News Cast for May 15th:

Two Okeechobee women and one Okeechobee boy are dead after a vehicle accident Friday afternoon. Florida Highway Patrol officers say 66 year old Valerie J. Edlemon was driving a Kia Sportage utility vehicle north on Highway 441 near Route 60 just before two o’clock when the driver of an oncoming Dodge Challenger attempted to pass a semi-truck, causing the Dodge to collide head on with Edlemon’s vehicle. That collision caused Edlemon’s vehicle to be projected into the path of the semi-truck, hitting it head-on. Edlemon and one of her passengers, 49 year old Tonya L. Macon, were pronounced dead at the scene. Edlemon’s other passenger, a fourteen year old Okeechobee boy, died from his injuries at Raulerson Hospital. The accident shut down the road in both directions for close to five hours. It is under investigation.

Today, the flags will be at half-staff all over the state of Florida and around the country, in honor of Highlands County Sheriff’s Deputy William J. Gentry, Junior. Gentry was shot and killed in the line of duty on May 7th while he was questioning a man in connection with the shooting death of a neighbor’s cat. Highlands County Sheriff’s spokesperson Scott Dressel says Governor Rick Scott will be making an appearance this morning to honor the fallen deputy in a special ceremony this morning. Dressel says Gov. Scott cut short an overseas trip to attend this ceremony, beginning at 11 am. It is expected that five thousand people will attend. Meanwhile, the man who shot Gentry, 69 year old Joseph Edward Ables of Lake Placid, is awaiting trial for first degree murder.

Okeechobee City Councilmembers will meet tonight and among the items on the agenda include implementing a magistrate in lieu of the code enforcement board and approving the proposed amended budget for this year. The meeting begins at 6pm in city hall.

The Okeechobee County School Board will also be meeting tonight and they will be having a presentation of the US Health Department’s Healthier US School Challenge awards. They’ll also be looking at an agreement with Indian River State College for the Research Coast Career Pathways Consortium. The meeting will begin at 6pm at the school board office.

This week is Water Reuse Week in not only Okeechobee County but also in Florida. Officials at the South Florida Water Management District made the announcement at the end of last week. Libby Pigman of the Water Management District says April and May are typically the driest months of the year and it’s the time of heightened awareness of how precious our water availability is and what we can do to better conserve it. Pigman says Florida leads the nation in water re-use. Pigman says fortunately last year’s wet season has allowed the height of Lake Okeechobee to be just over thirteen feet going into this year’s wet season, allowing for good water supply.

An Okeechobee man is being charged with a series of infractions after two separate incidents over the past two weeks. Sheriff’s deputies say 26 year old Seth Tyler Atkinson stole a car from a woman who drove him into town after he was supposed to meet a friend Saturday afternoon. The woman, who had a flat tire, allowed Atkinson to fix her tire, but he instead stole the car. Deputies were called and Atkinson was eventually found sitting in a refrigerator at a home on the nine hundred block of NE 30th Avenue and deputies arrested and restrained him after he resisted. The woman’s car was recovered and a search of the car revealed items that Atkinson had stolen from a home late last month. He was arrested and booked into county jail on charges of grand theft auto, burglary, dealing in stolen property and resisting arrest. He’s being held without bond.

Two Okeechobee men, already incarcerated, are in even more trouble after an incident Friday afternoon at Okeechobee County Jail. Sheriff’s deputies say 33 year old Antonio Aguilar Ramirez Junior and 29 year old Timmy Lee went into the cell of a fellow inmate and brutally beat him with kicks and punches. The battered inmate had bruises on both eyes, legs and there was swelling on his face. Lee and Ramirez were charged with battery. The incident is being investigated.

On the arrest report:

33 year old Richard Aponte Morales of Okeechobee was arrested by police on an out of county warrant for domestic battery in Highlands County. He was released after posting a two thousand dollar bond.

25 year old Patrick Neal Naugle of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of Xanax and drug paraphernalia after he was caught shoplifting. His bond is set at eight thousand dollars.

41 year old Edward Swanson Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past battery charges. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

29 year old Kyle Leslie Salvo of Okeechobee was arrested for trespassing and shoplifting from Wal-Mart. His bond is set at $15 hundred dollars.

34 year old Jock Lee Glueckert of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation. He was arrested after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

22 year old Bryson O’Neill Shockley of Okeechobee was arrested by Florida Fish and Wildlife authorities for driving an airboat while intoxicated. He was released after posting a $500 dollar bond.

45 year old Lisa Aguilar Garcia Cardena of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. She was released after posting a six thousand dollar bond.

35 year old Timothy Lee Canull of Lake Worth was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $750 dollar bond.