WOKC HAS MOVED LOCATIONS TO 3936 SE 18th Terrace Okeechobee, Florida 34974

News Cast for April 5th:

A vehicle accident in St. Lucie County yesterday claimed the lives of an Okeechobee man and woman and shut down traffic in the area for about two hours. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 44 year old Gary Walter Gerber was driving a Ford Ranger north on West Midway Road at the intersection of Highway 70 in Ft. Pierce with his passenger, 49 year old Tammy Lynn Radford, at around noon at the same time a semi-truck, driven by 53 year old Javier Gomez, also of Okeechobee, was heading east on Route 70 in the inside lane. Gerber was entering the intersection in order to go west on 70 and drove into the path of Gomez’s truck, causing a collision. The impact caused Gerber’s vehicle to go to the median and overturn. Gomez’s truck also overturned on the same median and the trailer got separated from the cab. Gerber and Bradford were pronounced dead at the scene. Gomez was treated for minor injuries. FHP officers are investigating the accident.

Speaking of accidents, for the third day in a row yesterday morning, Okeechobee County was the site of a serious vehicle accident. Emergency crews were called to the 42 hundred block of Route 70 East a little after six o’clock for an accident that reportedly involved at least two vehicles. No details are available on the accident as of yet, but the accident forced a shutdown of the road in both directions. On Wednesday, an accident took place on the 37 thousand block of Highway 441 North, shutting down traffic there in both directions for nearly five hours, and an accident Tuesday afternoon on route 710 claimed the life of a Boynton Beach man and seriously injured 19 year old Cameron Jarrett Maynard and 30 year old William Diaz-Helble, both of Okeechobee. They’re being treated at Raulerson Hospital.

This morning, Okeechobee County will be the site for the Law Enforcement Torch Run. This is an annual event to support and recognize the athletes of the Special Olympics. Sheriff Noel Stephen says the Torch Run will begin at the sheriff’s office at 8:30 and it will continue through the city down Route 441 to Publix where there will be a barbecue rib dinner served and Special Olympic athletes will run a lap around the parking lot with the torch. Stephen says this is one of his favorite parts of his job. The event will feature between 50 and 75 athletes. Stephen says they hope to raise more money for the Special Olympics this year than last year; last year they raised between six and seven thousand dollars.

Stephen-2019 Torch Run

Yesterday, the Okeechobee County Historic Courthouse was the very fitting recipient of a very important piece of American History. The Historic Courthouse received a doctor’s horse drawn buggy which was used during the late 1800’s. Commissioners approved the purchase of the buggy during one of their meetings last month. The idea to purchase the buggy was spearheaded by Commissioner Bryant Culpepper and he pushed for it to be placed in the Historic Courthouse. Culpepper, who was very excited at the arrival of the buggy, says he hopes it will stir young minds into wanting to learn more about the history of this country. The buggy is in mint condition and it will remain on display in the courthouse for a year before it’ll be moved to the Okeechobee Historical Society Museum as decided by commissioners at their last meeting.

Culpepper-Doctor’s Buggy Arrives 1

Culpepper-Doctor’s Buggy Arrives 2

Representatives of the Florida League of Cities made an appearance at the Okeechobee City Council meeting on Tuesday night to recognize their leader, Mayor Dowling Watford. The Florida League of Cities presented a resolution to Watford recognizing his 35 years of service to the city of Okeechobee. Mark Sittig, the Membership Services Manager of the Florida League of Cities says presenting this resolution to Watford was an honor and he says those who receive this recognition are those who not only serve their community for a long time, but they also get to know mayors and  councilmembers of other cities. Sittig says the fact that Watford loves what he does for Okeechobee is another factor in getting recognized because more often than not, it’s a “thankless” job according to Sittig. Watford says he’s “very honored” to receive this resolution and he says if he could, he’d serve the city for another 35 years.

Service Award 1

Service Award 2

A mobile home fire caught the attention of Okeechobee County Firefighters Wednesday afternoon and kept them busy for quite a while. Crews were called to the three thousand block of SE 39th Avenue a little after five o’clock and arrived to find the mobile home completely covered in flames. Firefighters say the fire was producing very thick, black smoke and the fire and smoke were venting through the roof and it was threatening a nearby home as it already had damaged the carport and two vehicles in front of the mobile home. A total of fifteen firefighters and about twenty thousand gallons of water were needed to get the fire extinguished, which took nearly two and a half hours. No one was hurt. The homeowner and family were evacuated and placed in the care of the local Red Cross. The mobile home was completely destroyed as were the two vehicles in front. Total damage is estimated at about $65 thousand dollars. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

A Stuart man is dead and a Stuart woman is in critical condition following a vehicle accident Saturday night. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 63 year old Leonard David Sclafani was in his car, stopped at a traffic light in the southbound lane of Route 1 near SE Monroe Street in Stuart a little after ten o’clock when a Volvo station wagon, driven by 30 year old Amanda Lynn Webber of Hobe Sound, was approaching from behind Sclafani and failed to stop in time before rear-ending Sclafani’s car. The impact ejected Sclafani and his passenger, 56 year old Debra Ann Sclafani, from the car and onto the center lane. A third vehicle, driven by 40 year old Chakeela Lashawn Bethel of Hobe Sound, was approaching the crash scene and collided with Leonard Sclafani, killing him instantly. Debra Sclafani was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Ft. Pierce for treatment. Charges are pending for Webber and Bethel. FHP is investigating.

On the arrest report:

31 year old Servando Medrano of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop. His bond is set at $55 hundred dollars.