News Cast for February 15th:

It will be a big day for bass fishing in Okeechobee County this weekend. Officials from the T-H Marine Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) will be continuing their tournament season with an event on Lake Okeechobee beginning tomorrow. Spokesperson Brian Johnson says up to four hundred boaters and co-anglers will be competing for top cash awards of up to eight thousand dollars for boaters and up to three thousand dollars for co-anglers. Johnson says this year tournament directors will be taking angler safety a bit more seriously this year following last year’s tragedy when 38 year old Nik Kayler, a fisherman from Apopka, was found dead in the lake after he’d gone missing for days during a tournament. For more information on the tournament, please visit Those interested in participating have until this afternoon to register.

This week is a special week for foster care in Okeechobee County as it was proclaimed Foster Family Appreciation Week by county commissioners at their meeting yesterday. Caryn Toole, the Director for Communities Connected for Kids in Okeechobee and Indian River Counties, was on hand to accept the proclamation and she says it “feels great” that foster care is being recognized and appreciated this week. Toole says foster care is an important piece of the child welfare system and while most children are taken in by relatives, there are over a hundred kids that are not. That is where foster families come in. Toole says local foster children more often than not are placed in families here in Okeechobee as opposed to families outside the county. Toole says there are only four foster families in the area and Communities Connected for Kids are always looking for people interested in being foster parents. For more information, visit

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies jailed a local man earlier this week for not re-registering as a sex offender when he moved to Okeechobee. Deputies say 60 year old David Lawrence Emrick had absconded from his previous home in Branford last September and was living on and off with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend in their trailer in Okeechobee. He stopped living there following an issue with rent and had since been living in hotels around the area and he was in and out of the hospital for health reasons. On Monday, Emrick was arrested and charged with failing to re-register as a sex offender and his bond is set at five thousand dollars. He was convicted of committing sexual acts with a child in Collier County in 1991 and he was also convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child between the ages of 12 and 16 in Levy County in 2007.

A bike ride turned into a drug related arrest for an Okeechobee man Tuesday evening. Sheriff’s deputies stopped 30 year old Robert Anthony Woods while he was riding his bike on the two hundred block of SE 34th Avenue a little after six o’clock while someone else was riding on the handlebars. As deputies were providing Woods’ information to dispatchers, a K-9 unit was alerted to something in Woods’ pockets. A search of Woods’ pockets revealed a cigar package with synthetic cannabis and a dilaudid tablet. Woods was arrested and charged with the possession of synthetic cannabis and a controlled substance. He was booked into county jail and his bond is set at ten thousand dollars.

A fuel spill got the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters early yesterday morning. Crews were called to a gas station on the 36 hundred block of SE Highway 441 just after 6:30 and found approximately four to five gallons of spilled diesel fuel. Investigators say the driver of the truck that was re-fueling it left it unattended and the tank overflowed. Firefighters and attendants poured a bag of kitty litter on the spilled fuel to keep it from spreading. Gas pumps were secured until the spilled fuel was cleaned up. No one was hurt and no damages reported.

On the arrest report:

44 year old Henry Albert Chouinard (shwee-narr) the Third of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on out of county warrants for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.

39 year old Joel Christopher Nettle of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during his hearing on past drug possession charges. He’s being held without bond.

24 year old Hayleigh Renee Price of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drug charges. She’s being held without bond.

34 year old Jeffrey Blaise Armstrong of Okeechobee was arrested on 16 counts of dealing in stolen property and giving false information to a pawnbroker. His bond is set at $150 thousand dollars.

54 year old William Leslie Thomas of Okeechobee was arrested for knowingly driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

25 year old Marc Anthony Perez of Orlando was arrested on several counts of contempt of court during his hearing on past charges of disorderly conduct, trespassing, and resisting arrest. He’s being held without bond.

30 year old Beverly Lynne Simmons of Tampa was arrested for violating probation on past charges of drug possession. She was released after posting bond.