News Cast for March 8th:

Officials from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department are offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible for a local man’s death nearly two years ago. Detectives say the body of 54 year old Clemente Garcia was found in a wooded area near NE 60th Avenue on March 24th, 2016. Garcia had been unemployed and was living with family members at the time of his death and he’d been living in Okeechobee for nearly ten years. Detectives say there were no visible wounds on his body but he had been injured and the case was being treated as a homicide. If you have any information on this case, please contact the sheriff’s department. If you’d like to remain anonymous, you can call the Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-273-8477 or log on to www.tcwatch.org.

With the weekend finally upon us, it’s time for the Okeechobee Cowtown Rodeo. This annual event begins tonight in the Cattlemen’s Association Arena on Highway 441 just across from Raulerson Hospital and it will feature bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling and mutton bustin’ for kids. Todd Clemons of the Cattlemen’s Association says this rodeo is an important event for the Cattlemen’s Association not just for entertainment value but for traditional value as well. Outside of expenses, proceeds from the rodeo this weekend will be used to fund scholarships for high school students involved in agricultural programs. Clemons says the rodeo attracts spectators as far away as Miami. The rodeo begins tonight at six o’clock and at one o’clock on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are eighteen dollars apiece and children under the age of five are admitted at no charge.

Clemons 1

Clemons 2

Okeechobee City Councilmembers recognized one of the city’s longest tenured employees at their meeting Tuesday night and it was in a way, bittersweet. City Planner Bill Brisson was presented with a certificate of appreciation while also announcing that he will be leaving Okeechobee for a similar position in Holmes Beach near Bradenton. The 72 year old Brisson, who has been Okeechobee’s city planner since 2006 and is a resident of Bradenton, says while his advancing age and the two hour commute were factors in his decision to resign, there was a more personal reason. Brisson says what he’ll miss most about working in Okeechobee is the competent, helpful staff he got to work with over these 12 years and the small-town community feeling that Okeechobee offers. Brisson began his career as a city planner in Palm Beach in 1971 before coming to Okeechobee. Brisson’s last day as city planner will be March 21st.

Brisson 1

Brisson 2

Two Okeechobee men are in county jail at this time on several drug offenses in connection with an incident Wednesday afternoon. Police say they spotted a vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot a little after one o’clock that had a smashed front end and a broken out driver’s side window. Believing the vehicle to be suspicious, police ran the license plate and found it was expired. Shortly thereafter, police spotted two men, identified as 36 year old Billy Gene Garmany and 33 year old Robert Gerald Fortier, getting into the car and leaving the parking lot. Police say they spotted Garmany and Fortier throwing items out of the car as they were conducting a traffic stop on them. Both men were forcibly removed from the car and handcuffed until K-9 units arrived to search the car and the items that were thrown out. The items thrown from the car were two metal storage containers with a white powder on them, which tested positive for methamphetamine. There was also some marijuana and rolling papers found at the scene. Garmany and Fortier were each arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Their bonds have not been set.

On the arrest report:

25 year old Jesus Delapaz of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for battery and simple assault on his girlfriend outside a restaurant during a domestic dispute. He was released after posting a $15 hundred dollar bond.

23 year old Bruce Snell Junior of Okeechobee, an inmate at the county jail, was arrested for fighting with another inmate. His bond is set at $250 dollars.