News Cast for January 17th:

The first Okeechobee City Council meeting of 2019 took place this past Tuesday and newly elected councilmember Bobby Keefe wasted no time in making his presence on the council known. Following the re-appointment of Dowling Watford as Okeechobee Mayor, Keefe introduced a measure that would call for each councilmember to serve as mayor on a rotating basis and would do so on a one year term  instead of the two year term which it is now. Keefe’s reasoning for this is it would bring a fresh approach to the job as mayor and a renewed sense of duty and obligation to the community and the council. The measure was defeated by a four to one vote. Keefe says he was disappointed in the result but he believes Watford is a superb leader and is honored to be serving on the council with him as the mayor.

Members of the South Florida Water Management Governing Board will soon be swept away. Last week, newly elected Governor Ron DeSantis called for the resignations of the members of the Water Management Governing Board at a press conference January 10th in Stuart. Governing Board member Brandon Tucker says a letter was sent to all board members thanking them for their service while issuing an executive order outlining a “bold vision” for environmental protection and water quality. Tucker says while Governor DeSantis has asked for the members to resign, it won’t be happening right away. Tucker says it didn’t come as a shock when he heard that Governor DeSantis asked for the board to resign based on news reports he’d been hearing about over the last few months. As of yesterday, board members Dan O’Keefe and Carlos Diaz have tendered their resignations.

Officers from the Narcotics Division of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s office arrested two men on Tuesday evening on several counts of drug trafficking during a sting operation. Officers arrested 28 year old Robert Anthony Williams of Port St. Lucie and 29 year old Nicholas Delgado of Melbourne a little after 7:30 after undercover officers had set up the purchase of cocaine and marijuana from Delgado and Williams last November and did so again this past Tuesday. Officers say the drug buys were conducted in areas such as Marathon Gas Station on the 86 hundred block of SE Highway 441 and at the Wal-Mart parking lot on the 21 hundred block of South Parrott Avenue. Delgado was arrested and charged with cocaine trafficking and two counts of marijuana possession; Williams also was arrested and charged with cocaine trafficking, two counts of marijuana possession using a two way communication device to facilitate a felony and grand theft of a firearm. Delgado and Williams were booked into county jail. Williams’ bond is set at $240 thousand dollars and Delgado’s bond is set at $220 thousand dollars.

Okeechobee County firefighters had a fuel spill to contend with this past Saturday morning. Firefighters were called to the 22 hundred block of Highway 70 West just after eight o’clock and found at least seven gallons of spilled fuel. Firefighters then applied some oil dry to soak up the fuel and kept it from contaminating the nearby grass. The spill was contained to the concrete and there were no damages and no injuries reported.

On the arrest report:

33 year old Steven Wayne Hungerford of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating conditions of pretrial release. He was released after posting a $25 hundred dollar bond.

36 year old Kristie Lea Medders of Okeechobee was arrested on warrants from St. Lucie County for trafficking stolen property and giving false information to a pawnbroker. She’s being held without bond.

48 year old Daniel Thomas Meara of Okeechobee was arrested for battery on one of his employees after accusing him of stealing money from his shop. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.