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News Cast for May 10th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners meet this morning and they will be looking to approve a new phone system for the human resources building by an outside company and they will also be looking at developing an amnesty program for properties that have received code enforcement violations. The meeting will be held at 9 am in the historic courthouse.

Officials from Florida Power and Light were at the Okeechobee County Civic Center near the airport yesterday for a Power to Save Event. Residents came and were given advice on how to save energy and money on their energy bills. Spokesperson Florencia Contesse says some residents were able to get free of charge energy makeovers where technicians came to their home and had their air conditioners, water filters and more either examined or adjusted. Contesse says one thing people can do to conserve energy and lower their bills is signing up for their “on call program”. Contesse recommends keeping your thermostat at 78 degrees when you’re home and just over 78 when you’re not home to save money on your energy bills. She also recommends using LED light bulbs instead of traditional light bulbs because they are comparable price-wise and they are 80 percent more efficient. Any further questions about energy saving can be directed to Florida Power and Light at FPL.com.

Contesse 1

Contesse 2

Recently, the Okeechobee Police Department reassigned two of their veteran officers to county schools to become new school resource officers as required by the state in light of the tragedy at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in February. One of those new officers was Kellie Margerum. Margerum is a thirteen year veteran of the police department and she is excited about her new role and says it allows her to help in two ways. Margerum was a member of the road patrol before being tapped to be an SRO. She assumed her new duties at Central Elementary School earlier this month. The other new SRO from the Okeechobee Police Department is Officer Jack Boon.

Margerum-New SRO

Two Okeechobee men are facing drug charges following an attempted deal Tuesday. Sheriff’s deputies observed 18 year old Johnson Ngo Tran place a bag of marijuana wrapped in a white napkin in the trunk of a Nissan sedan in the parking lot at the 14 hundred block of Route 441 south just after four o’clock. As deputies approached to question Tran, the owner of the Nissan, 21 year old Baldemar Medrano Junior tried to run out the back exit of a store there. Medrano was caught and deputies had a K-9 unit search the car and found the marijuana bag and other drugs. Medrano was arrested for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cannabis, while Tran was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Tran was released after posting a $55 hundred dollar bond and Medrano is being held without bond.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a major theft that happened Tuesday morning. Deputies received a call just after 7am saying Ranger Construction rented a Caterpillar 272D rubber tire skid steer from Kelly Tractor Company the day before and then parked it on a vacant lot at NE 144th Street but when they came in the following day, it was missing. Deputies say there was a GPS tracker on it and it said it’s located in Hialeah Gardens. It apparently had been unhooked from the grinder attachment and stolen, likely via hotwiring. Deputies say the skid loader is valued at over $76 thousand dollars. Hialeah Police has been notified of the incident.

On the arrest report:

25 year old Bridget Maria Deschamps and 25 year old Bryan Lee Walburn, both of Okeechobee, were arrested by sheriff’s deputies for separate charges after a traffic stop. Walburn was arrested for driving without a license and Deschamps was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Deschamps’ bond is set at just over $57 hundred dollars and Walburn’s is set at $750 dollars.

25 year old Lisa Ellen Carr of Okeechobee was arrested for burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief of an unoccupied home. Her bond is set at $55 hundred dollars.

23 year old Alphonso Tyrone Morris Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on previous drug and obstruction charges. He’s being held without bond.

23 year old Dillon Albert Muir of Okeechobee was arrested on an out of county warrant from Palm Beach. He’s being held without bond.