Commissioner Putnam, Members of Florida Cabinet Recognize Two With Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year Award
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and the other members of the Florida Cabinet announced today Sergeant Alvaro Feola and Trooper Robert Ivey as the co-recipients of the 2013 Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year award. The award recognizes Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) troopers who demonstrate the Patrol’s core values and commitment to the residents of Florida.
“I’m proud to recognize Sergeant Alvaro Feola and Trooper Robert Ivey with the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year award,” said Commissioner Putnam. “Sergeant Feola and Trooper Ivey demonstrated true heroism by risking their own lives to save the life of a fellow Floridian in need. I want to thank Sergeant Feola and Trooper Ivey, and all Florida Highway Patrol troopers, for their commitment and service to the state of Florida.”
On January 14, 2012, Sergeant Feola and Trooper Ivey responded to a traffic accident that occurred on the Florida Turnpike. After determining a driver was trapped in their vehicle, Sergeant Feola was able to break out a window and Trooper Ivey entered the smoke-filled vehicle, cut the driver’s seatbelt strap and freed the trapped driver. Both troopers then pulled the driver to safety.
This year’s FHP Trooper of the Year award goes to two FHP troopers who displayed their courage and commitment to protecting the lives of Floridians. They were selected from more than 100 troopers, all 2012 Trooper of the Month nominees.
Sergeant Feola has been with FHP for 11 years and graduated from FHP’s Training Academy in September of 2002. Feola was promoted to Sergeant in Sept. 2012 and is currently stationed in Troop E – Miami-Dade County.
Trooper Ivey has been with FHP for 6 years and graduated from FHP’s Training Academy in April of 2007. Ivey has worked as a K-9 handler in Ft. Pierce for the past three years.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.
News Cast for November 20th:
Close to 5 thousand dollars in property damage was done to the Okeechobee sports complex by vandals sometime late Sunday or early Monday. Two county vehicles were damaged, with windows busted out, the parks and recreation office had a window struck by a bullet, the concession stand was broken into and trashed, and damage was also reported from gang graffiti. Sheriff Deputies say a reward has been offered by Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers.
Among arrests today, 61 year old Winston Collins was charged with grand theft auto for allegedly possessing a van that was reported stolen from Polk County.
Two were arrested on charges of sale and possession with the intent to sell cocaine. 27 year old Marshara Summers and 33 year old Edwin Aponte were held on 60 thousand dollars bond.
Lonnie Pryor will make his NFL debut on Sunday as he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers off the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad on Tuesday. The Bucs play at Detroit on Sunday at 1 pm in a Fox telecast.
Florida power and light is hosting open houses this week on the natural gas pipeline they plan to build from Orlando to Indiantown. The meetings are scheduled tonight at the St. Lucie County fairgrounds in Ft. Pierce and at Quail Creek Plantation in Okeechobee tomorrow at 5 pm.
Agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam said a comprehensive water policy will be a top priority for state legislators in the 2014 session. Putnam also warned that the dry fall could be a sign of a dangerous fire season to come in Florida. Citrus growers continue to battle with citrus greening with the smallest crop forecast in 20 years.
Sports Cast for November 20th:
Jacob Stewart had 25 points and Fred Bradley added 16 off the bench as Okeechobee ripped Glades Day 84-34 last night in the regular season opener for boys’ basketball. Okeechobee jumped out to a 29-7 lead after the first quarter and added a 32 point third quarter en route to the easy win. Coach Shawn Hays said Glades Day was shorthanded with some players still active in the football players but that his team played well and executed plays. On the negative he said the team was a little slow on defense at times. Stewart hit two three pointers in the opening minutes and shot well from the outside. He said the entire team played together.
Tyrell Taylor added 10 points. Charles Velasquez led Glades Day with 19 points.
In middle school action Sebastian defeated Yearling 38-17 in girls’ basketball action. Diamond Wiggins led Yearling with six points and six rebounds.
The Yearling boys basketball team rolled over Sebastian 43-23 led by Robert and Janavise Futch.
Also on the scoreboard Fort Pierce Westwood rolled past Okeechobee in girls’ basketball last night 66-40. Girls’ soccer blanked Westwood 3-1 for their second straight win. Boys’ soccer improved to 5-0 with a 1-0 victory over the Westwood Panthers in Ft. Pierce.
News Cast for November 19th:
Jacob and Danielle Larson will represent Florida in the National Competition for the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award at the National Farm Bureau convention in San Antonio Texas. Jacob said he and his wife were thrilled to win the state award. Larson encouraged the youth in Okeechobee to be active in agriculture organizations such as 4-H, Future Farmers of America and the Farm Bureau. The Larson’s manage a 27 hundred acre dairy farm and a 1,350 acre beef cattle ranch operation in Okeechobee.
Among arrests today, 19 year old Phillip Jones was charged with possession of codeine, possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and other charges. Deputies say they found 48 grams of marijuana and 146 grams of codeine from the suspect as the city police investigated a report of a suspicious vehicle parked at a medical plaza on 441N on Saturday night.
A former executive director of the Center for Independent Living for South West Florida has been charged with stealing 9 hundred thousand dollars from the agency that serves Glades, Hendry and other counties. Robert Bruist faces fraud, grand theft and white collar crime. He’s accused of using state funds, federal grants, donations and other funds to have an extravagant lifestyle, putting the agency out of business for the most part.
Sports Cast for November 19th:
Girls’ soccer won their first match of the year, 3-1 over Avon Park at home last night. Rosa Borja, Brianna Nunez and Kirsten Bostwick had goals for Okeechobee.
Coach Sonya Smith said the girls played well together and really needed this confidence boost. Borja opened the scoring with an excellent free kick to the left of the goal about 20 yards out. She at first wasn’t sure she wanted the opportunity. Nunez scored later in the half on a breakaway goal to make it 2-0. She said it felt great to win their home opener.
The girls travel to meet Westwood this afternoon.
Boys soccer scored five times in the second half and went on to roll past Avon Park 7-0 last night to improve to (4-0). They also travel to Westwood tonight.
Also on the sports schedule, Osceola middle school basketball visits Oslo at 4:30. Yearling middle school basketball will host Sebastian at 4:30 pm. Brahman girls’ basketball visits Westwood tonight at 6 pm. Boys’ basketball will host Glades Day at 6 pm in a game to be broadcast on WOKC.
Commissioner Putnam Announces Lynetta Griner as 2013 Women of the Year in Agriculture
Award Recognizes Women Who have Made Outstanding Contributions to Florida Agriculture
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam announced today that Lynetta Griner has been named the 2013 Women of the Year in Agriculture. The award, now in its 29th year, recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.
“Lynetta Griner’s success in agri-business, trade group leadership, land stewardship and community service is a testament of her commitment to a better Florida,” said Commissioner Putnam. “I am proud to name Lynetta Griner as the 2013 Women of the Year in Agriculture and thank her for all that she has done for Florida and Florida agriculture.”
Griner and her husband, Ken, own and operate Usher Land and Timber, Inc., in Levy County. A timber and cattle operation, their company has been selected as the Logger of the Year on both the state and national level. They have also received awards for their dedication to environmental stewardship and wildlife conservation.
Griner is the current president of the Florida Forestry Association, the first female elected to that position in the Association’s 91-year history. In this role, Griner advocates for Florida’s nearly $14 billion forestry industry and promotes the responsible and sustainable use of the state’s forests.
Beyond her work in agriculture, Griner is a graduate of Cheifland High School and the University of Florida School of Law. She was appointed to the Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board, serving as Chair for 10 of the 14 years. She is also President of Friends of Fanning, Inc., a Citizen Support Organization that benefits Fanning Springs State Park; and President and director of the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for both Suwannee Valley Rotary Club and Drummond Community Bank.
Griner and her husband are also deeply involved with many charitable efforts, including the Tommy Usher Log-a-Load for Kids Golf Tournament and Haven Hospice of the Tri-Counties.
The Woman of the Year in Agriculture award is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer and the Florida State Fair Authority and presented to the recipient during the 2014 Florida State Fair in Tampa.
For more information on the Women of the Year in Agriculture Award, visit http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Agriculture-Industry/Agricultural-Awards-and-Honors/Woman-of-the-Year-in-Agriculture-Award
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.
News Cast for November 18th:
Lonnie Steiert was named as the new director of grants and special programs for the Okeechobee county school system last week. She said she has been well groomed for this position and enjoys interacting with students and their families. She said the job has a lot of different aspects so it never gets boring. She said it is an exciting opportunity to improve the child’s overall education experience.
Glades County would like the Florida department of transportation to fund more bike paths in the Buckhead ridge area in their new five year work plan. Commissioner Tim Stanley says a lot of residents ride bicycles and even motorized wheel chairs along state road 78 and that is not a safe situation. His plan is to meet with the FDOT and see what funds are available.
A Florida sheriff’s task force operation “Operation Safe Families” resulted in more than 55 hundred arrests in the state in the past four weeks. Okeechobee reported 82 arrests related to family related crime in the past four weeks. 202 Floridians died as the result of domestic violence in 2012.
A Pahokee mother of five was killed in an apparent alcohol related crash in Pasco County this month. 21 year old Ryan Brosnan is awaiting charges in the death of 38 year old Courtney Ann Kreckel on US 18.
Sports Cast for November 18th:
Brahman boys’ soccer defeated St. Lucie West in their home opener Friday 2-0. Logan Laskey had an unassisted goal and Wilson Barahona had a goal on an assist from Brian Guerrero. Tyler Selph had four saves in net. Brahman coach Lonnie Sears said his team played well early but kind of slipped in performance later in the match.
Jose Ponce De Leon was praised for helping the defense pitch a shutout. He took over more of the burden when Devin Jimenez was injured. He was disappointed in the sluggish performance before home fans.
Lady Brahman soccer fell to Suncoast 7-0. They did earn their first victory of the season last week with a 2-1 win over Avon Park.
Boys’ basketball lost at the St. Edwards tip-off classic in Vero Beach to the host school 68-55.
Moore Haven Terrier football lost to Indian Rocks Christian 24-22 in the first round of the playoffs.
Westminster Christian defeated Pahokee 10-7, Glades Central lost to Washington 40-18, Glades Day defeated Miami Christian 20-7, and Clewiston ripped Space Coast 63-21.
Girls’ soccer with a home match against Avon Park today at 7pm
FPL – Florida Southeast Connection Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline
Florida Power & Light (FPL) Proposes a New Natrual Gas Pipeline That Will Pass Through St. Lucie County.
FPL Will Hold an Information Open House in St. Lucie County on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at the St. Lucie County Fairground from 5 to 7 pm.
- Florida Power & Light (FPL) is proposing a new natural gas pipeline referred to as the Florida Southeast Connection. According to FPL, the new natural gas pipeline is intended to connect with the two major interstate natural gas pipeline systems in Central Florida (Gulfstream Natural Gas System & Florida Gas Transmission).
- The path of the pipeline is proposed to travel through the far southwestern portion of St. Lucie County. Please click on the above link for a map showing the corridor FPL proposes through St. Lucie County.
- According to FPL, the pipeline is needed to transport natural gas from central to southeast Florida to serve the growing needs of Floridians and to improve the region’s natural gas transportation diversity and reliability.
- July 26, 2013 Project Awarded
- Summer 2013 Agency Pre-Application Meetings
- Fall 2013 Florida Public Service Commission Hearings
- Fall 2013 Florida Southeast Connection Pipeline Open House
- Winter 2014 FERC Scoping Meetings
- Spring 2016 Construction starts
- Spring 2017 Pipeline In-Service Date
To answer questions you may have about the pipeline, FPL is holding several open house.
Community Open House Event Dates
Martin County, Nov. 19, 2013
Indiantown Civic Center
15675 SW Osceola Avenue
Indiantown, FL 34956
5p.m. to 7 p.m.
St. Lucie County, Nov. 20, 2013
St. Lucie County Fairgrounds
15601 W. Midway Road
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
5p.m. to 7 p.m.
Okeechobee County, Nov. 21, 2013
Quail Creek Plantation
1907 NE 224th Street
Okeechobee, FL 34972
5p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information or to make comments please email Pipeline-Project.ShareMailbox@nexteraenergy.com and / or call (855) 327-2660. Additional information is also available on the Florida Southeast Connection Website www.floridasoutheastconnection.com.
You may also contact the Planning & Development Services Department at 772-462-2822 and ask for either Mark Satterlee, Director or Leslie Olson, Planning Manger if you have questions. You may also email either one at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
SFWMD Boosts Water Storage Project North of Lake Okeechobee
Restoration site will store and treat stormwater runoff before it enters the big lake
West Palm Beach, FL — The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) today approved an investment to advance a restoration project in Highlands County that will store water and reduce nutrients and stormwater runoff before it enters Lake Okeechobee.
“Expanding water storage and treatment are essential across the entire South Florida ecosystem,” said SFWMD Chairman Daniel O’Keefe. “Each project we move forward brings us closer to attaining benefits for Lake Okeechobee, the coastal estuaries and our vital communities.”
Strategically located in a 19,000-acre watershed northwest of the lake, the project comprises three shallow above-ground impoundments. Together totaling approximately 1,200 acres, the impoundments will hold stormwater that would otherwise flow directly into canals leading to Lake Okeechobee.
The $2 million investment approved today — along with funding by project partners that include the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Istokpoga Marsh Watershed Improvement District, Highlands County and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services — advances the project to the next step, which is final design and construction of the first impoundment.
“This is a continuation of efforts by the Department and the South Florida Water Management District to restore Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades with the support of Governor Scott,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “Additional water storage and cleaner water are critical to the restoration of Lake Okeechobee.”
At 308 acres filled 3.5 feet deep, the first impoundment will hold approximately 900 acre-feet of water. This is equivalent to about 450 Olympic-size swimming pools or about 100 American football fields, without end zones, covered with 9 feet of water.
Scientific study and computer modeling have shown the project, combined with the use of best management practices on local farms, could reduce 70 percent of the phosphorus and 60 percent of the local stormwater runoff flowing into the Harney Pond Canal, which flows into Lake Okeechobee and ultimately the Everglades.
By storing and treating water bound for the lake, the project helps meet key objectives of the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program. The program is designed to improve the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of water into Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie watersheds by building on and consolidating numerous restoration efforts into a broader approach focused on restoring the entire Northern Everglades system.
News Cast for November 15th:
A December 13th court hearing on an order of taking was set for the litigation filed by the State Department of Transportation for the land they need in Flagler Park for the main intersection widening of 70 and 441. The state has sought over 34 thousand square feet in five different parcels and has offered the Hamrick Trust 471 thousand dollars for the property. The Trust argues the taking of land will have an impact on the value of the rest of the parks and want to be compensated. The city is also named as a defendant.
Among arrests today, an Okeechobee high school student victimized her own teacher, allegedly using her credit card to make payments on cell phone bills, to purchase pizza, and take a taxi cab ride. 18 year old Jazzma Washington apparently overheard the teacher make a purchase over the phone with the card. She is charged with fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft.
39 year old Miguel Pedro Lopez of Indiantown was charged with felony battery after an apparent domestic altercation. The victim fell and broke her wrist.
In the courts, 19 year old Yoreel Wilson received six months of community control for aggravated battery and criminal mischief charges. The Moore Haven youth ran over her boyfriend during an argument on route 78 in Ortona last April 2nd, breaking his leg and causing other injuries. Wilson originally stated she had swerved to avoid a hog in the road.
Darius Thompson of Indiantown was sentenced to one year in the county jail for sale of cocaine, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana charges.
A 12 hundred acre restoration project in Highlands County should reduce the nutrients and storm water runoff that enters Lake Okeechobee. South Florida Water Managers, the Florida DEP, the Lake Istokpoga watershed improvement district, Highlands County and the Florida Department of Agriculture invested 2 million dollars in the project Thursday. Scientific study shows this project and other local farm regulations could reduce phosphorus by 70 percent and local runoff by 60 percent into the Harney Pond Canal.
Sports Cast for November 15th:
Okeechobee high school wrestling slipped past Sebring 39-38 last night. Jacob Dupree’s win in the 220 match clinched it for Okeechobee. Coach Anthony Calzadilla was pleased with his first coaching win. Dupree said he didn’t know the team match was on the line when he wrestled. He said he got behind on points and had to dig in to win. Sebastian Fulleda (FOO JeTTA) also got behind in his match but turned it one to get a pin in the second round at 152 pounds. Other Brahman winners included Tiffany Bowers, Delfino Garcia, Chris Lutjen, Ben Levins, and Joe Turbush. The JV team won 42-6
The wrestling team competes in a junior varsity tournament at Fort Pierce Central Saturday.
Wilson Barahona had two goals and Brian Guerrero and Hugo Torres scored goals as Okeechobee defeated Martin County last night in Stuart, 4-2, the boys will host Centennial tonight at 7 pm.
Girls’ basketball fell to South Fork last night 53-30. Baylee Farless had 13 points. Cheyenne Nunez added 8 points for the Lady Brahmans.
On the sports schedule, boys’ basketball competes in the St. Edward tip-off classic with a game with St. Edwards tonight at 7 pm.
News Cast for November 14th:
Joe Arnold was elected chairman of the Okeechobee County school board Tuesday night for the 2nd time. He said improvement in student achievement, and better finances are among his list of goals in the position. Arnold said he would also like to accent the positive things that are going on in the school system.
Paul Carlisle was selected to become the new Glades County manager. The native of Indiantown is currently public works director in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He takes over in January and will be paid 1 hundred thousand dollars annually. He said he wanted to come back to Florida and is looking forward to working for Glades County. Carlisle said Glades County has a lot of economic development potential and he’s excited to be a part of that effort. Commissioner Tim Stanley said Carlisle was impressive during the interview process.
On the arrest list, 38 year old John Edwards was charged with aggravated assault and child abuse after an alleged domestic that turned into a minor car crash on South West 3rd Avenue.
A 19 year old Okeechobee youth, Dalton Thomas, was treated at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center after being struck by a vehicle in a residential garage last month off US 98 north. Deputies said the accident wasn’t reported until one week later.
Two Ocala residents were charged with the sale of oxycodone in an Okeechobee narcotics task force operation, 35 year old Melissa Danley and 33 year old William Ihle.
Sports Cast for November 14th:
Girls’ basketball rolled past Glades Day School last night 45-5 for their second win of the year. Bethany Stuart had 14 points and Cheyenne Nunez added 11 points for Okeechobee.
OHS wrestling opens up their season tonight at home against Sebring. New Coach Anthony Cal ZA DEE AH is excited to get the season started. He said it is a positive to know who is on the lineup and what they’re capable of.
He said he wants a team that won’t stop for a coffee break. The match tonight gets underway at 6 pm.
In other games tonight, girls’ basketball travels to South Fork at 6:30 pm. Boys’ soccer will travel to Martin County at 7 pm.
Fox Business: Gov. Scott Discusses Proposed $500 Million in Tax and Fee Cuts
Fox Business Network – U.S. Cable
Varney & Co.
November 13, 2013
For video click HERE
Governor Scott: “Sure, we’re working on that. We can’t cut our income tax because we have none.
“We’ve been reducing our business tax every year so about 70 percent of our businesses don’t pay a business tax.
“But, we’re looking at any other fees and things, I’m working with my Legislature. But it will be $500 million dollars of additional money back to you as a citizen.
“Cause you know what? You’ll put money into either housing or transportation, you might put money into getting your kids a better education or maybe start a business.
“We have 271,000 job openings in our state because people are starting businesses in our state because they can do so well.”