News Cast for November 6th:

The time for campaigning is over. The time for speeches is over. It’s now in the hands of the voters as we have arrived at Election Day 2018. While the majority of residents in Okeechobee County will be paying close attention to the races for three of the city council seats and the county court judge seat, there are other races that will be of concern to the community. One of those is the race for State Senator District 26 which will be decided by Ben Albritton, a citrus grower and Wauchula resident and his opponent, nurse and public health administrator, Catherine Price, a resident of Lake Wales. Albritton says if he wins the post, he says he wants to get his ideas heard as it pertains to education, specifically regarding public schools. Meanwhile Price says her main concern is regarding health care and not just because of her background as a nurse. Price says while Medicaid expansion is needed, what alarms her is health care for middle income families where only 53 percent have it. You can still come out and vote if you haven’t already. Election coverage will be broadcast on WOKC beginning at 7pm.

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Okeechobee County firefighters had a report of a structure fire to contend with early Saturday morning. Crews were called to a home on the 75 hundred block of NW 93rd Court just after 5:30 for a smoke investigation and found moderately thick smoke coming from the house and upgraded it to a structure fire. Crews went into the house and found a clothes dryer burning in one corner of the house. Firefighters needed about a half hour to get the fire extinguished while using about fifty gallons of water. No one was hurt. Total damage is estimated at about $12 hundred dollars. The fire caused no damage to the rest of the house. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

An Okeechobee man is dead after a vehicle accident Saturday night. Florida Highway Patrol officers say 45 year old Charles Hardison was driving a Toyota Tundra pickup truck south on a gravel access road that runs parallel to Brocksmith Road in St. Lucie County just before 7:30 when he somehow lost control of the truck, traveled off the east side of the road and went down a dirt and grass embankment before overturning in a canal. Hardison was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident is under investigation.

An Okeechobee man is in county jail on some serious drug charges following an incident Friday afternoon. Narcotics officers from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant on a room on the one hundred block of NE 6th Avenue just after one o’clock that belonged to a man, who was referred to as “Coyote” but later identified as 47 year old Rogelio Soto Rodriguez. Officers watched Rodriguez leave the room which had been under surveillance and told him his room was to be searched. The search turned up bags of cocaine, bags used to package it and over a thousand dollars in cash. Rodriguez was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell it within a thousand feet of a place of worship; The Church of God. His bond is set at $51 thousand dollars.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies have a Fort Pierce man in custody on charges of loitering and prowling following an incident early Friday morning. Deputies say 51 year old William Joseph Romano was walking on the 37 hundred block of NW 25th Avenue shortly before five o’clock carrying what looked to be a hammer and a football helmet that bore the colors of Okeechobee High School. Deputies say Romano had been knocking on people’s doors in the neighborhood saying that “the kids are in trouble.” Romano also had a substance on him that was tested for illegal drugs but the results were unable to be determined. Romano was arrested and booked into county jail where his bond is set at five hundred dollars.

On the arrest report:

30 year old Justin Brown Chism of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for burglary, grand theft, providing false information to a pawnbroker, criminal mischief, loitering and violating probation on past charges of credit card fraud. He’s being held without bond.

35 year old Judy Faye Louise Anderson of Okeechobee was arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and child abuse. Her bond is set at $16 thousand five hundred dollars.

20 year old Yasmin Velasquez of Okeechobee was arrested for battery following a domestic dispute. He was released after posting a $250 dollar bond.

24 year old Gino Luis Ramos of Okeechobee was arrested on an out of county warrant for marijuana possession. He’s being held without bond.

34 year old Jose Sanchez Gutierrez of Okeechobee was arrested for driving without a license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a thousand dollar bond.

29 year old Christopher Barton Hanson of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of theft and providing false information to a pawnbroker. He’s being held without bond.

26 year old Kenneth Andrew Crawford of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $750 dollar bond.

36 year old Armando Rodriguez of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drug possession charges. He’s being held without bond.

40 year old William Edward Lewis of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

69 year old James Arthur Snell of Okeechobee was arrested by police for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.