News Cast for April 11th:

Tonight, for the second time in as many weeks, the Okeechobee County Commissioners’ Chambers will be the site for a workshop. County commissioners, Okeechobee City Councilmembers, the county school board and Sheriff Noel Stephen will be conducting a workshop to determine a cost share for the school resource officers in county schools as mandated by the recent senate bill passage in light of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February. The workshop will begin at 6pm.

The Guardian Program is not a part of Okeechobee County schools just yet. But the ball has begun rolling. Last night the school board decided to allow Superintendent Ken Kenworthy to develop a complete safety plan for this program, which if approved, would allow certain school personnel to be armed. Kenworthy says the plan would go back before the board at next month’s meeting then by law it would be advertised for another month before it goes back to the board in June for approval. Kenworthy says between May and June, it would be the time to see who would volunteer for it. Some residents did voice their opinion on it, including Bobby Keefe, who has major concerns. Several residents voiced their support for the program at a workshop last week.

This past Saturday, Okeechobee residents gathered at the pond at the Agri-Civic Center for the Adam Bryant Minimal Regatta. People got to show off their homemade boats and race them. J.D. Mixon, president of For Okeechobee, Inc., the company who put the event together, says the event was moved to the Agri-Civic Center from the C. Scott Driver Park at Okee-Tantie because of the navigable waterway problems. The event is named after Adam Bryant, a childhood friend of Mixon’s who was paralyzed in a camping accident in 2001 and died two years later from complications of the accident. Funds from the boat sponsorships are used for college scholarships for high school graduates and to fund those students interested in going to school to become EMT’s or firefighters, like Bryant wanted to be before his accident.

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Six Okeechobee men, already inmates at the county jail, are facing more charges after a fight over the weekend. Deputies charged 48 year old Mark Glenn Deschamps, 22 year old Christopher William Shows, 25 year old John Russell Harlow, 20 year old Daivondre Allen Queener, 33 year old Jesse Rocky Zamora and 22 year old Michael James Raulerson with battery after they ganged up on and severely beat 19 year old Brian Patrick Groody, also of Okeechobee, on Sunday afternoon.  Groody, who was admitted into jail earlier that day for sexual battery on his girlfriend after a domestic dispute, sustained injuries to his face, upper torso and a dislocated shoulder. He was taken to Raulerson Hospital for treatment. Bonds for all six men have not yet been set.

A Labelle woman is dead after a vehicle accident early yesterday morning. Florida Highway Patrol officers say 30 year old Nicole Michele Leeming was driving a Nissan Altima north on NE Eucalyptus Boulevard in Hendry County when she didn’t approach a curve properly, traveling onto the shoulder and colliding with a light pole and two sign supports. Leeming was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Naples man is facing some serious prison time after he was found guilty late last week of cocaine trafficking. A Collier County Court jury returned a guilty verdict against 37 year old Fredrick Green for his part in a drug trafficking organization in Immokalee that was investigated and eventually dismantled by Collier County Sheriff’s deputies. Green was also found guilty of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to sell it.  Green, who will be sentenced on April 19th, is facing up to 35 years in prison.

Taylor Creek Bridge Improvements PR

On the arrest report:

18 year old Alexander Scott Haaka of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana resin and drug paraphernalia after a fellow student of Haaka’s got sick from eating a cookie laced with marijuana that Haaka gave him. His bond is set at over $15 thousand dollars.

34 year old Melissa Dawn Swymn of Okeechobee was arrested for retail theft at Dollar General. Her bond is set at five hundred dollars.

37 year old Martin Estrada Pomposa of Okeechobee was arrested for failure to pay child support. He was released after posting a thousand dollar bond.

20 year old Jesus Alvarado of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation and eluding law officers and resisting arrest. He’s being held without bond.

22 year old Robert Edward Thompson Junior of Okeechobee was arrested on an out of county warrant from Volusia for driving on a suspended license and eluding law officers after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

44 year old Chris Selph of Okeechobee was arrested by police for trespassing. His bond has not been set.

30 year old Ashley Lynn Sanchez of Fort Pierce was arrested for violating probation. Her bond has not been set.

33 year old Adam Lee Carney of Quitman, MS was arrested for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon on his co-worker.  His bond is set at $10 thousand dollars.