Local News

Charles Murphy News 10/23

News Cast for October 23rd:

This is fire prevention month in Florida. The American Red Cross is working to educate Floridians on the ways to prevent fire related deaths and injury. 23 hundred people die and nearly 13 thousand are injured in home fires annually in America. Red Cross Spokesperson Anne Marie Borrego says seven in 10 parents believe their children know what to do in the event of fire, but less than 20 percent had practiced fire drills at home and less than 50 percent have instructed them on fire safety.

In October life fire departments and the Florida forest service visit each elementary school to educate kids about fire safety.

A miniature horse worth 12 hundred dollars was chewed up by two wild dogs in the Viking Property on NW 262nd Street. The horse had to be put down. Animal Control is looking for the dogs involved.

Two Lakeport men charged with using metal pipes and wooden boards in an assault on Ted Beck Road last week. Glades Deputies say the 50 year old victim was treated at Raulerson Hospital. Charged are 33 year old Donald Mathias and 32 year old Hardie Driggers.

Okeechobee schools introduced archery at Yearling Middle School gym classes. Lynn Hawk with the Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation commission made a presentation to the school board earlier this month touting the program as a way to improve graduation rates, and improve academic performance of struggling students. She emphasizes the program is totally safe. It teaches students self-discipline and gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Lynn Hawk on archery in school

Okeechobee High School will be having their Veterans Day Ceremony on November 11th. During this ceremony a slide show will be presented that recognizes all known Okeechobee High School graduates that have served in any branch of the armed forces, active or reserve. The high school is requesting that anyone that graduated from OHS and served in the military, to submit their name, the branch in which they served, a picture (preferably in uniform), and the year they graduated from Okeechobee High School. These submissions can be emailed to Jim Lozano at ohsnews3@gmail.com or can be delivered to the high school.

Sports Cast for October 23rd:

Lori Harper-Kyle was named as the new girls’ soccer coach at Okeechobee High school. She is an English teacher at Okeechobee High School. Her husband Robert is a native of Scotland who has played soccer as an amateur and coached Pub teams in the past. He will assist her this season. She plans to have a disciplined that works hard and doesn’t make mistakes. She said interest is picking up for the sport

Lori Harper-Kyle on girls soccer

The team managed five wins and three ties last year as they were competitive in more matches.   Coach Kyle says she hopes to keep moving in that direction. Key players include Hannah Raulerson, Keirsten Bostwick, Jeri Sharpe and a transfer student from El Salvador Karina Diaz Argueta. There first match is next Monday at LaBelle. Their first home match will be on November 4th.

Girls bowling defeats Sebring 4-3 while the boys fell 6-1 at their senior day match Wednesday.

Jessica Olney had the high game, 190 for the Lady Brahmans and Adam Simmons, 199 for OHS.

JV football hosts Clewiston at 6 pm

Girls volleyball district championship match at Jensen Beach 7 pm.

Charles Murphy News 10/22

News Cast for October 22nd:

OFC Student's of the month: From left to right Rachel Helfinstine, Rico Mitchell, Princess Salva, Rodolfo (Rudy) Juarez, and Portia Rowe (not pictured).

OFC Student’s of the month: From left to right Rachel Helfinstine, Rico Mitchell, Princess Salva, Rodolfo (Rudy) Juarez, and Portia Rowe (not pictured).

This is school bus safety week in Okeechobee County and Florida. Transportation director for Okeechobee Schools Lois Piper said they had a number of bus driver retire in the past year but did a good job of filling those positions Piper says bus accidents continue to decline and none where the bus drivers were found at fault in the last year. She said safety is always the number one priority for drivers. One problem area is railroad crossings. She urges motorists to be alert when behind school buses.

Lois Piper on school bus safety

In the courts, 40 year old Felisia Hill entered into the pretrial diversion program on charges of scheme to defraud and grand theft of the Okeechobee school board. The tutor for Glades Extreme Tutoring allegedly falsified three contracts with parents for tutoring services that were never provided and billed the school board for over 19 hundred dollars. She will not face jail time.

Two felony charges were dropped in the plea deal. She still faces similar charges in Palm Beach County.

25 year old Codeine Wigfall received 18 months’ probation in a Brighton drug case, charges were all dropped except a failure to appear. She had faced animal cruelty and possession of cocaine charges originally.

Arson is suspected at the sports complex early Monday around 3 am. Three separate garbage cans in the bathroom areas were set on fire with paper products. 12 hundred dollars in damage was reported. Deputies also found a broken out window at the sports complex tower.

Chamber Luncheon Info

For more info on the Chamber Luncheon, go to our Facebook page.

Sports Cast for October 22nd:

Clinesha Wingfield won the MVP award for the Junior Varsity flag football team this past season. Wingfield was trained in football by her father Clinton Williams and said she really took to the sport. The junior varsity had a 500 record this past year and Wingfield led the defense in stops

Clinesha Wingfield on flag football MVP

OYFL had just one team advance in the playoffs Saturday, the senior team, and the league will host five playoff games next Saturday, November 1st at Brahman Stadium. The Pee Wee team fell 26-16 to Sebring and the junior team lost to Vero Beach.

On the sports schedule for Wednesday, Swim team district meet at Sailfish Splash Water Park in Stuart today.

OHS bowling hosts Sebring 3:30 pm

Girls’ volleyball district tournament against South Fork tonight at 5 pm at Jensen Beach.


Adam Putnam’s “Florida Grown” Bus Tour to Visit Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard County

Adam Putnam’s “Florida Grown” Bus Tour to Visit Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard County

Visiting Cities and Towns Across Florida, “Florida Grown” Bus Tour to Highlight Adam Putnam’s Vision for the Future of Florida

BARTOW, Fla. – To meet, greet and engage with as many Florida voters as possible before election day, Adam Putnam launched his “Florida Grown” Bus Tour. Adam Putnam and the “Florida Grown” Bus Tour will crisscross Florida through election day to make more than 50 visits to the state’s diverse cities – and their residents.

The “Florida Grown” Bus Tour’s public events for tomorrow are as follows:

Wednesday, Oct. 22:


Location: Harry and the Natives Breakfast Meet and Greet
Who: Adam Putnam

Representative Mary Lynn Magar

Sheriff William Snyder


Time: 8:00-9:00 a.m.
Address: 11910 SE Federal Highway

Hope Sound, FL 33455


Location: St. Lucie Republican Executive Committee Stop In
Who: Adam Putnam

St. Lucie County Commissioner Todd Mowery

St. Lucie County Commissioner Frannie Hutchinson

St. Lucie REC Chairman Bill Paterson

Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Address: 6835 South U.S. Highway 1

Port St. Lucie, FL 34952

Location: Wilke’s 14 Bones BBQ Meet and Greet
Who: Adam Putnam

Sheriff Deryl Loar

Representative Debbie Mayfield

Indian River County Commissioner Wesley Davis

Time: 12:45-1:45 p.m.
Address: 1500 South Highway 1

Vero Beach, FL 32960

Location: Fellsmere Shrimp Farm Tour
Who: Adam Putnam
Time: 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Address: 15369 CR 512

Fellsmere, FL 32948


The “Florida Grown” Bus Tour will showcase Adam Putnam’s priorities to:

  • Encourage economic prosperity
  • Protect our Second Amendment rights
  • Safeguard consumers from fraud
  • Foster academic success; and
  • Honor American veterans

For more information about Adam Putnam and his values, priorities and accomplishments, visit AdamPutnam.com.



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott announced today record funding to improve cancer care, increase the number of National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer centers and create a premier cancer research network in Florida. H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Florida Health Cancer Center will receive funding in the amounts of $25,490,638, $16,000,000 and $18,509,362, respectively. Governor Scott led the effort to increase cancer funding and research, resulting in Florida now investing $80 million in cancer research.

Governor Scott said, “Florida’s families deserve the best cancer care possible. This $60 million investment specifically for Florida’s cancer centers will allow them to provide the most advanced care through innovative and collaborative research outcomes. This milestone is a testament to Florida’s commitment to providing world class treatment to all cancer patients.”

As a part of this investment, $60 million dollars will be allocated annually by the NCI Cancer Center Program to promote research and assist Florida’s top cancer centers to meet the rigorous scientific standards required for the NCI designation. NCI-designated cancer centers provide the latest in medical discoveries to patients, serve the educational needs of health professionals and promote health equity throughout communities.

The other $20 million of cancer research funding is split between the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program and the William “Bill” G. Bankhead and David Coley Cancer Research Program, which both award competitive grants to promising cancer research projects.

State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong said, “Excellence in cancer research and patient care is a top priority for Florida. Thanks to the vision of Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, this funding will position Florida as a leader in cancer research and help us to achieve our goal of becoming the premier destination for cancer treatment, research and prevention.”

Dr. Alan F. List, President and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center, said, “We are pleased with Florida’s dedication to cancer research initiatives and delighted to receive funding that will allow Moffitt to continue working toward our mission to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. As we make strides in cancer research, Florida moves closer to becoming the nation’s destination for cancer treatment and research.”

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine and Chief Executive Officer, University of Miami Health System, said, “The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is proud to contribute to research initiatives that enhance treatment for Floridians with cancer, and applauds the state for its vision in allocating funds that will allow our cancer center to achieve NCI designation. This funding will be used to elevate Sylvester and the state of Florida to new heights, creating a top-tier research and treatment environment in our state to the ultimate benefit of all Floridians.”

David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., University of Florida senior vice president for health affairs and UF Health president said, “The University of Florida Health Cancer Center is encouraged by Florida’s devotion to research and treatment and proud to be recognized in our effort to help our state become a national leader in cancer care. This funding will help our cancer center reach our goal of generating tomorrow’s answers for today’s patients through state-of-the-art cancer treatment, prevention, control and education.”

Senate President Don Gaetz said, “In some form or another, cancer touches the lives of millions of Americans every year. Governor Scott and the Legislature share a passion for keeping Florida on the cutting edge of cancer treatment and research so that more cancer patients can become cancer survivors.  I look forward to learning about the good work these cancer centers are doing to bring us closer to a cure.”

House Speaker Will Weatherford said, “Cancer is a terrible disease that sadly affects too many people. Floridians should be thankful we have a Governor like Rick Scott and a principled state legislature that recognize the importance of making such a strategic investment in cancer research. These funds will pave the way for improved treatment and prevention strategies for years to come.”

Senate President-Designate Andy Gardiner said, “Cancer has taken a toll on Florida’s families for far too long. Governor Scott’s commitment to cancer research will yield positive results for the thousands of Floridians affected by this disease and position our state as the leading destination for cancer research and treatment.”

House Speaker-Designate Steve Crisafulli said, “Working together, we can make a meaningful difference in providing Florida’s families with the care and treatment they need. This funding is a monumental step in the right direction for cancer research in Florida, and I am grateful for Governor Scott’s strong leadership on this critical issue.”

Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto said, “We are fortunate to live in a state that strives to be a leader in cancer treatment and prevention. It was a pleasure to be a part of the team that passed this bill and I am thankful for Governor Scott’s longstanding support for cancer patients.”

Senator Denise Grimsley said, “The announcement of this $60 million to be shared among three top-tier cancer centers will help Florida continue on the path toward having more NCI-designated centers. Governor Scott has Florida on the right path to help more Florida centers achieve this rigorous designation.”

Senator Aaron Bean said, “As I’ve said before, our efforts to serve and care for people who are battling cancer demonstrate Florida’s commitment to do whatever is necessary to bring health and healing.  I am pleased to continue supporting Governor Scott as he leads the transformation of cancer research funding in our state.”

Senator Rene Garcia said, “Florida’s first-class cancer centers help people from all over the world beat this terrible disease. I am proud to stand in support of Governor Scott and this cancer funding.”

Senator Bill Galvano said, “Governor Scott is always looking for ways to help Florida lead the nation.  With this new cancer center funding, he has again positioned Florida to be a leader in the nation. I am proud to stand in support of this initiative.”

Senator Anitere Flores said, “Today’s announcement for the new cancer funding reinforces Governor Scott’s commitment to supporting cancer research in Florida.  This funding will make a difference in the lives of Florida families and I am proud to stand in support.”

Representative Marti Coley said, “Governor Scott’s efforts to promote Florida’s Cancer Centers should assure our residents that our state is committed to leading the way in finding an end to a disease that takes so much from so many.”

Representative Dana Young said, “I commend Gov. Scott for his leadership in making Florida a destination for cancer research and care.  This visionary program will give Florida based cancer centers the opportunity to earn the designation of ‘Comprehensive Cancer Center’ by the National Cancer Institute.  Moffitt Cancer Center is currently the only Florida based center with this most prestigious award. This program will improve the care, and most importantly the outcomes, for Floridians and the visitors who receive their care here.”

Representative Matt Hudson said, “This $60 million in cancer research funding will help Florida’s centers continue on their paths to making our state the cancer treatment destination. Governor Scott understands how terrible this disease is and through this funding he has demonstrated his commitment to creating healthier communities.”

Representative Richard Corcoran said, “Florida is a leader in so many industries and Governor Scott’s announcement of more than $60 million for funding cancer research will continue to propel our state forward with cutting edge research.”

Representative Jose Oliva said, “Governor Scott’s $60 million investment in cancer research has become a reality as funding has begun to flow to the three top-tier cancer centers in Florida. This funding will continue to help build the research enterprise and attract additional research dollars from outside the state.”

Representative Jose Felix Diaz said, “Sadly, most Floridians know someone whose life has been touched by cancer. This announcement by Governor Scott for cancer prevention and treatment should bring renewed hope to many Florida families.”

Representative Debbie Mayfield said, “Governor Scott’s budget invests in research, technology and state-of-the-art prevention, diagnosis and treatment makes Florida a leader in the battle against this terrible disease and a beacon of hope for countless families.”

Florida’s Intermodal Centers Help Increase Trade

Florida’s Intermodal Centers Help Increase Trade

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Florida is taking steps to handle more of the world’s multi-billion dollar trade industry by expanding its intermodal centers, according to the latest Economic Commentary from Florida TaxWatch. Intermodal centers are specialized facilities where goods are moved from one form of transportation to another, such as moving a shipping container from a ship to a train or from rail to truck.

“Florida is uniquely poised to move goods more efficiently than our neighboring states and other competitors,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of the independent, nonpartisan public policy research institute. “Expanding Florida’s intermodal points will allow the state to more efficiently transfer goods and even people between seas, roads, rails, air, and space.”

New and improved intermodal centers will result in lower freight prices for Florida consumers and businesses, due to more efficient and cost-effective shipping.

“Recent additions of new and improved intermodal centers will have a great economic impact on Florida’s economy and consumers,” said Jerry D. Parrish, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Florida TaxWatch. “The centers will add to Florida’s economy by providing high-wage jobs to Floridians, while also reducing the cost of goods purchased by Florida consumers.”

Florida began incorporating intermodal centers into the Florida Department of Transportation’s work plan in 2005, with the adoption of the Strategic Intermodal System Plan, which is required to be updated in December 2015.

As Florida expands its intermodal centers with new rail, road and sea- and air-port infrastructure development, the state can expect to transport more than goods. These centers can help move both Floridians and its nearly 100 million annual visitors around the state more efficiently, as well.


Read about Florida’s Intermodal Centers and their expansion plans.

Charles Murphy News 10/21

News Cast for October 21st:

Okeechobee city planners approved a petition for a drive through restaurant to accommodate a Sonic at 501 North East Park Street. Engineer Steve Dobbs says the company is yet to purchase the property and have some petroleum issues on site before they can proceed to construction. He estimated it might take some time. He said the board recommended some buffering so lights don’t bother residential areas.

The board also recommended rezoning 12 lots, about 2 and half acres between NE and 6th and 7th avenue and NE 3rd and 4th Streets. They also approved plans for a gym at 210 North West 5th Street.

Magna bond received approval on a lease extension and a larger building at the county industrial park this month. Owner Frank Miele praised the support Okeechobee has shown his agriculture business. The new building adds a large loading dock to accommodate tractor trailers. Their product is sold in 27 states and they hope to get into California to treat their large walnut crop. He expects 4 to 5 new jobs at the plant.

They also have done research with the University of Florida on citrus greening and canker trying to come up with a chemical that will solve those problems.

Sports Cast for October 21st:

Manny Gaona is excited about the cross country team this year and their chances to reach regionals and the state finals. The team will host districts next week at the Okeechobee Agri Civic Center. Gaona says he’s been very impressed with the younger runners. Gaona has a younger brother on this year’s squad and has been very impressed with his interest in the sport and how it’s rubbed off on other runners. Zach Hudson led Okeechobee with a 79 at the regional in Plantation.

Daniel Fulleda shot 88, Kyle Mullins 89, and Eli Finney 91. Okeechobee finished 8th out of nine schools, the regional champion was American Heritage Plantation.

The girls’ team shot 445 which were good for sixth place out of seven teams.   The regional champion was Arch Bishop McCarthy

On the sports schedule for Tuesday 10/21:

Cross country at South Fork Invitational

Osceola soccer at Gifford 4:30 in a makeup match

OHS bowling at Fort Pierce Central 3:30 pm

Girls’ volleyball districts versus South Fork 6 pm at Jensen Beach.

Charles Murphy News 10/20

News Cast for October 20th:

Sanders, Ivan James

Sanders, Ivan James

Glades County is negotiating with positive medical transport to take over EMS services in northern Glades County and Buckhead Ridge. The company informally offered to do the service for 70 thousand dollars, Okeechobee County offered to do the service for 126 thousand dollars annually. Glades County will release Okeechobee from their mutual aid services when and if they can work out a deal with positive transport.

Dale Barrett retired after 44 years of service to the Okeechobee school board last week as director of operations. He had started as a physical education teacher and held many jobs including assistant principal. He praised his colleagues and staff over the years during his speech before the school board. Barrett said he is proud of the facilities his staff was able to oversee during the past 20 years including several new schools, like South Elementary, and Osceola Middle School.

Dale Barrett on retirement

In the courts, 20 year old Faith Kahn received two years drug offender probation and 7 months in jail for a January traffic stop by city police where 17 explosive devices, weapons, body armor, a sawed off shotgun and met amphetamines were allegedly found. Kahn pled no contest to possession of a short barreled shotgun. One of her codefendants, Michael Holmes, who was on parole at the time, received four years in prison.

Press News Release Report Child Abuse

Press News Release Child Found Unresponsive Dies

Highlands Co US 27 10-17-14

Sports Cast for October 20th:

South Fork stunned Okeechobee by jumping out to a 33-0 lead in the first 15 minutes of the game and went on to rout the Brahmans 54-23 on Friday night. QB Stone Labanowitz completed 10 of 14 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns to Brandon Greis and Walter Thomas. He added a rushing touchdown. Junior Green returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown. Okeechobee was led by an 85 yard kick return for a touchdown by Bubba Fludd, a three yard touchdown by Lamar Williams and a four yard touchdown run by Juanyae Ford.   Jarrett Mills added a 32 yard field goal.

Brahman Coach Chris Branham maintained his team was a bit stunned by the early deficit. Branham says there was no one area of the game that the Brahmans were able to be successful Friday. South Fork had 334 rushing yards in the game.

Chris Branham post game vs South Fork

Lamar Williams led Okeechobee with 18 carries for 94 yards.

This week the Brahmans travel to Palm Bay Bayside for another district game.



AAA Foundation Research Suggests States Could Reduce Crashes by Extending GDL Requirements

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 20, 2014) — Experience behind the wheel may matter more than age when it comes to the safety of young-adult drivers, according to two new studies by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. These results suggest that states could reduce road crashes, fatalities and injuries by extending graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws to novice drivers beyond age 17. AAA is promoting this research as part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, which takes place from Oct. 19-25.

Graduated driver licensing laws are designed to help new drivers gain practical experience in a relatively safe environment by initially restricting their exposure to risky situations, such as driving at night or with young passengers. The law then gradually phases in more privileges as new drivers gain more experience.

“Turning 18 does not instantly make someone a safer driver,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “This new research clearly demonstrates how important experience is to safe driving and suggests that graduated driver licensing laws may be beneficial for people that begin driving at an older age.  

The findings are based on two studies that examined crash rates of new drivers. The first study looked at crash rates in both California and North Carolina, which are two states that allow driving at age 16 and have no GDL requirements for new drivers ages 18 or older. While new drivers licensed at older ages tended to be less likely to crash during their first months and years of driving than younger beginners, the research revealed an important exception: new drivers licensed at age 18 were more likely to be involved in a crash resulting in injuries during their first year of solo driving than new drivers licensed at any other age.

The second study examined crash rates in New Jersey, which has a minimum age of 17 for unsupervised driving and is the only state in the country to have a comprehensive GDL program for all new drivers up to age 21. In New Jersey, while crash rates of new drivers licensed at different ages largely converged after six months of solo driving experience, older beginners had lower crash rates overall and lower rates of injury crashes than younger beginners.

“Many teens delay getting their driver’s license and are driving less,” said John Pecchio, AAA spokesman. “This results in fewer structured hours behind the wheel during the critical learner’s permit stage.”

Although the data did not allow researchers to directly investigate whether these differences were caused by GDL provisions, collectively, the results of the two studies suggest that applying GDL to all new drivers, or at least to some new drivers older than 17, might have a protective effect and improve safety.

Graduated driver licensing programs have reduced 16- and 17-year-old driver crashes, but generally do not apply to new drivers ages 18 and older. Prior AAA Foundation research found that an estimated 36 percent of new drivers miss out on the protections of GDL by delaying licensure until age 18 or older.  AAA is not calling for states to extend GDL provisions just yet, but does believe the research results are very promising in terms of pinpointing a way to keep these drivers safe. The AAA Foundation is planning to dive deeper into this area of research in the coming year.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers, and drivers ages 18-20 were involved in more than 800,000 crashes in the United States in 2012. Parents and teens can learn more about teen driver issues and GDL requirements in their state by visiting AAA’s Keys2Drive website.

Governor Rick Scott: Florida is not waiting on the Federal Government to be prepared for Ebola

Governor Rick Scott: Florida is not waiting on the Federal Government to be prepared for Ebola

~Calls on CDC to step up preparedness support in Florida ~

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After meeting with officials today from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, as well the Florida Department of Health, the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Division of Emergency Management, Governor Rick Scott made it clear that Florida is not waiting on the federal government for the state to prepare its citizens for a potential case of Ebola. Also today, Governor Scott urged the federal government to add Florida airports to the list of airports that have increased federal safety steps.

Governor Scott said, “We are thankful we do not have a case of Ebola in Florida and we hope we never do. But, my top priority is making sure that Florida stays safe. The CDC and the federal government have already admitted that they have failed to get ahead of the spread of Ebola in other states – and we aren’t going to let that happen in Florida. We are not going to simply wait for the federal government to be prepared. We are taking action.

“Today, we are demanding the attention of the CDC and the federal government to ensure we have what we need to be prepared to respond and keep our state safe. The federal government should add Florida airports to the list of airports that are implementing additional screening for passengers. At this time, five US airports have implemented these additional screenings, and Florida airports should be included.”

Governor Scott has taken the following actions to enhance Florida’s preparedness efforts:

  • On Sunday, Florida Hospitals were asked to establish mandatory Ebola training programs to protect healthcare professionals. To date, 46 hospitals have notified ACHA that they have completed this healthcare professional training. ACHA is continuing to follow up daily with hospitals to ensure the training is complete.
  • The Department of Health has also identified $1.25 million in federal grant funding that Florida will immediately use to buy high-level Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other equipment to enhance preparedness efforts.
  • The Florida National Guard is now ramping up its preparedness efforts by setting up two Rapid Response teams that will be able to provide healthcare services for any potential Ebola cases in Florida.

Governor Scott has asked the federal government for the following actions:

  • Florida has asked for 30 testing kits so the state is ready to conduct tests on any cases that healthcare officials believe could be Ebola. To date, the CDC has only offered three.
  • Florida has asked federal officials for over $7 million in federal funds to be redirected so the state can purchase additional high-level personal protective equipment for healthcare workers – as well as other Ebola preparedness supplies.
  • Governor Scott has asked the CDC to expand their contact of airline passengers to include all passengers who traveled on the same plane as Dallas nurse Amber Joy Vinson for the full 24 hours after her flight. Within 24 hours of Amber’s flight with a low-grade fever, the plane made five additional stops – including one into and one out of Fort Lauderdale Airport.

As of the Governor’s briefing this morning in Fort Lauderdale, the CDC has not fulfilled any of Florida’s requests and he is now asking them publicly to support Florida in these important preparedness efforts.

Gov. Scott: Unemployment rate Drops from 6.3 to 6.1 Percent

Gov. Scott: Unemployment rate Drops from 6.3 to 6.1 Percent

Florida businesses create 12,800 private-sector jobs in September

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Governor Rick Scott today announced that Florida’s statewide unemployment rate in September was 6.1 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from last month and down 0.8 percentage point from the September 2013 rate of 6.9 percent. Florida created 12,800 private-sector jobs in September 2014. Since December 2010, Florida’s private-sector businesses have added 651,300 jobs for Florida families. Florida’s annual job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s rate since April 2012.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Today’s announcement that Florida businesses have created nearly 13,000 private-sector jobs is great news for Florida families. Together since December 2010, Florida job creators have created 651,300 private-sector jobs. Florida’s unemployment rate has also dropped from 6.3 to 6.1 percent, the lowest it has been since June 2008. Our policies are working in Florida, and more-and-more Floridians are able to get a job and support their family, and we will keep working until every Floridian who wants a job can get one.”

Since December 2010, Florida’s unemployment rate has dropped 5.0 percentage points, from 11.1 percent down now to 6.1 percent in September 2014. Florida’s unemployment rate has declined or held steady over the month for 46 of the last 49 months.

Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio said, “The 12,800 new private-sector jobs, the 261,000 online jobs ads, and the decreasing unemployment rate are all indicators that Florida is continuing to grow its opportunity economy. Florida offers the perfect climate for families and business to plan for their future.”

Florida’s labor force increased over the month and over the year in September. On an annual basis, Florida’s labor force has increased for 55 consecutive months. This economic indicator can be a sign of optimism as more people are entering the labor force with confidence in their prospects for finding employment. The labor force is defined as the sum of employment plus unemployment (those with a job and those without a job but actively seeking work).

The long-term positive trends in the unemployment rate and job counts are among the most important economic indicators to consider when analyzing the health of Florida’s economic recovery. The state’s private-sector job counts have been steadily on the rise for over four years, showing that Florida’s businesses are responding to the state’s improving economic climate. Since December 2010, the state has added 651,300 private-sector jobs.

More Floridians Getting Back to Work

  • Florida’s annual job growth rate has exceeded that of the nation since April 2012.
  • Florida’s private sector job growth month-to-month has been positive for 43 of the last 46 months.
  • Florida has created 651,300 new private sector jobs since December 2010.
  • Florida job postings compiled by the Help Wanted OnLine data series from The Conference Board showed 261,678 openings in September 2014.

Home Sales Robust

  • Home sales remain robust as the backlog of existing homes on the market is down by 33.7 percent from December 2011 (Florida Realtors).
  • Florida median home prices were up 2.9 percent over the year in August 2014.

Workforce Boards Assisting in Employment

  • In September, Florida’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 43,800 Floridians were placed in jobs. An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a CareerSource Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 9,392 previously received Reemployment Assistance.
  • In 2013, more than 479,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with 135,384 former claimants finding employment.

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