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News Cast 3/22

News Cast for March 22nd:

Okeechobee County Commissioners meet today and the sheriff’s budget will be a major topic of discussion. Commissioners will look to approve a requested amendment of over five hundred thousand dollars for additional school resource officers in county schools. They’ll also be looking to select an architectural firm for the proposed property appraiser, tax collector and driver’s license building. The meeting will begin at 9am in the Historic County Courthouse.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies are still looking for the person or people responsible for a shooting at Good Spirits Bar early Sunday morning. Deputies say someone came into the bar on the 240 block of Route 441 just after midnight and used a racial slur on a woman, which led to an argument from her friend, Sara Smith of Okeechobee. Smith received a cut on her head from a bottle being smashed on her head and a contusion on her arm after being hit with a pool cue, as the whole situation escalated into a bar fight.  One other person sustained injuries and another was shot. Smith and the other two victims of the incident are recovering from their injuries. Deputies say there might have been a Hispanic man leaving the scene in a blue four door truck. If you have any information on this incident, please contact the sheriff’s office.

If you’re looking for a new job and you need help in finding one, Labor Finders is the place for you. The Okeechobee County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of Labor Finders, which helps people find gainful employment. Branch manager John Eiben says he moved his company from its previous location because it needed an upgrade . Eiben says the jobs he helps people find include all fields. Labor Finders, which has been in existence for over twenty years, was previously located on 3rd Avenue behind Zippy’s Wings. It’s now located at the 200 block of NW Park Street, next to WOKC.

The United Way for Hendry and Glades County will be having a social services outreach event this afternoon in Moore Haven. Lisa Sands, the manager of the United Way for Glades and Hendry Counties, says there will be services available for children, new mothers, and more at this event. Sands says the event will be held at the Moore Haven United Way House, a relatively new building (Sands-Outreach Event). Sands says the United Way is doing this with the Harry Chapin Food Bank and Hope Connections. It will be held between 3pm and 5pm at the Moore Haven United Way House at 200 2nd Street in Moore Haven.

On the arrest report:

29 year old Taylor Lewis Jones of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation on previous burglary charges. He’s being held without bond.


News Cast 3/21

News Cast for May 21st:

For much of last week on thru the weekend, the Agri-Civic Center played host to the annual Okeechobee County Fair. The fair was attended by lots of people both residents and non-residents to experience the fun rides and the delicious food and the great entertainment. President of the Okeechobee County Fair Association Linda Syfrett says the BMX biker show was arguably the best and most entertaining. WOKC’s own Taylor Marie was there the entire six days, acting as the emcee of the fair. She says the helicopter rides, much like the food, rides and shows were a big favorite among the attendees.

Okeechobee County Fair 1

Okeechobee County Fair 2

Florida Forest Service officials are reminding people to use caution during this time of high fire danger as we are in the dry season in Okeechobee County. Spokesperson Melissa Yunas says fires can be started when dry, dead fuels like leaves, sticks and grass touches the vehicle exhaust systems of your cars or other vehicles, usually when the vehicles are parked or driven on tall grass. Yunas also says a loose safety chain or muffler can cause a fire. Yunas recommends cleaning exhaust systems and spark arresters and avoid driving off the road when it’s hot and dry and check to see if your oil and transmission fluids are not leaking.

Fires by Motors 1

Fires by Motors 2

Tomorrow, Raulerson Hospital will host a Lunch and Learn featuring General Surgeon Dr. Carlos Alejo. He will present information about ultra sound-guided breast biopsy and breast surgery. He is a general surgeon on Raulerson Hospital’s medical staff. He is board certified and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. The lecture is in the Raulerson Hospital Auditorium at IRSC’s Williamson Conference Center in Okeechobee, located on the 22 hundred block of N.W. 9th Ave. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the lecture will begin at noon. Registration is required and can be done at RaulersonHospital.com in the classes and events section or by calling 763-9228.

On the arrest report:

36 year old Justin Lee Harris of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell it. He’s being held on a fifty thousand dollar bond.

24 year old Brian Ortega of Brownsville, Texas was arrested for failure to appear in court on previous charges of driving without a valid license. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.


News Cast 3/20

News Cast for March 20th:

A bar on the 240 block of Route 441 in Okeechobee County was the scene of some craziness a little after midnight Sunday that left one man with a gunshot wound and a woman with a possible broken arm. Sheriff’s deputies say an unknown man with tattoos and a red shirt came into the Good Spirits Bar bumped into a woman and used a racial slur on her, causing her friend, Sara Smith of Okeechobee, to retaliate by arguing with the man but she ended up getting hit on the head with a beer bottle from behind by another man, and then getting hit with a pool cue on her forearm by a third man. This sparked a bar fight, with another person being hit by a pool cue and then gunshots went off, with one man being shot. The gunshot victim, whose name wasn’t released, was taken to Raulerson Hospital, as was Smith, for treatment. No information on the men responsible, other than they were all bald, white men, wearing different colored tank tops. The incident is being investigated.

An Okeechobee man is dead after a vehicle accident on St. Patrick’s Day. Florida Highway Patrol officers say 70 year old Ricky Pruitt was driving a Honda CN 250 scooter south near the 240 block of Route 441 just after 1:30pm when he didn’t see slowing traffic ahead of him and rear ended a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Pruitt was taken to Raulerson Hospital where he later died. The driver of the pickup, 69 year old Jeffrey Adams, and his passenger 63 year-old Peggy Perry, both of Okeechobee, were not injured. The accident is being investigated.

A Sebring man is facing possible life in prison after being arrested earlier this month for possessing and sending child pornography. Highlands County Sheriff’s detectives, armed with a search warrant, raided the home of 50 year old Christopher Ray Queen and arrested him after finding him locked in his bedroom armed with a handgun. Spokesperson Scott Dressel says this is a big victory for the Special Victims Unit. The sheriff’s department acted on a tip from the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Queen had at least nineteen images of child porn on his computer, some images depicting children as young as ten years old.

Dressel-Child Pornography 1

Dressel-Child Pornography 2

Okeechobee County Firefighters joined forces with Forestry crews to fight a fire involving hay bales on Friday afternoon. Crews were called to the ten thousand block of Route 98 North just after 2:30 for a fire involving over twelve hay bales. Firefighters needed about an hour and a half to get the blaze under control. Investigators say the landowner was using a round hay baler and it somehow caught fire. There were no injuries and no structure damages. The hay bales were lost in the blaze.

On the arrest report:

32 year old Antonia Ann Elliott of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for petty theft. She was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

40 year old Gary Heath Cannon of Okeechobee was arrested for battery on his girlfriend after a domestic dispute while drunk. His bond hasn’t been set.

29 year old Megan Salina Hair of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license with knowledge of it after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at five hundred dollars.

40 year old Shannon Leigh Jones of Stuart was arrested for passing worthless checks. She was released after posting bond.

50 year old Douglas Charles Bain of Okeechobee was arrested for grand theft after he was caught stealing over $12 hundred dollars in sunglasses. He was released after posting a one thousand dollar bond.

34 year old Stephanie Michelle Starcher of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court. She was released after posting bond.

20 year old Luis Gabriel Torres of West Palm Beach was arrested for possession of marijuana and Xanax after a search of his car at the Okeechobee Correctional Institution where he was visiting an inmate. He was released after posting a $55 hundred dollar bond.

33 year old Isael Barcenas of Okeechobee was arrested for DUI and possession of open alcoholic containers after he was found passed out in his car in a store parking lot and failing a road sobriety test. He was released after posting a $250 dollar bond.

25 year old Christopher Lanorris King of Winter Park was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after a search of his car at the Okeechobee Correctional Institution where he was visiting an inmate. He was released after posting a six thousand dollar bond.


Motorized Vehicles BEWARE of Wildfire Danger!

Motorized Vehicles BEWARE of Wildfire Danger!

The Florida Forest Service, Okeechobee District urges residents and visitors to be extremely cautious, especially during periods of high fires danger. It’s important that everyone takes steps to prevent wildfires, especially with reducing vehicle caused wildfire starts.  Dead fuels, such as leaves, sticks and twigs, hold far less moisture and pulling off to the side of the road into dead vegetation can ignite a wildfire. The most common way is when the dead vegetation touches the vehicle exhaust system, including the catalytic converter which can reach up to 1,400 degrees. With the right weather conditions, all forms of motorized vehicles including cars, golf carts, motorcycles, airboats, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or side by side (UTVs) can be fire starters.

Tips to Reduce Vehicle Wildfires

  1. A loose safety chain or muffler striking a rock or pavement will send a shower of sparks into dry vegetation. Ensure all parts of your vehicle are secure and not dragging.
  2. Driving on an exposed wheel rim throws sparks. Poorly lubricated wheel bearings can overheat and ignite, and worn out brakes can drop hot material into the grass. Take the time to check your tire pressure and look for indicators of wear and tear on a tire.
  3. Engine compartments can collect debris and ignite a spark. Worn-out catalytic converters can degrade and cast off extremely hot pieces of material. A faulty spark arrestor can shed hot metal. Take the time to maintain and clean exhaust systems and spark arresters.
  4. Avoid driving your vehicle off the road when it’s hot and dry because that will increase your chances of a fire starting from a vehicle. If you drive an off-road vehicle, such as an ATV/UTV or airboat, the sparks can fly out through the exhaust system. The key here is to equip the vehicle with spark arresters.
  5. Oil and transmission fluid are highly flammable and if you notice your vehicle leaking, then it’s time for a maintenance check.

The Florida Forest Service wants to remind you to have a fire extinguisher with you and know how to use it. Dead leaf litter/grass wildfires are very dangerous because they burn at an accelerated rate due to the fact that the fuel is so small and fine. If you do accidently ignite the grass on fire, call 911!

We can all make a difference in reducing human-caused fires during this season.

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests, provides management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests, while protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.

For questions about burn authorizations and wildfire prevention, please contact your local Florida Forest Service:

Martin County (772) 221-4045;    Saint Lucie County (772) 468-3915;  Indian River County (772) 778-5085;

Glades County (863) 674-4000;    Highlands County  (863) 655-6407;   Okeechobee County (863) 467-3221


News Cast 3/19

News Cast for March 19th:

An Okeechobee County juvenile court judge has set aside a case involving an eleven year old Okeechobee boy following an arraignment last week. The attorney for John Benjamin Haygood entered a plea of not guilty for his client, who is accused of battery on Brandon Rose, a teacher in the county’s elementary school system, back in October, 2016. Prosecutor Ashley Albright says four more charges of battery against school employees were entered into the arraignment. Albright says this case got a lot of media attention when it was first known because of Haygood’s family’s reaction when John Benjamin was arrested. Albright says his aim is to get Haygood the help he needs without sending him to juvenile hall. The judge meanwhile will be ordering up experts to evaluate Haygood’s competence.

Haygood Arraignment 1

Haygood Arraignment 2

Members of the Okeechobee High School’s Junior ROTC program made an appearance at last week’s county school board meeting, presenting the colors and leading the board and others in attendance in the pledge of allegiance. In talking with one member of the group, Cadet Sgt. and Alpha Commander Sabrina Malunas, she says it’s a great place to be as it’s helped her become more extroverted and helped her through happy times as well as rough times. For Cadet Sgt. William Nealus, it’s given him discipline and helped him stay on the right path and it’s given him and other cadets some advantages in learning that others not in the group don’t get. The group, also consisting of Cadet Captain Bloom Smith, Cadet 2nd Lt. Justin Rogers and their leader, US Army Sgt. 1st Class Valparisia Gibson, introduced themselves to the board and others in attendance.

Junior ROTC 1

Junior ROTC 2

Junior ROTC 3

Junior ROTC 4

A Lehigh Acres man is facing life in prison when he will be sentenced later this spring. A Lee County superior court jury found 19 year old Taroz’Jay Cherry guilty of second degree murder of a teen boy this past Thursday. Prosecutors say Cherry was trying to buy a bag of marijuana in May of 2016 from someone in a car in Lehigh Acres when he grabbed the bag, pulled out a gun and demanded everything the car’s occupants had on them. A commotion occurred and a 17 year old boy was fatally shot in the chest. Cherry was a juvenile at the time of the incident but he was charged as an adult. The jury deliberated for over seven hours Thursday night following a two day trial. He will be sentenced on June 11th for the murder and robbery with a firearm.

On the arrest report:

25 year old Eli Manuel Burgos of Naples was arrested by police for possession of marijuana, cocaine and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop. His bond is set at just over $150 thousand dollars.

25 year old Jonathan Perez of Providence, Rhode Island was arrested for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cocaine with intent to sell after a traffic stop. His bond is set at just over $150 thousand dollars.

29 year old Taylor Lewis Jones of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation of previous burglary charges. He’s being held without bond.


News Cast 3/16

News Cast for March 16th:

A Portland, Maine man was indicted this week by an Okeechobee County grand jury on charges of premeditated murder. Okeechobee County Prosecutor Ashley Albright says 42 year old Michael Lawrence Woodbury was indicted Tuesday for the murder of his cellmate, Antoneeze Haynes of Broward County, at Okeechobee Correctional Institute last September. Albright left little doubt as to the punishment he is seeking for Woodbury when he goes to trial. Woodbury is no stranger to murder charges; he was already serving three life sentences for murders he was found guilty of committing in New Hampshire over ten years ago. He was transported here to serve his time.

Hurricane Irma was over six months ago but there are some people still repairing their homes, businesses and roads. As the focus goes toward long term recovery, survivors have resources from nonprofits and government agencies available to them to meet their unmet needs. FEMA spokesperson Curtis Allen says these resources are supported by FEMA voluntary liaisons. Allen says the best way to find out about these resources is to call 2-1-1. Some of these available resources include Florida Baptist Disaster Relief, American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity.

Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies have a Sebring man in custody for igniting a fire that caused some damage last week. Deputies arrested 58 year old Douglas Glenn Smith yesterday for igniting the grass and brush fire that escaped and burned more than three hundred acres and damaged a residence’s vinyl siding and caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damages to fence posts. Deputies say the Florida Forest Service responded to the blaze and eventually got it controlled. Smith admitted to intentionally igniting a tree stump with a blow torch, causing the wildfire and he previously submitted a request for a burn authorization from the Florida Forest Service but he was denied. He was booked in Highlands County jail on one count of intentional or reckless burning of land.

On the arrest report:

45 year old Vincent James Lamura of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on out of county arrest warrants in Broward for grand theft, false ownership of items and dealing in stolen property. He was released on a $65 hundred dollar bond.

34 year old David Solomon Slay of Okeechobee was arrested for engaging in a contract business without valid certification. He was released after posting a $25 hundred dollar bond.

33 year old Jerrod Austin Tindall of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to appear in court on charges of driving without a license. He’s being held without bond.


News Cast 3/15

News Cast for March 15th:

Yesterday was the one month anniversary of the tragic shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Miami and students at Okeechobee High School staged a walkout shortly before 9am to honor those who lost their lives in that tragedy. Several students gave speeches to the student body. One of the proud students who spoke was senior Delaenam Akahoho, who says this walkout was designed to bring honor to those who lost their lives in the tragedy. Akahoho says her biggest fear when speaking was that the message was going to be misunderstood by the students. Principal Dylan Tedders, who helped organize the walkout with the students, says it began following a survey passed around to the students shortly after the tragedy happened. 350 of them responded to it, more than a quarter of their population. Tedders couldn’t be prouder of his students. Similar walkouts were performed at high schools all over the country.

An arraignment for an Okeechobee County boy accused of battery on a teacher at his school is scheduled for this morning. Prosecutors say 11 year old John Benjamin Haygood will be arraigned in juvenile court for battery in October 2016 on Brandon Rose, a teacher in the Okeechobee County elementary school system. Prosecutor Ashley Albright says his goal is to convince Heygood’s family that he needs help. However, his family doesn’t appear to want that for him. Albright says there have been over fifty reported incidents of Haygood using violence on students and teachers. The arraignment is scheduled for 8am in juvenile court.

Okeechobee County firefighters joined forces with Florida Forest Service crews to fight a grass fire in North Okeechobee’s prairie community on NW 294th Street yesterday. Forest Service officials say the blaze, which burned about twenty acres, began shortly before two o’clock. Crews arrived and needed just over an hour to get it controlled. The blaze reportedly was caused by farm equipment. No one was hurt and no structure damages.

Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies have a Sebring couple in custody on multiple felony counts in connection with unlicensed contracting. Investigators say 38 year old Roger Ross and 39 year old Veronica Fernandez took more than twenty thousand dollars in deposits from two people in the Sebring area to replace five screen panels, three of which fell out and did not replace, and other work they took deposits for but didn’t bother showing up, include replacing other screen panels, roof replacement, repairing a wall and re-installing a fence. They presented business cards with the name “Serenity Tree” and gave a license number that belonged to a solar company in Sarasota who never heard of Ross and Fernandez. They were arrested and charged with grand theft, fraud and contracting without a license.

A Sebring woman is in critical condition as a result of a vehicle accident yesterday. Florida Highway Patrol officers say 39 year old Stephanie Hendrick was driving a Chrysler Aspen north on Route 27 near Sebring when the driver of an oncoming vehicle inexplicably went over the concrete divider into the northbound lane and struck Hendrick’s vehicle, causing it to go off the road and overturn. Hendrick was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Florida Highway Patrol officers are investigating two separate accidents that seriously injured two sixty plus year old men Tuesday. FHP officers were first called to Route 636 near North Holland Town Road in Hardee County where 65 year old Gary McNabb of Wauchula was driving when two other vehicles collided near East Main Street where McNabb was approaching from and the second vehicle rotated clockwise right into the left side of McNabb’s minivan. McNabb was taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital for treatment. No other injuries.

Later, FHP officers were called to Route 41 and 32nd Avenue in Manatee County where 60 year old James Armstrong of Palmetto was riding a Vespa when an approaching driver didn’t see Armstrong, collided with his cycle. Armstrong was taken to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton for treatment.

On the arrest report:

37 year old Stanislaus Rodrigues of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.

18 year old Vincent Veasey of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on previous battery charges. He was released after posting bond.

25 year old Matthew Craig Peaden of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license with knowledge of it. He was released after posting a one thousand dollar bond.

34 year old Terrence Walter Byrd of Miami Gardens was arrested for driving on a revoked license after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five thousand dollars


News Cast 3/14

News Cast for March 14th:

Okeechobee County School Board members met last night and the main topic of discussion was school safety and security in light of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month. Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says Okeechobee County will receive over $240,000.00 dollars from the state for mental health services for students and training for teachers to identify signs of mental health problems. There is also a program that is being discussed called the Guardian Program, which would allow some school employees to be armed. Kenworthy says those that would be armed would not be teachers. Kenworthy, as well as Sheriff Noel Stephen who spoke at the meeting, are both in favor of the Guardian Program, but there was no vote taken at the meeting, instead allowing for a workshop next month, allowing teachers and parents to voice their opinions. The workshop will be on April 5th.

Guardian Program 1

Guardian Program 2

Guardian Program 3

Osceola Middle School had a bit of a scare Monday. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies say a faculty member arrived and saw blood stains on the doors before students arrived. Deputies say the blood was from a previous incident where a man with cuts on his arms, was found lying in the parking lot of a hotel on the 31 hundred block of Route 441 and he was taken to Raulerson Hospital and received treatment under the Baker Act, indicating the man was mentally ill. Deputies say the man, whose name and residence was not revealed, had been at the school attempting to find a fire alarm to pull to get some help. When he didn’t find a pull station, he walked to the hotel for help. There were no delays in opening the school.

Indian River County Sheriff’s deputies have a Vero Beach man in custody on charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving death. Deputies say 18 year old Francisco Magana Cendejas was driving a red Nissan Titan pickup truck northbound on Route 613 just before 11pm on March 1st when he passed a couple of motorists and then accidentally struck 19 year old Desmond Francis Johnson, also of Vero Beach, and killed him before fleeing the scene. Florida Highway Patrol officers received statements from the passed motorists and others over a week later, leading them to Cendejas and his truck where the damage on it resembled a collision with a person of Johnson’s description. Cendejas, who believed he struck a hog and was scared to turn himself in when he found out he collided with Johnson, was arrested by FHP then he was delivered to Indian River County jail for booking.

On the arrest report:

27 year old Keith Jerome Carnley of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for failure to appear in court on previous drug charges. He’s being held without bond.

24 year old Hillary Cody Josh of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. She’s being held without bond.

24 year old Christopher Jacob Willet of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.

37 year old Stanislaus Rodriguez of Okeechobee was arrested for violating a domestic injunction from his wife. His bond has not been set.


News Cast 3/13

News Cast for March 13th:

After a year-long wait, it’s finally back. The Okeechobee County Fair begins today. Fun and thrill rides provided by Wade Shows and lots of great food and entertainment will be present at the Agri-Civic Center beginning at 5pm. Linda Syfrett, president of the Okeechobee County Fair Association, says this event is in its twelfth year and they’re looking to make it the best. Syfrett says the petting zoo will be back with some wonderful attractions. The fair will also have some great entertainment from motorcyclists and BMX bikers. Tonight, admission, rides and select food items only costs a dollar apiece.   The fair will be going on until Sunday.

Syfrett 1

Syfrett 2

To combat the rash of speeding drivers, mostly large trucks in certain areas in Okeechobee County, the sheriff’s office recently enacted a plan called “Operation Truck Stop” on Dark Hammock Road at NE 120th Street and at Berman Road at SE 128th Avenue. Sheriff Noel Stephen says over 130 car and truck drivers were issued speeding tickets during the plan’s existence. Stephen says while this plan was regarded as a success, he realizes it’s still a big problem, specifically getting enough officers to address it. Operation Truck Stop lasted from February 19th until the 26th. Stephen says along with speeding tickets, some motorists were issued tickets for faulty equipment and suspended licenses.

Stephen-Operation Truck Stop 1

Stephen-Operation Truck Stop 2

Florida Highway Patrol officers are investigating the cause of death of a Vero Beach man. Investigators say 19 year old Desmond Francis Johnson was reported missing on the evening of March 1st. His body was found eight days later on the grass shoulder of Route 613 in Indian River County. Investigators at believe he was struck by an unidentified motorist while riding his skateboard. No suspects at this time.

FHP officers are also investigating an accident that killed a Palmetto man Saturday night. Officers say 54 year old David Nieves was driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck north on Highway 41 in Manatee just before 7pm when for unknown reasons, Nieves drove off the road, then overturned, ejecting him. Nieves was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital for treatment where he later died.

On the arrest report:

30 year old Jarrod Barkley Butterfield of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of drug paraphernalia after he was found walking late at night in a low lit area. His bond is set at $1,000.00 dollars.

30 year old Thomas Arthur Wycott of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.

29 year old Taylor Lewis Jones of Okeechobee was arrested for burglarizing a home and selling the stolen property and credit card fraud. His bond is set at $45,000.00 dollars.

36 year old Juan Gabriel Lopez of Arcadia was arrested for driving without a license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $500.00 dollar bond.

42 year old Shanda Renee Walker of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop. She was released after posting a $5,500.00 dollar bond.

32 year old Christina Leigh Stokes of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. She’s being held without bond.

43 year old Jason Jerome Clark of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license and possession of hydrocodone after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $4,500.00 dollar bond.

40 year old James Franklin Sellers of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after he was found in the area of a reported burglary. He was released after posting a $2,500.00 dollar bond.

30 year old Christopher Adam Lyons of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after he was stopped during a suspicious person report and he was searched. His bond is set at $6,000.00 dollars.

43 year old Joseph Paul Shirey of Okeechobee was arrested for battery. His bond is set at $5,000.00 dollars.


News Cast 3/12

News Cast for March 12th:

For the second time in a week, volunteers and officials from the Okeechobee County chapter of the American Red Cross received a proclamation deeming the month of March as American Red Cross Month. The proclamation was approved by county commissioners at their meeting Thursday to remind people of the lives that are helped and saved by the Red Cross volunteers’ efforts. Peggy Dubose, a CPR and water instructor at the local chapter of the Red Cross says she’s quite happy with the proclamation and March is American Red Cross Month because of the upcoming “Giving Day” on the 27th. Volunteers of the Red Cross’ local chapter received a proclamation by the city council at their meeting last Tuesday night.

The proposed multi-use building project in Okeechobee County is progressing. At their Thursday meeting, County Commissioners authorized the county administrator to have a selection committee review the list of architects who submitted for this project and ranking them and short listing them to determine the best one for the project which will house the property appraiser, tax collector and driver’s license departments. Facility Maintenance and Development Services Director Donnie Oden says this project now will have one major difference. Oden says once the architect is selected, it will be about six to nine months before a design is completed.

New Multi-Use Building 1

New Multi-Use Building 2

A special group of people consisting of residents, city and county officials and more are joining forces to create the Citizens Advisory Board with Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen. The Citizens Advisory Board is designed to help maximize the sheriff’s connection with the community and determine how he’s being received by the community. Stephen says this group of sixteen people will tell the sheriff not what he wants to hear, but what he needs to hear. Some of the people on this board include Mayor Dowling Watford, Kiwanis Club President Ken Keller and County Administrator Robbie Chartier. They will have their first meeting next month.

Sheriff Stephen-Citizens Advisory Board

The Okeechobee County Agri-Civic Center will soon have some much needed work done. County commissioners gave the green light to Native American Construction LLC of Okeechobee to construct and install covers on two areas of the horse arena. Facility Maintenance and Development Services Director Donnie Oden says Native American Construction is very familiar with the Agri-Civic Center. Oden says the project was awarded to Native American Construction for their bid of just over $425,000.00 dollars, outbidding four other companies. The work should be done in about six months.

Oden-Agri-Civic Center Additions

 

On the arrest report:

35 year old Brandon Christopher Hunter of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license and driving an unregistered vehicle after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $4,000.00 dollar bond.

59 year old Cathy Friedman of Okeechobee was arrested for aggravated battery after a domestic dispute. Her bond has not been set.

24 year old Cristal Marie Estrella of Okeechobee was arrested for failing to appear in court on charges of driving without a license. She was released after posting a $3,000.00 dollar bond.

34 year old Kimberly Kay Lyons of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop where 34 year old Joseph Moore, also of Okeechobee, was driving. Moore was arrested for driving with a suspended license. Lyons and Moore are being held without bond.


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