Billings of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. She is being held without bond.

30 year old Dion Eric McIntyre of Okeechobee was arrested for battery during a domestic dispute. He was released after posting a $500.00 bond.

23 year old Holmes Eugene Boyd of Lorida was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after someone complained of him trespassing. His bond is set at $5750.00.


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