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Rooney Statement on Fort Hood Shooting

Rooney Statement on Fort Hood Shooting

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-17) issued the following statement on today’s shooting at Fort Hood, Texas:

“Tara and I were shocked and saddened to learn of another shooting at our former home, Fort Hood. While we are still waiting for all the facts, we do know that four people are dead and 16 have been wounded. For the families of the fallen, and for the soldiers who have been injured, life will never be the same. Tara and I send our thoughts and prayers to all the soldiers at Fort Hood and their families, and our deepest condolences to the families of those who were killed.

“We do not yet know how or why this tragedy occurred, but nearly five years after the Nidal Hassan shooting at Fort Hood in 2009, it is clear that we must do far more to ensure that our troops are safe when they are at home on base. We must thoroughly investigate what happened today, so that we can take whatever action is necessary to prevent something like this from ever occurring again.”

Rooney and his wife, Tara, both served in the U.S. Army JAG Corps and were stationed at Fort Hood from 2000-2002. Rooney has led efforts to classify the 2009 Fort Hood shooting as a terrorist attack in order to provide a higher level of benefits, including the awarding of Purple Hearts, to the survivors and the families of those who were killed.


Statement by Commissioner Adam H. Putnam on EPA Action

Statement by Commissioner Adam H. Putnam on EPA Action to Allow Florida to Protect State Waterways 

Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released the following statement today, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed to withdraw federal numeric nutrient criteria.

“The withdrawal of federal numeric nutrient criteria by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will enable Florida to manage our unique and diverse waterways.

“The Florida Legislature embraced the state’s adoption of a more comprehensive, science-based approach to managing the health of Florida’s water bodies, demonstrating our commitment to protect our precious natural resources and creating the framework for the EPA to withdraw the overlapping federal standards.”

To find more information on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.


Sports Cast 4/3

Sports Cast for April 3rd:

WOKC photo tennis district tournament 1 WOKC photo tennis district tournament 2 WOKC photo tennis district tournament 3

The boys finished up second at the district 14-3A tennis tournament at the sports complex.

The girls team finished 4th.  Jensen Beach had a clean sweep with all of the district titles in singles and doubles this year.  They also claimed the girls’ district title.

OHS boys tennis coach Morgan Ungerott said she knew her team would be determined to make regional after disappointment last year. Ungerott and the school system praised the Board of County commissioners for resurfacing the tennis courts in time for the district tournament. Okeechobee will play on the road next Tuesday.

On the sports schedule today, OHS baseball visits St. Lucie West Centennial at Tradition Field at 3 pm.

OHS softball competes in the Doc 4 Life tournament through Saturday in Ocala.

The flag football teams will host Treasure Coast tonight with JV game at 5 and varsity to follow around 6 pm.

The OHS track teams compete in a meet at Moore Haven at 3 pm.


Charles Murphy News 4/3

News Cast for April 3rd:

Okeechobee’s landfill will be getting new household garbage from Lake Placid beginning sometime this month.  The Town approved a deal with Waste Management for up to 50 tons per day and 5 thousand tons per year and expects to save money. Town Manager Phil Williams expects the service to start in mid-April. The town negotiated 25 dollars per ton for household garbage.  The county will benefit from the tipping fees charged.

Attorney Jennifer Williamson of Okeechobee won the Treasure Coast Friends of the National Rifle Association volunteer of the year award recently. Williamson is active in raising money for local youths to learn about shooting sports and gun safety while also doing charity work with clay shoot tournaments.

The State house and senate both included 5 million dollars in their proposed spending plan for the Kissimmee River restoration.  Both plans also have 40 million budgeted for the C-44 reservoir and treatment area located near Indiantown.  The spending plan also included 3 million dollars for farmers north of the lake to continue best management practices.

City council will consider an appeal from fired city patrolman Larry Parsinoff on May 6th.  The officer is appealing a ruling by a grievance committee to uphold the termination on grounds he lied to superior officers and failed to accomplish assigned tasks.

Pilot Survives Plane Crash in GC

4 2 14 Registation Fees Release

Sports Cast for April 3rd:

WOKC photo tennis district tournament 1 WOKC photo tennis district tournament 2 WOKC photo tennis district tournament 3 The boys finished up second at the district 14-3A tennis tournament at the sports complex.

The girls team finished 4th.  Jensen Beach had a clean sweep with all of the district titles in singles and doubles this year.  They also claimed the girls’ district title.

OHS boys tennis coach Morgan Ungerott said she knew her team would be determined to make regional after disappointment last year. Ungerott and the school system praised the Board of County commissioners for resurfacing the tennis courts in time for the district tournament. Okeechobee will play on the road next Tuesday.

On the sports schedule today, OHS baseball visits St. Lucie West Centennial at Tradition Field at 3 pm.

OHS softball competes in the Doc 4 Life tournament through Saturday in Ocala.

The flag football teams will host Treasure Coast tonight with JV game at 5 and varsity to follow around 6 pm.

The OHS track teams compete in a meet at Moore Haven at 3 pm.


ACM Awards Add Seven Performers

ACM Awards Add Seven Performers

Lee Brice, Tim McGraw and Darius Rucker have been added to the list of performers for the ACM Awards on Sunday (April 6) in Las Vegas. Dierks Bentley with Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts will also perform on the show which will air live on CBS.

Brice is nominated for male vocalist, while “I Drive Your Truck” will compete in the single, song and video categories. McGraw received seven nominations this year, including a video nod for “Highway Don’t Care” with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. As an artist and producer, he is nominated twice for single and vocal event (“Highway Don’t Care”), as well as album (Two Lanes of Freedom). Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel” is included in the single, song and vocal event categories.

In addition, Bentley will sing “I Hold On” with Crow, an ACM female vocalist nominee. Paisley will make the national television debut of his new single “River Bank” from his upcoming album with a performance at MGM Grand’s Talent Pool. Rascal Flatts will perform “Rewind” at the ACM Fan Jam via live remote at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Newly-announced presenters are Thea Andrews, Guy Fieri, LL Cool J, Jewel, Olivia Munn, Nancy O’Dell, Chris O’Donnell, Clay Walker and Trisha Yearwood. Garth Brooks will present the ACM’s Crystal Milestone Award to Merle Haggard.

Previously-announced performers include co-hosts Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, as well as Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum with Stevie Nicks, Miranda Lambert, Justin Moore, Kip Moore, Shakira, George Strait, The Band Perry and Keith Urban.

via CMT : News : ACM Awards Add Seven Performers.


Governor Scott Presents Florida State University Coach Jimbo Fisher and Football team with Governor’s Sports Award

Governor Scott Presents Florida State University Coach Jimbo Fisher and Football team with Governor’s Sports Award

FSU Football TeamTALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott presented the Governor’s Sports Award to Florida State University Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and the 2013 FSU Football team for their athletic achievements and winning the 2014 BCS National Championship. The Governor’s Sports Award is an award given to those who have made significant contributions to sports in Florida.

Governor Scott said, “It is an honor to present the Governor’s Sports Award to Florida State University Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and the 2013 FSU football team. As a college player and later as a coach, Coach Fisher has proven to be a true competitor and leader. Just like their coach, the student-athletes with us today have demonstrated the positive characteristics that FSU athletics stand for. FSU’s 2013 team will go down in college football as one of the most dominate teams in college football history.”

FSU Interim President Garnett S. Stokes said, “FSU is at the top of its game on and off the field. We are excelling in both academics and athletics, and this team’s historic achievement has added so much excitement and pride as the university strives to reach new heights. We are so impressed with them, and we appreciate the Governor’s recognition of their talent and commitment.”

FSU Board of Trustee Chair Allan Bense said, “All of us in the Florida State University community are proud of our National Championship team. These hard-working, talented young men have brought great positive attention to our university. We are grateful to Governor Scott for recognizing them with the Governor’s Sports Award and celebrating their achievement at the Governor’s Mansion. It was a special night they will long remember.”

FSU Caucus Chair & Representative Jimmy Patronis said, “Florida State’s season was fantastic! Best in the state. Best in the ACC. Best in the SEC. Best in the Nation. Coach Jimbo Fisher has set a new pace in college football, to all the rest, good luck keeping up.  Governor Scott has some terrific bragging rights this year, 1st in the Nation.”

FSU Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher said, “I’d like to give a special thanks to the Governor, the Senate and the House for having us up for Florida State Day at The Capitol. It’s a great honor for our university, our football team and one that we respect and appreciate. I think it’s a great opportunity for some of these young guys to see the impact and influence they can have. I’d also like to thank the Governor for having us at his house for a BBQ. It’s a great gesture and we’re extremely thankful. All of this is why we live in the great state of Florida.”


Charles Murphy News 4/2

News Cast for April 2nd:

The natural gas line proposed by Florida Southeast Connection will cut through about 25 miles of Okeechobee county and bring an economic impact of about 36 million to Okeechobee during construction.

Sarah Gatewood, company spokesperson, said 17 hundred construction jobs and 610 million in economic impact would be felt along the entire route. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a public hearing recently to get comments from the public, most of them was positive, with only the removal of old trees the one concern raised.

City councilman Dowling Watford said the pipe line would have a great economic impact on our community. He said the land can continue to be used as pasture after construction. The gas line is projected to be online on May 1, 2017

County Firemen cut about 75 yards into the woods to reach an occupant of a 4 door pickup that went off US 441 south east early Tuesday, FHP did not provide details.  It took firemen some time to extricate the patient.

48 year old Michael Bond was charged with two misdemeanors for an accident involving an Okeechobee Sheriff’s deputy on US 98N early Tuesday.

390 vehicles were checked at a DUI checkpoint on US 98 at NW 18th Street on Saturday night.  Three DUI arrests were made, five criminal infractions, 26 non-criminal citations and 14 warnings were issued by members of the city police department, sheriff’s office and the highway patrol.

DUI Checkpoint Arrests from 3/29

Indian River State College approved 290 thousand dollars to build a modern 27 hundred square foot lab at the Dixon Hendry campus to train locals in diesel mechanics, air conditioning, and other in demand industrial certification fields.

Lab for IRSC in Okeechobee Press Release

Sports Cast for April 2nd:

Okeechobee boys’ tennis has earned a regional bid for the first time in several years.  They go into day 2 of the district tournament neck and neck with Jensen Beach; the Falcons had 12 points and Okeechobee 11. Colt Root is among 4 singles players that will play for district championships today.  He said the first day went well for him. Action gets underway at 9 am at the sports complex. Boy’s baseball pummeled Westwood yesterday 14-3 to improve to (7-9) on the season.

Girls’ softball scored 7 runs in the third as they blasted Glades Day 11-0 last night.

Coach Mary Huff was impressed her girls were patient when they scored three times on bases loaded walks in the second inning. Jordan Lawlis pitched five shutout innings to get the win for Okeechobee.  She added a two run single in the third.  Kaylin Fulford added a two run double.

Shortstop Stormy Stokes said the entire team still to be on a roll right now.

The girls’ team will host Westwood this afternoon for senior night with action to begin at 6, and the pregame ceremony at 5:30 pm.

Flag football in action tonight when they visit Jensen Beach, JV at 5 and varsity to follow


Gov. Scott Signs House Bill 7015

Gov. Scott Signs House Bill 7015

Waives Out-of-State Tuition Fees for Honorably Discharged Veterans

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott was joined by Senate President Don Gaetz, Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, Senator Thad Altman, Senator Garrett Richter, Representative Doc Renuart, Representative Jimmie Smith and Representative Jimmy Patronis to sign House Bill 7015 which creates the “Congressman C.W. Bill Young Tuition Waiver Program,” that waives out-of-state tuition fees for honorably discharged veterans.

Governor Scott said, “My top priority is to create jobs for Florida families, and since every good job begins with a great education, I am proud to sign H.B. 7015 that will waive out of state tuition fees for honorably discharged veterans.  I am pleased to also sign this legislation that will help our veterans find employment and expand career opportunities for veterans and their spouses.  We are working to be the most military-friendly state in the nation, and this is another step to support our brave men and women who serve our nation.”

Senate President Don Gaetz said, “The Florida GI Bill makes Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation and supports the brave men and women who protect us at home and abroad. Through this bill, tens of thousands of active duty servicemen and women, military retirees and their families will see expanded education and employment options. Additionally, critical investments will be made to protect our military base missions and strengthen our National Guard Armories. It is an honor to stand alongside Governor Scott, Speaker Weatherford and service men and women of my district today as the Florida GI Bill is signed into law.”

House Speaker Will Weatherford said, “The Florida GI Bill increases our commitment to our servicemen and women by providing them with a meaningful opportunity to receive an education. I thank Governor Scott for signing this bill and standing up for our veterans.”

Senator Thad Altman, bill sponsor said, “I am proud to join the Governor today in signing HB 7015. Not only will this new legislation waive out-of-state tuition rates for veterans, it will also fund scholarships for National Guard members. This law will benefit our veterans by providing them with a full range of options and possibilities that will better prepare them for their future.”
Representative Jimmie Smith, bill sponsor said, “Thanks to the support of the Governor and the Legislature, this new law can now lead the way to making sure our men and women in uniform can find jobs when they return home. I was happy to sponsor this legislation and to be on hand to see this bill get signed today. I commend Governor Scott for his support on this issue.”

Representative Marti Coley, Speaker Pro Tempore said, “Making Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation is a top priority of the Governor’s as well as both the Florida House and Senate.  This bill will help the men and women who have served our country receive the education they need and have even more job opportunities than ever before. It is truly a small way to show our gratitude for their service.”

Representative Jimmy Patronis said, “I commend Governor Scott for signing this legislation to help our veterans find employment and expand career opportunities when they return home. This legislation reinforces the message that Florida makes our veterans a top priority.”

Representative Ronald “Doc” Renuart said, “This bill continues to keep Florida as the most veteran friendly state. And it serves those who serve us.”

Major General Emmett R. Titshaw, Jr. said, “The men and women of the Florida National Guard are grateful for the support of the Governor and the actions by the legislature to pass the Florida GI Bill, and especially provisions directly benefiting members of the Florida National Guard.  The enhanced educational benefits associated with Educational Dollars for Duty and funding for the Florida Armory Renovation Program (FARP) are especially helpful for Florida National Guard members, and the licensing provisions, veteran hiring preference and out-of-state tuition waiver will help all veterans.”

Retired Army Colonel Mike Prendergast, executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs said, “Waiving out-of-state tuition fees for returning veterans has been the primary focus of Florida’s collegiate veterans for several years. From expanded education benefits and veterans’ outreach to enhanced hiring preferences and improved access to services, this remarkable legislation signed into law today truly means Florida is the most veteran and military friendly state in the nation.”


Charles Murphy News 4/1

News Cast for April 1st:

South Water Managers say eventually they expect more water to flow south of Lake Okeechobee. The Mod Waters and Tamiana Trail projects are expected to help.   Chairman of the Lake Okeechobee Coalition Garrison Turner says there was nowhere to put the water last summer, requiring releases to both coasts that weren’t popular.

City administrator Brian Whitehall and Attorney John Cook both earned strong evaluations from city council this year.

Mayor Jim Kirk endorsed the work Whitehall has done for the city. Cook has been the city attorney for 25 years.  He predicts this year a lot of work will be spent on the litigation to decide who owns Flagler Park and who should get the state payment for the right of way needed for the main intersection widening.

Jobless rates remained almost identical in February.  Okeechobee had 7.4 percent unemployment with 1,362 residents collecting benefits.  Glades County had 8 percent unemployment, with 376 getting benefits.  Around the region Hendry had 9.8 percent, St. Lucie 8.3 percent, Indian River 7.7 percent, Highlands 7.3 percent and Desoto 6.6 percent.

Among arrests, 28 year old Darryl Faniel of Okeechobee was charged with burglary with an assault or battery.  Bond was 2 hundred thousand dollars.

37 year old Heather Hardcastle was charged with burglary with a battery, aggravated battery with a weapon, simple battery and trespass after an alleged confrontation over a child custody matter in Clementsville.  Bond was 31 thousand dollars.

The Sheriff’s office reported a scam involving their office.  A man who identifies himself as James Hall, calls people, advises them of criminal charges or warrants for them or a family member and demands payment to avoid arrest.  Hall is not associated with the Sheriff’s Office.

Beware!

The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls in reference to fraudulent calls. A male subject has contacted several residents and identified himself as James Hall, an employee of the Sheriff’s Office. He will leave a message for the victim to please call. Once the victim returns the call to him, he advises them of pending charges and /or warrants for the victim or a family member. He then proceeds to demand money in order to avoid an arrest.

This man is NOT associated with the Sheriff’s Office. If you receive such a call, contact the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office at (863)763-3117.

 

Michele Bell, PIO

Sports Cast for April 1st:

Dylan Ferneau was named the Brahman Award winner for the boys cross country team this year.

The sophomore says he was kind of shocked he won the award but noted he put in a lot of work.  His relative was a runner and he dedicated himself to the sport. Ferneau also is a singles player for the tennis team and he predicted his cross country work would help him on the tennis court.

He said he likes to encourage his teammates to do better. Ferneau predicted the team can continue to improve next year.

On the sports schedule today, OHS baseball will travel to Fort Pierce Westwood with first pitch at 4 pm.  OHS softball will host Glades Day tonight, JV at 5 and varsity at 7 pm.

Okeechobee also hosts the District 14-3A Tennis tournament today and Wednesday at the Okeechobee sports complex with matches beginning this morning around 9 am.


Scouting for Lightning Fires

Scouting for Lightning Fires

Along with the much needed rain came lightning. Lightning ignitions can smolder for days before they start to show visible signs especially in remote locations. Scouting lightning ignitions is the responsibility of the fixed-wing firefighter pilot from the Florida Forest Service. “Using a lightning map, I will make a flight plan to concentrate on positive lightning strikes. It’s commonly believed that the positive strikes, which are 5-10 times stronger than the negative strikes, are responsible for most forest fires.” says Sanne Esque, Airplane Pilot, FL Forest Service (FFS)

Sanne continues, “As I fly I have up to 25 miles of visibility in our Forestry aircraft. It’s a very efficient way to spot the beginnings of a smoldering wildfire.” Sanne covers 6 counties along her route and radios to FFS dispatch the location of the wildfires. FFS dispatch relays the information to State Firefighters in dozers and brush trucks and local fire departments to extinguish the fire.

Fixed-wing pilots are an essential element on wildfire scenes. These airplanes are used to scout-out wildfires and then serve as “eyes in the sky” for firefighters on the ground. Smoke impedes the visibility of the ground crews so the pilot will communicate to the firefighters information such as, the location of houses, sheds and vehicles in relation to the direction of the fire. The pilot can also locate roads and trails for access to the fire and also fences, and the gates to get through them. They can make the firefighters aware of ditches, flag ponds, power lines, and many other obstacles. The pilot can see the fuel types that the fire is moving into and thus assist the Incident Commander in determining the initial attack priorities and the necessity for possibly ordering more resources.

NEW You Tube Video: Scouting Wildfires Ignitions in Florida http://youtu.be/xT84ieqAdb8

Click here for full article!


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