Local News

Charles Murphy News 8/14

News Cast for August 14th:

An unlicensed contractor faces an administrative complaint in Okeechobee for doing unlicensed plumbing work at 3261 south east 28th Street.    55 year old Robert Hibbert served time in prison in New Jersey when he received more than 83 thousand dollars from an elderly couple for work that was worth about 32 hundred dollars.  Hibbert also faces charges in Palm Bay for allegedly defrauding an elderly couple there.  Police have recommended 10 felony charges be field. The Florida department of business and professional regulation will hear the Okeechobee case and two other complaints against Hibbert for unlicensed plumbing claims.

In the courts, 66 year old Manuel Hernandez received 27 months in prison for reduced charges of child abuse.  Prosecutors dropped three charges of lewd or lascivious molestation against a child. Two children, ages 7 and 8 claimed they had been inappropriately touched by Hernandez on May 2nd of 2 thousand 15.

Hendry County authorities are yet to find the killer of 17 year old Jeremy Penton of Clewiston. He was found dead in the Twin Lakes Subdivision in Clewiston. Crime stoppers and others have offered 10 thousand dollar reward in the killing.

Child abduction suspect Jorge Guerrero-Torres will be sentenced today for child pornography charges.  Guerrero is a suspect in the disappearance of  9 year old Diana Alvarez.  He was captured in Okeechobee in June of 2 thousand 16. He was convicted of possession and production of child porn at a trial this spring.  He faces up to 30 years in prison for child porn production and 15 years behind bars for child porn possession.

Search teams have looked in Yeehaw Junction, Indiantown, Okeechobee and Moore Haven for the child to no avail.

Sports Cast for August 14th:

Raeley Matthews took home the Most Valuable player Award for Lady Brahman basketball as a sophomore. She led the team in scoring and rebounding. Matthews says she wishes she could put more time into basketball. Matthews says she is keeping her option open as to what college sport she plays. Matthews is also one of the best volleyball players on the Treasure Coast.

Okeechobee won’t have many football home games this year.

Complications with a re sod of the field have forced the change of venue for the first two varsity home games.  August 25th the Brahmans will play Treasure Coast at Lawnwood Stadium.  On September 1st, the Brahmans will play at Lake Wales.  The first home game is tentatively set for September 15th vs Sebastian River.  If the field is not ready , homecoming, October 13th, will be the first home game.

The junior varsity game scheduled for August 31st vs Martin County will be played away as well.

Hendry Co Press Release – Jeremy Daniel Penton Murdered In Clewiston

Jeremy Daniel Penton Murdered In Clewiston

On August 6, 2017, at approximately 2:39am, Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area of Twin Lakes Subdivision, Clewiston, Florida, in reference to a young male lying on the ground.

Upon deputy’s arrival, they were able to identify the victim as 17 years old, Jeremy Daniel Penton of Clewiston. At this time it is unknown what may have led to the killing of Penton.

Anyone with any information regarding this homicide is asked to call the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, Investigator Vernon Speak, at (863) 674-5600 or (863)-805-5000; or you may contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-(TIPS)(8477), where you may become eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00 if your tip leads to an arrest.

Update: Family members have gone into the Twin Lakes Subdivision and have been handing out flyers asking for assistance from residents in finding out who killed their grandson.

At this time there is a $10,000.00 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person(s) involved in the killing of 17 year old Jeremy Penton.

Rooney Announces Grant for Sebring Regional Airport

Rooney Announces Grant for Sebring Regional Airport

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17) announced today that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be awarding a $415,775 grant to Sebring Regional Airport to help upgrade the airport’s aging infrastructure.

“The FAA grant to design a complete replacement of the airport’s WWII apron will allow advancement of MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) economic development actives,” said Mike Willingham, the airport’s executive director. “The new apron will be constructed to handle heavy commercial jet aircraft and the project will lead to new employment opportunities in the region. Our sincere gratitude goes out to Congressman Rooney and staff for their assistance in making our community a better place to live and work.”

This grant will fund four phases to rehabilitate 106,000 square yards of the existing apron pavement that has reached the end of its usefulness. In addition to creating jobs for the region, this funding will help upgrade the airport to increase its productivity for the area.

“I am pleased to see the FAA investing in the Sebring Regional Airport,” Rooney said. “Serving on the Appropriations Committee, I make it a priority to fight for funding for federal programs that benefit our local economy, like the FAA’s airport improvement grants. It’s rewarding to see the hard work of our local leaders, who work diligently to apply for these grants year after year, pay off.”

Charles Murphy News 8/11

News Cast for August 11th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners approved medical marijuana Thursday. Chairman Terry Burroughs says he would follow the will of the voters. Commissioner Brad Goodbread says he was opposed to a ban on medical marijuana. The commission voted 3-2 in favor of allowing a growing operation in agriculture and at least one dispensary. County Attoney John Cassels says he doubts Okeechobee will be overrun with applications to sell medical marijuana.

Commissioners also approved a 10 thousand dollar bid to construct a parking lot between the Public Safety complex and County Fire Station Number 1 on North West 6th Street.

A 55 year old Okeechobee man faces tampering with evidence and several misdemeanor crimes for violation of Florida Fish and Wildlife statutes. John Agnew of South East 80th Trail reported fled State Wildlife officers while he allegedly trespassed on US Sugar property on Connors highway in Palm Beach County.  Officers say he stopped on a bridge and threw three large sacks off the bridge and one softshell turtle into the canal below. Officer say Mr. Agnew has a large criminal history with the FWC.  He was also held on a St. Lucie County warrant.

Sports cast for August 11th:

Jill Crosby took home the MVP trophy for the Lady Brahman softball team this past year. She was also named second team All-State.

Crosby says the district title made it a successful year. She spent a lot of her summer playing travel ball with out of state tournaments against the best in the country.

Jill says she got good advice from graduated seniors Taylor Amadon and Raylee Coleman. Crosby also has high hopes of getting a college scholarship to play softball.

What to know for August

What to know for August


Every woman has their own journey through life, but becoming a new mom is its own journey in life. Making the decision of how your child is going to feed is vital. It is important to make a good investment in your baby’s future. A good investment would be to breastfeed your baby. Your breast milk gives your baby a healthy start that will last a lifetime.  There are many great benefits to breastfeeding, such as the special connection between you and your baby and it saves approximately $1,500 per year on formula. Did you know that mothers who breastfeed their babies have a better weight status than moms that use artificial baby milk? They also have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Also, children that are breastfed typically score higher on IQ tests and are sick less often.

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Only about 71.8% of women in Florida have ever tried breastfeeding and it is somewhat lower in Okeechobee County. The Department of Health offers a variety of programs, materials and resources to encourage breastfeeding. The Florida WIC offers counseling and breastfeeding materials to pregnant and breastfeeding clients. Healthy Start also promotes healthy behaviors like breastfeeding. Visit your local WIC office or call if you have any questions in making a good investment in your child’s health by breastfeeding.



Think smarter: water, whole wheat, whole grain, vegetables, fruit, nuts, soup, lean or extra lean meat, low in saturated fats

Dunk away: apples and pears dunk in low fat plain yogurt or peanut butter; carrot and sweet pepper strips dunk into hummus, salsa or homemade bean dip; whole grain crackers dunk into soup.

Ideas for Lunch: Grilled chicken, sweet potato, spinach, strawberries OR Grilled chicken, lettuce/spinach, tomato, onion, avocado, whole wheat pita pocket, half slice cheese or shredded


Helpful Tip: substitute ground turkey for hamburger meat when making tacos.

Do You Know When to Stop?

Do You Know When to Stop?

Florida Motor Vehicles Laws require that motorists stop upon approaching any school bus which displays its flashing red lights and has its stop signs extended.

316.172 Traffic to stop for school bus. —

(1) (a) Any person using, operating, or driving a vehicle on or over the roads or highways of this state shall, upon approaching any school bus which displays a stop signal, bring such vehicle to a full stop while the bus is stopped, and the vehicle shall not pass the school bus until the signal has been withdrawn. A person who violates this section commits a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

(b) Any person using, operating, or driving a vehicle that passes a school bus on the side that children enter and exit when the school bus displays a stop signal commits a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318, and is subject to a mandatory hearing under the provisions of s. 318.19.

(2) The driver of a vehicle upon a divided highway with an unpaved space of at least 5 feet, a raised median, or a physical barrier is not required to stop when traveling in the opposite direction of a school bus which is stopped in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(3) Every school bus shall stop as far to the right of the street as possible and shall display warning lights and stop signals as required by rules of the State Board of Education before discharging or loading passengers. When possible, a school bus shall not stop where the visibility is obscured for a distance of 200 feet either way from the bus.


Michele Bell, PIO

Charles Murphy News 8/10

News Cast for August 10th:

Arrests today include 25 year old Dennis Hohn on charges of burglary.  He’s accused of damaging a security alarm at one home and taking a GPS unit out of a parked vehicle on South East 38th Avenue in Treasure Island.

36 year old David McCall of Lake Placid caused some anxious moments for tellers in the drive through at Harbor Community bank Tuesday.  He reportedly became upset when they wouldn’t cash his check.  Deputies say he became upset and placed a handgun on the roof of his vehicle.  Deputies secured a loaded 40 caliber handgun from McCall as he walked on 441.

68 year old James Snell was charged with DUI after he and his Chevrolet Suburban ran into a cow in the 13 hundred block of North East 16th Avenue.

The aggravated battery trial of James Long is expected to go to the jury today.  He’s accused of severely injuring a mans neck when he body slammed him to the concrete floor at a local business.

One of three people charged in the murder of 60 year old Robert Joiner pled no contest to the charges in Jul.  22 year old Michael Raulerson was charged with tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact.  He faces a minimum of 47 months and a maximum of 20 years behind bars.  He also agreed to testify against the other two defendants, 18 year old Brandie Dailey and 35 year old Michael Jacobs.

Glades County Sheriff David Hardin says his community, like many, has a drug problem. He says a drug bust Lakeport is only a sign of things to come. He says it is difficult in rural areas to get drug dealers in trouble because they know the lawmen.  Sometimes they bring in out of town cops to do the buys

52 year old Adrienne Glowniak faces a host of drug charges related to methamphetamines and prescription pills.

Today is the first day of school for Okeechobee school kids.  Glades County schools hold their open house tonight.

Sports Cast for August 10th:

Peyton Hewitt was honored as one of the Brahman football players that made every session of off season workouts and weight lifting days. He says he had motivation to show up. The senior is in the mix for playing time on the defensive line.

The Brahmans are preparing for a kickoff classic next Friday at Jupiter.

Samantha Ruiz was the MVP for the Yearling volleyball team last year. She helped lead Yearling to 10 wins last year. She says she worked hard to get the award

Yearling volleyball returns in September.

Charles Murphy News 8/9

News Cast for August 9th:

A meteor shower can be seen in Okeechobee from August 10th through 12th. Indian river State College planetarium director Jon Bell says it is very worth it to get out and watch the show. Meteor showers have been seen for years and were once known as St. Lawrence’s tears. The best times to watch the meteor showers are between 9 pm and midnight.   A partial eclipse of the sun can also be seen in Okeechobee on August 21. The Fort Pierce Planetarium will host an event at 1 pm where people can safely watch the eclipse.

The Okeechobee Kiwanis Club donated over 53 hundred dollars and some school supplies to the Real Life Children’s Ranch in an annual fund raiser. Executive Director of the Ranch Mark Meyers says the generosity is greatly appreciated. The ranch provides a faith based ministry that offers residential, family style group foster homes and helps boys and girls who have been abused, abandoned and or neglected. Full article is in local news along with an interview.

A 63 year old Lorida man was charged with methamphetamine trafficking. Phillip Rushlo was arrested last Friday after a search of a residence at 49 hundred US 98 north. Deputies say they found over 24 grams of methamphetamines and four firearms. Rushlo is a convicted felon prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Sports Cast for August 9th:

Mason Adams won the Brahman Award for the Okeechobee baseball team this year. He pitched the Brahmans to a regional berth this year. He says the award was appreciated

Adams nearly doubled his batting average and became one of the lineups more productive players.

He thanked Coach Mitch Markham for his improvement. He has his senior year ahead.  He played American Legion ball in Port St. Lucie this summer.

He says he never takes the game of baseball for granted.

Gov. Scott: Florida’s Consumer Confidence and Housing Market Continue to Strengthen

Gov. Scott: Florida’s Consumer Confidence and Housing Market Continue to Strengthen

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida’s strong economic and job growth are continuing to fuel Florida’s consumer confidence and housing market. Florida’s consumer confidence climbed to 97.7 in July, the second-highest it has been in 15 years, and home prices rose by $20,000 across the state over year in June. In addition to rising home prices, new building permits are growing. In June, 12,365 new building permits were issued in Florida, accounting for more than 9 percent of all U.S. building permits.

Governor Scott said, “I am proud to announce that Florida’s consumer confidence and housing market continues to strengthen, which is another positive outcome of our focus on making Florida the number one location for job creators and families to succeed. By cutting $7 billion in taxes, reducing burdensome regulations, and making Florida more business-friendly, we are seeing continued economic improvements across Florida. Now, with the establishment of the $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, we have the resources needed to grow more jobs for families across the state.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in June was $245,000, up from the previous year’s median price of $225,000. The increase in home prices resulted in an additional $1 billion in home sales in the last year, up nearly 12 percent from June 2016. Among the five components measured in Florida’s Consumer Sentiment Index, expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next year had the highest over-the-month increase, climbing 6 points.

Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Florida’s strong job growth and the state’s thriving economy have continued to give consumers confidence in their futures. Florida’s housing market has also directly benefitted from Governor Scott’s commitment to job creation and focus on economic growth. The increase in home prices and rising consumer confidence shows that people from all parts of the nation can have bright futures by moving to Florida and investing in our great economy.”

In June, the metro areas with the highest home sales were:

  • Sebring with 26.9 percent growth,
  • Sebastian-Vero Beach with 26.9 percent growth, and
  • Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin with 15.5 percent growth.

In June, the metro areas with the highest growth in over-the-year median sales prices were:

  • Ocala with 19.7 percent growth,
  • Sebring with 18.7 percent growth,
  • Tallahassee with 18 percent growth, and

Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville with 15.8 percent growth.

Charles Murphy News 8/8

News Cast for August 8th:

A 24 year old Okeechobee man arrested after a high speed chase with Mississippi lawmen. Josue Ayala faces careless driving and felony fleeing after a chase on I-20.  Police say they found a couple of weapons in the car but didn’t charge Ayala with any charges related to the guns.

An Okeechobee woman, 54 year old Cassandra Ann Littrell of Lorida, was charged with aiding and abetting sex offender Gary Ebersole last week.  He hid in the woods and pasture between Lorida and Fort Basinger before being run down by Sheriff K-9s.  Littrell is accused of purchasing him non perishable food, a tent and a sleeping bag.  She faces a charge of failure to notify law enforcement of a sexual offenders non compliance.  Ebersole cut his ankle monitor to avoid arrest on July 31st.

A drug bust last Thursday may have sparked a shooting in Douglas Park on Friday. First narcotics officers busted 33 year old Willie Lewis and 27 year old Tiffany Dickinson on a host of charges related to guns, marijuana, heroin, and crack cocaine.  Narcotics officers say the pair may have been cooking crack cocaine in the apartment at 656 North East 13th Avenue.

The next day’s, Lewis brother, 40 year old Albert Lewis, was charged with trying to shoot Alphonso Morris, as he stood on the Douglas Brown school.  Lewis missed him at point blank range, and missed him several times as he ran after him.  Lewis faces charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm at school.

South Florida Water Managers say inflows from north of the lake and the St. Lucie River contributed to the algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee this summer. Terrie Bates is with the Water resources division. Tropical Storm Emily raised the level of the lake about a quarter-foot.

Sports Cast for August 8th:

Brad Garrett was named head football coach for the Clewiston Tigers this summer. Pete Walker retired after a long career with Glades Day, Clewiston and other schools. Garrett is from the Glades as a former Glades Day Quarterback who played Division II College  ball at Quincy University in Illinois. He was an assistant coach for two state champion teams at Glades Day in 2009-2010.

This is his first head coaching job and he says he’s ready to run with it. He says his team will be a bunch of hard working guys who care.  The team won a district title during a 5-5 team last season.

Garrett says he has always enjoyed small town football

High school football games begin on August 18th.

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