News Cast for October 9th:

Gov. Rick Scott was in Clewiston this morning in his effort to speed up repairs of the aging Herbert Hoover Dike at Lake Okeechobee. The lake’s water levels are the highest it’s been in over 12 years and those who live around the lake say they’re concerned about what could happen to their homes if there’s a catastrophic failure, such as a major storm.

State lawmakers have approved another $50 million this year to get repair work moving along for the over 70-year-old dike. Scott says it will take millions of dollars and years to repair the dike. You can see the video of Gov. Scott’s speech about the dike here:

Officials from FEMA are in full swing at the Agri-Civic Center as part of the Disaster Food Stamps program. D-SNAP is offering food benefits for people affected during Hurricane Irma. If you qualify, you will be an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card which works like a debit card at most grocery stores. The US Army Corps of Engineers are also on hand for the Blue Roof Program for those who sustained roof damage to their homes. Leshaye Wiggins of Okeechobee says, D-SNAP is a great program.

FEMA Interview

Debra Schelleberger of Okeechobee says this event couldn’t have come sooner.

Debra Schelleberger of Okeechobee

FEMA will be at the Agri-Civic Center Monday and Tuesday from 7am until 6pm. Remember if you plan on attending, you must enter the Civic Center at the Route 710 entrance.

A bit of a busy day for Okeechobee Sheriff’s deputies on Friday for out of county arrest warrants. Deputies arrested 18 year old Ricky Coleman Friday on a St. Lucie County warrant on charges of armed robbery. His bond is set at 250,000 dollars. And 26 year old Walter Turner of Okeechobee was arrested Friday for an out of state warrant for violation of probation. Bond is set at three thousand dollars.

47 year old Scott David Ludtke of Stuart was arrested for a warrant out of Martin County on charges of cocaine possession and unlawful use of a two way device. His bond is set at 27,500 dollars.

Officials from the South Florida Water Management District say that for navigating to and from Lake Okeechobee, the S-131 lock at Lakeport in Glades County will be temporarily closed for maintenance between Monday 10/16 and Tuesday 10/17. As of this week, all navigation locks on Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee Waterway have resumed normal operations following Hurricane Irma.

Speaking of water, the “Drinking Water Test Lab” for the Florida Dept. of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties is now being operated out of the Glades County site at 1021 Health Park Drive in Moore Haven, phone number is 863-946-0707. Water samples can be dropped off for testing between 8am-3pm, Monday thru Wednesday. If your private well has been damaged or compromised by the Hurricane, fees will be waived until Tuesday, 10/11.

60 year old Joseph Mills Booker of Okeechobee was arrested on charges of domestic battery, battery on an officer, tampering with a victim and resisting arrest with violence following an attack on his girlfriend. His bond is set at twenty-thousand dollars.