News Cast for July 9th:

We’re in the middle of Hurricane Season and there are reports of a tropical storm called Beryl moving through the Caribbean right now. While it’s unlikely Beryl will become a threat to this area, Okeechobee County residents are being reminded it’s a good idea to start preparing themselves by cleaning up debris on your property, start shopping for non-perishable foods like canned chicken and tuna and bottled water, enough to last for about five days and having the needed materials to properly board up your home’s windows and doors when it’s time. Emergency Management Director Mitch Smeykel says while wind is something most people tend to be most afraid of in a hurricane, it is water that should really scare you.  Any further questions or tips can be forwarded to the Emergency Management Center at (863) 763-3212.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips 1

Hurricane Preparedness Tips 2

Highlands County Sheriff’s Deputies have a second Sebring man in custody on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography. Officers of the Special Victims Unit arrested 29 year old Andrew Tyrone Crump Junior late last month at his apartment at the Silver Sands Resort on Route 17 after the IP address of Crump’s computer was flagged for distributing forty-seven videos depicting child porn. Another Sebring man, 50 year old Christopher Ray Queen, was arrested and charged last spring for possessing and distributing child porn. Spokesperson Scott Dressel says more charges could be forthcoming for Crump. Crump is being held in county jail on a $94 thousand dollar bond. He is expected to appear in court later this month. Queen pleaded not guilty to his respective charges last month.

Crump Arrest 1

Crump Arrest 2

An Okeechobee woman is in county jail on a host of charges after her home was searched by sheriff’s deputies Thursday morning. Deputies, armed with a warrant, came to the home of 30 year old Brittany Leighann Alfonso just after eight o’clock in the morning to search it as ordered by the court and turned up multiple syringes, a digital scale, multiple bags of methamphetamine, a glass pipe and a refrigerator which was reported stolen. Deputies say a search of Alfonso’s RV turned up a loaded Beretta twelve gauge shotgun. Alfonso was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and grand theft. Alfonso, already in violation of her probation, is being held without bond.

A restaurant altercation resulted in an Okeechobee woman getting arrested Thursday night. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 39 year old Leslie Kay Malliard and charged her with battery after she reportedly punched a woman twice in the face outside the bathroom of the Brahma Bull Restaurant just after 9:30. Deputies say they located Malliard inside the restaurant and questioned her and she claimed the victim got her injuries because the revolving restroom door swung inward and hit her but she was told the doors only swing outward. Malliard was arrested and booked into county jail. Her bond has not been set.

Recently, the Okeechobee County Commissioners received a report from Fire Chief Ralph Franklin regarding the State Construction Grant for repairs to Fire Station #2 which is located in Treasure Island. Franklin says the $500 thousand dollar grant, which they were awarded last April, will be used not just for renovating the inside of the 34 year old station but also for the expansion of it. Franklin says once the contracts are signed to receive the grant, blueprints will be drawn up which will take about two to three months and then the work will begin.

Franklin-Fire Station #2

On the arrest report:

47 year old Robert Keith Darigo of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for grand theft auto. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

36 year old Angela Helen Kukulka of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on previous drug charges. She’s being held without bond.

34 year old Johnnie Lee Frost of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on previous charges of selling drugs. He’s being held without bond.

38 year old Charmel Levon Smith of Okeechobee was arrested for battery after a domestic dispute. His bond has not been set.