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News Cast for January 10th:

Yesterday was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It’s a day for people to thank and show support and appreciation for the men and women who serve their respective communities as law officers. Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen says this day is special because law enforcement officers here go about their business in the community with respect and they give that respect back. It’s something that in this day in age, it’s not always the case in other communities, specifically with young people. Stephen, who began his tenure as sheriff just over a year ago, has been in law enforcement for over 30 years.

It was a busy day Monday for Florida Highway Patrol. A Lorida man is dead and a Sebring man in serious condition after a vehicle accident yesterday in Highlands County. Investigators say 53 year old J. Reyes Hernandez was driving west on Highway 98 near Thunder Road near Sebring when he was approaching a driveway at the same time as 69 year old Patrick McGinty was when another driver was in front of Hernandez’s car and Hernandez tried to pass him but he didn’t see McGinty’s car approaching and collided with his Jeep head on. Hernandez’s car went off the road into a tree line, McGinty’s Jeep overturned. McGinty was later pronounced dead at Highlands Regional Medical Center while Hernandez is currently being treated there for his injuries. The accident is being investigated.

A Clewiston man is also dead after a vehicle accident Monday. FHP investigators say 76 year old Clifton Brown was driving a Lincoln Town Car east on Georgia Avenue near 12th Street when he reportedly had a medical condition while driving, causing him to go off the road and collided with a canal. Brown was transported to Hendry Regional Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. The accident is under investigation.

Finally, a Lehigh Acres woman is in serious condition after an accident Monday. FHP investigators say 34 year old Rochae Castel had stopped her school bus at a traffic signal on Route 884 and Lee Blvd. when 30 year old Robert Call of Ft. Myers driving a Dodge Grand Caravan came up from behind the bus and didn’t stop, rear-ending the bus. Castel was taken to Lehigh Regional Medical Center for treatment while Call was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital respectively, for treatment. There were no children on the bus.

Police in Lehigh Acres are looking for a woman who is accused of trying to pass a stolen check in Okeechobee. Police say the woman, a white female, was driving a gray Toyota Camry, not older than 2014, and came into Mid Florida Credit Union in Okeechobee and later in Lake Placid to pass the check on December 27th, both times being unsuccessful. An alert was placed on the victim’s account. If you have any information on this woman, please contact the Lake Placid Police Department.

Okeechobee County Commissioners will meet this morning in a special workshop to discuss current plans for roads that need to be resurfaced and areas that need system drainage maintenance, plus funding for the work. The workshop begins at 9am in the Historic County Courthouse.

On the arrest report:

63 year old Richard Elmer Welsch and 30 year old Jarrod Barkley Butterfield, both of Okeechobee, were arrested by sheriff’s deputies for dumping two piles of trash in different areas of the city. Both are being held on $2500.00 bond apiece.

54 year old Sharlene Theresa Billings of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. She is being held without bond.

30 year old Dion Eric McIntyre of Okeechobee was arrested for battery during a domestic dispute. He was released after posting a $500.00 bond.

23 year old Holmes Eugene Boyd of Lorida was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after someone complained of him trespassing. His bond is set at $5750.00.