Local News

The Buffalo Bills sign Lonnie Pryor

The Buffalo Bills sign Lonnie Pryor

Orchard Park, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills are now one spot away from filling their practice squad.

On Monday morning, the Bills announced the signing of fullback Lonnie Pryor and guard D.J. Morrell to their practice squad, which leaves one open spot on the 10-player practice squad.

Pryor, a Florida State product, started his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars after going undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Jaguars’ practice squad before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed him. Pryor was with the Bucs through the preseason before being released.

Morrell went undrafted out of Old Dominion in the 2014 NFL Draft and spent time with both the Detroit Lions and St. Louis Rams this summer. He’s 6-feet-6-inches tall and 325 pounds.

Quarterback Jeff Tuel, defensive ends Ike Igbinosun and Bryan Johnson, wide receiver Caleb Holley, safety Deon Broomfield, linebacker Jimmy Gaines and safety Kenny Ladler were signed to the practice squad on Sunday.

Charles Murphy News 9/2

News Cast for September 2nd:

Golgotha Ministries was the subject of a recent presentation before the Kiwanis Club in Okeechobee. Morgan Lumpkin says participants in the program is for recovering addicts to drug an alcohol and is centered on Jesus Christ. He said the participants are expected to work hard in the program. The program is young but has high hopes of treating those with drug and alcohol addictions.

The Okeechobee school board found that former Union President Tom Bonasera violated 8 different policies after a employment termination hearing last week, he was accused of giving a fellow teacher prescription pain pills Tramadol in exchange for her nude photographs last February.

Bonasera says it was mostly a joke and that he wasn’t giving the teacher enough pills to cause her to have an addiction. The Board found Bonasera committed an immoral act, committed misconduct in office and brought disgrace upon the teaching profession. They could move to fire him at their September board meeting next week.

A 29 year old motorcyclist was killed Monday evening when he ran the stop sign at the intersection of 68 east and 441 north, struck a wooden fence, and was ejected. Troopers say Reece Lopez was westbound when the crash occurred.

Florida s Cowtown Rodeo

Okeechobee, Fla., Aug. 31-Sept. 1

All-around cowboy: (tie) Juan Alcazar Jr, steer wrestling and team roping, and Corey Fussell, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and team roping, $808 each.

Bareback riding: First round: 1. Colt Kitaif, 70 points on Silver Spurs Club’s Cher, $226; 2. Shelton Murphy, 68, $169; 3. Chris Smith, 66, $113; no other qualified rides. Second round: 1. Colt Kitaif, 79 points on Silver Spurs Club’s Ned Ross, $226; 2. Jon Luse, 73, $169; 3. Blade Elliott, 69, $113; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Colt Kitaif, 149 points on two head, $226; 2. Jon Luse, 73, $169; 3. Blade Elliott, 69, $113; 4. Shelton Murphy, 68, $56.

Steer wrestling: 1. Juan Alcazar Jr, 3.4 seconds, $808; 2. Erin Bullin, 4.5, $606; 3. Leo Mobley, 5.0, $404; 4. Payton Caudill, 5.1, $202.

Team roping: 1. Bradley Massey/Shane Hester, 6.2 seconds, $1,034 each; 2. Dillon Bird/Mark Strickland, 7.3, $776; 3. Zeb Chapman/Tom Bourne, 8.1, $517; 4. Allen Ulrici/Jordon Ulrici, 9.1, $259.

Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Andrew Harris, 77 points on Silver Spurs Club’s Frog, $248; 2. Cole Bilbro, 73, $186; 3. Joe Farren, 69, $124; 4. Whit Ashe, 62, $62. Second round: 1. Justin Caylor, 79 points on Silver Spurs Club’s Frog, $248; 2. Cole Bilbro, 69, $186; 3. Joe Farren, 63, $124; 4. Whit Ashe, 56, $62. Average: 1. Cole Bilbro, 142 points on two head, $248; 2. Justin Caylor, 140, $186; 3. Joe Farren, 132, $124; 4. Whit Ashe, 118, $62.

Tie-down roping: 1. Corey Fussell, 9.4 seconds, $808; 2. Ben Mayworth, 9.6, $606; 3. Lane Bateman, 9.7, $404; 4. (tie) Brad Hartt and Seth Rodriguez, 11.6, $101 each.

Barrel racing: 1. Jodi Jansen, 16.09 seconds, $848; 2. Brittney Willis, 16.12, $737; 3. Megan Swint, 16.16, $626; 4. (tie) Tracy Bishop and Shawna Bourne, 16.20, $461 each; 6. Amanda Amos, 16.22, $295; 7. (tie) Deb Brannon and Teal Hampton, 16.29, $129 each.

Bull riding: 1. Alencar Anderson, 69 points on Silver Spurs Club’s Wham-o, $775; 2. Wagner Luciano, 64, $581; 3. Michael Riggs Jr., 52, $387; no other qualified rides.

Total payoff: $19,596. Stock contractor: Silver Spurs Club. Sub-contractor: Five Star Rodeo.

Click here for a directory of PRCA Photographers

Sports Cast for September 2nd:

A defensive battle filled with penalties Friday as Okeechobee fell to Glades Day 6-0 to open the regular season.

Cory Surls 8 yard touchdown pass in the final minute to Tight End Christopher Guerry was the only score of the game. A 37 yard drive was set up by a blocked punt by the Gators. Okeechobee was held to 150 yards in offense and had over 1 hundred yards in penalties.

Brahman Coach Chris Branham placed the blame at the lack of serious preparation this week as his kids got too high after a big win over Lake Placid. Antawyn Fludd had 60 yards rushing on six carries to lead Okeechobee. Daniel Duncanson ran for 72 yards to lead Glades Day.

Brahman QB Brandon Shockley said he felt the team should have practiced harder last week. This week Okeechobee will travel to Sebring to take on the Blue Streak.

Interview with Shockley

Moore Haven lost at Dade Christian 37-0.

On the schedule today, Moore Haven volleyball visits Sebring, bowling hosts Fort Pierce this afternoon at 3:30 pm, girls volleyball visits Vero Beach.

Buccaneers cut Lonnie Pryor, Keith Lewis, Ka’lial Glaud in final roster cuts – Bucs Nation

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut two players to start the process of getting down to a 53-man roster. According to Greg Auman, cornerback Keith Lewis, linebacker Ka’lial Glaud and fullback Lonnie Pryor were all released today. Lewis was an undrafted rookie out of Virginia-Lynchburg, while Lonnie Pryor was a local favorite signed late last year. Glaud was an undrafted rookie out of Rutgers last year who spent 7 games on the roster primarily as a special teams player.

Lewis actually recorded an interception yesterday, but that wasn’t enough to keep him on the roster. Lonnie Pryor lost the battle at the fullback position to Jorvorskie Lane, a competition he never really threatened to win. All three players are still eligible for the practice squad.

The Bucs have to cut 19 more players before Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET to finish their initial round of roster cuts. And then they’ll continue to tweak the bottom of the roster as they get the opportunity to claim waiver wire players they like, and add some of their own cuts and other players to the practice squad.

You can follow all of today’s roster moves in our Roster Cuts Story Stream.

Buccaneers cut Lonnie Pryor, Keith Lewis, Ka’lial Glaud in final roster cuts – Bucs Nation.

Returning Home After Suppressing Wildfires in Oregon

Returning Home After Suppressing Wildfires in Oregon

Palmdale, FL – Florida Forest Service Forest Ranger Tom Hopkins returns home to Glades County after suppressing wildfires in the state of Oregon.  Tom served eighteen days fighting multiple wildfires across the state, including the Pumice Complex (Crater Lake National Park), running initial attack in the Chiloquin National Forest, and ending on the Murderers Creek Fire (John Day). As Assistant Crew Boss of a twenty-person wildland firefighting hand-crew, his days were full of eating smoke and battling flames, while at night he served as his crew liaison. The Florida Forest Service established a hand-crew consisting of 20 nationally qualified wildland firefighters who served on the front lines of wildland fire. Working side by side, the crew’s main responsibility was to construct a “fireline” – a strip of land cleared of flammable materials and dug down to mineral soil – around the wildfires to control it and to mop up after the fire.

“The sense of adventure and brotherhood is what drives me to this occupation,” Forest Ranger Tom expounds. “The cohesiveness and dependability that is developed between 20 strangers is amazing. Two weeks in a high stress atmosphere will let you know just how much you need those guys.” The wildland firefighters come together from the tip of the Panhandle, all the way to south Everglades, and everything in between.  A hand-crew’s day starts before sunrise when they obtain the operational briefing. “Extended work hours, and sleeping on the ground is the only down side. The sense of pride, knowing we are battling nature one on one is fulfilling.” Tom states. “Our gear weighs roughly 35-40 lbs and climbing straight up a ridgeline is physically challenging but adrenaline, team work and humor get you through the day.”

“Being the assistant crew boss on the crew is a rewarding job,” says Tom.Depending on their qualifications and skill levels, a twenty person handcrew may be divided into squads (5 firefighters each). “The responsibility of the assistant crew boss is to make sure the crew maintains a steady work pace and to provide direction. Once the outline is there, the crew’s strength as a team really dictates the pace. This crew could take on any task.”

Wildfire handcrews exemplify the American spirit; they are self sufficient and are expected to work hard. They often eat and sleep where they work, without luxury. They face danger daily and are the backbone in the fight against wildfire. Tom says, “I am ready should there be another assignment, today or next year. There are beautiful landscapes that are at risk of unmanaged fire and I am honored to be a part of team that prevents them from burning.”


Please contact your local Florida Forest Service office (Vero Beach 772-778-5085; Port St. Lucie 772-468-3915;

Stuart 772-221-4045; Okeechobee 863-462-5160; Sebring 863-655-6407; Palmdale 863-674-4000).

Please visit our website atwww.floridaforestservice.com/wildfire

FWC recommends Collier County residents take steps to protect small livestock from panthers

FWC recommends Collier County residents take steps to protect small livestock from panthers

Because of recent incidents of Florida panthers taking small livestock in Golden Gates Estates, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is cautioning Collier County residents to take the necessary precautions to properly shelter animals such as goats, sheep, calves, pigs, donkeys and chickens.

“The best way for people to protect small livestock is to keep them in a secure, fenced enclosure with a roof, especially at night,” said FWC panther team leader Darrell Land. “Panther depredations on animals in backyards can be prevented, and we encourage Golden Gate Estates residents to take the necessary steps to protect their animals from being taken by a panther or other predator.”

Similar safety measures should be taken to protect pets like dogs and cats, by keeping them indoors at night or in an outdoor panther-proof pen.

The FWC is investigating and monitoring depredations on so-called hobby livestock that recently have been concentrated in the area of 6th Street SE in Golden Gate Estates. However, panther depredations can occur throughout the area, and biologists encourage the community’s residents who live east of Collier Boulevard to take appropriate steps to protect their backyard animals from all predators roaming this semi-rural area. Predators include bobcats and coyotes as well as panthers.

“The FWC is alerting Golden Gate Estates residents that taking precautions today to protect their small livestock from panthers will have beneficial long-term effects by discouraging panthers and other predators from repeatedly coming back into their community looking for easy prey,” Land said.

People can learn more about living in panther country from the brochure, “A guide to living with Florida Panthers”. It reminds people, for instance, not to feed deer or other wildlife around their home, since that can attract panthers looking for prey.

Land, who has lived in Golden Gate Estates for more than 25 years, said wildlife is common in the area because its relatively large residential lots often include natural habitat areas. The community also is bordered on three sides by conservation lands, which include the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge to the east, Picayune Strand State Forest and Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park to the south, and Bird Rookery Swamp, part of the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, to the north – all of which are regularly used by panthers.

If people have problems or concerns about panthers, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone. To report a panther sighting to the FWC, go to MyFWC.com/PantherSightings.

Additional information about Florida panthers is available at FloridaPantherNet.org.

Golgotha Ministries Talk To Kiwanis About Fresh Produce Co-op (AUDIO INCLUDED)

Golgotha Ministries Talk To Kiwanis About Fresh Produce Co-op (AUDIO INCLUDED)

From left to right: Golgotha Ministries Project Director Morgan Lumpkin, profect participant Holden Knight and Kiwanis presenter Dowling Watford.

From left to right: Golgotha Ministries Project Director Morgan Lumpkin, profect participant Holden Knight and Kiwanis presenter Dowling Watford.

Morgan Lumpkin is the project director for a fresh produce store benefiting Golgotha Ministries and spoke recently to the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee. Golgotha Ministries is a transition house for recovering drug and/or alcohol addicts that have completed a Christ centered rehabilitation program.

Participants in the program go to the market, purchase the produce and then help load, unload, sort and package produce for the public. The program is designed to give the residents of the home an income while they transition back to society.

Lumpkin says the program is still young and only two have completed the program with mixed results.


Charles Murphy News 8/29

News Cast for August 29th:


14.3 million might be the compromise to settle the sheriff’s budget impasse with the county and end their court fight. Commissioner Margaret Helton proposed the compromise after the Sheriff reduced his request to 14 point 5 million to run all three different aspects of the operation, law enforcement, and court security. The county would still have to take 1 million out of the landfill trust fund to balance the budget as they would like to keep the tax rate at the roll back rate this year, meaning no property tax increase. Another meeting is planned for Wednesday at 9 am to try and iron out the impasse. The first court hearing in the battle over who runs the jail is set for next Friday.

A 22 year old Okeechobee man held in the Glades County jail on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 15 years old after an investigation by the Seminole Police Department. Bond for Daniel Wacker was set at 1 hundred and 50 thousand dollars.

US Marshalls are on the lookout for an Okeechobee man, 29 year old Jarrod Romani on murder charges from a chain saw theft in Clay County, Florida on June 21st. His friend, 41 year old Jason Kent was killed after a friend of there, 32 year old Nathan Ross apparently stole a chain saw out of another parked vehicle at a convenience store. The victims of that crime gave chase, a fight ensued and Kent ended up dead from a ruptured spleen.

Sports Cast for August 29th:

Okeechobee volleyball gets past Sebring in four games last night, 25-13, 18-25, 25-14 and 25-17 last night to improve to (2-0) on the season. Cheyenne Nunez played a strong game at net for the Lady Brahmans.

She said things appear to be coming together this season. Coach Taylor Pritchard said she was excited by the level of the play and that the girls are really practicing well and learning the game. She said the team has a much more explosive offense this year.

The Brahman Junior Varsity blew out by Vero Beach last night 48-0. The team turned the ball over three times and couldn’t stop the Indians offense.

Coach Joe Smith said the work has only begun for his team.

The varsity Brahmans host Glades Day tonight in a matchup of Big Lake Schools. The Gators were 8-4 last year and reached the regional final in Class 2A. They are led by deep and talented secondary and all state linemen William Mercer.

Moore Haven football travels to Dade Christian. OYFL team travel to Lee County on Saturday.



~Drowsy driving is dangerous driving ~ 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Do you fight to keep your eyes opened and your head up from being tired?  All too often this scenario is real on Florida’s roadways.  To help prevent crashes caused by driver fatigue and to bring awareness to the dangers of drowsy driving, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Department of Transportation are teaming up with lawmakers and safety advocates during Florida’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week on Sept. 1–7 in memory of Ronshay Dugan, who was killed in 2008.

“Driving drowsy can be as dangerous as drunk and drugged driving,” said Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Sleep loss or fatigue slows reaction time, makes drivers less attentive and impairs decision-making skills.”

FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said, “The department recognizes that making our roads safer includes driver responsibility and encourages all motorists not to drive drowsy. Be alert every trip, every time you get behind the wheel.”

“Six years ago, the life of a little girl was tragically taken in a crash that easily could have been prevented,” said state Representative Alan Williams, who sponsored the legislation in 2010. “Drowsy driving can be eliminated by simply planning and making a conscious decision to pull over and rest when you’re tired. I applaud Ronshay’s family for keeping her memory alive and fighting to prevent other senseless deaths.”

How to prevent fatigue driving:

  • Allow plenty of time to get to your final destination.
  • Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.
  • Drink caffeine. Two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours.
  • Drive sober.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before you travel.
  • Take a break every 100 miles or 2 hours.
  • Take a nap—find a safe place to take a 15 to 20-minute nap, if you think you might fall asleep.
  • Use the buddy system, switch drivers when needed.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement.  The Department is leading the way to asafer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol.  To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook.

Arrests Made Related to June 2014 Incident Involving Burglary and Death of Jason Kent

Arrests Made Related to June 2014 Incident Involving Burglary and Death of Jason Kent

Two men are in jail and one man is at large, all charged or wanted on a charge related to June 2014 incidents involving a truck burglary (stolen chainsaws), a battery and the death of Jason Kent.

Please find attached the available booking sheets, booking photos and related warrants.

Romani, Jarrod

Romani, Jarrod

Ross, Nathan Charles

Ross, Nathan Charles

  • The arrest of Nathan Ross (incarcerated in Duval County on our warrant) is related to the death of Jason Kent.
  • The arrest warrant for Jarrod Romani (still at large) is related to the death of Jason Kent.
  • The arrest of Jamie A. Green (DOB 8/20/70) is related to the simple battery committed against Nathan Ross.

After lengthy review of all evidence and witness statements by CCSO detectives and State Attorney Office representatives, the charges against these men are what was determined to be appropriate and applicable.  We encourage members of the media to review the

Green, Jamie

Green, Jamie

statutes with which these men are charged for a better understanding of why they apply in this situation.  *The CCSO and SAO will not have personnel available today for interviews on this case or about these arrests.  **Please note that the attached photo of Jarrod Romani is from his June 2014 arrest, not from an arrest made on the new murder charge. Romani has not been located yet for arrest on the active warrant, but updated information will be provided when it becomes available.


Thank you,

Mary Justino, CCSO

Charles Murphy News 8/28

News Cast for August 28th:

The agriculture census shows Okeechobee remains number one in Florida in cattle, calves and milk cows. It also shows growth, with 678 farms with nearly 442 thousand acres in agriculture.

Okeechobee had over 180 thousand cattle and calves with over 88 thousand beef cows and nearly 31 thousand milk cows. Hay, citrus, vegetables, poultry eggs and horse farms were all represented in Okeechobee County.

US Department of Agriculture Spokesperson Mark Hudson says agriculture continues to be a power house state wide. The census shows over 17 hundred agriculture workers with an payroll of over 30.4 million.

Glades County had 331 farms, and over 442 thousand acres with an agriculture payroll of over 13 million in the last census.

In the courts, 32 year old Jonathan Solis-Jimenez was sentenced to six years in prison for alleged trafficking in cocaine.   He allegedly was involved in four sales of a total of 190 grams of cocaine to an undercover officer on North West 1 hundred and 60th Drive near Basinger in July and August of last year.

Virginia Arnold of Glades County received three years in prison and three years’ probation for trafficking in controlled substances after a no contest plea earlier this month.

Among arrests, 34 year old Aneta Boswell was charged with aggravated assault with a motor vehicle after she allegedly rammed her husband’s vehicle three times on South East 36th Terrace at route 710 Tuesday night. Boswell allegedly cut a rear tire with a knife and hurt her hand in the process. She was treated at Raulerson hospital.

Sports Cast for August 28th:

Colt Root was named the Brahman Award winner for OHS boys tennis last season. He said it was an award he strived to get the award. Root had a strong junior year as he advanced to the district semifinals in singles and then won a doubles match at the regional in Melbourne. He said he played well in the post season especially in the district tournament.

The girls bowling team defeated Jensen Beach 4-3. Jessica Olney bowled a two game series of 389 and Ashley Byrd 374.

The boys’ squad fell to Jensen Beach 4-3. Brian Chapman rolled a 483 series in two games. Nik Iannotti led Jensen at 454.

On the sports schedule today, girls’ golf hosts John Carroll at the KOA golf course at 3:30 pm. OHS volleyball hosts Sebring at 6:30 pm. JV Football hosts Vero Beach at 7 pm.

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