News Cast for September 5th:

The Okeechobee City Council met last night and held a public hearing regarding the millage rate and proposed budget for the 2018/19 fiscal year. Council members approved the 7.99 percent millage rate for city residents and business owners. While the millage rate could not be any lower, Mayor Dowling Watford says there is some good news to know regarding the budget in terms of city income. Those other services include police and fire department services. Resident Bob Jarriel spoke on the millage rate, saying it should be lower for those residents who rely on Social Security. The final public hearing on the millage rate and the proposed budget will be at the next city council meeting on September 18th at 6pm.

City Budget-Millage Rate 1

City Budget-Millage Rate 2

A very special team was recognized by members of the Okeechobee City Council at their meeting last night. The players and coaches of the eight and under baseball team of the Okeechobee Citizens Recreation Association (OCRA), were given certificates of recognition for their spectacular play during the summer and represented Florida in the World Series in Lumberton, NC last July. Head Coach Ruben Guerrero says he is honored the team was recognized and as great as these kids are on the baseball diamond, it’s seeing these kids smile that makes coaching this team worthwhile. The team finished eleventh out of twenty-four teams who participated in the World Series and came within a run of beating Georgia and making the top ten.

Guerrero 1

Guerrero 2

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies have a local man in custody in connection with a series of thefts that took place this Sunday afternoon. Deputies say 31 year old Quinton Thomas Hamner went to a home on the 36 hundred block of SE 33rd Terrace just before noon and broke in and used the bathroom and then told someone in the house that the homeowner was expecting him and he’d be right back. The homeowner returned and claimed he wasn’t expecting anyone and found that his car was broken into and several items were stolen. Deputies say they received calls that Hamner was staying in a tenant’s room at the Lakeview Inn and Suites which is directly across from the home he broke into. Deputies found Hamner not only stole items from the man’s car at the house earlier but he stole items from other tenants at the inn. Hamner was arrested and charged with burglary, criminal mischief and two counts of petit theft. He was booked into county jail and his bond is set at $78 thousand dollars.

A traffic stop turned into a drug related arrest for a local man Friday night. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a Mitsubishi sedan, driven by 36 year old Robert Earl Davis, on the 16 hundred block of Highway 98 North just after eight o’clock for a window tint violation. Davis looked visibly nervous, causing deputies to search the car with Davis’s consent. Deputies looked in a black bag in the back seat and found three syringes which contained methamphetamine. A search of Davis himself turned up a straw with methamphetamine in it. Davis was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. He was released after posting a six thousand dollar bond.

It was a close call for an Okeechobee man yesterday following a vehicle accident. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies say 31 year old Harold Lee Thompson Junior was driving a GMC minivan near the 62 hundred block of Route 710 West just after 2:30 when he stopped suddenly trying to avoid several cars that were stopped on the road. Thompson’s vehicle went off the road and ended up on its side. Thompson was stuck in his vehicle for a few minutes but he was helped out of the vehicle and was not injured. There were no traffic delays or road blockages as a result of the accident and it is being investigated.

On the arrest report:

27 year old Jarrod Wayne Hair of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation on past criminal mischief and causing property damage charges. He’s being held without bond.

27 year old Robbie Glinn Mosely Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for battery and resisting arrest. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

25 year old Amanda Miguel of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and subsequent field sobriety test. Her bond is set at a thousand dollars.

24 year old Jesus De La Paz of Okeechobee was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

38 year old Noel Damien Smith of Okeechobee was arrested for driving without a valid license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting bond.

41 year old Ernie Paul Higginbotham of Okeechobee was arrested on a warrant from Hendry County for not paying child support. His bond is set at just under $475 dollars.

23 year old Julie Elayne Honeycutt of Okeechobee was arrested for failing to appear in court on past charges of driving without a valid license. She was released after posting a $250 dollar bond.

39 year old Luis Garcia-Vargas of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on an expired license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $250 dollar bond.

34 year old Stephanie Michelle Starcher of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past undisclosed charges. She’s being held without bond.

28 year old Tyce Dylan Fender of Okeechobee was arrested by police for criminal mischief. He was released after posting a $750 dollar bond.

54 year old Willie Nelson Barrett of Okeechobee was arrested for trespassing. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

50 year old Dawn Renee Usher of Okeechobee was arrested for violating a dog ordinance. Her bond is set at a hundred dollars.