News Cast for March 6th:

An Okeechobee man is in critical condition following a vehicle accident yesterday in Highlands County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 27 year old Philip Kinzie was driving a golf cart south across Highway 98 from the driveway of a gas station near the 79 hundred block of Highway 27 in Sebring a little after 12:15 when the driver of a Cadillac Escalade was approaching the gas station driveway at the same time. FHP officers say Kinzie drove into the path of the Cadillac Escalade, and Kinzie’s golf cart was hit on the right side. The impact caused the golf cart to go onto the shoulder, while ejecting Kinzie from the golf cart. He ended up in the westbound lane of Highway 98. Kinzie was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce for treatment. The Cadillac driver was not injured.

The weekend is fast approaching and that means it will soon be the 54th annual Speckled Perch Festival in Okeechobee County. This festival celebrates Lake Okeechobee and the fishing industry and there will be a parade in the city and there will be lots of food and attractions in Flagler Park. Mayor Dowling Watford says this is a major attraction to winter visitors to the area who love to fish. In preparation for the festival, city councilmembers last night at their meeting voted unanimously to close SW 2nd Avenue, SW 3rd Avenue and SW 4th Avenue to traffic beginning Friday at 5pm until Sunday at 11pm. The festival was created 54 years ago by Al Stokes, who helped launch WOKC in 1962 and was very active with the Chamber of Commerce.

Okeechobee County firefighters had a grass fire to contend with late Monday morning. Crews were called to the 47 hundred block of NW 160th Street a little after 11:45 and arrived to find a small brush fire around the base of an electric power pole and some burnt areas at the top of the pole. Glades Electric was notified to shut down the pole while crews got the blaze extinguished. Firefighters got the fire extinguished in about 15 minutes while using about 75 gallons of water to put it out. No one was hurt and no damages. Investigators say a fox squirrel is to blame for the fire.

If you’re looking for something to read, you can once again try the Okeechobee County Library. The library re-opened on Monday after it was closed for two weeks while new floors were being installed. Library Director Kresta King says this is the first time the library has received new flooring since it opened in April of 1999. King says while library staff have been up to their eyeballs in processing returned books and other library items, they found the time to admire the new flooring, which King says is “fantastic” . Since the library re-opened on Monday, nearly 12 hundred people have come in and all but five people say they love the new flooring. King says she and the rest of the staff are planning a special grand re-opening of the library next month to coincide with the library’s 20th year anniversary.

An Okeechobee man is facing some serious charges following an incident Saturday evening. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 15 hundred block of SE 5th Street just after 7:30 and found a utility truck with blood on the seats and the rear driver’s side window shattered. Deputies followed the blood trail into the house and found two women holding the wrists of 29 year old Garrett Wade Fowler laying on the floor bleeding. Deputies say earlier in the day, Fowler, his girlfriend and his brother had been drinking too much while they were out and while coming back home, Fowler began arguing with his girlfriend, which eventually escalated into a fight when Fowler pulled over. Fowler would later hit his girlfriend after dropping off his brother and he then punched the back window of his vehicle three times, causing it to shatter. Fowler was arrested and charged with felony battery and criminal mischief. He was released from county jail after posting a bond of just over ten thousand dollars.

On the arrest report:

41 year old Randy Gerald Whaley Junior of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He’s being held without bond.

60 year old Ada Perez-Cabrera of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of drug possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. She’s being held without bond.

50 year old George Gerald Katevas of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drug offenses. He’s being held without bond.

24 year old Megan Elizabeth Cline of Okeechobee was arrested for failing to appear in court and resisting arrest. She was released after posting bond.

26 year old Jonathan Torres of Okeechobee was arrested for trespassing at a gas station and convenience store. He was released after posting bond.

31 year old William Cody Weber of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past battery charges. He’s being held without bond.