News Cast for November 9th:

An Okeechobee County School District teacher is in county jail on charges of having sexual relations with an underage student. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 27 year old Richard Shane Miller on Wednesday and charged him with three counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a 14 year old female student. Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says the school’s human resources department received an anonymous tip regarding the charges against Miller and they in turn contacted the sheriff’s department. Kenworthy, who says the news was “heartbreaking” to hear, says there was no outward evidence that Miller could’ve been up to something. Detectives say Miller, who teaches at the Freshman Campus, and the female student reportedly developed a romantic relationship during this school year. Miller is being held on a $150 thousand dollar bond and he’s on administrative leave. Each charge against Miller is a second degree felony.

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The issue of traffic control and enforcement in the Viking subdivision in the Coquina Water District area was a topic of discussion with Okeechobee County Commissioners yesterday. People who have bought land there have made it a recreational area and it’s disturbing the year-round residents with their partying and members of the Coquina Water Control District are considering terminating the agreement with the county regarding traffic control because of threats and intimidation from those who are using the area for recreation. Sheriff Noel Stephen spoke on the issue, saying he has the authority to enforce traffic control, even though the area is mainly grass roads used by the public which are normally not under traffic control even though there’s no gate or fence blocking it off. Stephen says a workshop on the matter is not likely to be effective; he says that leaves him with one option and that’s providing adequate law enforcement which would be costly to the residents. Commissioner Bryant Culpepper agrees that a workshop wouldn’t be effective. Culpepper believes an investigation by the state attorney general is in order to help resolve this.

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Farm City Week will officially begin next week. Okeechobee County Commissioners yesterday approved a proclamation for the week of November 14th thru the 21st to be Farm-City Week. Property Appraiser Mickey Bandi was on hand to accept the proclamation and he says it’s a time to connect people who produce the food to those who consume it. It will culminate with the Farm City Luncheon next Thursday at the KOA. Bandi says the 4-H will be there presenting a host of programs for people to see. Bandi says despite his job as County Property Appraiser, he has a strong family connection to farming which made him ideal to accept this proclamation. There will be over three hundred meals served and there is a “10 Gallon Challenge” programmed through Farm Bureau, where people purchase ten gallons of milk and provide it to local food pantries like Martha’s House and Embassy Ministries.

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An Okeechobee man is facing some serious charges following an incident Tuesday night. Deputies were called to the 24 hundred block of SE 30th Street just after 9:30 for reports that 57 year old Larry Gene Clase had been brandishing a gun at his neighbor. Deputies say neighbors witnessed Clase holding a flashlight in one hand and a gun in the other hand as his neighbor was taking out the garbage. Deputies say Clase’s neighbor said he has a door without a hinge and as it closes, it makes a loud noise against the wall and Clase came out and said “keep making noise and see what happens.” Clase was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He was released after posting a bond of $12 thousand five hundred dollars.

On the arrest report:

37 year old Ernesto Santiago Conejo Junior of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on warrants from Highlands County for domestic violence by strangulation and tampering with evidence. He’s being held without bond.

41 year old Paula Rene Spigelmoyer of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at $55 hundred dollars.

52 year old Doris May Clark of Fort Pierce was arrested for violating probation on past drug charges. She was released after posting bond.

39 year old Eddie Clifford Dames of Fort Pierce was arrested for possession of cocaine and marijuana after a traffic stop. His bond is set at six thousand dollars.