News Cast for October 31st:

Halloween is here and it’s a time of scary fun and scary and crazy costumes. It’s also a time where kids will be trick or treating everywhere, including Okeechobee County. With that, officials from the sheriff’s department are reminding parents to keep their focus on keeping their kids safe, specifically when so many are outdoors. Sheriff Noel Stephen is reminding parents to have their kids’ costumes reflective or made in a way so that drivers can see them, specifically as it gets darker, have masks that allow kids to see without any problem. Stephen says also parents need to stay with their kids during trick or treating and always be aware of traffic. Stephen says parents need to also be aware of sex offenders living in Okeechobee this time of year; there are currently 109 registered sex offenders and nine registered predators living in the area. Parents can find out where they live by calling the sheriff’s office or by logging on to the Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators website at fdle.state.fl.us. The Sheriff’s Department is asking that all trick or treaters be done by 9pm; this is not a curfew but rather a guideline.

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With Halloween here, officials from Florida’s Poison Control Center are also asking people to stay safe this season. Dr. Alfred Aleguas of the Poison Control Center is especially warning people to check their kids’ candy from trick or treating and make sure they are in commercially wrapped packages. Dr. Aleguas also warns about glow sticks and glow jewelry; never chew or break them open and don’t use or share cosmetics with a funny smell to them because they can cause skin irritation. If you run into an issue with any of these, call Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. They are open 24/7.

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An Okeechobee man, already facing drunk-driving charges, is in much more serious trouble in connection with an incident that happened Saturday night. Sheriff’s deputies say 28 year old Chester Eugene Woodall Junior was reportedly driving a Chevy Malibu sedan near the four hundred block of NE 64th Avenue sometime before ten o’clock when he reportedly ran over an elderly woman and destroyed some area of a fence in doing it. Deputies say they stopped the car Woodall was driving sometime later and noticed heavy front end damage to it. When questioned, Woodall’s passenger, a woman, stated that Woodall has mental issues. The victim sustained lacerations to her knee and wrist, deep enough to expose bone. She was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce for treatment. Woodall was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief after he had already been charged with drunk driving. His bond has not been set.

Okeechobee County firefighters had a kitchen fire to contend with on Monday afternoon. Crews were called to a single story mobile home on the 53 hundred block of SE Highway 441 just after two o’clock and found light smoke coming from the home. Investigators say the homeowner’s son tried to put it out himself but the smoke was too thick. Crews entered the home and found the smoke coming from the kitchen stove where something cooking caught some plastic or paper plates and set them on fire. They got the fire controlled in just a few minutes with no one getting hurt. Investigators say the homeowner told them that she was having issues with the stove turning on by itself because her two cats had been climbing all over it. Those two cats are unaccounted for at this time. Total damage to the kitchen was about eight hundred dollars. It remains under investigation.

On the arrest report:

28 year old Erminia Meras of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia after deputies were serving her with an arrest warrant. Her bond is set at a thousand dollars.

42 year old Richard Lawrence Watson of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license for the third time after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

26 year old Jonathan Torres of Okeechobee was arrested for petit theft and entering a vehicle that wasn’t his. His bond has not been set.

37 year old Lawrence Wendell Wolf of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.