News Cast for May 17th:

The last of the three local men charged with a home invasion robbery earlier this month has been arrested. 21 year old David Joseph Gardner was arrested a little after one o’clock on Wednesday in connection with a May 3rd robbery where he, along with 21 year old Michael Wayne Cheney and 21 year old Aaron Bradley Hill, reportedly all armed with knives, allegedly came into the apartment of a man and took his wallet by force. Cheney and Gardner fled the scene while Hill was arrested by detectives the day of the incident. Hill remains in county jail in lieu of a thirty thousand dollar bond and Cheney was apprehended and arrested Tuesday afternoon. Cheney’s and Gardner’s bonds are set at fifty thousand dollars each.

The Okeechobee County School board met this past Tuesday night for the final time before students go on their summer vacations and it was a night full of student recognitions. One of them was the Science Olympiad teams of Central Elementary, North Elementary and Seminole Elementary Schools. Many of them got to compete at science fairs in Orlando. Twelve of those students from Central Elementary created projects such as a tennis ball catapult and water bottle rocket. Amie Eldred, the math and science teacher of Central Elementary, was one of the coaches of the science Olympiad team and says she was glad to be a part of this team and she saw the kids really enjoyed doing it, despite only having twelve practices and competing against math and science schools that have had over a hundred practices. Eldred says the best part of being the coach of this team was seeing how excited the kids were during competition day. Other student recognitions include students from Okeechobee High School and Yearling Middle School being recognized for their participation in the competitions for the Florida FFA Association.

If you’re still interested in taking the course on Bleeding Control and you missed Tuesday night’s class, believe it or not, you have just one more chance to register. There will be a second class being taught at the Okeechobee Emergency Management Center tomorrow beginning at 9am and there are about six spots left. You must sign up before five o’clock this afternoon. The original deadline was yesterday but it’s been extended through today. Okeechobee Fire Captain Ryan Hathaway says this course teaches techniques on handling and treating excessive and life threatening bleeding by the use of tourniquets and more. Hathaway says this is especially important when time is of the ultimate essence in a massive bleeding situation. Remember, deadline to register for the course is five o’clock today. Call the Emergency Management Center at 863-763-5544 to register. The course is free of charge and there are six spots remaining.

A report of a fire to a truck’s tire caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters early yesterday morning. Crews were called to the 26 hundred block of Route 70 East a little after 2:30 and arrived to find a sod hauling truck with one of its rear tires hot to the touch but not burning. Crews used about two hundred gallons of water to cool off the tire with no one getting hurt. Reported cost of damages was about two thousand dollars. Cause is under investigation.

A vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon in Lee County left a Labelle man without a scratch but unfortunately claimed the life of a Lehigh Acres woman. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 32 year old Jenny Lee Esquivel was driving a Honda Accord north on Sunshine Boulevard, approaching the intersection of 31st Street in Lehigh Acres a little after 1:30, when a dump truck, driven by 54 year old John Joseph Gujardo, was approaching the intersection from the opposite way. FHP officers say Esquivel for unknown reasons drifted across the center line, into Gujardo’s path, and both vehicles collided head on. The impact caused Esqivel’s car to rotate clockwise and end up on the grass shoulder. Esquivel was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Gujardo was not injured. The accident is being investigated.

On the arrest report:

18 year old Logan Dwayne Pope of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for reckless tampering of a consumer product and battery on a law enforcement officer. He was released after posting a $55 hundred dollar bond.

21 year old Malcolm Jehmal Williams of Okeechobee was arrested for aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony after a fight with another man. He’s being held without bond.

29 year old James Ronald Kelley of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during his hearing on charges of driving without a license tag or registration. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.

51 year old Alonza Robert Smith of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of drug possession. He’s being held without bond.

36 year old Tacara Kantrail Lawton Holmes of Okeechobee was arrested for battery. Her bond is set at five hundred dollars.

20 year old Harvey Hugh Barr Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for battery. He’s being held without bond.

21 year old Michael Jeffrey Garcia of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. His bond is set at $750 dollars.