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News Cast for February 21st:

One of the veteran officers of the Okeechobee Police Department recently returned to duty. Detective Bill Saum returned in the last couple of weeks after recovering from surgery on his right shoulder, needed because of wear and tear over the years as well as exacerbation from moving items in his garage. Saum says he missed his job and he’s very happy to be back, and he’s not the only one. Saum had his shoulder surgery in the middle of January and needed just under a month of recovery time before returning and he’s still rehabbing. He has been in law enforcement for over 31 years and plans to retire in a couple of years.

Saum Return 1

Saum Return 2

Okeechobee City Councilmembers approved a purchase of two unoccupied lots to a south Florida based construction company at last night’s meeting. Karl Davis Construction purchased the two lots at just over $260,000.00 dollars. City Administrator Marcos Montes De Oca says these lots are perfect for development. De Oca says the lots, which are near Industrial Park on NE 9th Avenue, have been unoccupied for over ten years.

De Oca-Purchased Lots

City Councilmembers also declared this week as “National Engineers Week,” and approved an appointment of Dallon Boyd to the Police Officers Pension Fund Board of Trustees and an appointment of Robert Jarriel Senior to the Planning Board as an alternate member.

Okeechobee County firefighters had their hands full with a brush fire Monday afternoon. Crews were called to the 20 thousand block of NW 260th Street just after one o’clock for a blaze that burned about ten acres of brush and grass. Crews got the blaze under control in about an hour and a half by putting a line around it with no one getting hurt and no structures damaged. Cause is under investigation.

Officials from the Okeechobee Utility Authority say they will be smoke testing the wastewater lines in areas of the county today to verify sewer connections or possible problems with the wastewater lines. Areas that will have these tests being done are Casey Lane, Karen Court, Andrea Lane and Chobee Street in Buckhead Ridge. You may see or smell smoke coming through your fixtures. This will not last more than an hour and it is not harmful. The testing will begin at 8:30 am and last until 5:30 pm. Any questions can be referred to the OUA.

On the arrest report:

33 year old Tony Lee Frost of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for aggravated battery on his pregnant girlfriend after a domestic dispute. His bond has not been set.

37 year old Thomas William McGill Junior of Okeechobee was arrested on an out of county arrest warrant from Hendry County. He’s being held without bond.

31 year old Amber Nichole Thibault of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to appear in court for past drug offenses. She’s being held without bond.

37 year old Matthew Shane Tate of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to appear in court on past charges of driving on a suspended license. He’s being held without bond.

27 year old Bobby Damale Redden of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.