Local News

Charles Murphy News 11/15

News Cast for November 15th:

A motor home fire destroyed the unit at Taylor Creek RV Park early Friday.  The resident was able to escape without injury but lost all his possessions.  The Okeechobee office of the American Red Cross is assisting the victim. County firemen arrived at 2:30 to find the structure fully involved.

On the arrest list today

  • 35 year old William Buchanon was charged with throwing a pregnant female to the floor and pounding her head on the floor during a domestic quarrel.  He was charged with aggravated battery.  A 7 year old child witnessed the incident.
  • A 16 year old client at G 4 S was charged with beating a teacher in the head with a sock filled with metal office supplies.  The teacher was treated at Raulerson hospital for arm and head injuries.
  • 41-year-old Anthony Brown was charged with stabbing another man during a fight at an Okeechobee wedding on Saturday night. Deputies say the victim suffered a 10 inch cut on his back.  He was taken to Raulerson hospital.  Alcohol played a factor in the fight.  Brown was charged with aggravated battery.

Sheriff deputies looking for a stolen 2013 Hull boat, 20 feet long, taken from 6900 South East 1 hundred and 28th Avenue over the weekend.  It was on a 20 foot long aluminum back country trailer with chrome wheels.

Sports Cast for November 15th:

Okeechobee jumped out to an early 10-point lead and went on to defeat the Desoto Bulldogs 49-34 in girls basketball Monday night. Raeley Matthews led Okeechobee with 16 points. Matthews says the team didn’t play its best but still got the win. Tie- Jee- Anna Hatcher led Desoto County with 12.


Coach Joe Smith compared it to winning ugly.


Boys soccer lost to Palm Beach Lakes 3-0 missing a chance to get revenge against the team that eliminated them in the post season last year.

Coach Lonnie Sears says his team is missing some key players and couldn’t overcome mistakes.


OHS boys soccer hosts Fort Pierce Central JV 5/varsity 7 pm

OHS boys basketball vs Palm Beach Gardens at Martin County 6 pm

Moore Haven girls basketball at Lake Placid 6:30 pm

Charles Murphy News 11/14

News Cast for November 14th:

Glades County allowed medical marijuana businesses last month. Voters approved the state amendment allowing medical marijuana last week. County planner Inga Williams says the regulations will allow one business in the county and provides an application process for interested businesses. The facilities will only be allowed in commercial general areas of the county.

There is also a 15 hundred foot buffer between medical marijuana and public facilities like parks and recreation areas, schools, government buildings, churches, day care centers and senior centers.

Terry Burroughs was recently elected president of the Okeechobee Kiwanis Club. He says his goals are to work on a kids needs marketing plan, and involvement in the take stock in children student scholarships.  He said members really enjoy working with the Kiwanis Club. Full article is in Local News.

2016 was highlighted by the opening of the Kiwanis Club park that helps special needs children.

Sports Cast for November 14th:

Daytona Beach Mainland showed why they were #1 in the state as they jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and went on to defeat Okeechobee 56-7 in the regional quarterfinals Friday.

Okeechobee’s only score came on a five yard run by Lamar Williams in the second half.  He finished with 87 yards rushing.

Coach Chris Branham said the loss does not detract from the memorable season the Brahmans had. Denzel Houston threw for four touchdowns in the game for the Buccaneers.

D’Marcus Adams caught two touchdown passes and ran for a touchdown for Mainland.

In other big lake area playoff games, Pahokee defeated Newberry 35-34 in overtime.  Clewiston lost to Miami Edison 37-6.

On the sports schedule today, girls basketball will host Desoto at 6 pm.  Boys and girls soccer will host Palm Beach lakes, the girls at 6 and the boys to follow.

Gov. Scott: Lowest Juvenile Arrests in More Than 40 Years

Gov. Scott: Lowest Juvenile Arrests in More Than 40 Years

Florida Continues to be a National Leader in Juvenile Justice

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott announced today that the number of juvenile arrests continued to decline in 2015-2016 according to the latest delinquency report released by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Statewide, juvenile arrests dropped another 7 percent in the last fiscal year, which resulted in a six-year decline of 37 percent. This year’s decrease is keeping in line with the drop in delinquency Florida has had each year, resulting in the lowest number of juvenile arrests in more than forty years.

Governor Scott said, “The continued decline in juvenile arrests in Florida is a reflection of our commitment to keeping our communities safe and having the best juvenile justice system in the country. We will continue to support effective programs and services by making important investments in DJJ so Florida remains a safe state for all families and visitors.”

The current report, covering a five-year period, released by DJJ also shows a decrease in certain felony offenses, including a 4 percent decrease in aggravated/assault battery, an 8 percent decrease in weapon/firearm arrests, and a 12 percent decrease in felony drug arrests. Overall misdemeanor offenses decreased by 15 percent last year with an overall decline of 40 percent in the past five years.

Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christina Daly said, “By keeping our focus on front end prevention and diversion services, DJJ is working hard to provide the right level of treatment for Florida’s youth while always placing a strong emphasis on holding them accountable and ensuring public safety. DJJ will continue to work side by side with our law enforcement partners and community stakeholders to keep kids out of the juvenile justice system or from going deeper into the system all together.”

The five counties with the largest populations in Florida continue to show decreases in juvenile arrests over the last fiscal year. The county with the largest drop was Miami-Dade County with a 12 percent decrease, followed by Broward County with an 8 percent reduction, Orange County with a 7 percent decrease, Palm Beach County with a 6 percent decrease, and Hillsborough County with a 2 percent decline in juvenile arrests

Florida Forest Service Sends 99 Personnel to Help Manage Wildfires Throughout Southeastern States

Florida Forest Service Sends 99 Personnel to Help Manage Wildfires Throughout Southeastern States

TALLAHASSEE, Fla – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today that the Florida Forest Service has sent 99 wildland firefighters and support personnel to several southeastern states to help manage their extreme wildfire activity. The Florida Forest Service currently has personnel deployed in Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Nevada and on Federal lands in Florida.

“The national wildland firefighting and forestry community is like a family, dedicated to helping one another in their time of need,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam. “The Florida Forest Service is always prepared to answer the call to protect people, homes and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire.”

In addition to deploying frontline wildland firefighting personnel and equipment, the Florida Forest Service has provided trained personnel to fill vital management and support positions such as incident command, safety, planning, resource, public information and more. Although heightened wildfire danger levels are currently present in Florida, the state has so far avoided the nearly unmanageable levels currently troubling its partner states and is able to provide assistance.

“The Florida Forest Service is closely monitoring Florida’s wildfire activity and resource needs to ensure that enough resources remain in Florida to combat wildfires effectively and efficiently,” said Jim Karels, Florida State Forester. “Just as Florida has helped our partners, we know that we can count on them to help us when the time comes.”

Through the Southeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact, the southeastern states have continued to honor their agreement to provide assistance to one another to combat wildfires. The compact has provided for the effective prevention and control of wildfires in the southeastern region since 1954, and includes the following states: Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than one million acres of public forest land while protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. To learn more about Florida Forest Service programs, visit FloridaForestService.com

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com

Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee Welcomes In New President (Audio Interview Included)

Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee Welcomes In New President (Audio Interview Included)

terry-burroughsThe Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee recently inducted in a new president. Terry Burroughs took over for Courtney Moyett after her term ended in October.

“Well I believe that the new role is pretty cool as far as being a Kiwanian and being inducted because of the value that the Kiwanis brings back to the community, specifically when you are working with the children.”

Burroughs plans on working with the club on a Kids Needs marketing plan and the Take Stock In Children Scholarship program along with other annual events and projects.

The Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee is coming off of a very productive year, highlighted by the opening of Kiwanis Park. The Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee regularly raises funds for local scholarships, mini-grants and youth based projects that help with the improvements of the lives of children.


Touch A Truck Back For A Third Year (AUDIO INCLUDED)

Touch A Truck Back For  A Third Year (AUDIO INCLUDED)

Caption: From left to right: Kiwanis President Terry Burroughs, GFWC Member Alex Tijerina and Kiwanis member J.D Mixon

Caption: From left to right: Kiwanis President Terry Burroughs, GFWC Member Alex Tijerina and Kiwanis member J.D Mixon

The GFWC Okeechobee Junior Women’s Club is hosting their 3rd annual Touch a Truck event on November 19th at the Agri Civic Center. Club Member Alex Tijerina spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee recently to promote it.

The Okeechobee chapter was founded in August of 2013 and currently has about 20 members. The club is part of an international organization dedicated to community improvements by enhancing the lives of others through voluntary services.

Locally, the club is involved with Toys For Tots, UNICEF and collecting shoes for needy students at our local schools.

The Touch A Truck Event allows children the opportunity to enjoy a hands on experience with many of the large trucks and equipment they see on our roads every day. There will be live demonstrations, food, games and a lot of fun. The event is free to the public but donations are appreciated.  Hours of the event are from 10am to 2pm with a “No Honk” period from 10-11.

The Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee is a service organization dedicated to improving the lives of our local youth through events and fund raising.


Charles Murphy News 11/11

News Cast for November 11th:

Two Okeechobee men died in a boating accident off the Jupiter inlet on Wednesday. The Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation commission says the boat owner 68-year-old Thomas Pulliam, and 73-year-old Charles Schaffer were thrown from the boat when it capsized in high waves. Officer Tyson Matthews would not speculate on what caused the crash. He’s unsure if the men were wearing life jackets.  The men were pulled from the water but died later at Jupiter Medical Center.  One lifeguard was hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning but later released.

Tyson Matthews with FWC

Okeechobee County Commissioners Thursday.

  • Honored the retiring Frank Irby and Margaret Helton for their service to the county.
  • New commissioners are sworn in on November 29th.
  • The commission learned the sheriff will have to pay all the medical bills of murder suspect David Schwendenman of 283 thousand dollars after he was arrested before being hospitalized for allegedly shooting his wife.  Deputies shot the man on 441 on July 29th in what has been deemed a justifiable shooting.
  • Commissioners also approved the purchase of a new ambulance which will cost just under 2 hundred and 30 thousand dollars.

Glades County deputies charge 29 year old Arian Arias with marijuana production, possession with intent to sell marijuana and owning a home or vehicle used in marijuana.

The annual veteran’s day observance is scheduled for 10 this morning in Veterans Memorial park.

Sports Cast for November 11th:

Brahman football plays in their first playoff game in six years tonight as they travel to top ranked Daytona Beach Mainland.

Okeechobee is 8-1 and Mainland 9-0 this year.

Coach Chris Branham says his team should be fully healthy and ready to go for the Buccaneers.


Kickoff is at 7:30 pm tonight.

Brahman boys’ soccer tied Sebring 1-1 while the junior varsity won 2-0 last night.

Booker T. Washington defeated Glades Central 47-30 in the class 4A regional semifinals last night.

On the sports schedule tonight

  • Clewiston football hosts Miami Edison in Class 4A 7 pm
  • Pahokee hosts Newberry in 1A 7:30 pm
  • Moore Haven girl’s soccer hosts Seacrest Country Day 5 pm
  • Moore Haven boy’s soccer hosts Seacrest Country Day 7 pm

Charles Murphy News 11/10

News Cast for November 10th:

A federal judge has ruled that the Seminole Tribe can continue to offer blackjack and other card games for the next 14 years under terms of a compact signed in 2010. The state had sued the Tribe trying to end card games.

A 10 year old child died after a horse fell on her at a local ranch last week.  Sheriff deputies say Blake Butts was pronounced dead at Raulerson Hospital.

Moore Haven city council dealing with vandals at their downtown park, specifically the basketball courts. The lights are not working which will prevent people from using it after dark. Mayor Brett Whidden says vandals did the same things when the city tried to improve the river walk on the Caloosahatchee River.

One possible solution is hidden security cameras.

The city also heard concerns about illegally parked vehicles accumulating on State owned property under the Langdale Bridge on US 27.

Alan Abt suffered a severe foot injury after being struck by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle on 441 near the Taylor Creek bridge Friday.  Deputies charged 54 year old William Gordon with DUI causing serious bodily injury.

The Okeechobee Junior Womens club will hold a third annual touch a truck event on November 19th at the Ag Civic Center.  The club is involved with toys for tots, unicef and collecting shoes for needy students in Okeechobee schools.  The touch a truck event allows the kids to have a hands on experience with the large trucks and equipment they see on the roads each day.

Sports Cast for November 10th:

Shytria Ash and Quanisha Ferrol had 10 points apiece to lead Okeechobee to a 49-24 victory over Moore Haven last night at the Lady Brahman preseason classic. The Lady Brahmans outscored the Terriers 29-4 in the second half.

Point guard Alkecia Clayton scored 31 in the Brahman win Tuesday over Clewiston.  She said playing at the high school has been a great experience so far.

Julia Smith had nine points in the victory over Moore Haven.  She said she felt comfortable and got good shots. Sydney Cypress had 11 points and Sunni Bearden had nine points for Moore Haven.

Clewiston defeated John Carroll 53-35 in the other game.

Lady Brahman soccer lose at home to South Fork.

On the sports schedule today

  • Powder Puff game and pep rally 6 pm
  • OHS boys soccer JV 6 pm, varsity at Sebring 7:30 pm
  • Glades Central football at Booker T. Washington 7 pm
  • Moore Haven girls’ soccer hosts Marco Island Academy 5 pm
  • Moore Haven boys’ soccer hosts Marco Island Academy 7 pm

Giving Back During Farm-City Week

Giving Back During Farm-City Week

Gainesville, Fla.– Farm-City Week is a time to give thanks for the valuable partnerships between urban and rural residents. The week will be celebrated statewide, Nov. 16-23, 2016.

Farmers produce high quality food and fiber for everyone to enjoy. Their partnerships with grocers, truck drivers, processors, scientists, consumers and many others all play important roles in getting the food from the fields to household tables.

“Thanksgiving is about celebrating the harvest of fresh food that we enjoy with our families,” said Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick. “Farm-City Week also gives us the opportunity to be thankful for the partnerships between farming and urban communities.  These partnerships make it possible for us to enjoy a nutritious and bountiful food supply.”

Local Farm Bureau members will sponsor multiple Farm-City Week events preceding the Thanksgiving holiday to celebrate the relationships that provide food abundance and strengthen the nation’s economy. Events include kid-friendly activities and educational demonstrations, vintage farm equipment displays, farm tours, food donations and essay and poster contests.

Farm-City Week activities also highlight various food collection activities by farmers and ranchers on behalf of food banks and other charitable organizations in local communities throughout Florida.

For details about the Farm-City Week event in your community, contact your local Farm Bureau office at http://www.floridafarmbureau.org/county_farm_bureau.

Florida Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general agricultural organization, represents more than 145,000 member-families. We serve to enhance farm enterprise and improve rural communities.

Gov. Scott Announces 11 Inductees to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame

Gov. Scott Announces 11 Inductees to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott joined the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to honor 11 inductees to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame recognizes and honors military veterans who have made a significant contribution to the State of Florida through civic, business or public service.

Governor Rick Scott said, “We are incredibly grateful for the service and sacrifice of our veterans, and we must take every opportunity to thank and honor these brave service men and women. Each of these inductees defended our nation’s freedom and continued their service to the State of Florida through public service and community involvement.”

Glenn Sutphin, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs said, “As remarkable patriots and leaders in their respective communities, they answered the call to duty after their military service by making significant contributions to the citizens of the great State of Florida. We honor their service.”

The following veterans were inducted into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame today:

Governor Reubin O’Donovan Askew

The late Governor Reubin O’Donovan Askew was an Army and Air Force veteran from Pensacola who served with distinction in both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate. A 1951 Florida State University graduate and student body president, he was later elected to two terms as Florida governor in the 1970s. He helped lead Florida to enormous growth and was a trailblazer for good government.

Governor LeRoy Collins

The late Governor LeRoy Collins served with distinction in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II. A strong advocate of racial justice in the post-war years, he was reelected to the Florida Senate and went on to become Governor from 1954-1961. His son, the late Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins Jr., was inducted into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

Sergeant Jordon J. “J.J.” Corbett

Jordon J. “J.J.” Corbett, a Florida native and Army Sergeant with the “Triple Nickel” 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion during World War II, fought against racial injustice during a lifetime of distinguished and noteworthy service teaching and coaching in Polk County. His experiences in and out of uniform have positively influenced hundreds of young people and inspired them through personal example.

Rear Admiral Kevin F. Delaney

The late Rear Admiral Kevin F. Delaney was a highly decorated naval aviator who served with distinction as a business and civic leader in the Jacksonville area. A Naval Academy graduate, he was a prominent veterans’ advocate through the Florida Defense Support Task Force and The Wounded Warrior Project. He spent two decades advising the boards of many diverse northeast Florida non-profit organizations.

Lieutenant Colonel Dennis O. Freytes

Dennis O. Freytes is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who has served with distinction as a relentless and passionate advocate for veterans, civil rights and the advancement of Hispanic Americans. A highly respected Orlando area community leader, his noteworthy civic involvement includes grassroots community associations, non-profit organizations and governmental appointed city and county boards.

Dr. David L. Goetsch

Dr. David L. Goetsch, an award-winning educator and enlisted veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, served with distinction as a professor and administrator at Northwest Florida State College for more than 40 years. A respected leader in economic development, he served as founding chairman of the Florida Defense Support Task Force and is a notable author on business and professional development issues.

Governor Spessard L. Holland

The late Spessard L. Holland, a World War I veteran of the Air Service, American Expeditionary Force, served as a county judge, State Senator and Governor of Florida during the Second World War before serving as a U.S. Senator for more than 24 years. A Florida native, he is noted as the sponsor of the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections.

Dr. William L. Proctor

Dr. William L. Proctor, a former U.S. Army Reserve Captain and staunch veteran supporter, served with distinction in the Florida Legislature representing District 20 from 2004-2012. In addition to advocating legislation supporting education, veterans’ issues and health care, he served as President of Flagler College in St. Augustine for 30 years and is currently the school’s chancellor.

Colonel Washington J. Sanchez Jr

Retired Army Colonel Washington J. Sanchez Jr. is a Vietnam Veteran and Purple Heart recipient whose countless, inexhaustible volunteer hours supporting veterans in need has earned him statewide honors. A respected leader in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, he serves as chairman and CEO of the non-profit Florida Veterans Foundation, which provides emergency assistance to veterans in crisis.

Chief Master Sergeant Johnny E. Stewart

Retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Johnny E. Stewart is a Vietnam Veteran and life-long champion of veterans’ issues from Citrus County whose generous outreach and support touches veterans of all ages. A life-long leader in the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, he has successfully advocated for improvements in veterans’ services, while ensuring his fellow Vietnam Veterans receive the honors they deserve.

Frederick A. Taylor Jr.

U.S. Army Veteran Frederick A. Taylor Jr. is a Vietnam Veteran and three-time Purple Heart recipient. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, humanitarian, distinguished speaker and veterans’ advocate. A former national commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, he has superbly advised elected leaders on the national state and local stage on issues involving veterans and their families.

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