News Cast for April 11th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners meet this morning and they will be handing out service awards to county employees and they will also review a proposed second amendment to the existing option for Big Cedar LLC to purchase land for the development of Okee-Tantie. The meeting will be held at the Historic County Courthouse beginning at nine o’clock.

This evening, there will be a special graduation ceremony for those people who have been trained over the last three months to be Guardians in Okeechobee County Schools. The Guardian Program was created last year following the tragic shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The Guardian Program consists of administrators and counselors from area schools who volunteered to be trained to carry and properly use firearms and act accordingly in the event of a Parkland-like situation. Sgt. Michael Hazellief of the Sheriff’s Department is one of the instructors and he says while some may have prior military or law enforcement training and some may not, these volunteers are not doing it for the authority or the power. Besides defensive tactics and active shooter training, these Guardians received eighty hours of basic firearms training, for which they had to score higher than a sheriff’s department recruit. The graduation will be held at the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department’s shooting range beginning at five o’clock.

The Okeechobee County School Board met Tuesday night and several awards were given and one proclamation. Board members approved the proclamation for this month to be considered School Library Month in Okeechobee County Schools. This is a time to appreciate and honor school libraries that provide materials for teachers and students to encourage growth and knowledge and more than anything else, encourage students to read. Jean Sherlock, the Media Specialist at Okeechobee High School was on hand to accept the proclamation and says School Library Month is important and literacy in schools in super important and she takes her job very seriously. Representatives from other county schools who were on hand to accept the proclamation include Elisabeth Fox, Reading Coach and Library Manager of the Freshman Campus, Miah Sheedy of Osceola Middle School and Robin Laskey of Everglades Elementary School. This is the 34th annual national School Library Month.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies have a local man and woman in custody at this time on domestic battery charges in connection with an incident Tuesday afternoon. Deputies were called to the eight thousand block of NE 12th Street a little after 4:30 after receiving reports that 39 year old Devin Delson Williamson and his ex-fiance, 26 year old Alexandra Renae Hauk, were involved in a domestic dispute. Witnesses say Hauk got into Williamson’s face, asking him for his cell phone and password and when he refused, she dared him to hit her and push her so she can have him arrested. Williamson restrained Hauk by putting his arm around her neck and escorting her out of his room. Hauk then packed her belongings before deputies arrived. Hauk was arrested and charged with simple domestic battery and Williamson was arrested and charged with domestic battery by strangulation. Both were taken to county jail and their bonds have not been set.

A Fort Pierce man is in serious condition after a vehicle accident Monday afternoon in St. Lucie County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 27 year old Wade Richardson was riding a Suzuki MTC motorcycle north on South Indian River Drive in Fort Pierce a little after five o’clock, attempting to pass several vehicles in a no passing zone. As Richardson was trying to get back into the northbound lane, he rear-ended another vehicle in front of him, ejecting him from the bike. Richardson was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce for treatment. Charges are pending for Richardson.

On the arrest report:

59 year old Ernesto Alvarez Ramos of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for drunk driving after a traffic stop and subsequent field sobriety test. His bond has not been set.

23 year old Justice J. Baker of Okeechobee was arrested for battery. She was released after posting a $25 hundred dollar bond.

47 year old Jose Francisco Rolon Marcano of Okeechobee was arrested by police for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

52 year old Douglas Frank McGinnis of Okeechobee was arrested for driving without a valid license after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

32 year old Jerry Lorenzo Wisdom Junior of Avon Park was arrested on warrants from Highlands County for failing to appear in court. His bond is set at eight thousand dollars.