News Cast for October 8th:

The Economic Council of Okeechobee County will be hosting the Political Forum for the general election tonight at 5:45 p.m. in the Osceola Middle School Gymnasium. This event is free and open to the general public and you can come out to meet the candidates seeking to represent you.  Candidates participating in the forum include Bob Jarriel, Gary Ritter, Dowling Watford, and Bobby Keefe for Okeechobee City Council,  Nirlaine Smartt and Bob Meadows for 19th Circuit Court Judge, Bill Wallace and Deborah Hooker for Okeechobee County Court Judge, Cary Pigman and Audrey Ascuitto for FL House of Representatives and Ben Albritton for FL State Senate.

Candidates won’t be the only items on the November 6th ballot, as the fate of 12 constitutional revisions will also be determined in this upcoming election. Those attending the Political Forum will receive an overview of the amendments presented by Ms. Carolyn Tinman who served on the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission. Okeechobee County Supervisor of Elections Diane Hagan will also review election procedures. Food and refreshments will be available to those in attendance, with all proceeds benefitting our local 4-H program. Once again, the political forum is tonight at 5:45 in the Osceola Middle School Gymnasium and will be broadcast live on WOKC via 1570AM, 100.9FM or the Tune In Radio application.

To anonymously submit questions for the candidates or for more information regarding the forum, you can contact Jennifer Tewksbury at the Economic Council and her email is or visit

It was a special day at the Okeechobee Softball Fields Park near Yearling Middle School this past Friday as members of the Special Stars organization took part in a sports training and recreational services field day. The Special Stars, based out of Highlands County, is an organization that works with children and adults who have certain disabilities to take part in sports training and recreational activities like track and field, bicycling, softball throwing and even leisure activities like fishing and bowling. Bernard Marker of Special Stars, who helped coordinate the event and will head up Special Stars in Okeechobee soon, says his involvement in this is personal. Members of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department also had a big hand in putting this event together and according to Deputy Jack Nash, it all started when they were approached to set up an honor guard to come out to present a flag. Along with the sheriff’s department, a big thanks goes to the Okeechobee County Parks and Recreation Department as well as Jersey Mikes for providing lunch at the event. You may find live video of this event on our Facebook page.

Special Stars 1

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Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies have a local man in custody on drunk driving charges following an incident Thursday night. Deputies responded to the two hundred block of 78 West, otherwise known as Lock 7 a little after eight o’clock after reports of a man there with his Chevy station wagon urinating on the parking lot. Eventually the man, identified as 56 year old James Mitchell Patterson, drove away and was finally pulled over by deputies on SE 3rd Street. Deputies could smell alcohol on Patterson’s breath and Patterson attempted to drive away when the deputy went back to his patrol car but he was stopped. Deputies spotted a half filled bottle of vodka in the back seat of the car and a check through dispatch revealed Patterson has been cited for drunk driving on two previous occasions. Patterson was arrested following a field sobriety test and booked into county jail. His bond has not been set.

A Port St. Lucie man is dead after a vehicle accident Thursday in St. Lucie County. Florida Highway Patrol officers say 53 year old Oslavio Morales was driving a Ford dump truck south on C24 Canal Road approaching a train crossing when he didn’t see a train crossing. Morales kept going despite the approaching train and it struck the left side of the truck, pushing it into a canal. Morales was ejected from the vehicle as a result of the train’s impact. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident remains under investigation.

On the arrest report:

60 year old Loretta Joy Marr of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for drunk driving for the fourth time after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at five thousand dollars.

24 year old Erica Nicole Frederick of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of hydromorphone, marijuana and tampering with evidence. Her bond is set at $10 thousand five hundred dollars.

29 year old Sandra Esquivel Garcia of Okeechobee was arrested for driving without a valid license after a traffic stop. She was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

27 year old Tallbird Richard Scott Pewo of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop. His bond has not been set.