News Cast for May 14th:

Okeechobee County’s landfill may be the recipient of some debris from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, courtesy of the Virgin Islands. Commissioners last week approved the receiving of construction debris to the landfill, which will take place if Waste Management, Inc., which operates the landfill, can procure the contract for the job from FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Assistant County Administrator Russell Rowland says if Waste Management, Inc. gets the contract, it will mean possibly over one hundred thousand tons of debris at just over three dollars a ton, making it a $300 thousand dollar profit for the county’s general fund; a great benefit for the county in several ways. The debris would be transported here via seaworthy barges and then by truckloads from Fort Pierce to the landfill over the summer through October.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week concluded last week but making sure your home is strengthened to withstand a hurricane is still of great importance. Mitch Smeykel of the Okeechobee Emergency Management Center says your garage door is the most vulnerable part of your home and once that goes, the rest of your home will surely be next. Smeykel says to replace your garage door once every ten years or using a retro fit kit. Smeykel says while using plywood and aluminum is a good solution for boarding up your windows, poly plastic and some fabrics work just as well and they are not as difficult to put up on your windows. Hurricane season begins June 1st.

This month is Building Safety Month in Okeechobee, and it is a time for making sure construction that is going on is safe and correct. City building official and inspector Jeff Newell was on hand to accept the proclamation from the city council at their last meeting. Newell says what tends to be overlooked sometimes is the tendency for contractors to “cut corners” in their work. Newell says this proclamation is especially important as we head into Hurricane Season and there are still roofs that need repair from the last Hurricane Season.

An Okeechobee man is dead after being electrocuted Wednesday afternoon. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies say just before 3:30, 22 year old Joshua James Blow was doing some drilling on the dock with an electric drill near an RV park at the 86 hundred block of SE 441 with another man when Blow yelled to remove the extension cord. After some witnesses removed the cord, Blow and the other man, 62 year old John Fancher, fell into the water at Rim Canal. Witnesses pulled them both out of the water and EMT’s arrived and performed CPR on both. Fancher regained consciousness but Blow did not. Both men were transported to Raulerson Hospital for treatment where Blow eventually died from his injuries. Emergency crews are investigating the incident.

Okeechobee County firefighters had a reported shed fire to contend with Friday morning. Crews were called to the 26 hundred block of SE 25th Drive just before 10 am and actually found a burning debris pile in front of a collapsed shed. Crews got the blaze controlled in about 25 minutes with no one getting hurt and no damages.

An Arcadia woman is in serious condition after a vehicle accident Thursday. Florida Highway Patrol officers say 33 year old Molly McQueary was driving a Kia Sorrento west on Route 760, approaching a stop sign at Route 31 in De Soto County just after 2:30. She ignored the stop sign and drove into the path of a big rig truck coming from Route 31, colliding with it. She was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment.

On the arrest report:

19 year old Elizabeth Eileen Shaw of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for providing false ownership to a pawnbroker. Her bond is set at $25 hundred dollars.

20 year old Blaine Eugene Fulwider of Okeechobee was arrested for burglary, grand theft and providing false ownership to a pawnbroker. His bond is set at $75 hundred dollars.

31 year old Christopher Burgor Colon of Okeechobee was arrested on an outstanding warrant for battery and false imprisonment. His bond is set at $75 thousand dollars.

40 year old Tammy Lynn Chapman of Okeechobee was arrested for grand theft and fraud. Her bond is set at $10 thousand dollars.

24 year old Lauren Whitlow of Valparaiso, IN was arrested on a warrant for grand theft auto. Her bond is set at five thousand dollars.