Local News

OCSD Talks Drug Problem At Kiwanis Meeting

OCSD Talks Drug Problem At Kiwanis Meeting

Detective Rick Voss with the Okeechobee County Sheriff Dept on the left with Kiwanis guest presenter Heather Hancock

Detective Rick Voss with the Okeechobee County Sheriff Dept on the left with Kiwanis guest presenter Heather Hancock

Detective Rick Voss spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee recently about the growing drug problems in Okeechobee and the K-9 unit that helps battle those problems.
Voss says that parents should look for signs of drug abuse with their children. He has seen many cases where children have been abusing drugs right under their parents eyes because they either refused to look for or did not know to look for certain red flags. Some of the signs mentioned were massive weight loss without exercise, darkness under the eyes and an aggressive change in demeanor.

The OCSD uses a K-9 unit that Detective Voss says is very important to the community not only for the contribution in the war on drugs in the field but also in the classroom through demonstrations for children.

In other Kiwanis news, the club installed their new officers and board members for the upcoming year. Ken Keller is president, Jonathon Bean is President-Elect, Sherri Enfinger is Treasurer and Heather Hancock is Secretary.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO ENTIRE INTERVIEW WITH DETECTIVE VOSS (RUN TIME 2:32)


OUA Press Release Regarding Tap Water

OUA PRESS RELEASE

Okeechobee Utility Authority will temporarily change its method of chlorinating potable water to insure the future safety of our drinking water. The water users may notice an unusual chlorine taste or odor in their tap water after October 6, 2014. These conditions will last thru October 20, 2014.

These temporary conditions will not be harmful to your health; however, if you are on kidney dialysis, you should consult your physician for special instructions concerning this matter. If you have tropical fish or aquatic animals, you should contact you local tropical fish store for advice and take appropriate action to insure that you have properly treated the water before adding it to your aquarium.

The hydrant flushing during this period may cause the water to become cloudy and discolored. This is a temporary condition and should not last more than a few hours.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience you may experience during this time. Please keep in mind that this is necessary to provide safe water for the customers of Okeechobee Utility Authority.

If additional information is needed, contact Kevin Rogers at 763-3239. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause you. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.

OKEECHOBEE UTILITY AUTHORITY


Charles Murphy News 9/30

News Cast for September 30th:

A missing man may have been spotted in the Lake Placid area around the time of his disappearance. The family of now 87 year old Newton Whidden has not given up hope in the search for the man, whose minivan was found abandoned in east Okeechobee County. Whidden was reportedly seen near US 27 and route 70 buying water at a Circle K store. Investigator Cody Hart says law enforcement in Highlands County is also working the case and they haven’t given up. Whidden is described as 5’9, 135 pounds, with gray hair and hazel eyes, with a large scar on his thumb. Anyone with information can call 941-316-9803.   That’s 941-316-9803.

Cody Hart on disapperaance of newton whidden

In the courts, 45 year old Lawrence Alt of Kenansville received two years in state prison for six counts of sexual performance by a child for alleged possession of child pornography. He pled no contest and five charges were dropped. Osceola County authorities say they found hundreds of pornographic pictures of children, from infancy to 12 years old.

A 16 year old student at the former Okeechobee freshman campus was charged with possession of 1.4 grams of marijuana after allegedly showing the weed to other students Friday.

Two teens were arrested after a large party at the mud hole on the prairie that involved underage drinking.

Two men were charged after the recovery of a stolen boat on South East 27th Street. 49 year old Gregory Billingsley and 57 year old Timothy Moore were charged in Okeechobee with dealing in stolen property. They could face burglary and grand theft charges in Indian River county.

Vehicle vs Pedestrian Sept 29th

Sports Cast for September 30th:

Janelle Markham won the Yearling Award for girls’ basketball last year despite suffering an injury that didn’t allow her to play. Markham said it was a surprise to get this award. Markham said she learned the game and really wanted to show what she learned but was slowed by a badly sprained ankle throughout the year.

Janelle Markham on Yearling award for basketball

Osceola defeated Oslo in three tight games in volleyball last night,. W 27-25, L 23-25, W 17-15…

Ashley Snyder had 7 aces, 3 digs, 1 kill Aubrie Hataway had 5 digs, 3 aces, 4 kills, and 1 block Alexi Morgan had 5 kills 2 aces Perla Contreras had 1 ace 5 assist Emily Rhodes had 5 digs, 1 ace, 1 assist

On the sports schedule Brighton volleyball visits Osceola this afternoon at 4:30 pm. Yearling volleyball and soccer visit Sebastian.

Boys’ golf competes with Treasure Coast and Lincoln Park at the PGA at 3:30 pm

OHS swimmers compete with Westwood and Sebastian river in Sebastian at 4 pm.


Suspect Arrested for 10 Counts of Child Pornography

Suspect Arrested for 10 Counts of Child Pornography

Osceola County, Florida – On September 26, Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Jarrod Lee Taylor (DOB 9/10/76) and charged him with 10 counts of Promoting Photo/Movie Sexual Performance of a Child.

The investigation began in late August when detectives identified a computer with an IP address that was linked to child pornography. After further investigation, detectives identified the computer was located at Jarrod Lee Taylor’s residence in St. Cloud. Taylor is a Lieutenant with Osceola County Fire Rescue.

On September 26, detectives obtained a search warrant for Taylor’s residence and took into evidence his computer. Taylor was home and cooperated with the investigation. Based on his statements and the evidence, he was arrested and booked into the Osceola County Jail. The investigation is on-going, with additional charges pending.

  • Jarrod Lee Taylor (DOB 9/10/76), address is exempt per F.S.S. 119.071(4)(d)1.h.

Rooney: “Congress Knew. Why Didn’t the President?”

Rooney: “Congress Knew. Why Didn’t the President?”

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Tom Rooney (FL-17), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, today issued the following statement:

“Congress has known for months that ISIS poses a significant national security threat, and that it needs to be destroyed. If Congress knew that ISIS was a serious threat, and the media knew, and the American people knew, then why didn’t the President? Why did he insist that ISIS was a ‘JV squad’?

“Despite the President’s pathetic attempt to shift blame, this was not an intelligence community failure; it was a failure by him to act on the unequivocal intelligence assessments he received. The President should accept responsibility and apologize to the American people for this gross incompetence. To claim that the intelligence community underestimated the threat is an insult to those professionals and to the American people.”


9 Students on Safety Patrol at CES

Nine students at Central Elementary School were sworn in for the safety patrol on September 18, 2014.

Central Elementary Assistant Principal Margie Lewis stated, “Safety Patrol programs provide a positive collaboration between students, parents, schools, and law enforcement. Central Elementary School Safety Patrol members have been selected for their courtesy, dependability, interest in the job, attitude toward others, and scholastic standing. As a member of Safety Patrol, students shoulder responsibilities which help to strengthen his/her character through leadership, teamwork, pride, and respect for law enforcement. It also provides the opportunity to be a role model to fellow students at Central Elementary School by modeling his/her outstanding character. Safety Patrol membership is an honored position.”

Sheriff May said of the safety patrol, “It is mine and Undersheriff Stephen’s pleasure to swear in and congratulate these safety patrol officers. These young people are doing the right things and we are very proud to recognize them on the example they set.”

Michele Bell, PIO


Charles Murphy News 9/29

News Cast for September 29th:

Martha’s House will hold a moment of silence for victims of domestic violence at the kickoff celebration for the Minimal Regatta Friday night at the Scott Driver Boat Ramp. Jonathan Bean says over 5 hundred Okeechobee mothers and children received services from Martha’s house last year. He noted they will be using the color purple and join up in October with breast cancer awareness month. The group will use glow sticks in place of candles to show their support for victims of domestic violence. Bean said the publicity over the NFL and Ray Rice domestic violence incident has raised awareness about the issue.

Jonathan Bean on domestic violence awareness event

Wallethub.com rates Florida as the 36th most happy state in the nation during an analysis of income, health, depression rates, divorce rates and other factors. Spokesperosn Jill Gonzales says health and economic issues are weighing heavy on Florida.

Gonzales says the theory money don’t buy happiness rings true in their study.

Press News Release Operation Medicine Cabinet TOMORROW

St Lucie Fatal 9-27-14 US-1

Sports Cast for September 29th:

A 55 yard touchdown run by Daeshawn Mills was the difference as Heritage held off an upset bid from Okeechobee with a 14-7 victory on Friday night. Lasedrick King rushed for a 22 yard touchdown in the first half for Heritage.

Bubba Fludd broke loose for an 80 yard touchdown run for Okeechobee’s touchdown.

Coach Chris Branham said he offense continued to stumble with just 1 hundred and 27 total yards and the team must find a way to complete passes. Heritage had 303 rushing yards and and 352 total yards but were hrt by two interceptions and two lost fumbles, one in the red zone.

Defense end Fred Bradley recovered one of those fumbles at the Brahman 7 yard line.

Fludd had 114 rushing yards for Okeechobee.

The defense held tough throughout the game thanks to players like linebacker Terrance Boswell. He admits it’s tough to lose after such a hard battle.

After Game interviews heritage bay

This week the Brahmans have a bye week, they play again on October 10th against Port St Lucie in their annual homecoming game.


Commissioner Putnam Announces Belinda G. Chason as 2014 Woman of the Year in Agriculture

Commissioner Putnam Announces Belinda G. Chason as 2014 Woman of the Year in Agriculture

Award Recognizes Women Who Made Outstanding Contributions to Florida Agriculture

Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam announced today that Belinda G. Chason of Quincy has been named the 2014 Woman of the Year in Agriculture. The award, now in its 30th year, recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.

“Belinda Chason is a true advocate for Florida agriculture. She spent more than four decades sharing her knowledge and love of our land with thousands of students across Florida, inspiring younger generations to get involved in agriculture,” said Commissioner Putnam. “I am proud to recognize her as the 2014 Woman of the Year in Agriculture, and I want to thank her for her years of dedicated service and contributions to agriculture and to all of Florida.”

Chason has championed agricultural education in Florida for more than 40 years. She retired from the Florida Department of Education in 2011 as the Director of Career and Technical Education after redesigning agriscience education and preparing curriculum that would ensure a better workforce for Florida’s agriculture industry. Since that time, she has rejoined the Department of Education as the Director of Educational Initiatives for Career and Adult Education.

She was the first female Executive Director of the FFA in Florida and the first female to serve on the National FFA Board of Directors. She also served as the State FFA Advisor for more than 15 years. After her retirement, an endowment was established to fund the Belinda G. Chason Legacy Program Award, which will be given annually to an agriscience education program in the state.

The Woman of the Year in Agriculture award is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida State Fair Authority and presented to the recipient during the 2015 Florida State Fair in Tampa.

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


Florida Sheriffs Association and Florida Physicians Discuss Negative Impact of Marijuana and Edible Products

 Florida Sheriffs Association and Florida Physicians Discuss Negative Impact of Marijuana and Edible Products

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (September 25, 2014)- Today,a group of health care and law enforcement experts stood together to discuss their grave concerns about the dangers of marijuana and the likely impact of passage of Amendment 2 on Florida communities.Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger, Dr. James Harrel,! and Dr. Michael Forsthoefel of the Florida Medical Association warned of the dangers Florida could face if marijuana is legalized.

“Amendment 2 not only legalizes the sale and use of pot- it also legalizes an entire pot industry. It will be advertised, promoted,and have very little administrative oversight,” Seminole County Sheriff, Don Eslinger said. “We are not just talking about joints, pipes,and brownies. Other states are seeing a surge in edible products that are clearly attractive to children. Lollipops,candy bars,Pot-Tarts,and Krondike Bars may have warning labels,but does a six year old really know the difference?”

Dr. James Harrell added: “Medicine by public opinion is simply bad policy. I have never provided a patient with a prescription that is smoked or sold in food.”

“My plea is that before we create the ‘medicine’ of marijuana by public opinion and the ballot, let’s do the scientific research and clearly demonstrate whether marijuana is an effective treatment  for a specific disease and is safe,” he said. “We do this for every other medicine on the market today. Why would patients expect anything less?”

“Amendment 2 is so full of loopholes that it basically legalizes marijuana in the state of Florida,” said Representative

Gayle Harrell (R-Stuart). “Physicians,including chi110practors,podiatrists, medical and osteopathic doctors, can ‘recommend’ (since it is against the federal law to prescribe) the use of marijyana for ‘other conditions’ to include such things as the pain suffered from a broken toe nail.’

Dr. Michael Forsthoefel explained how marijuana affects the human body,warning that long-term effects of marijuana use can include altered brain development,poor  educational outcome with increased likelihood of dropping out of school, cognitive impairment,low IQ scores among frequent users during adolescence and diminished life satisfaction and achievement.

“Marijuana in high doses exacerbates paranoia and psychosis, especially those with a preexisting genetic vulnerability to diseases like schizophrenia,” added Dr. Forsthoefel.

The Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot coalition believes legalization of marijuana will adversely impact our state and its citizens. To learn more about this issue and the Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot coalition,please visit www.DontLetFioridaGotoPot.com.


Award Recognizes Women Who Made Outstanding Contributions to Florida Agriculture

Award Recognizes Women Who Made Outstanding Contributions to Florida Agriculture

Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam announced today that Belinda G. Chason of Quincy has been named the 2014 Woman of the Year in Agriculture. The award, now in its 30th year, recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.

“Belinda Chason is a true advocate for Florida agriculture. She spent more than four decades sharing her knowledge and love of our land with thousands of students across Florida, inspiring younger generations to get involved in agriculture,” said Commissioner Putnam. “I am proud to recognize her as the 2014 Woman of the Year in Agriculture, and I want to thank her for her years of dedicated service and contributions to agriculture and to all of Florida.”

Chason has championed agricultural education in Florida for more than 40 years. She retired from the Florida Department of Education in 2011 as the Director of Career and Technical Education after redesigning agriscience education and preparing curriculum that would ensure a better workforce for Florida’s agriculture industry. Since that time, she has rejoined the Department of Education as the Director of Educational Initiatives for Career and Adult Education.

She was the first female Executive Director of the FFA in Florida and the first female to serve on the National FFA Board of Directors. She also served as the State FFA Advisor for more than 15 years. After her retirement, an endowment was established to fund the Belinda G. Chason Legacy Program Award, which will be given annually to an agriscience education program in the state.

The Woman of the Year in Agriculture award is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida State Fair Authority and presented to the recipient during the 2015 Florida State Fair in Tampa.


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